Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Keeping it real: redoing my master bedroom

Trying to do a major redo of your bedroom is seriuosly not an easy thing with a 9 month old and a 3 year old around the house all day.  I wanted this room to be done a couple of years ago. Umm yeah, that didn't even get past the drawing board stage.

So ere's a run down of the schedule of this room:

3 years previous: read a million blogs about how to do board and batten.

2 years previous: buy a new bed and bedding. Get paint swatches that you tape on the wall for the next two years.

1 month previous: buy grey samples and paint the top part, just to see how it would work.

Actual start

Day one: Paint store is having a killer sale. Figure you better just do this think already. Go buy the paint. Then buy the wood and rip it into strips at Happy Mom's house.

Day two: Sunday, so just play.

Day three: the "real" work can start!  Um, nope. Hubby gets sick.  Manage to do one coat of primer on the wood and that's it.

Day four (today): Let's try this again . . . Um nope. manage to get the baseboards pried off (that was GROSS under there!). and that's about it.

At this rate I'll be doing the before/after in about 2 months.


But my kids are happy when I play with them.  Maybe, just MAYBE I can do a little painting after they go to bed. But I'm not holding my breath.

Monday, April 15, 2013


Such a simple thing.

But any one who has EVER had a newborn, will also tell you it's a very elusive thing too.

It's also something that's been rather hard to come by at my house for the last 8 1/2 months. 

Now, I've sleep trained all of my kids with out much problem at all (we've done the Ferber method.)

But for some reason, I just couldn't do it this time around.  For years I've told people this (what I think) truth: I think every single kid can be sleep trained with this method. But I DON'T think every single parent can do it - you have to do what works for you.

And listening to Jellybean cry was just too much for me.

Maybe it's knowing that he's my last.

Maybe it's that unbelievably pathetic cry he has (sounding like he's cried himself hoarse after about 20 seconds).

Or maybe I'm just to tired to really do that hard now, better in the long run method.

Whatever the case, it just hasn't worked.

So here's where we were 3 weeks ago: Jellybean would wake up between 3 and 7 (no joke!) times a night.  And when you combine that with the 3 or so times 'Lil was getting up, I was NOT a happy person.

Ah, 'Lil.  Here's the story on her nights.

3 months ago she turned three.  This meant she had to transition to a preschool to continue to receive speech therapy.  Now, that was hard enough.  But then I realized that my grand plan of toilet training on her third birthday wasn't going to work so well (too many changes too fast).  So on a whim we did it the day after her IEP meeting.

And it worked . . . sort of.  She still won't go #2 in the right place, and was in diapers at night.

I felt that the diapers were being confusing for her, and that things would improve if I made her stay in underwear at night too.

Which started the waking. I think she had to go, but she would only SCREAM BLOODY MURDER if I put her on the toilet. So instead she would wander the house crying.  Or wet the bed two or three times.  We did this for a about 6 weeks.

Which made me even less willing to let Jake cry.

So I knew something had to change.   First thing I did was put 'Lil back in diapers at night.  I hate spending the money on more diapers, but I realized that $0.17 a night is probably cheaper than the entire load of laundry I did every day from her wetting the bed so much.

It took a week or two, but finally she was sleeping through the night again. And I slowly started working on Jellybean.

I finally started a real bedtime routine with him. I know, it sounds lazy, but I just had never bothered to do anything more but have him fall asleep while eating.  Then I started letting him cry at 10:00.  That didn't work so well for me. So I changed it to rocking him to sleep instead of eating.  After a few days he stopped waking up at 10:00 and I started trying it for his 12:00 waking.  I was still feeding him if he woke up after that, but I was down to only 3 times a night!

Then, over night, he stopped waking up.  For the last 4 nights, he's woken up at 4:30 for a small bottle (about 3 oz), and then back to sleep until 6:30.

I'm like a whole new person now.

(sorry this was such a long post, and most of you probably don't really care. But I wanted to remember what happened with this, and it really is just such a wonderful thing in my life!)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Speed Dating, Relief Society Style

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m responsible for all the activities for the women in my ward (that’s Mormon talk for a church congregation).  I’ve been doing this for almost two years now, and we have some awesome activities, if I do say so myself.

But don’t think I’m really patting myself on the back here. See, I think I’ve come up with  exactly . . . ZERO of the ideas.  The internet ROCKS for great activity ideas (ok, my committee is a huge help too!).  But even with the ideas I’ve found, we usually find a way to improve on them.

And since I get so many things from the great web, I thought maybe it was time I give a little back.  So I’ll be posting our fabulous activities here once and a while.  First up: Friendship Speed Dating.

I first got the idea on Pintrest, of course, when I saw this pin:


(ok, this is my picture from that night, not hers!)


What an awesome idea!  Everyone knows that what women really want is to just chat, and the idea of getting to know the sisters better was an awesome one.  Biggest problem with her post is that she doesn’t really explain the format too great, and there aren’t any questions at all!  So here’s how we did it.

First, we had a potato bar dinner (we’ve got several gluten free in our ward, so this is an awesome option to include them.)  My amazing crafty person decorated the tables . . . um forgot a picture of that!  But we did a polka dot theme – super easy. She did each table a different color of scrapbook papers in different sizes of circles, and then had little nut cups full of color coordinated jelly beans (yes, she admits she’s slightly OCD).  We also had the list of questions at each seat so people could look them over as they ate.

I didn’t want the questions to be the usual. I wanted to actually get to know something about people, not just where they were born or how many kids they had.  We had a great brainstorming session, and came up with this list.

I’ve got it in color:


Or in black and white for you to use!

steps-p0014 copy

So here was our format.  One side of the table didn’t move – yes that means you don’t get to talk to everyone. But it also means the activity doesn’t last 4 hours.  This was also great for some of the older women that don’t move very well.  We had a time for 5 minutes each spot.  When it was time to switch, my timer friend flipped the lights.  And then usually yelled out.  And then sometimes did jumping jacks to get people to stop talking and move to the next spot.  It took about an hour to get through the line. 

It was one of the biggest hits we’ve ever had. Now, I also have to admit, we fielded more questions on this activity than any other before (Do I bring my husband because we’re dating? Is this actually ok to do because I’m married? What on earth is speed dating anyway?) But stick with it – it’s great!

(if you’d like to follow my rs idea’s board, you can find it here:  Yes, I know it’s called Craft Day, but just go with it!)

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