Monday, May 31, 2010

Potty Time

Estella was fairly easy to potty train. I was just about to breathe a sigh of relief that it was finished, when things got rough. Estella hit the defiant toddler stage about a year earlier than Thomas or Nicholas hit it. She expressed her independence by going to the bathroom everywhere but where I wanted her to. I tried to not make a big deal out of it and would just say, "Oh...that's sad....let's clean it up." After a week of that with no improvements I decided to try some positive reinforcement, giving her raisins every time she made it to the toilet. After a week of that, again, with no improvements, I decided it was time to give a negative consequence. She was enjoying cleaning up the mess with me...she loves to spray and scrub. I decided I wouldn't let her help me clean it up, but she would have to sit in her crib (the only place I could contain her) while I cleaned it up. That TOTALLY backfired because she quickly figured out how to climb out of the crib, which started a whole new battle...naptime. Then she did something I never expected. She climbed into her crib, pottied there, and then came to me and told me she pee peed in her crib. Then she looked at me as if to say, "Where are you going to put me now, while you clean it up?" She is TOO SMART!!! After talking to a good friend who I admire, I decided to give up and put her back in diapers. It wasn't worth the stress and frustration it was creating between us.

I put her in a diaper that morning and it happened to be the day all the cousins were going to come over for pictures. She was very happy in a diaper all morning, but around 3:30 as soon as the cousins came over, she said, "No diaper. Essie wear panties." I told her she could as long as she went in the potty. She didn't have any accidents the rest of the day. I guess it just had to be her idea, not mine. I really wanted it to work, so the next day I bought some small fruity breath mints and gave her one every time she went in the potty. She hasn't done perfectly (which I don't expect), but has done MUCH better ever since that day. Whew...what a relief!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Yard Changes

We decided to rip out the bushes in our front yard. I love the landscaping in our back yard, but I have been wanting to change the front yard ever since I moved in. I liked the color of the bushes, but didn't like how big they were right in our front entry. I was also overwhelmed with how often I had to trim them (in addition to the oodles of bushes in the back yard). I had already taken out two large bushes from the cement planters hoping that would help. It did, but not enough. I really wanted advice on what to plant because there is so much about it that I don't know, so I hired the landscaping person at my favorite garden nursery to come walk around our yard with me for an hour and give me her advice. It was DEFINITELY worth the $40. Most of the plants I was thinking about planting wouldn't have survived the beating summer heat the front of our house gets. I would have wasted much more than $40 in dead plants and frustration.

So...when I had her suggestion to rip out the bushes I went right to it. We borrowed Jackson's brother's truck, dug around the roots a little and then just yanked them right out...all six of them. It felt SO good! I will post an after picture when the new things I have planted start blooming. The landscaping lady gave me a design for the entire front of the house with specific plants she would put where. I can't afford to do it all at once, so I have just done right around the front door, but it already looks SO MUCH BETTER!!! I especially love that I can see more than a bush out the front window.


Thomas and Nicholas think it is SO funny to tie Daddy's shoe laces together while he is eating. It sure helps that Jackson pretends like he has no idea what is going on and then dramatically trips and falls when he gets up from the table saying, "What?! How did my laces get tied together?" He is such a fun daddy!


I am going to be playing catch up on the blog for a while. My sister Jamie came to live with us for the summer and I am finally feeling like I am on top of things ( isn't's her!). She is so helpful and fun to have here. I only wish I could do as much for her as she is doing for me. We have almost finished my first blog book that goes from the beginning of the blog to about 5 months is 222 pages already! I plan to print one out every year from now on. Maybe then it will be a more manageable project.

Two of Jackson's siblings live here in Grand Junction, and between their families and ours we make up all of Jackson's parent's grandchildren (but only for another month or so...Jazzy is expecting a baby soon). A while before mother's day we got all the cousins together for pictures, which we put into a wallet sized accordian album for Jackson's mom and grandmothers for mother's day. Amber and Julia, if you want prints of any of these, just email and I'll order them for you.

Presenting...the Berry cousins.

Yes, I know Thomas's shirt is REALLY wrinkled. This was before Jamie came to my rescue.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Cello Teaching Flier

Jackson is going to a 10 day class on Suzuki cello teaching in a week and a half. He is wanting to fill up a morning with students to start teaching as soon as he gets back. We sat down tonight and designed an advertizing flier. I think it turned out pretty good. Any suggestions?

P.S. Thomas doesn't play the cello, but the only small cello we have right now is his size, so he was our model. He did a fabulous job!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Its a...

BOY!!!!! We can't wait to meet this little boy. His presence has already been strongly felt and we are sure he is excited to come to us.