Tips for a potty training boot camp and beyond
Our current monthly budget

May coffee date


Hi friends! I'm sipping the last of a Stok lightly sweet cold brew coffee from my Yeti with half-and-half and toasted marshmallow Nutpods creamer (if you'd like to get specific which I know you do) and popping in to say hello and I miss you. I also miss routine which seemed to fly right out the window with our spring break trip and has only recently gotten the message that we would like it to come back home, please. I ended up with a little bonus chunk of time today so let's have a coffee date and quick catch up, shall we?


Our spring break trip

Way back in March we took our 10-day spring break trip and it was great. We swapped houses with a family from the Salt Lake City area and everything went smoothly. Their house was great, and they loved our house and left it sparkling clean and with a loaf of freshly baked bread (!). I am definitely looking forward to future home exchanges.

Highlights from our trip included visiting the Grand Canyon dusted in snow, snow tubing in Park City, visiting the Great Salt Lake and the Utah state capitol building, visiting Zion National Park, and enjoying snow on our last night in Utah. Also of note, while in Zion I offered to take a photo for a couple and while I was taking a photo the guy got down on one knee and proposed!! With shaking hands I switched to video as fast as I could. And now this happy couple has the moment forever captured in video with the soundtrack of me saying, "Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!" You're welcome.

I was intentional about being off my phone and screens for the trip which was great. I really enjoyed disconnecting from email and social media and have kept up the minimal Instagram use. There were challenging parenting moments to the tune of kids balking at the plans we had and only wanting to be on screens. But those moments also ended up being opportunities to practice patience, and finding compromise as a family. Also, we CAN do a two-day road trip with our family! I wasn't sure how it would go and yes there were stressful moments each day where all three kids were crying and/or yelling but then we'd bust out a snack or the screens or take a break and it would be okay. Now I feel excited for future family road trip potential. And they can only get easier as the kids get older, right??

A potty training update

My last post was all about our recent potty training endeavors. We have made great progress but also aren't all the way there. I'm sure our trip set us back a bit. Number 2 is still a challenge and I'm eager for that to click. A few things that have helped: having Maeve go undies- and pants-free in the house so she's in tune with her body, keeping the small potty chair out and available so that she can go to the bathroom and not have FOMO (I think this is a big challenge), and leaning in to the big rewards like a new little toy for every poo on the potty.


April and May Madness

My latest podcast episode with Erica was on the topic of May Madness and all the hectic stuff that comes with the last month of school. April is also super hectic for us because of birthdays and Chris's end of semester. This year it was especially so because four out of five of us got COVID in late March which also included a pink eye bonus and then after one normal week Maeve came down with an ear infection. By the end of that slog I felt so depleted and craved many hours of quiet introvert time. Then we were smack in the middle of Chris's busiest work season. But! We made it through, everyone is healthy, and life is feeling manageable again. Whew!

To keep our calendar from feeling too overwhelming for the rest of the month we are putting a couple of things in place: we're sticking to super simple dinners, and I asked Chris if we could both commit to not adding any more evening or weekend activities that would require the other one to solo parent. And I booked a babysitter for us at the end of the month so we have a day date to look forward to once we get through the end of school. Future high five to myself!


April birthdays

In early April our baby girl turned 3 and shortly after Dashiell turned 10. Double digits for this guy! Birthdays always bring me wistful, nostalgic feelings and deep gratitude as well. I'm thankful to have baby photo books for each of the kids, and family photo books for every year as well, to flip through and remember when each of them was brand new to us.

Both Maeve and Dash were excited for their birthdays but Maeve had the over-the-top excitement in the way that only toddlers can. It was so sweet and fun. And now we have a 10, 8, and 3 year old!

Designing our summer

Summer in Gilbert is...not my favorite. But I'm trying to be as positive as I can! Having a plan really helps me. A fun exercise with Chris was brainstorming all the activities and fun things we can look forward to during the summer, which I captured in a Google Doc. This was everything from camp ideas for the boys to everyday fun stuff like going out for ice cream and to the pool, and even the summer meals we can look forward to, like a favorite bean salad recipe.

We also had a recent summer planning day date to put more concrete plans in place. Together we looked at our summer calendar, charted out different camp options, and signed each of the boys up for at least one week-long camp. Dash is actually going to do a week-long sleep away camp! He asked about doing one last summer and it didn't work out. We found one that looks great just a couple hours away and think our confident social butterfly will do great.

As for the rest of the summer, despite my best marketing efforts the boys (and one in particular) are VERY resistant to day camps, even the ones that are all about some of their interests like soccer. As a parent who knows how bored her kids can get during the long, hot summer it's quite frustrating. But I think we have a good start on some structure and I also think I might be pleasantly surprised. Maeve will continue her same daycare schedule and during her daycare days I hope to find some quality time with the boys doing things like playing board games and going to the movies which we really can't do when Maeve is with us.


I'll wrap things up there, friends. I hope your May is off to a good start and that you find ways to make it easier on yourself if it's a busy season for you too.