Saturday, October 21, 2006

On My Mind



Where will we eventually settle? I probably mull this question over in my mind at least once a day even though we won't be moving until summer '08. The main reason this subject frequents my thoughts so often is that our options are so wide and varied--really we could go anywhere--and that makes the task challenging. I took a quiz on findyourspot.com that gives you the top cities that suit you best (according to your answers). It was really interesting to me and we have talked about several of the places that appeared on the list (Craig's and my list were very similar). Our top spot on the list was Seattle, WA. Take the quiz if you will soon be faced with the daunting decision of where to live--or even if you're not!

Another thing on my mind is potty training--yes, one of those life changing transitions that you at once dread and await anxiously. Seth is 3 years and 4 months old. Is he terribly old to still be in diapers? What is normal? What have you done to potty train your boys? What has worked? As far as parenting goes, Craig and I agree on most everything, but this?--no. Let me know your thoughts and experiences, please!


Another issue that clouds my brain is about as unpleasant as the previous: budgeting. Neither of us have ever been able to nail down a working budget. I guess the key is committing and just doing it, but...I would like some input from those of you who have it down--or at least something you've found that helps manage cash flow or outflow, in my case.

One more thing. It is our home, and so we love it, but Phoenix has left me wanting, especially this year for some reason. The severe lack of any signs of autumn makes my heart ache and long for those lusciously colored leaves spread over a mountain side. Sorry, Jenny, I just can't help it.

That's all. Back the things that take my mind off of these things (nap time is over).

15 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Those are all things I have thought about also. Except now we are settled where we want to be. It is weird to have those years of wondering and planning gone. One thing that works for us in budgeting is not using a debit card. I take the cash out at the beginning of the week and put my husbands share in his wallet and then I divide the rest into envelopes. I put grocery money in one and errand money and play money. Then when the money is gone you just stop spending in that area. It forces me to plan a little better so I don't end up with not enough for groceries at the end of the week. Cause your always just going to go and buy groceries. It has really helped. About the other my son was going on the potty for a week and now he just won't. I need some help in that area as well.

Tasha said...

Jordan,
We did "findyourspot" a couple years ago and would you believe that both Cedar City and Orem Utah were on Dave's list, while my cities were all over the country and not one in Utah? This has been quite the challenge in our marriage, and the topic of more than one fierce-first-year-of-marriage-you're-on-the-couce
blow out. Maybe I am getting older and wiser, or just lazier, but I've decided I'd rather be with Dave in a place that isn't the most most ideal to me, than be without him in a coastal, culturally diverse, politically diverse place that is... At any rate, I can't WAIT to see where you end up!

Potty training, I don't know if I would try it around the time of a big transition, like adding a sibling, unless Seth is begging for it. Other than that, I have zilch. I am planning on putting it off until Evie is literally asking for the toilet, or at least that is my sage opionin for this week.

Budget---well, water that money tree! that is something I hate to think about! We've never had a rigid "this is how much goes here, here and here..." but I have a general goal in mind at the grocery store. So many of our expenses are fixed. I can't control the cost of a gallon of gas or milk, and we have to have them. We started doing a dinner exchange thing that I think is saving me money, I will have to email or talk to you about it later, so I don't take up your whole post.

Jordan said...

Elizabeth, I was telling my husband how you fell in love with Hawaii the first morning you woke up there...I wish I could have such an experience somewhere. How old is your son?

Jill said...

Seattle was on my list when I did the find-your-spot thing a few months ago. It's kind of fun to imagine living in different places isn't it?

As for potty training boys, it takes forever. Landon was over 3.5 when it finally happened. I wouldn't try to train Seth until after the baby arrives and things have settled down a bit. Any upheaval in the home can cause major potty-training set backs, so you should probably just keep changing those man-sized diapers, ha.

I'm sorry you're suffering from a lack of fall in Phoenix, that would be seriously hard for me too. I think there's something unnatural about not having 4 seasons. Every time I go to California I find myself thinking there's something unnatural about the environment, mindset and lifestyle (even though it's fun to visit), apparently I need distinct changes in climate and surroundings.

Jenny said...

We too did that website about a year ago for fun. Ironically it said our best spot was AZ or TX. And I am not at all offended. Many can't stand the heat. I guess we have decided being by family out weighs the heat. I didn't realize we would be moving the same time as you, in the summer of 08'.

As far as potty training goes.... I can't say that I have had a terrible experience with it except with Taylor. It took nearly a near before she grasped the concept (she was about three) And Jared and Luke pretty much potty trained themselves at about 2 and a few months.

I guess that blows my theory that boys are easier to potty train! Taylor seriously tested my patients in this area. She would pee on the stairs in NEw Orleans, in the closets when she was mad.

Hey, maybe Shawna has some insight. I guess I was blessed in that area since I deal with TERRIBLE trantrums instead ha ha. Or I should knock on wood since I have yet one more boy to potty train. In stead of beating yourself up, like Jill said maybe wait until the baby comes or he may regress a bit which is normal.

Money, well I'm with Tasha water it and make it grow. We aren't very good at budgeting.

Jenny said...

p.s. I think that Luke and Seth are about the same age. Luke turned three in June. Here is my email: texbonedoc@yahoo.com :)

Jordan said...

It is so nice to have a sounding board in blogging. You guys are great. Jill, you crack me up--man diapers!! So true!

Jenny, I think the first child has a harder time of it that subsequent siblings as far as potty training goes. There is something about having an older sibling to pave the way. Lucy is already showing interest and comes and sits on the little potty seat next to me in the bathroom and she's not even 20 months.

Also, where do I get one of these money trees you all are telling me to just water!!!

ingrid said...

Jordan, I just did the findyourspot quiz and I was excited to see my top spot as Orlando, FL! What a dream!!! Disney World as my neighbor! My hometown (Sarasota, FL) was #14 and my current home (Gainesville, FL) was #19 out of the top 24 spots resulting from my quiz. Thanks for sharing that website!

As far as potty training goes, I have always heard that girls are easier. My first girl potty trained in a few weeks when she was 2 1/2 and we rewarded her with several "My Little Ponies." Ashley is, I believe, as old as Seth and JUST barely conquered the throne! She had been doing so well around 2 1/2 and we took a LONG 2 week road trip that really set things back. I made a sticker chart (circle smilies for #1 and square shiny stickers for #2) a few weeks ago and told her if she fills up the sticker chart, we will reward her with a new bike! For some reason, it has been working! I can't wait to see what's in store for us with our little boy...

My last item...Gainesville is very green and in the winter we do have trees here and there that start to show "fall foliage" We have one tree in our back yard that has been loosing its leaves and I have been taking pictures of its progress. I call it my "Autumn" and cherish every fallen leaf. But for the most part, we are like you in that we really don't have much of a winter, but I am just fine without snow! Six years in Provo was a lifetime worth of snow for me! I would love a White Christmas one day though!

And yes, let me know where I can find one of those money trees...

ingrid said...

OK, one more thing, Jordan. If you end up in Seattle and we end up in Florida, how on Earth are we EVER going to see each other?!?!? Perhaps that website should add questions concerning the location of great friends.

TX Girl said...

J-
I was completely unhappy with my list, so I need to rethink what I value. I was stuck somewhere in the mid-west or something and (sorry .. no offense) I refuse to move anywhere that requires BIG coats for 6 months out of the year.

Potty training- we are going through the woes. I think I missed the window for Lulu and need to give it a try again. Good luck. Just don't push him- it can lead to all other issues.

Adam and I have NEVER been able to stick to a budget. Now that I am unemployed it is imperative that we figure it out. If you know of any tips- I'm all ears.

I can understand being left for wanting- Texas was 85 degrees when we left- geez.. Hello.. October = fall leaves and cool fall clothes. I hope it gets better.

rebecca s. said...

Jordan -
So we are settled now (maybe) and the decision was nuts to make and to stick with - you never can know if you have chosen "the" place because you never get to try a parallel life. (Have you seen Sliding Doors?) However, I know that you will grow where you are planted, which certainly does not make the decision easier (maybe the roughest of our marriage) but knowing that it will work out in the end (whether because you love it or because you simply move again!) is of comfort. And for us, the hard work seems to have paid off. (hint hint move up here.) Here's to 1.5 more years of wondering!

Potty training. Well, I learned early from miss Amy W. that nothing will happen until they are darn good and ready. I wish I had taken that more to heart, because when it does happen on their own terms, it is a frightingly smooth transition. Best of luck... I feel for you.

Shawna B. said...

Ah Jordan ... our minds are filled with so many of the same things - many of them, BUDGETING and POTTY TRAINING, are rather unpleasant. The subject of where to settle one day, however, is one I can really get behind, so let's start there!

Virginia is paradise. You would love it. Forget Seattle and move here. There - did I help? Thank me later. Actually, we will have the same decision to make at the same time as you. I think I could live in Virginai forever, but our families are so far away ... Summer '08 promises to be exciting!

Potty training! Oh man! I actually went to a potty training seminar (yes, a seminar, complete with refreshments) at Tulane when I was getting started with Hayden. It is well and good that there was a whole seminar dedicated to the topic because it deserves one, especially when it comes to boys (but really, how would I know any different?)

I have learned that age DOES NOT matter when it comes to potty-training. Boys tend to be a bit older than girls when it comes to being potty-trained. In my experience, you have to wait until they are ready and just accept the fact they might be a little older than you'd prefer. Amy W. and Rebecca speak the truth! You will have a battle roayle on your hands if you try to force the issue. It can be so hard to be patient in this area. I overheard Tyler once telling Hayden, while changing a most unpleasant, "adult-like" diaper, that the next size dipaers for him were going to be Depends Undergarmentsif he didn't get the potty-training thing figured out! Yeah, those man-sized diapers (Good one, Jill!) are demons. But, no matter how much WE want it to happen, it never will until THEY want it to.

I have found that a sticker chart and the promise of a fabulous new toy for using the toilet really seemed to help the Borg Boys when they were ready. I could tell when they were ready because they were trying to go on their own and they wanted to wear underwear (preferably with characters -Seth might really enjoy the line of Thomas underwear!) and they could get their own pants on and off reasonably well. I also think it helps having a sibling to mimic. Curits trained more quickly and easily than Hayden and Owen is right now on the brink of potty-training (oh boy). There will be set-backs, there will be tears, there will be poop in the underwear (the horror, the sheer horror), there will be pee on the toilet seat and all over the bathroom floor, but ultimately they figure it out. Seth will too. Maybe wait a few months after the little one comes and then really go for it. I stand by you, my friend, toilet paper in hand, cheering you on! :)

I am not the best at budgeting. I keep telling myself that it will be so much easier to budget when I actually have some money to work with! :) I am conviced that there is a way to make a workable budget right now, but each time I try to do it, its success is short-lived. I like Elizabeth's suggestion of putitng the money in the envelopes. I know of others that do that and they say it really helps. This is definitely an area I need to improve on. I also want to learn about savings and investing, too.

This may be the longest comment ever. If you are still reading, forgive my rambling! I never was very good at being succint! Good luck with eveything that's on your mind!

Jordan said...

Shawna, and everyone, I read every word!! Thank you!!!! If nothing else, it is nice to have it confirmed once again that you're not alone in this nit-picky things of life. It sounds like summer '08 will be an exciting time for many of us. We should have a spring '08 retreat to prepare and celebrate!

michelle said...

I think Marc and I would both choose Seattle if 1) we really had a choice, 2) we could afford to live there, and 3) our family would be nearby.

We lived there for 7 years when he was in grad school and we just loved it so much. But, my grandma always told me that you can love any place you live, and you might as well! I have found that to be true, and to my great surprise, now I love living in Orem!

Re: potty training. Here are a few things I learned with my boys. Like others have said, it pays to wait until they are ready. Your timetable means nothing to them.

Neither of my boys liked the potty chair. They wanted to use the real toilet. Also, they didn't like sitting down too much, so standing up worked much better. Lucas did really well with peeing, but kept pooping in his underwear, to my horror. I finally figured out that he wanted privacy to do the deed. If I would just leave him alone, he would do it in the toilet. Sheesh! He was 3 1/2, you'd think he could have told me!

Good luck to you.

Kristi Brooke said...

just thinking about you and how you are feeling.
anytime now eh?