Monthly Journal: July 2018

The fact that I'm sitting in a coffee shop writing this before July is over... actually, the fact that I'm writing this at all makes me really proud. I'm the worst at sticking with things (and then feeling like a failure even if it's reeeally not a big deal) so I'm celebrating this second monthly update! 




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June turned 3 on the 3rd and we celebrated with some of her favorite things; we tackled on of my big goals that I was totally dreading and finally potty trained; I consistently worked out and ate... better; somewhere during all of the phone scrolling while we were home all the time during potty training, I became obsessed with researching clean products/wellness and cleaning up how much plastic we're using; prime day/the big target sale came at the perfect time and I got some good natural products for a great deal; we had to figure out how to leave the house again and start to get into a good routine again; Chris turned 30 and we celebrated like total old people and just hung out with each other... it was the best.

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New this month

–– mostly just expounding on the overview above




clean up obsession

For some reason, this was the month that I decided to start caring about what I'm putting on my skin and in my body –– and the extra waste we use that we could easily cut back on. I went a little crazy and went down an insta-rabbithole following allll the instagram accounts that talk about clean beauty and/or sustainable products. At first I was super overwhelmed and didn't know where to find clear and reliable information, not just companies trying to sell their thing.

Here are the resources that have been most helpful and I'm still really enjoying ––
The "Yep. I Did That" Podcast
Skin Deep: Cosmetics Database
EWG's Guide to Healthy Cleaning

My game plan has been to research and buy better versions of whatever product we've run out of. On Prime Day/the big Target sale I did stock up on some products after spending the entire day researching products, pricing on different sites, etc. Once I've actually used the new beauty/cleaning/cooking products for a while, I might do a separate post with a full recap. 

I should also mention that Chris thinks I'm ridiculous and "it's mostly genetics and we're going to die anyway" (hahah) and we currently have two different brands of toothpaste in our bathroom. 

Now I've down from my complete obsession, I'm happy with the small changes I've made and I'm just going to be more aware of my purchases going forward – trying to get the best option for our bodies and the earth. Yup, I'm a hippie now. It's fine.


workouts + setbacks

The SWEAT app I mentioned last month has been the actual best. I've never worked out so much and so consistently in my life! It feels like a competition with myself and my perfectionism cannot handle not completing the workouts for the week. This time I'm thanking the perfectionism.

Buuut, one day I was doing ab exercises I noticed a weird bulging above my belly button. I did some research and then went to the doctor to see if I had Diastasis Recti, which my googling told me was separation of the abs from pregnancy. My doctor thought it may be a hernia; I had an ultrasound which showed no hernia; and now we're back to thinking it is in fact a separation of my abs. Most of the exercises I'd been doing could've actually been making the problem worse. Cool cool. I don't know if this has been a thing since I gave birth, so three years ago, and I didn't notice or it just recently got a lot worse with the more intense workouts.

So, I switched to the "Post Pregnancy" workout program and I'm researching all the exercises to correct Diastasis Recti via YouTube and Pinterest... very legit. It feels like a giant step back doing these tiny careful movements after working out so hard this month, but ugh I know it's worth it.


Maybe it's all of this health stuff, maybe it's all of the great Jen Gotch is OK Sometimes episodes I've listened to, maybe it's the lack of human interaction/fresh air I've had this month, maybe it's the lack of sun during this typical cold and foggy SF Summer... but I've been feeling a little blah and just generally more aware of my own mental health. 

There are a few simple things I'm planning to change in my routine to add a little literal and metaphoric sunshine: I'm going to plan some friend dates - starting with just one night every other week (because I'm such an introvert and get so drained by even the best company) as well as some kind of networking event; I'm going to be really aware of when the sun is out and get outside even for a few minutes; and I'm going to try out a new daily routine incorporating a few minutes of journalling in the Grid Diary app to track what I'm doing and how it's making a difference. Oh, and continue working out consistently because that truly is a game changer.

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We signed up for a weekly Imperfect Produce box and I've loved it!

It helps motivate me to plan our meals for the week when it's time to customize what we're getting in our box, and makes our weekly Trader Joe's run much easier, and we're spending less on groceries. Woo!

Side note: I added my code for $10 off to this new page I created as a landing page to link to from Instagram, along with links/discount codes to some of my other favorite things. 



My work load is going to be heavier in August but I'm excited to get back in a groove and crank out some design projects before going on a vacation to Hawaii (!!!) with Chris' family at the end of the month. For that week, I want to completely unplug from work and chillllllll. 

When we get back from vacation, I want to finally do Whole30 (anyone want to do it with me!?) so I'm going to start planning and prepping now so it actually happens.

To recap some of what I said above, I'm pumped to test out a slightly different routine... but give myself some grace when I don't stick to it perfectly. Some things I want to add: getting up before June and reading; only checking social media at certain times of day and putting my phone away a lot more; quick daily journal entries; planning activities for June and I during the week.


Love to you!

–– JB

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Potty Training: Week Two

Quick, short update because there's not much to say but it's encouraging enough to share!

Over the weekend we had out first big tests – a friend's birthday party at the park and church. On the way to the party I was brainstorming an ideal situation for church the next day with Chris. I was worried that June wouldn't be able to hold it long enough for a teacher to get her to a bathroom in time once she realized she needed to go. I didn't want to make the situation a big deal or add any extra work for the kind souls watching all of the kiddos. I was thinking about literally standing outside of the classroom and checking on her every so often. Oh man, I'm embarrassed for my poor child.

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At the birthday party I was that mom that asked June every time she was within earshot if she had to pee. She held it until the end of the party and finally went in the public restroom before we left. No accidents! She did so well that I was totally cured of my worry for what do to for church the next day. She went to her class (alone.. haaa) and did great! As usual, I worried much more than I needed to.

After she crushed it all weekend, I felt like we really did it. JUNE IS POTTY TRAINED.

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Aside from slightly wet undies a couple of times, she didn't have accidents all week. She's even been waking up with dry diapers!? She actually worries me with how long she holds it now!

Overall, I'm just super impressed with her. This process has been much less painful than I anticipated.

Next step... weaning her off TV.
Just, you know,  to a reasonable amount for any human.


–– JB

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Potty Training: Week One

The week of June's third birthday, I decided it was finally time to ditch the diap. 

I had waited and waited because I didn't think she was ready... she didn't care if her diaper was dirty and kind of hated sitting on the potty. And honestly, I wasn't ready. Diapers are easy and I wasn't ready to stop being lazy. Ha!

It seemed like those things weren't going to change so it was the best possible time to start. Work was slow for me, we didn’t have any big plans coming up, no one was visiting for the first time since we moved to SF, since she just turned three so there was some “you’re so big!!” excitement, and her lil' bestie had just started potty training so both tots and mamas could have a friend to go through it with.

Literally the night before we started potty training, I pulled up a blog that I referenced a lot when June was a newborn/infant and I needed a resource for figuring out a good routine for each stage. I read every one of her posts on potty training (here's the main post) and decided to try the method she talked through and just do more research if for some reason that didn't work for us. 
Basically – I did minimal research, I'm totally winging it and documenting it here. This is definitely not a pro how-to guide. It's simply a log of what we tried and how it went.. and some of my thoughts along the way.

I know people always say "just do what works for you" and I agree, but I've always found it so helpful to hear about other people's experiences so I can get ideas and start to get an idea of what might actually work for us. That's my goal with this post!

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  • UndiesOur faves so far from Old Navy... we have literally a week's experience so if anyone has recs please let me know.
  • PottyWe had an older version of this one from our baby registry (Thanks Aunt Kathy!) but we also have this one that I think she'll like when we start going on the actual potty. I bought it looking for a softer option because she always said the potty hurt. She always has a ring on her booty regardless.
  • Towels – To sit on on the couch and watch TV 24/7 for a couple days. Ha!
  • Rewards – We did jellybeans because they are June's fave, but you could do a different candy or stickers or whatever feels like a treat... just pick something that you're cool with them having a lot of!
  • Drinks + snacks  – So they have to go.
  • Timer – I started with a kitchen timer so June would hear it go off but I ended up just using the timer on my watch because she didn't care and it was easier. 
  • Cleaning supplies –  texted Chris and asked him to pick up more Lysol wipes and paper towels half way through the first day. So.
  • Entertainment – We watched a lot of TV... and still are, honestly. There was also a lot of Insta-scrolling, living roof scooting, pulling out alllll the toys, reading books, etc.


 –––– totes a pun

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Day One: Thursday

Kept diaper on for “coffee time”; I worked out and showered while Chris was home/she was watching TV. (Should've actually had coffee before starting also.)

Got all of the supplies together (see list above) and sat June down to tell her the plan and get her excited about it. Oh, and I rolled up the rug in the living room for the foreseeable future.


Every 15 minutes (unless she needed to pee earlier or had an accident) she sat in the potty for 5 minutes. She got a jelly bean when the timer went off and her undies were dry and we celebrated big (two jelly beans/candy/lots of high fives and hugs and squealing) when she actually went potty!

When she had accidents I tried not to act disappointed in her at all, take her to the potty as fast as possible, and say “it’s okay, we’ll try again next time... let’s pick out new undies!”


The first hour and a half were rough. I was majorly doubting that it was the right time even though she was three and I was feeling like it was already pretty late. Maybe she needed more time!? She peed and pooped in five of our six pairs of undies. She didn’t pee in the potty once and within a few minutes of standing up to play again she’d pee! 

When she had an accident she just kind of looked down like “uh... what’s happening?” until about the fourth or fifth accident... she said “oh no!” and ran to the potty. This time she actually peed in the potty! PARTY!! This was the first time in her life.

After that she went commando for about an hour and a half (because we were almost out of undies and I didn't want to risk her peeing in the elevator or our building's shared laundry room... but I think it actually helped the process) and didn’t have any accidents but didn’t pee in the potty either.

In the last two-ish hours before nap she peed two more times in the potty and had one smaller accident.

We put a diaper back on for nap and she slept longer than she has in months. When she woke up she was not pumped to put undies back on and cried wanting a diaper. She’s usually pretty grumpy when she wakes up but I was definitely worried that this could be a problem. When I sat her on the potty she said her potty hurt and sobbed until I held her and calmed her down. She just sat on a towel on the couch, watched a show and had a snack. About 10 minutes later I told her it was time to check, sat her on the potty and gave her a jellybean for staying dry and she was excited again!

She only had one accident that night and it was smaller; peed one and right before bedtime POOPED!! I was totally shocked and so proud. Also cleaning poop out of a tiny bucket is super weird. 

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Day Two: Friday

When June woke up she stayed in bed in a diaper and watched some tv on the iPad. When I got out of the shower we changed June’s clothes and put some undies on. The first time we checked she had some poop in her undies like she started to poop but held it in. (Wow. Having kids really makes nothing off limits.) She didn’t poop in the usual 5 minute sit and wanted to keep trying. She ended up sitting there for like 30 minutes, getting up to play then saying she had to potty (first time she did that!) and sat there for another 30 without pooping. 

We went back to our 15/5 sched. and she peed twice back to back! Then June’s bestie and her mama stopped by to hang out and bring June a birthday present... she played without having any accidents (except some slightly wet undies) and peed in the potty! 

While she was eating lunch we stretched our usual timeline and she had the tiniest bit of poop on her undies. She sat on the pot and pooped for the next 20ish minutes. Grosssssss but yaaaay!

She actually wanted to wear undies for her nap this time (but I’m not ready for that) and was excited to put them back on when she got up. She had a great night with no accidents and peed and pooped again before bed. (Like how though… she doesn’t eat that much!?)



Day Three: Saturday

We started stretching our time between sitting on the potty in the morning, then went to the pool for our first mini outing without a diaper. She did great! She only had one little accident later that day, peed 5-6 times, but didn’t poop at all.


Day Four: Sunday

Chris went to church and June and I stayed home to keep practicing… not ready yet! (Speaking for myself… she’ll probably be ready before me.) Before he headed out, she ran over to the potty, pulled down her undies and peed completely by herself!! Chris and I had an ‘OMG it’s working’ look.. ha! While he was gone she had one accident that confirmed staying home was the right call. After that she did great all day! We stretched out our time to 30ish minutes and she peed and pooped a couple times. (back to the usual… how does this kid poop so much!?) She told me she needed to go a couple times and even broke out in a Daniel Tiger song once. Haha!

June and I usually run errands on Monday mornings so I did them during her nap on Sunday when Chris could be home with her!

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  –– the bathroom sink has become an   undies/potty washing station

–– the bathroom sink has become an undies/potty washing station

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Day Five: Monday

We put on pants! And left the house! …Just to go downstairs and do laundry and play in the courtyard but we did it! We didn’t do the usual timer routine, I just asked her if she needed to potty every now and then/if she looked a little squirmy, and she told me she needed to go a couple times. No accidents at all!! Except for the poor tiny toy that feel in while she was going potty… he didn’t survive.


Day Six: Tuesday

Got too confident too fast and didn’t ask her/make her sit on the potty quickly after putting undies on and had out biggest accident yet. Oops! After that she did great again. We walked an ENTIRE BLOCK to get take out for dinner with any accidents. 

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Day Seven: Wednesday

Started the day with a little poop accident; then left the house quickly for a last minute doctor appointment for me so we were gone for a while with no accidents; then had our first couch accident. (got brave and took off the towel too soon) She did great the rest of the day.



Day Eight: Thursday

On the week-versary of potty training she had her first public bathroom experience. We went on a long-ish walk to run a few errands and we happened to be right by the bathroom in Trader Joe’s when she broke out in Daniel Tiger's song… “if you have to go potty STOP and go right away!!” She’s always been uncomfortable with the big potty so I was worried about this part but she did great and actually peed!

No accidents for the rest of the day and she got even better at doing (almost) everything herself.

  Potty training real-ness. TP became one of the toys.

Potty training real-ness. TP became one of the toys.



So, a few things I've learned so far ––


The accidents are how they learn.

I think I was waiting for her to be able to hold it before we potty trained. Now I realize that’s ridiculous… that is the ‘training’ part. It was amazing to see the progress from the first few accidents where I was worried it was too early and she didn’t get it, to her learning on her own how to hold it and get to the potty.


Teach by celebrating the wins. I’m so glad I read about this idea somewhere in my night-before-we-started research. Just like you’d never get upset at your baby for falling over when they’re learning to walk, don’t get upset when they have accidents when they’re learning. I tried (and it was hard sometimes) to make sure I stayed positive when she had an accident or didn’t go when she sat on the potty… I’d say “It’s okay! We’ll try again next time!”


I didn’t realize we were doing this well because I was totally just trying a random method I found on the internet… but I’m glad we did rewards for dry undies and going on the potty instead of sitting on the potty/trying to go. She has totally used the “I have to go potty” excuse to get out of bed (even though she’s in a diaper at bedtime… we don’t want to tell her to just go in her diaper and she prooobably knows that.) and to watch TV but so far it hasn’t been tooooo much.


And I'm still trying to figure out ––


The poop shituation. It just doesn't seem like there is a good way to clean it out of the potty or off her booty. Any tips!? Obviously I'm comfortable talking about this stuff so hit me up. (Having a baby and then raising a toddler will do that.)

How the heck we're going to get 100% back into "normal" life by leaving the house all the time... and eventually sleep in undies too!? I guess we just do it and learn as we go – like the rest of potty training.


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Okay! If you have questions... well, I probably can't answer them because I'm totally winging this, but ask anyway and we can figure it out together. 

If you have suggestions please share with the class!!



God speed.

––– JB

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