Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cry-it-out, Night 16... No crying!

I already told you that Gage slept until 5:00 AM and then I put him in bed with us... he nursed for a while and cuddled, but didn't fall back asleep. He did sleep from 8:30-10:30, which totally screwed him up for afternoon nap, as in it didn't happen. I think we need to adjust his nap times if we can get a consistent night time sleep. I'm holding out hope that tonight will be that night. We did his whole bedtime routine (starting at 7:30 PM) and laid him in his crib at 8:00 PM. He never even cried after I lay him down! He popped his head up and repositioned, but he didn't fuss like he usually does. So I will take that as a very good sign. We are hoping that tonight will bring a long sleep. Brian adjusted the vent in Gage's room to blow away from the crib, and he also adjusted the flow so that it won't get as cold in there. Our goal is to have his room a comfortable temperature for his sleep, rather than having him freezing cold. We are curious as to whether the temperature in the room dropping as he sleeps is causing his late night/early morning wake ups. Fingers crossed that we have jumped the final hurdle... only time will tell.

We are looking forward to a long weekend. Brian has Monday off, but has a half day on Saturday. We have plans with friends on Saturday afternoon, so that should be fun. The rest of the weekend, thus far, is wide open. Next week Brian only has a three day work week. His cousin is getting married Friday, so he took that day off. We are SO excited for the wedding! I found a really terrific dress at Target today, on clearance, to wear for the wedding. I was excited to get a good deal and find a really pretty dress. I had really hoped to lose some weight before the wedding, but circumstances have sort of worked against me. I haven't been running (I missed my 5K goal, which made me pretty sad, but I'm just going to keep trying,) and I haven't been eating terribly well either. But I'm hopeful that as the nights get a little better, and I catch up this awful sleep deficit, that I can start running in the mornings before it gets too hot. Right now all I can do in the morning is sit on the couch and stare blankly at Gage while he plays. I am so tired in the mornings, it takes me a good long time to wake up. No way could I run in the mornings right now on 3-5 hours of sleep. I would be injured before I knew it. Maybe in the next few weeks! I really would like to lose some weight before my 30th birthday. I had hoped that I would turn 30 in the best shape of my life. I could still make that happen, but time is running down. I just need to be more active, and I need to be more rested to be more active. Ugh. I seem to be a master at giving myself excuses, but I'm not sure that exhaustion is just an excuse.

I guess that's about all I've got for now. I'll give you an update on how the night goes ... hopefully tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cry-it-out, Night 15

Gage is asleep after about 30 minutes of crying, at 8:30 PM. Last night he was out in about 2 minutes but awoke at 1:30 AM. Tonight I'm going to try nursing/rocking him in his room to calm him down, then putting him back in his crib. We shall see how that goes. It is hard to leave him cry at 1:30 when you live in an apartment building!

Tonight we are geeking out due to having received Google+ invites. So we are playing with that! Pretty exciting stuff there, haha!

Had a nice lunch and afternoon with my mom today. Gage really enjoyed running around in their yard and playing in the sandbox at my parents' house. It was pretty hot, but overcast, so not as hot as it could've been.

I made carne adovada for dinner tonight and it came out awesome. Brian is something of a carne critic so I was a little nervous but he really liked it. It cooked in the crock pot all day and man did our house smell delicious.

That's all I've got for now. Here's hoping there's a night of deep sleep ahead of us!

Update: the little guy slept until 11:45 PM, and woke up crying. I went in and helped him relax, rocking him, etc. I put him back in his crib and he cried for maybe 15 minutes before going back to sleep. He slept until 5:00 AM. So we will keep trying going in to comfort him and putting him back in bed. I also discovered that our AC vent in his room blows straight on his crib, so we will remedy that. Maybe the cold air is waking him!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What makes a marriage work? And how do you work on your marriage? Part 2

Sorry for yesterday's cliff hanger. I really don't like when people do that on their blogs, but sometimes it's necessary. Anyway, here are the rest of my key points of a lasting, happy marriage. Just a brief note, another disclaimer, if you will. As I'm addressing these key points of marriage, I am not addressing marriages that have recent "deal-breaker" actions. I'm not talking to those who are going through the aftermath of betrayal or abuse. I'm talking about your average, every day marriage where the couple is simply drifting apart or feeling like you're falling out of love. These things can LEAD TO deal-breakers, and they can help overcome those things, but these things are much more minor than actions that must be taken if a huge betrayal has taken over your marriage.

2) Strong communication skills. If you don't communicate with your spouse, your marriage will likely be doomed from the very beginning. Bad feelings and hurts will build up until you feel like you'll explode. Then you'll either blow up and say things you don't mean, or you'll just walk away, believing that there is nothing left to your marriage than a compilation of slights and hurts that maybe could have been corrected. If you don't tell your spouse that you take it personally when they never help you with the dishes when you've both worked all day, how would they know? Bring your issues up in a polite, kind way. Do not beat someone over the head with your anger. This is ALWAYS counter-productive. If you instantly make your spouse defensive, they are less likely to hear what you have to say. 

3) See the person you love as just that. Remember why you fell in love with your spouse? Remember those hundreds of thousands of tiny things that made you think, "This person is made for me?" Those little things can go a long way to getting you through the difficult times. If you can hold tight to even one or two of those things you love about your spouse, they'll help you get through a rough patch. Maybe it's something as outwardly small as you appreciate the way they always kiss you before they leave for work, no matter what - if it's meaningful, it isn't a small thing to you. If you can, think of these things when you're angry at your spouse. You may even want to tell them some things you love about them from time to time. It is always nice to hear what you're doing right, instead of what you're doing wrong. 

4) Share the bad times as well as the good. Let your spouse in when you've had a bad day. Just asking that they spend a little time with you, helping you unwind, can be huge. Likewise, you must do the same for your spouse. If they come home and tell you they've had an awful day, truly and completely listen to what they have to say. Be present. Ask them to do the same for you. 

5) Understand that you are not the same person. You might feel like your spouse doesn't love you anymore simply because they don't send you flowers on your birthday. Where's the root of that issue? Have you ever told your spouse how much you'd love to get flowers on your birthday? Don't expect your spouse to read your mind, or even not-so-subtle hints. If you think that flowers on your birthday would be lovely, let your spouse know. It may be that they really thought you would far more enjoy and cherish that new book they bought you from your favorite author, that you thought was an unromantic gift. We all show our love in different ways, and yours and your spouses may just not be the same. It's good to discuss this, and figure out how to work through it. (Please note, Brian, if you read this, this isn't a subtle hint for flowers on my birthday. Please do not buy me flowers on my birthday.) There also may be more at the root of this issue than you think, when you delve in. Maybe it bothers you that your spouse goes out with friends once a month... but do you actually cherish your alone time once it is upon you? Don't make your spouse suffer because you think your time is more valuable than theirs. Sometimes time apart is really vital for time together. Maybe it bothers you that your spouse goes out, but yet you yourself enjoy getting out without your spouse. Think of where you're creating a no-win situation for your marriage. 

6) Settle the money issue. I said above that the number one cause of struggles in marriages is money. This is likely due in part to the fact that communicating about money makes people feel acutely uncomfortable. Understand that when you get married, you will likely be sharing bills, even if you're not sharing a checking account. Learn to talk with your spouse openly and in a helpful (non-accusatory) manner about any issues you may have with money. It's not always easy - I'm still uncomfortable talking about money, but it is so necessary. You can't be a team if you're adversaries in any arena that counts (unless you're competing at a video game or other such frivolous competition) and expect to stay happily married. If you're not on the same team, you are definitely competing. 

7) Spend some time together just goofing off, having fun, being together. Maybe you happened to fall in love with someone who really doesn't have the same interests as you. I got lucky here. Brian and I like a lot of the same music, movies, games, cars, Android phones, etc. So we relate well in a lot of different arenas. It is fun for us to customize our Droids, talk cars, watch movies, talk music, etc. But if you don't have that with your spouse, all hope is not lost. First, figure out what you DO have in common. Maybe you like to read romance novels (I'm sorry) and your spouse like to read Westerns. You can enjoy your books together and even discuss what you're reading. Your spouse may not love to hear about your book, but it's an area you can relate on, and I bet if you give it a try you'll find they like hearing about what you like. And I bet you'll find you enjoy hearing about their book, too. This is also a good area to find compromise. If your idea of a perfect Saturday afternoon is going to a movie, and your spouse would rather be hiking, make a compromise. Get up early, go on a beautiful hike somewhere close by. Then head back home, get cleaned up, and head out to see a movie. It doesn't have to be an either-or proposition. 

8) If it really feels like you just butt heads about everything, consider the areas that you're each being too stubborn on. Is that area more important than your marriage? In some cases, it may be. For example, if Brian came home tomorrow and said, "I've decided God doesn't exist and I can't live with a Christian," I would obviously be crushed. There wouldn't really be a whole lot of room for compromise there, unless we could work out the complete 180 in his belief system. But I wouldn't give up my faith. That is an area I wouldn't compromise. (That would never happen, by the way, that he would say something like that.) Maybe the argument is a little different, though. Maybe it's more like... "I've always had my dishes in the cupboard above the stove to the left. There is no other place I will allow my dishes to be put away at." And your spouse says, "I refuse to have the dishes anywhere but to the right of the sink and there is no other way of doing it." Is that a fight that you would rather  have than enjoy the bounty of compromise on? Maybe you can concede this time, and ask your spouse if they can consider concession next time. Of put your dishes in a different cabinet altogether! If it isn't something that you'd stake your marriage on, it probably isn't worth the fight. Maybe it's time to just sit down with your spouse and hash out why you just can't come to agreements on the basic stuff. Where can you and your spouse give a little to get a lot? Just keep in mind, I'm not saying here that you should always give in, or you should be a doormat. But you'd be surprised to see how much you get in return when you give a little.

9) Pray! Pray like crazy for your spouse, for yourself, for your marriage. Ask for the strength to get through the rough patches and the knowledge to know where you need to work on yourself. Ask for your spouse to know where they need to work on themselves. You can't change someone, don't even try. Only God can. 

I think that's all I have for now. Do you see a theme there? The thread that runs through all of these things is being able to talk openly with your spouse. If you can't talk, and you can't relate, you really need to seek some kind of qualified counselling. If you're a Christian, it is very important that you seek out Godly counsel as secular therapists aren't quite as qualified to speak to the important biblical aspects of marriage. If you're a little bit before counselling but you're not sure of where you could implement these keys into your marriage, shoot me an email. Maybe I can point you in the right direction (despite my non-expert status.)

I'd just like to point out that these principles apply to people who are parents, or are not parents. I will add that parental discord can be damaging to children who live with it day in, day out. If you have kids and you feel like your marriage is going down a bad road, please seek help. Chances are good that even if you don't think they notice, your kids are seeing every bit of your displeasure with your spouse. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

What makes a marriage work? And how do you work on your marriage? Part 1

I will start this post off with a disclaimer. I have been married a whopping 4 years (just recently had an anniversary) and so I don't claim to be any sort of an expert. What I can say I feel confident about is having grown up in a home where my parents stayed married throughout much adversity. Some of that adversity was directly related to raising my brother and I, so I have insider knowledge that they went through a lot of hard times. They have stayed married for coming up on 40 years. I can also speak to the fact that Brian and I have stayed together for nine and half years, so there is something to that. You may or may not agree with co-habitation, (biblically, it is definitely a no-no; for some it fits a need,) but it worked for us. We worked out a lot of issues that we had both together and as single adults. There was nothing keeping us together except the desire to stay together. So, I will give you a little history on our relationship, then I will tell you why I think our marriage works, and how we work at marriage. I'm going to split this into two posts because it is really long for one.

We met when we worked together at a Nissan dealership; I've told you we started out as friends. We spent a lot of time together as friends. When we started dating, it was not super-serious, but we did decide to move in together after only a few months of dating. At the time we signed our lease, we had not even told each other "I love you." This is important to note because we moved in together as mainly a monetary arrangement. Yes, we were dating by then, but it was best for both of us financially. I was having issues with my apartment complex crediting my rent to me, and Brian lived with a terrible roommate. We made lots of rules on how things would go if we broke up, and we both kept ALL of our belongings, not condensing down plates, TVs, etc. So we had a lot of stuff between the two of us! You may know that we bought a house together in Castle Rock after living together for a year. You might not know that my credit was so poor that it was only Brian who technically "bought" the house. More rules were made about how he needed to give me notice if he was going to kick me out, etc. We both still kept all of our things in case our relationship didn't work out. A few years later, we decided to move to Albuquerque. We sold the house and prepared to move. At that time, I guess it seemed like we were finally pretty serious. Each of us got rid of a lot of things that were duplicates. We didn't make any rules about what would happen if we broke up after our move. Within a year of moving to Albuquerque, we were engaged. Eight months later, we got married.

It may seem weird and detached to some that we were so cautious about our relationship, but if you were there with us, you'd know it wasn't weird at all. We had our fair share (or more) of ups and downs, and we loved each other enough to make our relationship work, in spite of the things working against us. I really wanted to get married for many years before we became engaged. And I was moving way to fast, but I didn't know it then. I thought Brian was just dragging his feet. After our wedding, he told me that he had wanted to be sure that I had gotten my finances and credit issues worked out before he would commit to marrying me. That might sound cold, but if you've ever dated/married someone who plays fast and loose with your (joint) money, you know it is a very important factor. Many couples fight and even break up over money. It made total sense to me that he wanted to be sure we were on the same page before we signed on the marriage certificate. Of course, if he had told me that BEFORE we had gotten engaged, when my fervor for marriage had been at its peak, I may not have been quite so understanding because for a few years, I just wanted to GET MARRIED NOW, DANG IT!!!!

I won't go into detail on what the issues we had were; they are water under the bridge. Nothing was huge or unworkable, but knowing that we cared enough for each other to work through it was huge as we progressed into marriage. We had this couple friend in Albuquerque (they are no longer friends of ours for some good reasons) who told us to be ready, because marriage would change our whole relationship, and everything we thought we knew about being together would be turned upside down. They told us being married is not that great and that they sometimes regretted getting married. Of course, the female half of that couple also told me that I should keep my maiden name because it started with A, and that was good for going back to school, so you can see maybe her advise is a little skewed. As a side note, it was important to both Brian and I that we start our family sharing a last name. Anyway, we had some heavy discussions while planning our wedding about keeping our relationship the same. We didn't want to start taking each other for granted, or thinking that we were married now so we could forget being friends. This goes to the ROOT of a good marriage - we talked about it. We hashed it out again and again, how we didn't want to be married and let our relationship go down the tubes. A conclusion was reached, that basically we felt as though we were getting rings and a piece of paper to just declare what we already knew - we are together, and we love each other. Nothing more, nothing less. I recently told Brian's cousin's fiance (whew) that the ring and the paper only told the world what they themselves already know - how much they love each other. And that was definitely true for Brian and I.

Brian's dad was to officiate our wedding, and he asked that since we could not live apart for the duration of our engagement that we sleep separately. We did so for our whole engagement and it was totally, 100% worth it. He also asked that we undergo Christian marriage counselling, which was a very nice experience, especially when the counselors told us that we really didn't have many issues together and that we seemed to be on the right track to a successful marriage.

I can tell you that at the time of our wedding, my faith was not very strong. I can't speak as to why this was, it could have been 1,000 different reasons, but nothing huge or concrete. So I didn't have the distinct feeling that we were declaring our love to God, although I now know that He was an integral and deep part of our getting married. We did our vows, enjoyed our reception, and spent our first night together as a married couple. God was certainly present in every aspect of our wedding, even if I wasn't totally on board with Him at that time. Funny how that works!

We had a week off to spend together after our wedding, and we enjoyed some relaxing time at home. Suddenly, the wedding I'd been planning for eight months was over, and we were thrust back into work, life, and the mundane aspects of everything. We talked about being married quite a bit, and how we both didn't feel any different... except for a new sense of closeness that we had never had before. Can I tell you I still feel that closeness? Four years and a baby later, sometimes I still look at my husband and think I could not be closer to another human being. Well, I'm pretty close to my kiddo, but of course in a totally different way.

Brian has seen me in good times and bad. He's seen me at my best, and he has definitely seen me at my worst. He has never judged me, but he has held my hand and helped me walk through it. I try to support him in the same way. Our marriage is far from perfect, but we seem to be on fairly smooth waters these days. While I don't believe that we'll never have problems (someday we'll have teenagers, and then... yike, who knows,) I do believe that we'll be able to work through the issues. So here are the things that I think are key to a strong marriage.

1) A desire to work through the bad times. If you feel like when things get rough you just want to throw in the towel, there is no way your marriage will last. It is so important to get through the bad times. Just remember that the good times were there before, and they can be there again. Now, I'm not saying there aren't circumstances that dictate walking away. Abuse is definitely one. Adultery is another, and the Bible even offers you an out in the case of adultery that you just can't overcome. But if you have small issues that seem to be compounding, then it's time to get down to work. No one ever said marriage would be easy just because you love someone. Which leads me to my next key...

... which I'll tell you about in a separate post. I'm sorry to do that and I don't love it when people do, but I also don't want to make you read a novel. If I post it all at once, chances are good you won't read the whole post and I feel strongly about this topic. So check here tomorrow morning... more to come.

Cry-it-out, Night 13 ... so far so good!

This morning Gage woke up at 4:30 AM. We ended up just going to get him, as I had had a very difficult time going to sleep. We had some issues with our upstairs neighbors being obnoxiously loud at around 11:45 PM, suffice it to say their nocturnal activities were louder than they should have been for people living on the third floor of an apartment building. I ended up just getting out of bed for a bit and making another complaint to the apartment company about them... they won't do anything but it made me feel a little better. I'd only been asleep around three and a half hours when Gage woke up, so I didn't have the strength to let him cry. Hopefully we aren't messing things up by bringing him to bed with us when he cries in the night; I really don't know what else to do at this point. He often won't cry back to sleep when he awakes. My hope is that his sleep periods will just get longer and longer until he sleeps until 6:00 or 7:00 AM. We shall see. He won't go back to sleep at 4:30, in case you're wondering. He ended up staying up and playing until about 7:30 AM, at which point we both slept for another three hours.

Tonight was a pretty good night for cry-it-out, at least so far. We started Gage's bedtime routine at 7:15 PM, at his request. We decided that we would just try and space it out enough that it would get us close to 7:45-8:00 by the time we lay him down in his crib. After all of his usual stuff, including some time looking at a Nissan Titan, then a Nissan Juke sales brochure, and doing some colors that way, we rocked him for a bit, told him how much he is loved by us, our family, our friends, and God, we lay him down. He started off laying down, but popped up as we began to walk away, crying. But, he only cried for around 10 minutes! Then he settled right down and went to sleep. We got him down at 7:45 and he was totally quiet by 8:00. This seems an important victory for us. It's 8:45 right now, so hopefully he will stay asleep. I'll keep you posted.

I've been doing some thinking the past few days about marriage, as Brian's cousin is getting married next weekend. They are a couple that remind me a little of Brian and I. They dated/co-habitated for around 5 years before getting engaged. I would like to tell you a little about my thoughts on a successful marriage... but I'm going to do it in another post. I don't feel right lumping that into this post about our crying kid, because that in and of itself brings its own special sort of stressors to a marriage. But my marriage post will address that a little too. So, I'll update again on this post when I go to bed, it should be that Gage is remaining quietly sleeping.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sometimes, my faith in the teens of today is badly shaken

My friend Alecia and I had lunch today. We ate, had some really nice conversation, and by the time we were done eating, Gage was done sitting. Not being done talking, we decided to walk around and talk, so that Gage could burn some energy. We were at an outdoor mall, so we just meandered down the sidewalk, in the shade of the buildings. In the shade, it was warm but not hot, and the mall was not terribly busy. As we walked and talked, we mostly tuned out the other shoppers. At one point, Gage was walking very slow, and having a hard time not stopping to try and play with his little red car that he was carrying with him. A woman and her teenage son, apparently in more of a hurry than we were, actually squeezed passed, walking on the edge between the sidewalk and the planter beds. I couldn't believe they didn't even bother to simply try saying, "Excuse us." I would have moved Gage to the side so that they could comfortably pass, if they would have just spoken. Instead, they rudely crowded through. I told Alecia, "Just think, she just taught her son that that sort of behavior is totally acceptable!" Now, lest you think we were letting Gage block the whole sidewalk, people were easily passing us on the other side of the sidewalk; I imagine they realized that when you're walking with a toddler you don't make the best time.

So we got passed that interesting scenario. We were back to walking, watching Gage, and talking about Alecia's new niece. I looked up at one point, because I heard loud, bass-y music coming from a passing car. I looked up just in time to see an SUV, window down, with a teenager hanging out the passenger window. He looked straight at Alecia and I and proceeded to make one VERY obscene gesture. I won't tell you what the gesture was, but it was more inappropriate than even flipping us off! With both of our mouths agape, and slack jawed, we watched as the SUV passed. I was so shocked, I couldn't have even told you what either teen in the SUV looked like, what color it was, or even what make it was. I was absolutely shocked that even a teen would make such a gesture at a mother and her child. I am so thankful that at least Gage was 1) too short to see over the plants at the edge of the sidewalk to see the gesture, and 2) is too young to have noticed, even if he'd seen. I don't know what I would've done if he had been a little older and said, "Momma, what does THAT mean?" Or worse yet, tried to imitate it. Here are two 30-ish women, walking down the street with a little kid, and getting a gesture like that! Absolutely disgusting. These were obviously middle to upper-middle class kids, I do know the SUV was newer and not in bad shape. Appalling behavior, to be sure.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that I was the perfect teen, or that I've never done anything wrong in my younger years. In fact, that would be the opposite. I was a fan of hot rodding cars, so I would usually try to shock people by gunning the engine, doing burn-outs, etc. Totally inappropriate behavior, to be sure. But I never, never, never would have done something like that, especially with kids in the area. In fact, I once was gunning the engine and burning out in a parking lot of a movie theatre, when I was around 17. I got pulled over by a police officer in the area. He informed me that he couldn't give me a ticket, as we were on private property, but asked me to think deeply about what would have happened if a kid were crossing the street, and the car got away from me. I took that to heart. I knew I could never live with it if I hit a kid. Did I never speed again? Oh, no, I definitely did not stop speeding. But I did keep it down in parking lots. It took me a few more years to realize I needed to tone it down in neighborhoods, but I did learn that lesson too, fortunately not because anything bad happened. Now-a-days, I more often than not look down at the speedometer, feeling like I'm really going way too fast, just to learn that I'm only doing 3-5 MPH over the speed limit. It is much nicer on the ol' insurance rates.

If you have kids, please remember that your actions bear great meaning to them. You may teach them right with words, but are you teaching them right with your actions? It is far more important to be a good example of respect, kindness, and humbleness, than to simply tell your child how to act while you do the opposite. I am still learning this. I have, in my house right now, a little 18-month-old sponge. He sees and hears everything I say and do. With each passing day, it becomes more and more important to be the example of what we want him to be. We can all do with a reminder now and then that while we love our kids, and want them to love us back, we are first and foremost parents. We aren't made to be best friends or buddies, at least until our kids are a good bit older and well into adulthood. It is our responsibility to shape and mold this next generation into kind, giving, humble, polite, functioning members of society, and unless we provide good examples, that just cannot happen. Good examples and boundaries are key.

Anyway. Guess I'll get down off my soap box, and enjoy my evening with my husband. The kiddo has fallen asleep and we can relax.

Cry-it-out, Night 12

Last night's session ended about 3:00 AM. Gage woke up around 2:00 AM, crying like he had nothing good left in his life. We lay awake listening to him cry over the monitor, and talked about how long we'd let him cry. We settled on an hour, and lay there listening. Suddenly, after close to an hour had passed with the cries not subsiding, we heard a huge crash from somewhere in the apartment. Gage was silent for a moment after the crash--and then started crying a horrified, almost hurt sounding cry. Brian and I were out of bed in a flash, running as fast as we could for Gage's room. We discovered him standing in his crib. We grabbed him out of bed, and his cries subsided. We went back to our room, and checked our bathroom to attempt to discover the source of the crash. Finding nothing out of place in our bathroom, we went to bed. After laying in bed for a few minutes, it was decided that neither of us would be able to sleep without knowing the source of the crash. We headed to the kitchen, and there we discovered that a figurine I had made for our wedding had fallen off of the area above our cabinets. Secure in knowing what the source of the noise was, we all went back to bed. We let Gage finish out the night with us, because he had certainly been badly frightened by such a loud noise in the night. He slept until around 8:30 PM.

Tonight, we got the little guy into bed about 7:50 PM. We did his normal bedtime routine, and let him spend some time looking at the GT-R book. He seemed comfortable and sleepy. We said our goodnights to him, and Brian laid him down. There was a moment of happiness for us, as he lay quietly on his side. But then he popped right up and started crying. As of now, it's been around 10 minutes, and he's still sobbing. We had really hoped for a repeat of last night's quick sleep, but it seems it won't be so. Hopefully he'll fall asleep soon, and spend the night sleeping, laying down.

Update: He was asleep by 8:15 PM, so that's pretty good. Now just praying he sleeps through the night!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Cry-it-out, Night 11 ... is it a breakthrough?!

Sorry for the lack of post about yesterday's cry-it-out! If you're following along on how it's going, last night was particularly bad, but not really because of Gage. I had some very weird lower stomach issues that kept me from being present for most of the bedtime routine, and Gage found that disconcerting. He also could tell that I was in pain, and that bothered him very much. So he cried through most of his story, and couldn't get settled down. We had decided to do more cuddles after his story, in the hopes that he wouldn't instantly start sobbing the moment we closed the book, but he was so upset and I was so in need of the bathroom that it didn't go according to plan. It took him only 30 minutes to fall asleep, with periodic wakings throughout the evening. He also woke up at 2:20 AM, was awake for about 30 minutes, and he slept after that until 6:40 AM today. He was pretty tired today, only napped for two hours, and by this evening was a disaster. He threw fits over every little thing, like not being allowed to watch TV. We never let him watch much TV at all, but for some reason when he wants it, he REALLY wants it. We typically tell him no, because we are not trying to get him into the TV habit. On to tonight...

So far, so good. We started his bedtime routine around 7:20 tonight because he was so clearly exhausted. We were able to try and implement our extended routine tonight, though. While Gage and I were reading story, Brian was sitting nearby, checking out the brochure for the 2012 Nissan GT-R (which is AWESOME, by the way, but it deserves its own post.) When we finished story and I was rocking Gage, he looked over at what his daddy was doing with interest. Brian asked him jokingly, "Do you want to read about the new GT-R, buddy?" Gage reached for the brochure, so I took it from Brian, who showed me a good page to read to Gage. I read it to Gage and he demonstrated an attention span I haven't seen for days due to his level of exhaustion. After reading a bit, he started to look at pictures. He leafed through the whole brochure, pointing at pictures and making interested sounds. We let him look at it for probably around 20 minutes. At that time, there was a lot of eye rubbing, a lot of yawning, and Gage kept collapsing against me, cuddling his GT-R book. I told him he could have a few more minutes to look at it, and then he was going to bed. When I mentioned bed, he pointed to his crib, but didn't fuss. Guess we are truly a family of car geeks.

A couple minutes later, I asked him to give the GT-R book to daddy, promising that we could look at it again tomorrow. After a minute or so, he handed it over to Brian. I picked him up from the rocking chair, cuddled him, gave him some kisses, told him I love him. Brian did the same. We went to the crib and Brian turned on the sleep frog. We laid him down, and he started crying. After leaving the room, Gage only cried for around 10 minutes! Now it's totally silent from his room. That makes us so happy! Hopefully this night will be a turning point for Gage, and for us. Certainly the past few nights have been very trying. We were starting to feel like we are doing something wrong here.

I just hope he sleeps the whole night through tonight, laying down. That would make both Brian and I very happy!
Update: as of 10:45, the little guy is still fast asleep laying on his tummy. This could be the breakthrough we've been waiting for! Just hope he sleeps until at least 6:00 AM, which would be a solid 10 hours!
Not much else going on other than that. I've got to call our insurance company tomorrow or Monday (not sure if they're open tomorrow) to fight with them about some labs I had done that they didn't pay for. Not sure why they wouldn't have paid for lab work. I'm also having lunch with my friend Alecia tomorrow, so I'm really looking forward to that! It should be a good weekend.

Ok, ok, so you probably don't care. I don't think the market for mommy bloggers who love cars is really all that high. But since I told you how awesome the new GT-R is, I would feel just wrong about not even giving you any pictures and a little info. So here are a couple:
This color is new for 2012. I'm not sure how I feel about blue cars in general, let alone blue sports (super) cars. But there are some pictures of this color on the GT-R in the brochure that I believe to have been taken at the Bonneville Salt Flats in UT... and the color looks AMAZING. Not sure that I'd buy it, but who knows. Sometimes it's nice to do things a little differently. Although, it's not like I have to worry about what color I'd choose for a GT-R. They do happen to be just a little outside of my price range at just under $90k. 

This engine... ungh... it makes me drool. It is such a beautiful piece of manufacturing. It is a gorgeous engine. The sort of power that Nissan has gotten out of this SIX CYLINDER is awesome! It can hit a top speed of 193 MPH. It also does 0-60 in UNDER THREE SECONDS. I am serious. That is not a typo, the GT-R does it in 2.9 seconds. Can you imagine that feeling? Flat out acceleration, hitting 60 miles per hour in under three seconds? Whew. I have driven some fast cars in my time, but never anything anywhere near that fast. 

Guess there's a reason the GT-R is nicknamed Godzilla. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cry-it-out, night 9

Tonight is like last night. Awful. Sorry, I have no more to say about it than that. Gage clung to me before I put him down and that made it so much worse. I don't even want to write about it. So, nothing more to say than that for tonight. I have not wanted to throw in the towel on this thing more than I do tonight. It is truly awful. 

Update: Gage cried for 30 minutes and then got quiet. Not a peep from him. We felt hopeful that this meant he was laying down. So, as we shut down for the night at 10:30, I went to check on him. He is laying peacefully on his side, cuddled up with his stuffed Gee. This makes me feel more positive! Maybe we are making progress.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cry-it-out, night 8

Gage is having a better night, so far at least. He went down at 7:52 PM, (trying to get him back on track, bedtime wise) and by 8:20, he was quiet. I hope he is sleeping comfortably. I'll keep you posted as to how the night goes!

Gage had a big day today, so I think he is nice and tired. We had Thai food for lunch with my mom (ok, I did, Gage had cheese, PB&J, cut grapes, and crackers,) and then we went to a little farm. It was fun, and Gage loved the animals. My mom bought him a little wooden farm train and I bought him a puzzle that makes animal sounds. He really loves them! Tomorrow we need to go through his toys and pull out some to donate and some to put away. He doesn't play with many of his things, just pulls them out and scatters them around the floor. Then he trips on them.

I sure hope for a good night. And I hope he is laying down! 

ETA: Gage slept until 6:00 AM, only waking up once when Chevy barked. I was too chicken to check on whether he was laying down, so I'll hope for the best and check on him tonight! 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Cry-it-out, night 7... I really hoped it would be better by now.

Seriously, I did. I really hoped that by tonight, which marks one week from our first night, that Gage would have taken to this better than he has. Instead, he got to bed at 8:30 PM, (I know, I know, we altered his routine a bit, but seriously?) Now he is screaming his head off 15 minutes later with no signs of calming down. He even had a bath tonight, right before bed, which I thought would calm his nicely. Apparently I was wrong. He is screaming like he has no hope left in the world.

Gage had kind of a big day today. He woke up at 6:00 AM, and wouldn't lay back down to sleep with me. So he was awake all morning, after only 8 hours of solid sleep, and who knows how good that was. Then we had lunch with Brian's dad, so his nap was delayed, and OH MY GOSH he was cranky. He didn't want to sit in his high chair for about 15 minutes after we arrived. I held him on my lap and finally he decided it was ok to sit in his own chair. He didn't fall asleep after we got home for a nap until 3:20, so he only got to nap for about an hour to avoid having a super late nap.

Today was totally off schedule, but he's had days like this before this last week and not done SO badly. He has his sleep frog, his Gee, and his blanket. His soft womb music is playing. But he is not in the mood for sleeping, I guess. This is breaking my heart, I feel like a little bit of me is being ripped out.

I know it's the right thing, but it feels all wrong. And I hate feeling like I'm not doing right by my little guy.
Speaking of not doing right, please forgive my grammar over the past few days. The sleep training is really taking its toll on me. I'm averaging around 4-5 hours of sleep a night, give or take. It is hard for me to edit myself right now, let alone type cohesively. I know that I have made some posts that haven't flowed as well as they could have, and I'm sorry for giving you word jumble. Bear with me... hopefully in the next week or two, I'll return you to your regularly scheduled coherent blog posts. Update: he crashed around 9:20-9:30 after screaming for nearly an hour. When I checked on him, I discovered that he is sleeping in a crumpled heap which is so sad. He has been asleep since then; it is 10:45 now.


I wrote a really great post yesterday (TWICE!) It was about Father's day and night six of cry-it-out. I wrote the first on the Bloggeroid app for Android, and the second on the official Blogger app for Android. Both are inexplicably gone. I will try a rewrite from my computer. Sad.

ETA: I got it re-written. I posted it under yesterday's date for clarity's sake.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Cry-it-out night 6; Happy Father's day!

You'll see this post with the date on it of Father's day. Know that I tried to post this then, so even though I'm typing it Monday night, it was intended to go up yesterday. Thanks, Blogger for Android. Anyway.

To start with, happy Father's day to all the daddies out there! I grew up with a great one, married a guy who has a great one, and lo and behold, he IS a great daddy, too. I'm so happy and blessed to have married a guy who is such a great husband and father. Happy Father's day, Brian. Hope it was wonderful.

I made us omelettes for breakfast. They were delicious and fluffy. Brian's had bacon bits, cheddar, and mushrooms; mine had bacon bits, cheddar, and bell pepper. After brunch and nap, Brian's dad came over to hang out with us for a bit. It was really nice to see him, and I worked on my contribution to my family's Father's day BBQ ... home made rolls and compound butters. I made a dill-garlic compound butter and a strawberry-honey compound butter. Both came out absolutely delicious, as did my home made rolls. I was really happy with them. Gage played in the sandbox for the first time. He loved it!
It never ceases to amaze me what a good kid he is. He was exhausted; his nap had been cut short, and still, he was a happy, fun guy right up until we got in the car to go home. He got a little fussy a couple times, but no major meltdowns.

When we got home it was a different story. We started bedtime a little later than usual, (we got home at 9:00 PM,) so it was a little rough for him. We got Gage into bed by 9:30, and he was mostly content, just fussing a little bit and playing with his Summer Infant Slumber Buddy Frog. He can turn it on himself, and seemed to enjoy playing with it in his crib. We could hear the buttons click, and music came on. After 30 minutes it turns itself off, and there had been no more crying. That was at 10:10. He woke up once and fussed a little but overall, he slept until 6:00 AM.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

100 Things you may or may not know about the Auto Momma

I wanted to have this post ready to go on my 100th blog post. Due to the sleep training, I missed doing it. So this is my... 110th blog post, or something like that. But I'll still give you 100 things about me! Here goes, it may get a little boring.

1. I am a Colorado native.

2. Since I was born here in 1981.

3. My parents were married when I was born, and are still married. They've been married over 35 years. It may be closer to 40. My parents are nice people.

4. My views on marriage, staying with it through thick and thin, came from my parents marriage. I don't believe, however, that you should stay with someone abusive.

5. I got my first and only perm when I was in fifth grade. I had bangs at the time and they got permed too.

6. I thought I would look SO cool.

7. I looked like a spiral poodle.

8. I discovered that my hair holds a perm VERY well, and I had a bad perm right up until it grew out.

9. My hair is at least twice as thick as most people's hair. The strands are very fine, so it is very heavy.

10. I wore it down to my lower back/top of my butt until Jr. High, and I've never let it get that long again.

11. I like my hair better now than I have for the last 10 years.

12. I donated 11 inches of pregnancy hair shortly before having Gage.

13. The stylist had to put it into four ponytails and cut each one separately.

14. I was really happy to think of someone getting a wig from pregnancy hair.

15. When I finished my first go-round at 8th grade, I went on a trip with my class to Washington, DC.

16. We stayed in a hotel and saw the sights.

17. I thought staying in a hotel without parents was the coolest.

18. I shared a walkman with my friend Abi.

19. We listened to Ace of Base over and over and over.

20. My grandparents, who lived in PA, let me spend two weeks with them after DC before my parents came back.

21. It was a really great two weeks that I'll always be thankful I had. My grandparents lived well into their 90s but they're gone now and I miss them.

22. I was still glad to see my family when they got there.

23. Every day at noon I watched All My Children with my grandma.

24. I thought Tad and Dixie's wedding was the most beautiful wedding ever. I knew nothing of soap opera romance because I thought they'd be married for ever.

25. Every day at 5:00 PM I would watch The New Lassie, followed by The New Rin Tin Tin. My mom put a stop to that when we got back home.

26. I wanted to be a canine cop so badly so I could have a German Shepherd that I could take everywhere.

27. I ended up raising Guide Dogs for the Blind for three years instead. I still got to take those dogs everywhere. They weren't German Shepherds though. We raised Labs.

28. My family is still friends with the two beautiful women who received our first two dogs we raised.

29. We almost raised a fourth but when our third guide dog failed out, we took her back and the Guide Dog school rehomed the puppy we had been raising.

30. Guide Dogs was part of 4-H and oh my goodness the DRAMA in a 4-H club. I was President of the club for a year and did great until some of the moms rigged the votes the following year. I'm serious. It was proven.

31. I met my friend Alecia through Guide Dogs.

32. We hated each other before we became the best of friends. We've known each other for around 18 years now, give or take.

33. I repeated eighth grade.

34. I didn't fail, but did a voluntary repeat. It may or may not have been the best thing for me.

35. I wasn't a big fan of studying, schoolwork, or going to class.

36. I wish now that I had tried a lot harder and applied myself.

37. IQ tests say I'm smarter than average but I'm terrible at math. I'm pretty good at English.

38. My brother has a genius IQ and is great at math but he says IQ tests aren't worth even thinking about.

39. My brother would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it and he has been married almost a year to a really great woman. I'm so glad he chose me a nice sister-in-law.

40. Ok, I'm really just glad he chose someone he really loves and who makes him happy.

41. I was an apprentice technician at Honda garage for a little while.

42. I thought I didn't need college because I was going to work on cars.

43. I learned working on cars is much more fun as a hobby.

44. I became a service adviser instead, because I thought it seemed cool.

45. Being a service advisor was not "cool," although service advisers make pretty decent money. This is because they are expected to work 12-13 hour days, 5-6 days a week.

46. I will never write service again. Unless my family was starving and I needed a job.

47. I liked helping people with their car problems though.

48. My favorite jobs ever working as a service adviser were when I worked with Brian (he is in parts). We met working together at a Nissan dealership. Brian is the best parts guy on the planet.

49. I'm not biased, it's just the truth. He knows everything about Nissan and Infiniti parts. But he's modest so he'll say he doesn't know EVERYTHING. (But he does.)

50. I married the coolest guy I had and have ever met.

51. When we met, I told him I didn't want to date anyone because I was tired of dating.

52. I told my mom Brian and I were just friends.

53. She told me she didn't believe me because every time we talked I told her I was hanging out with Brian. She was really glad because she hated that I lived alone and liked that there was a guy coming around to "protect me." Ultimately, she was right.

54. When I met Brian, I had an evil Jack Russell Terrier. He liked Brian a lot for two weeks.

55. After two weeks, he would try to lure Brian into playing with him so the dog could try to bite Brian.

56. His name was Reggie but his AKC name was Reginald Foxwarren Spitfire. His mom's name was "(something I can't remember) Foxwarren Psycho." There was definitely psycho in his blood lines.

57. I was pretty sure Brian would stop hanging out with me after Reggie pooped in the back of Brian's Blazer.

58. He didn't stop hanging out with me.

59. We were friends for a while before we started dating.

60. I accidently turned my head when he tried to kiss me the first time.

61. I made up for it by kissing him the next time we were together.

62. We only waited a few months to move in together for practical purposes.

63. We made rules about how we would manage our lease if we broke up.

64. We dated for five and a half years before getting married.

65. We got married on May 19, 2007.

66. It was really windy that day, and we almost moved the ceremony inside.

67. I have been glad every day since that we didn't.

68. I would pick my wedding dress again if I had to. I LOVED it.

69. I haven't had it cleaned yet though. (oops!) I did treat all of the sugar spots.

70. Marrying Brian was one of the best days of my life.

71. Brian is my best friend on this planet.

72. Until I found out I was pregnant with Gage, I was pretty sure I maybe wanted kids, someday. Maybe. Brian has always wanted two kids.

73. The day I found out we were going to have a baby was one of my happiest days.

74. Being a mother is the best, most joyous, most miserable, most beautiful, saddest, most pure, grubbiest, most rewarding, and most thankless job out there.

75. I wouldn't trade being a mom for anything under the sun. It is such a wonderful experience. I love being a wife and a mom SO much.

76. Even though my labor lasted 27.5 hours, I couldn't wait to see our baby. I didn't even want sleep as badly as I wanted to hold him.

77. Once the crazy emotions wore off, I was hungrier than I've ever been in my life.

78. My brain has manufactured a false memory of my time immediately after labor. I remember it as they set me in a folding chair in the middle of the room, and told me best of luck with breastfeeding my brand new baby, while they rushed about and cleaned up the room and got everything ready to move me to mom-baby from labor and delivery.

79. The reality is, they helped me get Gage latched as I relaxed comfortably in the bed. I will never know how or why my brain created the false memory. Brian verified the true memory. It took me over two months for the real memory to reform, at which point I became aware that the false memory was false.

80. I had no idea just HOW tough, brave, and caring Brian could truly be until he helped me through labor.

81. I may have died if he hadn't been there. He even helped me breathe.

82. When I looked at Brian and my son for the first time, I felt like my heart would explode with this brand-new momma love that I had for Gage, and the expanded love I had for Brian as the father of our child.

83. I feel like that every day when I see the two of them together. And each time I look at Gage I feel such incredible, heart-rending love for him. Even on my worst days.

84. I believe that being a mother SHOULD fundamentally change you. It fundamentally changed me, for the better.

85. I also believe that God set me down a path to meet and fall in love with Brian because he is my perfect match.

86. I believe Gage is made for great things.

87. I just want him to be happy.

88. I look forward to having another baby.

89. My worst fear in the world is not being the best momma I can be. Some days I feel like I am. Some days I feel like I'm the worst.

90. I can walk into a room of people and instantly gauge the mood of the people around me.

91. The mood of the room greatly influences how badly I get social anxiety.

92. If people are happy and the mood is open, I can socialize without fear or anxiety. If people are unhappy or there are a lot of closed off feelings, I will feel fearful and anxious the duration of the event.

93. Having Gage has reduced my anxiety greatly. I will do anything to conquer my issues so that he does not suffer for them.

94. I don't have many friends, but I deeply love the ones I have.

95. I seem shy around people I don't know, but I'm VERY outgoing around people I do know.

96. I want Gage to be comfortable in any circumstance.

97. I want very badly to do with my life what God would like me to do. Sometimes I feel like I'm wasting my gifts. Sometimes I feel like I'm just building them until the day where they explode out of me.

98. I wish for everyone the sort of relationship with God where they feel that He can take every burden from their shoulders, even though sometimes I forget to ask for that myself.

99. I see Brian and Gage as huge turning points in my life. They are the biggest blessings in my adult life. Maybe even all of my life.

100. I always try to remember how blessed I am even when things are as bad as they can be.

I hope you're still awake after all that! And I hope you enjoyed reading a little bit of the random factoids that make up my life.

Cry-it-out, Night 5

For all of our success last night, we have a big backslide tonight. Gage has been frantically crying for about 10 minutes now. Our bedtime ritual went a bit faster than usual, and he was down at 7:40 PM. It's 7:50 and there are no signs of settling down.

Gage had an accident today involving a misstep climbing off he couch; he fell and hit his face on a little toy truck, breaking open his bottom gum with his lower teeth. He bled for a bit, I gave him an ice cube to suck in a washcloth (holding it myself to avoid choking, of course) but I'm sure it still hurts. We gave him some Tylenol before bed so hopefully that will help. I imagine it is harder for him to settle though, with pain in his mouth. He had a big day today, too.

Our downstairs neighbor had a Scentsy/Miche bag/Juice Plus/Premier jewelry party, and we went to that and he played a bunch with our neighbor's 3 year old daughter. He played for almost two hours. Incidently, I saw a Miche bag I want like crazy. He then proceeded to only take a 45 minute nap before popping awake to play with his daddy. We played a bunch, ate dinner, and took a walk before getting him down. So, a lot of factors working against good sleep tonight, being over-tired and hurting. It makes it SO much harder to listen to him cry knowing he hurt his face today. Heartbreaking.

He fell asleep around 8:45, then re-woke at 9:50... and he's still crying at 9:58. This is shaping up to be a bad night.

Update: it is 11:45 and I can't sleep. Gage fusses a little every hour or so, and I hear him moving around. I'm sure he isn't laying comfortably on his tummy tonight. I feel as if we take one step forward and three steps back. Tonight I am VERY discouraged, tired, sad for my little guy. I am literally forcing my body to remain in bed because I want to jump up, run in, grab my son, tell him it's all going to be ok, and cuddle him to sleep in bed with us. That thought is consuming me right now.

Cry it out, Night 4

Gage 100% refused to nap today. Brian and I decided that the best way to handle naps for now is to just let him nurse to sleep. Because today... he is totally over tired, and a cranky mess. He trips and falls almost constantly when he's this tired, and that is definitely a concern, along with the possibility of him becoming SO over tired that he won't sleep at night. Which is likely where we are tonight.

We had to go to the Verizon store to request a warranty on my HTC Incredible (the speaker is distorted when I talk on the phone, making it hard to understand who I'm talking to) and Gage was a cranky, floppy mess. He fell and threw a huge fit, even though he barely fell on carpet. Brian got him calmed down, but I think the importance of a good nap was shown to us today. When he's not getting sleep at night, it's so important to his functions that he can at least have a quality nap. Once we've got his sleeping at night under control, we can focus more on getting him to independently nap.

Bedtime routine was wrapped up by 7:55 PM, and we got him into his crib with Gee, a warm bear that my friend Alecia gifted us, and his little "Gage" afghan knitted for him by one of my mom's sweet co-workers. We hope that with a couple of comfort items, he'll feel more comfortable and secure. He sure does clutch Gee. It is 8:11, and his cries are calming down, so hopefully he's dropping off to sleep. I talked to the doctor's nurse today, and she confirmed with his pediatrician that the staring off into space and the sleeping in an  uncomfortable heap and/or sitting up won't hurt him. She basically said that at some point in the next few weeks (sigh) he will learn to lay down all on his own and sleep comfortably. Hopefully it's sooner rather than later! She also confirmed that this won't traumatize or hurt him. I have a close friend who has done cry-it-out with her little girl, when she was around Gage's age. She said she had a lot of the same issues with her, the staring and sleeping sitting. But that little girl is 5 now and she is well-adjusted and happy, so that's a good reminder for us.

The time in the evening has afforded me some good magazine time though. I have gotten a lot of things cleaned up from the year I spent doing a sub-par job because I was so disgruntled. The resignation and subsequent retraction thereof have really kind of wiped the slate clean. I'm a lot happier with the job I'm able to do when I don't feel like it's taking time away from my family. Hopefully I will be able to keep it up and focus, and do the job they deserve from me. It helps to know that I'm valued. I got a really nice email from the managing editor telling me how happy he is that I'm staying, so that was nice. I'm working on a big project with them to clean up a lot of my contacts, so that's good. Having a project to work on is also a good distraction right now.

The cries are getting fewer and farther between as of 8:15. So we'll see how the rest of the evening goes.

I missed posting 100 facts about me on my 100th blog post because of this sleep stuff. This post will be 106. So maybe some point in the next week I will have time to write that post out! Look for it coming up soon. I'm sure you'd like a break from all of the sleep stuff. I know I would, haha.

Update: no crying as of 11:24 PM, since about 8:30. I checked on the little guy before going in to bed myself at 11:25 and... MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH! He is lying down! Awesome.

Gage slept until 5:30 AM Saturday morning. Very proud of him! Progress!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Cry-it-out, Naptime day 2

So far, so terrible. We were having a lovely day with lots of smiles, cuddles, and happiness. Then came naptime. I nursed Gage a little in his room, then when he was done I told him it was time to lay down and sleep. As soon as I lay him down in his crib, he popped right up, clutching Gee and fussing. He's now been fussing since 1:16 and it's 1:28. There have been no breaks in the crying like he's settling down, it's just a constant, angry cry. Which is absolutely heartbreaking. Ugh. I really, really hate this.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cry-it-out, night 3

He's in bed, and it's 8:02 PM. He got down about 7:50 after his nightly routine. He has done a little of the weird silent stuff, and a little fussing. Right now, he's fussing just a bit. We are really struggling tonight. We are feeling like this is damaging him on some level we can't see. Everything I've read and the doctor's advice is to the contrary, but it's hard to feel good about leaving your toddler alone to cry. We just wish we could come up with some other way... we've tried every "no-cry" solution out there, and he has persevered co-sleeping through all of them. He is a very strong-willed little guy. I want to think he knows how much we love him, and that we would never do anything to harm him, but it's so hard when he's crying and you know he just wants to be picked up, held, and breastfed to sleep.

But something has to change. None of us are getting good sleep, I never have time to get anything done around the house without a nap time for him during the day, and the effects of his sleepless nights were really starting to show. He's coming to an age where I feel weaning is necessary, and there's no way to wean a toddler that only knows how to fall asleep at the breast. The sleepless nights taking their toll on him was the main reason I talked to his pediatrician about the next step. I knew this would be hard... I just had no idea how hard.

He fell asleep after sporadic fussing at 8:45. As of 10:48 all we have heard in there is his breathing. Going to call the pede tomorrow and be sure the sitting sleep is normal and not a sign that he's being traumatized or something.

Well, Gage slept until about 5:40 AM. At that point, he sounded frantic, so we went and got him. We let him nurse in bed with us and he got up about 6:15. He played a little with Brian and then seemed to want to go back to bed. He fell asleep shortly before his daddy left for work and slept a few more hours, so he seemed a little rested this morning, and happy.

Cry-it-out Naptime, day 1

I put him down at 1:17 PM after he fell asleep nursing. He awoke as I stood, and began to cry as soon as he realized we were going to his room. He has been screaming and crying ever since. Sigh. I'm going to leave him for one hour. Oh, wait... a brief respite to the crying. Apparently it was to catch his breath. This sucks! It's SO much worse when Brian isn't here.

Well, he cried for 30 minutes, slept for 30 minutes, then cried off and on another 30. Then I got him up and took him to my parent's house, both for a little car nap and for him to get a change of scene. He had a blast at their house. So that's something.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cry it out, Night 2... Tentative success, already?!

Gage is exhausted this evening. We did his bedtime routine, consisting of clean PJs and diaper, a little nursing in his room, brushing teeth, reading a book, then laying him down in his bed. We decided to aim for an hour earlier bedtime tonight since he is exhausted. We started bedtime routine at 7:35 PM, and we lay him down in his crib at 8:01. While he was breastfeeding, I was quietly telling him how nice it would be to lay in his own bed, that he just needed to lay down, close his big eyes, think relaxing thoughts, and go to sleep. I had Brian lay him down once, so he doesn't get the idea that I'm always the one dumping him into his crib. When he popped back up, I laid him down again, and we told him we love him, we'll be here for him, we'll see him in the morning, etc. He started to fuss a little when Brian took him near his crib, but didn't fuss the two times we laid him down.

It is 8:04 PM. It has only been three minutes - but he is not fussing. You must understand that last night, the second his feet hit the crib mattress, he was sobbing, screaming, begging for Daddy and Momma (heartwrenching), trying to climb out, etc. Tonight he is just hanging out in there. Could it really be that we got over a major hump in one night? I'm optimistic... but cautiously so. We'll see what the rest of the night has in store for us. And I'll keep you posted! (It is now 8:07 and there is still no fussing. Be still my heart!)

Update: It's 9:11 PM. Gage is fast asleep. He's in somewhat of a crumpled heap up against the crib rails, but he's curled around Gee, his stuffed doggie who has obviously offered a lot of comfort to him. He has not cried once. I did have Brian touch him to make sure he was breathing because he's in a position that looks extremely uncomfortable. The position he's sleeping in makes me sad - but I'm happy because he'll get into a deeper sleep when he's not sitting up, like he was last night.

Update: All quiet on the western front. He is still asleep and it is 10:50 PM.

Update: I checked on him about 11:30 because I can't sleep. He is sleep sitting up again, clutching Gee. Sigh.

Awake at 2:48. Back to sleep in 4 min. Went in at 3:00 to check on him. He was awake. Fussed, I lay him down 2x, he popped back up, I hugged him, kissed him (in the crib), told him we love him and are so proud of him and will see him in the morning. He calmed and sat quietly with glassy stare. Good/bad? 

Cars ... but not the movie

I meant to post this a while back. It's a car post. Somehow Blogger for Android failed to put it up. So it will post today. Anyway, I thought I would tell you about all the cars I've loved before. Or hated before, in the case of some of them.

I'm kinda car-fickle. This may be why I'm back in the Maxima while Brian enjoys the Sube.

Here goes:

1.1986 Honda CRX. This was my first car and oh what fun it was. It was white, and my parents bought it from my eye doctor. I coveted something with more seats so I wouldn't have to make short friends cram into the hatch if more than one friend needed a ride. Not that I would have ever done something illegal like that.

2. 1992 Acura Integra. I thought I would rather have an Integra two years newer than the others in the price range with fewer options. It was black and not so pretty. Someone poured aircraft paint remover on its hood once. While I owned it. I imagine I annoyed the wrong person on the road.

3. 1996 Acura Integra GS-R. How cool did I think I was for this car. I got tickets in it. It was BRIGHT RED. I thought I was too cool to make the car payments, that's for sure. My dad repo'd it, gave it to my mom, then traded it on a Subaru Outback. They gave me my next car for free... biggest lifetime car regret was trading that free car a few months later. What was the free car?

4. 1992 Subaru Legacy. My folks bought it new in 1992. It was a reliable, one owner car. And frightfully boring to 19 year old me. It was a really nice car, a pretty dark blue. I traded it on something lame, too...

5. 1994 Isuzu Rodeo/Honda Passport. Something was SO wrong with it. I couldn't get license plates on it due to weird badging/title issues. It was never clear if it was a Passport or a Rodeo. The DMV does not like that. I asked the dealer to take it back. And they sure did! As a TRADE IN. I didn't know better. So I bought...

6. 1994 Honda delSol. What a pile of junk. It got broken into shortly after I met Brian. He hated it, my parents hated it, and I hated it after the break-in. So I traded it in.

7. 2000 Subaru Fotester. It was dark red and had a safari roof. We hit an elk in it and it barely got dented. Tough car! It was pretty nice, I sort of wish I had kept it, too.

8. 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I liked this a lot. But it had a V8 and we lived in Castle Rock. It was not practical for the commute. But before I traded it in, I was gifted a really neat vehicle.

9. 1971 Ford Bronco. A friend from high school got in touch with me when his dad was trying to unload his one owner Bronco. I took it and gave it away again. Long story there, but I should've given it to my dad. My mom would not have been pleased though.

10. 2000 Nissan Maxima. I bought this after being turned down for a Civic. Man, did I win that deal. This was such a terrific car. I drove it longer than any other car I had. I loved it, except the color, which grew on me over the years. It was silver blue and no one could ever remember what color it was. Apparently it was also invisible; it got hit by a truck in a parking lot. While I was in it. It was repaired very poorly and I slowly liked it less and less. When we discovered it was starting to develop some serious problems, we traded it in. On what?

11. 2003 Nissan Maxima Titanium Edition. This Max is the one we currently have it is a really good car! Who knows how long we'll keep it. Sometimes we wish for something more suited to Colorado. Like our other car... 12. 2005 Subaru Impreza Outback. It's a cool little sport wagon. It'll be great for winter time. It got us through last winter. It is such a nice little car. We will have it for a while. So there you have it. My car history! I love cars. At least this post delaying itself gives a nice break in the cry-it-out action.

I may have just stepped into the 21st century

I actually just joined Twitter, what do ya know. If you can't get enough of my special brand of blather, you can follow me @theAutoMomma. Wow, I've been holding off on joining Twitter for a long while now. I only caved because Brian caved first. Ha!

Speaking of technology, I'm working on implementing AT LEAST 2 hours a day where Gage gets my undivided attention, without phone, TV, or computer. I will reply to messages from Brian, but I won't have my phone on me or in my hand. I often find that I multi-task with him and that is just not right. He needs my undivided attention sometimes!

In other news, I wimped out on making Gage cry out nap time. I couldn't get him relaxed or sleepy in his room so I let him nurse to sleep on the couch. He will have to CIO tonight and tomorrow for nap also. Poor guy is pretty tired. I hate to say I've let him watch more TV than usual because he is stumbly and tired and I don't want him running around and hurting himself TOO much.

I just keep reminding myself the doctor said it should be vastly improved in a week! I'll let you know how tonight goes.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cry-it-out. Night 1.

It is awful. We started his bedtime routine around 8:30 PM. Got him into bed at 9:00. It has only been 7 minutes but it feels like it has been a lifetime. But we have to be strong, for his sake. I can't remember the last time he got a full, decent might's sleep without waking up every couple hours to nurse. He is always tired and the only way to fix that is to get him to sleep in his own bed. But it feels like my heart is being ripped from ny body listening to him cry for us. We had to turn his crib around because he was inches from crawling out. Ugh. This sucks hard core. And I know he has to stay in bed til 8:00 AM because we are aiming for a 9:00 PM bedtime with an 8:00 AM wake up. He has shown through logging that 8:00 is his optimal wake up time. So we shall see. Ugh.

More to come as we go. I doubt I'll be sleeping tonight.

Update: it's 10:06 PM and the little guy is still crying. Hasn't dropped off to sleep once. Brian and I feel like our hearts are breaking. This is SO awful. But we are trying to stay strong, for Gage's ultimate good.

Update: 10:14 and there is silence from the fella's bedroom. Just the occasional whimpery fuss. Which is also heartbreaking. I picture him hating me in the morning.

Update: he slept 14 minutes only to awake sobbing at 10:29. So terrible. All I want to do is comfort him.

10:55 and he is out again. We'll see how long it lasts. Ugh.

Midnight, Chevy barked a little and woke him up. He settled back down to sleep by 12:08. Lots of scuffle noises through the monitor. Cautiously optimistic that those sounds are him changing positions, getting comfy in his sleep.

He awoke for briefly at 2:08 AM. He went back to sleep shortly.

He is very unhappy about 4 AM. But he went back to sleep within 5-10 minutes.

Final update: it is now 6:16 AM and he is still sleeping. It was a hellish night but I feel a tiny bit of progress may have been made. I'm cautiously optimistic. Oh, and exhausted. I fell asleep around 1:15, and it took me about 20 minutes to fall back asleep each time he cried. It is gonna be a loooong day. I sure do love that little fella.

Not because I'm a pushover or anything....

But because I'm a pushover, I retracted my resignation from the magazine. Seriously though, I had a long talk with the Editor-in-Chief today about my issues. I got my promotion, got a promise that he'll help ensure I get pay checks on time, and that he will work with me on edits if need be. So overall, I'm happy with what resigning did for me at that job. I had really intended to stick to my guns and stay quit but it is hard when someone makes it clear that they really do value you.

In other news, tonight we start cry-it-out. Gage had his 18 month check-up last Friday, and got a great bill of health. He is 33" tall (70th percentile, roughly) and 23.7 lbs (20th percentile, roughly) so he's growing great. The doctor said he is clearly very smart, well coordinated, and has a great bond with his parents. Naturally, I asked if he had any tips for getting the little guy out of our bed. He said at this point, cry-it-out is about the only way. He said the studies that show it leading to abandonment issues are very skewed and that with as good a bond as I have with him, making him have some independent sleep time is not going to break that bond, rather it will enforce that Gage can have sleep time alone and still have parents who love him and would do anything for him. (Nice run-on sentence.) So I'll keep you posted on how that goes. I won't wean him til after he gets settled with sleeping on his own, I don't want to take away that comfort for him right now. It'll be a hard enough transition without weaning at the same time! I know there will be a LOT of tears around here tonight! And Gage will probably cry some, too.

We had a nice weekend, just did errands and walks and fun stuff like that. Generally enjoyed ourselves and hanging out as a family. Brian's dad brought us Cars (the movie) Sunday night, so we all watched and enjoyed that. He also brought dinner!

Today is my mom's and Brian's dad's birthday. Yup, both were born on June 14. And they were even born the same year! How crazy is that?! So, happy birthday to my mom and my second dad.

Also, happy Flag day. A good day to remember all of the sacrifices of our troops, past and present, that we may live in a free country.

I guess that's about all for now, but I'll probably be updating periodically through the night, based on varying levels of misery. I never wanted to get to cry-it-out... but I don't want to set up my little fella for a lifetime of sleep issues either.

Wish us all luck, and sleep!

Monday, June 13, 2011

After almost four years...

... I did it. I emailed my letter of resignation to the magazine. Now I know email resignations aren't the best way, but it's the only way with this job. I have no actual "boss" and no workplace so it isn't like I could call a meeting with my boss and tell him. So I just emailed the partners and the publishers. We'll see what happens  tomorrow.

I will have a better update tomorrow. I have lots more to tell you about!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A little bit of nothing or a lot of something

It has been a pretty ho-hum week, so I don't have a whole lot to say. I hung out with my friend Alecia yesterday though, so that was lots of fun. We talked about many important things, and possibly solved world hunger. Or at least we figured out that we both like nachos. Except we already knew that. So maybe we figured out something else ground-breaking. Gage's scheduling has been going pretty well. He has been sleeping well at night (not counting last night) and that is at least good progress. We are headed to my folks' house today so hopefully we can adhere to schedule. Last night he fell asleep at 8:15 PM but when I tried to get a drink of water at 11, he woke right up... and decided it was play time. So we played for a while, and he brought a little car back to bed wih him. I figured it would be easier to just take the car when he fell asleep, but it distracted him so much he couldn't fall asleep. Then, when I tried to take it, he pitched such a fit that it was easier to just give the car back to him. Eventually he fell asleep, and I passed Brian the little car so he could set it on his night stand. But he was half asleep too, so he ended up clutching the tiny car til 5:30 this morning. It was an interesting night to say the least.

 I'm almost to my 100th blog post on here. I think I'll do another list post, but this time I'll give you 100 little-known facts about me. If I can come up with 100... and depending on which of my 3 readers you are, you may know more or fewer facts about me, but it should be fun. Brian and I have traded cars for a little while. He's driving the Sube and I'm driving the Max. It has been kind of fun, especially since when we got the Sube back from the shop, it smelled horrendous to me, but Brian couldn't smell it... so that worked nicely. I only don't like the size of the Max in relation to pulling a baby out of the back seat. I always end up either hitting my head on the C pillar or Gage's head on the roof. Ah, well. I just have to try to be careful. Speaking of the Subaru, if you live in the metro area and have a Subaru, please do yourself a favor and AVOID Summit Auto in Aurora like the plague. Other than returning your car smelling like a cross between butt and swamp water, they are terrible communicators, won't get your car done when promised, and may even send it home with so many new problem you want to just throw it on Craigslist and let it become someone else's problem. Seriously. They charged my friend Alecia and her husband money to make his Subaru worse than it was when he dropped it off. And they denied wrong doing. And they stole his car stereo faceplate. Our Sube is out of warranty, so I can guarantee it won't be returned to Summit. Ari, Alecia's husband, did manage to get an amazing deal on a Mercedes last night, so he is much happier with that. He feels quite the gentleman with his new wheels. So if you're in Denver and looking for a fixer Legacy wagon, I know where you could buy one cheap.

Remember, when it comes to small shops in automotive, cheaper does not always mean better. If the shop seems shady, they probably are. I just wish we had had a bad enough experience with Summit to recommend against them before my friends got ripped off. I hate that I sort of recommended this shop and a friend got screwed. I had warned them about the bad communication but of course had no idea they would do as awful of a job as they did. I guess that's about all I've got right now. I'm off to start our day, which unfortunately began much closer to 5:30 this morning. out

Monday, June 6, 2011

Goodbye to the job I've held longer than any other

Well, I guess the time has come to consider seriously turning in my resignation to the magazine. I recently took another pay cut due to the economy, and have been receiving a set monthly rate. And I STILL have to beg them for my paycheck! Every month, no paycheck. I email them; I either get a lie, "Oh, it is in the mail. You should see it any day now!" Or I get a response like today's, "It'll go out in tomorrow's mail. You should see it in a few days." It shows me how important I'm not to them. I've asked a couple of times to be moved up to Assistant Editor from Editorial Assistant. I didn't even want a raise just a bump in title. I've been writing/editing for them for almost FOUR years! Is that so much to ask?!

They tell me my writing doesn't reflect enough of "my voice" and then re-write practically everything I submit so it looks like the Editor-in-chief wrote it, because now it's in HIS voice. When I lived in Albuquerque and worked with the managing editor, I loved writing for the magazine. It was a second job, but it was fun. The managing editor was always trying to find ways to get me more involved, and to pay me more money. He was apologetic any time things didn't work out. When he edited my stuff, he left the writing intact and just edited what needed done. He would also let me know why he changed what he changed, so that I could improve. He included me in the editing of the final magazine. But he has MS. And it has gotten progressively worse in recent years, which has meant working directly with the editor-in-chief. He does none of these things I listed above.

The EIC is a total control freak. He isn't a bad dude, but he doesn't comprehend being my only editor. He is missing the whole point of my being hired, which was to provide a female voice from a girl with car knowledge! He makes me feel totally devalued, and like a terrible writer. And if they don't value my work, why should I value my job? I have loads of writing for my portfolios. I work hard on the monthly newsletter, I work hard on my quarterly submissions. Yes, they've slipped in recent months. Because I can't even get my tiny paycheck, a pittance really, on time! If you can't make PAYING ME a priority, I probably won't make your work a priority.

So, I'm going to hang out my shingle on Craigslist. I'm going to offer my services editing, letter writing, and doing calligraphy (cause, c'mon, who knows how to do calligraphy any more? I do!) Who knows if I will be successful? I don't have any idea. But it is a start. It's something that I can do for myself. And hopefully something that will pay me a little.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Weekend update: Wrong number, San Diego.

I just got a wrong number phone call. It was from the 760 area code, which is Southern California, San Diego area. It was wasn't your average wrong number.

"Ca ay tah ta roobem?" The person on the other end of the call said.

"I'm sorry?!" I said.

"Can. I. Talk. To. Reuben." The woman on the line said, rudely.

"You. Have. The. Wrong. Number." I said in return. Probably not as nice as I could've been, but come on. Don't mumble into your phone and expect me to understand you.

"Who do you think you're talkin' ta?" She said to me.

"I don't know," I replied, "You called me!"

"Whaaaa?!," she mumbled, chuckling drunken, "who da ya think yer TALKIN' ta?"

"I have no idea," I restated, "You called me!"

"Huh, huh, huh," she chuckled. "I beat the pants of people like you."

"Yeah, ok," I said, chuckling myself. Because I'm pretty afraid of being beaten up by people who live a few states away and probably accidently dialed my area code instead of theirs.

At this point, Brian whispered to me, "Just hang up! Or put it on speaker."

I put it on speaker as I heard her mumbling something about me being white, and chuckling drunkenly.

She mumbled something else incoherent, I asked what she said, and then she hung up on me. Good times, good times. I wonder if she figured out her error and got a hold of Reuben? I feel kind of bad for him if she did. But she didn't call me back, so that makes me glad.

It has been an uneventful weekend, so this was the highlight, at least as far as bloggy retelling goes. Friday night, we had dinner with my parents after Brian worked late, Brian worked Saturday, then we bummed around all afternoon. Today we took Gage swimming even though we discovered the heat is still off in our crappy community pool, had lunch, and went for a long walk.

And of course, we did laundry and heard from San Diego.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Home bound, schedule bound

I pretty much have nothing interesting to talk about because I haven't gone anywhere since Monday except Target and for a couple of walks. So I will tell you about how Gage is doing with getting on schedule!

Tuesday night was rough. He didn't fall asleep until after 11, so I was a little apprehensive. Wednesday I woke him up at 8:30 AM (due in part to a phone call from the Editor-in-chief of the magazine.) We followed our schedule to a "T" except I bumped his nap time from 1:00 PM to noon because he was tired. When he woke up, I thought we could take advantage of the nice weather and  for go for a walk. I put Gage in a short sleeved onesie, shorts, hat, and loads of sunscreen. We walked out of the complex, down the street, to the creek trail near us, down the trail, then back up the part of the trail that runs along the highway... which was partially blocked by an anaconda.

Oh, I kid, it was more like a giant boa constrictor. Ok, fine. It was likely a large garter or bull snake (both non-poisonous) but I'll be danged if I was going to push my little fella, with nothing more for protection on his legs than sunscreen, passed it. I had this mental image of the snake, springing from the weeds, and latching onto Gage's adorable pudgy calf as it dangled from the stroller. Now, I know this is ridiculous as snakes are not typically confrontational. But I couldn't get the thought out of my head. So, I turned around and half-ran in the direction from which we had come. I may have shrieked a little. I also may have shuddered, had goose bumps, and repeatedly checked behind us because I was possibly sure that the snake was chasing us. Ahem. It was not. You know, if I had checked. And I may or may not have speed walked the rest of the way home, convinced that every bug noise from the sides of the path were rattle snakes, and that a huge snake was going to jump out at any time. Did I mention I have something of a fear of snakes?

Anyway, once we got home and I sort of calmed down, we played and waited for Brian to get home; after he arrived we ate dinner. Then Gage had a bath, something we will do as part of the schedule every other night. Especially after I heavily coat him with sunscreen. He was most assuredly ready for bed almost a full hour before his scheduled bedtime, so I went ahead and got him to bed early. He went right to sleep! He awoke early this morning (5:30 AM) and seemed ready to face the day. We took a morning walk with Brian, and Gage ended up going back to sleep for a bit longer. He also took a long nap this afternoon, which we will see if was a mistake. His going back to sleep this morning ended with him waking up at 9:30 AM, so I didn't think it would be an issue, but the proof is in bedtime. He seemed very tired at 8:30 PM, was fussy and nodding off, but wouldn't commit to sleeping. So we will try again about 9:00, which is shortly. The point is that the schedule is kind of a work in progress this week. We are working toward a schedule that is good for Gage, so there is some flexibility even though we are working on a rigid schedule. Weird, I know.

Speaking of weird, we may have seen the last of our second floor balcony mice. We have loads of sticky pads out right now, and all we seem to be collecting is bird seed. So we shall see. But for now, the balcony remains dead to me. As is the trail along the highway because who needs a daily dose of anaconda?! Seriously though, I don't like Chevy running through the brush at the side of the trail when there might be snakes. I don't like to think of her startling a snake and getting bitten, so I think for the spring, when the slitherers are coming out, we will stick to slightly more populated areas. You know, where snakes would be run over by cars before they reached them.