Saturday, July 23, 2011

Weekend Update: we still have a whole 'nother day!

Today was a mostly nice day. Despite a cranky fussy guy at times, we had a great time. We went for a morning walk before it got too hot, then we came home and tried to get our little to nap. That didn't go amazingly well, so we took him swimming. He loved that and so did we.  We came home and tried more nap with little luck. After the failed nap, we went to the apartment complex ice cream "social" at the pool, where we all loaded up on sundaes, and were "gifted" with leftover chocolate ice cream and chocolate syrup by the people doing the ice cream. We also happened to be gifted with a floaty swim suit by some neighbors we had never met while at the pool the first time.

As we were drying off and getting ready to leave, a mom at the pool inquires about Gage's age. I told her, and she told us her little boy's floaty swim thing didn't fit him anymore.  Would we like it, she asked? Never ones to pass up useful free stuff, we said sure. It looks brand new. Kind of a strange day, in a good way. 

Tomorrow we are trying out a new church. Gage will be in the children's ministry, with kids his age and without us for the first time.  We would like to find a good church family to be part of, so keep us in your prayers that this will be a good fit... and that Gage will enjoy the children's ministry. After that, we will try to get a nap out of Gage, then we'll be off to my folks' house for dinner. 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend... we sure will.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Snake-a-phobia (and other assorted miscellany)

Gage and I visited the doctor today. We learned that basically, cry-it-out isn't working for us because we have been doing it wrong since roughly night 5. Sigh. So as of tonight we are trying to get back on track. Gage has woken up once already (it is 12:22 AM) and got himself back to sleep in 10 minutes. Wish I could say the same for me. I just lay here, feeling like I'm waiting for him to wake up. Which is pointless, because I have to let him self-soothe anyway. But really glad the doctor thinks everything is a-ok, we just need to adjust our strategy.

Nothing else amazing going on. Monday morning Gage and I took Chevy for a walk, and had another snake encounter. This one was uncomfortably close to home. I had Gage in his wrap, and I specifically avoided the snakey weeds by our apartment complex park; we were walking there last week and saw a nice snake skin that had been shed. Do you know what a snake skin says to me? Snakes are present in this area. Shudder. So I'm not too comfy over there, especially since the apartment jerks don't bother to knock back the weeds over there. Walking through there I am just waiting for a snake to strike, and the weeds encroach so thickly on the path that it is entirely too easy for me to imagine. Seriously. I have a hearty fear of snakes, that goes without saying if you've read this far.

Back to my recent run-in. We were just getting ready to walk through some rocks to the sidewalk in front of our building when Chevy spotted a rabbit. She went after it, and I yanked her back. As I yanked her almost to me, I looked down at her feet, and saw a tan and brown snake, roughly 3 feet long, recoiling from her and doing the creepy tongue thing snakes do. THANK GOD it didn't bite her. And seriously, thank God for that rabbit. I was not far from that snake, but I would've been right on top of it if not for Chevy's antics. Wearing Crocs flip flops and just ripe for the biting. I did what any self-respecting snake-a-phobic (is there an actual medical term for snake-a-phobes?) would do. I shrieked like a girl and ran away from the snake. A guy getting his baby out of a Hummer nearby surely heard and saw my performance. He likely thought I was absolutely nuts. I may or may not have referred to slithery creatures with an obscene name and hoped aloud to Brian that when the maintenance guys mowed, they would grind up the snakey jerks. I don't like them that close to home. For once I'm kinda thankful we live on the second floor!

Fun ahead this weekend. Friday night (er, tonight, I guess) we are having some close friends over, then this weekend some friends from Albuquerque will be here. We can't wait to see them, too. And they'll be shocked when they see Gage.

Tomorrow, Gage and I have a blissful day of no plans. Hopefully his crib naptime (recommended by the doctor) will go ok. I have a feeling there will be a lot of tears. Gage probably won't be too happy with the arrangement either.

Hope you all are having a blissful night of sleep. I'm off to Google the clinical term for snake-a-phobia. Oh, hush. I know you're curious too.

ETA: Fear of snakes is ophidiophobia. And if you Google that, and your curiosity is peaked, yes, looking at pictures of snakes gives me anxiety and panic feelings.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A brief cry-it-out update

This will be a very brief post because I'm in desperate need of a shower... and sleep. Gage will see the doctor tomorrow morning to discuss his bizarre-o sleep issues. We are at the point where we feel like we've given cry-it-out a fair shake - and it hasn't really worked. Sure, we had a couple of good nights in there where we thought everything was going to be ok, but then we went right back to old patterns. The one good thing that has come of CIO is that he will go to sleep in his crib without crying. Unfortunately, he won't stay asleep in his crib, and many nights he wants to play at 2:00 AM. Clearly, this is an issue for all of us.

Hopefully the doctor can shed some light on why he is so against sleeping. Because right now, he won't even really sleep well with me. He just doesn't seem to be interested. So, who knows? I've done well logging our days, so I just need to organize and print those so I can take them with us. Also need to go through the blog and make note of the first 20 days or so and how they went, since I logged pretty faithfully here.

Keep us in your prayers. The sleep is something that affects all of us and we are all definitely feelin' it right now! I'm sure you can tell, seeing as how it's almost all I've written about for the better part of a month.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Flash card project, part 2

Here's some pictures of the finished product! Between Brian and I, it took most of Sunday and part of today.

The cards are totally worth it though. Gage loved them, and I think the engage him more than typical flash cards.

You'll notice some of the color cars look weird, like yellow, green, purple and orange. I had to color white cars, and shiny brochure paper isn't the easiest to color. Nissan doesn't have a large selection of purple, green, yellow, or orange cars. I know they aren't perfect, but I like them! And Gage likes them; that's the important part!

The above shot is of the colors, obviously.

This shot above is the number cards. Number 9 cracked me up because it got pretty hard to stack that many cars on and still have room for the number, word, and dots. Hee.

Finally, a picture of them all together. Is it funny that I'm really proud of these? Next up is a matching game made of cars and then a couple posters made of cars. Can't wait until the weekend for more car art baby projects. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Flash card project

For a few weeks now, I've been wanting to make Gage some flash cards for letters, numbers, and colors. I wanted to do colors first because that's most age appropriate. I originally planned to just get a note card and make a color block on it, then write the color below the color block. Pretty normal, average flash card, right?

But then, I saw how Gage took to the colorful car sales brochures that Brian brought home from his work to read to Gage. He LOVES cars and trucks. So I thought, what better way to make engaging flash cards than to cut out pictures of the cars, stick a few of the same color to a card, then write the color below?! I got off track after cutting out the first few because, let's face it, it is tedious and difficult with a curious toddler.

This morning over breakfast, Brian took the idea one step further. He thought for each number, we could put that many cars on a flash card, plus that many dots, the number, and the word number. I love this idea! So while I try to get Gage napping, Brian is busy cutting out cars and trucks. We have a poster idea for him too, but I will have to post a picture because I can't adequately describe it.

I can't wait to show you the finished product! I will post a few pictures up when the flash cards are done.

Prayer request

I stumbled onto a blog yesterday that weighed heavy on my heart. This family's precious 7.5 month old son was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and 24 days later he passed away. You can imagine the nightmare this family is facing; if it weighs on your heart as it did on mine, please say a little prayer for the parents. And hug your littles a bit tighter. You can see their story here:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A brief update because there's not a lot going on

There really hasn't been much going on. I've spent a fair bit of time tracking Gage's days with an app I got for my Droid called Cub-Cal tracker. It cost $2.99 but has been totally worth it. It is so much easier to keep track of his days with it. He had a pretty rough night last night; he woke up at 1:30 AM and just simply wouldn't go back to sleep. He played until 3:30 AM and then never really got back to sleep. Nor did I. Needless to say, we are all a little brainless today.

My nieces are in town and Gage has quite enjoyed playing with them when we are at my folks' house. There has been some serious drama going on with their family up north but I don't feel it is my place to post it here. Suffice it to say, their summer here is definitely for the best. Thursday, while we were at my parents', the two younger girls wanted to run through the sprinkler. Gage kept trying to, but the water falling on him made him so uncomfortable at first. He did enjoy his kiddie pool and running around. Right before I took him in to get him cleaned up for home, he decided to get into the sprinkler full on! It was excessively cute.

Yesterday morning we walked for close to three miles. I need to get an earlier start because by 11:15 AM when we were coming home, it was blazing hot. Gage seemed ok but I was sure hot. I took water bottles for each of us; I imagine Gage got tired of me shoving his water at him and telling him to drink. But when it is hot and dry I so want him to stay hydrated.

No plans for the weekend, Brian works a half day today so hopefully we can come up with something fun to do! I started my day with some Bible reading... I've been doing the chronological one year reading plan for 50 days now. I'm in the midst of Leviticus which is one interesting book. Reading Leviticus always makes me even more thankful for Jesus' sacrifice. The rules in the old Testament are intense.

Hope you all have a very enjoyable weekend!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Some random thoughts bouncing through my noggin

Let's see. I won't tell much about cry-it-out tonight, especially because I'm a little discouraged. We keep having such severe ups and downs that I believe something else is going on with the little guy. We'll have a few good nights and then go back to bad, or worse. Last night was a "worse" by far. Gage went down about 8:00 PM but didn't sleep. At 8:30 I went in and cuddled him until he was drowsy, at which point I put him back down. He slept until 9:30 when he fussed a bit and went back to sleep. Then came the badness. He awoke at 12:14 AM. I went in and rocked him as I usually do, and laid him back down. He was quiet. But around 1:00 AM (I think) he woke up again. At that point, I decided to just bring him to bed with us as I hadn't slept at all. He wouldn't sleep. All he wanted to do was get up and play. So I figured ok, maybe he'll play for 30 minutes, then realize how exhausted he is. No... he played until almost 4:00 AM. And even then, he didn't want to go back to sleep. I had a mini-breakdown and cried about my utter inability to fix this problem. Then the little fella slept until 9:30 AM this morning. He did not nap today outside of a car nap (I did this on purpose) and he played for a while at my parent's house. Hopefully he'll sleep well tonight, if for no other reason than sheer exhaustion.

If you've been following along, you know we're coming up on a month of cry-it-out. The doctor told us it would take a week. Obviously, every child is different. But why, after a month, do we see absolutely no progress that lasts? We have stuck to the bed time routine, we get him into bed at the same time every night as best we can, etc. There seems to be nothing that affects how he sleeps. Starting today, I am going to spend the week mapping out the details of Gage's day. After 7 days of mapping out Gage's days, I'm going to make an appointment with his pediatrician so we can try to figure out what on earth is going on with this little boy's sleep patterns. Why can he only seem to sleep for 4-5 hours at a time? Why does he have such a hard time relaxing? We have many questions that I feel need answers in order to get this sleep issue under control. That's where we're at. I downloaded an app for my Incredible that will help me track the little guy's patterns. I'll be monitoring and logging eating, sleeping, activity, what we do in a day, etc. I figure nothing is too small to log and assess for importance. In case you're wondering, it's 9:03 PM right now and Gage is indeed sleeping. Has been for a little over an hour.

The pictures are starting to pour in from Brian's cousin's wedding. We so enjoy getting to see the pictures everyone took. I can't wait until the photographer gets her pictures online though; it was such a gorgeous wedding that I am excited to see pictures.

One thing is for sure a result of all the family time this weekend and the wedding. I have got to get serious about weight loss. I think I've said that on here a few times, but seeing pictures of myself really brings the point home. I look about 5 months pregnant. My arms are huge, flabby, and fat; my gut looks like it's housing a baby, and my face is way too round. Add in my double chins, and you've got yourself a pretty chubby looking chick. I am not happy with myself, and I've got to get there. I hate being that girl that constantly looks at pictures of herself and hates them. But I've arrived at that point, and it makes me deeply unhappy. I want to look at pictures of myself and my family and say, "Wow, we look great/happy!" Instead, I look at pictures of us and say, "Wow, Brian, you and Gage look great!" While inside, I die a little, thinking that people probably look at me as a fat slob.

My biggest weight challenge is portion sizes. I think if I can get that under control I can get my weight going down again. I started trying to be more cognizant of portion size today. I had lunch with my mom and dad, and we had hot dogs (all beef) and chips. I had two hot dogs, but I did not have any chips as a side. I only put sourkraut on my dogs, and I ate them with whole wheat buns. I did not consume the entire bun. I ate maybe .25 oz of these cinnamon chips my parents have, as well as two graham cracker bites which are roughly the size of a silver dollar. I also had a scoop and a half of ice cream, around 1/4 cup. If you know me, you know this is pretty good. I didn't eat breakfast before I left the house, so lunch was sort of both. Yes, I am aware that this is bad. I rarely skip breakfast, but this was a WEIRD morning. Back to lunch, I ate slowly, and didn't continue eating when I was full. Stopping eating when I'm full is another biggie. If I really like the food I'm eating, I'll eat it fast and hard and then deal with the stuffed feeling consequences. I must re-train myself to eat slowly and stop when my stomach is satisfied - not stuffed. For dinner I ate nice, normal portions of everything I made. I'm focusing on dishing Brian and my meals onto salad plates as opposed to using our dinner plates. This will keep our portion sizes down. I want to stick to what the package recommends for serving sizes, especially with things like cereal and what-not.

The other part of my plan is to walk/run in the mornings before it gets too hot. I have been telling myself I can't get out because it's too hot to take Gage, but if we go early that isn't the case. Even if I'm dragging my butt from exhaustion, I can still get out there and walk a bit. It might even help refresh me and make me a little less cranky.

If I could get my weight under control, I know that I could be a happier person, and in turn a better wife and momma. And of course I would be healthier. When I'm always feeling like I'm not healthy, I'm not attractive, I'm the ugliest person in the room, etc, it is hard for me to be at my best. A big part of my issues with how I look is how I feel I reflect on Brian. He loves me as I am, and tells me so, but I can't help but feel that people judge him on how I look. I constantly wondered if his family was thinking about how much I've let myself go when they were here. I know this is ridiculous behavior, but I can't help it. I can't help but think my social anxiety would improve if I could feel more confident.

Don't get me wrong. I 100% know that looks aren't everything, or anything, really. But if I don't even feel healthy, then how can I feel comfortable in my own skin? I can't. But I want to. I want to be a positive, active role model for Gage. I've posted about that before, too. I refuse to give up, even though I've started and failed multiple times. I know you probably are thinking that I won't make it go this time either. But I'm going to do my best, and maybe, just maybe, this time I can make it stick.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Weekend Update: Cry-it-out edition

I've totally lost count of what night it is... let's see. I last posted night 20 on July 4, so that would make tonight night 25, I guess. It's been going pretty well, Gage has been doing alright despite some adversity with bedtimes due to life conflicts. Currently, he has been going to bed without crying for about a week, with only one evening where he cried a little when we laid him down. We went back in, got him out, and sat with him for another few minutes; we cuddled. He went back down easily and went to sleep. Last night and two nights prior, he did wake up around 11-12, crying. Last night, I went and got him, cuddled him in his rocking chair, nursed him a little, then laid him back down and rubbed his back. Once his eyes got really droopy, I left him, and he slept until 5:00 AM.

It has been a crazy week, so I'm not too surprised that he has had a little bit of issue with sleep. Wednesday, Brian's aunt got into town for Brian's cousin's wedding. We went to Brian's (local) aunt and uncle's house to visit with them and the aunt from out of town; we haven't seen her for many years and she hasn't met Gage. Brian's uncle and aunt that live here are the parents of the cousin who was getting married. After doing our best to get out by 7:30 to get Gage home into bed on time, we got out a little late, and got Gage to bed a bit late. He was also really overstimulated from the festivities and new people. He slept that night until 11:30, and then we let him sleep with us. Thursday night we were home, but when Gage woke up at 12:00 AM, we let him sleep with us again, knowing Friday would be a late night, since that was the wedding (at 6:00 PM, downtown Denver.) Friday we really wanted Gage to have two naps in preparation for a late-ish night, but he had other plans. He got in one late nap, and didn't sleep in the car on the way. He behaved beautifully at the wedding; we let him watch some Yo Gabba Gabba (with the sound off) on my phone during the ceremony so he would sit quietly. Thanks, Droid and Netflix. At the cocktail hour and reception he ran his little legs off. Brian or I just held his hands and walked around with him. He is sure an energetic kid! It was a gorgeous wedding, very much reflective of the bride and groom's personalities.

About 8:45 PM, Gage ran out of steam, so we loaded him up and brought him home. We got home, threw him into PJs, and got him into bed. I went down to talk to our neighbor downstairs for a bit, and we didn't get to bed ourselves until close to midnight. We are not going to be up late tonight!

Today, we went to a bar-be-que at (are you ready for this?) Brian's (newly married) cousin's wife's parent's house. It was pretty fun, but a little overwhelming. There was another Robinson aunt in town for the wedding, with her hubby and two boys. It was nice to spend more time with everyone, but there were a lot of folks we didn't know there too. Since we are both a little socially anxious, it was nice to come home and relax some after all of the social events of the week and weekend. We'll be in bed early tonight, and tomorrow will be a day of rest, relaxation, and maybe even a visit to the swimming pool.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Cry-it-out, night 20.. can't believe we've been going so long.

Happy 4th of July! So thankful for this country and all that it stands for. I am very proud to be an American and I thank all of our vets for the sacrifice they make to keep our country free.

I may be off on a couple days count but last night was definitely the 20th night. I'll go through when I am on my computer next and try to correct the days.

So last night may have been the breakthrough we have been waiting for. We put Gage to bed at 7:45 PM (he initiated his bedtime routine early,) and we went to bed just passed 11:00. We heard him stirring a bit around 11:30, and with all the fireworks noise outside, we thought for sure he would wake up. For all of our sanity, we had decided if he woke up we would bring the little guy to bed with us. He never progressed to crying. Suddenly I woke up, saw dim light filtering through through window, and realized it was 5:07 AM! As I write this it is almost 6:00 AM and he is still sleeping. Hooray! Now, if only I could go back to sleep!