Sleep Saga part 1

I’m not gonna lie, I’m hoping that in the future this saga will have a happy ending. I don’t care how many ‘parts’ there have to be to this, but I am determined that sometime soon (oh i hope, i hope, i hope) I will no longer have to be worrying about this so much. What is this you ask?

SLEEP TRAINING MY (ALMOST) 1 YEAR OLD

I have been scouring the internet for success stories, amazing advice and tips and tricks and I’ve found quite a bit. I’m ready to start. I’m ready to share my story step by step in hopes that maybe somewhere along the day I sleep deprived mom can find my blog and learn something from my experience and feel motivated and pumped up to get her baby to sleep better at night.

CURRENTLY

So where are we right now on day one of this? We are in a very frustrating, overwhelming and sleepless spot, thats where. My dearest, darlingest little E is a wonderful tiny human, but a terrible, awful sleeper. Right now he wakes up 10-15 times a night – maybe more. Sometimes he falls back asleep quickly, but sometimes he doesn’t. 99.9% of the time he has to nurse to fall back asleep. Because of the frequent middle-of-the-night-wakes, he sleeps in between Wild Man and I in our bed (don’t shame co-sleeping here, parent-shaming is a no-no on this page) which has been just fine for months and months, but lately…its time for a change. He’ll be one in a couple of weeks. Its time he learns how to sleep in his own room, in his own crib and its time he learns that he doesn’t have to nurse all night long (seriously, thats what he wants – the second my boobs gone, he’s livid).

What I don’t need is any comments telling me that I’ve brought this upon myself and created this little non-sleeping monster. This is exactly what I did with H and he’s an amazing sleeper. But clearly, every child is different. With H, around 8/9 months old I got him totally comfortable and happy in his crib/bed. I’ve tried with E – its just not working. He’s stubborn and persistent. He will scream all night long until someone holds him. Until he’s nursing. Because I’m so tired at night, its easier not to fight it and just let him sleep in our bed all night – nursing what feels like every 30 minutes. But I just can’t do it anymore. I need my bed back. I need to not be nursing all night. I need to have my baby sleep in his own bed and sleep all through the night, which is something he has never ever done in his life, just so you know. I am ready. I’ve been patient for nearly a year but that hasn’t worked. Its time to buckle down. I’m going to be persistent. I’m motivated. I’m going to get E crib/sleep trained. Boo-ya!

THE PLAN

Last night I ordered a sound machine off Amazon. It should be here tomorrow or the next day. So much of what I’ve read has said that a sound machine is a must. I’m banking on this to help us greatly. I’m debating if I should start the sleep training tonight or if I should wait a day or two until the machine comes. Either way, I’m excited and hopeful for this.

I’ve read a lot of ideas and I’ve literally made pros and cons lists of all these different techniques I’ve found. Here is what I, as of now, have planned to do.

Bedtime is at 8:30/9. Before bed we’ll have a bath, then a snack/small meal to ensure his tummy is full, then we will read books, read scriptures and say a prayer (with an emphasis on E’s sleep schedule) and then I’ll sit in the chair in his room and nurse him until he’s either almost asleep or fully asleep. *I’m not sure if I should make him be all the way asleep when I lay him down – I’ve read that its good to put them in their crib awake, but drowsy so they learn to self-soothe, which totally makes sense. We’ll see what I end up doing. I’ll keep you posted. Then I will lay him in his crib, tell him that I love him and goodnight, make sure the nightlight is on and leave the room and shut the door.

I am 100% sure he’ll scream and cry. At 5 minutes I will go in and comfort him. I won’t pick him up, but I’ll lay him back down, pat his back, sing to him, whatever. Then I’ll leave again. I can go back in every 10 minutes as needed for the remainder of the night.

I’m anticipating not sleeping at all the first few nights because if I know my son (and I do), he’s not going to fall asleep without a feisty fight. But everyone who has tried this has said to stay strong and not cave and all the sudden it will click and your baby will figure it out. I’m banking on that.

MY PREDICTION

Full disclosure, I’m not sure how I’ll do the first night. I’m going to feel guilty and sad. I’m going to feel terrible for E while he cries alone in his room. But I’m also going to feel good, because I know its time. Its past time.

I think he’s going to fight it hard core. I’m not sure if he’ll really sleep at all those first nights. Its going to be a struggle. Its going to be hard. But I am wanting to put in the work.

However, if we start this and it just feels wrong and uncomfortable I am allowing myself the freedom to quit. Its possible this isn’t the right technique for us. If I feel that way, then we’ll start back at square one and find a different way to sleep and crib train. In the end, its whatever is best, safest and ok-est for E.

*****

Wish us luck as we start this journey! I’m nervous, sleepy and excited! I’ll keep you posted on how it all goes! Stay tuned for the Sleep Saga part 2!

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Mickey’s Halloween Party 2018

On October 19th it was finally our time to get down to Mickey’s Halloween Party this year. I plan to do a post at some point about the whole trip, but before Halloween happens then passes us by, I wanted to make sure I got a post up about our spooky, fun evening celebrating Halloween in Disneyland!

Lets start with costumes. For Halloween this year, we dressed up as some of the characters from Ratatouille. I was Colette, Wild Man was Linguini, H was Remy and E was Emile. If you ask me, it turned out great! It always feels good when you walk the park and get countless comments of admiration from people. (oh also, H had just woken up – very unhappily – from a nap when a lot of these pictures were taken)

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My mom and dad dressed up as Steam Boat Willie and Black and White Minnie. One of my sisters was Kuzco from Emperors New Groove and the other was Bo Peep from Toy Story (we found Woody and he loved her).

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The Cadaver Dans (regularly the Dapper Dans) perform out on Rivers of America during Mickey’s Halloween Party and its always one of my highlights of the party.

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The decorations and spooky effects, as usual were incredible. There is something extra magical about the park during the halloween party. Its amazing what Disney can do to the park. Ugh, I love it.

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The Trick-or-Treating was fun, but H got tired of it kind of fast so we didn’t hit all the different spots (ok by me) and instead we got in a bunch more rides! We still ended up with tons of candy too, so it was a win-win.

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Then there was the parade and firework show, also special to Mickey’s Halloween Party. The parade is my very favorite. The fireworks are also incredible. Its totally worth it to sit around for a while to claim a good spot for both of these events because you’re not going to see them anywhere else but during this party!

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It was a frightfully fun evening. I’m so glad we have this tradition of going to Disneyland Resort during Halloween time. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it a million times more, the best time to go to Disneyland Resort is during Halloween.

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Speech Screening Wrap Up

If you remember, a few weeks ago I posted about H’s last speech screening – and I didn’t feel the greatest about it. I was frustrated with how it went and just felt uptight afterwards. He didn’t finish his initial screening because he 100% lost interest so we had to schedule part two of his screening. A couple weeks ago we had that screening and I am beyond excited to tell you it was completely different in the very best way.

Things went awesome. He had a different tester who he clicked with really fast and she understood him better and was just really good at getting him to speak and crack out of his shell a little after than normal. We were also in a different, less distracting room which I feel like helped a ton. He was able to finish all his testing.

I was very careful to make sure I went into this second part of testing with absolutely no expectations or ideas of how the testing would go. He still acted his age, but he was much more attentive and showed off a little more than last time. I was overjoyed.

Once the testing was completed, we were sent out to wait for a little while in a fun play room. Then I was called back for a very brief meeting while H got to stay in and play. In this meeting I was informed that H is very intelligent and bright and tests above average on everything, except speech – particularly articulation. It was a relief to hear, even though deep down I think I knew speech/articulation was the only real issue we were dealing with.

So now Wild Man and I are deciding which form of Speech Therapy we’d like him to go on to after he turns three. We have a couple different choices that we need to pick between. I’m excited to see what H can do in this new program. I’m excited that round two of testing went so much better. I’m proud of my little guy and these incredible strides he’s making!

What I Learned from 10+ Days Away from Social Media

During General Conference a few weekends ago, our Prophet, President Nelson challenged the women of the church to go ten days without using social media or any other form of media that could bring about negative feelings. He also challenged us to read the Book of Mormon by the end of the year. I didn’t think

10 Day Social Media Fast

I’ll be honest, when I first heard the challenge to stay away from social media for ten days I initially thought, no way. I love it too much. But it didn’t take me too many seconds longer to remember that if the Prophet is challenging me to do something, its wise of me to do what he says. So I agreed, in my mind, to do it. I started right then and there. I knew immediately that I would cheat only three times and that would be on Instagram – twice to post my weekly Sunday family picture on my instagram, and once on the day that E turned 11 months old and I’m proud to say that those were the only three times I logged onto Instagram and I never got onto any other social media platform. The only one I stuck with was SnapChat because I really only Snap Wild Man and my sisters and knew there was no harm in that.

The first 2 days were rough, I’m not going to lie. I was embarrassed to realize how many times I picked my phone up during the day to mindlessly open Instagram or Twitter. It all felt really foreign and uncomfortable for those first couple days. Like why did I even have a phone if I couldn’t get on to social media? Pretty quickly I learned to ignore my phone. I would leave it in the other room way more often. I’d hear a buzz come from it and not be so fast to run to see what was happening on my screen. I became more and more comfortable away from my phone and I didn’t realize it at the moment but I got happier, too.

It wasn’t until about six days into my social media fast that I realized I was genuinely happier. I’ve always preached that social media doesn’t get me down or change my mood. I truly didn’t think it did. But I guess I was wrong, because only using my phone for texting, calls and picture taking made me see my world in a whole new light. I felt like I was a much, much better mom and a better wife. I felt more attentive, happy and patient. I was pleased with what I had and felt good about myself. I don’t really know how to explain what I felt, but I just know I felt lighter and brighter. I felt good.

There were still a few times where I’d wish I was scrolling through Instagram or Twitter. I wondered what people were posting and what I was missing out on, but I gradually became more and more ok with feeling out of the loop. I was more invested in what was happening inside of my own little families loop and I knew that was more important.

During the times where social media really would have been nice to have, like during nursing, at night while I lay in bed trying to get tired, etc, I decided that in place of social media I’d read my scriptures from my phone since I had this new deadline to reach by the end of the year. Again, it was a little tricky at first, but ultimately became something so refreshing and so needed even though I had no idea previously how badly I needed that.

Read The Book of Mormon by the End of the Year

This challenge came at such a perfect time for me. The week before Conference I had acknowledged that I was in a rut in my scripture study. I was somewhere in the middle of The Book of Mormon but wasn’t feeling particularly motivated to read or really study. So when President Nelson asked the women to read the scriptures from beginning to end by the end of the year I couldn’t help but smile and get excited. I started at the very  beginning, eager to accomplish this goal – and I’m well on my way.

There haven’t been any life altering blessings coming to me since I’ve started The Book of Mormon this time, but I have felt a lot of peace. I’ve felt more patient and kind. I can feel the spirit easier and I am happier. I’ve been reminded that there is joy and there are blessings in simply obeying the Prophet.

Today

I have only logged onto Twitter four or five times. Maybe I’m speaking too soon, but I think I may be done with Twitter all together. I’ve realized that each time I log on I see a lot of negativity. I’m planning on going through everyone I follow soon and removing a lot of accounts. I want it to be a happy, uplifting place for me and if I can’t make that happen, I’ll likely be saying bye-bye to my once favorite platform.

Instagram, however I really did miss. I wasn’t miserable without it and I could have gone longer, but I was happy to return. Honestly Instagram doesn’t make me feel negative. I only follow friends, family, Disney accounts and some skin care and make up accounts and a couple bloggers so how can it really be that negative? But again, I saw the benefit in not feeling so addicted to it. I was cautious when logging back on because I wanted to make sure I didn’t get sucked into mindlessly scrolling again. So far, I’ve been pretty good about not spending very much time on there. I am back to posting, commenting and liking, but I’m not back to who knows how many hours a day spent scrolling and staring at a screen instead of spending time with my kids or doing something around the house. I’m proud of myself. I’m back on my blogging as well and feel refreshed. I don’t want to spend forever on here, but when I do post, I hope they are positive, happy and uplifting posts. The world has enough heavy, negative stuff – I want to make this tiny portion of my world light.

I’m still plugging away at reading my scriptures. Some days I get a lot in and some days I get a little. I’ve been loosely following a guide to keep me on track to finish by the end of the year and I’m doing pretty well. I’ve found a few new things within its pages I haven’t caught before. More than anything I’m feeling so much peace from reading The Book of Mormon daily. My anxiety has gone down significantly. My confidence has grown and I feel more well-rounded and happy. I’m proud of myself for listening to the Prophet and taking on his challenge. I’m proud of myself for sticking to it. I’m grateful to my loving Heavenly Father who ensured the world today would have this book to read and learn from.

Final Thoughts

I don’t think Social Media is bad. Used correctly, it can be really good. But it can suck you away so easily from whats really important. I learned that I spent way too much time on it. Seriously, I wish I would have counted the number of times I picked my phone up throughout the day those first few days only to remember I wasn’t doing the social media thing for a few days. I was embarrassed and I felt bad that I spent that much time behind my phone and not being present in my kids lives. Thats all changed now, though. Like I said, I still like it and will still use it, but I’ll do it so much less. I’m fine with leaving my phone untouched for hours at a time. Texts can wait. Social Media can wait. Emails can wait. I’m fine not being as active as I once was online. I’m so excited about this new life this fast showed me. I’m a better person because of it, I really am.

As for this Book of Mormon challenge, I just want to say again, there are blessings in listening to the Prophet and obeying his council. His words come from God. We are blessed when we are obedient and I’m seeing that in so many ways since starting and sticking to this challenge. I just feel so much better than I have in a long time. I’m in a really good place and I completely credit that to reading The Book of Mormon.

MOM

Happy Birthday to the mom of all moms! I love you lots!!

  • My mom is my best friend and she always has been. I never went through the phase of thinking my mom was the worst or so embarrassing. We have always been very close.
  • She is the reason I’m the Disney-crazed human that I am. She may be the biggest Disney fan I know.
  • She is super Grammy. I knew she’d be a wonderful grandma but she exceeded all expectations I had of her. She loves my kids so much and that is a really awesome feeling.
  • She is humble. I’ve always admired that and always tried to be like her in that way.
  • She makes everyone feel good about themselves. She uplifts and raises spirits easily.
  • My mom is hilarious. Some of the greatest laughs I’ve ever experienced in my life come from laughing at/with her.
  • She leads by example. She’s never been one to yell the rules at me and my sisters, but she always taught us the rules through her actions (does that make sense?) and I feel like it was really affective and powerful.
  • She is the most supportive mom. I could go on for hours with examples. I always think about high school and how she always supported what I wanted to do, who I wanted to be, etc. She let me make mistakes and helped me learn from them. She never made me do it her way, she let me learn for myself. I didn’t realize how much I appreciated that until recently.
  • My momma is a smarty-pants. Things just stick with her naturally. You know, thats how my dad is too — really wishing those genes would have been passed along to me!
  • She genuinely cares for others. She’s kind and compassionate.
  • She loves the gospel and she’s dedicated to it.
  • She is one of those naturally crafty, artsy, DIY people. Everything she touches turns to gold basically. She always makes the cutest stuff and does so quickly and makes it look so easy. She’s very impressive.
  • She is one of the most selfless people I’ve ever met.
  • She listens. She keeps secrets. She’s understanding. She remembers things. She makes me feel heard.
  • She has way too many great qualities to list in one blog post. I’ll end here, but just know – my mom is amazing. I hope you all have someone in your life like her.

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Happy Birthday, mom! I love you!

Refreshed and Reconnected

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We spent several days last week in Meeker, Colorado in a big cabin on a bunch of beautiful property up in the mountains. It turned out to be one of those family trips that we needed, but we weren’t even sure just how much we needed it until we returned home. It felt so, so good.

Though I had my phone with me (pictures!), I hardly ever checked my phone. If I left it in a different room I wasn’t worried about it. We were breathing fresh (non smoky- thanks utah) air and really bonding with our family in a way that we just can’t do when we’re home. It was so rejuvenating to play outside or in the cabin with the boys and let them explore, get dirty and be adventurous. It was just what the doctor ordered.

After those great days spent in the mountains I am feeling so recharged, relaxed and motivated. Things I didn’t even realize I needed so badly in my life right now. So thanks, Colorado. I can’t wait for next year.

September GBOMB

GOOD

  • I got a new, fresh wind for social media and blogging. I’ve found a balance in social media and have a system that allows me to stay as up to date with things as I want to be, but still doesn’t take all my time. I also have new energy coming into blogging. I have new ideas and a confidence I’ve lost for the past few months. I’m excited!
  • We took a fun, fast trip to Colorado with some of Wild Man’s family and just as we anticipated, it was a blast. Packing, especially for mainly outdoor vacations, is a really big struggle for me, but it was worth it. H especially loved all the time outside and in the huge cabin with his cousins — and hopefully also with his parents and brother?
  • We had a really fun family vacation with some of Wild Mans family. We went to up in the mountains of Meeker, Colorado to a huge cabin with lots of fun property and seriously had the best time. It was the highlight of my month. It was so much fun watching the boys explore and get all dirty and incredibly happy. The food was delicious, we stayed up way too late and (sort of) slept in. It was an awesome time. IMG_9343.jpg
  • My cousin got married and we were able to attend the temple wedding and be there for the rest of the festivities that day. It was a beautiful day and it was so nice and refreshing to be inside the temple and be with family. IMG_2572

BAD

  • September was not a good month for my water intake.
  • It just feels like Utah was on fire for the month of September. The Pole Creek/Bald Mountain Fire has been a terror.IMG_2878.jpg

ON MY BRAIN

  • Whats going to be announced at October’s General Conference? People have been voicing their suspicions and guesses for months now and I’m just really ready to stop thinking about what other people are thinking/hoping/worrying the announcements will be, and just finally hear what they are! If we are being honest, I’m actually excited. I’ve heard that it will make some people uncomfortable – but I guess to me…like aren’t we on earth to be tested? Should this, to some degree, be expected? That knowledge may not make these announcements easier, but I’m still just excited to hear what President Nelson has in store for us. IMG_0898
  • H had his first speech screening and it gave me a lot of feelings. (you can read the post about it here) Overall it left me feeling frustrated and a little defeated. But the next few days afterwards I had some sense knocked into me and realized there was literally no reason to feel that way. None at all. H did awesome and he acted age appropriately for a two year old – what more could I ask for? I don’t know why I thought he was going to go in there and nail all the words – if he was going to do that, then we wouldn’t be going to this place to screen him for preschool placement for a speech delay in the first place. It was stressful in the beginning, but now I see its taught me to trust the process, relax, be patient and embrace the moment and this speech journey we’re on.
  • Pixar Fest ended at Disneyland Resort this month, and A Bugs Land closed down permanently in California Adventure. Pixar Fest was fun, I’m very curious to see if they bring it back for another Summer. Think they will? As for Bugs Land closing, you know my thoughts on that. Sad. But I’m excited to see what this new Marvel themed land will bring.
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