Thursday, January 28, 2010

Crying it out is NO fun!

So it is 2:30am and I can't sleep. Why, you might ask yourself. Well, I have a 13 month extremely stubborn but absolutely adorable little boy who has been on an awful sleeper since he was born. We have tried, I feel like I should capitalize tried to get him on a schedule to no avail. I have read all the books, tried different methods but nothing so far has seemed to work. I finally gave up trying once the neighbors started stomping all night and Shawn needed good sleep for his interviews. I have been trying to appease everyone. But Jack's sleeping schedule has become so out of whack that something needed to be done. He basically got in a habit of waking up from 3-6am every morning with several awakenings before and after. It was awful! I have been a walking zombie barely functioning. My appetite has not existed because I have barely had enough energy to feed and take care of Jack yet a lone myself. Sleep deprivation has literally affected every aspect of my life. The other day I pretty much had a melt down and decided that I could not keep living like this. It has really started to destroy every aspect of my life.

So Shawn went up and had a nice "friendly" conversation with our neighbors about Jack crying it out. Up until now I have just felt so bad about keeping everyone up. Basically he told them that we have to let Jack cry so they are just going to have to deal with it. So our journey with crying it out begins (really for the second time as I tried this when Jack was around 6 months for two weeks).

Through this whole experience of Jack not sleeping. I have learned a lot of life lessons that will hopefully make me a better person. I won't list all of them because I have learned a lot (I was listing them off to my mom tonight). But the biggest lesson I have learned is NOT to judge people and their parenting skills. Usually, parents are doing their best but kids come a certain way. Jack is such a happy boy but even throughout my pregnancy and labor he was stubborn. This personality trait seemed to follow him throughout his first year of life and I am sure it is not going anywhere. I hope that he is able to use this trait for good and that he will be able to hold his ground during hard times especially against peer pressure when he is a teenager. Another lesson I have learned is that there is a time to talk and a time to listen. Usually side on the err of listening. We all want to help each other and share the plethora of knowledge we have acquired through our studies and experiences but sometimes LISTENING is truly GOLDEN. On the other hand I am extremely grateful for friends and family that have talked and given me advice. They have talked me into action and have given me the motivation I need. So hopefully, this will work and I can try to claim my life back. Wish me good luck, I will need it!
P.S. It still kills me when Jack cries. I just love him so much and want to comfort him but I now this is the best thing long term.

Because I don't keep a good journal I want to record how this process works for us. Really, I just want Jack to someday really appreciate us:) and know that parenting is not always easy.

Jack's doctor was consulted and confirmed that Jack is a very healthy boy who needs to cry it out for as long as it takes. Our poor neighbors. They hate us but I can't blame them. I would hate us too.

Jack's journey to a full night of sleep:
Thursday night: Jack went down at 8pm. Did his whole routine and went down without a peep. He usually goes down no problem. He woke up around 9:30pm and cried until 12:30am. Slept for a hour and woke back up at 1:30am and started crying. Now it is 3:30am I think he has finally stopped crying. So I am off to bed. Okay, he woke up again but I am still off to bed. I will update this as the hours and nights SLOWLY pass by.

Would it be hard for you to let this cute face cry it out all night?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Piano Recital

You might be asking yourself, who had a piano recital? I know that I am quite old for this and it was somewhat embarrassing to stand with all the kids (as you can see I am the oldest one there by about 18 years) while their parents were taking pictures of them. Not to mention getting my written reward and flowers for participating. Despite of feeling somewhat childish, it was really good for me. I was so nervous and practiced so hard because I did not want to make a fool of myself. Luckily, there were only about 2 kids that were way better then me and I only messed up on one song. All of kids called me the American mom (which is kind of funny because we are in America but as you can see I am the only Caucasian person there). They all thought I was like 18 years old, which I guess I should take as a compliment right? So yes, I was taking piano. I had an amazing teacher but she just moved back to Taiwan. I think I might wait until we move to Texas to start up again. But I still want to continue. It is my goal to be able to one day just pick up a song and be able to play. Shawn was a great support and with some bribing he supported me.

Luckily, my teacher did not make me memorize my pieces. I don't think I could do it.
All of the other students.

First Birthday.

Jack's first birthday party was somewhat low key but it still was so fun. The night before Jack had an awful night. So it was a rough start in the morning to get everything pulled off but we did it thanks to great friends who helped out. Our friends, the Grays were so kind and hosted Jack's party. Our apartment was too small to have everyone over. We just had pizza and did cake and ice cream. The adults chatted while the kids played. Jack opened gifts and everyone was so generous. Jack's toys tripled. We sure are going to miss our friends here.

Here are some pics of the crew.
The boys.
Jack's cute friend Lisa. We sure are going to miss them. They are moving back to Japan when we move to Texas. Hopefully, we will be able to go visit them.
Enjoying some uncle time.
Sid and Uncle Steve got Jack a bunch of Michigan stuff.
The cake. I had intentions to make a cake but of course time ran out and I took the easy way out. I thought Jack would love the cake and all the attention but to everyone's surprise he started crying when we started singing and did not even want to touch the cake. I think he was super tired because this was towards the end of the party.
All the cute kids that came to the party. Jack loves all of his friends.

Jack opening his gifts.Off course, sampling the gifts.

All of his gifts.

Right when we got home, I tried to feed him some lunch but he was out! Partied way too hard. Happy Birthday Jack! We love you!

Christmas 2009

We went to Utah for Christmas this year and it was a non-stop party. It was so fun. We mostly partied with this crew.
We played tons of games, sung karaoke several times until literally 3am in the morning (so fun and quite hiliarious!), participated in the annual laser tag game (I came in 3rd place one time and killed my husband, it was awesome), took professional family pictures with the whole clan and best of all we were reunited with our long lost cousins. They were so much fun. We love them and are super excited to have them around in the future. This year we started a white elephant gift exchange that we added to our Christmas Eve program. It was a lot of fun. Being with family was the best gift this year. I love them all! It is so fun. It seems like every year we get addicted to a new game. The game of the new year was Ticket to Ride. If you like games, it is a must play. Shawn and I were able to do a quick trip to Texas with just the two of us. It was nice (well as nice as house hunting can go....) but it was nice to be alone, go out to dinner (Texas food is amazing!) and somewhat relax. Best part was to get a full night sleep and first class flying was not bad. Flying benefits sure are nice.

Jack was extremely spoiled by his grandma and his aunt, uncle, cousins and friends. The kid loved all the attention he got. It was one party for him. He also loved playing with the animals. I need to post a video of Jack trying to play fetch with Mr. Jiggs (my mom's dog). The only problem was he could only throw the ball about one foot so Jiggs would just stare and Jack could not figure out why he would not get the ball. So cute. Overall a wonderful trip and we were sad to leave!

Christmas Eve we always have a party with my mom's side of the family. It is always a lot of fun. My cousin Nick just returned from Russia where he was serving a mission for our Church. He was gone for 2 years. It was nice to have him back.
The uncles

My cousin Sam. Should I be worried?
Getting loves from Great Grandma.

Making silly faces with cousin Lilly.
It is a tradition to always have a really nice Christmas breakfast before we open any gifts. I love this because it reminds you of what is important before you open the presents.

Jack not sure what to make of the presents he got this year.
Helping grandma open his gifts.
I think he enjoyed eating them more than opening them.
Playing with some of the new gifts.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Henry Ford Museum

Shawn had a day off of school so we went to the Henry Ford Museum. Initially we were going to go to this village outside, so I dressed Jack really warm but it was a little too cold so we did this instead. It was really neat to see all the cars plus they had a fun lego exhibit and a very real looking Santa. Here our some pics of our adventure.

First Haircut

While we were in Utah Jack finally got a much needed haircut. I was really worried that he would hate it and not sit still but it was such a fun place that Jack did great. Initially, I wanted to keep his hair long but the way the gal cut it Jack looked like a girl. It was a bob. So she tried to fix it to no avail so I finally said just cut it short. He looks so different. He looks like a toddler now.

Jack, Jack!!

This post was written a while ago and I finally posted it:

Jack is starting to really grow up. I really love this age despite having to watch him like a hawk as he is getting into everything!!! He loves opening any drawer he can get his hands on and taking everything out, loves unrolling the toliet paper if he somehow manages to get into the bathroom, loves climbing up on the couches to the very top and turning the light switch on and off, on and off, and then proceeding to see if he can somehow maneuver over to the TV stand from the couch. He knows when he is naughty, in fact he will put something in his mouth that is not supposed to go in, look at me, laugh and then take off 90 miles per hour. He is also very sweet--he loves to cuddle up with his mom and dad. He talks on the phone to his grandma everyday. He really talks, he will take conversational turns in which he listens to grandma, then talks and then listens. It is really cute. He is starting to say a couple of words. Although if you talk to my mom he talks in two word utterances and says almost everything. But I think he only a couple of words in his vocabulary (baba (bottle), ma ma, binky, amen, all done, da da, bye bye).

He loves playing with other kids. We get together with two different playgroups each week plus we try to go the library and church playgroup. He loves socializing. He is still the world's worst sleeper and thanks to our stomping neighbors who stomp if he cries more than 3 minutes, it has been hard to let him cry it out. So I guess we will just have to manage until we are out of an apartment complex. Jack is almost walking. He holds on to one hand and takes off. He is up to 8 steps on his on. I think I have hit most of his updates. We love Jack! He makes us laugh all day long. Here are some pics of his funny faces that I love!

Whirlwind of activities

Okay, our computer is finally up and running again. Thanks to Shawn, who is amazing, he disassembled our computer and put in a new hard drive. Yep, he is a Renaissance man who can do it all! So I have lots of updates. Over the last two months we have been to Seattle, Texas twice, St. Joseph Michigan and Utah for Christmas. It has been crazy but our lives are starting to slow down. For those of you that don't know, Shawn accepted a job with American Airlines and we will be moving to Texas when he graduates in April. We are really excited about his job--especially for the flying benefits. He is really excited about the program he will start. He has to first complete his last semester of school, which is pretty crazy because he is taking 18 credits. So that is a quick update on our lives. Hopefully, I will be caught up with blogging and you can see pictures from our trips.