cry it out, diet update, and prayers

Well, we are finally settled into our new house, and so we figured it was time to get serious about Lydia’s schedule. Her sleep routine was out of hand. Abe had started to joke that soon she’d require him to rub his tummy and pat his head while singing Old MacDonald Had a Farm in order for her to sleep. As it was, he had to hold her while hopping up and down on one foot and leaning at just the right angle, or else she absolutely refused to fall asleep. When I put her down, I often had to spend about an hour feeding, swaddling, changing, reswaddling, refeeding, and rechanging…and then I’d jiggle her all the way to her crib and put her down about six times before she’s actually go to sleep. I was actually starting to develop back pain from the hour long process.

When we explained our routine to the pediatrician, she scared us witless by saying that she’d met three year olds who still require their parents to do similar routines and hold them until they fall asleep. She suggested we let Lydia cry it out so that Lydia could learn to self soothe.

And that is what we’ve been doing for the past couple days…and it’s working! At first it was brutal to hear her cry for so long, but every time we put her down now, she cries less and less. Last night she cried for a total of FIVE short minutes, and then she slept so long I started to worry. When I realized she’d been sleeping for nine hours, I went into her room to make sure she was still alive. Lo and behold, not only was she still alive, but she was awake and playing by herself with her little pink monkey. I could not believe my eyes! Up to this point, Lydia has needed constant and direct adult stimulation every waking minute of her life, but there she was–happily playing away with Minkey (her monkey)! Wow, wow, WOW. Abe and I are thrilled.

Here’s what I’m not thrilled about. I have been enduring painful exercise sessions five days a week for over a month and I can’t remember the last time I ate anything sugary…and I still weigh the same as I did in APRIL! Can you believe it? I even checked out The Idiot’s Guide to Weight Loss to see what I’m doing wrong. That book says to throw out the scale and judge yourself on how clothes fit, but as far as I can tell, I can’t fit into any of my old clothes. I suppose there is a possibility some fat is turning to muscle since some people (namely, my mom and Abe) keep telling me I look like I’m losing weight, but at some point, doesn’t the number on the scale have to go down?? It’s so sad. I have had more than one dream about all of the desserts I’ve passed up, and I always wake up from those dreams hungry and grumpy.

Oh well. The real purpose of this whole program is so that I’m healthy for baby #2, and I really do feel a lot more energy and health. So that’s good. When I get pregnant again, I am going to try to continue avoiding sugar and exercising five days a week, and maybe–just maybe!–I won’t gain another 70 lbs. But to end on a positive note, I have really enjoyed not being alone in this post-baby weight loss journey. My friend Ashley and I have been emailing each other about our goals and praying for each other, and that has been immensely helpful. There have been days when I would not have reached my goals if it weren’t for her support. One day I got up and really did not want to run at all, but I thought of her and felt like I’d be disappointed if she didn’t reach her goals that day–so I didn’t want to let her down, either! I spent my whole run praying for us both, and we both ran longer than we thought we could that day. God really does answer prayers.

Oh, and that reminds me! One more happy thing. I have really felt God answering my prayers when I pray to know how to mother Lydia. I’m not sure where my journal is, so even though this is normally material for my journal, I think I’ll blog it before I forget that it happened. When we were in Moab at the hotel (before we started cry it out), I felt at a total loss for how to get Lydia to take her nap. I knew she was tired, but we were in a new place with a different bassinet, and I just felt extremely daunted by the prospect of putting her down. So I said a prayer that God would show me how to put her down, and right away thoughts came into my head about what to do next. I started to do things I don’t normally do, but I just kept following the impressions I was getting. The whole time I kept thinking “There’s no way this is going to work,” but I followed the Spirit anyway–and fifteen minutes later, Lydia was sound asleep. It was a miracle. That’s not the only time something like that has happened, but since it was the most recent event, I figured I should record it before I forgot.

Sorry for the epic blog post! Now I need to go and find my journal…

A visit from Thalia

What a wonderful week! One of my dearest, bestest friends (and former mission companion!) was visiting from her home in South Africa, and I enjoyed every minute of her visit. Highlights included a little mini mini mini mission reunion (in her honor) on Wednesday and a trip to Moab that lasted from Thursday night until today (Saturday). She and Jere (Abe’s brother) biked Slickrock (, we all took Lydia for her first swim in a pool (she was nonplussed by the experience, but I was just happy she wasn’t crying), and we hiked to Landscape Arch in Arches National Park. What a fun, fun trip! We also ate a lot of good food, and that made me quite happy as well.

But you’ll be happy to know I

a walk on the sidewalk

A confession: Because I accidentally packed most of Lydia’s stuff in the moving boxes, up until yesterday, Lydia had one toy. Every time my mom came over to babysit, she would ask plaintively if Lydia had any toys, and every time I’d present her the same circle of colored teething rings that served as Lydia’s solitary plaything. It was sad. Lydia idled away her life taking tours of house plants, practicing the piano (while I gently corrected her technique), reading (the same three) books, watching me eat, and enduring my crazy attempts to make her smile and laugh. Poor thing.

And then we decided to accompany Abe on some of his work trips. These have changed my perspective on toys. Try spending 12 hours in a hotel room with a five month old, and you’ll decide that toys–LOTS of toys–are basic necessities. After Abe returned to the room yesterday, we high tailed it to the nearest Babies R Us and stocked up on toys. We took turns thrusting different gadgets into Lydia’s hands to see which ones seemed most stimulating. Since she has been so toy deprived, our sweet baby kept trying to stuff each candidate into her mouth…she couldn’t fathom that there are other things to do with toys besides eating them. I felt so bad.

So today we have tried to make up for Lydia’s lack of sensory stimulation by playing up a storm. She got to the point where she just cried when I put another new toy in her hands. I think she might be feeling a little overwhelmed.

To break up our twelve hour day, I took Lydia on a walk. We are currently situated at a Marriot in the middle of a corporate desert; there’s nothing around but business buildings, hotels and a couple restaurants. They do, however, have a lovely sidewalk that no one uses. It goes for miles besides the major roads running through these strips of buildings. I decided that our first stop would be the Marriot across the street. I wanted to find out why they are more expensive than the Marriot we are staying at, so Lydia and I started our leisurely walk by off-roading onto the hotel lawn and making our way to the front desk.

I explained my question to the lovely hotel receptionist, and without batting an eyelash the woman told me the difference lay in the color scheme and flow of the rooms. I must have raised an eyebrow because then she offered to show me a room. I was delighted by her invitation, but my happy spirits sank when the lady asked how old Lydia was and then told me she also had a five month old. I looked at her fat-less figure and felt immediately depressed. And then she proceeded to tell me that her son’s favorite colors are yellow and red.

Favorite colors? Lydia doesn’t even appear to recognize differences between colors, and she certainly doesn’t have favorites. “It’s her lack of stimulation,” I thought, sadly. “She hasn’t had enough toy-time, and she’s developmentally delayed because of it. And it’s all my fault!!!”

On top of that, I couldn’t really tell a difference between that Marriot’s rooms and ours. The colors were more blue, as I remarked to the receptionist. “Yes,” she said, smilingly, “It’s those little details that make a difference.” Uh huh…

So we continued on our merry way. The sidewalk was really well manicured and maintained, but there was hardly any tree cover. That’s a problem when it’s the beginning of August and the heat is beating down, so I scanned the buildings to see if there was anywhere Lydia and I could duck in for some heat relief.

Out of nowhere appeared a store that advertised “Fine Country Furnishings.” “Good enough,” I thought, and veered right towards the store entrance. As soon as I stepped inside, I felt as though I’d been transported to autumn in 19th century New England. The whole store was scented with spiced candles and filled to the brim with folksy knick knacks and old fashioned furniture. It was delightful. I even found some house scents labeled “antique porch” and “log cabin.” But my absolute favorite part of the store were the cutesy signs with the word “Simplify” hung right above the piles of folksy Americana kitsch. Love it!

There were some signs, though, that had heart stopping grammatical errors: “Sister’s are the best” and “Friend’s are the best” stopped me in my tracks. Really?? But the store was so quaint and cute and sweet that I immediately forgave the sign makers. They were probably too busy thinking sweet thoughts to pay attention to grammar.

Back in the sunshine, Lydia woke up and started screaming bloody murder. At that point, I decided it would be prudent to begin the mile long trek back to our hotel.

And now here we are. Just a couple more hours before Abe comes home for a little dinner break before heading out to work again. (Did I mention he works a lot?) But Lydia is sleeping peacefully and Blogger appears to be working again, so I am happy. I even like this room’s color scheme better than the other Marriot, so right now life feels pretty great!

picture update

Blogger has gone beserk. Sorry for the poor formatting, the underlining and also the lack of captions. This sorry looking post has taken me hours spread over the course of multiple days…I am seriously considering starting a new blog that’s not a Blogger blog. Anyway, the following pictures are of the following:

1) Clark at the Miners’ birthday bash. With one exception, this was the first time we’d celebrated his birthday since before middle school. He looks pretty happy. (My mom, Clark and I each got our own cake!!! It was rather amazing.)

2) Lydia found her foot!

3) Lydia and I enjoy a cuddle after our morning hike in Arches National Park. One of the perks of Abe’s new job is that one of his accounts is a mine near Moab, so if Lydia and I go with him we can have fun at Arches!

4) Grams with Lydia. Lydia is in her party dress. Whenever we put it on her, she wiggles and grins in delight.

5) Abe, Lydia and I posing for a picture in front of an Arch. We didn’t realize the hike was going to get slightly tricky…as you can see, I am wearing a skirt and flip flops!

6) This past Saturday we celebrated Jere’s birthday by driving to Cascade Springs and taking a little hike. It was so fun and pretty! David was there, but he’s not in the picture because he’s busy taking it. =)