Dreaming of Sleep

We survived night number one of the "crying it out method". Murray woke at 4:00am like clockwork. His cries started out as whines, which soon turned to sobbing, but Craig and I shut our door, put pillows over our heads and ignored him. An excruciating hour and a half later, Murray had fallen asleep and slept peacefully until 7:30 this morning. I couldn't help but feel a sense of pride - tonight should be a bit shorter stint, and the next night even shorter, and so on. We can only hope. It's so sad though; his cries are hard on the heart. We look forward to a happy ending.

I'm home today with Murray, as our daycare is closed this week so "Linny" could have a vacation. I am so excited to have a mama and Murray day. We'll go play with the twins this afternoon and then I'm off to a benefit meeting this evening.

Please keep Flynn and her family in your thoughts and prayers as she continues her journey of rehabilitation and recovery.

Breaking Up is Hard To Do (with the pacifier that is)

It's going to be a rough week. Craig took Murray to our pediatrician today (we love him) to find out if Murray's sleep difficulties are due to a medical condition . He checks out beautifully - no ear infection, cold, or head trauma from his recent fall. Turns out the problem is behavioral. Even though we have been letting him cry it out, we weren't going about it quite right. Dr. G. said that by no means do we set foot in his bedroom the first few nights. If this doesn't work, he gave us a few more options to try. Either way, we're purchasing ear plugs (an idea my therapist gave me yesterday). Hopefully, he'll find a way to soothe himself soon. Dr. G. reassured us that all four of his children did the exact same thing when it was time to say goodbye to the pacifier (which we did about a month ago).

Anyway, things are looking up. We're busy, busy, busy, but having daycare closed this week allows us to get some neglected housework up to date. I let things slide when Craig was away last week, and then slide even more what with state softball all weekend. It feels good to catch up.

We're almost to Wednesday already!

Wild Weekend

We had a very busy weekend and are feeling the effects today. It was fun, but chock full of activity. Murray is still waking up anywhere between 3 and 4 am and generally not going back to sleep. I have a call in to the pediatrician. At this point, I'm thinking maybe the problem is medical and not behavioral. We've tried every technique out there to get him back to bed, to no avail. We aren't letting him get away with anything either - we've always pretty strict about bedtime and crib sleeping. Anyway, Craig and I are at our wits' end. I'm hoping to find a solution soon. The strangest part? He's happy as a clam and sticks to his normal nap and bedtime schedule. I'm completely baffled.

Murray thought that having the dogs in bed was super funny:

Have a great week!

Marie's Mission

I know that I just posted on this subject yesterday, but felt I needed to reiterate. Anyone who follows my blog knows that my cousin, Flynn Murray was in a serious car accident in March. She arrived in Moorhead last week after a lengthy stay at Craig Hospital in Denver. We are having a benefit and silent auction on September 20 at the Moorhead American Legion from 4-8pm. My mission is to collect as many donations as possible for her cause. Her parent's home has been modified to suit Flynn's needs, and there are many travel, medical, and various other expenses that are not covered by insurance. If there is anyone out there who is willing to donate or volunteer, the Murray family would be honored. For more information, please contact me via my blog, or at beckerleg@hotmail.com

Flynn is a woman of great strength and tenacity, and if you know her, you are lucky indeed. She is loved by many, and your support is greatly appreciated. Thank you!
I am off to bed soon, but I wanted to share a few things first. I would have posted sooner, however, I finally have Murray in bed (and sleeping).

Last night, I attended a meeting for Flynn's benefit. I was bowled over by the amount of work co-workers, friends and family who are contributing. I am currently seeking anyone who can donate something for the silent auction or raffle. The benefit will be held on September 20 from 4-8pm. For security, I won't disclose the location, but please contact me if you would like to attend or donate.

Another horrendous bedtime. I know it's molars and one eye tooth, but this is so sad for Murray. He can't sleep through the night and we are up with him every hour after about 3am. If any of you can't sleep, call me, we'll catch up because no doubt I will be awake anyway!

I'm off to bed now. Yawn. . .God bless.

Addendum to "Let's Talk Seriously"

A couple of more things to preach: if you need to sneeze or cough, use your sleeve. Also, if you use a Kleenex to blow your nose, wash your hands immediately after. None of us want to get sick, so if we try to make these ideas a habit, we can avoid the spread of very serious disease.

On that note, I promise to post something a bit more positive tomorrow. I am not a health care expert by any means, but I have done the research. I will stop sounding like a know it all and hope that my point gets across.

Stay tuned. . .

Let's Talk Seriously (and please,wash your hands)

Before we even thought or knew about H1N1, we were aware that we needed to stop spreading germs. Now that things have become more serious than ever, we MUST take every precaution. I've preached about this before, but I have two issues that need to be taken vitally:

1. Washing hands. Yes, I know this is common knowledge, but many people don't understand proper hand washing technique. One of my very close friends is a health inspector. The rules are to scrub VIGOROUSLY; underneath nails and jewlery (especially rings), on top and bottom of hands, between fingers and up to the elbows (pretend you are a surgeon). Then completely dry and use a paper towel to touch the faucet, door knob, etc. on your way out of whereever you washed.

Bring on issue number 2: IF YOU ARE SICK, DO NOT GO TO WORK, DO NOT GO ANYWHERE! For crying out loud, stay home, rest and heal, and then disinfect your home, and again, DO NOT COME TO WORK! I know the guilty feeling about not reporting to your job, but really, our safety is at risk. My co-w0rker decided she should come t0 the office on Monday (she's famous for coming to work hacking, sneezing,etc) and I explained to her that the next time she shows up at work ill, I will go home.

Another easy idea is to always keep antibacterial lotion in your purse, car, and home. It's not always the best source, but will make a big difference.

I realize that this is a crabby post, but health is so important to me. Please help stop the germs.
On that note, I do hope you all remain healthy. More to come. . .

Lazy Days

Relaxation was the name of the game this weekend. We decided to stay home, which is rare on weekends in the summer. We missed the lake,but it was fun to enjoy our home.
Thursday evening was the highlight of our week. Flynn arrived in Moorhead, just released from Craig hospital. She will continue physical therapy in Moorhead, and eventually, I do believe she will move back to Bozeman to finish her degree. We are SO unbelievably proud of her and are thrilled to have her just across town again.

On that note, on Sunday, September 20, there will be a supper and silent auction for Flynn. The benefit will be held at the Moorhead American Legion from 4pm-8pm. The goal is to show support for Flynn and her family, as well as to raise funds to help cover not only medical expenses, but the cost of modifying their home to suit Flynn's needs. I am asking for everyone to join us, as well as donate any silent auction items you can contribute. All will be extremely appreciated by the Murray family and extended relatives, friends and those who care about Flynn. There is also a fund set up at State Bank and Trust for Flynn Murray. Not only will you help a wonderful person and family, you will have a blast at the benefit! We Murray's are pretty fun people.

Yesterday we attended a birthday party for our good friend, Kristine. We had a fantastic time. We were so happy to share her special occasion!
We attended Mass this morning, and were informed by Msgr. Mike Foltz that his mother has a terminal disease. Our hearts and prayers are with his mother and family. God speed.

Murray fell asleep in his highchair today. This is the first time in his 22 months of life that he has chosen sleep over food. He refused to get out of his chair for his crib, and wouldn't let pooh bear or his blanket go anywhere. So we left him until he was completely out and then moved him. I'm sure most parents have a picture like this of their own children, but I couldn't help but share ours.

The "Eye" of the Tiger

They've finally popped. Murray's eye teeth, that is. Unless my memory fails me, I am pretty sure this was the worst teething experience since the first tooth. He's been as cranky a tiger with a thorn in his paw for several weeks, not to mention the fact that we haven't slept through the night in quite some time. When I picked Murray up from daycare yesterday, Linsay informed me that the first one was through, and the second one was almost there. This morning I checked his mouth again, and sure enough, there was eye tooth number 2. The best news of all is that he slept until 7:15 this morning - no midnight interruptions. He is also a much happier little boy, which makes for much happier parents.

Seems as though summer has arrived. That's the good news. The bad news is that the weekend is supposed to be humid and stormy. I suppose it's best not to complain and enjoy the beautiful weather while it lasts.

Musical Mornings

Murray went to bed last night like an angel. This is the first peaceful bedtime we've experienced since we took his pacifier away - almost 2 weeks ago. Serenity finally reigned again. . . or so I thought. Murray woke up at 3:30am, and instead of going back to sleep, decided it was morning. First, we let him cry it out. He has learned how to jump up and down in his crib, and in the process of his tantrum, hit his chin on the railing. Thirty excruciating minutes and a bloody lip later, I went into his room and attempted to settle him down by sitting on the floor next to him( Craig needed to be up at 4:30am for work, so I wanted him to get every extra minute of sleep he could). My attempts at getting the stubborn child back to sleep failed miserably. Nothing worked; singing, holding his hand, rubbing his back, ignoring him, or even reprimanding him. I finally gave up at 5:00am and trudged to the living room, where Murray merrily played with toys and watched "Diego" while I fought with every ounce of my being to stay awake. At one point, I dozed off. I can't tell you how long I was out, but I can tell you that I woke thinking I was at a concert. "Amarillo By Morning" by George Strait was blasting out of the stereo. I bolted upright - startled - and the sight I saw almost brought me to tears (at the time they were tears of frustration, but looking back, the whole incident is hysterical). Murray was dancing like a crazy fool all over the living room. Arms flailing, jumping around, turning in circles - the whole bit. The dogs were staring at him as if he were an alien, and the cat was hiding in the china hutch. Murray was oblivious to everything except the joy of dancing to the musical magic that is George. So even though I'm sleep deprived again, I have another happy memory stored in my heart. However, we won't be converting his crib to a toddler bed anytime soon. I like the fact that he can't get out of bed on his own. . . yet.

A ZOOper Weekend

We had the best weekend. Craig has been talking about visiting the Dakota Zoo in Bismarck since before we got married (not an exaggeration). Bright and early on Saturday morning, we packed up and headed west. Murray slept most of the way so he was in great spirits when we arrived. The weather was cool and rainy, which was perfect for zoo day. It wasn't very busy, and the cooler temps bring the animals out and they are super playful. We had an absolute blast. Murray LOVED feeding the mischievous goats, the noisy donkey (who brayed quite loudly anytime someone put money into the corn machine), the enormous Clydesdale horses, and my personal favorite, a beautiful family of white tail deer (probably because it brings back warm fuzzy childhood memories). I could have climbed right in the pen with the deer. The buck still had velvet on his antlers, the fawns still had their spots and were nursing, and the brown-eyed doe look wiped out (can't blame her, I can relate). After the zoo and lunch, we went to our hotel for swimming and resting. As usual, Murray didn't want to get out of the water.

On the way home, we stopped in Valley City to visit some good friends. Thanks for your hospitality, B & C! We loved seeing you (and Lily, Izzy, and Monster too).

We polished off the weekend with a backyard barbecue at Craig's brother's home. The boys had a terrific time playing in the pool and only had a few minor tussles. We adults always enjoy good conversation, so it was the perfect end to a perfect weekend. If you turn the sound up on the clip below, you'll hear that all four adults are laughing at the boys. Might as well let them fight it out, right?

Goodbye, Nuk, Goodbye Sleep

It's day five. Day five, you ask? Day five of Murray sans pacifier. It has been a very long five days. It takes us 45 minutes to put him to bed, and to top that off, he's awake at 5:30am. On the bright side of things, he doesn't wake up in the middle of the night several times due to loss of his pacifier. However, DH and I are exhausted. We'll get through this, I am sure, but life in our household is a bit less peaceful lately. Even the dogs are affected. Rudy groans quite loudly when Murray's cries (screams) wake him, and Nala won't leave my side. The latter means that whenever I need to sleep on the floor in Murray's room, she's right by my side. Don't get me wrong - I love that she feels the need to be with me. The problem is, Murray begins to bark at all hours of the night. Woof, woof. If the cat walks in, it starts all over again, this time with Murray's version of meow.

I had the best day today. My friend Roxane and I were FINALLY able to meet again. We had a fantastic lunch at Toscana - I only wish we could have had more time. However, I'm grateful for the time we had. Thanks, Rox! I wish you well next week!

Summer Pictures

In no particular order, below are some pictures from our summer. . . My mother-in-law and I agree. The sunsets in Minnesota are definitely more beautiful than in Hawaii.

Grandma Kate created a monster when she let Murray "drive" the boat earlier this summer. He takes his Jr. Captain duties very seriously.

We were freezing, but the weather didn't stop our fun! I think Maggie should be the next Bud Light spokesperson. We have quite a few pictures just like this one!

Rudy having a rest after pulling half of the rocks in the lake out. He had been at it all morning, and at last count, he had a pile on the lawn that was over 50!

Nala waiting for someone (anyone, please) to throw her ball in the lake.

Owen and Murray in the tub at Aunt Amy and Uncle Todd's. Could have been a dangerous situation, but both mommies and aunt Amy were watching closely.

Murray playing in the lake. For some reason, I can't get the picture to rotate.

Grandpa Doug and Murray bonding.

We've had an incredibly busy, but super fun summer. We still have a few precious "golden days" of summer before winter arrives (I'm skipping autumn, we're already in it). Let's hope the weather cooperates! This weekend we are heading west for a mini-vacation. We hope to visit my dad (pictured above), hit the Dakota Zoo and Sertoma Park and swim in the hotel pool. We'll be back at the lake next weekend.
Last, but not least, I want to congratulate my good friend Ryan on her recent engagement to Coach Bohl. I am so happy for you and can't wait to hear the details next week!