Friday, May 30, 2008

My skills

And I do have some.

My sister-in-law, Chelsea, just did a post about her one skill. She was talking about french braiding hair. I pointed out to her that really she has at least two skills since she also makes beautiful babies. Sometimes I think that's my one skill- beautiful babies. Because, as shown last night, sewing is certainly NOT one of my skills - yet. I tried to make a reversible belt which basically only required sewing two ribbons together and still managed to ruin it. In the picture below you can see where my seam got a little ... shall we say... off. Oh well. I solved the problem by turning it into a non-reversible toddler-sized belt (which you can now buy on Chic Made).
Speaking of Chic Made, I just added a really cool thing - chalkboard napkin rings! Go check them out.

But there's always beading. Although I don't know if that's a skill or just an obsession. This morning Ruthie emerged from her basement bedroom/cave in a beautiful purple shirt. I love to watch what Ruthie is wearing in the mornings because she dresses all chic like I think I used to. You know, back in the day when I went somewhere other than the grocery store or Target and nobody drooled on me or poked me in the back with a macaroni-filled spoon. ... sorry, a little tangent about dinner tonight started there... Anyway. Ruthie looked fab - as always. But it just so happened that the shirt she was wearing was an exact match to some new beads I had just gotten the day before. So I whipped up some matching earrings for her in the time it took her to make a sandwich! I think that's the coolest thing ever to be able to do! I know, I know, you're getting tired of hearing about how fabulous beading is... but I reeeeaaaalllllyyyyy love it!

I'd better make a matching necklace to go with those earrings next!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sewing



My mother is a master seamstress. She can wip up a dress in 5 minutes flat (OK, maybe more like an hour, but the point is, no time at all). She made a me Flower girl dress, a Prom dress, a bridesmaid dress, mission dresses, a temple dress, and my wedding dress. And countless other "no big occassion" dresses. Now she makes dresses for my daughter. She is amazing. She tried really hard to pass that skill on to me. And I tried really hard to make her sorry she even tried. It may be hard to believe, but I was kind of a punk in my youth and gave my parents some trouble.

So I never really learned to sew. But a lot of the lingo and basics rubbed off on me anyway, despite my best efforts to avoid it. Now, in my older and wiser days, I realize what a complete idiot I was. Oh how I wish I were even a moderately talented seamstress. Oh how I wish I had listened to my mother! When she said "some day you'll wish you knew how", she was right!

I have decided to put in the hard work now and learn. My plan is to avoid patterns for a while -they scare me. I'm going to just do some little oh-so-easy projects. Like Grosgrain ribbon belts, placemats turned into purses, and appliqued tees. I might even endeavor to make a pillow case into a skirt for Naomi. Hopefully this will help me be more at ease with a sewing machine and then I can move on to actually following patterns.

So today my Mother-in-law dropped off her sewing machine for me to borrow. I'll use hers for a bit and if I really do pick up sewing as a skill I'll ask for one of my own for Christmas or my birthday or something. I'm excited to get started, but don't actually have any ribbon or fabric to start with! UGH!! Another reason to go to the store - shucks!

So my question to you is...Do you have any other great, easy projects that might be fun for me to start with?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day backyard fun

We had a great Memorial Day. We went back to Great Falls Park in the morning for more exploring, then we played in the backyard in the afternoon. The kids love the new pool. It works so much better this year to have a little pool in the backyard because the kids can flit from pool to swings to slide to pool again with no problems. Last year it was kind of like "you're in the backyard so swim and when you're done we'll go in."

Here's a video of the kids multi-tasking in the backyard:

video

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A trip...

...Down the stairs, unfortunately. Richard and I were heading out the door to go see the new Indiana Jones movie (not at all a disappointment, by the way!) and I was running down the stairs in my new sparkly flip-flops when suddenly my feet were no longer under me. I landed at the bottom with one leg bent behind me and the other straight out in front. All I could do was suck in breath for a minute or so. Then the first thing I did was see if I could get my leg out from behind me. I was so relieved when I could - but then I started stressing about my ankle. I was scared to even try to move it because I was sure it was broken. But, no! It hurts like crazy and it's a smidge swollen, but it's fine! Actually, it's the other side of my body that hurts most today. The side I landed on when sliding down. I am gonna have some lovely bruises tomorrow. And I might not be plopping down on the couch any time soon. But I am so thankful that it wasn't worse. It really is amazing. My leg or ankle totally could have been broken.
Phwew. I think my heart rate goes up just thinking about it.

Great Falls Park

On Saturday we wanted to do something fun, but it couldn't take too long since Richard and Ruthie both had a lot of work to do. So we decided to go on a little hike at Great Falls Park. It's only about 15 minutes from our house and they have beautiful waterfalls. We'd been there before, but not for a while. We thought it would be about a 15 minute walk to the falls.

So off we went. We brought a picnic but decided to eat it when we got back to the car after our hike. Before we'd taken three steps Naomi declared she needed to go to the bathroom so we headed off to find the restrooms. Then something else held us up, then we got a little lost, then we finally hit the trail. And two minutes later we were at the falls. Really. We had apparently parked in a different place and taken a different trail than when we came the first time and the falls were just right there! Bonus! The kids had such a blast climbing on the rocks. I was really surprised how brave Naomi and Asher were and how entertaining the climbing was to them. Isaiah was in a backpack on my back. Ruthie did a great job of being Asher's buddy. It was a wonderful day. Here's the pics to prove it.


Rocks were so fascinating to the kids that our short walk took WAY too long because Asher always had to have his fists full of fresh rocks.

Caterpillars were the other fascination of the day. Here Aunt Ruth has bravely picked one up. Sorry caterpillar -we hope you really were "just taking a nap" when we left you on that rock.

Nobody told me how silly my hat looked!
Here's a shot of Daddy and Asher just seconds before Asher threw his hat over the edge of the cliff. Some raccoon is really enjoying his styling new hat today.


Asher really watched the water for a long time.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Naomi's take on things

Naomi: What's this piece of paper?

Me: A receipt

Naomi: What's a receipt?

Me: A piece of paper the store gives you after you buy something.

Naomi: That's silly! Stores don't have hands! (pause) Mom? What's a receipt really?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

No TV, Sleep

I haven't been very bloggy lately. I guess it's because I spend more of my free-time making jewelry (have I mentioned how much I enjoy doing it?). Anyway - here's a couple of blog posts that have been floating around my head this week:

So, the other day my kids watched way too much TV. And I realized, at the end of the day, that more and more planned TV time had crept into our schedule. So I decided drastic measures were needed. That night I said to the kids "Tomorrow we are not going to watch any TV. We're going to play together instead. Games, coloring, Play-Doh, reading books..." At which point Naomi and Asher both burst into tears. Horrible, painful, sobbing tears. Apparently I had just ripped our their hearts with my hand (we're watching the Indiana Jones trilogy in preparation for seeing the new one). That night I just changed the subject and moved on with life, hoping that it they would be a little more used to the idea by the next morning. Nope. We got up at 6:45 or so because Asher had been awake and screaming/playing/singing in his bed since 6:00. By 8:00 I had given up on the idea of "no TV" because Asher would do nothing but cry and my allotted patience for the day was already gone. So the day changed from "no TV" to "Minimal TV". They watched 1/2 hour in the morning, then Naomi watched one more 1/2 hour while the boys napped and that was all! No TV at all in the afternoon! And it was one of the best days I've had with the kids in a long time. Naomi and I spent a while coloring and cutting paper, I pushed the boys on the swings for longer than usual, I actually held Isaiah while he drank a bottle, we went out to dinner and I enjoyed the company of my kids, Naomi helped me with some of my "chores". It was really an unremarkably fabulous day.

I learned some important lessons and hope to keep some of that "less TV, more interaction with my kids" in the schedule from now on. I'm sure the TV will creep back up on me - but I'll just do a "no TV" day again. That's why blogging is great! Now I'll remember what to do!


~~~~~~~~~~

I don't think I've mentioned that Richard has a herniated disc in his back. So he's been in a lot of pain for the past month or so and has been working hard to take it easy (ironic, no?). He bought a laptop so he can work on the couch, a new work chair, and a new mattress topper to help his back feel better. I was not excited about the new mattress topper. We've had feather bed toppers before (in fact the latest one made it look like a chicken coop in our bedroom because the feathers were everywhere!) and they've been alright - comfy but not really great for the back. So this time Richard decided on memory foam. THICK memory foam. That stuff is weird! When I first climbed into bed I was sure it would be awful. It takes a minute for my body to settle down into it. But I have discovered that I sleep sooooo much better on it. Deeper and better. The kids keep scaring the crud out of me when they come into the room or cry in the night because I am so sound asleep that I start awake. The morning surprises me instead of it being something I am aware is coming. By morning, my body is a part of the bed. We are one. It's cruel to separate us. And while I'm glad that I'm sleeping so soundly - it's weird to be startled by the sun at 7am. But weird in an oh-so-fabulous kind of way.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Speaking of Gabriel

Ruth took me to a performance at the Kennedy Center last night. Free tickets are a fabulous perk from her internship. It was called "El Nino" by John Adams and was performed by the Choral Art Society of Washington. We knew it was pretty modern, which is neither of ours favorites - but since it was supposed to be about the birth of Christ we figured it couldn't be too bad. And overall, it wasn't too bad. It was a mixture of the choir singing, a soprano, mezzo-soprano, baritone, three countertenors, an orchestra, a boys choir, and what they called "pictorials" which was clips on a video screen of some actors, or modern dance, or other video clips. Ruth and I both felt like sometimes the pictorials were distracting from the beauty of the music and tried to block it out. It was all just a little too modern. But the music was very well performed and most of it was very beautiful (really, all of it was beautiful, it just wasn't to my tastes). Anyway - I could go on forever trying to describe the weirdness of it all. The point is there was one part that I really liked.
When John Adams started writing this work what he really wanted to do was write about birth (or so say the Notes on the Program in the Playbill). And this part, that I really related to, was really about pregnancy - not about Christ or Mary at all. It captured some of my feelings on the subject so beautifully, that I knew I would blog about it as soon as I heard it. The poem is called "Se habla de Gabriel" (Speaking of Gabriel) and was originally written in Spanish by Rosario Castellanos. It was sung in the performance, in Spanish, by the soprano and mezzo-soprano. The words are:

Like all guests my son got in the way,
taking up space that was my space,
existing at all the wrong times,
making me divide each bite in two.

Ugly, sick, bored,
I felt him grow at my expense,
steal the color from my blood, add
clandestine weight and volume
to my way of being on the earth.

His body begged for birth, begged me to let
him pass,
allot him his place in the world
and the portion of time he needed for his history.

I agreed. And through the wound of his
departure,
through the hemorrhage of his breaking free,
the last I ever felt of solitude, of myself
looking through a pane of glass, also slipped
away.

I was left open, an offering
to visitations, to the wind, to presence.

I think it captures the pain and misery that I felt so well, and yet still shows that it is a beautiful thing that we women willingly do because we love it, and the fruits of our labors. No, this is not an announcement on my part of any kind - I am not pregnant again. Pregnancy is just never too far from my mind I guess since it has been a big part of my life in recent years, and hopefully will be again for several more years. This poem touched my heart. It almost makes me squirm with desire for a new baby. Almost. But not quite. Yet.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

a bedtime song

Twinkle, twinkle little puppy
how I wonder what you wuppy.
Up above the world so high
like a puppy in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle little puppy,
how I wonder what you wuppy.

Or maybe it's:
Twinkle, twinkle little curtain
how I wonder what you burtain.
Up above the world so high
like a curtain in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle little curtain,
how I wonder what you burtain
.


This is Naomi's new bedtime song preference. She picks a word, then we decide on a rhyme for that word (the rhyme is not usually a real word) and sing the song, fill in the blank style. She laughs through the whole thing. I'm not sure how it started, but it's now a part of our family repertoire. Asher is even learning the words to Twinkle Little Star, but often sticks "puppy" into the song somewhere random (puppy is our favorite word to do). Kids... they're cute.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Accomplishments

Naomi's big accomplishment for the day: Dribbling the ball 7 times in a row.

Asher's big accomplishment for the day: Pushing two "Pop-On's" (blocks that link) together.

Isaiah's big accomplishment for the day: Saying "ma ma ma ma ma ma" as he follows me.

Mom's big accomplishment for the day: Making cookies AND dinner on the same day.

Dad's big accomplishment for the day: Leaving for work early enough to be home early enough to make Mom happy.

We're an accomplished family, what can I say.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

fun with jewelry

I've been having so much fun (not to mention spending so much money) making jewelry lately. I started with earrings, and now that I've got that down a bit, I've moved on to bracelets. I just finally got the needed tools to really do bracelets and necklaces right for Mother's Day. And a friend just gave me some neat beaded bookmarks to sell for her. So have you been over to Chic Made lately? There's lots of neat stuff! I try to add something new every day.

Next on my "wish list" for new projects is hair clips and multi-strand necklaces and bracelets. Oh, and I've been working on perfecting a daisy-chain technique that I hope to make cute baby bracelets with.

I've also had fun making jewelry for loved ones. It's fun to listen to what people want in jewelry and try to translate that into something I can actually make. If you haven't gotten one and you think I love you, that's probably because I don't know what you want! Send me some hints and maybe you'll get a little package in the mail.

I really am enjoying doing this. It's been a while since I found something new to do that I really enjoy. It's refreshing (and did I mention expensive?). It's almost as distracting as a good book or new movie in the middle of the day.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Lessons learned from Mary Poppins


Mary Poppins was on TV this past weekend and I TiVo'd it so Naomi and I could watch it together. She's never seen it before and I was excited to see her reaction to it.

Naomi's comments:

This movie is crazy!

They're singing and dancing!

Why are they all dirty? (in the chimney sweep part)

Wow! Did you see that!

This movie is really silly crazy.

My favorite part is when the horses come apart and go to the race.

That's the song you sing! (Supercalafragilisticexpealidocius - or however the heck you spell that)

She really enjoyed it, but like most kids, she didn't really get what was going on during the bank parts or the adult conversations of the parents.

Mom's take:

Mary Poppins sweeps in and turn their family up-side-down. The parents start out singing about how together they have it, and it takes Mary ruining all that to get the parents attention to turn to their kids. I, of course, liken that to myself. Do I see what my children are trying to say to me? I say "see" because they don't always use words. I think what I learned from this movie is to really watch my children. See them. See their reactions to things, good and bad, and help them learn from that. And to let them "see" my love for them. And to do all that before it takes a nanny floating down on an umbrella to set things straight.

Any other profound lessons to be learned from Mary Poppins?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

OK, OK, so I've been a slacker this past elongated weekend. My mother and my little sister Ruthie arrived at our house on Friday evening after driving up from Texas. Ruthie will be living with us for the summer while she is an intern at the Washington National Opera. Mom came with to help her drive. So we had a fun, family-filled weekend. Saturday we drove to D.C. to check out Ruthie's commute and workplace. She actually works in the Watergate Hotel right next to the Kennedy Center! And her boss is Placido Domingo! She is totally excited (she had her first day yesterday and things went great). For more about Ruthie check out her blog.

Anyway, also on Saturday, we celebrated Isaiah's first birthday. I really can't believe he's 1. He's such a sweet, cuddly boy. He's always smiling and cooing at us. He crawls pretty fast and will crawl right up to you and keep on going crawling up your leg until he's standing in front of you. It's adorable. Unless you walk away after he crawls up your leg. Then he cries because how could you possibly dare to walk away from a cute little guy when he just spent all that time crawling up your leg? We had puppy-dog cupcakes for his birthday cake. Have I mentioned that we call Isaiah "Poochy" these days? Naomi started it because she was pretending that he was her pet dog. She had no idea that pooch is another name for dog - she just picked a couple of syllables to make up a name. But Poochy kind of stuck around. First Naomi got Asher calling him that, then I started and now the whole family calls him Poochy just as often as Isaiah. So, that's why the puppy-dog cupcakes.

Sunday we had a lovely Mother's Day. Richard actually left us around 1:00 to go to his mother's house with his siblings while the kids, my mom, Ruthie and I stayed at our house and had my Aunt Nancy (my mom's sister) and her family over for dinner. It was a lovely dinner enjoyed by all. We ate on paper plates and such so there wasn't much cleaning up. After Nancy and fam left we put the kids to bed. Then Ruthie, Mom and I designed and made some jewelry and listened to Elder Ballard's talk on mothers. Then we watched ER and went to bed. It really was a lovely day.


Yesterday we got to squeeze a little more Grandma-time in for the kids before we took my mom to the airport for her flight home. My kids sure do love her. Naomi loves to have Grandma in her room to have tea parties and play dress up. Asher loves to play blocks and vroom cars. Isaiah loves extra cuddles and to be held while having a bottle.


We will miss Grandma, but we are so excited that Aunt Ruth will be here all summer! Asher took an immediate fancy toward Ruthie. She is the first thing he asks for in the morning. She brings one of those huge smiles to his face every time she walks in the room. I'm sure they'll be very special friends forever after this summer.
And just because...well, I have to, don't I?...here's a progression of photos of Isaiah eating his birthday cupcake.







Thursday, May 8, 2008

Mistakes

Naomi was talking in the back of the van as we drove to Target. I was just barely listening to her constant flow of words and questions. I mostly just said "right." when she said "right, Mommy?" Then I heard her say "Because Grandma is a better Mommy than you." My pride was a little hurt. But I thought for a second and said "yes, Grandma is a better Mommy than me. She has had more practice than me. I'm still learning." We got out of the car and moved on with our busy life.

It was morning. It was time for the boys to take their naps and Naomi to "do her list". I needed to switch the laundry first so I went in to the laundry room. Of course, all three kids followed me. As I put the dark load into the dryer Asher closed the laundry room door. Isaiah was outside and started crying. I told Naomi to open the door. She did. As I put the colored load into the washer I notice that Asher is trying to close the door again. But Isaiah is half way in the door and Asher is squishing him. I react. With anger. I scream and grab Asher. I scoop him up and angrily haul him up the stair and dump him in his crib. That's where he was headed anyway, right? I close the door (just shy of slamming it) on a screaming Asher to rush downstairs to a crying Isaiah. I scoop up Isaiah and cuddle him close. I am sick. Anger is turning my stomach. Slowly it softens to hurt. Hurt for Isaiah who is in pain. Hurt for Asher who is upset and confused. Then if softens even more to regret. I reacted very badly. I set down Isaiah, ask Naomi to play with him, and go upstairs to Asher. I owe him an apology - but how do you apologize to a 2 year old? I bring his favorite book into his room and offer to read it to him if he will sit down in his crib. He stands in the corner of the crib looking away from me as he tries to control his hysterics. How did he learn such "manly" coping skills? Finally I decide he will not calm down inside his crib so I give in and take him out. We sit on the floor and read the book. Twice. Then we build a tower with blocks. Then I tell him it's time to go to bed and he walks toward his crib. He goes in OK, but then bursts into tears again. I try leaving him alone for a while.
No morning naptime today. Which translates to no shower for Mom. Which translates to yuck.

Mothers instinctively protect their babies. So what are your instincts when one baby is hurting the other?

I am still learning. I am so sorry for my anger. I pray that I will learn from this and be able to react without anger next time. I pray that I can get over my instincts and be a calm, cool Mom. I pray for forgiveness. I cry.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Revelation!

The eternal question, ever since I started this blog, has been "Is there a way to print it out into a more scrapbooky format and save all this hard work and journal entries?" And today I found the answer! Check out Blurb! For a very cool video of how it works and how, apparently, easy it go here. I hope this really is as easy as it seems. I think I'll probably wait about a month to try it since I am coming up on my one-year anniversary of blogging. I think it would be nice to have one year per book (if it'll all fit, I guess).

Anyone have any experience with this?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

My assistant gardners

We're going to have a beautiful backyard and a weedy front yard this year because it's easy for me to garden in the backyard now with the kids playing around me. Below you can see my assistant, Mr. Dirteater.

I think we need a close-up of that face.
And my assistant Mr. Swinglover.
And my third assistant, Miss Wormholder. (note the tiny green inchworm on the yellow boat)

A pile of...

A pile of kids before Dad leaves for work.

Monday, May 5, 2008

I love

I love that Naomi still says "refrigalater".

I love walking into my boys' room in the morning and seeing them each standing up in their cribs, facing each other from across the room, bouncing up and down and laughing at private, unspoken jokes.

I love that the previous one means that Isaiah is sleeping in his crib all night long again.

I love when Richard walks in the front door at the end of a work day and the kids all scream and run to him full force.

I love the fence in my backyard.

I love that Naomi still says "back-e-yard".

I love the "smack...smack" of Isaiah's palms as he crawls across the kitchen floor.

I love Asher's oh-so-expressive face.

I love looking into Asher's eyes as I leave the room at the beginning of naptime and seeing happy contentment and gratitude.

I love when Isaiah says "humh?" with the perfect inflection as if he's saying "what did you say?"

I love Asher's newly acquired and frequently used evil-genius laugh.

I love naptime for the kids.

I love when Naomi is so into her pretend play that she speaks in a different voice and uses words that she doesn't understand in the wrong way.

I love a day that passes quickly because of all the fun.

I love Isaiah's sweet, clingy hugs.

I love Asher's passionate, violent hugs.

I love Naomi's gentle, hardly touching hugs.

I love Richard's make-it-all-better, tension-releasing hugs.

I love my family.

I love my life.

What do you love?

Friday, May 2, 2008

A Hypothetical Day Off

What would you do if you had a day off? A day off from motherhood, or fatherhood as the case may be, and all other responsibilities? A day when you needed to leave the house in the morning and not come back until the evening, but that was all the "needed to's" that you had. (Your spouse has the kids, so you're not spending this time with him/her.) The rest of the day was all yours to ... what? What would you do? I'm not talking total fantasy. Like, no "I'd fly to Figi and lay on the beach" answers. Where would you go? Where would you eat? Would you call a friend or two, or spend the day alone?

For me, this situation is not hypothetical! I get Saturday "off". I was invited to my Aunt Nancy's fancy 50th birthday party mid-afternoon about 45 minutes away. That'll take a significant chunk out of the afternoon, but I am so excited about it. And since I was already going to be gone for all of the kids' playtime I asked Richard if it would be alright if I added a few extra hours on in the morning. Then, as I thought about it, I thought "what if I didn't really come right back home, either?" And before you know it - I'm going to be gone all day! What a wonderful husband I've got to let me do this.

So I think I'll start the day off with a shower where I don't have to worry that some kid is screaming. Then it's breakfast at Panera. Then a little shopping until it's time to go to the birthday party. After the party I'll hit a bead store that would normally be too far away (and no way would I dare go in there with the kids). Then I'm trying to work out seeing a movie with some girlfriends (but for some reason a lot of them are saying they're busy!). If that doesn't work out I'll probably see the movie by myself. Then maybe a pedicure and some more shopping. And I'll need to find somewhere to eat, but I think I'll leave that part of the day open for whatever strikes my fancy. Oh, and did I mention that I'll be listening to my favorite CD's in the car (there's a lot of driving planned into this day) and singing along at the top of my very off tune voice. So that's my plan. Man, I'm a lucky girl.

So, what would you do?

~~~~~
Oh, and Isaiah slept through the night last night! Hooray!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The end of squishyness?

I made an alarming discovery this morning. Asher is not all that squishy anymore! His hugs are more boneyness than squishyness. When did that happen? Where is my squishy little boy? Below is a photo of Asher and Naomi less than a year ago. Look at all that squishyness! Those cheeks! Those arms! I love that squishy little boy.


And below is Asher as of this morning. Look at those cheeks! A little squish left there, but not much. And those arms and legs! So thin! And his neck, too. He doesn't look like a baby anymore. He really is growing up, dag nab it! I love that skinny little boy, too. But I miss the squishy hugs.

But don't worry. There is still plenty of squishyness in this house. Isaiah is now the sole provider of squishy hugs around here. Just look at those cheeks. And those fingers! He's still got plenty to go around. But how long will it last?

And, just because I took a picture of the boys, I had to include one of Naomi. She doesn't have much squish left either. But she sure is beautiful. (and yes, that is plain Cheerios in the bowl and water in the cup - that's what she wanted)


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Oh, and an update on the Isaiah sleeping situation. The first night was pretty awful with 40 minutes of crying at bedtime and two mid-night session of 20 minute crying. But then last night there was only 5 minutes of crying at bedtime and one mid-night session of 10 minute crying. So maybe there is hope. I've been taking the approach of letting him cry it out, but not alone. I go in for just a minute to soothe him then increase the increment of time between my visits whether he is crying or not (go in after 1 minute, soothe him, then go in after 2 more minutes, soothe him, then go in after more 5 minutes, soothe him, then go in after 10 more minutes, etc.). I think it is working. A couple more nights will tell I guess. Thank you all for your advice. It's true that there are many styles of parenting and most are not right or wrong.