Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dale Deloy Dodge -- In Memorium

Jason's grandfather passed away Thursday January 15th. He was 79 years old and just shy of his 60 year anniversary to his wife, Catherine Mae "Pat" Dodge.

We spent a few days with Jason's family remembering Jason's grandfather, and for me, learning about his life, which was well lived. He was born in 1929 and raised in Ogden, Utah. His mother passed away when he was 11, and he spent time in foster care and living with other relatives. At 15 1/2, he enlisted in the marines (at a time when they didn't verify your age, possibly because of the great need for young men to fight the war). When he returned home, he enrolled at Weber State College and earned a 2 year degree to become an iron worker. He traveled throughout Utah working on various construction projects. He took the family with him on many of these jobs, and they lived in such places as Vernal and Tremonton, eventually settling back in Ogden. Jason's grandmother stayed in their Ogden home to raise her three children while Dale continued to travel for work and for adventure.

In way of adventure, Dale enjoyed riding rodeo--Aren't these great photos!? (presuming I've worked out technical difficulties, if not, they'll show up here eventually) Dale competed in rodeos around the intermountain area. He was also an amateur boxer.

As an iron worker, he continued to travel the state. The family wasn't wealthy, and Dale often found accommodations on park benches or other less inviting places. With the help of his sons, Dale installed the steeple on the Ogden Temple--he signed the interior.

Dale also found time to support the cause of the laborer. Some photos turned up of Dale protesting agricultural conditions with Caesar Chavez. (This is really great stuff that no one has talked about before.)

In 1991, Dale suffered a stroke which left him mostly paralyzed and without speech. At the time, the doctors didn't think he would survive. His family says he was too tough and mean for death to take him at that time. Despite his disability and the pain he suffered, he remained cheerful (possibly more so than before). Every visit with Dale included a "hand shake" during which he would attempt (and succeed) to squeeze the life out of your fingers. After 17 years and a series of illnesses, Dale finally succumbed. He will be missed.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

For those of you who need hope.

Quick update on the sleeping arrangements. We are now 10 nights into the new arrangements. For nights 2-4, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. He woke several times a night, and Jason and I took turns squeezing into his bed, or sleeping on the floor in the pile of blankets meant to catch him should he fall.
Now, Jackson may get up and whine, but once I disappear from sight, he goes back to bed, and tucks himself in. Sometimes, like tonight, he stays in bed when I get up (takes a few bits of his blanket, "numm, numm") and goes to sleep.
He wakes 1-2 times each night. I walk down the hall, pick him up, squeeze him a bit, and tuck him back in bed...Where he stays!!!

So, we are a happy sleeping family.

And those of you who are in the throws of night time nightmares..well, if Jackson can adjust, anybaby can.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Never too young for the M pillows!

Sleep Training? Torture? Pick your term.

I know I owe the blog a lot of love after an apparent 3 month hiatus, and I'm overdue with my holiday reports. But for now, lets start with the present.

Over the holidays, we made the decision to buckle in and move Jack from his current sleeping place (8pm-3am in the pack-n-play, 3am-7am in our bed. I gave up on leaving him in his bed all night when he started climbing out in the middle of the night.) So, Sunday, we solicited Jack's help to take apart the crib in his room and turn it into his big boy bed, with a thick layer of blankets on the floor to cushion any potential falls. He was enthusiastic. At night, he was enthusiastic to climb in for story time. At 8 O'clock, he fell asleep suckling. I took photos to document what I expected would be an all too short victory.
Sometime in the wee hours, I woke and walked down the hall to see my husband snuggled up with my boy on the 2 foot wide mattress. I don't know how I slept through the tempest.
Last night, we got off to a much rougher start. Jackson was agreeable about getting ready for bed in his new room. But he didn't take the easy road to sleep. Instead, I left an awake baby. I spent the next 1/2 hour listening to bloodcurdling sceams. I talked myself down from reassuring him, since I've found it just encourages the screams. He finally quieted down. When I went to check, he had climbed back into bed and snuggled up for the night. That lasted until midnight. I joined him in the bed at first, and then on the floor. When I first came in, he tried to shove me out of the room, finally agreeing I could stay. It took along time for sleep to overcome his rage.
The novelty has clearly worn off. Tonight, the resistance started the minute I indicated we were headed toward his room. We fought through the diaper change, pajama cladding, and storytime. The actual bedtime was a bit better. He carried on until I was out of sight,then settled down for bed. Here's hoping he sleeps for a solid block of time tonight..

My child is an absolute joy during the daylight hours. At sunset Mr. Hyde comes out. That's why its taken so long to make the move (plus we're social creatures, and I enjoy sleeping with the little monkey). Here's hoping he takes to the new arrangements soon.

In case you're wondering, its a tossup whether the crib mattress or the floor is less comfortable.