Friday, March 2, 2018

Family Friday: The Trampoline Relocation Program


This year February went out like a lion for us. I suppose it was shielding March, who usually gets blamed for that kind of weather. Last week, there was a particularly windy day. Nutmeg was barking all day long so I didn't pay her much attention. After I clocked out I was standing on the porch, talking on the phone and watching Nutmeg sniff a tarp that had been laying on our trampoline. About five minutes later I thought, did that fall off the trampoline? and then I thought, hey, where is the trampoline? 


We had two heavy duty anchors on that thing. The anchors were still securely in the ground. The straps were not attached though. I didn't even bother looking around wondering where it went. There is almost always a Northeastern wind blowing across our farm, and since we put the trampoline together we made jokes that one day we would just come home and the trampoline would be down the hill in the creek. We were right. Jamie and I followed the path the trampoline had taken down the hill and were able to find all seventy-two springs along the way. That's a good thing. You wouldn't want to hit those with a bush hog. 


Apparently the wind did not read the warning label. It says right on it, "Trampoline is not designed to be moved." In other news we have some trampoline parts for sale, if anyone is interested. 


Thursday, March 1, 2018

Farm Thursday: Signs of Early Spring on The Farm


Spring has come early on the farm. We are already seeing the yellow and white blooms of flowers and trees. We've been walking around and making plans on where everything will be planted in the next few months. This is still the fun stage. We look forward to it now even though by August we will be fighting over who has to do which outdoor chores. But we won't worry about that yet, Spring is a season of looking forward to the growing season. Abby kitty is looking forward in the picture above. Okay, she's probably looking forward to the bird chasing. I don't like it, but she is a wild animal who lives with us. 


I know I'm looking forward to blackberry season. this is a picture of a bird nest in one of our blackberry bushes. Every time we picked off this bush there was a strange hissing/clicking. We couldn't tell who was making it but we knew it was a warning to back off. Now we know why. I'm glad it wasn't the three foot cicada I was picturing in my mind. 



This picture was taken last week and today the blooms are so thick you can barely see through the tree at all. 



And then the sad picture. If you haven't heard the story, our very first round of trees all perished to the hands of unseasonably warm fall weather and a drought in 2016. The following spring we planted 500 more and at least 400 of those are still alive. The ones in the picture were planted fall of 2017. They were pretty and green until that week of ten degree temperatures in January. We're hoping a few of these will make it, but it's not looking good. From the stories we've heard from other farmers, it seems this is just something a lot of us go through and it's not uncommon to lose most or all of your trees the first few tries. And if Jamie and I are anything we are go getters, to the extent that we are naive about it. So don't worry, we aren't giving up! 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Fiber Tuesday: Give Your Coffee a Warm Hug


I love coffee, but sadly for health reasons I should stay away from it. Sometimes I can purge my system of all caffeine, but it never lasts that long. The smell is a siren calling me into its dark waters, then the warm rich taste renders me docile and powerless to swim away.

Okay, that got weird. Sorry about that.

Since I don’t indulge that often I make it an experience when I do. I pull out the whole beans, coffee grinder, and the French press. I love my French press but it doesn’t keep the coffee hot enough for me, and once I pour the milk in it’s practically lukewarm. Since my French press gives me warm hugs on the inside, I decided to give it a warm hug from the outside—and insulate my coffee while I’m at it—with this French press sweater vest. Your coffee will say merci beaucoup.


Measurements approximately 10 inches x 12.5 inches

Yarn I used a bulky yarn that recommended size 10.5 needles. It doesn’t take much, so any wool or insulating fiber will work. You can even use scraps from other projects.

Needles straight needles size 10.5 or needles to match your yarn.

Notions 4 buttons

Pattern
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: Knit
Row 4: *K1, P1* repeat to the end

Instructions
Cast on 30 stitches and begin working the pattern until your work measures 12.5 inches from the cast on row. Cast off.

Button loops
For the button loops make 4 I-cords approximately 3.5 inches long with enough tail on each end to tie on to the sweater vest. When sewing on the loops and the buttons, space them out evenly along opposing edges. Make sure they match up.

Bobbles (make 2)
For the bobble cast on 2 stitches
Next row: On each stitch knit through the front and back and through the front again leaving 6 stitches.
Next row: purl.
Next row: knit.
Next row: purl.
Next row: slip 1, k2tog, pass slipped stitch over, slip 1, k2tog, pass slipped stitch over.
Cast off remaining 2 stitches.
Leave a 16 inch tail.
Tuck in the short tail from the cast on (not the 16 inch tail) into the bobble, sew around the edges, and pull them together, forming a ball

Thread each bobble—one from each end—through the loops created from the k1, p1 rows. Attach the tail to the end opposite the bobble.


To use: button at the handle side, buttoning around the handle. Once you pour in the coffee and hot water, pull the drawstring to close around the plunger. Try to wait for your coffee to brew and enjoy.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Food Monday: 3 Factors That Determine Your Grocery Budget

The downfall to budgeting is that when I see how much I’m actually spending on things it inevitably leads to guilt over the amount I’m spending. If I set a goal and I don’t hit that goal, I’ve failed. I see posts all the time about how much people save by couponing or doing freezer meals—both of which I’m a fan—and then I feel bad if I spend more than they did. Well, I’m getting off the guilt train at this stop. If you feel grocery guilt too, get off the train with me. I’ve figured out that there are three guiding factors that determine your grocery budget. Depending on what season of life you are in or if you have dietary restrictions, you may not even have control over them. Think about where you fall on these factors at this point in your life and accept it if you can’t change them. You are no longer allowed to feel guilt over how much you do or don’t spend, starting now.




The first factor is TIME. How much time do you have or want to give to meal planning, meal prep, and grocery shopping? We pay for convenience, but sometimes that’s our only option. I’m not just talking about pre-packaged dinners or frozen lasagnas. Shredded chicken recipes are an important staple in my family. When I have time I roast a whole chicken—or parts of a chicken—myself. It’s about half the price of pre-cooked chicken. I just need the time to roast it. If I just can’t squeeze that in, I use a few rotisserie chickens instead. It costs more, but if there isn’t time to save money, there just isn’t time. If you have young kids, busy teenagers, or just a demanding life outside of cooking, you probably don’t have time either. So stop feeling guilty about paying for pre-cooked foods. You’re finding the time to eat at home, and that’s enough.




The second factor is MONEY. No matter how you look at it, if you have a target to hit, you may not always have the luxury of choosing foods based on convenience or even preference. You are still not allowed to feel guilt over this. Even if you don’t always—or ever—get the organic produce, even if you sometimes—or always—get non-BPA free cans, you are eating at home. You’re making your budget work. Be proud!




The third factor is PREFERENCE. If you have food allergies or dietary preferences, this is going to be your dominant factor, and you don’t have the option to change that. Did you cringe in the paragraph above when I mentioned conventional produce and non-BPA free cans? If so, your preferences most likely take precedent over the other factors. Personally, I am an emotional eater and there are times when a boxed brownie mix is non-negotiable. If it were going to cause me extended grief and a week of unmet cravings, I’d rather just get the darn brownie mix, even if it were a few extra dollars on my grocery bill. Whatever your situation, don’t feel guilty; you’re not a diva. This is just where you are in life. Plan your grocery budget accordingly.
No one is 100% in one factor alone. We all have some of each of these factors influencing us. The combination that makes up your unique self determines what your grocery budget should be. Below is a quiz to help you determine where you fall on the budget map. Once you see where you land, you can start to understand the challenges you face and you can stop stressing and feeling guilty for spending more or less than everyone else. As your circumstances change, your percentage will change. So if you take this quiz a few years down the road, you may get a different result.

1. You are making refried beans this week, which do you choose?
a. 2 cans of beans with easy open pop tops for $3.00
b. Store brand dry beans for $1.50
c. 2 cans organic beans in BPA free cans for $5.00
2. You won a contest, which would you rather have as a prize?
a. 2 weeks worth of freezer meals already made for you
b. $250 cash
c. A 3 month subscription to an organic vegetable/fruit CSA
3. You have eggs on your list which ones do you get?
a. Whichever is closest to the check out
b. The cheapest ones
c. The organic and free range ones/I have my own laying hens at home
4. Your friend invites you to a new restaurant in town, which is your most pressing concern?
a. How long will we have to wait for a table? /Do we have reservations?
b. What is the price range?
c. Will they have something I can eat?
5. You have a recipe calling for shredded chicken, which do you choose
a. 2 pre-cooked rotisserie chickens $8.00
b. A 10 lb. bag of chicken leg quarters $6.00
c. A whole raw organic chicken for $12.00
6. Why do you choose water at a restaurant?
a. They brought it when I sat down and I didn’t want to wait for them to bring another drink
b. It’s free!
c. It’s healthy!
7. You need to make a salad for dinner this week. Which do you choose?
a. A pre-packaged salad with dressing included $3.00
b. A head of iceberg lettuce and the store brand ranch that was on sale $2.00
c. A tub of organic baby kale and organic dressing $8.00
8. Which bread do you choose?
a. Anything is fine, I just want to get through this
b. Whichever is on sale
c. Gluten free bread for me
9. You are at the movie theater, why did you sneak in your own snacks?
a. I didn’t have time to stand in line
b. I’m not paying $5.00 for a handful of M&M’s
c. I can’t eat anything they sell
10. Which of these do you feel is your most precious resource?
a. Time
b. Money
c. Preferences
If you haven’t figured it out, A’s are TIME, B’s are MONEY, and C’s are PREFERENCES. The scoring is easy; there are 10 questions so each one is 10%. So if you have 4 A’s, 5 B’s, and 1 C, you are 40% Time, 50% Money, 10% Preferences. You can read about what your percentages mean below.
TIME
Low (0% - 30%) You’ve got the time; you can do what you want!
Mid (40% - 60%) Sometimes you need convenience, but you can usually make the time.
High (70% - 100%) Hats off to you for even cooking anything. You are busy. Do whatever you need to do with no guilt. Search for fast recipes online. Maybe add paper plates to your list to save time on clean up.
MONEY
Low (0% - 30%) Money isn’t a factor to you, so you can pay for the convenience you need or for the particular items you really need/want.
Mid (40% - 60%) If you’re tight that week, you buy the store brand. When you’re not, it’s name brands for you. Just know where you are in your budget and make the choices to save money when needed.
High (70% - 100%) You are a penny pincher and that’s a good thing. Stick to that budget and work those coupons. Search for cheap recipes online.
PREFERENCES
Low (0% - 30%) You are too busy or too money conscious to worry about anyone’s preferences. You get what you get and you don’t fuss a bit.
Mid (40% - 60%) For the most part your preferences don’t drive your grocery cart, but some items are non-negotiable.
High (70% - 100%) You have your guidelines on specific things you need and price or budget doesn’t matter. Keep on keepin’ on. Your budget isn’t flexible, but you are happy with your food. Search for recipes based on your preferences.
I know my numbers, now what do I do with them?
This quiz is about knowing your unique needs. So now that you do, you can stop feeling guilty for not being able to spend $4 per meal using organic grass-fed beef. You can be more understanding of yourself, and you can budget accordingly. If you are high on preferences, you are going to have a higher budget than most people, so give yourself a higher budget in the food category. Likewise if you have a high percentage for time, you’re going to need a little more money in your budget than others. Pay attention to your schedule. If it’s a week when all of your kids have after school activities every night and your husband is working late and not able to help, you’re going to need more convenience foods. If you have a high percentage for money, maybe try couponing, shop store sales, and always get the store brand when it’s cheaper.
I have found that no matter where I am on these factors, freezer meals have helped me keep it all together. I am happy to share some of the meals that work well for me. When I post recipes on here I will note some possible substitutions based on these factors. Whatever your percentage, you can find ways to save and make smart decisions on purchases, and to do that it helps to know where you are coming from. I hope this quiz helped you do that.

Finally, A Weekend Away

This past weekend Jamie and I attended the 2018 PickTN Conference in Chattanooga, TN. Being busy newbie farmers leaves us little time for couple getaway weekends, so we made the most of it and found some interesting places to stop along the way.
The first place we found was Mooney’s Emporium in Monteagle, TN. The billboard mentioned a yarn shop. I’m a fiberphile, and I needed a hit. Mooney’s didn’t disappoint. There were lovely skeins to admire and pet. Jamie even seemed entertained and let me tell him all about all the different kinds, brands, and colors.



After the Thursday sessions were over we found a great restaurant downtown. It was about a half mile from the hotel and the temperature was around 70 degrees, so we walked, and even ended up eating outside—a special treat for February in the Tennessee mountains. The restaurant was Urban Stack and it was gourmet burgers. There were several different and unique options. It was delicious.



My favorite place of all was one we found on the way home—The Mountain Goat Market, also in Monteagle, TN. Friendly service, colorful and quirky d├ęcor, and interesting gift items for purchase. They had pizza, salads, and sandwiches, and many, many desserts to choose from I would recommend some items, but everything we ate was incredible. You really can’t go wrong in ordering. If you’re in or passing through the area, it’s well worth the stop.



We had a great time together and at the conference, but it’s always so nice to come home. I think the animals missed us more than the kids, but it was a close call. Either way it’s good to be home.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

500 Baby Trees in the Ground

There are few things more rewarding than the exhaustion you feel from working hard for a purpose, especially when that purpose is achieving your dream. I wouldn't say it went off without a hitch. There were plenty of hitches. Two of which were when I dropped my non-water resistant iPhone in the toilet not once, but two days in a row. Hitches and all, I would still call it a successful first planting. It would not have been, however, if not for a simple mistake made by UPS.


Let me start by saying it was a rough four days of working all day long. At the end of the day Jamie, my dad, and I all walked significantly slower back to our cars than we had walked out to the field in the morning. Being unable to straighten our backs and knees all the way had something to do with it, I'm sure. It took great effort to make it up the stairs to the shower once we got home. It hurt but it felt so good when at the end of each day I paused for water and to stretch my back, and I looked around for the first time--the rest of the day had been spent bending down and looking at the dirt I was packing in around the trees--and I saw all the rows of tiny green sprouts standing proud. Happiness washed over all the achy muscles, bruises, and scratches.


This was the first time we had done this type of farming and to this scale. Jamie and my dad both grew up on farms and have plenty of experience with planting, but each type of planting is a little different, and none of us had planted Christmas trees. Jamie and I researched our options and bought a power head and an auger. It was moderately expensive considering we won't see income for at least four years. The only size anyone had in stock was six inches and we needed smaller, so we ordered it online. A week later we found a YouTube video on planting Christmas trees using a dibble bar. It looked manageable and simple. Even though the dibble bar would be more work, we knew we would both feel pride from sweating for our land. Plus, it was a fraction of the price of the power head/auger combo. We ordered two and took the power head and auger back that night.


 When our baby tree-lets arrived it felt like Christmas morning. There were so many boxes the UPS man had to use a hand cart. There were six boxes total. Four boxes of trees, a box of groceries that I had ordered, and another one I didn't really look at until the UPS man had left. It was the power head that we had taken back. I was confused. There was a label with Jamie's name on it. A quick text to Jamie confirmed that he had not ordered another one. The next day the UPS man delivered two more boxes: our final box of trees, and the auger. This time I didn't have to sign, so he just left them outside. After closer examination we found a second shipping label on the boxes for "Unknown" with a Wisconsin address. We didn't want to keep Mr. Unknown from receiving his auger, but we thought we'd wait to return it again after the planting weekend to make sure we didn't need it.

We had talked to knowledgeable people about their processes and that helped, however the biggest factor was the makeup of our exact type of dirt, and it turns out our dirt was a lot rockier than we guessed it would be. We planted about twenty trees in our first hour using the dibble bars. We did the math on how long it would take to plant 500 trees at that rate, and immediately went back home for the auger. When using it, we were able to loosen the soil and then come behind with the planting bar to easily firm it up with no air pockets around the roots at a rate of about sixty per hour--much faster. It still took us all of four days straight of hard work, but the trees are now in the ground. And it may have taken weeks had UPS checked their labels more carefully. We are thankful for hitches and for whoever Unknown is, and we are most thankful that our first crop of trees has been planted and our farm has officially begun.


Click here to see our FULL planting day video!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

For the Love of Christmas

Jamie and I have been known to make impulsive decisions. We are committed to each other and strangely to our vehicles, but not much else. I haven't gone to the same hair stylist or dentist more than twice since I was eighteen and living with my parents. Jamie and I have lived in eight different residences since we were married twelve years ago--nine if you count the hotel we were in for a month when our hot water heater busted and flooded our downtown apartment. Every house we've owned we call a garage sale house. This means we were driving around with no intentions of moving, saw a sign, and said the famous last words, "It couldn't hurt to look." We are typically pantsers (fly by the seat of our pants) and rarely planners. That's how we knew this time was different. Our most recent move was thoughtful. It started with a commitment, and then purposely looking for 15-20 acres of land with visibility and good access to main roads, somewhere we could finally put down roots--both our family's and actual tree roots.


Christmas tree farm

Growing up I remember having a real tree at Christmas. I remember the fresh pine smell filling the house, the clink of my dad's hammer on the metal stand, turning the tree in endless circles while we all voted on which was the best side to face out, getting sap on my hands when shoving the lights as deep in between the branches as my arms would allow. The Christmas memories that stand out over the others are the times we picked out our tree from the rows of perfectly conical evergreens at a nearby choose and cut farm in Indiana. This magical place was as much Christmas to me as the North Pole--all that was missing was Santa and his reindeer. Even then I knew I wanted a Christmas tree farm.



Jamie and I had talked about it before, but it was still just sharing dreams. It was in the same category as let's live in Belize when we retire. All our moves over the years left a longing in our hearts for roots. The longing grew stronger with every move. That's when we decided it was time to get serious about our dream. We looked at several different properties and none of them was just right. It was close to Christmas so we put our farm search on the back burner for the holidays. On our long drive home from North Carolina we started looking at properties on our cell phones. We had purposely not been looking at Williamson County simply because we knew we couldn't afford the amount of land we would need, but we were running out of options. I looked at Jamie while he was driving and said, "It couldn't hurt to look."

We entered our search criteria and there it was. It was in our price range, so of course our first thought was, "What's wrong with it?" The pictures showed cleared pasture land with gentle rolling hills and a small creek, and then we saw the deal breaker. The property bordered Tennessee's Interstate 840, the seventy seven mile partial loop around Nashville. This would deter most, but not a family looking to plant Christmas trees. We had wanted visibility from the road for free advertisement, and our time as urban dwellers in downtown Nashville prepared us for the road noise. It would be a familiar sound machine lulling us to sleep at night. The property was made for us. The exit off 840 is even named Pinewood Road. How perfect for a Christmas tree farm! We bought it. We sold our house, packed up the kids, and moved to the country.


Pinewood Christmas Tree Farm is no longer a dream; it's reality. The 2020 Christmas season for 500 families--maybe one of them is yours--begins next week when we plant our inaugural crop. To all those 500 families in the year 2020: thank you for letting us be such a special part of your holiday. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

To The Toddler's Mother at Trader Joe's

Dear Toddler Mother,

     We only talked for a few minutes, but I recognized the anxiety in your voice. I saw the desperation in your eyes that told me, whether you work or stay at home with your child, that you are with children for more hours in the day than you are with adults. I'm sorry I didn't stay to talk to you longer. There was so much more I should have said. If I hadn't been there entertaining my two-year-old niece, I would have talked longer. I left my own toddler at home because she gives me a run for my money just like you said your two-year-old boy does to you. Bless you for still taking the time and effort to take him to the grocery with you. It teaches him how to behave in public. Good job for not giving up. Your bravery has inspired me to take my daughter with me more, even though it will involve screaming and snatching free cookies out of workers' hands, then running away without saying thank you.
     Also I wanted to say that the reason I was entertaining my niece is that my sister is also stressed and at the end of her rope balancing life with a toddler, and I was trying to give her the gift of grocery shopping in peace. Every toddler mother feels the way you and I do.
     You mentioned you doubted the quality of work you were doing in mothering your child. I know that you are doing a great job by the simple fact that you question it. That means you're still trying. Don't worry about all the mommy-shaming going around. I firmly believe that the only true mommy shame comes from within. Judge not lest ye be judged. When we look at others critically we tend to think they look at us the same way. So don't worry about them. They're most likely not worrying about you. It's our interpretation of the comments and looks we receive that feels like judgment and we have control over that. We have to let those comments roll off our backs. Most of the time no real harm or judgement is intended, it just feels that way because we are raw in those spots the comments touch from all the self-judging. And the comments and looks that are intended to hurt are not about us. They're about the speaker. Those people have either never been in your situation or have forgotten just how difficult and hopeless life feels in the years when your kids are toddlers. So take it easy on yourself. You're doing a great job and it will get easier.

The stranger who understands,
Laura

P.S. Your child seemed pretty well behaved considering his age. Must be the result of good parenting.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Motherly Sacrifice

On Mother's Day I remember two incredible mothers in my life. They are the women who made me a mother. They both love their children so much they were able to make a sacrifice most people will never be able to fathom. Similar to the way most people find it hard to understand why God sacrificed his own son on the cross. Sometimes love hurts. I have learned that in becoming a parent. I love my children so fiercely that sometimes I ache with the feeling. The love in my heart won't pour onto them fast enough to relieve the ache. I know for a fact that Maddox's and Mia's birth mothers feel that same kind of painful love every day. I am forever bonded to these special women, our hearts sewn together through the intense motherly love of the same son and daughter. 

On Mother's Day my heart aches for those who gave me the gift only God himself can give: the gift of life. Thank you to birth mothers everywhere for your sacrifice. It is through your pain and heartache that families are created. 




Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Prescription for Sleep

It was no secret that Brother slept in our room until he turned six. In fact, it was often a subject we openly complained about. When we first brought him home at eight months old, we were overly cautious about everything. One of the many things we were afraid of was the effects of him not forming a solid attachment to us. Of course he was attached to us right away, more to Jamie than to me. Not to say anything about my mothering. It's just that Jamie is an amazing father. He can't help it. He's a baby magnet. He draws them in. My strategy to form a solid attachment with my baby included rocking him. I don't regret it, even now. It did lead to him sleeping in our room for five years though.

When he was around three we convinced him that it would be way cooler to sleep in a Disney Cars themed bed tent than on a mattress next to our bed. He made it all the way through the night for three nights in a row. Then a storm came. The power transformer carrying power to our house that attached to our house right outside of Brother's window blew up in the middle of the night. Three things happened at once: a blinding blue flash, a loud boom, and the drum roll of a screaming toddler's feet zipping across the hallway to our bedroom. He was traumatized. He is seven now and still talks about "the scary night."

We left it alone and let him sleep on a mattress on our floor indefinitely. When we started talking about bringing Baby into our family though, we had to make some hard choices and sleeping arrangements was one of those hard choices. We managed to get Brother into his own bed, and even got Baby into her own crib. We still had to rock Baby to sleep and lay down with Brother until he fell asleep, but we were very proud of our accomplishments. In fact, I wrote a blog post about it. I thought that was as good as it could get. It was still stressful when one parent had to put two kids to bed at the same time, but that only happened once a week.

I stand corrected. It got better. At Baby's fifteen month checkup our pediatrician asked if she was going to sleep by herself. My answer was a proud, "Yes, she sleeps all night in her crib." Then as I was saying it I remembered the week before when she woke up six times in one night. I added, "Well, most nights."

Our pediatrician is perceptive and noticed that I didn't answer the question. He said, "So you lay her down awake and she goes to sleep by herself?"

I laughed, then caught myself when I realized he was serious. I didn't know that was possible. I'd heard parents say that's how they did it, but I still didn't believe it. I told him we'd have to start doing that with Brother first. His eyes widened. He's usually very laissez faire when it comes to parenting. He teaches us to handle things on our own and rarely gives orders when he isn't asked. So when he pushed the sleep issue we listened. He nicely asked me when I was going to stop being selfish and let her be independent. I hadn't thought of it that way. He said it wouldn't cause permanent emotional effects from letting her cry. I knew that was true…for her. I laughed when I told him the lasting emotional damage would be mine and not hers. He says in many couples one parent can't handle crying when the other can. Jamie had to look all manly in front of the Dr. and made it clear that he didn't mind the crying when he knows she's safe in the crib. So our Dr. gave us a prescription for sleep.

Step #1 Establish a bedtime routine. It should last for 20-30 minutes. Something predictable to start signaling to Baby that we are getting ready to go to bed. For our bedtime routine we give her a bath, give her a baby massage while putting on her coconut oil and creamy lotion, then we go around the house and tell everyone goodnight, then we rock her for a few minutes.

Step #2 for me, leave the house. Dr.'s orders. :) He said since I can't take the crying I should leave, go for a walk, or just get away. I decided on a hot bath with both bathroom fans on so I couldn't hear a thing.

Step #2 for Jamie, lay her down and walk away. While Jamie was rocking her for a few minutes he talked quietly telling her it's time for night night, and telling her he loves her. Then he laid her down and walked out of the room. Of course she cried right away.

Step #3 Set a timer for 10 minutes. If she was still crying when the timer goes off, he would go into her room and pick her up and soothe her for 30 seconds or less. Then he leaves again.

Step #4 Repeat Step #3 as needed. Our Dr. said on average the first night takes 45 minutes. and by the fourth night you'll not hear much crying at all. Our results were similar. The first night for us took 35 minutes and on the fifth night she didn't cry at all.
Her preferred sleeping position is on her face, butt in the air.

The first night we started working on this with Baby, we had a talk with Brother. We told him Baby is being brave and learning to go to bed by herself. He giggled in that "ha ha my sibling is in trouble" way. Then we told him he needed to be a good example for her and be brave and go to sleep on his own too. his laughter quickly turned into a quivering bottom lip. We tucked him in, turned on his nightlight, and reminded him that we would be right outside the door if he got scared. We didn't hear anything from him for the rest of the night.
He looks so sweet when he's sleeping.

I have free time at night again! And this is all thanks to my wonderful husband. He completes me. When I'm not strong enough be the tough parent I need to be, he takes over and gets the job done. Our whole family is now well rested and happy.

Thank you Jamie!!