Watching Megan learn to walk reminds me of when I was learning to snowboard. When she first stands up, she is really wobbly, but she can get going. Sometimes she can REALLY get going, and then she crashes. Then there are times when she tries to stand and just keeps falling down time after time because of the effort it takes to get up. She keeps trying, however, because of how much fun it is when she’s really cruising. Sometimes she cheats and walks on all fours, and sometimes she just gives up and crawls. One day she’ll get the hang of it and she’ll just take off running. She is so determined to walk. She looks like a little midget walking around though – it’s pretty much the cutest thing ever.
We have finally overcome one of the biggest challenges we have faced thus far as parents: getting Megan to fall asleep on her own, and getting her to stay asleep. We pretty much had given up on letting her cry to sleep – we are very aware that you have to be consistent, but we always ended up going in and getting her when she cried. We knew that since we gave in even once, she would know that we would come and get her when she cried. Well, last Saturday she decided that she didn’t want to take a nap. It didn’t matter how much I rocked her, I couldn’t get her to sleep. I was pretty exhausted myself and felt as though I was at wits end. Adam and I decided that night we would start fresh and teach her that no matter what: she needed to go to sleep – alone. I planned out a regimented nighttime routine, printed it out, and taped it to her playroom door. We already had a routine, but it was pretty lax. We followed the new routine to the letter and laid her down with a kiss at 7:02pm. Sure enough, she started to cry. We went into our room, said a “help us” prayer, and all of a sudden – she was silent. At 7:09pm I peaked in to find her totally out. We didn’t expect it to be that easy and we geared ourselves up for a long night of nighttime waking accompanied by plenty of crying.
Sure enough, at 3:50am we heard her start to whimper. The whimper quickly turned into a cry. We both shed a few tears of our own as we laid there in bed, waiting it out. After 10 minutes, Adam went to her. He told her that he loved her, and that she needed to go to sleep and left the room. After an hour of crying (as well as Adam going in at 10, then 15, then 20 minutes), she finally went to sleep.
Since then…she has gone to bed every night on her own, with little more than 5 minutes of crying. She has only awakened twice the whole week – and has put herself back to sleep – no problem. Her nighttime routine is working BEAUTIFULLY; she goes to bed around 7:30 every night and gets up at 8:00am. Before this wonderful change, she was going to bed around 11:00pm – after I rocked her at least 30 minutes – and getting up a little before 8:00am. She was also waking up about 3 times a night, and up until she was 13 months, I would nurse her back to sleep. When it came time to wean her, it was soooooo hard to get her back to sleep. This new sleeping arrangement is a huge BLESSING! We were both surprised at how incredibly EASY it ended up. However, I still am a big fan of co-sleeping, and I don’t regret doing that for a minute. It was just time for a change.
We had an absolutely wonderful week! Adam is done with Target! I am so excited. Graveyard shifts are incredibly hard; kudos to all who have endured them. This next week Adam jumps into school stuff, although school doesn’t officially start until the 20th. He has an assistantship, which means they pay him to be a student and he works as a teaching assistant for Undergrads. He is actually pretty excited to be starting school again. He loves Astrophysics and has missed learning new things.
I am officially addicted to XBOX thanks to Adam. I am also re-reading the Harry Potter series, and I am on year 4. I have read the books many times, but I am now looking forward to reading the complete set consecutively. Adam and I also got our Iowa driver’s licenses this week. It’s been over two years, but my old license still had my maiden name. I guess I’m officially a Johanson now as well as an Iowan.
Yesterday we went to the Republican Straw Poll in Ames and hung out with Mitt Romney again. It was a circus like atmosphere with free food and fun. It was also a good experience for us to get to know more about the candidates so we can be better informed when deciding who we will vote for when presidential elections come around. We found out this morning that Mitt Romney won the poll, which only shows what might happen when the real time to vote comes around. It was a good experience for us also; as we are becoming more political.
New things Megan is doing:
- She added a few new words to her list this week including: “up”, “apple”, and my least favorite – “no”.
- She dances when we play music. She will bend her knees up and down. It is so cute. We are going to try and catch it on video.
- She has officially choosen walking as her means of getting around.
Well, I guess that’s all folks. As always, we have posted pictures from this week on our web album. Check in next week for details from our long awaited trip to Arkansas! I hope you enjoyed this super long blog!!