The goshdarn WEIRDEST THING just happened. I was upstairs nursing Avery before her nap and suddenly she stopped nursing and rolled her head back and forth. I thought, oh great, here we go, I'm going to have to walk her down to sleep. But then she nestled her head in to my arm and ... I can hardly even type it ... she just ... went to sleep. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. That has NEVER happened before in her entire life! I feel like the clouds parted and a small beam of hope came through. These have been some rough weeks, sleepwise. But it may be that we are nearing a comparatively easier phase. And I can see a tiny glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel. I don't harbor any illusions that this is going to be happening on the regular now or anything, but at least I know it CAN happen.
I know I talk about the child's sleep (or lack thereof) every other time I post here. It's probably my greatest parenting challenge, if not the greatest challenge of my ENTIRE LIFE, and I don't think I'm exaggerating here. I was talking to my aunt the other day and she could not believe Avery was only napping 20-30 minutes. She said she has a friend whose one year old naps for FOUR HOURS each day. FOUR! I can't even imagine what that would be like. I spend hours every day getting Avery to sleep, and that's not even mentioning the nights! And then she naps for an hour. A DAY! If I'm lucky.
And yet, I think about how far we have come. I remember the early days when I could hardly lay her down to sleep. I would just get in bed with her each night because she wouldn't stay asleep without me there. Or then when she was napping four times a day and I would spend 30 minutes walking/bouncing/patting/humming her down and she would wake up as soon as I got back downstairs and need to be resettled again. Things have gotten better, in a sort of spiraling two steps forward one step back kind of way.
It's not just sleep; there's been other evidence that she is pulling out of this regression. Like today she spent a long time playing while I was sitting on the floor with her, and I was alternating between reading blogs on my phone and interacting with her, instead of having to focus my attention 100% on her. Or if I announce that Mommy is going to the potty! she will stand up and start toddling after me instead of exploding into hysterical wails.
Oh, and last week I took her shopping a the outlet mall and she spent the whole afternoon riding around in her stroller or crawling around in the dressing room while I was trying stuff on. It was fun! I can remember when I thought I would NEVER be able to do that. When Avery was about a month old I went with my mom to the base exchange and commissary and spent the whole time sitting in the food court nursing Avery while my mom went in and shopped. And then Avery cried in her carseat on the way home. I remember thinking, what was the point, I could have just stayed home and been more comfortable. And, I am never going to be able to go ANYWHERE! Ah, times have changed!
I don't want to give the impression that the sleep issue is the biggest or most important. It does kind of give me writer's block, though. I mean, if I spend 30 minutes putting her down and I know I probably only have 30 minutes before she wakes up, I don't exactly feel like sitting down to blog about all the adorable things she does. Know what I mean? Even though the majority of the time we are having fun and she is being adorable.
Anyway, here's what we've been up to:
* I'm siiiiiiiiiick. Agaaaaaaiiiin. Seriously, I have been sick more times since I started nursing than in the entire previous decade! I can't help but think it has something to do with nursing depleting my nutrient stores or being run down in general. UGH! Oh, and the toddler? Still here, even when I'm sick and feel like schlepping between the couch and my bed all day.
* We had a professional photographer out to the house to take our family pictures. The same guy who photographed our wedding. I think they will turn out really cute, I can't wait to see them (we should get to see them sometime this week).
* I'm going home to Vegas for a few weeks on Sunday. With Avery, of course! We are super excited.
* Avery is getting good at walking. She is still a bit unsteady on her feet, but she toddles around quite a bit now and it's so WEIRD to see! Watching her grow up is such a trip.
Aaaand she's up! Forty minutes!