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My sleeping pro, Isaac

Our family went on a five day vacation to Washington, D.C., last week to support our high school freshman son, Christopher, as he had the honor of participating in the well-known National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade with his school's marching band.  We took the baby and Hannah with us on Thursday from Austin, and flew non-stop to DCA, rented a car, then drove to visit friends in Lovettsville, Virginia, then later on to another set of friends in Manassas, Virginia, followed by our hotel stay near the heart of all the tourist spots in our nation's capital.  We were just a few minutes away from Reagan International Airport at the Radisson Hotel.

Isaac has turned into an excellent sleeper during the past several months, thanks to following suggestions from several friends and family on how to better sleep train him.  He has a few beloved items that help with the process, and we took those essentials with us on the trip to ensure maximum sleep time for the wee one during our brief stay.

The actual travel days were a bit challenging, and we made it a point to see that he had at least one nap per day, and that he slept a long while each night while using his handy sleeping aids that we had packed with us.  He did quite well, considering all the places we had visited and the many interruptions to his somewhat regular routine.  When we arrived home late last Monday night, Isaac actually breathed an audible sigh of relief when he saw his own bed and was back in his bedroom.  Ahhh, home again.  I feel that same way after I've been out of town too! 

Since we returned from Washington, D.C., Isaac has become a sleeping machine!  He LOVES his sleep! He did really well before then, but now he seems to appreciate it even more.  Each night, we put him to bed at around 9 pm.  Each day since our trip, he has been sleeping all night for at least fourteen hours, sometimes fifteen hours.  Then he will take at least a two hour nap, but more like a three, four, or five hour nap during the day.  He will just lie in his bed after he wakes up, and not even cry and just wait for someone to come get him.  It's incredible.  He is such a good boy, and loves his life.  It's so adorable to see how happy he is when we go into his bedroom to get him.  We'll walk up to his crib and look down and see him sucking on his pacifier and snuggling or playing with his little fuzzy brown lovie, a mini blanket about the size of a cloth diaper, that I bought for him last summer at an embroidery shop when I was trying to transform his once-bad sleep habits into good.

Isaac turned thirteen months old a few days ago and is completely adorable.  I can't begin to imagine our lives without this precious little person who brings us so much joy.  He has the biggest, best smile and the most adorable personality.  We love watching him walk around and feel so proud of his steps he takes.  He likes to carry things in his hands when he walks, usually something in each hand.  He stumbles around and falls sometimes, but gets right back up.

I've taught him how sign to me when he is hungry, which is so cute.  He will put his hand to his mouth back and forth, like he is putting something in it, and make a smacking sound when he wants to eat.  It's the cutest thing ever.  He knows what he is saying and I make sure to give him food to let him know that I know what he wants.  He also uses some words to express himself.  He will say baba when he wants a bottle of milk, or dada for Daddy.  When he says Hannah or banana, it sounds the same.  Once I have heard him say Isaac quite clearly.  He also says mama nicely.  We are still waiting for his first attempt at saying Christopher.  I point out pictures of Lindsey to him, to help him remember his big sissy.

He seems to understand a lot of what we say and can be easily comforted when he is upset. When it's time for him to nap or to go to bed for the night, we simply take him to his room, give him his binky, his lovie, turn on his ceiling light show and lullaby music, place him in the crib, put his fluffy Elmo next to him on one side, and his soft bunny on the other side, and tell him night-night, then walk out and close the door.  The sound and light machine sits on the floor and is on a timer to go off automatically after fifteen minutes.  He usually doesn't even cry, but will go right to sleep.  I'm so thankful for my sweet baby.  I love him so much!

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