28 Jul
Jim and Marian arrived today and Jade is enjoying their company.  So much so, that she refused to have a nap all afternoon.  She alternated between being full of beans and laughing and talking to them to be being a cranky-pants monkey.  She seemed to be fading after dinner, so we gave her a bath and I put her down to sleep.  She was sleeping hard enough that I was able to move a few things around in her room without her reacting at all. 
Less than ten minutes later, she was screaming bloody murder.
Since I had been promising Nanuq a walk all day (and believe me, he knows when I’ve made such a promise) and since Jade was WIDE awake, the three of us went out for a stroll while Jim and Marian went to bed (they had been awake for about 20 hours at that point).  I felt good about the fact that they would be able to get to bed without the threat of being woken up by a screaming baby.
We walked for about an hour and Jade giggled and laughed for nearly the entire time.  Afterward, we watered the plants in the greenhouse when we got back and then had a good play session in the living room.  It was after 10 p.m. by this time, and Jade has gone to bed around 8:30 or 9:30 for the past few nights.  I thought, "So much for a bedtime routine." 
During our playtime, I decided to put Jade on her tummy for a bit, but she surprised me by pulling her knees up underneath her and staying on all fours.  This is a big first for her, as her back end has always collapsed when I’ve tried this before.
I’ve also been noticing in the past few days that during playtime, she has a lot more dexterity in her left hand than her right.  Michael has been saying for a long time that she’s a lefty and the books say they start showing a preference around 2 years of age, but I have to admit that she is definitely more capable of grabbing small objects with her left than with her right.
When Jade finally started rubbing her eyes, I let her nurse a bit and then put her in her crib.  She took exception to being lain down, so I gave her her soother.  That calmed her for a bit, but then she started playing with it, pulling it out, turning it sideways, chewing on it; she seemed to be waking herself up.  I took it away and put it in again, properly.  She took it out again.  And then she did the most amazing thing: she actually put herself to sleep. 
It took about 20 minutes and it was like watching a thriller for me, as I relaxed and flinched repeatedly as she went through her different moves.  She turned her head away from me and looked at the wall and made moaning noises; I would have thought she was asleep but I could see her eyes were open and blinking once in a while.  Then she flailed her arms, kicked her legs, grabbed her feet, sucked on her Grobag, tossed her head, and I thought, "Uh oh, we have to start all over again."  Then she relaxed and started sucking on her lip.  Then she started flailing again.  It was incredible to watch.  And in the end, she went to sleep.
Even if she wakes up in a few hours, I feel as though I’ve witnessed a miracle…

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