A layout about Makena's independent walking (as soon as I saw the title of the kit, "Little Miss Independent," I knew exactly what I was going to use it for) and more background information below.
Scrapbooking kit is by Crystal's Creations and Dano's Pookie, available at Scrappity Doo Dah.
On July 11, Makena took her first two steps, snuggling a blankie and basically diving from the footstool to the couch so she could be with me and Connor. I saw it and cheered. It was awesome. We got it on film. We got video. We laughed, sang, cheered, emailed our friends with the youtube link. People congratulated us and warned that we'd need to start doing more childproofing. Yes, we agreed wryly.
And then nothing happened.
For a couple of months, she'd go days without cruising, much less take a step. And she refused to walk holding one of my index fingers - only two, tightly held. It was like, "Well I proved I could do it, but I'm not all that interested."
Finally, she wasn't getting attention one evening at home, so she stood up and took two steps while Clint and I were talking to Connor. Instant attention! And then a couple of days later at speech therapy (again while not getting attention) she stood up and took 2 1/2 steps before plopping down. More instant attention! And then I remembered that my friend, Kristi, had taught her daughter to walk by offering chocolate. We tried it. I'd put her, standing, leaned up onto the sofa. Then I'd place a chocolate chip on the footstool about 3 feet away. If she wanted the chip, she'd have to walk. She caught on to the game and the reward really fast. Every time we played the game, the stool would get pushed a little farther away from the sofa, until the footstool was right up against the stereo and she was doing 88 inches (10 steps) in a stretch. Now, to earn one chip, she has to walk from the sofa, to the stereo (no footstool in the way) and back. 210 inches.
On Sunday, she signed that she was thirsty. I told her to come into the kitchen to get her milk. She stood up, smiled, and walked from the family room to the kitchen, to her chair, and climbed up. WOW! She can do about 20 steps now, maybe even more, and she's sooooo proud of herself when she does.