Saturday, January 31, 2015

47 Weeks

Audra was still sick last week, with more coughing and congestion, but at least she didn't sound as croupy as the week before and she seems to be getting better now. I'm still sick, though, and feel like I'm coming down with another wave of illness now, which is mixed in with some lingering sinus issues from the first go-round. I'd much rather it happen to me than her, though ;)

I guess Audra's sleep wasn't particularly notable last week, since mention of it is mostly absent from my notes (and I can't remember anything without it being written down!). So she had possibly one 4-hour stretch at some point in the week, and then had a night where she woke more than normal and seemed to be sleeping lighter than normal...which was the night after I had pizza for lunch, so it appears that amount of cheese and/or tomatoes isn't entirely ok yet. I also tested peanut butter again last week, and that seems to be fine now too (at least in small quantities so far).

Audra seemed slightly less enthusiastic about food than she had been - although one day she ate two clementines, two helpings of yogurt, and a quarter of a cucumber for snack, several of her other meals she only tried a little bit of the food and then just fingerpainted with it or tossed it onto the floor (and then waved bye-bye to it) instead. I did notice another of the very few ways Audra and Josie are alike so far: they both seem to prefer foods more in their "natural" state. So cut up cucumbers are not that exciting, but a whole cucumber is worthy of being gnawed on the whole dinner. Same with apples, apparently, as Audra happily worked on (and ate most of) a whole apple for snack the other day, freeing me up to do yet more cleanup in the kitchen ;)
Audra seemed to start calling for us last week, since she yelled "ah!" or "ah-da!" in our direction whenever one of us left the room ;) Books seem especially delightful lately, as she'll bring them up to us to read to her, although they basically devolve into a game of peekaboo for her - we usually get about one page in before she slams the book closed, and then reopens it to lots of giggling. She also has been remarkably persistent in trying to figure out buckles, and spent an inordinate amount of time trying to get various buckles to snap together this past week. She also had a lot of fun playing with us in the evenings, and she has been very generous with her raspberry-blowing lately. Instead of just saving them for me, she has started blowing raspberries on Ryan and Josie too :) The girls found this absolutely hilarious, and also Audra sticking her fingers in Josie's mouth was quite funny... at least until Audra pushed her fingers in too far and made Josie gag :-\
[Giving kisses to Josie's baby doll]

We switched Audra out of her infant car seat last week, which I have high hopes will help with her hatred of the car seat... maybe. She's been doing much better with not screaming in the car as much anyway, but still would consistently fight against being put in the seat, which she hasn't been doing with the new one so far. Maybe that will start up again once the novelty wears off ;) Anyway, it's more convenient for us to switch out who picks her up and drops her off now that we both have convertible car seats in our cars (normally Ryan does both, so he would keep the infant car seat with him), so I dropped off Audra at daycare once last week and got to see her interact with her boyfriend ;) Apparently she is quite fond of one of the other babies there, and when he got up from his nap, she stroked his face, gave him lots of kisses, and then tried to feed him some (fake) lime. So sweet :)
Audra has been walking so much more now, although I still don't have any videos to share - I have one good one of her, but since Josie is dancing around in her underwear in the background, I won't be sharing that one to save Josie from some embarrassment ;) Audra has also been moving things around a lot too, with rearranging furniture and pushing boxes/safes/etc from one room to another. This may or may not be related, but I suspect all this walking has triggered some insecurities for her too - as her world has just expanded significantly, she needs more anchoring and reassurance too. This, of course, seems to mean that she needs to stay close to mommy, so we're going through another clingy phase. At least it only took me a day to realize it this time, so it wasn't a week of me getting frustrated at my inability to do anything without a baby attached to me! So Audra is crying whenever I put her down now... or really whenever I'm not holding her or sitting on the floor with her (even the couch is apparently not ok). Ryan is not cutting it for her either, so I ended up strapping her on my back the other night as I cleaned up the kitchen, where she immediately calmed down and then was perfectly content (albeit a little squirmy since she was trying to see what I was doing) for quite a while. She laid her head against me a few times too (so sweet!), which I find funny when she does that or just has moments of stillness since she is usually just a bundle of constant energy and motion. I also love it when she flings herself onto me, laying back against me or laying her head on me with her arms wrapped around my neck (yes, she gives the best hugs). :)

Miscellaneous cuteness:
[One of her favorite toys is a tape measure]

Friday, January 23, 2015

46 Weeks

Audra may be developing at a perfectly normal pace, but to me, it seems like she is just barrelling through things astonishingly quickly now.

This week, the switch seems to have flipped with her walking, and she no longer seems to be stuck at a max of five steps per attempt. So now she has walked across the room, walked to us, walked to... nobody, really - we just turn around to see her wandering around sometimes. She seems to be showing off by walking while carrying things, stopping to squat down or pick something up and then continuing on or just standing there for an impressive amount of time. It's not like she's walking laps yet, but she is definitely getting more confident and interested in walking.
[Stand, point, fall. Rinse, repeat.]

On the flipside, she is also doing her knee walking more. I still don't get this! It's so slow compared to her speedy crawling, but it is cute how she integrates it into her mobility now. She usually crawls up to her target, stops a few feet away, then goes up to her knees to grunt and swing her arms around as she knee-walks the last few feet. Very cute, and also not very stealthy, which is a positive attribute right now. She used to only want to stay close to us, but now that she is starting to venture off on her own we've had a few instances of "suspicious silence", which usually means she's in the bathroom, climbing on stools or unrolling toilet paper ;) Or, apparently, doing pull-ups - she actually pulled herself off the ground the other night, with just a fingertip-hold on the counter. She is now officially stronger than I am.
Audra has gotten a bit sassier too, and her cries are definitely differentiating themselves now. She no longer just uses her super-upset, ear-piercing, soul-crushing cry for everything (although that certainly still makes its appearance frequently enough), but now has her "you put me down and now my feelings are super hurt" sad cry, and her "I'm not pleased with this development - fix it, woman!" cry that is usually accompanied by her slapping at me (see video above). She has even thrown herself (carefully) on the ground and cried when I set her down, kicking her feet and generally having a little baby tantrum. And as annoying as this will probably be soon enough, in the meantime, I'm pretty pleased with her ability to express her emotions so much more clearly now and with how much better we're able to communicate - tantrums and all :)

Audra is showing much more interest in language now too. She'll mimic us more when we ask her to try to say different sounds, and has started making more sounds on her own :) She hissed at me when we were playing with a snake puppet, said "baa" and attempted a "moo" as we were looking at a picture book - but her "moo" is really just her blowing a little bit of air through her lips. It doesn't really sound like mooing, but it is adorable :) My favorite, though, is that she now says "uh-oh". I'm pretty much dropping things on purpose now (or so I can say!) just to get her to say it ;)

Perhaps in a related development, Audra is much more into her books now too. She already has a few favorites that make her break out in a smile as we flip through the pages, and she likes to bring me books to read to her now. Other things that make her happy are being held upside-down, as she will crawl up to us and then duck her head to headbutt us until we flip her over and bounce her around. She likes to brush her hair with Josie's brush, and has tried to brush our hair too :) She's now trying to figure out the mailbox shape sorter, and somehow is able to recognize phones even when they look nothing alike (e.g., a cordless phone vs a flip phone). Again, we almost never talk on our phones at home, so it's especially funny to see that she apparently knows all about talking on phones, and will insist that I hold the phone up to my ear to talk into it too :)
[Hello? Ok, buh-bye]
I have also had to pull her off the kids' table now, as she's climbed up onto it using one of the chairs. She watches for her opportunities, though - we left the gate open once for the stairs and she immediately made a break for it, crawling super fast and then giggling when I caught her :) She is doing more investigative play with putting things in other things, which is just fascinating to watch. One night she tried to put a spoon handle through a circle but couldn't quite get it then - and yet, the next night she had it mastered. She also likes to put different things into her stacking cups and then fling them around until everything falls out again. And she also likes to clap now :)
[Clap, clap!]
[Putting things in cups]

[Throwing things out of cups]

We appear to have found another favorite food for her, as she cried when she finished her blueberries the other night. She also really likes clementines, as she kept yelling for more and ate nearly a whole one herself. She hasn't been as excited about meat lately, although she did seem to really like a piece of beef that she happily gnawed on for most of dinner (and actually ate quite a bit of).
[Lip-smackin' good]
[More food!]

Audra is currently sick again too, although she's not really acting like it, except for all the congestion and coughing. She sounded a little croupy at night earlier in the week (and Josie too), so we all stayed home together on Tuesday. Her sleep hasn't really gotten worse, despite her being sick - she has had some problems at the beginning of the night since she keeps coughing just after she falls asleep, which then wakes her up again, but beyond that she's still waking her normal of every 1-3 hours. She also has been trying to sleep on me more, which I could care about (since it is sort of the opposite of "learning to sleep on her own"), except I don't. :) Well, maybe I do care a little, since I actually really like it - I'm happy to be able to sleep on my back, and I get to cuddle with Audra in whatever strange position she settles on (usually on her stomach somehow still nestled on my shoulder, but sometimes leaning back against my legs with her arms splayed out). We've had to wake her in the morning a few times lately to get her ready for daycare, which I've learned it's always safest to bring Josie in with me for, since Audra is usually so happy to see Josie that she's not too upset that we woke her... even when Josie likes to show her affection for Audra in funny ways.
[Prompting yet another request that she not squish her sister]

I'm still taking Fenugreek every day in attempts to get my supply back up, and it's still sort of hit-or-miss - most days I'm still a few ounces short of what I need to send to daycare the next day, but I did actually pump enough during the day for the first time since I got sick a few weeks ago. I guess one good thing about having to dip into the freezer stash is it has reminded me that I need to use up some of the older milk, since I had some in there from May (which is a little outside the recommended storage time). So I've been using thawed milk for one bottle a day now until my stash is more current, and freezing whatever is left over after I fill the other three bottles. Nursing is going well too - Audra has been increasingly more acrobatic (and playful) while nursing, which is totally fine (and entertaining) now that she has figured out how to do it without biting me. Her morning nursing before she goes off to daycare and her first one when we reunite in the evenings seem to be particular favorites, since she tends to nurse for a bit, fling herself away to coo at the ceiling or kick in delight, and then will look at me with a big grin on her face before doing it all over again. 

Miscellaneous cuteness:
[Her hair is starting to curl!]
[Her favorite thing to do now - stick out her tongue and make faces]
[Bendy baby]
[Clapping blocks together, and a little hesitant about me building the tower on her glockenspiel]
[I'm really not sure what she was doing here]

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Last month was dominated by Christmas for Miss Josie :) She had been very excited about Christmas trees and Christmas lights for probably weeks before we put up any ourselves, and kept asking to see the "really, really, really heavy tree" (my explanation for why it was still in the attic instead of set up!). And then when I finally did start setting up the tree, she helped me with ornaments, hanging several herself on the lower branches, and directing where I should hang some on the higher branches (although I did override her a few times, once the concentration of balls in one area got to be a bit much!).

We went to a few holiday parties in December, one at the birth center, one at the house of a coworker of Ryan's, and one in our neighborhood. Josie had a lot of fun at each one, especially when there was a separate "kids area" set up, and even more so if there were stickers at said kids area :) And yet I don't have any pictures of her at any of the parties, except for this one of her with a vintage VHS tape ;)
Josie's school did some holiday-related activities too, so Josie was very excited for pajama day (when she got to wear her elf pajamas to school!) and to see Santa. She told him she'd like candy canes and a toy frog for Audra for Christmas, which was pretty consistent with what she had apparently told her teachers she wanted too :)
[I still think her happy little people drawings are the cutest thing ever]

There was also a holiday program where the kids sang a few different songs, which was as adorable (and a little chaotic) as might be expected with a room full of preschoolers :) Josie had been regaling us with "The Driedel Song" all week, so it was fun to see the final performance :) The kids had also made ornaments, which I loved, although one of them didn't make it through the week...
For Christmas itself, Josie was very excited about seeing all the presents under the tree in the morning. We hadn't played that part up too much since otherwise she would have been so excited that she wouldn't have been able to sleep (which I realize is part of the fun of Christmas, but maybe next year I'll feel more up to an early morning, when I hopefully won't be waking up every couple of hours all night still). We also decided against doing the whole Santa thing at home, and so she happily told everyone "nope!" when asked if Santa was coming to her house. We haven't really settled on our approach to explain why Santa would be going to some kids' houses but not hers, but it seemed to go well enough for this year, at least. She had a lot of fun opening all of the presents, and favorites include her umbrella and watch - basically, anything that is like "grown-up" stuff :)
[Tut, tut, it looks like rain]
[Making some cookies]
In non-Christmas-related news, Josie's imagination continues to be very fun to watch develop. She holed herself up in the guest room closet (otherwise known as where we store all the toys as we rotate them out), making "pumpkin pies" for a remarkably long time. She also has a couple of toy fish that live in the shower, and she was pretending that her fish were going to go to Ryan's work, then had me put them on the shelf "at work". A favorite game is still when she pretends that she's the baby kitty cat and I'm the mommy kitty cat (or vice versa), which is sometimes a blessing in disguise, since she'll cooperate very readily without whatever I ask her to do as long as I call her "baby kitty cat" or "meow" at her, as appropriate (but if I'm not designated as a kitty cat at that moment in time, I am not at all allowed to meow at her. This is one of the main rules of the game, apparently.).

Her drawings are still such a fun way to get a glimpse into how her mind works. For example, she drew a picture of me with an enoooormous belly (and a happy smile!), and it was apparently when both Josie and Audra were in my belly - this, despite many conversations where I've tried to dissuade her from this idea, she is still convinced that they shared space in my belly :) And impressive as that was, she then went ahead and wrote "Mommy" at the top of the page all on her own, then flipped the paper over to draw a picture of Ryan asleep in bed (but then got stuck trying to write "Daddy" on her own). She appears to have come across Captain Hook somewhere along the way, since many of her pictures now feature him and/or his hair, since most of the people now have a veritable mountain of curly hair atop their heads.

Josie is starting to offer up her own ideas and suggestions, and is no longer just automatically saying "yes" if we ask her if she understands or if she knows something (when she would just have to admit that she didn't actually know when pressed further). I think her ideas are fantastic, though, like when she told me she wanted a watch without a "9" on it so that it would never be her bedtime (clever girl!). She also recognizes other people's good ideas, like when she asked for a candy cane from the bowl at the front desk at school, and when I told her she could have one that afternoon instead, she congratulated me on my good idea and gave me a high five :)

Ryan's big project for last month was to build his mini-ramp for skateboarding. Josie is pretty interested in learning to ride a skateboard, but appears to share my aversion to sports that heavily feature falling down and getting hurt, so we'll see how this works out ;) Until then, Josie has had a lot of fun running up and down the sides of the ramp, and sliding down the sides or her slide.

Josie has been especially fascinated with restaurants and kitchens lately, and was especially excited when we got to take a quick detour through the kitchen at a restaurant last month. She likes to pretend to order our food from the "cookers" at Chick-Fil-A, before getting back on the quiet train back to the fire station... naturally. At least it wasn't a boat back to the hospital like it usually is ;) We took her to a hibachi place for lunch since she had a half day on New Year's Eve, which was the best thing ever, as far as she was concerned. That was a really fun meal since she was enthralled with having her food cooked right in front of her, and she insisted on sitting on my lap (where she decided had the best view of the food being made) and asked questions about everything the "cooker" was doing, and was more interested in watching than eating too much of her food.

She has been really fun to take out lately, and it turns out she can be absolutely delightful company while out running errands. She has had more days when she's in a really good mood, which is obviously fun on its own, but sometimes she even had a day of NO CRYING. They are still few and far between, so it's still a shock to realize that it's the end of the day and there haven't been any emotional meltdowns :) I took her with me shopping a few times, and she was wonderful - listened well, had fun, helped me pick out presents for Audra, and was very patient when we ended up standing around waiting for our food for close to half an hour one night. She also had a blast at the post office and Target, although she can also be a little harder in some ways to take out now, since she wants to look at/touch everything and talk about everything in detail. Ryan takes her to movie night at the grocery store sometimes, which she also usually really likes... although she did say she didn't want to watch the movie "with the green boy" (which was Jim Carrey in "The Grinch"). :)

Josie seems to really be enjoying playing with Audra now, within Audra's capabilities - she still tries to get her to do stuff ("Audra, come over here!"), but she seems to understand more why Audra usually doesn't do it, and usually just seems to like having her around. Josie normally likes to keep a pretty big bubble of personal space around her, and so it can get a bit dicey when Audra decides she really would like to pat Josie/grab her hair/sit on her, but the other day Josie whined a little but ultimately did fine with Audra's feet resting on her, and then Audra climbing in Josie's lap and bouncing with excitement. And in turn, Josie is starting to give her more hugs and kisses (whether or not Audra actually wants them). ;)

Josie especially likes it when she can help do the "grown-up" stuff with Audra, like grabbing Audra's medicine out of the fridge for us and drawing it into the syringe (with help), or giving Audra her breakfast yogurt - Josie actually used the spoon and scraped the bowl on her own (usually a rarity!), and kept telling Audra she was doing a great job and was a good baby. The girls also took their first ever bath together, which they both loved. Josie shared her bath letters with Audra (with even more enthusiasm once she realized she could stick letters to Audra too, so Audra was wearing an "A" on her chest for a good part of the bath), and then told me not to take Audra out at the end since she wanted to keep playing with her. We also were able to bring Audra with us once when we went to pick Josie up from school, and it was just adorable how excited they both were - Josie squealed and practically climbed into the car seat to kiss her hello, and Audra's feet were just kicking and whirling in delight :)

Miscellaneous cuteness:
[Playing some piano]

Thursday, January 15, 2015

45 Weeks

Last week Audra got noticeably more communicative, seemingly almost overnight. While she does say her name constantly (even including the "r" on occasion now, so it's not just "ah-da!"), I think "dada" and "duck" (pronounced "duh")  are her first two official words since she seems to actually associate them with the correct objects, saying them whenever she sees Ryan or her duck picture :) She also - very clearly and very pointedly - let me know what I could do to help her as she played last night. She had played well on her own for probably half an hour before dinner, systematically dismantling each of her toys, but after dinner she required more help. So as she tried - and failed - to do the things she wanted to do (like stack some things together or open a bag of cookie cutters), she would just hand whatever it was to me so I could do it for her. And if instead I just said "that's so nice, thanks!" and handed it back to her, she would give me a dirty little look and hand it right back to me to do it right ;)

Audra has really been enjoying all the Christmas presents (Josie's included), and still really likes the jack-in-the-box and her egg carton, even though she can't quite get them to work or put them back together on her own yet. She has figured out how to hold the pen now so she can draw all over her magnadoodle, and she also really loves Josie's cookie set, which came with "cookies" and "frosting" that velcro together and then velcro onto the cookie sheet. This was apparently the perfect toy for Audra the other night, as she diligently ripped all of the frosting off the cookies, then proceeded to rip the cookies off the sheet. Note: I can barely do this. The velcro is quite strong, but Audra's little baby fingers are apparently stronger :)
[Standing and playing her glockenspiel - she has talent :)]

She is starting to climb all over things now, but isn't exactly the best at getting herself off whatever she's climbed on. We finally put up a gate on the stairs, and I've had to pull her off various stools more times than I can count. She also is climbing onto one of Josie's chairs now, which is just crazy to see her sitting in a chair like a big girl... at least, until it became apparent that she was only sitting to take a breather before continuing her climb up onto the couch :)
[Not using the stool for climbing for the moment, at least :)]

Audra is getting closer to clapping now, as she'll clasp her hands together when we clap for her, and she's learning to slap our hands to give high fives too. Her waving continues to be adorable, and she apparently has learned how to "talk" on the phone since she has been grabbing our phones and holding them up to her ear. Since we hardly ever talk on our phones at home, I assume she learned this from our daycare provider instead - especially given how funny she found it when she'd hand the phone to me and I'd say good-bye the way our provider does (a rapid-fire "ok, buh-bye").
[A little bit of waving]

Speaking of daycare, it's been very interesting to hear their perspective of Audra lately, since they've been telling us how sweet and gentle she is with the other babies, and how peaceful and calm she usually is. Honestly, I think Audra tends to be happier for them, because there's so much more activity there and other babies to entertain her, whereas at home we're more low-key... although this is changing too, as her nap begins to align with Josie's so that they're awake and playing together more. Audra seems to be changing so much over the last few weeks anyway, and she has just been so much more pleasant, delightful and fun lately. It's not really a secret that the newborn phase isn't my favorite - while it's definitely magical to get to meet a brand-new baby, and their needs are certainly more straightforward, Audra is getting to the stage now that I really start enjoying, as her personality really starts blooming and our relationship becomes so much more interactive.

Audra is walking about the same amount on her own (just a handful of steps at a time), but has added another way to get around now - bouncing/walking on her knees. This is by far the most inefficient method of movement at her disposal, but I guess it keeps her hands free so she can carry things...? Although she oftentimes just carries things in her mouth, so I don't really get why she's doing this. It sure is cute though - at least, normally. The only video I got of her isn't a good representation of that since she was a little upset that I was making her work to come to me:
[Walking on knees]

[A few steps on her own!]

Audra has also been doing better again in the car lately, which is a relief that the drive home from daycare each day isn't quite as torturous for both her and Ryan. She has been less fussy in the evenings too, so that we even attempted family dinner night again at Ryan's parents' house on Sunday. She did very well there, was super happy, ate well, and then didn't even cry on the way home even though we ended up leaving later than her usual bedtime. She has been staying up much later in the evenings anyway, and I've learned that it's kind of pointless to try to put her to bed before she's actually ready (i.e., getting fussy and rubbing her eyes), so her "bedtime" has expanded so that it's currently any time between 7 and 9pm. And if I try to nurse her down before she's ready to sleep, then I apparently just get subjected to the ridiculousness of the other night, when I was laying on my stomach looking at my phone after attempt #2 with her, and she climbed on my back, gave me a head massage (i.e., ratted my hair up by rubbing it back and forth) and then grabbed my hair and bounced on my back like I was a horse. Or another time when she kept blowing (rather impressive) raspberries on my stomach and we were both dying of laughter.

Her sleep was not that great this week, with her usually waking about every hour or two all night, every night. She did have one horrendous night when she had fallen asleep around 8:30pm but woke again around 9pm and then just could not get back to sleep, with her nursing multiple times and then crying out just as it seemed she had fallen to sleep. Over an hour (and lots of crying) later, Ryan took her on a walk to help her get back to sleep, although she still woke half an hour later and was still having trouble. She just seemed so uncomfortable (and exhausted), so I finally propped her legs up on mine - like I used to do when she had gas as a little baby - and she was able to sort of sleep after that... still waking every hour or so at first, but doing better as the night went on. This was the day I had tested strawberries by eating a few for lunch, though, so it looks like strawberries are still firmly on the "do not eat" list for me.

Audra had her follow-up appointment with her pediatrician on Friday to check that her ear infection from a couple of weeks ago had cleared up. Her ears looked great, and the doctor noted how "busy" Audra was, as I was grappling with her to try to keep her from touching anything, moving her from sitting on my lap to laying her on her stomach on my lap to flipping her over so she could look at the world upside-down. We also talked some about some unnerving breathing Audra had had overnight - twice now she's had maybe 10 minutes of rapid breathing while she's asleep with what sounds like gasping or hiccuping. It didn't seem like it was sleep apnea, since it was more an excess of breathing rather than the opposite, so we think it may just have been a dream. I haven't fully woken her when she was doing it, so I guess I'll try to wake her up the next time to see if that stops it (and hope that there isn't a next time).

Miscellaneous cuteness:
[Sisterly bonding over yogurt]

Friday, January 9, 2015

44 Weeks

Oh, Audra. This little baby keeps us on our toes :) Perhaps not coincidentally, this week I started practicing yoga again, drinking beer (exactly one so far), and even had a cup of caffeinated tea (gasp!). There was really no reason I needed to abstain from alcohol and caffeine while nursing (at least, in the small amounts I normally drink), so I guess, 10 months in, I finally felt comfortable enough to cut loose a little bit ;)

The pumping situation is maybe improving from last week? I was still pumping at least a bottle (4oz) less than I needed each day, so I started taking Fenugreek and within hours I was already pumping more. That seems a bit unlikely that it would have an impact that quickly, but even if it's just the placebo effect, I'm ok with that ;) I've also been testing chocolate this week and it doesn't appear to be causing any issues for Audra, so it looks like I'm good to eat chocolate again too :) Josie will be so disappointed as she has been able to lay claim to all the chocolate that enters our house up until this point since she knows I couldn't eat it because it "upsets Audra's tummy." ;) So I think next up is testing strawberries and peanuts, and then I'll give it another month or so before I try eggplant and dairy, which are the last two things I've been avoiding and which had caused the most issues for her anyway.

Audra's sleep was - as usual - all over the place this week. She apparently had more playing she needed to do whenever I tried to put her to bed, since her naptime and bedtime sometimes extended for hours as I would keep trying to nurse her down and she would keep popping up with a grin on her face, aggressively blowing raspberries on my belly (or just slapping it - thanks, kid) or giving me kisses on my nose (which still entail just putting her mouth around my nose, sometimes with a rather disgusting amount of saliva involved too). And some nights she woke every time I shifted and wasn't able to get herself back to sleep at all... and then she had one awesome night where she woke a couple of times but got back to sleep on her own, and ultimately didn't nurse from 9ish until 3am.

Audra keeps plugging away at trying to walk, with taking a few steps on her own at a time, including a couple of times towards Josie (who I think doesn't quite understand the impact - good or bad - this will have on her quite yet!). Audra has also started climbing now, which is... startling. She has been climbing on stools lately, and climbed right up on the platform part of our bed the other day (which scared me to see her head pop up over the side of the bed, since she suddenly seemed so much taller!). She also climbed onto her walker, and alternated standing on one leg on it with rocking it back and forth in a rather impressive display of balance.
Audra just loves eggs, and was diligently feeding herself lots of eggs, some bacon, potatoes, and cantaloupe when we went out to dinner on New Year's. She also is very interested in using her own spoon and fork, and tried to scoop yogurt out of a bowl on her own with a spoon, and (adorably) would touch each piece of egg to her fork before putting it in her mouth :) She also still loves getting her teeth brushed... it must feel good - or at least tickle - since she gets excited when she sees the toothbrush, opens right up, and laughs as I brush her teeth :)
Audra continues to be more playful - and downright funny - as she comes up with little games that she finds hilarious. Like, for instance, when she squashed her nose against the mesh screen of the bed rail and then started laughing at herself (and had us all laughing too). She also seems to be playing with us around the stairs, since she'll crawl right up to them and seems to wait for us to tell her no, and then she peeks at us with a big smile on her face before actually trying to start climbing the stairs. She had a lot of fun with my mom the other weekend, being super happy and just wanting my mom to carry her around and bring her up to the various things she pointed at. Audra and Josie have been playing hard in the evening lately, with favorites being the jack-in-the-box they got for Christmas (that Audra can even crank on her own, a little bit) and Josie giving her pretend cake to eat from her hand (which Audra found very funny). I also continue to have grunting conversations with Audra (where we clench our fists and grunt at each other with utmost intensity), and now we have fake cough conversations too :) She also loves it when I mimic her flailing and lightly slap her hands or tickle her belly, and she gets really excited and kicks a lot :)
As far as language, I'm still pretty sure she's attempting to say "Audra" and "ducks", and also sounded like she tried to say "thanks" and "hi" after I did a couple of times. Oh! And she added "mama" to her babbling now (along with "baba" and "dada"), which I'm obviously a fan of. She also still likes it when I sing to her (usually the main way I try to head off her screaming in the car), and I find it funny that she appears to have selected "Wake Up Exhausted" as her song, since that's the one she calms down and/or laughs for. I tried "You Are My Sunshine" (which is Josie's song, anyway) or other baby songs, but she went for the one that has the most fitting title for this time in our lives, I think ;)

Miscellaneous cuteness:
[Being goofy but actually chewing on a teething toy for once ;)]
[Making sure she gets every last morsel of food]

Monday, January 5, 2015

43 Weeks

The big event from last week was Audra's first "official" Christmas (following our "little Christmas" with my family last weekend)... although last week was also pretty notable since we've decided Audra is now walking :)
We dressed Audra up as an elf again (because really, she makes the perfect elf), opened presents at our house in the morning with Ryan's family, and then went over to Ryan's parents' house for dinner after naps. Audra was remarkably into opening her presents, and applied her trademark persistence to tearing off wrapping paper and otherwise getting into her (and everyone else's) stuff :) She instantly understood how her glockenspiel worked, and was perfectly happy whacking away at that for a while, although she was less enthusiastic about her new baby doll than I was expecting, given how much she lights up whenever she sees Josie's.
[Reading with Aunt Alyson]
[With cousin Riley]
[In the princess castle with Aunt Alyson]

Audra really does quite well when she's passed around, and so she did wonderfully at Ryan's parents' house in the evening, where her feet barely touched the floor the whole time we were there :) She had only taken a short nap before we went over there, so I think that really helped - but regardless, she was happy, ate really well for dinner, and then fussed for less than 10 seconds in the car before she fell asleep on the way home.

As far as her walking, last week she had taken her first steps unassisted after we had stood her up and then encouraged her to walk to us. This week, she seemed to cross a (perhaps arbitrary) line to where we have decided she's WALKING! since she has now taken steps completely on her own - she stood up herself and then tried to walk to where she wanted to go, regardless of if we were there too.
This week we gave the girls a bath together for the first time, which also marked Audra's second bath ever (and the first one was when she was a newborn, so she didn't get to sit on her own and play). Audra and Josie were huge fans of this development, and had a grand time splashing each other, eating bath toys (Audra) and spelling words with the bath letters (Josie)... at least, until bathtime ended, and Audra gave me a seriously reproachful look as I pulled her out of the tub. In other sisterly news, we put Josie in charge of giving Audra yogurt a couple of times, which suited both of them just fine. Audra's little kicky feet were going the whole time (which she does when she's happy/excited) and Josie was squealing "good job, baby!" with each spoonful Audra happily took from her :)

Speaking of yogurt, Audra now seems to be tolerating some dairy! This is a relief to me, not only because yogurt is her favorite food in the history of all things edible (this is the only food she cries for when it's all done!), but hopefully that means I will be able to eat dairy again myself too (I really just want a milkshake). I've tried having some butter, and while she still spits up some afterwards, it's not too bad (and it may or may not be related anyway). So Audra is doing well with increasingly large amounts of yogurt, and has also tried cheese without any noticeable issues.

Audra has definitely started waving now, and it's just adorable as she waves to us, herself, the baby monitor, etc. Her peekaboo skills have improved, and now she (usually) covers her eyes until we say "peekaboo!" and then she'll uncover her eyes and giggle :)
I came down with another stomach bug last week, and while it seemed like it was mostly gone after the first 24 hours (during which I could barely eat or drink), I still felt sick and had headaches and a decreased appetite the rest of the week. Luckily no one else at the house got it, and the biggest issue now is that my supply has taken a definite hit. So now I haven't been able to keep up with as much milk as Audra needs each day for daycare, and have had to thaw out 2-5oz each day to make up the difference. I had hoped that her eating more solids would decrease the amount of milk she needs and lessen some of the pressure on me to keep up with her, but not yet apparently! So now I'm hoping to still get my supply back up again (although I'm over a week in at this point, with no improvement), but I have enough frozen milk to hopefully get us through a couple more months until we planned to start her on cow's milk anyway.

Audra did fine with sleep for the week - she had a couple of really good nights (going for 4-5 hour stretches) mixed in with less-than-stellar nights where she wanted to nurse most of the night and woke crying whenever I shifted. Her naps are probably the most consistent they've ever been, with her usually taking a single 3-hour nap with me starting around 11am, although she has also had days where she only slept half that or taken a 2-3 hour nap and then still needed a shorter nap before or after the big one.
Audra transitioning down to one nap is also a huge relief for me, since that means we're that much closer to being able to get the girls on the same nap schedule... which means I'll be able to see Josie (and Ryan) more... which also means that the girls can entertain each other. It turns out it's actually easier to watch both of them at once at this point, since they both just seem happier when the other is around :)

Miscellaneous cuteness:
[Little Santa hat]