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 :)
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[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 :)
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[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:
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[Sisterly bonding over yogurt]
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