Audra's 13th month marked her worst illness so far. Just as the weather got a bit nicer and I thought we had made it through the winter pretty well (with many sicknesses, but at least a few breaks in between), then she came down with a really bad virus.
Before that, though, I had brought her to the pediatrician for her 1-year well baby appointment. Audra measured in at 28lbs 9oz, 33" tall, and 18 1/4" head circumference, which tracks pretty well with her previous measurements: so she's still off the charts for weight and height, and her head is in the 75-90th percentile. She also got her hemoglobin level checked, which was good (12.5 gm/dl). The doctor said the ~5 words that Audra tries to say is good, and seemed happy with Audra's eating and nursing, was completely unfazed by our sleep arrangements, and also agreed to postpone the 1-yr vaccinations (which we only would have done MMR anyway, and saved the others for a separate visit) until the rash on Audra's back cleared up, since it was clear her immune system was already dealing with that and we didn't want to add new vaccines on top of that.
And then two nights later, Audra (and I) had an absolutely horrendous night of sleep, when she woke up upset about every hour at first, then was basically up from 1:30-4:30ish, coughing, nursing, crying, crying, crying, falling asleep but immediately waking up coughing again. It was awful. She was just burning up overnight too - I could feel the heat emanating off just her hair. So I gave her Tylenol around 2am, which seemed to only marginally help. She still cried as she was coughing, had some spots on her tongue in the morning on Sunday, and had goop coming from both eyes, with one even gooped shut. Ryan and I stayed home with her (tag-teaming so we could each work a bit) Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, as she continued to be super fussy, with lots of coughing, congestion, and eye goop. She even threw up for the first time, after a crying fit that abruptly ended when she fell asleep sitting up, and when I picked her up to move her to a more appropriate sleeping location, I guess that jostled her just enough that her stomach full of phlegm revolted :-\
[Eyes gooped shut]
Audra barely ate solids while she was home with us and still slept horribly, but she did well nursing the whole time (thank goodness), and was starting to have longer and longer stretches when she was content and able to start playing again, so we sent her back to daycare on Thursday. I think they knew how far behind at work Ryan and I were (and that I had a full day of meetings that day) and were trying their best to take care of her for us, but it became very apparent when Ryan brought her home that she really should have stayed home, as she basically just laid on the floor whimpering until I could get her off to bed :( Ugh, I still feel bad about sending her to daycare, and this is one of the few times that I think I made the wrong decision with trying to balance work with family. But then, naturally, she perked back up as soon as I tried to nurse her down that night, which is what she had done the night before too, and part of the reason we had sent her to daycare, since she had happily played on her own for a good two hours before she finally agreed to go to sleep around 10:30pm.
We had talked to a doctor at the beginning of Audra's whole illness, who said it just looked (and sounded) like a bad virus, but after yet another horrible night of her mostly being awake from 1:30-5ish as she kept coughing or just waking up, I brought her back to her regular doctor that Friday. They also thought it was just a bad virus, but saw that she had a double ear infection and her blood oxygen level was a bit low too. So we put her on amoxicillin and attempted nebulizer treatments, but luckily her wheezing cleared up pretty quickly because she got so upset about the nebulizer that we only did it a couple of times since she fought it so hard that she wasn't inhaling much of the medication anyway. The next day she finally seemed like she was on the mend - still plenty congested and coughing, but at least sleeping somewhat better and eating and drinking more normally again. And by her follow-up appointment a few days later, she was almost completely better.... including her back rash, which had completely cleared up while she was most sick. I guess that was a silver lining of her immune system having to kick into overdrive because of the virus, so... yay?
[Still sick, but finally feeling a bit better]
Besides all that, we had a pretty good month :) Just as I'd suspected/fervently hoped would happen, her sleep started improving almost as soon as she turned one, so she began waking less frequently, got back to sleep more readily on her own without nursing, and even slept on a cot at daycare for a couple of hours on her own :) She even had a night where she only woke twice, which was very exciting... except for the fact that then she was up for the day earlier than normal. She was moving around a bit and I thought she was resettling herself, until she suddenly reared up and landed on my mouth to give me a (toothy) kiss :) We also upgraded from the futon we had been sleeping on, so now we're on a full-size memory foam mattress (which will eventually be used for her "big girl" bed) on the floor. This is a huge improvement as far as I'm concerned, since it's so much more comfortable and I'm no longer waking from the pain in my hips and legs if I fall asleep on my side.
Anyway, she has spent many a busy morning moving things from place to place and playing more independently with the various toys (or non-toys) in the house. She really impressed us with how quickly she figured out the jack-in-the-box, and how dexterous she is, as she's able to not only stuff the jack back in the box herself, but she can turn the crank to make the music go, and knows that when she's ready for the jack to pop out, that she can just manually release the catch herself ;) Speaking of her dexterity, she just loves snaps and buckles, and will happily work on anything she can get her hands on for an impressive amount of time.
[Occupying herself by snapping together all the straps on her carrier]
Audra and Josie have been hugging and kissing each other more, and playing together more lately, chasing each other and playing their own version of hide-and-seek/peekaboo in the kitchen cart. And while it's so nice to see them have fun together and enjoy how hard they can make each other laugh, it ends in tears probably a majority of the time still, as they sometimes play too rough. I imagine/hope they'll work it out eventually, though, and until then, we have touching videos like the one below, that I abruptly ended as Audra attempted to forcibly remove Josie from the cabinet by pulling her out by her hair :-\
After being a little less enthusiastic about solids for a couple of weeks, she has really been eating more lately. We did fine after testing strawberries a few times, so we're both able to eat those now :) I think it's just eggplant and dairy that's left on my "avoid" list now, although I've been starting to reintroduce dairy too. Now that Audra is (usually) only napping once a day and is (usually) no longer a mess in the evenings, we've been able to go out all together for lunches and dinners more, and restarted family dinner night on Sundays with Ryan's family. She is just ridiculous/amazing, though, as she shovels in food with both hands, and eats more than Josie on more than the occasional outing. We've also had some success with her eating more vegetables, after we started playing the biting game that we used to do with Josie (and which may be at least in part why Josie still likes asparagus so much). So now Audra will readily eat asparagus, baby corn, whatever she can bite down on as we pretend to struggle and strain to pull it back out of her mouth :)
[She had some serious playing to do with the owl puppet]
[Climbing, as usual]
[She seems to be drawn to sunbeams :)]
[She was quite upset that she couldn't use the spoon or eat the berries on the oats container]
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