Audra's 14th month was also her first Easter that she got to participate in. She was fascinated by the fact that her eggs opened and closed - let alone that they had food in them - and was quite happy running around, pointing and yelling at everything :)
Audra seems to be understanding so much more now. She does still hit a lot (although thankfully doesn't pull hair as much), but if I say, "gentle, Audra", she'll immediately start patting gently instead of whacking us. That said, she did throw a can of playdough at me when I didn't open it for her (with a rather defiant expression on her face), so she hasn't softened too much ;) She'll also climb on the bed herself if I point to it and say "go get on the bed", and one of her favorite tasks in the morning is to fetch Ryan's shoes for him when asked. She's learning names too... except for me. Ask her where "mama" is and she has no clue. But Ryan is instantly recognizable as "dada" to her, she'll pat her chest and say "Audra", and if we ask her where Josie or big sister is, she'll search out Josie wherever she is to yell at her :) She's charmingly insistent with saying "hi" to people (including complete strangers), and will keep saying it until someone acknowledges her... and even then, she'll probably say it and wave a few more times for good measure.
Her night-time sleep really improved, as she was mostly down to around 3 wakeups some nights (although she did only wake up ONCE one night!!) and starting to do some 5- to 6-hour stretches too. I think I'll start leaving her at night whenever she consistently is only waking once a night - since it just doesn't seem worth it to me to relocate if I'll be doing so multiple times a night - although I will miss her terribly when I do (and I'm sure the feeling is mutual), so I'm really not in any rush. The current setup is working well for us now, and it won't be for forever. I'd also miss ridiculousness like the one night when she was nursing for so long in her sleep that I finally unlatched her, and as soon as I did, her butt immediately shot up in the air and then she suddenly flung herself backwards on my chest. She apparently fell back asleep as she was airborne, since she slept through me uncontrollably giggling at how she was splayed like a starfish on me... until I apparently managed to fall asleep like that too.
Audra has also figured out how to get out of bed by herself, so when she wakes in the morning as I'm getting ready for work, she'll push the cushion blocking the way off the bed out of the way, then come screaming through the house to find me :-\ I do seem to have a certain flair for ruining things for her, since she'll be happily playing with Ryan or Josie, but as soon as I come in the room, she'll immediately start crying and want me to hold her. Again, I know this isn't for forever that she'll feel such an intense need to be close to me whenever I'm in sight, but it's still a little disheartening that I seem to inspire so much crying. She also has started attaching herself to my leg, so there have been many a night now that I've had to prepare dinner while doing a poor imitation of a three-legged race.
[Cooking her own dinner of My Little Ponies]
It would have been odd if we had gone a week without an illness in our household, so Audra obliged with some scary breathing issues and yet another ear infection. It seemed like she was just getting congested, so when daycare called to let me know that she was having problems breathing, I assumed it was like every other time she's had "problems breathing", and just her nose was stuffed up. But when I went to pick her up and her entire torso was moving with every breath and she just seemed to be laboring to breathe, I packed her right up and drove straight to urgent care. They suspected RSV, diagnosed an ear infection in her left ear, but strangely didn't seem that concerned about her breathing... perhaps because she was clearly not listless or blue or any other sign of decreased oxygen, and was in fact, I quote, "quite ornery". So we got to take another stab at doing nebulizer treatments at home with her, which went so much better this time than the month before, since the urgent care doctor recommended just holding it under her nose vs using the mask that she hated so much. We got a stronger antibiotic for her ear (since she had just had antibiotics for her last ear infection), but decided to give it a little more time before starting her on it, and instead did garlic mullein in her ear twice a day and monitored it with our otoscope. A couple of days later and her ear looked fine, so garlic mullein (and lots of massage around her ears) is quickly becoming our go-to way of heading off and treating ear infections.
It appears that I can eat everything again, at least in moderation. The last holdouts were eggplant and dairy, and while I still can't drink too much milk, that's now because of my own reaction to it rather than Audra's. But I had small amounts of eggplant without Audra having any issues, and with the same lack of any reaction when I ate butter, my life just got a whole lot better :) All I wanted was some butter and hopefully a milkshake in my near future, and that makes any burden of continuing to nurse seem much lighter :) I don't yet have any plans to wean her, but it looks like we will have to introduce cow's milk pretty soon because I've pretty much blown through the freezer stash. It seemed to happen all of a sudden, so I'm a little freaked out about it, but we had a good run and I know it's not the end of the world that we'll have to start supplementing. It just looks like it will happen a little sooner than I thought.
[Not much left of the freezer stash]
Audra continues to get more interested in books. She'll bring books to us to read to her more often now, but still seems to lose interest midway through... except when Josie read her a book. She was enthralled, and sat the whole way through an entire book :) She also seems to especially love it when Josie pushes her on the swing, and also when we buckled her into Josie's tractor and Josie drove the both of them around for a while. Audra has lots of hugs to give to Josie, but also lots of hitting - Audra just comes at her sometimes with her arms flailing, and slaps at Josie without any (recent) provocation. One night when Josie was innocently attempting to do some yoga, Audra was apparently grabbing everything she could get her hands on (including a pan lid) and hitting Josie with it :-\
And speaking of Josie, Audra wants to do everything like her big sister... or us, really. She loves to clean up after herself, tries to wipe her own mouth, and uses a fork for everything (so she officially uses a fork more than Josie at this point). She loves Josie's toys especially, and does a surprisingly good job playing with them.
I had in my notes several times that Audra was "giggly", which, given the amount of screaming she normally does, is not a usual descriptor for her. But the sunnier side of her personality seems to be shining through more now. She has always been a picture of extremes, laughing super hard at just about everything but then also screaming even louder when she's displeased. But giggling is something new, and is utterly adorable :) She giggled when I just put my face really close to hers, giggled when Josie patted or kissed her, giggled when I was chasing Josie around while carrying Audra. Audra even has a "happy dance" now (entailing stomping her feet and some arm flailing), done usually when she first gets her shoes on, but also for the ceiling fan :)
Audra is starting to show some interest in drawing, as she drew a little with crayons and sidewalk chalk... before she went to her default approach of trying to eat them. I have never met a child more determined to eat non-food things before. She still eats paper, and has added dirt, rocks, and sticks to her "diet" as well, but at least will usually readily hand over whatever she's attempting to eat. She has gotten more opportunity to satisfy her apparent craving for dirt (seriously, she chews on it... ugh) now that the weather is nicer and we're able to be outside more consistently. She just really wants to be outside, and is usually so much happier out there... unless I'm outside too and not holding her at all times, of course. Then she screams. ;)
[Yay! Clap clap]
[Audra approves of Ryan's summer haircut]
[Rather unimpressed with her breakfast]
[On the other hand, she was quite excited about her first popsicle...]
[...once she figured out how to eat it ;)]