Thursday, August 6, 2015

16 Months


Audra added a lot more words during her 16th month. She can now say "mama" (finally!), "food", "up", "baby", "turtle", "bird" (after much encouragement not to call them turtles!), "diaper", and "apple". She maybe tried to actually say "Josie" (rather than just yell her specific "Josie" yell), and also (hilariously) says "no, no, no!" and wags her finger at us. She can identify (but only sometimes tries to say) several animals or body parts, like nose, eye, ear, cheek, bunny rabbit, kitty cat, duck. This seems to have led to a breakthrough in communication, as she is delighted (huge smiles and all) that she can more clearly communicate with us now. She's very quick to say "up" (even when she means "down"!), and was just thrilled that she was able to convey the message to Ryan (through a mix of words, pointing, and yelling) that she wanted a specific cup filled with water.

Perhaps even more exciting than all of her new words is the exciting development that we were actually able to go somewhere that was longer than a 20-minute car ride away ;) We've only broken that rule a handful of times since she was born, since her inconsolable crying/screaming in the car was miserable for everyone. But she largely has stopped crying in the car for shorter trips (and when she does cry, it's usually for a specific reason - like not being able to get her shoes off - that are more easily remedied than just pure upset), so we decided to go for it and took the whole family out to meet my new nephew. Audra did great in the car (playing almost the entire time with one of her toys and just getting fussy in the last few minutes of the 45-minute drive), and then was quite excited to meet Benjamin and Chloe (the cat). Although I apparently don't have any pictures of her with Benjamin (or Chloe, for that matter). :-\

Audra continues to be quite pleasant and very happy lately (even when the reason for said happiness includes possibly playing in toilet water...). Ryan discovered that Lowes is a great outing for her, since the aisles are so wide and they have carts that are easier for her to climb on and hang from. She also had so much fun pushing the cart and spinning Ryan around on it :) She's really being more playful now, and has spent larger chunks of the day just playing happily with her toys or with us... also, I definitely just used the word "chunk" because it reminds me of Audra... specifically her thighs. In the best, most admirable, way possible, of course ;)
Anyway, she is very quick with her puzzles, and while she hasn't quite figured out how to spin the pieces around so that they fit, she can match all of the animals up with the puzzles easily; this, despite the fact that she has animals that overlap between the different puzzles, so she has to sort out which cow goes with which puzzle. This girl loves to dance, and I just love when she starts moving ever-so-subtly in her high chair, like she just can't resist the beat. She also headbanged to some Nirvana with me too, so that was fun :) She still loves when we sing to her, and singing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" or giving her an almond are fairly surefire ways to get her to stop crying.

Actually, food may be the way to her heart in general. My dad and stepmom came down to see Benjamin so we all went out to dinner while they were here. We suspect Audra may have been scared of my dad at first, since she was so moody that evening. But then she decided she was in love with my stepmom, following her around and wanting to be picked up, particularly after Rosey was giving her crispy noodles at the Chinese restaurant :)

We went out to an animal park on a different weekend, and Audra was very excited about all the animals. She can just about hold her own with the bigger kids already, as she insisted on following Josie into the moonbounce (which they both loved) and any other "big kid" toy they had there. Audra also apparently figured out how to work the umbrellas at the picnic tables, as she spent a good amount of time putting it up and down, again and again.

Audra's favorite books at the moment seem to all involve animals, and she especially likes a baby animals picture book that she picks for storytime almost every evening. She also inserted herself in Josie's storytime for the first time - clever girl, she figured out how to get double the books, since Josie goes to bed before her ;) So she ran from me when I came to remove her from the room so Josie could read her books, went right up to Ryan and said "up", then stayed with them most of the time (only getting in minor trouble). And on another night, she sensed Josie's storytime was about to begin, so she actually ditched me to head over to the other side of the house to join them (although she spent most of the time repeatedly climbing off and on the bed over the bed rail). This may not seem like much, but given that she usually stays within a few feet of me if given the option, it just seems so weird to me to see her walk away from me on her own volition.
[Picking books]

She continues to figure out new and ever-more-exciting things she can get into... like climbing onto the dining room chairs. And then climbing right up onto the dining room table. It doesn't seem to phase her that we immediately tell her no and pull her off the table each time, so we no longer have chairs around our dining room table. Luckily she seems to have forgotten that she knows how to climb up on the stools we have around the kitchen peninsula, otherwise we'd all be sitting on the floor.

Audra just seems to like to push her limits, which is pretty much exactly what she's supposed to be doing, although sometimes I don't know whether to get exasperated or laugh at her when I repeatedly tell her no and she tries to push the boundaries anyway. For example, I tell her no, don't touch (or really, smash) on my keyboard... so then she gets the funniest, thin-lipped expression on her face as she determinedly tries to sneak just one finger back onto my computer. Or the time she got me to put her helmet on her, then she waved "bye-bye" to me and left the sun room, turned on Roomba... then promptly came shrieking back to me. Exasperating (since she seems to forget she's scared of Roomba every.single.time she does this), but yet a little bit funny too.

Josie and Audra are having more fun playing together - while Audra doesn't understand the rules of any games yet, they seem to be making do, playing their own version of hide and seek or tag... basically, anything where there is some running and then some yelling, or sometimes even some yelling while running. And interspersed with the hair-pulling (which, thankfully, is finally starting to decrease) and toy-grabbing, the girls are being more affectionate, sharing the cutest hugs and kisses I ever did see :)

Audra is also getting slightly more helpful with chores, insisting on helping me with the dishwasher and laundry... although her "helping" usually looks more like throwing all of the clothes out of the hamper and then putting said hamper on her head, or pulling out all of the silverware from the dishwasher (especially the knives, ugh!) and then hiding them in various cabinets. But, on occasion, she is actually helpful :) So she usually puts away her shoes in the closet, is an awesome door monitor (shutting every door she comes across), has opened, loaded, and closed the dishwasher, and helped throw clothes in the dryer and then shut the door. Although it doesn't really shorten the length of time to do my chores (yet!), the proud look on her face is so worth it :)
[This is what she does when she's not helping]

Miscellaneous cuteness:
[First kids' meal of her own!]
[Passport photo outtakes]