So much for going to the YMCA's playgroups! I feel pretty certain that is where Avery got the particularly nasty cold she came down with a couple weeks ago and then subsequently passed on to me. I was trying halfheartedly to avoid getting infected, but when you are nursing a toddler, it's darn near impossible. The fatal blow came a few days into her symptoms when she woke up in the morning, popped her little head up and coughed, then sneezed, directly in my face. The she says, "hi!" How can you not just laugh? Of course, then she kept trying to kiss me. I tried to turn my head, but she didn't let it rest until she planted one right on my lips (smearing her snotty nose right on mine - lovely). If there was any chance I was going to avoid getting sick too it went right out the window that morning.
I held out for a good week; I started loading up on vitamin C, taking shots of apple cider vinegar and tablespoons of coconut oil (home remedies of dubious value), drinking a liquid multivitamin/mineral supplement, and cod liver oil. While it didn't prevent me from getting sick, who is to say whether I would have been sicker without all that. The worst part is that I can't clear one of my ears! It's the most uncomfortable and annoying problem.
I'm supposed to be getting on another plane back to the mainland on Monday, but I don't know if I will make it if I can't clear my ear. That could be bad. I really want to go because my Great Grandmother is turning 100 years old and I don't want to miss out on the party & family reunion.
So that's what's been occupying us for the last couple weeks. Fun. I know you can't live in a bubble so your kid doesn't get sick, but I think I'd rather Avery get sick later when she's weaned and I can maybe not get sick every time she does! To be honest, the playgroup kind of squicks me out a little because the toys are old and they all feel sticky and I see kids put stuff in their mouths and then other kids pick it up and EW. Are you laughing at me for being a germaphobe? I really try not to be paranoid about it, but those type of activities are like petri dishes for germs. There was one kid there who had a hacking cough and I thought about scooping up Avery and leaving then and there, but we stayed and you know the rest of the story.
Avery's 18 month birthday was last Monday. My baby is a year and a half old! She is really changing a lot right now, after a somewhat stagnant period between 15-18 months or so when she seemed more or less the same day to day. Now each day she seems different: saying more words, doing different things, doing the same things differently. The biggest thing, of course, is her language development. It seems like she is saying - or attempting - new words every day. She will imitate just about anything, even when you don't think she is listening or paying attention!
The other big change of late is that her sleep has improved SIGNIFICANTLY. And I feel comfortable saying that without fear of jinxing it because we've already gone through a short time of worse sleeping again. So I know with teething and whatever she's probably going to regress again, but overall the improvement is nothing short of miraculous. We put a mattress on the floor in her room and now at night I nurse her to sleep there and then I can get up and go downstairs and she stays asleep for HOURS usually. Like I often go to bed before she wakes! I am crazy and I love sleeping near her, so I usually go lay down on the mattress with her and sleep there until her first wake up. Then I carry her to my bed and she stays there with us the rest of the night.
Did I tell you Avery likes to eat seaweed? I buy momi nori (shredded seaweed) and she eats it right out of the bag. It's kind of hilarious. I find the stuff pretty repulsive, but she loves it.
I've been experimenting with making bone broths and I'm really loving it. I highly recommend you try it; it's so nutritious for you. The easiest is probably chicken broth. I just buy a whole chicken and roast it. I save the heart, neck and gizzards in a bowl in the fridge for the broth. I stuff the chicken with thyme, sea salt, onion, garlic and lemon wedges, then cover the skin with butter, salt and seasonings and roast at 425 for about 1.5 hours. Then we pick the meat off and eat it for dinner and save all the bones with the gizzards in the fridge. The next day I put the bones and gizzards in a pot with water and a couple tablespoons of vinegar for an hour. Then I turn on the heat, add carrots, celery, onion and thyme to the pot and bring it to a boil, then simmer for like 12 hours. Then I strain the broth and make a chicken soup out of it. I do something similar with beef bones too. We just made a beef stew yesterday with some broth I cooked for four days. It's so delicious! The broth really makes a difference and it's so nourishing. Avery didn't care for the chicken soup, but she likes the beef one. Her favorite thing in the world to eat is still chili. I can't explain it, but whenever I make it, she will often eat a big bowl of the stuff.
Avery is napping now. When she wakes up we are headed to the pumpkin patch! I am not planning to dress Avery up for Halloween this year, but I definitely want pictures of her in the pumpkin patch!