And we're back! We spent a week at lovely Lake Gaston, on the border of Virginia and North Carolina. This year went much, much better than last year. Last year's family vacation at the lake involved a 3-week-old Josie who hated every second of the (4+ hours one way) car ride and basically stopped sleeping for the week. This year, she slept for 3 hours on the way there (but only a half hour on the way back... can't have everything, I guess!), slept well every night, and was generally a delight to be around. Her cousins were so sweet with her, and she kept herself amused with blocks, books, and other toys, pulling herself to standing (constantly), and yelling gibberish. Ryan and I also really enjoyed getting to spend so much time with our daughter - this was the most time we've had with a healthy Josie (when we try to work from home with her when we're all sick doesn't really count) since she was less than 3 months old... and no offense to Newborn Josie, but she's much more fun to be around now ;)
[First time in the lake!] [She did seem to like her float (which we found pretty invaluable), despite the side eye she seems to be giving it here]
So Miss Josie spent a lot of the week in a floaty swimsuit, with a long-sleeve sun shirt over it, with a sun hat on, sunblock on her face, hands, and legs, and in a float with a sun canopy... this may have been overkill, but we're taking a more Victorian approach to tanning with her, and trying to keep her as pale as possible ;)
[Baby taco! She didn't like this too much, but if the sun was too bright and/or she didn't want to wear her hat, we'd taco her up] [Sleepy time]
[Little tiny baby splashes!]
We had a birthday party for Josie too, where she got to have a watermelon cake and watch me open her presents for her :)
[Enjoying her first balloon]
[Mmm, the watermelon was delicious, according to Josie ;)]
We also gave Josie a plum to eat on her own, which proved to be both entertaining (at least for Ryan and me) and good to fill her up, since she seemed to willingly eat more when she could attack it herself rather than eat pre-sliced pieces like we normally give her.
Josie also discovered the concept of "under" that week, and spent some time crawling under the coffee table... which went swimmingly for her until the first time she bumped her head and realized she was a bit stuck.
The coffee table actually played a key role that week - it seemed to be just the right height for Josie to pull herself up and sit herself down (repeatedly), and so a lot of her toys ended up on top of the table, where she kept herself quite occupied :-)
[Josie cheering Ryan on as he won Super Mario Wii]
Josie is now one year old! This was (obviously) a big week for us: her first July Fourth, a visit to my work on Friday, then her first birthday (including party) on Sunday.
So first up, the party we normally go to each July Fourth was canceled (due to the crazy storms we had over the weekend, which knocked out power to a lot of people, including our friends whose home we would have been going to), so instead we had a low-key day at home and then had dinner at Ryan's parents' house. We took Josie on a walk, which, I have to say, she seems to have lost some enthusiasm for. She used to either fall asleep or stare contentedly at everything passing by, but now, she looks like this for the most part:
At least, until she sees one of us. Then she goes right back to being thrilled with life and overcome with glee:
[Josie's gravity-defying leg - it stayed up in the air for a good part of our walk]
Also on July Fourth, I was finally successful in wrangling the child so I could put her hair in a ponytail. She has steadfastly refused to cooperate with any hair-stylings lately (and all barrettes are promptly removed by Miss Josie), so her hair has been quite messy and in her eyes (enough that Ryan even referred to her as a "ragamuffin").
Josie also celebrated the Fourth by taking a nap in her crib for the first time in... I don't even know how long. Many months, probably.
As seen above, I do still like to take semi-creepy screen captures off of the baby monitor/webcam. It's hard not to, though, when Josie sleeps in such adorable positions :)
Since Ryan had Thursday and Friday off work as well, he brought Josie in to my work on Friday for her first visit since she was six weeks old. Josie has been going through a phase again lately where she's crying more when I walk away from her or if someone else holds her, and has also been more shy with new people. So she was hiding against us at first at my work, and then eventually warmed up (probably because she had new people to walk her around), and then she was back to her normal of yelling and being generally adorable as she was walking and scooting around.
Josie's watermelon replacement/ball mentioned in last week's post has still been a big hit. She figured out how to play catch, so she now pounces on it as soon as I roll it to her, and then throws/bounces it back to me (at least, as long as I'm directly in front of her!). She'll play with it herself too, although that seems to mainly consist of her hugging and eating (or maybe kissing?) it.
Josie's mood has been a bit erratic the last few days. Some days she's been especially giggly, where all we have to do is look at her funny to set her off into peals of hysterical laughter, and other days she's been a bit more... morose, let's say. We're pretty sure she's getting ready to cut at least two more teeth soon (in addition to her top middle teeth, which are still coming through), so that may be part of it too, but her sleeping has been all over the place lately. She is finally napping better on her own (usually decent 2-hour naps now, although it appears she has already dropped her afternoon nap), but has been more difficult to get down at night and has been restless and waking up more overnight too. So hopefully things will settle back down soon once she cuts her next batch of teeth and makes the other big developmental leaps that she's working on now, since she's starting to at least consider standing and walking on her own now. She has pulled herself to standing using the stairs and various pieces of furniture, and then a couple of times has danced back and forth and lifted one hand up at a time (but didn't actually stand all the way up on her own), or taken a few steps on her own. She will also scoot to me now when I tell her to come to me and wiggle my fingers at her - she usually ends up stopping and yelling for me to come get her when she's about halfway to me, but I can't help the fact that she chose such an inefficient method of moving around ;)
Finally, we had a party for Josie's birthday on Sunday. We don't usually throw too many parties (I think this is the third one in the ten years we've been together?), and I'm remembering why as we're still trying to recover from all the work that went into it ;) The party went really well and it was a lot of fun, but we (especially Ryan) had put so much time and effort into preparing for it that I feel like I need to sleep for a week to make up for it now. Josie's naps got a little messed up before the party (she woke up after 45 minutes, but I was luckily able to get her back to sleep for another hour, but I think she still had more sleep in her when she woke the next time), so she was pretty out of it for the first hour of the party. She started perking up as more people/kids started showing up though, and ended up quite happy... until it was cake time. Ryan had made a cake for her that was designed for maximum messiness, and our normally no-holds-barred little eater rather primly ate the berries off the top and then tried to call it a day. Oh well :)
[Wearing one of the dresses we had conveniently just received from Ryan's Grandma]
[Cake eating is apparently very sad]
[That's a little better!]
[Ready for a high five]
Coincidentally enough, as I was feeding Josie during the party, I happened to look at the clock and noted it was 3:48pm and Josie would have been a half hour old a year ago... and then realized that it was thunderstorming out, just as it had been a year ago too. Neat :)
[Smiling with her eyes (or "smizing", for any ANTM-watchers ;)] [Josie has been pretending to talk on whatever's handy - blocks, keys, etc. - so we finally gave her an actual phone to play with instead]
And now I will be taking a (short) break from the blog. I met my goal of doing weekly updates through her first birthday, so I will probably be doing some review and editing next to figure out how to print out the last year of posts for Josie's baby book. We'll be on vacation next week, so I should be back with more pictures in a couple of weeks :)
This week we had yet another trip to the doctor - this time to urgent care, since Josie was whimpering and not using her left arm too well when I picked her up from daycare last Wednesday. They thought she might have fallen a little while before I got there and hurt herself that way, but it turns out she had nursemaid's elbow instead - which involves (according to wikipedia) "the head of radius slipping out from the anular ligament of radius". Basically the ligaments in her left arm/elbow weren't where they're supposed to be, so she couldn't use her arm properly and it was causing her some discomfort. It probably happened from her falling while she was being walked around, since, for babies her age, it's usually caused by being swung around by the arms while playing or by falling while being walked around (since it seems counterintuitive to let go of her when she's falling, but holding on to her ends up jerking her arm instead). Interestingly enough, per wikipedia, there is also "a slight predilection for this injury to occur in girls and in the left arm." Odd. So anyway, the doctor was able to manipulate her arm and got everything in the right place again, Josie was good as new within a few minutes, and we've been spreading the word to be a bit more careful with her arms now.
Last weekend, we packed up Josie and headed off to Alexandria for an engagement party for my brother and his fiancee. Josie chatted non-stop for 30 minutes straight (to the point that Ryan and I were wondering what she had gotten into), and then, while Ryan and I were taking a minute to figure out directions, she apparently suddenly passed out, as this was the scene as soon as we got the directions sorted out:
Josie's big moment at the party was getting to play with a dog for the first time. Suffice it to say, Josie was in love :) The dog did very well with being chased around by Josie most of the night, despite the yelling and poking that Josie lavished on the ever-so-patient Fiona :)
[Not too sure about the dog at first]
[Playing with the dog, and some scooting]
As seen in the end of the last video, Josie is a little scooting machine now. She tried to head off on her own to walk to me a couple of times last week but immediately fell over, so it looks like she's not quite ready for that yet. She has also been pushing her butt in the air when she's laying down, which appears to be how babies get themselves to standing (at least, based on my observations of the baby next door!), so I'm not quite sure what her plan is.... even if she had the stomach muscles to pull herself upright, she doesn't have the balance to keep herself there. But I guess this is all part of learning :) And while Josie hasn't quite figured out how to handle the stairs yet (she pulls herself to standing pretty quickly, but hasn't gone up or down the stairs yet), she has worked out how to "help" with navigating the step-down into our living room:
Josie does all sorts of little tricks now - waving, high fives, nodding her head "yes" (which takes a certain amount of deliberate and serious concentration - so cute!), and turning off and on lights. She also likes to help hold onto stuff while we're grocery shopping - she seems to have a particular affinity for watermelons, to the point that she kept a hand on the watermelon the entire time we were grocery shopping last week, and then immediately placed her hand on it at home too, when Ryan held her up to it. Partially because of this, we recently bought her a (watermelon-sized) ball, which she seems pretty excited about as well :)
[Sometimes I can't handle the cuteness of her little feet]
Since Josie has continued waking up at 6am (which is an hour earlier than she had been), I've been able to get in some reading time with her before we head out to daycare/work. She makes a beeline for her books as soon as I set her down on the floor in her nursery, and she is also starting to hand books to Ryan and I to read to her. She's still stuck on calling everything "dada/daddy" or "mama", except for the occasional "dadey!" (which I still think is "baby"), but I think she was trying to mimic some animal names and sounds the other day, which I'm pretty excited about. I keep forgetting that she should be starting to use more words soon enough, and that I need to start paying more attention to what she's saying to pick out the words. I'm so used to all the chattering just being random sounds/expressions of glee, but I'm looking forward to when they actually start to mean something :)