Josie now crawls almost exclusively "like a normal" - she still scoots on occasion, but I think she finally realized that it's much quicker (and less labor-intensive) to crawl on her hands and knees now. She has gotten very quick with going up the stairs, although she's not too great about coming back down again... granted, that's probably because she doesn't really want to come back down. She knows the main floor well enough by now, and would much rather explore the upstairs, which has the office (which is filled with awesomeness (i.e., electronics), so we usually immediately pull her out of there), the bathroom (that has a toilet to play with! ugh), her nursery (that she has never slept in, but has plenty of books!), and our bedroom (which has an super fun air filter that she can turn on and off!). Clearly, far more exciting than the main floor :)
[Breaking free from the living room]
Although Josie is normally pretty entertained by her toys, she rather suddenly got markedly more into them. She seems to want to play more, harder, and with a purpose.... which only seems to make sense to her, but has been fascinating for us to watch :) Lately, she has been loving her ball popper, puzzles, books (well, usually just two of them), and her blocks. After barely touching her blocks for weeks, she picked them up the other day and immediately stacked them three high. I'm not sure when/where she picked that up, but we were excited about that development :)
[Dancing to her ball popper]
[Stacking some blocks]
[Josie with her always-present credit card and remote]
[Putting the credit card away behind the couch cushion]
[Band-aid boxes make good rattles]
[Just lounging around on her giant bird pillow]
[Before she learned how to focus / steer]
Josie has been doing more on her own lately, which is really cool to see her trying to do things for herself, but also a pain since she doesn't exactly appreciate it when we take her away from whatever activity she's currently doing. So now instead of being super excited for me to pick her up at daycare, she's now mainly excited since she gets to show off her walking. But then she cries and gets very upset with me when I pick her up to take her to the car (since it's not too convenient to hold her hand/try to keep her from falling and carry all her other stuff at the same time, in heels), so that's not too fun. While she has helped feed herself with utensils before (with her holding onto the spoon as we guide it around), she's been able to scoop up some of her food and feed herself a few times now. She also very helpfully tried to plug my laptop power cord back in when she tripped over it and pulled it out of the wall - it's amazing how quickly I can move when properly motivated ;)
We're finally routinely putting shoes on her now, which she loooves. Oh my, she loves her little shoes. I think she really likes feeling like a big girl with getting to wear shoes, and she gets to participate now when we're all putting our shoes on in the mornings... but she gets so upset in the evenings when I take them off - despite me showing her that I take my shoes off too :) She's not convinced that's necessary, and tries to give me back her shoes to put them back on. In other amusing behavior, she mimicked Ryan the other day when he was doing push-ups. She laid down on the floor right next to him, but baby push-ups apparently only involve pushing her chest off the floor and then kicking. Oh, and lots of cuteness.
I'm pretty sure she has a few words now that she's using on her own, not just parroting us when we say them. So Josie says "hi" or (adorably) "hiya!" now, mainly when she's in her car seat and trying to look back at me over the seat. She also likes to say "no"... a lot. She apparently yelled "no, no, no!" and shook her finger at the other babies at daycare. Oy. She's still not as mobile as most of the other babies, so I guess that's her best defense at the moment for when the other kids take her toys. She also yelled "na na na" towards the door and what sounded suspiciously like an attempt at "daddy" when Ryan came home last week and I asked her where daddy was.
[Na na na - high five!]
For food-related changes, she is now fully weaned and we all survived. After refusing to drink her cow's milk bottles last month, Josie has since gotten over that and seems to be fine with it now. I'm still mixing frozen milk in with her bottles for probably the next month or two (until we run through my frozen stash) so she can continue getting some of the benefits of my milk for a little while longer, but I am done nursing and pumping as of the end of August. I have been working through my short list of things I had been looking forward to having for the last couple of years, and while Mountain Dew was a bit of a disappointment (it just made me feel crappy although that may have been because I was taking advantage of free refills at the time), it is nice to have a beer again on occasion, and chai lattes taste just as delicious as I remember them being :) I'm just drinking them in much smaller quantities than I used to.
Ryan had his work picnic a couple of weeks ago, and Ryan pulled Josie out of daycare for a couple of hours and they had a lot of fun together. I attempted to go, but due to a Google maps snafu, I ended up at an apartment parking deck half an hour away from the picnic location, so I had to give up and head back to work :( But Josie was very excited to see the animals they had there, and rode a pony, got a super cute caricature done, and then ate three pieces of watermelon all on her own (and refused to eat anything other than watermelon). She also got her leg painted with a watermelon, naturally. So perhaps needless to say, she still is a huge fan of watermelon. She has also been on a mushroom kick lately, so I think if she had her way, she would only eat mushrooms and watermelon for every meal.