Friday, January 18, 2013

18 Months

Josie is now 18 months!  Seems like just yesterday when she was a little newborn, and now I sometimes wish she were again only because she was so much lighter and easier to carry around then ;)

This month Josie started talking more - using actual, real words! - although for some reason I don't seem to have any videos of this.  So you'll just have to trust me that her way of saying "apple", "two", and "no way" is seriously adorable.  She also said what I'm counting as her first sentence: "Mommy, stop it."  So charming.  And the best part is I wasn't even doing anything!  But since then, she only says something approximating "mama" when she's upset (usually not referring to me, but apparently I am associated with bad things??), whereas "daddy" is Ryan as well as good, non-Ryan things.  Hmm.  Then again, for maybe a week, everything was "baby" (especially chandeliers), so maybe she's just confused.

Josie seems to be learning that words can actually mean something - usually, we would ask her a question and she would say "no!" quite happily, regardless of if she actually meant yes.  But now she's actually answering "yes" on occasion (when she does mean it), and "no" actually means "no" more now (sometimes complete with a wrinkled nose and head shake).  She also likes to shrug aaaall the time now, and along with her penchant for goofy faces and winking(?!), she has been quite entertaining this month.  And, true to form, one of her favorite things during Christmas was the plethora of boxes to play in.  Forget (most of) her other toys - she discovered the fun of hanging out in a box... well, apparently she and Ryan both discovered this ;)

At her daycare, they have a teacher come in a couple of times a week to do arts and crafts and songs with the older kids.  They decided to see if Josie could handle herself with the big kids, so she went with the 2-3 year olds the first day and lasted the whole session (a couple of hours) with them, when they were expecting to have to collect her after half an hour.  So she gets to go with the big kids now each time, and apparently just loves it, and I think it does help her to be around the bigger kids since she just soaks everything up and tries to act like them too.  I think this may also be helping her fine motor skills, which have really been quite impressive this month.  I've noticed an improvement in her coloring now that she's doing that more at daycare, and she's also now remarkably handy with a screwdriver.

Josie can now say "two" and "three" when prompted, although "two" seems to be her favorite, and she won't even attempt "one".  But she will try to hold up the appropriate number of fingers as well.  She also knows the hand motions to the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "Hickory Dickory Dock", and will play with her doorway quite contentedly on her own, making it play those songs over and over again so she can do the hand motions and then clap for herself at the end of each iteration :)

Josie also started talking to herself this month.  I didn't think too much of that until a perhaps not-so-coincidental change in her bedtime routine: now, instead of sitting with her, either holding her hand or at least in close proximity, we can either lay down on the futon on the other side of the room or just leave the room entirely, and she'll (usually) eventually go to sleep without any crying.  This is fairly huge, because before we couldn't even be more than a few feet away from her before she'd start crying.  And I'm not sure if something switched in her mind once she started talking to herself, but right about the time she started doing that, she also was fine with us leaving her awake in her crib.  She babbles to herself, rolls around, vigorously claps, and yells "da" and bounces on the mattress.  Suddenly, hanging out in her crib got a lot more acceptable, although sometimes we do still go back in to settle her down since there have been times when she's still not asleep after an hour.  But for the most part, her going to sleep requires much less support on our part, which is so nice.  And, except for a couple of weeks when she was sick, got some shots, and had both of her 1-year molars on the right come through, she still is sleeping through the night (from about 8:30pm-6:30am) about six times a week.

Other funny little tidbits from this past month:
  • She is getting more precise in how things should be done - she likes to stand up her cups, bottles, cheese, blocks, whatever, in certain locations, and seemed to be getting upset with Ryan once since he wasn't putting back the mop and bucket correctly.  This both warms my heart (since I can totally understand where she's coming from), and worries me a bit (for the same reason).
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  • Ryan stuck her on a skateboard with him the other week, and although she didn't have the best view since she was smushed against his legs, she seemed to love it anyway.  She also was exhibiting some schadenfreude, as she found it hilarious each time Ryan fell :)
  • Josie has been more interested in cameras this month, and progressed quickly from holding it correctly to actually taking her first picture (of the stairs and a tiny bit of her knee).  She could probably stand to work on her composition a bit more though....
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  • Ryan and Josie have this fun game they like to play in the car where they'll talk in the creepy "red rum" voice from "The Shining".... luckily she only seems to do this in the car, which is good, since it really freaks me out and I don't think I could handle it if she were to follow me around the house with that voice.
  • We started giving her stuff to dip her food in (hummus, tzaziki sauce), but she doesn't seem to get that she can still eat the food she's using to dip.  But she loves it, and ate nearly an entire container of tzaziki sauce, tiny dip by tiny dip, using the same carrot the whole time :)
Miscellaneous cuteness:

[We can take a hint, and she did get some actual, Josie-sized chairs for Christmas]
[Proof it's not all sunshine and rainbows with Miss Josie]
[Our first "pile on Ryan" family picture]
[Look!  It's a picture of me with Josie!  Too bad my eyes weren't open...]
[Take two, and it looks like Josie takes after her mama ;)]

[This video was primarily to capture Josie's facial expression at the beginning]

Monday, January 7, 2013


Christmas was a much different affair with Josie this year as compared to last year when she was sick and too young to really know what was going on, and spent a good chunk of the time we were unwrapping presents asleep on my chest (with a bow stuck on her butt).  This year, although she wasn't too into unwrapping her own presents, she was more than happy to play with all of her gifts and to be generally entertaining...  through all three iterations of Christmas 2012.  So, without further ado, here is a recap of our Christmas(es).

We started things off right once Ryan's sister Sara got into town from Florida, as she, Josie, and my nieces spent some quality time in the bathtub.
On Christmas Day, we headed out to West Virginia nice and early to open presents and have brunch with my mom and aunt.  Josie took a stab at opening her first present.... very, very slowly and painstakingly.  Hence why we took over the task for her.
Her very first present was some blocks from Ryan and me, which Josie was so pleased with that she insisted on holding at least one block at all times for the rest of the morning... which also probably contributed to her not so stellar present-opening capabilities.  But she was quite delighted to tell her reflection just how wonderful that wooden block was.
Once Josie woke from her post-brunch nap, we headed over to Ryan's sister's house for more presents and dinner.  Her cousins had already opened their presents, so she immediately found her favorite presents of theirs to play with... namely, the musical instruments Taylor and Riley got.
After dinner, we got ready to head to Michigan. We changed Josie into her jammies so that way she would be all ready to go straight from the car to bed when we stopped without having to wake her up to change her.  This turned out to be overly optimistic.  Josie was quite happy in the car for the first few hours, although she didn't go to sleep until 9:30pm (about a couple of hours later than normal).... but then she woke sad crying every half hour after that from being so uncomfortable in her car seat.  We ended up stopping around midnight in Oberlin, Ohio (which we do not recommend... although this may be less because of the city itself and more because of our association with it now), and since Josie woke up fully as we were getting the hotel situation squared away, we then spent the next FOUR HOURS trying to get her back to sleep.  By 9am we were awake again (more or less) and back on the road, and finally got to my dad and stepmom's house around 3pm, when Ryan and Josie immediately went down for a nap until we woke her up after 5pm.  And she still went down for bed ok that night, so I guess it could have been worse.
We then opened presents the next morning, once we convinced Josie to give up the word search she was so intent on.
Josie had a great time in Michigan, playing with my dad, stepmom, brother, and sister-in-law, holding court on the stairs, talking on the fireplace remote control "phone", and getting to see some snow. We had only planned for a short trip, and although I'm having troubles imagining ever making that drive again, when we do, it will definitely have to be for a longer trip.
We learned from our lesson on the drive up, so we planned to drive during the day on the way back and stop by bedtime.  Josie continued to be more cheerful in the car than we really could have expected (although admittedly Ryan was sitting in the back seat the entire time, entertaining her with his renditions of "This Little Piggy" and the "Itsy Bitsy Spider", over and over and over again), and when we stopped for the night (one exit away from Oberlin, but a world of difference in our experience), she was more than happy to play with Mirror Baby while we got settled in the hotel room before she crashed for the night.

The next morning we got back on the road again, and finally arrived home in the afternoon - luckily, after Josie was able to get her full nap in (thanks to Ryan holding/propping up her head and rubbing her forehead to get her back to sleep each time she woke up).  So now we're still busy working on house stuff and Josie's busy playing with all her Christmas toys :)  Josie's 18 month (!!) update will be up sometime soon, and then I'll probably post another house update at some point too.