Sunday, December 8, 2013

November

November proved to be a busy month, with Josie starting at her new preschool, Ryan being gone for a week, various outings, and Thanksgiving.

Josie did really well for her first day at the new preschool, not even caring when I left and jumping right into the activities they were doing. I took that day as one of my required government shutdown-related PTO days, so I picked her up after lunch, and we headed down to the river after her nap for snack time. This is one of her favorite things to do now, as she always asks to go to the river and just wants to cuddle on the bottom step and watch the water (and leaves and fish) go by.
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[All ready for her first day at the new preschool]
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[Heading out to the river]
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After that, we headed over to the mall to try to find some pants for her and try out the mall play area. The play area was a fairly harrowing experience (a kid pulled her off the slide by her leg, then pushed her into another little girl, who accidentally knocked Josie over, making her burst into tears - all within the first five minutes), although she eventually found her little corner to have some fun where she wasn't getting run over every couple of minutes. We struck out on finding any pants for her, but she did get some quality dancing time in at Old Navy.
Things were not so rosy the next week, though. Ryan was in Iceland for work, so my mom stayed with me to help out, but it was still hard with the time change (that Josie actually did very well with, but me, not so much) and Josie realizing Ryan was gone for the first time, on top of the transition to the new preschool. So she asked where daddy was multiple times a day, and while we at least got to video chat with him before she went to bed most nights, it still seemed like his absence affected her more this time than any previous trips.

After the success of the first day, Josie started crying each morning when I dropped her off at preschool, which, since she never did that at her previous daycare, I probably took harder than I should have. She had several very emotional days, and some worsening fits during morning dropoff (including screaming, crying, kicking, throwing herself around, and refusing to be comforted by me or her teacher), but then she started doing a little better towards the end of the week. She was still crying in the mornings, and super, super excited to see me in the evenings and drag me out the door, but she was beginning to play with the other kids more and was less emotional throughout the day.

Once Ryan got back and took over dropoff duties again, she still had a few days of being sad at first, but now apparently runs to her teacher to give her a hug, takes off her jacket right away (which she refused to do the first couple of weeks), and then runs off to play. She is fully participating in the activities throughout the day, and loves music time, outdoor time, lunch time... basically, everything. And her vocabulary has really expanded, her language skills have gotten better, and she sings now. Oh, she sings. She sings all the time, anything seems to set her off into a round of "Baa Baa Black Sheep" or "The Wheels on the Bus", and there are very definite rules to the singing - as in, we're not allowed to just start singing with her, and she will let us know when it's our turn ;)
[Clean up, clean up!]
Josie also had some troubles adjusting to changes to our routine at home too - namely, we're waking up a bit earlier in the mornings to give her breakfast before preschool (she used to eat at her previous daycare instead). So breakfast turned into a battle for maybe the first week or two, until we got a timer to put some parameters around how long the meal would last (she gets less mad at the timer than at us) and we started involving her more in the process. She also now picks whether she wants to have cereal or eggs, and then helps us make it too. She is back to eating all of her food again, although she's still fighting the cleanup and tooth-brushing a bit afterwards, but not nearly what it was.

Josie's sleeping situation has been a little odd this month. She's still doing great with not even attempting to get out of bed (although once she dropped her kitty out of the bed, and I watched her on the monitor as she very gingerly got out of bed - keeping one hand on the bed at all times - grabbed her kitty and jumped right back in), but we've had to go in several times to spin her around since she sometimes gets her legs hung up on the bed rail or has her head hanging off the bed... she stays asleep through this, but cries enough in her sleep that it's better for us to just take care of it rather than let her eventually work it out on her own (or fully wake up). She has also had several nights of crying out every hour, and since that tended to happen Monday nights, I'm not sure if preschool was stressing her out or something.

We hosted Thanksgiving at our house again this year, and despite the last-minute stress with Ryan falling ill at the last minute, the food was great and it was so nice to spend time with our families.
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[Josie dancing with her cousins]
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[The spread]
Josie also helped us prep the meal too, and she was super excited about helping me bake the pumpkin pie (possibly even more excited than she was to eat it!). She also sort of helped Ryan prep the vegetables for the veggie tray the night before, but with a little less success...

We met up with my mom, brother, and sister-in-law at a local park/farm, where Josie had her first carousel ride. She loved it, and even named the horse she had picked out to ride ("Horsie"). She also went on her first wagon ride, which I skipped out on in case it was too bumpy - instead, I headed over to the indoor arena to watch the Quarter Horse show that was going on, but I sadly had just missed the classes I used to show in (and this was actually the last place I ever showed my old mare too, way back in 2001). I suspect we'll be back to this park more often, especially once it's warmer, since there were lots of activities and animals for Josie to see. And we've already been back once, to play on the playground and pick up some of their (free-range) eggs :)
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Miscellaneous cuteness:
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[Raiding my closet]
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[We had to take a family picture to send to preschool - this isn't the one we sent, but was still my favorite :)]