Friday, October 17, 2014

September

September was Josie's first full month as a preschooler :) She had been volunteering to go over to the preschool classes before then whenever her school needed to shuffle kids around to maintain ratios, and while she had been excited about that, going to that classroom full time ended up being more of a transition than I was anticipating. She had about a week of crying, not wanting me to leave her in the mornings, and asking to go back to her early preschool class or home a few times, and was more reserved in class for the first few weeks. She also had a day when she was sad during playground time, and told the teacher she missed her baby sister - then told me the same thing when I picked her up, and tried to convince me that Audra should be with the other little babies at the same school as her :( But she started to get more comfortable again after the first couple of weeks, and was starting to speak up and participate more in class again.
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[First official day of preschool]
But while Josie had a slightly rough time getting used to her new class, we noticed some big changes in her pretty quickly. She continues to be quite observant, and was starting to have lots of funny commentary too, explaining (imaginary) "Frozen" plot points to me, asking where the other cars were going as we drove home, and then answering the question herself, as she explained to me that they were going to a restaurant where they'd eat fish sticks and have milk and water (but definitely not broccoli or tomatoes) before they went to their homes. I also asked where Ryan went once, and she said she didn't know, so I asked "Is he gone?" and she agreed, solemnly stating that he was "gone forever". Also gone forever? Her baby doll, and basically anything else that is not directly in view... although I guess I have myself to blame for that one, since I do say that a lot. She is also learning to write her name, and while she can do all of the letters now, they're not necessarily in the right order (or direction), so her school papers come back with a jumble of "J"s and "O"s on them now :)
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Josie has a bit of an obsession with band-aids and being sick, which I don't think she fully understands the consequences of yet. So every time she gets hurt or gets the slightest mark on her, she'll start asking for a band-aid. We basically only give her a band-aid if there's blood involved, and if she didn't hate getting hurt as much as she does, I'd be a little concerned that she'd hurt herself just to get that band-aid, given how much she really, really wants one. So she had a bug bite on her arm last month, and when I told her band-aids were only for if she was bleeding (in response to her many requests for one), it seemed to satisfy her.... until I was explaining sunburn to her as I was putting her sunblock on, and told her her skin would turn red and hurt if she got burned, and she said (with no small amount of hope in her voice) "and bleed?!" I said, no, it would just get red and hurt - "and bleed?!" and then two more rounds of that before we both just started laughing :)

But she also came down with some sort of stomach bug, and while she was initially excited about being sick, she was pretty over it after a full day of unpleasantness. I stayed home with her, but since I've been trying to hoard my scant PTO in preparation for being sick all winter (sigh), I was still trying to work as much as possible. She was perfectly fine with this, and set up shop next to me at the table, coloring for a large part of the morning and regaling me with funny stories and explanations of "Wreck-it Ralph" - including many mentions of him being a "bad guy".
[Pretty representative of our day]

For Mommy/Josie outings for last month, we went to the library again and then Starbucks for the first one. She was super excited about the library, but we only had enough time to return books and check out new ones (which she did herself!), so we walked over to Starbucks (with her -- inexplicably -- angrily singing "B-I-N-G-O" at the top of her lungs) to read there instead. We then went to pick up burgers again to bring home to Ryan, and she remembered where we had sat the last time we were there, and was quite enthusiastic about trying a little bit of soda again (root beer this time).... which she determined was still quite spicy :)

For the next outing, I asked if her she wanted to go to a playground for our outing, and she immediately said, yes, the big one, really really far away that she went to with Uncle Brian and Aunt Emily. That was actually the one I was thinking of bringing her to anyway, but I was quite impressed that she remembered it since she had only been there once in March. Unfortunately, that was a day that Audra was particularly fussy, and since Josie was so looking forward to the playground, I stayed home with Audra and Ryan took Josie out instead.

For the last outing of the month, rather than trying again to leave Ryan with a fussy Audra, we decided to just all go out instead. We went to an animal park/pumpkin patch, where Josie had a great time running around, going down the slides, looking at all the animals, and having some apple cider. 
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[Inside a pirate ship]
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As I've mentioned in some of Audra's posts, we changed up the weeknight routine so that Audra now goes out for a walk (and, hopefully, a nap) with Ryan while I eat dinner with Josie. This has been working out well all around so far, since Audra isn't melting down quite as quickly now, Ryan gets his evening walk taken care of, I get a little more one-on-one time with Josie during dinner, and then Josie and Audra usually get some playtime together once Ryan and Audra return. Josie has been especially thrilled about getting to play more with Audra, and most nights our house is filled with the sound of her squealing and running around with Audra, and Audra's happy little sounds in return for all of Josie's attention :) Josie just does an awesome job with Audra, playing with her, talking to her, making up songs for her, and trying to comfort her when Audra's upset in the car. Josie has also been pretty into Audra starting solids, if for no other reason than that she gets to help with offering Audra food... and since we offer her food from our plates a lot, Josie takes the opportunity to pass off food to Audra that she doesn't want to eat, then encourages Audra to try it by yelling "Eat, Audra!" at her, which Audra usually finds very funny ;)
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[Hugs!]
 
[Both kids passed out, with Josie's foot next to Audra's face for "comfort"]

Speaking of eating, Josie went through a phase of barely touching her dinner for a while, which seemed to coincide with her sudden morphing into a "threenager". She said she didn't like me and she wanted me to go away (ouch), and was whining every night that she didn't like dinner. It turns out I find it really annoying when she says that but hasn't even seen her dinner yet - or, even better, when she picks out what she wants to eat and yet still announces that she doesn't like it. Luckily, this phase was fairly short-lived though (at least this bout), since it only lasted for a week or two. We try to take a more relaxed approach to mealtimes anyway (in terms of requiring her to finish her food), so we just asked her to try one bite of each thing on her plate and called it good, which she was willing to do if I framed it as "I would like it if you tried a bite of everything on your plate" vs "Please eat one bite of each thing". So I guess even though she "didn't like" me, it still meant something to her to try to do something that would make me happy ;) Another trick that seemed to work was to play along with her when she decided we were different kids in her class - asking Josie to eat some dinner maybe wouldn't work, but "James" was usually much more amenable to that request ;)

Miscellaneous cuteness:
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[She certainly has some flair with her outfit choices]
[Running around with the cape Ryan cut out for her]