Saturday, December 26, 2015


The big news for Josie for October is that she can read now! She has been trying harder to sound out words lately and was very excited to tell me that she was reading, and that she wanted to practice every day. However, she still mainly only seemed interested in trying to read books she was already familiar with, so I couldn't tell if she was actually recognizing the words on her own or just reciting from memory with the book as a prompt in case she forgot the words. But she was reading "The Cat in the Hat" one day with Ryan's mom, and since she was able to read it despite never having seen it before (as far as I'm aware, at least), that's enough evidence for me to believe that she can actually read now :)

Josie had a few days of crying when I dropped her off at school in the mornings, which is unusual for her (at least, when she's not going through some sort of transition at school). I don't know if they had been reading some monster books at school (since we don't really have any at home), but she had a newfound fear of "creatures". So she kept telling me she was scared of creatures, sometimes specifically dinosaurs, which I feel like I was only partially successful at assuaging her fears of. Dinosaurs were easy ("They're all dead now, so they can't come get you." "Oh."), but I didn't really know what to do with the generic "creatures". I was able to get her laughing once by trying to imagine what a scary creature could be and then making that creature ridiculous (yes, I just took a page out of Harry Potter - Riddikulos!), but I also wonder how much she was actually scared or how much she was just trying to get extra comfort... because it turns out that she had an earache at the same time, so I suspect she was feeling down and just wanted some cuddles, since her fear of creatures quickly dissipated once her ears were feeling better.

Josie's outfits that she picks out have always been a little outside the norm, which is fine, given her age and the fact that she hasn't been beaten down by conformity yet ;) But they've been more over-the-top lately, especially once she settled on her unofficial Friday outfit. She wears a uniform the rest of the week for school, but Friday isn't a uniform day, so she planned her Friday outfit all week: Elsa shirt under her blue polka dot dress, with a crown and her hair in an Elsa braid. I did put my foot down on her wearing that crown to school, but the rest she wore to school pretty much every Friday for at least a month.

[Wearing "fire color" headbands in honor of the firefighters visiting her school that day]

Maybe it's testament to how infrequently I get fancied up nowadays (and how infrequently we use the oven), but Josie burned herself for the first time in October. I was drying and straightening my hair (for the first time in Josie's lifetime), and despite me telling her not to touch my flat iron since it was hot, she found out the hard way just how hot it gets :( She grabbed it and immediately let go, but she was so calm about it I wasn't even sure at first if she had gotten burned. I put her hand under cold water and she seemed fine, but maybe 10 minutes later it was hurting her more. She had maybe a half-day of discomfort, but luckily seemed to heal from it quickly.

School is going well for Josie again, now that she has settled into the new classroom and routines. She even impressed her teachers so much with her description of fall (fall is the same as autumn, birds find food and go somewhere warm, animals find food and hide for the winter) that she got a letter home about it from her teachers and she got to bring home a little stuffed animal for the night. Josie was so excited about the latter in particular, and kept describing it as Henry, the tiny, cute polar bear, although she wasn't as keen on the fact that she'd have to return him to school the next day. She told me she wanted to "keep him forever and he would be a new toy for [her] and Audra... but no."

Josie does a good job helping at home now too. Along with clean-up time every evening, as we've been doing for a while now, she now knows to bring her plate, cup, and placemat over to the sink when she's done eating, and to hang up her backpack and sweatshirt and put her shoes in the closet every day after school. She is starting to put away her clothes after I wash and fold them, and she also changed the toilet paper all by herself for the first time, even putting it on the right way (i.e., over the top), after correcting it on her own :)

As I mentioned in Audra's post, we went to a pumpkin patch with my side of the family just before Halloween. Josie had a lot of fun on the jumping pillow, although she did want everyone to take turns so that she could jump on it all by herself for a little while (that didn't happen). Her little jumps were so funny though - she was jumping and jumping and yet barely made the pillow go down at all, like she was a little bird jumping on a crust of snow. She also loved all the different things to play on there (Jack O' Lantern playground, random blow-up cows), and liked her pear cider and her ridiculous lunch of a chicken sandwich with no condiments, a handful of pickles and onions, and a doughnut.

Given how much Josie liked the jumping pillow -- and the trampoline at Ryan's parents' house -- we decided to look into getting a mini trampoline for our house. After approximately 2 minutes of effort, I located one on craigslist and set up a time to go get it - triggering the most poorly thought-out craigslist pickup of my life so far. So the plans were for me to pick it up from a storage facility after work, which played out as me following a strange man (who probably had more than 100 pounds on me) into the deserted, gated storage facility (that locked from the inside too, as I found out later), at night. I realized that things were not as safe as they could be after I got out of my car, so we conducted the rest of the transaction with my finger on the trigger of the pepper spray in my pocket :-\ I also didn't think through how exactly this 6'-diameter trampoline was going to fit in my little car, so after trying every option to get it through a door, the perfectly-nice man ended up tying it on to the roof for me. So I finally made it home safely with this trampoline, and the girls loved it (jumping and falling and laughing and hugging each other), so it was all worth it :) Ha.

Josie decided she wanted to be a cheetah for Halloween this year, so that's what she was. She had a parade at school that afternoon, and then we went over to Ryan's parents' house afterwards to get the kids ready for their first time trick-or-treating together. I painted Josie's face again, and then we headed out in the neighborhood with the wagon, since we were anticipating that someone's little legs would give out at the furthest point away from the house... and although they probably would have, we don't actually know since both kids insisted on riding in the wagon the whole time between every house. Josie was so excited about all the candy she got, which Ryan and I were decidedly less excited about, since it basically triggers a month of negotiations as she doesn't do as well eating her regular meals since she's so focused on getting her one piece of candy each day. So it takes about a month to get through all of her candy that way, and that's with me skimming off probably half her candy, and her pretty freely sharing with me and Audra ;)

Josie also helped me carve pumpkins this year, and although she didn't especially like pulling out the slimy pumpkin guts, she certainly did love the roasted pumpkin seeds that were the result of that work ;) This was the first year that Josie picked her own design for her pumpkin, so I started going down the path that my dad did for my brother and me, of drawing up a selection of Jack O' Lanterns for her to choose from... and then I remembered we have the internet now ;) So Josie picked a (surprisingly scary) design off Google images, and I picked an owl for Audra, since she's still obsessed with owls, and then I got busy with the Dremel (which was also the first time I had attempted pumpkin carving with a Dremel vs a knife, and I'm pretty sure it was so much faster, but it also sent shards of pumpkin all over the kitchen and myself). They turned out pretty well, although, true to form, once Josie saw hers she decided it was too scary and asked to switch with Audra's instead.

Miscellaneous cuteness:
[Playing so nicely together]
[Silly girl]
[Having a moment with the cow]

[Playing with the "Yo" app, which literally just Yo's people, but we all are amused by it]

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