Friday, December 21, 2007

Aunt Kiki

Poor Aunt Kiki from Texas found Virginia cold. Still, we had a lovely, if short, weekend with her.

I look like a crazy person.

Here's a couple other pics she took...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Princess Josephine

We have, so far, kept our child sort of far away from the Princess cult. Still, it's difficult to determine what role models are really appropriate. I'm not sure what idolizing Miss Piggy will bring, but I can fairly say that at least she (literally) overpowers her object of affection (poor Kermie) and Dora, despite the weakness of the books/movies, is an active adventurer - unlike the primping princesses who do nothing but glam it up.

Still, Piggy and Dora are both pink, and so our daughter likes to be Pink, and she loves the princesses when she sees them. Last night, I was woken again at 4 am because Jo had lost one of her pink shoes that she was sleeping in, and could not return to dreamland without that missing shoe. I helped. I understand. It's hard to lose things in the middle of the night.

In other Jo news, she also performed for us last night. She did some tap dancing (stomping) and pretended to be a mermaid. She really can crank up the charisma when she wants! She made some cakes out of drums and blankets decorated with candles (bells) and sang happy birthday. Her imagination is blossoming! I almost hate to get her any play food or toys, because she does so well inventing things out of other things.

But we're not so good on the sharing front yet. We had missed a few advent calendar chocolate window openings, so we caught up last night. When we got to the third chocolate, I said to Jo, "Can mama have one? Can you share with mama?"
"Come on, Jo. Share. Save one for Daddy. Share with Daddy!"
"No," she said, popping the chocolate in her mouth. "Share with JO."

So I've lost the battle. I won't give up on the war. Promise.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

It's (not a pink, though) Christmas!

1 - Not sure why, but while daddy and i strapping the tree to the top of the car, josephine burst into tears and sobbed all the way home. The rope was scary?

2 - However, she was all delight that we had brought "Christmas - home!" and danced around, enchanted, as we struggled to make the darn thing stay vertical, and then untangled the nest of lights

3 - Obviously, the lesson of Christmas for a two year old is "Wait." (not Peace or Giving or Love or anything else -just Wait.) Because she is not so great at not opening all the windows on the advent calendar, and already tore into one of the presents under the tree

4 - At one point, she did look up at the multicolored tree and request that we have a Pink Christmas... maybe next year?

5 - First thing out of her mouth this morning: "Angel - top - tree!"

(FYI, even though she is speaking in more and more complete 3, 4, and even 5 word sentences (the other day out came a clear "Put it in there"), mostly her communications sound like robotic blurts...

6 - For the My Child is Brilliant File: On the floor of the store last night (buying rope for the traumatic tree-tying), Josephine spotted a scrap of cardboard and declared it "Six!" It was, indeed, in the shape -unintentionally so - of a six, if you were using your imagination. How in the world did she see that? How does she know that number?

7 - In the Your Turn to Burn, Mommy File: following my post yesterday about "Old Daddy" - an older, angular-looking woman in glasses was on the TV last night - we were watching the city council meeting - and Josephine said, "That Mommy?" "No, I'm right here." "OH. Oh. OLD Mommy." Not to insult the woman but - I wasn't too thrilled... Great. Just great.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Pink Shoes (size 7)

She tried to go to sleep with them on.

Then she tried to sleep with them in her arms.

At four a.m., I woke up to her tap dancing in the hallway in them.

Then, this morning, as Daddy was getting her ready for daycare, she wanted to wear them. Daddy said: "Not now, you're too young - you can wear them when you're older."

To which she replied: "I older. I SIX."

Jo and I were walking from church, and she saw an older, balding man ahead of us on the street.
"That Daddy?" she asked.
"No, that's not Daddy," I said. "Daddy's at home, and Daddy's much cuter."
"Oh," she said. "That OLD Daddy."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Daddy's home

Daddy's home, and Josephine wouldn't leave his side. We stopped at a restaurant on the way back from the airport, and she was hugging him and crawling on him and decidedly all-Daddy's girl. And anytime he went away - like to walk the dog this morning - she burst into tears.

We managed well, but I am definitely one happy mama to have Sean back. And he brought me chocolate. (which supposedly I am not allowed to eat all in one sitting! fancy that!)

Last night, however, I woke at 1:30 a.m. and could not fall back asleep. Jo crawled into our bed and was kicking me. New Baby inside decided to have a karate-tap-dancing session, so was kicking me. Billy started up with his avid early morn licking fest, so I was kicking him. Sean was buried somewhere in the covers, catching up on much-needed sleep.

Even after taking Jo back to her bed, exporting the dog, and writing for a while, I was still wide awake (and new baby still quite enthusiastically doing the whole tap sequence in the rain from Singing in the Rain over and over). Somewhere around 5 I think I drifted off.

Still, we were a happy bunch waking up this morning, sleep-deprived or jet-lagged or not.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Our Little Consumer

It doesn't take long for them to figure it out, does it?

Like, Josephine quickly caught onto the meaning of "trick or treat" and the concept that candy lived in the plastic pumpkin - and that if she moved chairs around, she could find a way to climb and get at the good stuff.

Now, it's Christmas - and one mention that 'maybe Santa will bring that to you for Christmas' - how did she find a stash of Dora music in a corner at Lowe's????!!! inbred tracking device for all things Dora?? - and the next thing I know, when she discovered a wooden playhouse outside the hardware store - had to go inside of course - as we left it, she said, "Christmas." In a very confident manner. Nodding her head with assurance. As in - it's okay to leave the little house - I'll get it for Christmas.

ACK! She just turned two! She still loves playing with lint and gets excited over the Dust Bunnies on the stairs! (Why clean the house when dirt can be so fun!?)

Meanwhile, I'm debating whether to give in to the Miss Piggy fetish.

What am I talking about? I'm freaking out over defending my child against the onslaught of consumerism - not because I have a problem with Dora or Miss Piggy, but because they get turned into little keys to trigger kids into wanting other products they don't need - and I don't want Christmas to become about 'what do I get' - even this young.

Sigh... and of course, the indulgent mother in me actually took a look at the wooden house, contemplated for a second whether I'd have time to buy the lumber and construct it before - I mean, I have the tools - no, no, no, stop stop stop!!! What am I thinking!!! Get me out of here! No store is safe, obviously...


Friday, November 23, 2007

Snippets from our Day

If I say, "I'm hungry," Jo says, "I hungry, too." So, we end up with exchanges like this:
"What's that?"
"A UPS truck - mail."
"I mail, too."

"Rocks, mommy."
"Oh, pretty rocks."
"I pretty."
"Yes, you're pretty."
"I pretty - Moon. I pretty - Mommy."

Not sure I always get what these things mean - but it sounded nice.


At the children's museum in Richmond today, we were playing with my friend Robin with a puppet theater. At one point, Robin and I were in the audience, Jo was behind the curtains with the puppets. The curtain closed. We were sitting there chatting. Then we stood to open the curtains - no Josephine. We looked all around. She had vanished. It was like some awful magic trick. My heart skidded to a halt. Robin found she had run off with the puppets into an entirely different area of the museum - oh - my - goodness -


We're driving. I say something, call her "kiddo."
She remonstrates: "No kiddo, mommy. ME."



Went to the children's museum, then lunch, then the Maymont farm and natural center - where I discovered that the fish and turtles that look appealing in books do not carry the same charm in person. "No like it," Jo said of them, recoiling. The otters were great, though. And the owls - which I thought were mechanical, but were real - she was scared of their big eyes, but fascination overcame the fear, and we stood in the dark for a while, watching the horned owl twist its head slowly, blinking.


Josephine really likes Robin, who, by the end of the day, was 'MY Robin." (of course, everything is hers, if you give her a chance to say so.) Belated birthday gift from Robin - a red backpack with crayons and dollhouse pieces inside! And on the front, a robot kitty cat.

Highlight of her day was probably at the children's farm, watching the ducks and chickens and peacocks. She went absolutely nuts over them - did her own squawking and quacking. They made her laugh. Chickens are definitely more fun in person than on paper.

Don't remember if I've mentioned before, but she's really into pink - pink drinks, pink clothes, pink food, pink everything. She's finally got all her colors down, but it's pink that gets the attention. So, accordingly, she's latched onto very pink Miss Piggy, the pink-shirted Dora, her pink 'my little pony' figure, and her "Pink Billy," her stuffed pink dog. There's exceptions, of course (thank goodness).

But she loves to watch little snippets of The Muppet Show on youtube featuring Miss Piggy. I think she even named her pony Miss Piggy. So, tonight, I found an old clip of Johnny Cash on the muppet show, doing a duet with Miss Piggy. Only, she doesn't appear right away. So there's Johnny Cash, singing, and Jo scowls at him and says:
"You're not Miss Piggy."
Okay - I thought it was funny.


She also made me laugh this morning when, on the swingset, which we hit before the long drive to Richmond (she read during the one-hour drive), she started closing her eyes and kicking and making herself giggle. It finally got cold, so she was all bundled up and it made her look like a little pudge ball, even though she isn't.

It was an excellent day. The more I get to know this creature, the more I am enthralled with her!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Random Notes

Daddy is in England.

This morning, I'm putting on my lipstick; she's brushing her pink pony's hair.

"Miss Daddy."
"Me, too."
"Mommy miss Daddy?"
"Yes. Very much."


I love that she calls it a full, four-syllabled "pacifier."
Other new word: "Excited."
We're going to visit my friend Robin in Richmond this Friday, and Jo is very excited.

I'm trying not to fall asleep. It's a beautifully warm day. I had a physical therapy appointment, where the heat pad, massage, and fiery electrodes made me, if not pain-free, at least ready for a nap. Then at the park, Jo and I sat on a hill and piled leaves on our legs. Now I'm ready to sleep.

I have no idea where she got the idea to do a Moon Dance: She points at the moon, Moon!, turns around three times, plops on the ground. (???)

Yay! Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Photo Shoot Results

Well, I've learned my lesson about photo shoots:

1) People with dark hair don't look good against dark backgrounds (hair disappears into the dark)
2) Do the laundry (I didn't have anything fancy so I went casual)
3) Keep your expectations low (mine are always high)

I feel like the bow, in most of these shots, looks like a giant bird is nesting in her head.

The photographer was really great in terms of working with a very serious Josephine to get her to smile - she did what she could. Check this link to see the available photos - they are available to order, if you like.

This one here is my favorite. But then, I tend to prefer black and white in general.

Of course, for a lot more money, you can schedule a longer shoot outdoors or wherever with time for clothing changes...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Red Dress... and some more pictures

OKAY, I admit it. I'm a pushover. There. I said it.

We went to Kmart for some needed diapers, and there were the dresses, and there is the Holiday Party in a few weeks, and well, I had kind of told Jo I'd get her a dress since I made her remove the one she'd been wearing for two days in a row this morning, and... well, they were 40% off...

And she came home and put it on and pranced and flounced in front of the mirror - she had to try all of the mirrors, actually - and she must have really liked it, because she agreed to take it off so as not to get it dirty while she ate dinner.

I did show restraint at the store when I did not buy all of the pants Jo picked out and trotted to the cart. She also fingered a snow hat with a Bratz doll on it, and no way was I giving into any of that. (Like most of my friends these days, we suddenly find Barbie to be demure and charming and a strong woman, in contrast to the whorish Bratz dolls whose brazen superficiality is so trashy and grotesque...)...

Anyway, I found some pics from Halloween proper that I hadn't posted, mixed in with Jo's recent visit to Sean's parents. There are some really cute ones of the monkey - and some where I actually look less like death warmed over and more a little along the lines of a live human being. So: take a look!

Monday, November 12, 2007


With the cash Jo got for her birthday, we went to a local toy shop and she picked out this set of bells. It comes with music you can read either by following the colors, the numbers on the bells, or the notes - but really, Jo just likes to arrange them, line them up, and ring them.

So - thanks for the bells, Aunt Yvonne and Great-grandmother!

She insisted I take a photo of her using her toe. She also tried to eat her noodles with a fork between her toes at dinner last night.

We are very proud.

Actually, I am relieved - she knows her colors finally! I mean, she's known pink and orange for a few months now, but finally she's identifying the rest of them properly. I was told I shouldn't worry, that kids don't know their colors this young, but I couldn't help it. I should have realized, perhaps, that interest was winning the day: hence her desire for pink juice, pink cream cheese, pink clothes, pink trike, pink everything... sigh...

Shoot, it seems something's wrong with the server, it won't let me upload the other photos... will try tomorrow!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sunday afternoon selection

Yes, I have no shame. Here's one of our favorite activities - playing Boing Boing on the guest bed, jumping up and down, wearing funny hats, often with the 'doodle' (swim noodle)...
There's tons of photos from Daddy and Jo having an 'adventure' out walking today (Amy got some time to herself! yay!) and so on... but I'm not up to uploading them all, so here's a sample!

With Alex today, after church.

Her language skills are amazing us, as she strings together three and four-word sentences more and more. Funny story of the day: She and Daddy were in the backseat (we took Craig to lunch) and playfully, Daddy put Jo's red bow - well, he couldn't really find much hair anywhere but in his beard. He was trying to explain - Daddy doesn't have much hair - and out came "WHY? Daddy, why?"

She's Growing Up!
I feel like she's so super grown up. She's always been a very perceptive and watchful child, but as she develops, this quality about her deepens, almost to unsettling levels. Perhaps every parent experiences that feeling - this child who started off not even being able to completely focus her eyes is now watching your every move, mimicking your every word, she's aware now - and a new level of self-consciousness enters the relationship. Now that she is asking all the questions we all ask at this age - what is it, what is so and so doing, what happened, why, where, - now that she uses words of preference and identity - like it, want it, I need you, me! - she is truly this individual, separate person, and it's amazing.

Moon Go?
This may be a ridiculous comparison, but if you've ever read that book Flowers for Algernon, about the guy with a nothing IQ who gets advanced and then recedes again - well, it's that same kind of process, (of course, right?). So, like, the whole concept about the moon - and how, when we're driving in the car, the moon comes and goes depending on which direction we turn - and then the moon is gone but the sun is there, "up there!", well, it's this whole natural, everyday occurrence that she is discovering and gulping down for the first time. Like she's an alien from another planet trying to understand the way it works. "Stars go? Moon go?" she asks me, and I try to explain that the stars and moon are still there, even if we can't see them - but I know that doesn't make a whole heck of a lot of sense.

Broken Moon
And then, of course, the moon changes shape - that's a hard one to explain to a two-year-old. "Broken moon, moon broken," she told me the other night, when she saw the moon as just a waxing sliver. And yeah, I can see why she says that. It sounds like the beginning of a poem. She only can really understand in terms of her limited language...

Meanwhile, she has not nursed for a week now. Looks like the weaning effort has been successful. As many a mother says, it is a bit sad for me, as well as a relief. It's been hard when she's begged for it, because of course I want to make her happy if I can. But now she just asks "boob doing?" and goes along her merry way, and she's not a baby anymore. I understand why some cultures have parties for this kind of thing. I also cannot believe I'm tearing up (except I"m pregnant, and everything makes me cry these days)...

Pumpkin Prep

Saturday we went to the downtown area, but Jo refused to wear her monkey outfit - she was tired. We managed to finagle the top on, at least.

pumpin patch was fun.

Tonight, while Daddy scraped the pumpkins out and Mommy carved them - trying to make cute faces that came out a bit ferocious for Jo's liking - Jo painted the baby pumpkins.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Gym Class Photos and More

Saturday mornings mean "hymn class" -- here's some photos from Saturday, as well as some from breakfast after, our stroll in the park Sunday, and more.

Fancy move, huh?

Unrelated: Today a woman told me "you're the cutest pregnant woman ever. As you get bigger, you get cuter." My first thought was, Wow, I'll have to be pregnant more often. My second thought was, this lady is nuts. As you'll see in the photos, I am big and puffy, like a marshmellow.

A Hard Night...

[This is the e-mail I sent to Sean last night - he was moderating another candidate forum last night.]

1) At the dog park, some dog named Vanilla grabbed Billy by the throat and started to shake him - and the owner didn't leave the park - I went to the table and the others said yeah, that Vanilla is a terror, it attacks other dogs and shouldn't be allowed here - then I had to dump poo and the dog did it AGAIN - luckily, Billy was hiding under the table so the other people managed to intervene with their feet and I started screaming at the top of my lungs "No - THIS IS NOT APPROPRIATE - your dog cannot do this to other dogs!!! YOu need to leave!!" It was INTENSE. The dude left. Everyone said Vanilla needs to be banned. I don't know how such a thing happens. I was really upset and Billy was a bit unctious but eventually he was okay and got a good play in.

If Jo says "Billy bite" that's what she's referring to. She was somewhat unfazed.

2) So, it was getting pretty dark, but Jo would not be dissuaded from the playground, so we went. Actually she just walked the beam a lot - and then the swings - and then it was really really getting dark so we had to go. I stopped and got a little ice cream.

3) Since Billy had peed on me and Jo had done circles in the dog dirt, I figured she needed a bath - so got out the baby bath, let her play with it while I cooked dinner. Somehow this playing ended up with a bowl of water being dumped all over the kitchen floor. No worries - Jo got her mop and I got mine and we moved the water around the floor for a while. But after dinner the bath time started fine but then she was screaming and you know, you get halfway through - sigh. She hates baths when it's not Splash Splash time with Daddy.

4) We started reading books around 8:45.
5) Then she wanted the bow back in her hair. The pink bow. Fine.
6) Then her doll Jo had to have a bow in her hair.
7) Then her doll Betsy had to have a bow in her hair, only she doesn't have hair, so I improvised. - tied a rag around her head.
8) Betsy #2 and Betsy #3, also bald, had to have bows.
9) Finally, we got back to the books and then - well, we had to read the mouse book a few times.
10) Then she did not want to go to bed. No bed time. No lay down. My bike. My stool. Song. Another song. Etc etc.
It is now 10:13. She went down finally - after many tears and up and down and my mommy and more singing and more me hanging out in the room - about five minutes ago.

I know I need to clean up the kitchen, but I don't feel like it. We've been moving and I"ve been on my feet since we hit the dog park at 6 pm, 4 hours ago. I am now going to eat the darn ice cream.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Birthday Party

I can't upload photos for some reason - there's a blog error - so you'll have to go to the gallery to see photos from the party!

(We actually didn't bill this as a party - rather, just had Josephine's favorite people over for cake. Still, I found balloons from last year, so it felt like a party...and it was indeed a lot of fun.)

Sunday after church Sean's parents took us out to lunch at our favorite Indian buffet, where we got the circular booth that Jo loved tromping around in (to parental chagrin). Grandad (dad-dad!) and Grandma (ma!) drew pictures to entertain.

After a quick stop-off at Kmart for candles (you can't remember everything!) we went home and opened presents, including a broom/mop/cleaning kit from cousins Allie and Ryan - this was a huge hit at the end of the party, when little pieces of styrofoam had snowed all over the place; all the little kids got something to clean with and went to town (not doing much, but having fun). Josephine likes the "man" (Mr. Clean) on the broom. She did a little sweeping this morning, even.

A package from Grandma Helen had dozens of stickers, shiny and puffy - at the end of the gallery, you'll see that Josie stuck mama's face with them and we took pictures. You'll also see the pretty pony shirt she got from Grandma Helen! The stickers are everywhere, and the pony shirt much loved. She also got a set of manners books, a sweet mouse book, and a cool jean purse stuffed with goodies. Great-Grandma sent a book, too, which Josie was reading quite seriously this morning.

Of course, because this is the way it works with toys, one of them required technical assistance - the beautiful easel - Grandad and our friend Wes with daughter Zara spent the good part of an hour assembling this - which was good, as everyone else was late - they had something to do!

As for the trainset, everyone got in on the action for putting that together. Jo loves her 'choo-choo train.' It's the kind we can build upon in the coming years, too.

The trike she can't quite get going, but Grandad did some helpful pushing so she could ride it a little around the house! Can't wait to take it for a spin.

One of Jo's favorite things about her birthday was getting all the lovely cards - every day she pulls them out and inspects them. She took a couple of them on a walk with us the other day and kept making me 'sit down! mommy' on the pavement so we could read them at various intervals. Billy was not amused.

Oh yes, the cake! Ben and Jerry's chocolate chip cookie dough. Verrry yummmy.

Also in attendance: Cora, who watches Jo during the week, with her daughter Anna, the girl getting love from Billy - Josephine absolutely adores Cora and Anna (I do, too), talks about them all the time - Anna is six going on 30, always watching out for Josie and the younger kids, giving hugs to everyone. Violet from gym class came with her dad Warren - Violet is the first girl Josie's age I've seen her play with so well - and when they gave each other a hug goodbye, I could have fainted from Cuteness Overload. And Christine ("deen!") brought Caroline ("line!") and Audrey - our dear friends who are more like family. Not pictured are the lovely books and the soft tree of animals brought by these wonderful friends.

Sean and I are totally wowed by our daughter being two years old. We just can't believe it.

Friday, October 12, 2007

She Sings; She Frightens; She Resists Overalls

1) Yesterday I went to D.C. to co-teach a training class on writing for the web to leaders in our organization's societies from around the world. It was fun - but I didn't get home till after 10, and my girl was asleep (Daddy did a great job). I looked in on her. I had missed her.

She sleeps like both Sean and I - all over the place. Check on her every half hour, and she's in a new position, her bush of curls crowning her head like a shadow.

Lately, when I've put her to sleep, according to the miraculous tradition Daddy instigated and which we follow every night, she doesn't just go down after the books (five) and the ritual of saying goodnight to everything in the room - I have to sing to her. And I guess the singing is making an impression?

She woke at 3 a.m. and wanted her teddy bear - and to sleep with me. Because I'd been gone, and had missed her, and was too tired to argue, I consented. Then, while half asleep, she started singing - quite startled me - "Aaaamyy... Archie, Aaaamy, Archie..." (Archie is the tough cat across the street.) When she woke this morning, she walked around the house singing a wordless, chant-like aria, quite a long one. It just gives me such pleasure to hear her singing...

2) It's interesting how Jo is scared of Halloween items in the store. Could it be the frightening display of skeletons at Michael's a few weeks ago?

3) Doesn't like overalls. I can only think that the buckles remind her of the restraints in her car seat - which she also has started not liking - she wants to be 'free,' I guess? "No pants, mommy, no buttons, no pants!" Tears streaming down her cheeks. So much for the adorable overalls...

Did I mention she's turning TWO on Sunday???

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Weekend Update

In the "take your daughter to work" file for the day: Daddy showed Josephine how to use his battery tester to determine if a battery is still good or not.

In the "disturbing yet amazing" file: Yesterday morning, Jo managed to find a bag of advil I had in my dismantled office. She had heard Daddy saying he had a headache (the rest of us, including the dog, were still in bed). Jo came in and handed Daddy exactly two of the pills. We had no idea where she had gotten them, and of course we were freaked out that she might have swallowed some - but no, we found the bag, she had obviously just gotten two for him, though how she knew that and put that together with his headache - well, it was scarily impressive (and yes, the pills are now out of reach).

We're still looking for the missing camera... kind of a good thing, as we ended up cleaning out both cars... Meanwhile, Josephine draped herself in flower leis... all of them...

Here's another two pictures from the dog park day, including the one I love of her standing on the beam at the park. Daddy came with us to Gym Class Saturday, and he had fun jumping around and walking the balance beam... then we went and had breakfast... a lovely Saturday morning...

It's October, but it's HOT. Ugh.

The "mine" and "my"s continue - as do the constant inquiries as to "daddy doing? mommy doing? billy doing?" and so on. We've taken to trying to invent things to make her laugh.

And oh my goodness, she's going to be TWO next Sunday!!!! I can't believe it!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

My Daughter, the Dog

When I picked up Josephine at daycare yesterday, this is what I found:

A dog. Apparently, she wore this all day long - and continued to wear it for the evening, even when we went to the dog park.

At one point, she was running with a pack of dogs. It was quite a sight.

Since starting gym class, where we practice walking on the balance beam and jumping, Josephine's romping at home and abroad has escalated to the point where we have to be extra careful. She tends to crawl up on the coffee table, shout, "Ready? One, three, two!" and fling herself on the couch.

No, we don't "permit" this, exactly.

When Daddy tries to explain broken necks, Jozy looks at him with her angelic face, all attention, and then goes right back for the table.

At the playground, she also found some wooden beams and practiced (with help, thank goodness) walking them. She has great balance! She then ate some gravel.

Her memory constantly amazes us. We were reading a book to her the other day that had a kite in it, and she said "Dad-dad kite!" -- and indeed, she had seen her grandad tubbs with a kite - a month or two before. Wow. These instances abound - things I don't expect her to recall bubble up...
Above, she is posing and saying "cheese." Her daycare provider's three daughters adore her, and braid her hair. I had to cut out a huge chunk of tangle the other night- thankfully, no bald spot. It may be time to visit the dentist soon. She's almost two!! And if you ask her, "how old are you going to be?" she splays her hand and indeed says, "Two!"

I know. It's amazing.

She's not exactly whining and pointing, but something like that. She definitely is exerting her will and gets frustrated when she doesn't get what she wants.

Again, singing the Rolling Stones song doesn't do much.

But it makes us feel a little better...

This morning I heard a hair-raising scream, ran to her bedroom, only to find she was frustrated that her rubber duck would not fit through the front door of her dollhouse. Darn duck.

I have a couple more adorable photos of the dog outfit, but can't seem to get them off my phone. Will post as soon as I can.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Finally, Past the Sickness

We've misplaced the camera, so this 60s-looking snap with my cell is the best I can do to show that our little girl is finally recovered - for several days she was utterly horizontal, listless - so very ill. I will never forget the look of terror on her face as she tried to keep from throwing up, her eyes wide and spilling tears, as she choked "mom-ma - mom-ma" over and over. Heartwrenching.

But she's back now - playing peekaboo with the daddy longlegs in the bathtub, crawling into the bathroom sink to wash her feet, waking us up at 6 am to play "giddyup doodle" on the floating noodle that's for the pool but has gotten more play inside the house... and I'm so glad. We were at church a lot this weekend - Saturday for Covenant Group and Sunday I taught her sunday school class (never again - I was literally dripping with sweat at the end of it). Later she watched some NFL football with us - Daddy's taught her to say "run, run" to the guy with the ball! And she and daddy took a long bike ride Saturday. And a new development - she's learned the word "Again." As in, read that book again, mommy, for the fourth time. Also, when she's pulling me out of bed in the morning, it's "Come on, Mommy! Come on!"

Anyway, I'm just glad we pulled together and made it through what was a very tough week for all of us. Coming up: our vegetarian potluck dinner party, the vegetarian festival, and of course, Josephine's second birthday! No big party this time around - but a little something, especially since Jos's favorite book right now is Curious George's Birthday Surprise - she's obsessed with birthday cakes and blowing out candles (has been for months now). And b/c we had this exchange the other day:
"Bike! Daddy bike! Mommy bike!"
"Yes, there's our bikes. Do you want a bike?"
"Do you want a bike for your birthday?"
"PARTY." (Emphasized with head nod. The head nod is more an order than it is an agreement.)

Oh, okay.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Everything She Does is Magic... Sorta

Today I had a half-day off from work and got to spend it with J. It's been awesome. We mostly just lolled around the house, playing with her dollhouse and reading books and eating ice cream. We found a little table and chair set at the thrift store, too.

And then there's those moments where I am thinking to myself "Really? This is my child??" and I'm laughing (or cringing...):
1) When she brushes my hair and then styles it so that it's covering my entire face - and she smiles like, yeah, that's it - now she looks good.
2) When she takes a piece of jewelry and tries to shove it my ear to make it into an earring
3) When she shoves her hand down my shirt in the grocery store screaming "BOOB! MY BOOB!"
4) When she's "feeding" me and the food she brings to me is an old, nasty scrubbing sponge (where did she find that?!) and I have to not only pretend it looks delicious but she wants me to pretend to eat it, too
5) When she gets horrified at the wet, cut grass that sticks to her toes and flip-flops, but has no problem tasting dirt
6) When she plops books on the computer, like she is now, when for five seconds I am not paying attention to her, making it impossible - almost- to type

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

"No pants, Mommy: DRESS!"

...And so, the pictures from daycare that day feature the little girl running and playing in her big dress (from grandma jones).

Impressively, she demonstrated an amazing ability to climb around the playground in that dress with more agility than the boy much older than her with whom she was scampering...

Go, girl!

Three's Company (four)

Last night, as per usual on Tuesday nights, Daddy was at a city meeting, so Josephine and I took Billy on a walk to the playground by ourselves.

She's just started saying recently "Daddy gone" or "Billy gone" or asking "where Daddy?", though she doesn't quite get the concept, as sometimes she'll say that and still call for Daddy or Billy when they're not there (Billy hiding from Josephine). (Yesterday, too, I asked where Billy had gone and she told me quite confidently, "Beach. Billy beach.")

But her concept of us is definitely as a three (or four) person family. She always points out Daddy's toothbrush when she's brushing her teeth (and making me brush my teeth). And at the playground, after I got her going in her swing, she pointed at the another swing - "Mommy swing" - meaning - "go swing, mommy." So I did. Then she pointed at the swing next to me - "Daddy swing" and nodded her head. She was reserving a seat for him.

This really touched me, and made me feel more than ever that our family unit and our life together is truly blessed.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Step Stool Fun, Etc.

Moving On Up

Josephine gets a new step stool so she can climb up and wash her hands and brush her teeth all by herself- and she's so happy about it!

I usually have to brush my teeth with her, too, and sometimes Daddy joins in as well. We all have great breath these days!

Of course, we have a drought in our area right now, so I have to be careful to make sure she's not just running the tap to play with the water...

Curly Joe
We spent the weekend rearranging the living room/dining room area - cleaned out a lot of yucky furniture, but added this nice red papasan. We also removed the television - we don't watch it anymore upstairs anyway. The result - a cleaner, more comfortable, human-feeling space! Here's J with her new doll. I'm hoping they'll 'bond'. I trimmed her bangs again. She's been called Shirley Temple a couple times recently - I was, too, at her age...!

This girl loves her shoes.
She got a new pair of running shoes with Daddy on Saturday... these are some winter boots she found and started strutting about in... The frown has been making its appearance more and more these days, but she's still a happy kid most of the time!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Friday Photos

Some pictures from J's daycare... Meanwhile, J can answer the following:
"What's your name?" "JOS." "How old are you going to be?" "TWO." And she holds up her hand fiddling with her fingers.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


It's her new favorite word.

She's like a little explorer putting down flags, waiting to see if any natives will come out and fight her claim... Like my mom said, laying claim to territory, and then looking up at us to see if we will question or fight her...

Of course, what I want to do is give her every little thing her heart desires. She can have it all! But in reality, she can't, and setting the boundaries and telling her no and then waiting out the consequent temper tantrum is what I have to do.

Last night, Jos was infuriated that I wouldn't let her push her new baby stroller into a busy street. "MINE!" she screamed, clawing the air toward the street, which was apparently, in her view, "MINE!". At one point she was rolling around like a nutter on the gravel, wailing in hysterics. No amount of cajoling, distraction techniques (I must have been quite a site, trying to do dances there), or strictness could move her (and me with belly and dog and two strollers didn't have the physical strength to fight her).

Also lately she doesn't like her clothes being taken off, because those are also "MINE!"
She'll bundle up a dirty shirt or dress and cling to it for a while, daring me to attempt an extraction.

Sometimes, but not very often, I do give in. Sometimes what is "MINE!" really IS hers. And sometimes, like with the baby seal she had tucked under her arm like a football the other day at Big Lots, three dollars vs. an in-store meltdown was an easy call (the seal is now officially "MINE!").

It's emotionally exhausting, but I am full of compassion when my daughter is screaming, distraught and angry, because I know this is part of the process of coming to terms with what it means to be a human being. It's something we're all still working on, at one level or another. And there's plenty of dictators and thieves and other adults out there who never learned the boundaries of what is Mine and what is definitely someone else's. So it's a serious lesson for me, in more ways than one, to confront this toddler's rage, and to see elements of my own.


We went to Target the other night for one thing and there was a toy sale and we ended up getting a couple things for Josephine for her birthday (October) and Christmas - a small wooden train set and a wooden kitchen, two things she loves playing with at other places.

So if you're a person who buys presents for Josephine, and you come across a sale or a yard sale (second hand is always appreciated and encouraged!), I thought you might like to know some of things she loves to play with /needs upcoming (please think this is helpful and not a demand or order or anything! we are happy also with no presents and just your love!) :

  • Wooden fruit/food - the kind you can "cut" are really cool (14.95 on
  • Kitchenesque accessories - to go with the kitchen
  • Books - always!
  • Puzzles - has a few from last year, loves them
  • Bath toys - right now all we have are ducks and some little cups - would also love this 'flo' thing that covers the faucet and shoots water out to rinse - really cool
  • Cars, trucks that do things (diggers, fire engines)
  • Dollhouse furniture - she's got a mix of secondhand stuff, some wood, some fisher price
  • Doll clothes - her new baby doll has one dress
  • Easel - prefer wood, not plastic
  • Art supplies - anything, everything - she loves it all - clay, paper, paint...
  • Clothes - right now she's between 18 months and 24 months size - still only about 25 lbs - she'll be needing winter clothes; we have some overalls and pants
  • Any kind of cubby-hole-type furniture/organizer - she loves to organize items into boxes and holes and such
By the way, I love being a parent. I mean, I am really really happy having a child. I don't think I say this often enough, so I thought I would say it now - Josephine is so much fun, and such a sweetheart, and being a family with her just makes me swell with joy.

The yucky first-trimester hormones are obviously wearing off!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Baby Loves the Water - Photos!

View this new slideshow of photos from our trip to Virginia Beach with my very good friend Robin and to the lake, where we celebrated Sean's birthday and enjoyed a dance by cousin Allie and her two friends. There's also some messy food photos - I was trying to capture these hilarious faces Josie was making. (It doesn't seem possible, but she's getting more and more expressive and comedic every day.)

She loved the water - I mean, both in the hotel pool and at the beach, she tended to leap into the water, hands outstretched, ready to swim. I'm glad she's not afraid, but I sure was (hee).

You'll see photos in the slideshow from the acquarium - so fun! The otters were adorable, sleek and curly; I never knew otters were so entertaining!

Here's Joby (as we sometimes call her) on the little miniature carousel at the arcade. She was extremely serious as she went "around and around!" (one of her favorite phrases).

We don't have any photos of it, but while the dance show was going on, Jos kept sidling onto the "stage" and doing her own little boogie... it was hard to keep her out of the fray... very cute.

Our excursions are mostly done for the summer - and now with the drought going on here, some of the local pools are closed... but it's been lovely! We're hoping to take a movement class this fall. Sean and I are ready for cooler weather...

One of my favorite moments from this last week: While brushing my hair, she went and brought me a book to read to keep me occupied while she brushed!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Coming soon to a Josephine near you...

... a baby sister or brother! Due February 10th. We have told Josephine, and her new favorite book is about a little girl like her getting a baby brother (only they are brothers). She pats my tummy affectionately.

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers!

Friday, August 3, 2007

County Fair

So, we forgot the camera. So you'll have to use your imagination to visualize Josephine running with goats, giggling at the sheep, absolutely wowed by the inquisitive, slobbery nose of the cow... It was a gorgeous evening - peach-red sun smoldering in the heavy, hot sky over the sweet hills, and llamas and bunnies and horses and french fries, and balloons sailing into the sky...

Sean and I were trying very hard not to annoy the country folk with our city ignorance, but we did get into a debate over whether ponies are different than horses. I said ponies are baby horses, he said ponies are a separate breed. We were too afraid to ask anyone, so we had to wait till we got home to check Wikipedia (Sean was right - I am horrified to realize I've been mistaken all these years). But I was right when I saw a cow and said it was a cow and Sean said it was a goat. It was a cow. It was all very funny.

I also had to hide being grossed out when the pig peed in its own water dish. (YUCK!)

Josephine was too small for most of the rides, but we did try the carousel, and she loved it - though we couldn't help noticing she seemed more interested in the man running the works of the thing, figuring out what he was doing, than in just enjoying the ride.

Next time we'll bring a camera. And maybe an encyclopedia.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Swimming Pool

So, Josephine and I went to the pool this afternoon around 4. It was fairly empty, she loved the water, yadda yadda. She loved jumping off the side into my arms and crawling like a dog along the steps. But mostly she loved watching the other people - staring at them quizzically, analytically, even - and investigating the various float devices scattered along the concrete. It was kind of like swimming with Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple or something - sure, she has moments of cooing and squealing with delight, but often she's quite seriously inspecting the world around her, figuring out its causes and consequences - why people are laughing, how they are jumping, why things work the way they do... she's so curious!

Then I realized she had a dirty diaper - a dirty SWIM diaper.

Well, I could have and maybe should have gone home, but coming in was a family we know from church whose daughter is 2, and we were still having fun, so I decided to change her in the car (where the swim diapers were). Well, it was very ... messy...I didn't have wipes (so much for being prepared).. I wanted scissors to cut them off of her, you know? But instead had to drag them down and the whole thing was a MESS... I rolled up her dirty bathing suit with diaper in a towel and put in trunk, deciding they would all just have to get thrown away (sad, but recent sickness makes me very weak for these things). Then all I had to put her in was a pair of boy's swim trunks I got second-hand and had for some reason. So Josephine looked like a little boy for the rest of the day. She didn't mind, of course. I, on the other hand, wanted to stick a sign on her that said "I WAS wearing an adorable swim outfit that clearly signaled my gender, but my messy diaper got on everything and my darling mother cared more about me having fun than what I look like, so she put me in this - but just in case you think I'm a freak, I'm wearing this disclaimer."

Anyway, it was very amusing.

Then the pool got filled with crazy kids and the two girls had fun (the other little girl kept singing "Josephine! Josephine!" and insisting that they jump at the same time) and we all had a blast and got home in time to miss the thunderstorms and then after dinner Sean put her to bed and it was a very nice day.

Second picture comes from church this morning - one of Josephine's favorite busy activities is to play in the sandbox. This morning one of her little friends pushed her, and later she told her daddy, "Alex pushed." I think this may be the first instance of her telling a story (?) hours later...

I love when Josephine has friends - have to watch my anxiety about it, though. Saturday I asked a little girl if she wanted to play with her, and the girl said blankly, "NO." I was crushed! Again, Josephine didn't care and just ran around with the other kids anyway, while I agonized in the corner (hee).

Friday, July 27, 2007

Summer Girl

Here's a few more recent pictures...

And some random updates about Josephine:

Here's a picture of her ready for church last week. How girly! Even her tennis shoes are pink! She's got "Pink Billy" and her pink purse and is ready to go.

She really loves our dog Billy. Idolizes him.

More and more words and complete sentences: "Jos want down" and "so much!" and "daddy read book."

She climbs into her highchair all by herself.

She knows she's funny. She cracked me up the other day: "Mommy! Toe! Mommy! Toe!" she said from her carseat, in a worried tone. I looked back to see her pointing at a preztel stuck between her toes. Then she burst into laughter. This may be her First Joke.

She really loves french toast, pancakes, cheerios, yogurt - a breakfast kid.

She loves Ellie, our neighbor across the street, who has kittens and fish ponds and hippo statues everywhere in her garden, and who always invites us in and talks very seriously to Josephine. Ellie is truly a blessing - best neighbor ever. She also provides me with a good, living, real example of a great mother-daughter relationship: Ellie and her college-graduated daughter Claire get along fantastically.

She continues to adore books. And climbing. And running in the opposite direction.

During bathtime, she'll hold onto the thing on the faucet that makes the water go to the shower head like it's a microphone and sing into it, rocking back and forth.

Some of the photos show her in a pink dress at Fridays After Five, where she goes wild - running and dancing and singing to the music, sometimes following or leading other little kids. Lots of fun.

The other pictures with the leis come from the day I had to spend at home with her. We decorated the stuffed animals... then she got stuck in this basket - in this photo she's kind of fake-crying to get help out of it... hilarious. We had a lovely day.

It's hard to remember from one day to the next all the new things she's saying and doing - but she's amazing. Truly!

July 4th at the Lake

Finally, I've posted some photos of Josephine during our vacation at the lake... These are mostly cute photos of Josphine, but there are tons more of the whole gang, including some stunning close-ups (ahem) by Sean...

She still chants: Dad-dad (grandad), Charlie (beloved dog), Ollie (other beloved dog), Ma-maw (grandma), Allie (cousin), and of course Billy! Daddy! Mommy!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Finally... covenant group and pool party pics

The antics of the kids of our church's covenant group and some sun fun with a huge bow... several weeks ago... yes, I know I'm behind... but check them out!

Birthday Party Pics

Pictures from Josephine's friend Ashara's second birthday at the local splash park a few weeks ago (sorry so late!). The bubble machine was a big hit! See the full slideshow.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Pool Party

How about that bow??

The Girl Stuff Begins

Ok... that's kind of not true... she sees me apply powder, lipstick, eyeshadow... watches me brush my hair, put on heels... and she's tried it all - already. I don't know why I thought it wouldn't happen till she was 12.

The shoe obsession is just hilarious. I think, though, rather than being about being a "girl," the challenge of walking in my heels is as worthy of her efforts as climbing stairs and rock walls and all the other physical feats this toddler tries to attempt, to test and try her brand-new limbs and newfound agility.