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!