Archive for April, 2012

Josie at 4

Monday, April 30th, 2012 by Jen

At 6:39 last night, Josie turned 4 years old, right in the middle of eating her (second serving of her third) birthday cake! We had a big birthday weekend of parties and celebrating, but that’s another post.

Josie has been taking gymnastics and ballet lessons all this year and loving them. She’s very good at gymnastics in following along and paying attention, but somehow that doesn’t quite hold together at ballet. She’s often throwing herself on the floor and dancing in silly ways rather than graceful and smooth ones. When I ask her to do the nice ballet dancing her teacher asks for, she can do it, she is just choosing not too. Poor teacher Sara. So she’s learning something so we’ll keep with it as she’s enjoying it too and isn’t out of line for the class in general. Her last class is this week so we’ll see how things are going by next fall with possibly a new teacher.

Physically she’s grown in the last six months almost two inches and 3.5 lbs. Right now I think she’s gearing up for another growth spurt as it’s been a while and she’s still wearing the same shoes as last fall. For the first time ever she’s almost worn them out rather than out grown them.

One of her big interests right now is understanding the difference from truth and fiction. She wants to know which stories are true and which are not. She’s asked already about Santa, the easter bunny and the tooth fairy. We also explain how kids and grownups alike like to pretend about these characters for fun and she shouldn’t go around telling people they’re not real. We read a lot of books and she tries to guess which ones are true and which aren’t. Mostly they all are fiction so I’m trying to add some more non-fiction into our reading and discuss which books could happen, versus those that are pure fantasy.

Reading during the day is challenging as Celia does not have patience for long books or me paying attention to Josie for long periods of time. When she’s napping or I’m putting Josie to bed are our best reading times. At night we’ve been reading through the Ramona Quinby series, currently on Ramona Quinby, Age 8.

For fun she loves to play with other kids and can pick up almost anyone at the park for some swinging and playing. I try to get as many playdates in as I can to help her get her needs for pretend play met. At home she always wants to play doctor, cape codder resort, or school again and again. Every day. It has been a good jumping off point for discussing how people enjoy doing different activities and how we’ll play something that she wants to play that I don’t really want to and then she can be considerate and ‘play’ with me, which usually means taking some pictures.

I find she has a better tolerance for picture taking now, especially when we alternate picking the poses. Also if I show her different pictures and explain where the light is good or not and show her the results, she enjoys the mini-photography lessons and uses them when she picks up her own camera (sometimes even uses the terms correctly).

Academically she’s excited to be going to school in the fall. She’s got her letters nailed down and some numbers and likes to write and type for practice. She’s looking at signs and starting to understand the idea of spelling. I’m not so much looking forward to the start of school as I can’t imagine not having her home with me all the time but I’m sure we’ll get used to it. Even just after the weekend I’m ready to get back to ‘regular life’ of me and the girls together during the day. We’ve got our own rhythm and structure to how things go. When that is changed Josie’s behavior usually gets a little wacky. She is definitely one who thrives on expectations, rules, and schedules. With her birthday we let a few rules slide and she seemed a little disturbed for the ‘freedom’ and a bit more relieved as the rules were back in force today. Mostly rules like how much cake and ice cream she may eat.

She’s getting so big now, when I pick her up she’s hanging down past my knees with her feet. She gives such great big bear hugs and I love getting to snuggle with her every night at bedtime. She’s a smart girl and very loving toward us and her sister. They’re playing together more and more now. She has a few nightmares from time to time, but mostly the ‘scary thing spray’ we use takes care of that.

  • Size/weight: size 5 and some longer 4 clothes, 41.5″ tall and 36 lbs
  • Favorite foods: pasta, ice cream, bagels, breastmilk
  • Favorite toy: dress up, bike
  • Favorite book: Ramona series, otherwise keeps changing
  • Favorite activity: playing pretend
  • Sleeping: bedtime ~7:45; gets up between 6 and 7
  • New skill: telling the difference between truth and fiction
  • Teeth: holding steady at 20
  • Vocalizations: working at bit on telling jokes and controlling her voice as her emotions run high and low

Celia at 18 months

Friday, April 20th, 2012 by Jen

Two days ago our little Celia turned 18 months old! A whole year and a half. She is one big bundle of energy! She runs and jumps and shouts her way around the house and outside. And if you aren’t doing what she wants, be prepared to hear about it with lots of ‘no’s’, kicking, screaming, flailing and blobbing.

So with all that running and jumping we do get a lot of falls too. She bleeds easily I’ve found but she bounces back really quickly, especially once her accident has been recognized by the adults nearby. When she falls down I say “aww Celia went boom” and so now she gets up and runs to me saying “boom boom boooooooom”. She does like us to kiss her boo-boos.

She’s getting to be a master of the single words! For yes, she says ‘da!’ For pasta she says ‘ba’. All cats are called ‘Kaya’ including the cougar and jaguar at the zoo the other day. She learns new words everyday. For instance, at the zoo she learned goat, as she pet the goat.

She understands most of what we say, although she doesn’t yet get the concept of ‘first… then…’ which will be much appreciated when it gets here.

She loves to take pictures, if I try to take pictures of her she’ll often jump into my lap and pull the camera strap over her head too and start pushing buttons. No more just pushing the shutter for her! She wants full control. She doesn’t ham it up for the camera so much, I get more serious pictures.

We are now decently out of the ‘stick everything in her mouth’ phase currently which is really nice not to keep having to remove play dough and such. She loves to help cook, stirring and measuring. Baths are still a favorite activity, but not washing the hair.

She loves to be out and about doing new things. She’s a terror at the library though just ripping books off the shelves, so we can’t stay there long at this point.

She has just finished up two sessions of gymnastics at Gibbs gym which she loved. She participated in both her class and Josie’s, sitting and following directions as well as some of the 3 year olds. She’s very strong hanging from the bars and will find any bar, or table or other thing she can grab her hands onto and hang from it, pulling in those tummy muscles. She can do a forward roll on the mat, but is too scared to do it with the teacher Tanya, only when it’s just me and her.

She’s a bundle of love and enthusiasm, just don’t let her get hungry or try to put her in the car seat.

  • Size/weight: 24 month clothes, we’ll have to wait for the doc visit a week from Monday to get the rest
  • Favorite foods: breastmilk, avocado, cheese, pasta
  • Favorite toy: stacking blocks, balls
  • Favorite book: Mr Brown Goes Moo
  • Favorite activity: Playing in the sand
  • Sleeping: bedtime ~7:45; one nap 1:15; gets up between 6 and 7 (on the good days, 5am on the bad)
  • New skill: lots of words
  • Teeth: at least 16 and more coming
  • Vocalizations: Lots of words, shrieks while covering her own ears

My weekend photoshoot

Monday, April 16th, 2012 by Jen

I had some fun this weekend with my friend Chrissie and her family trying to get some family shots and those of the kids! Here’s some of my favorites.

And oh yeah we had a lot of this too…

It’s a tough time to get small children cooperating when the sun is looking it’s best!

No, and other such words

Saturday, April 14th, 2012 by Jen

Both girls have a focus on the word ‘no’ lately. Josie is fascinated with reading the “No Turn On Red” signs and explaining how it has a ‘no’ and an ‘on’, the reverse. Celia is alternatively just working on the meaning of the word in general and learning to use it, as in ‘no, dont pour that water over my head in the bath’, or ‘no, I don’t want what you’re offering me, oh wait I do.’ Generally at least she is expressing herself correctly, and I feel really bad about the bath thing but she won’t lay down or anything else to rinse her hair. Some of her other favorite words now are ‘art’, as in I want to paint, draw, or otherwise make a mess, and a new wonderful word is ‘help’. She hasn’t learned how to tell us in words that she wants to go outside, she just brings me my shoes. She will also lay down on the ground and pat her diaper sometimes to tell us to change her.

Josie’s second haircut

Saturday, April 14th, 2012 by Jen

I haven’t cut Josie’s hair since she was about one year old and trimmed her bangs. I regretted it. This afternoon I cut Jordi’s hair and while I was at it, I decided to cut Josie’s too. She wanted to have a hair cut, for the experience I think. She had some long long hair, but it was very thin. I trimmed it up to an even length and it’s a lot shorter, but it’s still long hair.

We are family #2 April 2012

Friday, April 13th, 2012 by Jen

Got a few fun ones by setting up the shot and having my dad take the pictures. I should really bring a tripod I guess 🙂 But he did a good job. This is over at Horn Pond in Woburn on a cold windy gray day!


Our new living room wall photo

Thursday, April 12th, 2012 by Jen

I have edited this photo 8 different ways, never quite satisfied, probably because this was before I got my camera fixed and they’re not in great focus. Here was a runner up.

Christmas festivities throughout December

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012 by Jen

Going way back again… as part of our Christmas celebrations I did a number of projects over the month of December while inviting friends over to join us. I wanted to make sure the holiday season was about more than just a big pile of presents but about sharing and making memories with friends. We did cinnamon ornaments (note to self: use glue), string balls (note to self fill water balloons with water), gingerbread houses (note to self: awesome job using milk cartons!), and a mommy gift of hand scrub.

The cinnamon ornaments burned Josie’s hands and rather fell apart. So I think next year we need to use rolling pins and add glue to the mixture of applesauce and cinnamon, or maybe just skip them all together. They sure made the house smell good.

The string balls proved to be a little difficult for the kids. (Basically you dip thin string in glue watered down and wrap it around a balloon and pop the balloon after it dries. Viola, string ball) But Josie enjoyed making them and we had a good party. Next year not only will I get water balloons, but I will fill them with water, not air, so they are actually round. They were more pears shaped. They are pretty though and Josie liked hanging them up and pointing them out. Maybe next year she’ll be able to do it more herself.

And our final project was the classic gingerbread houses. I wasn’t going to buy a bunch of kits at $20 a pop so I made my own gingerbread and royal icing and bought the candies to go on top. This was a project the kids really jumped into. We used small milk or cream containers to be the basic structure so it would stand up to preschooler-applied-candy-pressure, this was KEY. Then they squeezed and decorated to their hearts content. Celia loved it too, although I had to keep pulling candy out of her mouth. She’d put it on the house and then take it off and lick it. Josie had a particular favorite candy as I’m sure you can see from her house. Chrissie and Charlotte joined us for construction. I had to guilt Chrissie into coming over after all the work making the gingerbread, because it turns out she was in the early weeks of pregnancy and super sick, so I feel bad now, but I think they had some fun.


Tuesday, April 10th, 2012 by Jen

This last fall we did a number of messy projects, here was one of my favorite sensory activities. It is a simple just cornstarch and water but the result is a crazy substance that flows like water when you hold your hand open, but feels hard and solid when you squeeze it. Celia, ever the experimenter, got really into it.

Wasn’t too bad to clean up either, just lots of water.

The view from up here

Monday, April 9th, 2012 by Jen

Here’s the view I have now of Josie when she’s sitting in my lap. Looong legs, and a big head right at my chin!