Archive for February, 2013

I’m not sure I believe the sign some days

Thursday, February 21st, 2013 by Jen

Josie with her sign

This was her idea. It took a lot of concentration on her part to hold up the sign so it was legible.

Josie at 4 and three quarters

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 by Jen

The end of last month Josie turned 4 and 3/4 years old. It seems I am a very bad mother and missed age 4.5 and I’m late with even this one, ah well. Time is flying by so quickly and we’ve been fairly busy in a good way.

Josie has been doing great in school this year. She is excited to go (except for one day this year when I was taking the cats to the vets and she wanted to go to that instead) and is eagerly greeted by her friends. She loves to do projects there every day and is loudly upset when there aren’t any projects, especially two days in a row. I’ve learned to work on having some home ‘projects’ to be able to counter anything she’s missing in school. She’s generally tired after school and our usual routine of having quiet time after lunch when Celia naps and Josie and I work together has worked out very well. As Celia starts to drop her nap we’re going to have to work on figuring out how to get us all the break we need.

It’s in this early afternoon that I’ve been working with Josie on her reading during this school year. We’ve been working through a book that gives step by step lessons for us to do each day, starting with letter sounds and then putting it all together. I’m thoroughly impressed with how quickly Josie can pick up the sounds and words, but she hasn’t started showing off her talents yet outside of our work sessions. She brings me the book and whiteboard though so I know she’s excited about it, we take the weekends off too. She loves for me to read to her a lot too, right now at night we’re reading ‘Bean and Ivy’ and we’ve read a few of the ‘Clementine’ books lately too at night. During the day she’ll request fancy nancy, or some llama llama but she’s not so stuck on reading one book all the time anymore.

Josie has continued her gymnastics lessons and enjoys them every week. She’s making progress each week and we’re trying to work on one skill at home too at a time so she can really see the difference. These past few weeks have been for working on cartwheels and getting her legs really up in the air. She’s excited to show her teacher how hard she’s worked and how she’s improved this week. She finished up her ice skating lessons and she’s asking for more, but we’re not up for a multi-month weekend commitment that this entails. She’ll just have to enjoy free skate with the family. Today she went and was trying to give Celia lessons.

She’s also gained an interest in more board games. She like Sorry, and she’s even trying to play a game I got for my birthday called Forbidden Island which is made for older kids as it’s fairly complicated. She’ll take our suggestions as to how to play though, so it works out so long as Celia is asleep and not trying to make off with the pieces.

Josie is a planner, she likes to know what’s the plan for the future and she generally wants to make those plans for herself. She has lots of ideas for art projects, often mimicking what she’s done in school lately. She’s interested in cooking and will help me from time to time. She can fold laundry, diapers, empty the dishwasher, put together the recycling, but she’s generally reluctant to do any of those things without some prodding. She did have one day last week when she was so excited that the following day was her special day at school that she volunteered to help! That was pretty nice.

All in all Josie’s a lot of fun to be with. She tells coherent stories, she’s interested in learning new things. She plays with her sister all the time and includes Celia even when her friends come over to play. She is mostly kind and tolerant given that Celia is 2, if not a bit bossy. She loves to go out and do things and explore. I can’t wait for this winter to be over so we can get moving more easily and not be so cooped up in the house!

  • Size/weight: 5 and 6, around 43 lbs perhaps and 42 inches? It’s been a while since we’ve checked
  • Favorite foods: pasta, cheese, sweets
  • Favorite toy: her sister
  • Favorite book: Clementine series, complicated picture books
  • Favorite activity: gymnastics
  • Sleeping: bedtime ~8; gets up about 6:45
  • New skill: cartwheels
  • Teeth: holding at 20
  • Reading/writing: We’ve been working on consonant-vowel-consonant words as well as some consonant blends that she can put together now. Her penmanship is pretty good, but she prefers to stick with uppercase letters and I have to cajole her into the lowercase ones. Keeping the d’s and b’s straight is also a challenge.

Josie at 3.75

We are family – February 2013

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013 by Jen

oops missed January.

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My attempt at some more maternity photos

Monday, February 18th, 2013 by Jen

My friend Saralynn was pregnant last month and graciously allowed me to take her picture for some maternity picture practice. We headed off to the library here in town and found some nice light. I need some more pregnant friends though to practice on! I was definitely happier with these than some of my previous attempts, but I certainly am learning more each and every time! And since I’ve been so slow to post, Saralynn had her new lovely baby Eric last Tuesday and I can’t wait to take some fun pictures of him and their whole darling family too.

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We had a lot of snow last weekend

Sunday, February 17th, 2013 by Jen

We had lots of snow, lots of shoveling, and lots of sledding. Celia can happily go by herself now down the hill but had trouble getting up it yet. This week when we went again just the three of us Josie graciously helped her sister up the hill and carried the sled. Much better than last year with me lugging all three up the hill!

Celia, just went down the hill by herself

Here’s Celia on the slow pile in back of the house.

Celia, on top of the backyard snowpile

Josie on the snow pile in front of the house, she can crawl all the way to the windows and the porch and reach in. It’s been a few years since we’ve had this much snow. Josie, able to look in the front window

And you can also get a sense of how high the snow was without shoveling or drifts, it was up to their wasit, as cut through by the snow thrower.

The height of the snow

Walking home from sledding, cars aren’t allowed out on the roads yet so it was easy getting around where it was plowed.

Walking home



December Holidays (part 3)

Sunday, February 17th, 2013 by Jen

And for the finale of December, here in February, we went to Pennsylvania to see my dad’s side of the family. Celia unfortunately got sick and on the trip down was actually asking to get back into her car seat and rest which is very unlike her, but very convenient for having an easy trip for the rest of us. Christmas Eve she was unfortunately running a low fever, but we gave her some medicine and tried to take it easy with her as we celebrated at my cousins Sue and Jeff house and went to church. The girls were great at church and even went up to the front to hear the children’s part of the story. Zeke, Sue and Jeff’s gigantic dog was a big attraction for the girls although they were wary at first and all had to learn how to get along with each other.

Karen and Josie on the couch at Sue and Jeff's

We all enjoyed some yummy food, and exchanging gifts. We got the girls home a bit earlier this year and they crashed into sleepiness quickly and we joined them soon too. We couldn’t fit all the presents with us in the car for Christmas morning so we left our own presents at home and just exchanged with the Graybills that morning so it was a short and sweet time to appreciate our gifts one at a time.

Abby and Ally holding their stockings

Look how nicely those two hold up their stockings and pose! Maybe in 15 years I’ll get that too, instead I got this:

Celia and Josie holding their stockings

But Josie was feeling magnanimous and posed for me in front of the big glass windows.

Josie in front of the fire place

After presents we had a delicious Christmas brunch.

Christmas brunch

And we otherwise had a lot of time to hang out, visit, play with our new presents and eat cookies for the rest of the day and the next. We had snow on Christmas Eve and so it was a pretty white Christmas. We also had another storm the following day which prevented us from doing as much visiting as we might have done with other people, but Josie and I got to build a snowman. The kids next door had been out sledding and made some ‘sleigh tracks’ down the backyard and there actually are some deer around too behind the house so we had some cool tracks in the snow for a Christmas morning story.

Mike and Celia looking out the window for deer

We spent a lot of time, grownups included, playing with the magnatiles we had brought with us. They built a tower up to the ceiling after going through many different design options to get enough stability and reach. Todd asked why he didn’t get these toys for Christmas.

Ally playing with the magnatiles

Aunt Diane

Josie working on her project

All too soon it was time to go home and we had a pretty good trip home again, although my mom flew and it took her as long to get home as it did us because of delayed flights. The girls were quite patient and enjoyed the toys and the attempts of me and my dad to entertain them.

Once we had gotten home, we took a day to recover and then had our third Christmas present opening at our house again under the tree. This is the big stash of loot Josie had definitely been waiting for. Somehow it does all fit into the house though.

The big haul at our house

Jordi and I got some wonderful new warm blankets that are huge for our bed which we’ve been really enjoying. Plus new luggage for our fairly frequent trips. The girls got way too many things and we’ve been doing a lot of art with the supplies we got as well. But of course, they also just played in the giant boxes we got too.

Celia playing in the box instead of the toys

We are family – December 2012

Monday, February 11th, 2013 by Jen

My dad’s side of the family, partially blinded by the sun.

Karen, Abby, Ally, Josie, Jordi, Mike, Celia, Jen, Diane and Todd

Sledding today

Sunday, February 10th, 2013 by Jen

Things seemed to be going well with sledding. All aboard!


Yay sledding!


uh oh, just a bit of snow. Poor Celia.


Shake it off kids!


Good job ducking behind Celia, Josie!


Oops. Jordi and a bunch of feet sled down the hill.

Morning reading

Sunday, February 10th, 2013 by Jen

From a few days ago, we had some vociferous reading in the morning light.

Celia on the bench Josie reading to herself Josie reading to Zoe