I've been trying not to bore you all with monthly updates, but Josie is 1 1/2 years old today so I figure you won't mind hearing how she is.
She is so big and not my baby anymore! She is already trying to fill Rob's shoes. Here Aunt Karen has infinite patience walking around the neighborhood with Josie slowly clopping along in the huge shoes. Josie is always ready for any adventure. She is the first to want to go out the door. She loves to go on the bike and still signs bike by patting her head signaling the helmet. Here she is after a bike ride home in the cold from our friends Susan and Ercan's house on Superbowl Sunday. She is always happy to bundle up and go!An update on ECing: Josie went awhile where she was completely not interested in using the potty so I figured she would tell us when she was ready and I embraced her using the cloth diapers. A little while after she turned one, Josie made it clear she no longer wanted to wear diapers. So I would keep her diaper-free at home and then when she needed to go she would ask for a diaper (go get one or say "diper"). Then in January we went to North Carolina and I was sure she would use her diaper during the long car ride, but we would stop and she would still be dry. She used the potty or the toilet very consistently on the trip. So eventually, I would put a diaper on her when we were traveling around town (since we don't have a car and we were taking mass transit I wouldn't know when the next time we'd have access to a bathroom and didn't think it was fair to make her wait). Then I found she was dry and didn't seem to mind waiting even a couple hours sometimes so I would ask her once we got to our destination if she wanted a diaper or she wanted to tell me when she had to go tot he bathroom. Most of the time, she chose to tell me. So I stopped taking diapers with me. Most of the time I didn't have a change of clothes either. She was that consistent. Josie has for some reason the last couple weeks had an issue with one place we go for a homeschooling group. She doesn't like using the restroom there now so she had a couple pee accidents there (she hasn't pooped anywhere except the toilet for months). I will keep the diapers out for this place, but other public places don't seem to bother her so I'm trying to figure out what might be the issue. So I'd say we are 99% done with diapers. She does better when we don't ask her and we wait for her to tell us. She is pretty stubborn that way...where does she get that? She likes the whole process of going to the bathroom. She likes to dry to wipe herself which makes me laugh since Dema still has us wipe him at almost five years of age. In fact, she will race to the bathroom to wipe him when he calls for us to do. The picture is from Christmas and we don't usually take the potty outside of the bathroom, but with all of the excitement from opening presents and stockings I set it there for her. She also doesn't usually eat on the potty, but as I said it was Christmas.She still loves water and will take a couple baths a day if you let her. She especially likes to splash around with her brothers in the bath, pool, hot tub, etc. She still dislikes the shower quite a bit which is so different from the boys. The boys loved and still love the shower. I just didn't take her in the shower enough when she was little. She'll get used to it eventually. She reminds me of my dearly departed cat Felix. Felix used to worry about me every time I took a shower and he would come watch and meow and fret and pace until I was done. Josie will do the same thing. She assumes since she doesn't like the shower that it must be torture for everyone. Here she is during out trip to NC in January at the hotel pool trying to talk Rob into taking off his shirt and swimming with her.She is quite the communicator. At this age, Dema was talking up a storm. Josie has some words like; Mama, baby, diaper, Parker, Rob, Dema, brother, ow, oh (she has like 20 different ohs which mean different things...kind of like proverbial "snow" for the Eskimos), bye, bite, water, apple, pee, pea, etc. but mostly she uses her eyes and gestures and intensity to get her meaning across. She will answer any yes/no question you give her with what seems to be a very accurate reply. She mimics conversation with great zeal. We have five talkers in our family now so dinner time is quite lively. Josie also has a great sense of humor. She is so funny. Here is a picture of her mimicking Dema sleeping on the bus. She looked back at the boys (she always keeps a close eye on them) and saw Dema and tapped me and closed her eyes like him and smiled. Then she opened them and pointed back at Dema and laughed.Josie is a natural little caregiver. Parker was and still is so I don't think it is completely a gender thing, but she does a lot of care giving to dolls as well as real live people, insects, and animals. She is the first one to be concerned any time people get hurt or upset. She is there to hand out hugs and kisses. She also loves to have me nurse her dolls or she'll nurse them herself when they need some extra comfort.
All through the winter we still had ladybugs living in our house. Every time she found one she would make a huge todo. She would shriek with pleasure and touch it gently and make sure it arrived where she thought it was going safely. She accidentally stepped on a ladybug the other day running away from Parker and she was so incredibly distraught. She has me move bugs off the slide before she goes down. She is also pretty fastidious and has me remove all dirt as well. She also likes to organize things around the house so this picture of her in NC playing with her cousin Lillian's dolls and stroller combines two of her favorite things. She is arranging and care giving. She likes to get things just so. Her Aunt Stephanie was sweet enough to send home an extra play stroller with us and she uses it daily.Josie has a soft spot for Dema. She takes care of him more than anyone. She loves to mimic him in a sweet way and will do anything he does. Sometimes I feel like I have twins who just happen to be 3 years apart. They have a lot of the same intensity so things are not always gentle between them, but their love for each other is fierce.I think Josie sees Parker as another adult. She goes to him in times of need or if she needs help. Oh yes, that is her big phrase "Hep me, hep me!" She will say this to Parker when I won't let her get into something. She asks him to see if she'll have better luck. She will get herself in pretend peril and yell "Hep me!" to have Parker come running to "save" her. She plays the damsel in distress, but she is anything but. She can handle herself in any situation. Josie knows that her big brother is there for backup if she needs him. She also knows how to get what she wants. If I'm not moving quick enough in the mornings, she'll get Parker to take her downstairs and feed her breakfast. He is all too willing to be at her beck and call. Here is Parker and Josie sharing some love in our neighbor's hot tub a couple days ago. She was fine with me not coming in (I am so not ready for swimsuit season yet), but she had to have her biggest brother.Josie is such a joy and we are lucky to have her in our lives. It some ways it seems like she was just born yesterday and then it seems like she's always been a part of our family.