I really am enjoying picking her up in the afternoons and watching her try to explain the art project she's done that day.
Something she may have learned at school (or maybe on TV?) is hide-and-seek. There is something about summer ending that makes being outside the most important thing in the whole world and we have played about six million games of hide-and-seek.
Josephine: I love you too
Mama: Do you know what that means? I love you?
Mama: What does "I love you" mean?
Josephine: It means "I'm so happy"
Mama: Yes, yes it does... I'm so happy I have you.
Josephine: I love you too mama.
The other day my dad and I took Josephine to the elementary school down the road to go on the Swings and Slides Right Now! She is very brave on the swings, always wanting to go faster, but this time she got a little cocky.
She was slowing down, I sat on the sing beside her and soon she felt safe enough to let go with one hand and try to reach over to me. As soon as I noticed what she was doing I started to tell her to please hold on with both hands but in typical disaster slow-motion I didn't get the words out before seeing her papa move like he was going to give her a big push. All I could get out was NOOOOO! as I leaped off only fast enough to trip and skid under my swing as Josephine did a full back flip landing face first in the wood chips.
I immediately pictured a bloody face covered in splinters. Would this be her first emergency room visit? Have you ever see a lanky two year old flip off a swing like a trapeze artist, a bad trapeze artist, and skid to a stop on her face like Wile E. Coyote?
Her face is fine, I picked the pieces of wood out of her hair and socks and told her she could push papa off the swing now, it's only fair. Watching papa fall off the swing is pretty hilarious it turns out.
My right shin, the one I landed on trying to scramble off the swing in time to save my baby, is full of splinters and scratches... so there's that.
Joey calls all juice apple juice unless it's the carton in the fridge that my sister buys for herself, that one is called pineapple juice.
She likes to tell you exactly when she'd like to do something. Later. Right Now. Usually, Right Now!
The sleeping in her own bed thing is slow going but I'm OK with that.
We went to an aviary last weekend and it was better than Disney World for Josephine. She would like to go back there Right Now!
Other magically wonderful places she'd like to go to Right Now!:
- The "swings and slides" at the playground of the new elementary school down the road.
- The grocery store
- Outside to play baseball
- Down stairs to watch Mickey Mouse
- The garage to get some "apple" juice (usually the V8 fusion juices)
- The beach
Sure, she's fallen asleep with other people before, she's even woken up with my sister a couple of times when I had an early morning class one semester, but she had never spent the entire night without pressing her head on my shoulder for a snuggle and then flipping around and rabbit kicking me in the gut or back of the head.
Josephine has her own bed, a beautiful wooden bed that my grandfather made for me when I was that little. She naps in her own bed wonderfully but when I bring up spending the night in her own bed she gets sad and I love my snuggles.
Last night the idea of earning a treat was enough to try sleeping in her own bed all night. She made it to 5:30.
I got much less sleep because I was constantly checking to see if her door was open or if she was wondering around confused and tired. Also, I missed my snuggles.
Try running with a jogging stroller up and down the hills of your neighborhood.
Give up and just walk as fast as you can while still answering all the important questions from the extra 28lbs you are pushing around. What's that? Where are we going? Who's that guy?
Finally, after the sun has gone down enough that it is no longer a million degrees outside, find a babysitter and leave the stroller in the garage, bring only your ipod.
Run! It's so easy now!
All weekend Colorado was teasing me about Utah. Colorado, a lovely state for sure, started by showing me how she is just as aesthetically pleasing as Utah. It's true, the Rockies are amazing, but I had to remind Colorado that I've driven through her eastern half, her kinda boring looks like Nebraska half. So what Colorado? I have awesome hiking trails in my back yard too and I don't do any winter sports anymore so I don't care about your ski hills.
We stayed our first night in Denver where I know some awesome people that I got to meet up with. Colorado was all look at me, filled with your friends already, don't you love me more than Utah now?
I'm not sure why Colorado has this grudge against Utah.
Anyway yes, Colorado you have a point, but I have friends in Utah that I'd miss if I was in Colorado so again it's a draw.
My friends and I got a beer at Chipotle and sat on their patio to catch up. We didn't order any food because it was late and we'd already eaten, and then Chipotle closed before we had finished but didn't care than we stayed. Colorado gave me a knowing look. Utah law says you can't order alcohol without ordering food first unless you are at a bar. I'm sure there are some nice bars in the state, but the ones I've seen in Ogden don't look like my style. OK Friday night gives one point to Colorado but only one because how hard is it to order an appetizer right?
The next day was my aunts birthday party and it was lovely. Josephine charmed everyone with her stories and dancing and fell in love with one of her older cousins by the end of the night.
Finally, Sunday we headed for home by driving though the tiny town of Leadville because we had lived there 15 years ago and it's always fun to travel through time. We had lunch in the cute town of Basalt and the people that owned the cafe we stopped at had a three year old boy, Jack, that was their PR person. He sat with us while we waited for our food and played with Josephine, it was cute. Colorado gave me a wink.
We got back home around 8:30 last night, got some tacos and drove around to look for a place to watch the fireworks. We eventually found the leftover signs the city put out yesterday to keep people out of the cemetery because it's a fireworks drop zone. OK, Utah, minus 100 points for you. Independence day cannot be shared with the more important Sunday holiday, church.
I don't have the means to pick up and move right now, but if I did...
Her brain is so busy working on whatever it's working on that she is having a hard time remembering words and paying attention when I'm talking.
It is frustrating for me to have to repeat everything a million times and then watch to see if she is actually doing what I asked her to do...but it must be one hundred times worse for her to spend 10 seconds trying to remember that it's called a fork right after I handed one to her and said "here's your fork".
We are back from Yellowstone and no one got mauled by a bison or scalded by a geyser. Success! Josephine played nicely with her cousins she met for the first time which was fantastic. I made tote bags for everyone, well, I screen printed on pre-made bags, and filled them with cowboy hats, cowboy boot shaped can coozies, and jerky. We ordered M&Ms with my grandmother's face on them and I made fortune cookies and stuffed them with Wyoming fun facts. The cookies were yummy, not pretty, but still worth making.
I got my last haircut with "my" stylist because she is moving and even though I loved it I took the scissors to it a few days ago and while it's not fabulous it's not bad either...
Josephine has been growing ridiculously fast lately. Physically, she's been mostly napping and eating for about a week, but mentally she seems to be putting so much together in her head that she hadn't done before. Unfortunately she is also repeating all the awful things she's heard in the past two years that everyone thought she was ignoring... I want to go back in time and glue everyone's mouth shut. It's odd to hear here say "dang it!" which isn't bad, but she's called me a jerk, said she hates me and also that the birds hate her...The jerk one was easy to figure out where she got it (sister) and I've probably said it in front of her too, but the hate one really threw me for a loop. I never say I hate things and I'm especially careful to never say I hate any person. Hearing someone say they hate another person makes me super uncomfortable. My heart broke for a little bit with that one.
While I'm on the topic of annoying things my 2 year old does...She is obsessed with driving... I made a car out of a cardboard box but that was only good enough for about a day. Every day, all day, for the past few weeks Joey asks, begs, demands that I let her "drive" which means sitting in the driver's seat in whatever car is in the garage and pretending to go to the beach or on a hiking trip. I don't know how to type out how annoying it is because I know right now it sounds pretty tame but oh my gosh she won't shut up!
Joey, my parents and I are driving to Colorado this weekend for my great aunt's 90th birthday. Wish me luck.
Guess where we are hosting a family reunion this summer? YELLOWSTONE! Let's hope that if mother nature is going to provide a fireworks show that it's when we are there to see it! (or we have all boarded the ship that's moving us to the moon, not like we could survive it even if we are back home).
I made homemade pop-tarts the other day, some with boysenberry jam and some with nutella, delicious.
And since I'm thinking about food, let me give you the best tomato soup recipe ever. Like, ever. I don't like chunks of cooked tomato in my chili or marinara sauce and I think the cream of tomato soups in a can are only OK but this soup totally changed all my ideas of what tomato soup can be. Please try it.
Slice several garlic cloves but not too small, I like being able to bite into my garlic, you will too. Cook the garlic in a little oil for a few minutes.
Peel and dice 8-10 plumb tomatoes (I think I ended up using Roma because we had plenty already and the grocery I went to doesn't have plumb tomatoes)
Simmer tomatoes (and garlic) in a good quality stock until they start to break down. Like 15-20 minutes.
In each bowl place a slice of day-old crusty french bread...or buy a baguette the day of and toast it because who buys bread and leaves it out all day? Your cat will jump up on the counter after you've gone to bed and get her cat germs all over it. Gross.
Crack an egg over each piece of bread.
This is when you are supposed to ladle the soup over the egg and put the bowl in the oven for 5 min at 400 but when I did that the first time I ended up microwaving the bowls for a few seconds because the egg whites didn't cook enough and everyone was grossed out. Sooooooooo, I put the egg and bread in the oven first so that I could watch them better, until the whites have just set, and then ladle the soup over them.
Top with chopped parsley.
I have some parsley growing in my little garden. I mean, I have a parsley MONSTER growing. I planted some last year and didn't even expect it to grow because that was the soil that Josephine decided to "help" me with and scooped it up and plopped it into the basil pot... I scooped it out, the parsley flourished, the basil never grew. This year the parsley came back pretty early, it's gone through some snow and freezing nights but it has persevered. The last time I went to cut some I decided to cut it back before it took over the rest of my herbs and I cut through stalks that were as big around as a quarter. Yeesh.
Anyway, the leftover soup is great alone too but the bread really makes it so toss in some croutons or something, because you at the rest of the baguette loaf before the dishes were even cleared from the table.
Billie Jean, named for the Michael Jackson song, not the tennis player, is my brother's pit bull puppy and Josephine's BFF.
My brother got the puppy as the result of a recent break-up so he didn't have any plan as to what to do with her when he leaves for work so we are watching her until he figures something else out. He's brought her over several times before when he came for Sunday dinner and every time Josephine's heart nearly exploded with joy.
The days Billie is not here Josephine pretends to call her on my old cell phones all day.
Remember the Superbowl? Way back then...well, I have no comment on the game. We had it on and my dad watched it but the rest of us just went on with our day like any other sunday. Just before the game started we were all in the kitchen when someone walked in the front door. Usually when someone lets themselves in it's my brother visiting or maybe my sister parked in the driveway instead of the garage. Out of habit someone yelled "YAY" when we heard the door open but when the guest walked around the corner we saw it was an old man. An old man that we've never seen before. But he had wine so we welcomed him. It tookabout 5 seconds for him to notice he was in the wrong house. Oops. It's ok though, we had plenty of beer in the fridge.
I made the most delicious cupcakes a long while ago. S'more cupcakes. I ate most of them myself, like two or three a day. I couldn't help it! They were easy too, here is the recipe I used: KAPOW! Just spend 5 minutes on that blog's archives and then go find your apron. You will be a hero.
Now, a few years ago this house had a semi-private back yard. But in the last two years where there used to be trees there are now houses. Houses so close that when the trees in our yard are bare (as they are now) you can see everything that goes on in the other houses if the blinds are up. We can hear everything that goes on when they are in thier back yard because it is no different than if they were in our yard.
This is going somewhere, I promise.
One of these newly super-close neighbors hadn't been home all winter, or so I thought. I hadn't seen or heard anything from that house since last summer when we heard them moving in, with two little kids running around. We never got the chance to meet them.
So back to naked Josephine. After stripping down she opens the back door to let the cat out. I call to her to hurry up and close the door since it's so cold out. She is two. She steps out onto the porch and shakes her butt. I grabbed my camera and get a 20 sec video of her assuring me it isn't cold out and then jumping back into the house because her toes are cold. There was no snow on the porch. She never took more than one step away from the house. The door never closed behind her. I'd show you the video to prove that she wasn't out there more than 30 seconds tops but, she's naked and this is the internet...so, no. I tell you all this because about 4 hours later the cops stop by to let me know a concerned neighbor called to report a naked baby in the back yard. He tells me it was the mystery neighbor house that I thought was empty.
So many things wrong with this.
Why didn't they come over themselves if they thought Joey had let herself out without my knowing?
They must have told the police that she was safely back in the house or else it wouldn't have taken 4 hours for them to come check-up on me.
I still haven't see any movement from that house, I guess I can't be 100% certain that the cop pointed to the right house. Or maybe they just don't like playing outside.
I am mostly calmed down from that day now, but I was quite upset for the rest of the day and the next day even.
I know that I'm a good mom. I don't doubt that. I HATE that I am no longer comfortable playing with Josephine in our own backyard.
I'm sending Josephine to Disney on Ice this week. With her aunt and her nana, not her mama...I am missing 'baby's first ice show' but I am getting a evening to myself. Fair trade.
Still just two, but oh what a much more pleasant two than just weeks ago. She entered two with a crash and continued her Hulk Smash attitude for weeks, scaring the crap out of her mother.
How was I supposed to survive months of this? Would it end, ever? Would she transition from tantrums over M&M's to tantrums over homework? And then curfew? Then coming home from college? Would she ever shut up?
Then we had a day of quiet. It stood out so much that my mind bounced back and forth between enjoying the peaceful happy day and scrambling to figure out how this happened so that it could be repeated.
Now she regularly says (and signs) “thank you” without prompting, as well as “pease” and “you’re helcome”.
She pretends to be a robot for about half the day. It probably has nothing to do with the fact she wants to (and usually gets to) watch Robots every morning. She also wants at least one random episode of Blue’s Clues which is followed by a request for a specific episode of Yo Gabba Gabba. Yes, I let her watch them. She doesn’t actually sit through all of it.
She’s been a kick butt sleeper at night lately too. Took her long enough, but she’s finally there. After months of trying to get her to take a normal nap at a normal time she just up and started to tell me that she is “seepy, mama” at the same time every afternoon and takes my hand to lead me to the bedroom. She still doesn’t always stay napping long enough.
I’ve heard 2 year olds with better verbal skills than Josephine’s, but I’ve also heard worse. She is definitely catching on to new words and sounds at super speed now though. Kinda freaky. The best is that on one of her Yo Gabba Gabba episodes the “cool trick” is a beat-box demonstration by Rahzel and she tries to make the sounds along with him. She’s getting good.
So, she is pretty radical as of late, I hope it lasts.
I made some homemade ketchup a while back and it was really good. Except I don’t eat ketchup normally anyway so I spent the next few weeks making food that I could use ketchup with, I ate a lot of french-fries and burgers . No one else liked it much which was a bummer but whatever. It didn’t taste like normal store-bought ketchup but I thought it was better (and healthier!)
Last night I made yogurt. When I announced that I was going to attempt this, my family all made a stink face and asked if that was even safe, they think I’m trying to poison them. Whatever, it’s not difficult but I suspect it takes a few attempts to get it to the taste and texture you personally want. So far mine is a good taste but I’d like it to be thicker so I’m trying to drain it a little this morning. I’m still considering it a success.
Next up is homemade mayonnaise. I’ve been meaning to do this for a long while now but I guess I was putting it off thinking I shouldn’t be eating mayo anyway. Whatever, I eat lots of mayonnaise and I like it, so there.
What is the Universe trying to tell me?
I found another grey hair tonight also.
I can tell that both hairs started to be grey about 3-4 weeks ago. What happened in my life about a month ago? Oh yeah, I became a mother to a two year old.
I mean, get over it.
Probably because I thought I had a good 5-10 years before I'd start finding them on my head.
I'm 26 and I found my first grey hair.
I'm mostly uncomfortable that I was so uncomfortable when I found it.
I even built a sledding hill in the back yard for you. You LOVE it. Is loving snow something all kids do?
You finally met a big chunk of your extended family this year and refused to acknowledge any of them. For the last year and a half you have ignored all strangers by clinging to me as tight as you can and then looking off into the distance like What? I don't see anyone? Do you hear someone? Oh let's look at this blade of grass for a minute.
You also danced your butt off this year. I don't have a suitable video of you dancing to share here but you have to believe me, you are a dancing maniac. Every commercial with a catchy jingle must be re-wound ten times (thank goodness for DVR's) and you regularly ask for us to put on a music channel and dance with you. Your dance moves are incomparable. They are probably my most favorite memory of your second year, your fancy dance moves.
Finally, you decided you'd like to use the potty this year. Mostly. I had just bought a huge supply of flushable diaper liners and ordered a travel potty that I was going to give you for your birthday but before it even arrived you were wearing undies all day and sitting on the big potty. You refused to sit on the potty with the small seat adapter thingy once it came...whatever. You still have accidents when I forget that you are still just two years old and I have to ask you to sit on the potty a few times a day. You have so much fun playing that there is no time to stop and pee.
Your favorite food is Papa's dirty rice and Costco's rotisserie chicken. Your favorite color is blue; I have to prove to you that your clothes have blue on them or you won't get dressed. You sing Yo Gabba Gabba songs all day. Someone taught you to say shut-up and you say that more than any other word, though I don't think you know what you are saying really. Your aunt Sarah tries to teach you a bad habit every day ( when asked what you are doing you answer "nothing", on Sarah's prompting you tell me I am crazy or stinky, and if I'm not carefully watching, your aunt will tell you to go ahead and wipe your hands on your shirt...)
Mostly though, you have been the most powerful motivation for me to work hard and be a better person. You have made me laugh so hard I cried on many occasions and love so hard that I cried on even more.