Sunday, November 10, 2013
Jo Turns Two!
My baby turned two! Because we've been so sick all week, her birthday photos and update are two days late. This is the story of Jo's life. Being the baby in the family, she has to go along with everything! She's very easy going and puts up being shuffled around when we head to all of Oliver's activities and classes. Joanna hasn't really taken classes herself yet. It seemed so important to get Oliver involved in classes as a little one, but that was because he got almost no socialization with other kids at home. Jo has Oliver. Sometimes, they are best friends. Other times, they aren't. Oliver likes to act as Jo's parent, and, sometimes, Jo just wants him to leave her alone.
Joanna is very talkative and verbal. There would be no possible way to try to keep track of how many words she speaks. Hundreds, if not thousands. She has been speaking in two-word phrases from about 18 months old, and she sings numerous songs like the ABCs and "Hickory Dickory Dock" and "The Itsy Bitsy Spider." It floors me how verbal she is.
She really, really loves music videos, just like Oliver did. She comes up to us all the time and asks for videos by name, "Monsters? Monster video?" or "Ernie? Elmo? Grover? Sesame Street?" We have to really work at limiting her screen time. Books work well to redirect her. Jo loves all of her Sesame Street books, but her favorite book is called, "Once Upon a Potty."
Speaking of potties, Jo is somewhat potty trained. During the day, at home, I keep her pants off, and she almost always does her business in the potty. She cheers for herself when she goes. She doesn't stay dry over nap time yet. I still have to put her in diapers when we go out. I think she associates having pants on with having a diaper because, if I put her pants on at home, she then has an accident. She toddles up to me and says, "Uh-oh, I had an accident." It's adorable.
Jo gets away with a lot because she's just so funny. She'll walk up to Oliver's bucket of pasta and throw it everywhere while yelling, "IT'S A MESS!" and all I can do is laugh. I feel like we're a lot easier on her than we were with Oliver, but she also lacks all the one-on-one time that Oliver got as a little one. I think that's a big part of the reason that she's not completely potty trained. We always have to go out and do something, and so we stick her in a diaper and head out.
Jo is still babied a lot and carried a lot. She loves to cuddle. One of her favorite ways of asking to cuddle is to walk up to one of us, lift her arms up, and coo, "Oooooh, baby girl!" I know I need to be better about encouraging her to head off on her own and play, but it's hard doing that, knowing she's my last little baby.
A funny trait about Jo is she's very organized. She enjoys putting stuff away, stacking things, and lining stuff up perfectly. She received blocks as a birthday gift from Grandma Judy and Grandpa Larry, and she spends probably an hour a day stacking them and lining them up.
I let my kids choose for themselves what kind of activities they like. For example, Oliver loves baking and all things electric (appliances, tools, etc). Joanna loves nature and spooky things. She loves dirt and rocks. Over Halloween, we got really into stuff like monsters, pumpkins, and spiders. She squeals with glee at a picture of a spider. In fact, when she plays with her foam letters, she gets them all right... but she calls the letter S a "spider." Currently, one of her favorite things to hold around the house is a package of Kraft Mac & Cheese with a picture of a monster on it (from the "Monsters University" movie). She was thrilled every time we went to the grocery store because they had banners of spiders hanging from the ceiling for Halloween.
Animal sounds are another favorite of Jo's. She enjoys picking up each of her stuffed animals and making their sound. The cutest is when she trumpets for the elephant. She's getting into some pretend play now, and she has her stuffed animals help eat her food, and sometimes they give her or each other kisses. As you can tell from the photos above, her fox is still her most beloved treasure. We found the fox after ordering a replacement a few months ago. She's very happy to have her friend with her, especially at nap time.
We still haven't even entertained the idea of switching her to a toddler bed. She's never tried to climb out of her crib, so we'll probably wait until we get relocated and acclimated to a permanent home.
At two years old, here are a list of Jo's likes and dislikes:
*Her stuffed animal, Box the Fox
*Her book, Once Upon a Potty, with Prudence
*Ernie (from Sesame Street)
*helping Oliver push the button on the coffee grinder
*closing the garage door when Grandma Judy leaves in the morning
*getting a treat after she goes potty
*Thomas (the train)
*children's music videos
*seeing other babies around
*candles (even the LED kind)
*Getting food on her hands
*Spilling water/milk on her clothes
*Being told, "No."
*When Oliver plays with her blocks