Josephine is such a little character at this age and I want to capture some of it before it all changes and I forget the minutiae of our days.

She is a mama’s girl, through and through. Daddy is great and all, they have lots of fun and she loves to talk about him when he’s at work, but if mama is in the house…she’s gotta have her! I don’t remember either of the other kids being as attached to me as Josie is. We are still bed-sharing, but she is a much more independent sleeper these days and I have had to learn to leave her alone when she start stirring so she can get herself back to sleep. I used to have to hurry up and soothe her before she woke ALL the way up. The past couple of nights I’ve done such a good job of ignoring her that she’s had to pat me on the face and then sign “milk” because she was in need of a bottle! Our other kids did not co-sleep this long, in fact, K never liked it and always preferred her own space, but Josie loves it and I love having her close, both for the sake of cuteness/cuddles and for convenience/laziness. While getting her to sleep is not easy, she has become a much better sleeper since she turned a year old. She still wakes most nights for 1-2 bottles, but that is a breeze compared to what we were dealing with during her first year!

Josephine is the throes of MAJOR bath phobia right now. It started a few weeks ago when Josh was working concessions at N’s school football game and I had to take over bath duty. I thought she was upset at first because Daddy was not there to do her bath and it is their thing, but it quickly escalated into the Terror Zone and by the time I got her out of the bath, she puked she was so upset (luckily it didn’t get on her because I could not have gotten her back in the tub for ANYTHING). Since then, she’s had 1 successful bath (followed by a very unsuccessful attempt the next night) and she is mostly getting washed up while she sits on the bathroom counter and I squirt her down with a peri bottle filled with a squirt of baby soap and lots of warm water. Neither of her siblings ever had bath phobia, but I read it is fairly normal at her age. It doesn’t matter how many kids you have, it’s the first time every time!

On that note, she REALLY wants to go upstairs where her fun, non-baby-proofed siblings’ rooms are and so we had to install a baby gate on the stairs this weekend. Third kid, first time to install a gate on the stairs. See what I mean? It’s all new again. She definitely knows what she wants and pursues it passionately.

Every time Josephine toots, she signs “diaper” to notify us that there has been diaper-area activity. She laughs every time someone sneezes. Anytime she gets her way, she does a maniacal laugh (someone heard it while we were shopping and said, “She’s working on her Halloween laugh, eh?”).

She knows many, many signs and one of her current favorites is “hurt”. Anytime she gets hurt, or falls, or thinks that maybe she could have gotten hurt if things had gone differently, there is much whining and signing “hurt” for pity. She also plays a game with her toy horse where she knocks it down, whines and signs “hurt”, then picks it up, kisses it, sets it up again, before starting all over again. The other day she was pitching a fit because we couldn’t go outside and she stopped in the middle of it to sign “sad”, in case I did not get the message from the wailing, stomping, and tears.

She loves outside and wishes she could stay there always, unfortunately it is still miserably hot here and the mosquitoes attack her so quickly that we have to ration outdoor time. She swells up so much from bites and is miserable for days. I hate slathering her in DEET, especially when she’s boycotting real baths. I can’t wait for the temp to drop and the bugs to die! She also loves her binkies, Duck-Ducks, Signing Time, reading books, Broadway Carpool Karaoke, and forcing other people to build with blocks so she can knock things over and then shrug like she has no idea how THAT happened. Today she made me play a game where I had to scribble in a notebook while she ran laps around me. I don’t know, I just do what I’m told most days.

She knows her body parts, most of her colors, a lot of animals, and a few animal sounds. She thinks “neigh” is hilarious and always fusses when I say “meow”. To get her to eat her baby food (which is getting boring for a toddler, but most table food isn’t safe for her yet), I often have to pretend the spoon is an animal or a train or a car to get her to eat it. She’ll sign something, I make the sound, and then she’ll open up. Oh, the silly things we do for these little people!

Her favorite word is “up”. It’s a magic word because when you say it, someone picks you up. All day long I hear, “Up. Up! UP! UUUUUUUUUUUUUUP!” from my favorite little shadow.

She’s starting to test limits. Right now she is VERY into pinching and awaits our response. She is very calm and measured about it and you can tell it is just a fun little experiment. Oh boy, only 16.5 more years until this stage is over! 😉

A year ago, we were very worried about our sweet girl and afraid to look too far into the future with the uncertainty of open heart surgery right around the corner, and here we are today, blessed beyond measure to watch this amazing little lady learn and grow and change before our eyes each day. It is a gift that we will forever be thankful for.