forgive me, that's the best title I could come up with instead of "Julia's 2 and a half year update". next, forgive me for writing this 11 days after her half birthday.
and yes, that's her nickname. it's short for punkin poodle pookie. she's also my honeyboo. josiah's my hunkaboo. julia tries to convince me that it's the other way around, but i won't have it!
anywho, there's been a lot of talk and updating about josiah lately but i mustn't forget my precious firstborn! so much has been going on lately in her world!
~ her vocabulary has SOARED. we're not just talking complete sentences... she will go on and on about something and i can actually understand most of it. her grammar is fantastic (tenses, persons, etc...) and her complex thought processes simply amaze us. she is truly brilliant. it's like God took the genius of her father and yours truly, multiplied it and squeezed it into 25 lbs and 3 feet. no, not 3 feet as in 15 toes, but stature. indeed, she's almost half as tall as her daddy!
~ her intelligence is incredible. sometimes we just sit and watch her figure things out. she's even more curious than me (gasp!) which can be quite a bit of a challenge because she gets into EVERYTHING! tell her no, she moves on to something else. repeat. repeat. repeat. get frustrated. repeat. pull hair out. repeat, ad nauseam.
~ she absolutely ADORES her baby brother. gives him kisses without prompting, sings to him when he's crying (with prompting), tells me she loves him, has ceased to drag him off the boppy and the like. i can trust her to be alone in a room with him (whereas before i couldn't even go brush my teeth w/o taking one of them with me for fear he wouldn't be safe) which is great because they can now share a room.
~ so a couple weeks ago we started putting josiah in the crib at night, which is in her room. usually at least one of them wakes up in the middle of the night. but if it's just josiah, julia stays asleep because she's a heavy sleeper (once she finally surrenders her wakefulness).
~ we're still working on jumping. she tries but usually doesn't get both feet off the ground at the same time. it's fun to try though, we always end up just dancing and twirling!
~ julia LOVES to help. as in, so much that sometimes she takes over and won't even let ME help. it's so sweet though and we're trying to channel that quality in a productive way. it's a good thing to know when i need to distract her from destructive behavior, because she's so very fetching. ha! "julia sweetie, can you bring me such-and-such?"
~ sometimes when we're riding in the car or putting her to bed, she blesses people. if you're a relative or friend that she's ever met, it's likely she's said, "bless [insert your name here]" at least a hundred times! hey, your life is probably better now!
~ back to the subject of talking, she always gets compliments on how well she speaks. not because of her pronunciation though. there's still some consonants she has trouble with. like k and g. for example a dog is "dod" and a cake is "tate." it makes for quite a few humorous ones like when she's trying to say "kitty" or "kix". one of my favorites that i'm not sure how she concocted is "dibbyup" which means "giddyup." i often have to translate for her but it's fun to listen to her express what's going through her busy little mind!
~ on the subject of potty-training, we're still working on it. she can go potty, both #1 and #2. she very rarely poops in her panties which is a nice break from cleaning up so much pee. we usually keep her in panties all day even going places, and put a diaper on her at night. of course even then the bed gets wet because she's become quite the heavy wetter at night. i tried one of josiah's one size cloth diapers on her and it seemed to fix that problem so i'll probably get her a couple of pink ones and that'll be that. so, she still has accidents and it drives me crazy when she does because she knows when she's peeing and has the ability to control it, but for whatever reason doesn't tell us. we try to remind her often enough that she won't have accidents, and a lot of the time she just goes on her own! treats seem to be a good thing for her. i'm going to make a chart too, both for pottying and good behavior.
~ which brings me to: we've been having quite a few struggles, if i may understate, with julia's behavior. i won't go into the details though since i'd like this to be a mostly positive blog! it's been really exhausting, frustrating, depressing, etc. for us but we have sought counsel about it, got some really good ideas and prayer, and are working with her to improve things in that area.
~ i hate winter! it's hard enough to get outside with two kids (next to impossible really, what with julia's tendency to run off) but tack on the low temps and all-around it-takes-forever-just-to-get-out-the-door-ness, and all of a sudden you have a toddler who's bouncing off the walls just to get some natural light, fresh air and open spaces. but thankfully, i found out about a couple places that will really help out in that area. when it's not incredibly cold, i'll take her to this playground in colleyville that has a fence all the way around. one way in, one way out, and i can sit with josiah right there while she has the freedom to play in quite a large space full of climbing and such. then there's an inside "playscape" at a church in richland hills that has comfy seating for parents. cold day solution! i can bring snacks and nurse josiah while julia plays. these 2 just might be my saving grace for the next few months! i'd like to try storytime again (haven't taken her since josiah was born) because i'm sure she'll like it now that she's a little older and has a (slightly) longer attention span.
~ we're currently in a pretty good nap routine. doesn't usually happen till later in the afternoon, but i can usually count on getting her down as long as josiah is asleep or at least happy for 15-20 minutes. we sit in the rocking chair and i rock her to sleep. sometimes she wants me to sing to her, sometimes we bless people, sometimes she things we're just rocking HER baby to sleep (sneaky!) But the good thing is, she sleeps soundly for 2-3 hours and i get a break. yay! now if i could just get the two back to napping at the same time, that'd be great!
~ her hair is becoming quite adorable. she's got these sweet little curls that just capture my heart! for whatever reason, they're not always curly but oh well. i just can't believe how long is finally getting! now don't get me wrong, it's still shorter than most 2 year old girls' locks but at least i get to put it in ponytails now! granted, she usually takes them out in the car, but eventually she'll gain appreciation for my styling prowess (heh heh) and leave them alone!
~ she loves to dress herself. she loves to undress herself and run around nekkid. she loves to wear pajamas all day. she loves wearing anything princess. she loves trying to fit into josiah's clothes (and has been successful a number of times). what can i say, she's a girl!
~ she loves dancing and singing. she even makes up songs. mostly to tunes she already knows, just changing the lyrics. so cute. i love this!
~ it's hard to explain but when she "points" at something, it's not with her pointer finger. or any other single finger. it's with her whole hand, fingers pressed tightly together as in hail hitler. not that hitler's funny, but it's cute when she does it.
~ i've officially come to the conclusion that her eyes are hazel. i thought they were going to be kind of green like riley's but they're just not. it's funny though because people still think they're blue. i guess because mine are and she looks like me.
~ when she's really into telling you something her eyebrows stay raised the whole paragraph like it's so important and serious. which it is.
~ her newest obsession is betty boop. namely, a dvd with about an hour of short betty boop cartoons. she wants to watch it all.the.time. we're trying to cut back on her tv/movie watching but this is definitely one of her favorites. followed closely by horton hears a who, kung fu panda, stuart little, wall-e, strawberry shortcake, and finding nemo (my favorite). i asked her one time, "do you like betty boop?" to which she responded after i long pause, "i LOVE betty boop! i LOVE betty boop!"
~ she can draw circles! it usually starts out as a little straight line, and then she goes round and round and round. my little artist! ooh which reminds me, the other day she was given some playdoh and we were making different shapes with it together. then after playing with it by herself for a few minutes, she brings this to me and tells me it's an elephant. just so we're clear, she did this completely by herself. try and convince me that it was an accident and she's not a genius!
~ getting her art out of the furniture is still on my to-do list. =)
this pic is from a month ago (i'd put a newer one but we're having camera issues) but here you go!
ok i take that back here's a pic from yesterday (pardon the puffy eyes, she just woke up from a nap. yes, in a shopping cart. she fell asleep in the car and we weren't about to go home after driving all the way to a far away mall and having nothing to show for it. note to self: always bring the stroller!)
Saturday, December 5, 2009
It's that time of year again. Santa Claus, presents, snow, red and green decorations, food, baby Jesus... I love Christmas, it's probably the only thing that I look forward to about the winter (besides my birthday)!
This time of year is when Julia gets asked, "What do you want Santa to bring you?" "Did you get to sit on Santa's lap?" etc. I try to be as gracious as possible and just respond, "We don't do Santa."
Some people understand why, but those of you who don't, read on.
First of all, let me begin by telling you why I didn't have Santa growing up: My dad tells the story of one Christmas Eve when my oldest brother, Shane, had a present under the tree for a friend of his. My dad told him they needed to take it over to this friend's house to give it to him. Shane responded, "It's ok, Dad, Santa will take it over there." It was then that he realized that Shane was believing a lie, really and truly trusting in Santa to take that little boy his gift. He didn't want it to be that way, so he decided from then on, he wasn't going to teach the rest of us to believe in Santa.
At my mom's house, I would pretend to believe in Santa because my stepsisters did, but I always knew who really put the presents under the tree. It was still fun, and I actually got to be thankful to people that really existed.
A couple of cool traditions that we had growing up were, we watched It's a Wonderful Life (my favorite Christmas movie to this day!) and each got to choose one present to open on Christmas Eve. We had others but those were probably the most memorable!
Not once have I ever wished that my dad had taught me about Santa. I don't feel like I was deprived, and I'm glad that he chose to be honest with me.
I want that kind of relationship with my children. I want them to trust me, and know that when I tell them something, it's the truth. If I tell them there's an Easter bunny, Santa Claus, and the tooth fairy, only to tell them it was all a lie, who's to say they won't think one day, "Jesus probably isn't real either."
Yes, my kids will still get presents. Yes, we will decorate our home and celebrate with family and friends. Yes, we will play in the snow. Yes, we will remember the birth of our Savior. Yes, we will make new traditions and do fun things that the kids will remember for years to come. No, they won't be missing out. "All good things come from above!"