Monday, December 5, 2011

She's TWO!!

Or rather, she's been two since October 15th. Although nearly two months later, I realized I would be amiss if I didn't post about Josie's second birthday party. She had too much fun not to document it. Picking the theme was easy. Since she has been particularly obsessed with "Snow White", or as she calls it, "Heigh-ho" (and she's really more obsessed with the dwarfs vs the princess), there was really no question. It just had to be a Snow White theme.

Aunts, uncles, grandmas, grandpas and cousins made up this party. All 30+ of us. Josie was definitely in her element. Not because it was "her party", but because she was absolutely beside herself that all of these people were in her home at the same time. Talk about overload for this little one. As each new family member arrived, Josie provided a greeting at the door, which included a look of pure shock and excitement, while yelling their name at the top of her lungs, followed by a "come in!!!".  She's quite the little hostess.

The same little dwarf dolls my sisters and I played with when we were little made an appearance at this party.

Josie's princess cousins

When I look back at these pictures, my favorite part is seeing Josie (and all the other little ones) become progressively sweaty as the party wore on. That's definitely a sign of a well-thrown party, don't you think?

And since I'm taking time to document her party, I want to throw in a few developmental things at this point in time:

  • Although her vocabulary is growing so fast, Josie continues to speak her own language, one that I assume only she can understand, but something tells me that other two-year-olds (or even stuffed animals) might know it as well
  • Josie does not know her colors, she adamantly describes everything she sees as purple, blue or sometimes pink
  • Josie can jump and it's the cutest thing in the world to watch her gain about a half inch of air between her feet and the ground, while proudly proclaiming, "I jumping!"
  • She loves jewelry -- necklaces, bracelets, headbands, you name it, she'll be wearing at least 5 of them on each wrist and ankle
  • She loves cooking us dinner in the pretend kitchen, although sometimes she likes to it on the couch and have us make her pretend dinner 
  • There's nothing greater than an overflowing bathroom sink -- apparently it's the best time ever
  • She never meets a stranger
  • Josie loves, loves, loves her family -- seeing any member of her extended family on a particular day is the best thing ever -- even better than a treat (and if you know this girl at all, you KNOW how she loves her treats).
So there. That's where we are today. I've always heard that I will never remember the little things unless I write them down. So that's what I've done today. :-)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My teenage daughter

We've been having a lot of fun working on Josie's "big girl room" lately as we prepare for baby brother to arrive in January. Throughout this time, I mindlessly thought we were getting a room ready for our little 2 year old. But apparently we were preparing a new room for our teenage daughter. I'm not kidding. The first thing she did when entering her new room, after climbing up on the bed, was make a pretend phone call to who knows who. She wouldn't tell us. Probably her secret boyfriend. She spent FOREVER chatting on the phone, see picture below. She would lay on her tummy, then roll over, then act like whoever she was talking to said something completely outrageous and then say something in a language only she can understand and then repeat the whole cycle. PS. How cute is Josie trying to climb up on her big bed? So cute. Not graceful in the least. But so determined. A little grunting, lots of heavy breathing and then a great big smile and an occasional, "I did it!" once she arrives on top. 

So anyway, what inside that little 2 year old body told her to do that?!?! Is it just innate for a little girl to act so grown up sometimes? I don't like it! She did something else recently. She loves going into her new room and closing the door. I am usually close behind, making sure that she's not getting into something she shouldn't be. I usually knock and this is my favorite part, she opens the door and acts both surprised and excited to see me. She then will say "Hi Mommy! Come on in, come on in!" I love that. My heart completely melts. She's so happy to see me. I couldn't feel more loved. Well, an alternate scenario happened the other day. I followed her down the hall and after she closed the door, I waited a bit and then knocked. A few moments later, she opened the door. She was completely adorned in every play bracelet, necklace, headband and bow that she owns. She sort of looked like a punk rocker. Then she put her hand on her hip, made an annoyed face and said, "WHAT?!?!" Gasp. Did she really just say that to me? Really? What happened to my sweet, little girl? This little one seems to be growing up fast. Too fast. For that, I just might put her back in the crib. At least until she turns 13. :-)

Friday, September 23, 2011

B is for Boy

Last Sunday, Todd and I cut into the most amazingly-colored, vibrantly-blue cake one could imagine to reveal that Josie is going to have a baby brother. In other words -- we're having a BOY!! On a side note, this moment kind of reminded me of our wedding; however, in this experience, Todd was relieved he wasn't in charge of opening the champaign, because if you attended our wedding, you remember how that went down.

It was a long 48 hours we waited from our ultra sound Friday morning when the tech turned off the TV where we were watching our baby dance around in my belly and then write our baby's gender on a piece of paper. She turned off the TV in case we accidentaly "saw something". :-) I took the sealed envelope to a bakery and asked them to make the inside of our cake either pink or blue, based off what was written in the envelope. And make no mistake, we had a backup envelope we kept for ourselves in case we got the "newby" at the bakery who doesn't know how to appropriately dye cake batter! My fear was that we would cut into the cake only to find the inside to be some weird shade of purple or green.

Two days later, the day we were going to celebrate my birthday with both of our families, we finally found out! Again, those were the longest 48 hours EVER! I love these pictures and I'm laughing at myself at how utterly excited I look. Sometimes laughing really hard sort of distorts our faces (as seen in these pictures). It's true, but I love it. I think this is a good time to throw out my disclaimer: for completely different reasons, I know most confidently that we would have been this overjoyed with a either a girl or a boy. We really, really would have.

Of course, Josie has no idea. Or at least I don't think she does. Just when I thought she was actually getting the fact that we were going to have a baby (because she kisses and points to my belly all the time), she went up to Todd and asked to see his baby. Which of course was his belly button. And then she in turn showed him her baby, aka her belly button. So although she really wasn't celebrating the idea of having a baby brother that day, she completely celebrated the idea of getting a blue ballon.

And of course, another highlight of the day was having endless amount of time playing in the sprinkler while wearing her "good clothes". What are good clothes for an almost two-year-old? Exactly, they don't exist.
All in all, a really, really, really good day. :-)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Josie has a surprise...

...she's gonna be a big sister. We're expecting baby Heits #2 (technically #3 if you count big brother Wrigley) around January 25, 2012. In honor of becoming a big sister, we had to do a photo shoot. I am utterly amazed that we captured a picture of Josie sitting still and smiling. I am very impressed with us. We snagged this picture after taking a "break" from our initial photo shoot.

And as any parent of a 20-something-month-old would tell you, snapping a quick, simple picture is never quick nor simple. Imagine pregnant me, impatient yet enthusiasticTodd, a million degree heat and a daughter who wants to do anything but sit still, let alone smile. Here are some of the outakes from our initial attempt. It was our, not kidding, 45-minute voyage into the backyard to take a picture for the scrapbook. We took about a hundred of these "blank stare" pictures. Despite our singing, my dancing and Todd's sound effects, Josie would not crack a smile or even change facial expressions. On a side note, she'd be really good at concentration. I don't think she even blinked once.

She insisted upon standing on the brick that line our tree in the backyard. And since balance isn't one of our strengths, she did fall a couple of times. Into the soft padding of our ground covering. Safe, but dirty. And we're wearing white pants. Oh heavens.

We decided to give her candy to bring on a smile. But we forgot to factor in that she had to eat the candy, which of course led to yet again, anything BUT a smile.

We decided to move the party inside, too sweaty for mom and dad, and then Josie just flat out got hyper. Which of course, did not aid in producing a sweet pose with a sweet smile.

So hyper that she completely...wore...herself...out. Of course, she wasn't the only one who was ready at the end of this adventure for at least a two hour nap or maybe even a drink. And since I can't drink while pregnant, I'll settled for a nice piece of chocolate cake. I earned it. :-)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Fourth

Although nearly two weeks ago, I certainly did not want to bypass posting pictures from the fourth of July. Celebrating our freedom, devouring red, white and blue-themed desserts and withstanding the thick, sticky Kansas heat waiting in Corporate Woods for the fireworks to start...two and half hours after Josie's bedtime, by the way. How could you NOT love the fourth of July? I really do mean that. I've always loved the fourth.

Originally we were going to bypass fireworks because the thought of keeping Josie up HOURS past her bedtime (knowing she would maintain perfect timing as our 6:00 alarm clock) was crazy. But I was kind of curious to see how she would do and deep down, I LOVE fireworks, so it really didn't take much to change my mind. Overall, we couldn't have asked for a better night. Josie kept herself busy playing with cousin Emri, adorning herself with stickers and crayola markers up and down her arms and on her white top (on daddy's watch of course, kidding. apparently that happened when no one was watching her!) and having various not so healthy snacks. Not afraid whatsoever of the fireworks (although that shouldn't have surprised me, she was the toddler at the pool who just walked right off the ledge and into the water during our first pool trip this summer). All in all, she was probably more fascinated by the moon than anything else. I mean, she's never seen it in person, so I really don't blame her. I thought the world was going to end when the moon slid below the horizon. Good thing the fireworks really picked up shortly afterwards; I really don't know how long I could have explained that the moon went "night night" and have it be OK with Josie. So there. A beautiful night with our sweet little girl. Celebrating our country's independence and freedom. Although belated, Happy Fourth of July!

Monday, May 16, 2011


First of all, is there any question why it sometimes takes me one entire afternoon (or one entire week) to put one load of laundry away or in this example, add some spring clothes to my closet from storage? I mean, when you have this little marvelous distraction popping up with smiles and multiple requests to hold my hand and walk around the house (that's her new thing), how could one EVER get stuff done around the house? Especially when she smiles and signs "more" while saying "PEASE!". I don't know if she really knows what either "more" or "please" mean, but if she ever wants something, that is her go-to combination.

At a year-and-a-half, I wanted to document some of Josie's "isms", if you will. I'm obsessed with what she says (or maybe the better word is fasciated). I relish in every sound, utterance, incorrect pronunciation and phrase. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Josie thinks birthday cake is called "happy". We've been celebrating a lot of birthdays lately. When Josie sees a cake (or even paper plates, which I find kind of interesting), she spastically begins saying "happy" followed by "bite" over and over and over again. Of course that means, "Mommy, I have finished all of my vegetables, can I please have a piece of birthday cake?" If the request for a "happy" or "bite" are ignored or declined, she refers to her go-to expression of signing more while saying "PEASE!"

2. Josie loves watching Snow White. She calls it "Heigh-ho" (I learned the correct spelling of heigh-ho during a desperate search to find clips from the movie on You Tube). There have been many an early morning where I go into Josie's room to get her out of the crib and through the frazzled hair covering her face, sleepy eyes and morning voice, she utters "heigh-ho?"

3. Josie uses Mommy and Daddy interchangably. I'm not sure if she'll ever get Todd and I straight. :-)

4. Josie's favorite word is "no" and she often likes to swat at the air when she says it. She says it especially to people she doesn't know very well, primarily when they are giving her a compliment or just trying to be friendly. Is that normal?

5. If you ask Josie how old she is, she'll hold up one finger and in the cutest little voice, say "two". Except it really doesn't sound like "two", it sounds like "tewwwww". But I guess the point really isn't that she says "tewww" for "two", but rather, she should be saying "ONE"!!

Ok. Those are some of my favorite Josie-isms and I just wanted to document them. As a speech pathologist, I always find myself correcting her. Embarassingly enough, we sometimes have little mini therapy sessions. But you know, I have a feeling that when she starts calling the movie Snow White by the real title or when when she asks for a piece of cake at a birthday party or tell us the exact age that she is, I'm probably going to be sad because I'll miss the little 18-month-old and her sweet little Josie-isms.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Then and Now

April 15, 2011. Josie turned 18 months. Just around that time, I noticed our tulips in the backyard were starting to bloom. I love those tulips because they're beautiful and I love thinking about my mom and sister secretly planting them while I was at work several years ago. As I noticed the flowers, I recalled taking Josie's picture on April 15th the year before. The day she turned 6 months old. She had just started sitting up by herself and I remember being very excited to place her next to the flowers to commemorate this milestone and her half birthday. So this year, in honor of that memory, we took Josie's picture by the tulips. It's hard to see, but she's holding two tiny decorative eggs. That was the only way we got her to sit still, if only for a moment. And yes, she's not wearing shoes. I guess I'm that kind of mother. :-)

After taking this picture, I decided to pull up the one we took this time last year. I had no idea I was about to open the flood gates. I saw this little schmunchkin (sound it out if the word doesn't look familiar, it's very easy to say and fits the description perfectly) looking back at me on the computer and I started crying. Hard. I started crying very hard just at the sight of this little bear. My little bear. She's so little. And even though I wouldn't trade the Josie I have today (the chatter, the running, the laughing, the hyper-wrestle-mania munchkin), I started thinking about just how much I miss this little 6 month old. I didn't realize you could miss someone right in front of you. But you can. I'm sure I'll feel this way every year for the rest of her life.
My little baby.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Miss Josie

Ladybug Cabbage Patch, little dolly (who continues to remain nameless, except for well, the title "little dolly") and baby Caroline are ready for school. Teacher, Miss Josie, is opening up today's lesson with a storybook. Ladybug Cabbage Patch raises her hand and says, "Teacher, we can't see the pictures when you hold the book like that on your lap." Miss Josie says something very adamant in a language that only she (and I'm assuming only other one-year-olds can understand) and continues on with the lesson. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Has Sprung

March 3rd marked the 7th birthday of my oldest nephew, Miles and 3 days later, marked the day I met Todd. I love spring because it holds the memory of my first nephew, our first family grandbaby, the precious little boy that was about to change our whole world AND it holds the memory of meeting the man that would soon become my best friend, husband and the sweetest daddy I've ever known (outside of course, my own).

My parents and I flew into KC from Georgia just hours before Miles was born. What a perfect day. And then, a few days later, Todd and I had a brief chance meeting at my sister's house when he dropped a gift off for baby Miles. PS. What single man does that? He definitely wasn't hard to fall in love with. So here's my Todd, seven years later.

Ha! Not a soldier, but after seeing Todd dressed up for Miles' "army party", I could go for that. :-)

Walker sisters, daddeo (the real soldier!), Luke, Josie and Emri. Kerri, where is your army hat?

Have you ever seen a cooler cake? Me neither. Oh wait, yes I have. At Miles' first birthday party, and the then his second birthday party and then....Rachel, the standards of your birthday parties are hard to live up to. Good thing I don't even try. :-)

Lots of cousins. Lots of love. Lots of sweet little kisses and cheeks to squeeze. Lots of chaos and lots of no one really looking at the camera or acknowledging that we're trying to take a picture here, people!!

Ahh...finally, a group of people willing to say CHEESE!!!!! Well, except for my dad. He's always serious in pictures, that's what we love about him (unless someone happens to be passing gas, then of course, we get a huge grin from him). HAPPY 7TH BIRTHDAY, MILES!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Be Mine

Our sweet little Valentine.

I was lucky enough to share my Valentine with someone this year. I have loved having Todd as my Valentine for the past 5 years, however this year, he wasn't mine only. I had the privilege to share him with our sweet little Josie bear. I love the thought of Josie being able to experience the kind of selfless, unconditional love that my husband has to offer. Cheesy, but true. (And on a side note, yes, this wasn't Josie's first Valentine's Day, but last year was sort of a whirlwind and I'm sure I didn't sit back and think about how special it was to share Todd with her. So I'm thinking and writing about it this year. Better late than never). Back to our little Valentine. I am right now feeling so blessed that Josie gets to grow up with a man in her life who will love her probably more than she could ever imagine. Or at least until she has a little baby. Josie gets to grow up experiencing unconditional love from a daddy who adores her and that's what we celebrated on Valentine's Day. Unconditional love. And in this family, our goal is to make sure that there is always more than enough to go around.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Easy as 1, 2, 3

Josie loves waking up in the morning and heading straight to the office. Her little office, that is. In the front room. With a beautiful view of our front yard covered in snow. I love when she's busy. I love to watch how her mind works. I love that she acts like this is something of real importance. Like she has a deadline to meet. I imagine her saying, "Sorry mom, wish I could play dolls, but the boss is asking for this report by mid-morning, so I have to get busy."

But first things first. The purpose of this post was to highlight her new skill of climbing up onto the chair all by herself. It's as easy as 1, 2...well, something like that. It might be easier to just show you. So, with her serious face and all, she climbs up onto her chair in order to prepare for her work. It's easy as...ah, here we go, big push...

...a little more oomph...

...almost there... it!

Of course, we've learned that if we try to help Josie climb up the chair, we've seriously ruined not only the moment, but apparently her whole life. Or at least, that's the type of cry we get from her. So we just back off and watch from a distance. And don't worry, my "spotter" hands are ready in an instant to catch a falling baby. So what if I'm protective? This is new for both of us. :-) So anyway, that's how it's done! Then of course, we climb back down (taking nearly as much time as we did to climb up in the first place), just to perform a mini-cheer "hooray!" and then start the process all over again.