Josie gets a bit of the shaft around here these days. It is just that three and a half year olds are very demanding, it turns out, and so her delicious adorableness gets undocumented. That is unacceptable, though, because she is really and truly deliciously adorable and I want to remember these times for always.
Here are the top ten ways Josie is ridiculously cute:
1. Josie is a beautiful sleeper. An AMAZING sleeper. She takes (at least) one two hour nap per day, and sleeps an average of 12 hours a night without a peep. We go into her room with a sippy cup of milk, sit in her rocker while she drinks her milk and I sing her 3 songs. I tell her I love her and her daddy loves her and her Gabe loves her and God loves her and then I tuck her under my chin and breathe in the scent of her sweet baby smell. After a couple of minutes, she'll give some indication she's ready for bed- maybe a little restlessness, maybe a kiss for me, maybe a tiny little "bye bye Mommy" and she's off to bed. I tuck her in with all her "babies" and she bids me goodbye as I walk out. As I'm leaning over to pull the blankets over her, she'll say, "ah yub you" before I go, and it melts my heart every time.
2. Josie talks. Oh, this girl can TALK. Sentences, vocabulary, actual conversations, it is absurd the quantity of talking we are doing for 21 months. The other day I asked her why she'd taken off her shoes in the car and she said "ummm, because I no wanna." (she didn't want to wear them, I assume.) She narrates everything for me, "Gabe no no, Gabe crying, Gabe time-out." or "Mommy take a showah?" or "ah (I) want some yum yum." Yesterday as friends were walking up the sidewalk she yelled, "Hi Jane! Hi Steven! Come on!" She is all "please" and "thank yous" and "here you gos" and "ah help yous" and other general cuteness. The language explosion seems to have helped with some of the screaming, too. Instead of generally screaming at me, she'll scream "please please please more Mommy please please more" which is, um, an improvement I guess.
3. Josie's smiles. She is BIG personality. Big loud, big grumpy, big thrilled, and big happy. When Josie is pleased, though, she is really really pleased. She smiles up a storm. She is chatty and funny and charming and sweet and people tell us how adorable she is. She has two big dimples and they are stinking adorable.
4. Josie's hair. She has this totally crazy curly hair that is straight(ish) on top but then flips up into curls on the ends, and it makes her look like one of those old-fashioned Kewpie dolls. I swear her hair must be growing, but the more it grows, the more it curls, and it ends up looking like it is the same length. I'm a little bit at a loss for what to do with curly hair since mine is so straight, but there is no denying this crazy hair fits with her personality and adds to her cuteness.
5. Josie's snuggliness. She is a big cuddle bug and will come over to sit on my lap or fling herself across my body or wrap her arms around my neck. She'll press her cheek up against my cheek and then sigh, as if all she needs in life is this moment. She'll grab Josh's chin and turn his face from side to side as she plants tiny kisses on each of his cheeks with an audible little smack and then smiles shyly, because she is so proud of herself. She wraps her little arms around people's legs to give them little hugs and she calls out a "buh-bye, see you later" as we leave. She hugs Gabe constantly and tells us all she loves us often.
6. Josie's independence. I wouldn't think that such independence would come along with such snuggliness, but it does. She is crazy independent, much like her brother, and I have to watch the two of them like a hawk because at any moment one of them will wander off. I can walk into a room full of people she has never met, and she will say hello to everyone and then walk over to start playing with other kids. I joke that all I ever wanted was one shy timid child and I got the absolute opposite, but I couldn't imagine it any other way. She is fierce and brave and ready to take on the world (or as much of the world as 21 month olds can take on).
7. Josie is eating! This is a huge milestone for us since this child was 10 times pickier than her brother, but lo and behold, about 2 months ago, she started eating. Now she'll eat everything, and with gusto and lots of "mmm, yum". It is fantastic, and all of a sudden she will try Thai food and Indian food and asks for bites of everything and wants to taste everything we are eating and is furious if you say no or try to tell her it isn't baby appropriate. Finally, a great eater! And right in time for the toddler pickiness, so we'll see how it goes.
8. Josie is super clumsy. this is both cute and a curse, I guess. She is all go-go-go all the time, always speeding along to the next thing, so she falls a lot. She stumbles a decent amount, trips quite a bit, and still walks like a drunken sailor, even though she's been walking for ALMOST A FREAKING YEAR! Still, although I'm a nervous wreck, the bruises are kind of cute. The clumsiness is also pretty cute.
9. Josie is enthusiastic. About EVERYTHING. She loves to do everything, go everywhere (except be in the car, of course), meet everyone. She will sit in a high chair in a restaurant and wave at every single person walking by and yell "hello! hi! hello! how are you?" She runs full tilt everywhere, leaning slightly forward as she runs down the sidewalk, eager to get wherever she thinks she is going. She answers almost every question with a big "yeah!" regardless of the question. It is pretty fun.
10. Josie just IS adorable. It is beyond words, I think, just something intrinsic in her Josieness- or Jo-Jo-ness, which is her favorite nickname for herself. I don't know exactly how to put into words how cute she is, how funny she is, how brave and interesting and scrumptious she is every single day. If I could, I'd bottle up a little bit of her to spread around.