Saturday, January 17, 2015

Joseph Turns Two!

Happy Birthday, Joseph!

Our sweet toddler turned two on Friday. On a child's birthday, I always enjoy re-reading his birth story: Joseph was my posterior baby whose labor puttered for three days before we got him flipped with the Rebozo technique, and active labor took only two-and-a-half hours, nearly being missed by the midwife.

I absolutely love seeing how my children looked two years ago!

Seeing newborn Joseph makes me feel excited for newborn #5.

So, how is Joseph today? He is a total sweet pea, as we find two-year-olds to be compared to three-year-olds (oh my).

Favorite Activities: Joseph's favorite activity is to wrestle with his 8-year-old brother. They are surprisingly active in their physical games but the big brother really does know how to avoid hurting him almost all the time. Joseph has recently taken an interest in board books, his favorites being "Spot," "Owl Babies," and "Wheels on the Bus." His favorite television shows are Mr. Rogers (which he calls "trolly"), "Martha Speaks," and "Kipper" (except the camping episode with the owl, which he declares "scary!"). Joseph loves to play physically, especially throwing things, like balls or any projectile object: quite a few times in public, Joseph has thrown something (inappropriately) and a stranger has remarked that "he has quite an arm!"

Sleeping: Long-time readers and friends know that I'm not the mother to come to for advice on how to get babies to sleep independently and through the night. A couple of weeks ago, Joseph graduated to having his own big boy twin bed in the boys' room, and he at least starts there every night. And I think that is awesome and I'm happy with that. Each time we go to lay down for nap or bed, I ask him, "Where is Josey's bed?" And then he leads me to the boys' room and declares happily, "Here it is!" Then we talk through how Joseph's pillow has pictures of bugs on it and his quilt has pictures of animals on it, how he has his basket of books, White Lambie and Blue Lambie, and his bottle of water. And then he points to the bedrail and says, "Gate . . . safe." And I reply that yes, the gate keeps him safe from rolling out of bed. It's our little routine.

Speaking: Joseph's language has really blossomed lately! In my opinion, he says interesting things, even though he is just stringing together two and three words, not speaking in sentences. He recently took an interest in colors, so he talks daily about the color of his cup, at first just throwing out colors randomly but now slowly becoming more consistent that blue is blue and red is red. He can say each of his siblings' names except Margaret, whom he calls "Sissy." Joseph uses the possessive tense as well as adjectives, such as the recent, "Mommy's black shoes" or "Sissy's dolly." Of course, he is a big fan of declaring things, "mine!" After Grampa Neil departed for the airport Daddy returned without him, Joseph declared, "Grampa lost." I dismissed it as too abstract of a concept for him to know what he was saying, but the day after Daddy departed for a business trip, Joseph wandered around the house and came to me to announce, "Daddy lost." Lately, Joseph has come to me when crying from an injury or something and telling me, "Sad! Crying!"--which I find fascinating--and then he might tack on, "Bump. [shows me the injury] Kiss it." Also, that he can recount to me that a television show or book was "scary" is interesting. He recently watched "Stuart Little II" (which I heartily do not recommend, E.B. White would roll over in his grave) and tells me several times per day about the airplane chase scene: "Airplane . . . [makes airplane noises] mouse . . . bird . . . mean bird! . . . chase . . . guy . . . scary." (Stuart the mouse is flying in the airplane being chased by the mean bird Falcon who is a scary guy.)

Eating: Anyone who eats better than our firstborn did is a "good eater" in my perspective. But little Joseph sure doesn't like his fruits and vegetables, so that will be a challenge on the horizon. Joseph self-feeds everything and enjoys his meat, breads, and dairy. His favorite foods are probably peanut butter, cream cheese, and cereal with milk.

Daddy returned from a week out of town just in time for his baby boy's birthday dinner (not that we would have celebrated without Daddy).

Joseph received a stack of lift-the-flap books, a push lawnmower that goes "pop! pop! pop!", a red airplane with a white stuffed mouse (inspired by his passion for that scene in "Stuart Little II"), and--my favorite--a homemade Beaker, as created by his sister Mary, because Joseph's favorite video these last six months is Beaker's Ode to Joy. (At 18 months old, others began asking, "This is a crazy question, but is your baby humming 'Ode to Joy'?" And I'd answer yes!)

They're still clueless about birthdays when they turn two.

Beaker by Mary

Opening gifts with Mama

Reading lift-the-flap books with Daddy

Joseph's new airplane
I asked for one grandparent to buy Joseph a push lawnmower that goes pop-pop-pop, which he perfectly did. In a humorous turn of events, Joseph is afraid of the lawnmower because it makes noise! I remembered that I have eradicated all electronic, noise-making toys from our home, so the din in our home--and it is a din! who would want to add noise to this?--is that of children's voices and musical instruments, that's it. This toy isn't electronic but it does make the mechanical noises of the string whirring and the key clicking, as well as the balls popping. Joseph kept backing into the corner, while the bigger kids played with it enthusiastically, and he said repeatedly, "Noise! Scary! Noise! Scary!" Joseph still won't touch the mower, but I know he'll warm up and the experience is quite funny.

"Noise! Scary!"

Reading with sister

Cake, thanks to Carvel
Quite surprisingly, when Daddy began to walk over with the candle lit in the cake, Joseph burst out in song first: "Birthday to you . . ." he managed. Maybe it's because we've had three family birthdays in the prior nine weeks?

"Birthday to you . . . "


Update from Joseph's two-year well-child visit:

  • 29 pounds (63rd percentile)
  • 2' 11.75" tall (89th percentile)


  1. He's such a cutie!!! Happy birthday, Joseph! -Emiliann W.

  2. I love Beaker. Joseph is a darling.