A couple cute things I wanted to write before I forgot... both about Maureen.
The last few times she's gone #1 on the potty, she's said "Look, Mommy! Bubbles!"
Also, before going, she says "I'm hiding my pee-pee," meaning, I'm holding in my pee so I don't pee my pants before making it to the bathroom. I've tried explaining to her she should say I'm holding in my pee, but she tells me she doesn't like it that way :)
Earlier tonight, before bedtime and after stories, we said some prayers... including the Guardian Angel prayer. After Josephine and Maureen recited the prayer after me, I explained to Maureen simply that it's a prayer we say to ask our angel to protect us and keep us safe... and that Mommy, Daddy, Josephine, Veronica and her each have a guardian angel. Then she chimes in "and Inky (our cat) too!" I smiled and said "Yes!" because I didn't feel like explaining to an almost 3 yo that animals don't have guardian angels, only humans do. Anyway, I thought that was cute.
OK - I promised a detailed update on Josephine. We completed our first quarter of 2nd grade last friday - yay!!! She's doing really well in all subjects. I struggle to get her attention in some subjects, mostly math, but she's doing better. I've tried to find ways to make math more fun - online math games, fun (free) down-loadable math pages, and a "school zone Math Basics" book from Walmart for $3.97. I love the "School Zone" products. The books are great for fun supplements and something to keep little brains thinking over the summertime.
Josephine is turning into a bookworm at times, too... when I find a book that sparks her interest, she's actually preferring to read over playing! I'd never thought I'd see that from her. She's always enjoyed reading, but it wasn't a favorite thing to do or anything. However, the past few weeks, she's been reading a lot more, and I think she's enjoying it more...
She has 3 loose teeth! To me, that seems like a bridge or transition into being a "big kid." Her bottom front tooth is very loose, and will probably fall out over the next few days, or couple weeks at the most.
Her behavior has improved overall the past couple months - she's become more helpful, thoughtful, and more mature (in some ways!). She's becoming more goofy and sneaky, too :) I still have problems with her "listening the FIRST time." Maureen listens better "the first time" than Josephine does! I think it's just Josephine's personality- she's very strong-willed and stubborn at times. She has gotten better about cooperating when it comes to cleaning and picking up - she doesn't whine as much as she used to, and has gotten pretty good at putting things where they belong and picking up the right way (when I'm supervising, anyway!). I am learning that focusing on the girls' positive behavior and praising them for any little thing they do "right" is almost more effective than punishing them/yelling at them for negative behavior.... but that's a whole other discussion that would probably take too long!
Finally, she has returned to practicing piano regularly (5-7 days/week) and getting weekly lessons from me. We had a break of about 4 months where she sort of lost interest, or was apprehensive about playing out of her new level 1 books (she complained that it was too hard, even though I knew they weren't. She just got frustrated with any little mistake she made and wanted to give up so easily! Anyway, I didn't push it, and basically let her take a break from it. Now that we've gone back to it, she's doing great! I have become a little more strict with her practice routine - she practices every day (mon-fri) around the same time... and can't watch TV or get on the computer later in the day unless she's practiced that day. She's stuck to her end of the deal and has actually enjoyed the end results. She's already almost perfected her recital pieces (in December). I will have to video tape her doing her songs whenever I get the chance.
Whew! That was long. I won't be doing that again for a while! That makes ME tired.