March 28th may not be a national holiday but it's a VERY special occasion at our house. It's the day we celebrate Josie's entrance into the world. It's hard to believe that we've been celebrating that day for nine years now. Our sweet and sassy little JoJo is growing up quickly and her maturity is becoming more and more apparent all the time.
My mom always said that the first eight years are the most difficult with Down syndrome. She assured me that after that, health problems would start to subside and maturity would start to kick in and we'd be hitting our stride. Well, I've seen evidence of that already. Josie handled her winter health battles (Influenza A and walking pneumonia) without oxygen and hospitalization. Her chronic runny nose was not nearly as bad this year. And what I like to call her "get it quotient" is on the rise. She is coming up with new things constantly that demonstrate that she's tuned in and understanding more.
Yesterday, Josie was celebrated both at home and at school. Her sweet second grade teacher sent me precious photos of Josie passing out cupcakes to her classmates. Josie came home with a backpack full of notes containing sweet birthday wishes from her friends. After school, we headed straight to the Mexican restaurant that Josie chose and we had dinner together.
Upon arriving home, YaYa and Papa called us on Facetime so that they could join in the celebration from their home in another state. Isn't technology wonderful?!
When we asked Josie what she wanted for her birthday, she offered only one response: cake! Girlfriend loves cake so Mama happily paid a visit to our local Dairy Queen and got Josie a delicious ice cream cake.
Josie also loves being serenaded; perhaps as much as she loves cake. Her face just lights up when we sing to her!
Several years ago, Josie reached out and touched the lit candle on her birthday cake and mildly burned herself. Merryn was more traumatized than Josie was. Ever since, Merryn keeps a snug embrace on Josie whenever she's in the presence of lit candles. That's why we call her "Mother Hen."
The close monitoring of an overprotective little sister is superfluous in light of Josie's aforementioned "get it quotient;" she knew exactly what to do!
She took a deep breath and blew hard until each and every candle was extinguished!
The next photo is a little blurry but the expression of exhilaration on Josie's face is too contagious not to share.
We got started opening gifts. YaYa and Papa gave Josie some snap together letters so that she can practice both fine motor skills and spelling (and activity that she loves and excels in).
Leanne selected a singing hen from Hallmark that sings "It's springtime and I know it" to the tune of LMFAO's "Sexy and I know it" while laying eggs. Josie became instantly obsessed. Way to go, Aunt Leanne!
There were more fun and educational gifts to come thanks to Mom's Lakeshore Learning haul. We can't wait to dive in and explore!
Special thanks to everyone who offered up birthday wishes to Josie via social media. We're glad that you appreciate watching her grow into the feisty and independent little girl who makes us so proud.
Happy Birthday, Josie!