Sunday, February 10, 2013

I Am That Mom

When I started thinking about what to write in this post, I sent a message to some of my friends and family and asked them to sum up what they thought of me as a mom in 1 word. Here are the responses I received: patient, creative, fun, encompassing love. These texts made me smile and these all are things that I really do strive to be. And feel like I fail miserably at sometimes. My little sassy girl turned 3 at the beginning of December and hit the terrible 3's in pretty full force. I kept reminding myself that she did the same thing when she turned 2 the year before. I kept telling myself that these phase would pass. I think we have weathered the worst of it. Caroline brings me more joy and happiness than I ever thought was possible. Her smile can melt my heart in a split second. Talking to her is like talking to a miniature me a lot of the time. It makes me realize I should really watch the words and tone of voice I choose to use. This sweet little girl can also drive me crazy! We hit a point at times where I have to yell at her to make her listen because nothing else works. I really hate yelling but I hate when she disobeys even more.
I feel like I earned some merit badges of parenting this year. In the span of 3 months, we had a visit to the ER for stitches in her forehead on her 2nd day of school (see previous post), a day in the outpatient wing of the children's hospital (tonsils and adenoids out and tubes in her ears), and a weird infection that grew rapidly on her thumb over a few hours that resulted in a few visits to the doctor and had to be drained. I can't imagine what parents who have seriously ill children have to deal with. I know that we are lucky to only have to deal with this minor things.
To sum it up, I am that mom... *who rambles (see above!) *that used be so crafty and creative when I worked in a preschool program but has to force myself to do crafts with my kiddo *that wishes I could truly commit to being a runner (I finished 3 5K's and 1 5-mile run last year) but finds it hard to love running and even harder to find time (except super early in the am...and I am NOT a morning person) *who wonders how another little one will fit into our life someday (which we better work on since Caroline already tells everyone that she's having a sister!) *who constantly feels as though she's telling her kid to hurry up when I really need to learn how to slow down *that tries to find a good balance between actually living in the moment and taking pictures so I never forget this special memories *who plays the quiet game in the car sometimes since I just want to drive in silence after talking ALL day at work (I'm a speech language pathologist...) *that spends way too much on clothes and things for Caroline because she's just so much fun to buy things for *who struggles to remember who I used to be before I became a mom *who is so happy that we chose to move Caroline to a preschool at our church this year. I love hearing her talk about God and Jesus and asking to pray *that has a blog that I'm terrible at updating. Maybe I'll do better now that I have all this free time--just kidding! *who has loved reading the posts from other moms on McCall's blog and who treasures her other mommy friends. It's great knowing you're not alone out there and that someone else's child has also peed in the middle of the store, thrown a massive tantrum in the grocery store (the kind where you avoid all eye contact and ignore your screaming kid), colored with pen on something other than paper (such as their foot--solid black), had to be taken out of restaurant for a spanking/talking to....should I go on?? :-)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Starting the New School Year Off With a Bang!

I got a call from Caroline's school on the 2nd day. It was the director, Mrs. Shields, who told me very calmly that Caroline was ok but that she had fallen and hit her head on the corner of the counter when she was throwing her trash away after snack. She said that, as a mommy herself, she really wanted me to come and take a look at it. I started cancelling my patients and rushed (after getting stopped by a train) to pick her up. I thought maybe they were just being cautious since it was on her forehead and since she was new to the school. When I walked into the Mrs. Shields' office, I was surprised by how big the cut was (about an inch long--that looks really big on a little forehead). I was glad that Mrs. Shields downplayed it some while she was on the phone with me. Caroline was sitting in her teacher's (Miss Floyd) lap coloring. She was completely calm and happy. Miss Floyd was holding some gauze on the cut and it was still bleeding some. They said she was so brave (Caroline said "like Merida!") and barely cried at all. We put a band-aid on it, headed into my office to get all my stuff I left there, and went to her pediatrician. They took one quick look at it and sent us to the ER for stitches. I'm so thankful that we have a pediatric ER here in Jacksonville (and that I work for the same hospital!). We were in and out in less than 90 minutes (maybe it helped that I had my Wolfson work shirt on!). They brought Caroline a princess sticker book and animal crackers while we were waiting. And while they were stitching her up, there was a lady whose job it was to distract Caroline with bubbles and an iPad with her favorite tv show. John got there when they were about to get started. They laid Caroline on this backboard/papoose thing that swaddled her up so she couldn't move. It was sad to see but I know it was easier than someone trying to hold her down. I held her leg and rubbed her face while she cried and cried. It was heartbreaking to hear her say "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy" over and over. And when she said "Ow" when they gave her a shot. And when she looked at me from under the sterile paper sheet covering her face with the most scared sad look on her face. It was like she was saying "Mommy, why aren't you helping me?". I couldn't think of words to say to her at first besides "I'm right here, I love you, I'm not going anywhere". Those didn't make the crying stop. I told her that I had a surprise for her at home. I told her that I had a Minnie Mouse drum set with all sorts of instruments that she could have (I was really thankful that I made that impulse purchase at Walgreens the day before with the intention of giving it to her for her birthday!). That started to calm her down and then we talked all about going to the zoo the next day and how we would ride the carousel, feed the giraffes, and ride the train. She stopped crying but sounded so teary when she talked. As soon as they were done and she was unstrapped, she sat right up looking for the bubbles the lady had promised her. Totally fine. I, on the other hand, wanted to pass out and throw up. The calm God had passed over me was gone and I was fighting back tears. But we all survived (John was trying to stay quiet and calm in the corner during all this), and you would never know anything was wrong...until it's time for me to take the band-aid off each day. :-) Before (faking a sad face--she was totally happy at this point!)

New School

We decided to enroll Caroline in a new school this year. Her old "school" was really just a daycare. They did do some academic stuff with the kids but they weren't certified teachers. We also wanted her to go to a school where she would learn about the Bible, so we chose First Baptist Junior Academy. It's the school at the church we attend I talked to Caroline a lot to get her ready for the big change and she handled it great! She walked in like a big girl on the 1st day, gave me and hug and kiss, and joined her friends on the rug for circle time. My baby is growing up! Her cute 1st day outfit
Her sign
Walking in from the parking garage
Running to find her room
Putting her nap bag in her cubby
First day surprises

Monthly Pictures

Here is our munchkin's pictures from the past 6 months. It really makes you see how much she's changed and grown-up. To keep up with her, I'd have to blog She learns something new or says something new daily. Here are a few Caroline facts for the moment: *She's sassy. Very sassy. Usually only to Mommy though, which I guess is a good thing. Her new favorite saying is "okay, okay" with a very teenager tone when I ask her to do something. Just realized she learned this from her favorite tv show (Doc McStuffins) even though she blamed it on her teacher, Ms. Brittney. *She weighs around 28 pounds and is around 33 inches tall. *Her favorite toy is her doctor kit Grandmama gave her for Christmas. She likes to give us and all of her babies check-ups and figure out our "diagnosis". :-) *The kids still isn't a fan of eating unless it's junk food (which she doesn't get too often). She loves mac and cheese, Cheerios, waffles, pancakes, and Perdue whole grain chicken nuggets/strips. She also likes broccoli (most of the time) and even asked for seconds one time! She is more willing to try things now though. *Her two best friends stopped going to Gymboree Play & Learn so we started going to Art class instead. She LOVES to paint and draw. *She's really into music these days. She marches, sings, and pretends that everything is some kind of instrument. She also loves to make up songs...that make no sense! *She says the funniest things! On the way home from church today, she said, "Daddy, are you thinking what I'm thinking?". A few months ago while she was going to the potty, she tooted and said, "I got my hiney". As soon as she goes to time out, she cries and says, "I'm weady to wisten to you Mommy". If she thinks John is being mean to me, she tells him, "Be nice to my Mommy. She's a sweet Mommy". There are a million more that I need to write down and add so I don't forget them. *She's still modeling for Smockadot Kids and will bust out her SK pose (hands on hips, cute smile) on command. This is great when I'm trying to get a picture of her and she's being crazy! *She loves to sleep. Gotta love that! She goes to bed around 8:30 and will sleep until around 8:30 and still take a 2-3 hour nap. *She asks to cuddle in my bed at night. Usually once a week after bathtime, we'll lay in bed for an episode of Doc McStuffins. *She calls Eskimo kisses "snuggly kisses. *One night while we were praying, she asked what "amen" meant. I told her it was like saying bye to God at the end of your prayer. Now when we're finished, she will say "amen, bye God, amen". *She has an awesome imagination. I want her to be like Bonnie on Toy Story with all of her toys. :-) *She loves to read. At night, I read a book and then she "reads" it to me. She also reads to her babies a lot. It's so cute! *She is sweet and funny and kind and my favorite person!

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Swingset (aka a lot of hard work!)

If you saw some of my posts of Facebook, you know that we got Caroline a swingset. She had been asking for one forever and I finally convinced John that she needed it. John's dad was supposed to help him put it together when he came in town, but you know what happened there. That meant that I got to be the assistant. It was a lot of work, sweat, and mosquito bites but totally worth it! Here is the process in pictures...

1st Visit to the Dentist

Caroline had her 1st visit to the dentist on April 11. We had an awesome dental hygienist that was so good with her! Caroline got to "play" video games while she waiting and watched Toy Story on the tv in the ceiling while she got her teeth checked and brushed. We had practiced doing her big "hippo mouth" and she opened big for them to check out her pearly whites. She was such a big girl for Dr. Soares and didn't cry at all. The highlight of the visit was picking a toy from the huge treasure chest (a little slinky). I was so proud of her and her great report!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Always Playing Catch Up!

We have had the busiest couple of months ever! I'm going to try and write a post a day for a few days and see if I can get caught up. We were out of town every weekend in May. 3 planned trips and one unplanned. On the first weekend, we went to Myrtle Beach to hang out with some of John's friends from high school. Caroline was the only kiddo so she got plenty of attention. We went to Charleston one day and enjoyed some great company and excellent food. The next day we headed to the beach. Many thanks to our awesome hosts, Whitney and Samit! Looking forward to our get-together next Colorado! Here are a few pics from that trip:
Caroline and I headed to Mississippi the next weekend (and the next one too--John headed to Vegas for the wedding of his Air Force buddy, BJ). We had a great time visiting with my family and my BFF, Amy, spent a night with us so I finally got to meet her littlest one( Wesley) and Caroline got to hang out with her buddy (Charlie). The 10 days flew by and included my niece's (Erin) graduation from Ole Miss, watching baby Thomas learn how to clap, fishing, trips to the park, the A Fair, and lots of talking and eating!
Over Memorial Day weekend John's dad and Linda were supposed to visit us, but we found out that Samit's dad passed away so we headed to Atlanta to see them and squeeze in time with John's family. It was great to see our friends again but it was such sad circumstances. We managed to fit in a short visit with our SIL and nephew (Patricia and Christian) and a trip to the awesome Georgia Aquarium (I am definitely going back and swimming with the beluga whales!!).