Monday, September 12, 2011

Who's a Hot Mess???

Oh yes, that would be Miss Caroline! She was in rare form tonight. She was as happy as a clam when I picked her up from daycare, on the ride home, and while getting out of the car. It was downhill from there! She asked for yogurt, and I said no. I just didn't want to clean up her mess before dinner (plus she had just eaten a "squeezy fruit" aka a pouch of baby food that I can give her to sneak in a veggie on the ride home). So, she settled for 4 Ritz crackers--hey, they were the veggie ones....does that count as a serving of veggies too?? She kept crying/whining and asking to "eat, eat" while almost pulling my pants off because she was hanging on for dear life.

Nothing was making this kid happy, and I was cooking as fast as I could with a 21 month old attached to my leg. The old faithful, Toy Story 3, wasn't even keeping her attention (is it a full moon??). I decided try and be a good mommy and let her "help" me by carrying spices and such to the pantry for me. That stopped the crying/whining. But then she wanted to hang out in the pantry. Whatever. Go for it as long as it gives mommy a little quiet. Hmmm...make that a lot of quiet. I go check on her and she has found a box of band-aids and is pulling them out. No biggie--if that is her biggest mess in the pantry of treasures, I can deal with that. We picked them up, and she stayed in there. More quiet for mommy. Wait, she's been in there awhile and I haven't heard a sound. I peek in and what do I see? Yup, she had found the bag of chocolate chips, taken off the clothes pin, and helped herself! Who knows how many she ate before I walked in! She was NOT happy when I took them away! Major meltdown time. So, time for good mommy attempt #2. I let her "help" me cook. I learned this isn't such a good idea when you're using a very hot electric skillet. Oops! She only has a little burn, I promise.

Ok, so I finally get dinner ready (super yummy new recipe of mini meatloaves and loaded skillet potatoes). My picky eater did attempt to try everything but proclaimed "don't like it" after a bite of each. Cantaloupe is a healthy dinner, right?? When is is done, she says "pee pee potty" so we rush to the bathroom where she does poop (yea, Caroline!!). She gets 2 stickers and 2 chocolate chips (to top off the 10 she ate while in the pantry), and we run to tell Daddy. I tell her it's time for her bath and she announces "pee pee potty" once again. We head back in and she does manage to squeeze out a little pee. This kid knows how to work the system because that meant she got another sticker and another chocolate chip.

We head upstairs where she insists on sitting on the potty once again. She squeezes 3 more drops out and then has a meltdown when no treats are given. She cries/yells in the tub while I'm bathing her. When it's time to get out, she has to sit on the potty one more time (of course!). Another meltdown happens because I won't put her dirty socks on her clean feet. So, what do I do? Go get my camera to snap some pictures to help me remember this super fun night!

She whines for her blanket, so I tell her she has to get off the potty for Daddy to bring it to her. She does--without melting down! Yea, mommy!! We go through our bedtime routine (only tears there are when I brush her teeth, as usual), and she stands beside me to read a book. My smart baby is super sweet now and labels almost everything in the book. She gets her babies and blanket and cuddles for a few minutes, and then repeats "night night, love you".

I sure do love that hot mess! But, man, I'm tired!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

21 Months!

I am amazed at how much Caroline seems to learn everyday! As a speech therapist, I am so accustomed to seeing kids with special needs that struggle so much to even make a sound sometimes, and I know how lucky I am to have a "typical" little girl. I can understand most of what she says. I'm not sure if it's because I'm around her all the time or because I interpret "toddler talk" all day long at work. I'm choosing to think it's that she's a great talker! She has such a little personality and is such a sweetie (when we're not locked into one of our battles!). You might think from my post yesterday that she's a little terror...but the sweet and good moments definitely outweigh the bad (even though the bad ones stick with you a little longer sometimes!). She's definitely a Mama's girl; she likes to have Daddy around but doesn't want to be picked up or snuggle with him most of the time. And it drives John crazy! :-) Enjoy some Caroline facts:

*One day in the car about a month ago, I said, "love you"; she usually repeats it back to me, but this time she said, "love you, Mama". Melted my heart!!!

*She is obsessed with Toy Story 3!! We've watched it every now and then because I have it on the DVR, but lately she asks for it all the time! I think we watched it 10 times over Labor Day weekend. She'll say, "Toy! Toy!" and will say "no!!" if I try to turn on anything else. She did "let" me watch football on Saturday though!

*She loves to push you and say, "Move!". Not such a nice thing to say so we've been working on it. She'll now push you and say, "Move please, move please". :-) Hey, it's as start!

*She still loves all of her babies. She pushes them around in her stroller or grocery cart. She's also very concerned about their potty habits--she often tells me that they've pooped and will pull her 1 diaper she's allowed play with out and ask for a wipe. Too funny!

*If you've read on Facebook, you know that potty training has had its ups and downs...mostly downs lately. She did awesome when we went to visit my family in MS. I was worried because I thought the change in routine might confuse her, but it seemed to do the opposite. I think a big problem is daycare. They can't work on it there until she moves up into the 2 year old class. I've thought about talking to the director about maybe moving up early.

*Shes likes to use pottying as an excuse to stay up later. As soon as we get out of the tub or start putting her pj's on or rock, she says, "pee pee potty" in a very panicked voice. So, since I want her to tell me this during the day, we head back to the potty where she is content to sit forever. And may or may not pee and/or poop (she's only actually gone 3 times during these 6 or 7 times a night she tells me). The past 2 nights I've had to pry her off of me asking to go potty and crying to get her into the bed. In fact, John and I had to lower her bed because she kept trying to climb out last night!

*She's been on a major yogurt kick lately, and I think she would eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if I let her.

*We've been talking a lot about being a big girl vs being a baby (ex--big girls pee pee in the potty, babies cry). When I say something about being a big girl, she will say "no crying" or about using the potty, she will say "[insert a pretty distorted version of "Caroline" here] big girl".

*The reason we talk about crying is because she gets a little whiny/hysterical when she decided she wants something Example: Out of nowhere, she will drop what she's doing, come to me and say "nilk, nilk, nilk!!!!!!!" like she hasn't had anything to eat or drink in months and months. So I tell her to stop crying and say, "milk please". Which she does right away. Trying to figure out how to eliminate the hysteria. :-)

*She hates having her teeth brushed. I manage to get it done at bedtime but don't have the energy to tackle it in the morning yet. I just hope her teeth don't rot out!

*Sometimes when you give her something, she will say, "thank you much". So cute!

Guess that's enough for now! Have you enjoyed the Caroline novel for tonight?? Oh, and I can't forget the pictures....

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mississippi Time!

Caroline and I took a trip to visit my family back in August. The #1 thing on the agenda was to meet my great-nephew, Thomas (or baby Thomas as Caroline calls him and all other babies)! We had such a good time hanging out, going swimming, holding the baby (when Caroline would let me--she was just a little jealous!), seeing The Help with almost all of the girls, and eating all of my mom's yummy food. And Caroline had the best time hanging out with Grandaddy in the garden. If he tried to go without her, she would stand on the porch and yell, "GRAN-DA-DEEEEEEEE" until he came back for her or we carried her out there. Here are some pictures from our fun trip!

Helping Grandaddy shell butterbeans


Driving the tractor

Baby Thomas in the onesie I made him :-)

Grandmama and her 2 babies

Caroline helping me feed Thomas

Cutie pie!

Taking a break at the courthouse

Yummy cake pop!

Best attempt of the million when we tried to get a picture of them together

She's got her backpack and keys and is trying to get out the door!

During our layover in ATL--monkey backpack leash, Mickey Mouse shoes, headphones, and the Fresh Beat band...what more does 1 girl need??


I haven't been myself lately. I don't know what's going on, but I've been in a funk. A big one. I've tried to keep up a good front and not let it interfere with Caroline or my work. My patience has been running low and my temper flares up so quickly sometimes. This isn't a good combo to have with a teething, potty-training 21 month old. I do my very best to stay calm, but I've yelled at Caroline and spanked her leg when I've reached my limits. And I really, really feel bad when I do. I've found there's a fine line between teaching and discipline. I'm trying to work on teaching Caroline not to hit, and then I spank her (don't call the authorities on me--it only happens every now and then). I know I've got a double standard thing going on, and I'm trying my best not to. We also do time outs. She sits/lays on the time out mat and will pretty much stay there for the 1 minute timer, but I know she doesn't really understand it. Especially when she laughs or plays while she's there; I tell myself that I'm laying the foundation for when she's older and does understand.

Another issue I've been dealing with is my relationship with God. I grew up going to church. In high school, I was there just about every time the doors were open--Sunday school, choir/drama practice, youth meetings on Wednesdays, and Centrifuge and mission trips during the summer. Then I went to college...I visited churches a couple of times in Columbus but never really gave them a chance because they weren't "my church". Plus, I still went home frequently on the weekends and went with my mom then. John and I have gone through phases where we go for awhile and then we're out of town or company comes or we're lazy that morning, and the next thing I know, it's been months since we've been. I miss having a core group of Christians around me. I had such a great group while I was in high school and college but not so much anymore. Don't get me wrong, I have friends here in Jacksonville that are very involved in church but we don't live near them or go to church with them. I really want to find a church home; it's really important to me that Caroline grow up going to church and developing her relationship with God. We've gone to a church off and on for the past couple of years, and the sermons have really spoken to me the past couple of weeks (I skipped yesterday--I'm not ready to sit in church all by myself yet when John is out of town). But I feel like I need more than just sitting in a worship service once a week. I need to join a Sunday school class and be around other believers. I think this might be part of what's wrong with me.

Sorry for the heavy post. I hope everyone has enjoyed their Labor Day weekend. Check back tomorrow for new pictures and Caroline's month-day post!