Archive for the ‘Monthday Updates’ Category

Caroline: 3 Years Old

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

I stopped doing Caroline’s monthly updates because it seemed so unnecessary – she had reached all her milestones and it was sort of boring (and braggy) to repeat over and over that my toddler was a genius. But then suddenly I realized it was November and we were only a few weeks away from 36 months old and I was going NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE.

But it’s definitely true. She may actually have been 3 for the last 6 months and I was just counting wrong. It seemed ridiculous to call her 2 when she never uses her a stroller, goes to a real preschool class, has no fear of new things or people, dresses herself, can order her own food at restaurants, sits through a full-length movie in a theater, and can sled down big giant hills without freaking out even a little bit.

(FTR, there’s a chain link fence at the bottom of that hill so they couldn’t go out into the road. It’s a perfect sledding hill.)

I think she acts so grown up because I treat her like she’s grown up. I expect the same things from her that I expect from her 4 1/2 year old brother, which might not always been fair for her but she handles incredibly well. It also makes my life easier, since they’re able to play together, share together and help take care of each other (and me – let’s be honest, being able to fetch things for you is a major reason to have kids). She is so kind and helpful and sweet and full of cuddles I sort of dread the 3′s. And the 4′s. And everything between 10 and 21. Right now when she gets super mad at me she mostly cries and says “I need a huuuuuuuuuuug!” I imagine that won’t last forever, so I’m trying to appreciate it now, even when it happens 14 times a day.

She had a dentist appointment and her flu mist spray on the same day last week and handled both without any crying or running away or fighting. She understands the concept of “Do this now and then it’s over and we can go home and have a cuddle”, although stickers or ice cream make very effective bribes. Sometimes there is a little bedtime stalling – especially if she thinks we’re having fun without her – but sleeps through the night 99% of the time. She finally grew a little bit (I’ll get stats at her check-up in January), but she’s wearing actual 3T sizes in shirts and 2T in pants, although yesterday she wore a pair of 18 month snow pants.

Caroline loves princesses and pink and sparkly things. She also loves running and screaming and playing in the dirt and jumping in muddy puddles and throwing snowballs. Right now she has absolutely no sense of girl things vs boy things or “acting like a lady” and the first time I hear anyone try to explain it to her I will LOUDLY tell them they are wrong. I hope she makes all her own decisions about her likes and dislikes forever, be it wearing gowns to the grocery store or running around the house in boots, underpants and a pirate hat.

Her likes include talking, animals, repeating everything I’ve ever said, pink, cookies, helping, hugs, her brother, Daddy, the iPad, princesses, dress up, snow, sledding, drawing, eating, talking some more, Christmas, sleeping, balloons, school, jumping, running, even more talking, books, singing songs she made up, What Does The Fox Say?, quesadillas, the aquarium, talking to people she doesn’t know at the store, Santa, movies, her stuffed ducky, her stuffed doggy, and her stuffed kitty.

Dislikes include being really tired, being really hungry, when Mommy says no, when Daddy goes to work, wearing the appropriate amount of clothing for winter in Connecticut, and “when Blushes [our cat] gets angwy and goes ‘HAAAAAACH’”.

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I did a birthday questionnaire for Evan in writing, but Caroline is better at answering questions (although sort of hard to understand on video) so I broke out the record function on my DSLR for the first time ever and asked her about her favorite things:

Happy 3rd birthday to my Christmas Girl, Caroline Noelle! You are amazing and I love you bunches and bunches forever.

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Caroline: 30 Months

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

This is me throwing up my hands and admitting my poor second child isn’t going to get monthday updates anymore. I’m not going to make it to 36 months. I’ve barely made it to 30 months. I’m not going to force myself to do these when I’m already posted dozens of photos of her every week and chronicling our lives in detail. But honestly, keeping track of Caroline’s milestones isn’t useful when she’s basically done with them. All levels of toddlerness have been achieved, game over. The only thing that makes her even a LITTLE bit like a baby is wen’re not done potty training. (Honestly, we haven’t started in earnest. I’m so lazy.) Besides the diapers, she’s pretty much identical to her 4 year old brother. And TALL. I still think of her as a peanut but her legs are insanely long.

I left her with a sitter for 9 hours on Tuesday while E and Evan and I went to Boston and she didn’t care. Whatevs, Mom. Just leave me some pizza money and a Princess movie and I’m good. I picked her up at 10 pm and she was talking a mile a minute. The sitter said Caroline seemed tired right before dinner, so Caroline went and got her pillow and blankie and put herself down for a 2.5 hour nap. Because she’s a real human person. A tiny, curly-haired, amazing little person.

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Possibly my favorite photo of her ever.

Two and a half is basically the very best and the very worst. SO WORST. Taking her on vacation was the most exhausting thing I’ve ever done, including giving birth. She can be incredibly unreasonable one minute and perfectly reasonable the next, so it makes dealing with her more like hostage negotiation than anything else. I’m tempted to videotape our next argument and share it, but anyone who has ever had a 2 year old can tell you exactly what it looks like. Plus I don’t want her to have MORE things to complain to her therapist about some day. Her emotions are just totally unpredictable. At the beach, she rocked over her toe with a huge rocking chair, crushed her nail and bled all over the place. She cried for like, 90 seconds and then was totally fine, even as we bandaged it up. But GOD FORBID you get tired of holding her upside down by her feet after 10 minutes, or she’ll scream at you for an hour straight.

Likes include talking, eating, talking, eating, talking, the iPad, the other iPad, my iPhone, movies, Macklemore, singing, dancing, cats, dogs, talking, running, jumping, pretending she’s a kitty, ponies, drinking water, Princesses, Elmo, pillows, hugs, climbing, dolls, gently sloping sand beaches, seashells, buckets, marshmallows, eating, talking, eating, making up songs, spinning until she’s so dizzy she falls down, ice cream, cheese, Daddy, Evan, and me.

Dislikes include swimming, swimming pools, boats, life jackets, sleeping past 6 am, being told NO, and being teased by her brother.

All pictures are from the lake house portion of our vacation, right around her actual 30th monthday:

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30 Month Milestones (from BabyCenter originally, but they changed their format so these are from Evan’s 2 1/2 year post.)

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
• Brushes teeth with help – Brushed teeth on her own. I go over them again just to be thorough.
• Washes and dries own hands – Yep.
• Draws a vertical line – Mostly, but would rather continue to draw the sort of creepy counter clockwise circles. I keep expecting Nicolas Cage to show up and tell me it’s part of some secret code.

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
• Draws a circle – Yep.
• Balances on one foot – Yep.

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
• Puts on a T-shirt – Yep.
• Names one color – Names all the colors and will ask you what your favorite color is and discusses in length which one is best.
• Names one friend – Names all her friends, plus her aunts and uncles (both real and basically-like-family) and all her grandparents.

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Caroline: Some Number Of Months That Is More Than 24

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

29. She’s 29 months. Or really, she turned 29 months back on the 19th and it never even crossed my mind. I only realized yesterday I had missed it at all, when someone asked how old she was and I said she was almost two AND A HALF. I’m going to try to stick it out and keep these up until she hits 3 – WAY TOO SOON! – but I’m sure the rest of them will be late too.

Caroline no longer approves of nicknames. I used to call her “babe”, which was short for “baby baby”, but now she shouts “DON’T CALL ME BABE CALL ME CAH-YINE!” (She has trouble saying Care-o-line. A lot of trouble. It probably doesn’t help that we say “Care-line” with just a tiny “eh” where the “o” should be. And like I said, she doesn’t approve of nicknames.) Evan has realized she hates being called babe, so of course now he does it constantly. We’ll all be sitting on the couch nicely, everyone getting along and being adorable and homey like a Norman Rockwell painting, and Evan will look at her and go “BABE.” Then it’s like The Scream up in here, but with sound effects.

She’s just about the bravest 2-year-old I’ve ever seen. She likes people in animal costumes. She likes petting sharks. She likes when her Daddy jumps out from behind things and roars. She likes old ladies in the grocery store who talk to her. I’m sure she’ll get some stranger danger awareness at some point, but right now it sure is nice not to worry about it. I’m pretty sure I could drop her off at the mall and she’d take care of herself by conning the pretzel guy into feeding her and the lady in the educational store into playing with her and the security guard into giving her rides on his Segway. I WON’T, obviously, I’m just saying.

Of course, she’s also VERY VERY TWO sometimes. So very two. She’ll look me right in my big, stupid face and do the thing I just told her not to do. She insists on putting on her own shoes and coat and backpack and hat and doing her own top buckle on her car seat. She is very bossy about the radio and wants me to play “More Macklemore! MACKLEMOOOOORE MOMMY!” in the car, although she’s also a fan of Beethoven and Laurie Berkner.

She absolutely REFUSES to look at the camera when I want to take pictures.

Likes including singing, dancing, jumping, water, running, ducks, apples, watermelon, juice, cheeseburgers, dogs, kitties, sharks, the aquarium, boats, princesses, pants, sparkly things, lollipops, rainbows, caterpillars, school, making a mess, ruining things, “helping”, insisting on going potty in disgusting public bathrooms, Phineas & Ferb, Diego, Minnie Mouse, books, more books, socks, ALL THE BOOKS, cuddles, Daddy, Mommy, Evan, cheese, sprinkle donuts, and swinging.

Dislikes include nicknames, being told “no”, going home when she’d rather be at the playground, getting stuff in her eyes, and when people won’t share food.

p.s. ERIN DON’T LOOK THERE ARE BIRDS!! (Erin doesn’t like birds.)

 

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Humidity makes her hair super curly. I’m so jealous.

29 Month Milestones (BabyCenter changed their milestone chart so it’s just a list. I’m using Evan’s old milestone posts to see specific months – here’s his 29 month post!)

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
• Brushes teeth with help – She mostly brushed them on her own and does a great job – no cavities! AND AND AND she let the dental hygienist brush her teeth at her appointment without a single complaint.
• Washes and dries own hands – Washes, yes. Dries, yes, if you mean “wipes them on Mommy’s pants EVERY TIME.”
• Draws a vertical line – She draws circles. Just circles. Counter-clockwise circles. It’s a little creepy at this point, like she’s trying to convey some alien message.

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
• Draws a circle – See above.
• Balances on one foot – Balances on one foot ON A BALANCE BEAM because my kid is totally better than yours.

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
• Puts on a T-shirt – Sort of. She can put on her jammies but usually backwards.
• Names one color – She can name a whole bunch of colors, but mostly only notices if stuff is PINK or PURPLE.
• Names one friend – I just asked her if she had a friend at school and she said “Yes! William! William just pushed me at school!” so apparently she has a friend named William and also WTF WILLIAM??  Mostly she tells me I’M her best friend (or Daddy, or Evan).

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Caroline 28 Months

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

This will forever be know as Caroline’s Hat Period. She calls it her Easter Hat, even though her actual Easter Hat was a cheap purple plastic thing from the Target dollar section and this is a very nice classy well-made hat from a boutique in Mystic.

EASTER HAT.

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This will also be known as the I Should Really Cut Her Bangs But I Can’t Bring Myself To Do It Because I Love Her Hair And Anyway She Doesn’t Want Me To period. And if nothing else, this girl knows what she wants. She wants SPARKLY SHOES. She wants to wear SOCKS. She wants a DRESS today and PANTS tomorrow. She wants YOGURT NOW NOW NOW. She wants to sit on me, pretty much all the time. She wants to swing and if she DOESN’T get to swing she wants to throw herself out of the stroller onto her head and then cry for two hours. She’s just SO VERY TWO.

When Caroline misses something or someone she says she’s “worry bout” them. She says “I worry bout Daddy, I worry bout Brutus, I worry bout you Mommy! You were away from me! I worry bout you!” I keep reassuring her she doesn’t have to worry about anything, but now I’M worried she’s going to be a natural worrier. Is she actually worrying? Or is it just an expression she picked up (probably from me)? She’s a baby, I don’t want her to actually worry about things for a long, long time.

Despite the…challenges of being two, Caroline is such an adorable, well-spoken child she is a delightful person to spend time with. Even when she’s running away from me in the mall she says “Hi! Bye! Scuse me!” to all the people she tries to plow over. That hat doesn’t hurt either – she’s like a tiny celebrity at this point, with people pointing and awwwwwww-ing at her in restaurants and stores. If you take her to the grocery store you will get no less than FIVE free pieces of cheese. I think the cuteness is to help make up for the absolutely bat-crap insane fits she throws.

She tried to go home with another family at gymnastics last week because they had a daughter and she says she NEEDS a sister. I tried to explain even if she had one, it would be a baby but she said babies aren’t as fun as sisters. Now you know.

Favorites include HAT, shoes, running, jumping, shouting, singing, Mickey Mouse, Veggie Tales, swinging, books, her brother, pets, Target, the aquarium, boats, messes, puddles, food, ice cream, the beach, throwing stuff, juice, iPads, building towers, horses, princess things, pictures of herself and flowers.

Dislikes include not getting her way, not swinging, the word “no”, getting yelled at and when anyone besides Mommy does stuff for her.

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28 Month Milestones (OMG BabyCenter changed their milestone chart so it’s just a list! 28 is actually the same as 27, but from now on I’ll have to use Evan’s old milestone posts to see specific months)

Jumps with both feet – Yes, although she mostly does a funny half-skip
Opens doors – Yes, finally. Now nothing in the house is safe.

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
Understands descriptions (e.g., big, soft) – She describes most things as “Caroline’s!” but I’m sure she understands lots of adjectives too.
Draws a vertical line – She really, really, really likes drawing circles.

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
Starts to recognize ABCs – Ehhhhhhhhh. She’s pretty good at numbers?
Balances on one foot – She can even “pop” on one foot, if she says “Pop pop pop”.

Bonus 28 months video!

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Evan: FOUR

Friday, April 5th, 2013

I have a little person who lives in my house named Evan. He’s not a baby. He’s not a toddler. He’s not even very little. He’s a kid, and he’s kind of awesome. He picked out birthday cupcakes and helped bake and decorate them for his school friends today. He’s helping my dad set up the electric train set for his birthday on Saturday and being a very good listener when it comes to the teeny tiny screws and wheels and pieces. He also had a total meltdown at the aquarium yesterday because he was super tired and just wanted to go home and lie down for a little while. It was understandable, since that was hat I really wanted to do too. You’d think after four years I’d remember my kid was a little person more often, but I think I must have fallen into some sort of accelerated time warp since I’m pretty sure I actually gave birth yesterday.

Evan loves books and reading and going to the library to pick out MORE books. He loves trains and cars and trucks and diggers and every other boy-thing you can think of. Bugs! Dirt! Loud noises! He loves swimming and is really excited about going to the beach and the lake this summer. When we’re in the car he requests “rock and rolling music” most of the time, but his favorite CD is Beethoven’s Wig. Every time he does something funny or cute he yells “TAKE MY PICTURE MOMMY! CHEEEEESE!” He can work the iPad better than I can and always knows where my phone is, even if I lose it. Last week he finally earned his special reward (some sort of outer space blaster that shoot glow in the dark balls) for ditching his night time pull ups. As of today, he doesn’t use his much-loved sippy cups anymore because he is a big kid. He is so kind and generous and helpful and sensitive and I am so so lucky to be his mom.

I spent a large part of my week filling out paperwork and touring various preschool programs for next year.The only certainty at this point is he will probably be taking the bus. Which…whoa. My kid is almost old enough to ride a bus. Although he’s not quite old enough to answer these questions without looking around the room and choosing things he can actually see. Abstract concepts are hard when you’re only four.

All about Evan, Age Four

1. What is your favorite color? Blue
2. What is your favorite toy? Pirate Ships
3. Who is your best friend? You! and Caroline. She always jumps and flies.
4. What is your favorite TV show? RescueBots!
5. What is your favorite food? Pizza!
6. What is your favorite drink? Milk.
7. What is your favorite game? I like watching TV. *Me: That’s not a game* I like Sneaky Snacky Squirel. THAT’S my favorite game.
8. What is your favorite snack? Watermelon.
9. What is your favorite animal? Brutus!
10. What is your favorite song? I sing my own song BUH BUH BUH BOP! Like that!
11. What is your favorite book? Mike Mulligan. It broke.
12. What is your favorite dessert? Cupcakes!
13. What is a big boy thing you can do now? I don’t get any more baby cups!
14. Where do you go to school? I go to school with my best friends!
15. Where is your favorite place to go? Staying home with you! The aquarium! The seaport! The yarn store!
16. What would you like to do for your birthday? A choo choo train birthday party!
17. What do you love about yourself? Being four!
18. What is Daddy’s job? Go to work a lot.
19. What do you like to sleep with? My milk cup and my blankies.
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be Evan.

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evan four years old

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