Posts Tagged ‘baby girl’

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’”.

caroline 36 months
caroline 36 months-2
caroline 36 months-3
caroline 36 months-4
caroline 36 months-5

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: 23 Months

Monday, November 19th, 2012


This is the last month my baby will be my baby. I’ve been letting myself say she’s “one” for the past couple weeks instead of “almost 2″, even though it feels sort of ridiculous. She’s been shedding her babyhood faster than I can gather it up in my memory for more than a year now. Recently she’s moved farther away from charming, silly and good-natured and more towards willful, stubborn and independent.  She’s mostly capable of doing things on her own but has very strong opinions about WHEN and WHERE she wants to do them. It’s like a tiny window into what it will be like to have a 16 year old. It doesn’t help that she’s been having physical and emotional growing pains that frustrate both of us immensely and leave me wrung out by bedtime.

And then, on Saturday night, right as I was leaving her room after an hour of stories and rocking and singing and cajoling and begging her to please, please, please just lie in your bed and sleep already she said “Rock Mommy, rock”. I held her in my lap and we rocked. I felt her go limp and still then twitchy and dreaming and tried to remember the last time we rocked to sleep. I couldn’t. I know the last time  she couldn’t have asked so clearly. I know the last time her feet didn’t hang off the chair and I couldn’t rest my chin on her head. And then I lifted her full sleeping body weight to put her into bed and all of her babyness dropped away. She is long and heavy and definitely a child, even if I’m not completely ready for her to be one.

Two seems like it’s going to be a challenge. Along with learning to say adorable things like “Oh coconuts!” and “Don’t whorry, Mommy!” she loves to yell “I DO IT!” and “EAT! EAT! EAT! NOW!” and “Jammies on, NO BATH!” For every spontaneous please and thank you there’s a screaming fit over wearing shoes or pants. I keep telling myself it’s just a phase – it’s ALWAYS just a phase – but right now I’m just hoping we both survive it with no permanent damage.

It the face of her epic tantrums, it’s a good thing she’s really, really cute. She loves to narrate what we’re doing, so at Target she sounds like this: “Target! I love you Target! Cart. No that cart. Big cart! I DO IT. I push. Caroline walking. See! C’mon Mommy! Coffee, Mommy? Coffee? Icee? Hi! Hi baby! Hi! No, my cart! Buy it Mommy? I have it. HAVE IT NOW. Yahhhhh Target! Bye bye bye bye Target! Bye!” times one thousand times a day. She picks out her own clothes and if that means she wears a short summer PJ’s over footie PJ’s then that’s OK with me, although it’s cold enough now that I keep getting Looks when we go into a store and she isn’t wearing shoes. She eats more than anyone else in the house but is still a peanut. She’s really into coloring and painting now, although the mess she makes is incredible. But that’s the part she likes the best so clever toddler-friendly alternatives like Color Wonder markers don’t fool her one bit. She wants me to read to her 12 hours a day, although she also likes to “read” her own books. Yesterday she tried to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on the piano, although I only know that’s what she was playing because she was also singing at the top of her lungs. I wish she would let me put a barrette in her hair to keep her bangs out of her eyes but there is no way I am cutting a single hair on her head.

Likes include her blankies (she calls them both “Bee”), her pillow, books, blocks, music boxes, CHRISTMAS STUFF, art, making a mess, Sesame Street, music, dancing, gymnastics, putting on clothes, taking off clothes, running, cuddles, iPads, iPhones, Daddy, the dog, the cat, singing, climbing stairs, her brother, doing things herself, bossing me around, Mickey Mouse, apples, eggs, eating and giving kisses.

Dislikes helping me run errands, being left behind, not getting her way, wearing shoes, and bedtime.

Milestones below the adorable photos, as usual.

23 Month Milestones (from BabyCenter, as usual)

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Names simple picture in a book – She can name almost anything in a book and insists on doing it every time we read anything.
Uses 50 to 70 words – More like 500 to 700 words and that is only a tiny exaggeration. She knows ALL THE WORDS.

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
Opens doors – She can, but she’s mostly too short for the ones in our house. THANK GOD.
Sings simple tunes – Yesterday she tried to play Twinkle Twinkle on the piano while singing. It was a nice effort but she is clearly not a musical prodigy.
Takes more of an interest in playing with other kids – Was she supposed to be uninterested in other kids? She’s a second child, the poor girl has no idea how to entertain herself.

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
Talks about self (likes, dislikes) – Mostly dislikes. “NO WANT IT BERRIES! WANT MOMMY’S FOOD.” “Nooooo bathtime! Nooooo NOT filthy!” but she will tell you her favorite color is green and she likes her blankie.
Asks “why?” – No, but she asks “HUH?” and taps her finger on her chin and says “Ummmmmm” while she’s thinking.

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Caroline’s Sparkle Snowflake First Birthday

Monday, December 19th, 2011

The Theme: Winter sparkle snowflake party, with glitter, pale pink and blue accents
The Location: The entire first floor of my house

This post is going to be HUGE, so if you have no interest at all in Caroline’s party please come back in a few days when it’s been bumped off the front page. I don’t want to put in a page break and have people think I’m trying to trick them into more page views. I get my page views the honest way – exploiting my children and friends!

The Decorations:

winter snowflake sparkle first birthday party

Dining room

Tree branch sprayed with snow-in-a-can

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party crepe paper christmas trees

Ruffled crepe paper trees from this tutorial found on Pinterest

winter snowflake sparkle first birthday party

Living Room

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party paper snowflakes

Snowflakes cut from printer paper (Google “snowflake templates” for ideas)

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party photo dislplay

My clothes pin photo display re-purposed as Caroline’s year in photos display!

winter sparkle glitter snowflake first birthday party candles in mason jars

Epsom salt in mason jars to look like snow

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party

Glitter play dough party favors (more details in this post), yarn wreath, mirror frosted with snow-in-a-can

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party yarn wreath jingle bells

Yarn wreath, $1 picture frame ornament from Target

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party chandelier

Chandelier decorated with dollar store garland & ornaments

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party doily garland

Doily garland

high chair tutu winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party

The orange high chair didn’t match my theme, but a paper table cloth and a little tulle fixed it!

 winter wonderland sparkle snowflake first birthday party

Fake snow everywhere!

The Food:

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party hot cocoa bar

Hot cocoa and cocktail bar – the Keurig made it SO EASY!

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party hot cocoa bar

I bought every single Christmas mug at Goodwill

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party hot cocoa bar

Mini marshmallows, egg nog, powdered sugar, crushed candy canes, vanilla syrup, pink sprinkles, whipped cream, coconut flakes. Also on the bar: dark and milk hot cocoa, cider, Bailey’s, vanilla vodka, coconut rum, peppermint schnapps, mini candy canes.

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party hot cocoa bar

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party food

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party food

Cucumber sandwiches, candy cane blossoms, red peppers & dip

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party food

Smoked salmon, dill & cream cheese on herb bread

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party food

Cupcakes (from a box!), my favorite frosting, edible sugar paper snowflakes bought at Stop & Shop

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party food

Sparkling cranberry brie bites. You know how sometimes you seen an idea on Pinterest and think “yeah, there’s no way that idea is going to be as awesome in real life”? This one was JUST AS AWESOME.

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party food

Thumbprint cookies, gooey vanilla sparkle cookies, fruit & dip, sugar cookies, ginger cookies, mini pastas on sticks with vodka, marinara, and alfredo sauce.

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party coconut snowballs

Coconut snowballs

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party food

Cream cheese mints, lemon meringues

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party food

The pasta on sticks was a great idea… for grown ups. Next time I’ll get less pointy things.

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party snow men milk bottles

Milk bottle snow men. Not quiet as cute as on the interwebs, but still cute.

Lemon cake (more boxed mix!) tinted 3 shades of pink

1st Birthday winter snowflake sparkle party smash cake

Tiny cake baked in a tomato can, covered in sprinkles & topped with “Caroline” written in chocolate

1st Birthday winter snowflake sparkle party smash cake

1st Birthday winter snowflake sparkle party smash cake

Don’t even THINK about taking her cake away

The Fun:

Glitter play dough & cookie cutters on a kid-sized table

All the planned activities in the world can’t stop the kids from getting every toy out of the toy box

DIY pull string pinata (more here) was a hit, even though it didn’t work exactly as planned. I had to shake most of the candy out after the ribbon holding it up broke, but the kids didn’t care one little bit.

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party DIY snowglobes

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party DIY snowglobes

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party DIY snowglobes

DIY snowglobes were cuter in theory than in reality. They were kind of leaky and some of the trees dyed the water purple and the glue was messy, but everyone went home with one!

Sharing strawberries with a friend

Refusing to wear her hair bow

Dance party!

These two are TROUBLE

Playing with Grandma

Somebody got a pony for her birthday! (She’s kind of scared of it though)

Family photos with two kids – there is ALWAYS someone not looking.

Holy crap, that was ridiculously long. I think I got all the links and recipes in there but if you’re looking for something let me know. My Pinterest board for the party (with most of the ideas I did use and some really good ones I didn’t get around to) can be found here.  I’m sorry most of the photos are terrible – it gets dark REALLY early here so I had to use the flash after the first 30 minutes of the party. It was definitely a great time and I know Caroline enjoyed herself. I hear everyone’s kids slept really well on Saturday night so I think they ran off all the sugar I pumped into them before they went home. Thank you to everyone who came and especially to my mother-in-law Carol who flew all the way from Ohio just to help me make the food and watch Little Evan for a few hours!

And Happy Birthday Caroline!

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Caroline: 10 Months

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

I accidentally ruined Caroline’s 10 month photoshoot today. Instead of taking pictures during the middle of the afternoon when the light in the family room is best, I let her fall asleep in my lap while she was nursing and spent two hours petting her hair, sniffing the top of her head, listening to her tiny baby noises and watching her twitch as she dreamed.

So maybe “ruined” is the wrong word. Maybe “soaked up two magical hours worth of baby moments that hardly ever seem to happen anymore because she is growing up so fast” is more accurate. I love her bunches and bunches. It’s sort of disgusting.

I had to look back at the 9 month update to see if I was remembering things wrong or if she really has changed SO MUCH in just four weeks. In those pictures, you can just barely see one top tooth peeking through. Now she’s got two great big giant chompers on top plus two on the bottom and a handful more threatening to pop through any minute. Isn’t it crazy how much older babies look with teeth? SO MUCH OLDER!

She’s also walking, without encouragement, on almost any surface. She ran away from me during Stroller Strides this week and I had a “oh no, I lost the baby” moment. She was only 5 feet away behind a mom doing sit ups, but she’s so little she’s easy to lose. I’m going to have to work on the constant vigilance.

I’ve given up on super cute outfits, because between the crawling/walking, the drooling/teething and the constant shoving of food into her mouth she’s a mess. I change her shirt at least 3 times a day. And before you call me an idiot and suggest I use one of the five bazillion bibs I keep in the kitchen drawer I’ll tell you she feels about bibs the way Dora feels about using her inside voice. NOT GONNA HAPPEN. It’s easier to just buy stain remover in bulk.

There is not one thing about her I would change. I TOLD you it was disgusting.

Likes include her blankies (any of them), iPhones, popcorn, apples, boobs, her brother’s sippy cup, dancing, walking, smiling, blowing raspberries, peek-a-boo, books, baths, her mama and putting gross things in her mouth.

Dislikes include teething, hoods, falling on her face, being cold, missing naps, strange dogs and having her nails trimmed.

Milestones plus video proof of the walking/weird crawling below the epic number of underexposed pictures.

I see you

raspberries

This is a crap ton of orange, Mom

tippy toes

Happy 10 Months Baby Girl

P.S. Yes I am wearing leggings as pants in the video. In my defense…ah screw it. I have no defense. They’re SO COMFORTABLE.
10 Month Milestones (from BabyCenter, as usual)

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Waves goodbye – Yes. And hello. And loves to clap. And plays peek-a-boo and “how big is the baby?” and understands what I think is a surprising number of words. But I’m her mom so I have to think she’s a genius.
Picks things up with pincer grasp – As long as it’s food. Or trash.
Crawls well, with belly off the ground – She’s actually terrible at that. She crawls sideways on one leg. But since she’s, you know, WALKING I don’t think she’s actually missing this milestone.

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
Says “mama” or “dada” to the correct parent – She has said “mama” to me exactly twice, but not regularly, and I’ve never heard her say “dada”.
Indicates wants with gestures – Gestures, screeching, grabbing things. She has a lot of wants.

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
Stands alone for a couple of seconds – For a couple minutes.
Puts objects into a container – Does “food into her mouth” count? Because she’s good at that. Mostly she’s good at taking objects OUT of containers to make the biggest mess possible.

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Caroline: 5 Months

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Oh Sweet Caroline, if I had written this post the day before your monthday I would have had not one single bad thing to report. Unfortunately, your 5 month mark seems to be the beginning of some serious teething as evidenced by constantly stuffing your hands in your mouth, drooling, refusing to sleep, an angry red diaper rash and the EXTREMELY LOUD SCREAMING that is totally out of character. After just one day I’m already banging my head against the wall and praying your teeth come in as quickly as your brother’s did.

But even despite the soreness in your gums you are still a darling baby. You were such a good sport at your Aunt Kristi’s wedding, even though we kept you awake for four days and handed you to countless strangers. I’m happy to report Kristi’s new in-laws passed the breastfeeding-coolness-test, and none of them even flinched when I nursed you – even sitting right next to me or during meals. I got to show off my magical baby-wearing skills when I stuck you in the sling at the reception and everyone commented on how much you seemed to like it (p.s. thanks for finally liking it!!)

You don’t have a real routine yet, besides sleeping 8 pm to 7 am with usually just one wake up for a feeding. Thank you SO MUCH for that. You usually take one long and two short naps during the day but it’s hard to predict when you’ll need them. I don’t feel like you’re constantly attached to my boob but if I count the number of feedings a day it’s close to every 2 hours. I’m a little nervous about getting you to take a bottle before August but we’re going to start working on it this week. I also bought you some rice cereal, which I’m hoping you enjoy more than Little Evan did. I can’t believe I’m already talking about solid food in regards to my brand new baby girl!

Some of your favorite things are your blankie, your swing, your brother, your daddy and standing up with our help. Your least favorite things include wind, the sun in your eyes, really loud noises, and waking up in strange places.

Happy 5 months Caroline!

5 Month Milestones (from BabyCenter, as usually)

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Distinguishes between bold colors – This isn’t really something I need to determine as something BabyCenter is just TELLING me she can do, right? Because I have no idea how to judge this.
Plays with his hands and feet – Constantly.

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
Recognizes own name – I suspect she responds equally to “Caroline” “Baby Girl” and “Boogaboo”
Turns toward new sounds – Yes
Rolls over in both directions – She rolls back to front the SECOND you put her down but still has a hard time rolling front to back.

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
Sits momentarily without support – Yes, with “momentarily” being the key word.
Mouths objects – Constantly
Separation anxiety may begin – Definitely, and it sucks. I miss being able to stick her in the exersaucer and go do laundry for 20 minutes. Pretty soon we’ll be at “bringing her with me while I pee” levels of anxiety.

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