Posts Tagged ‘toddler’

Care and Feeding

Monday, February 25th, 2013

I am in a mood, by which I mean I’ve got a serious case of the why-do-I-even-bother’s? Some days nothing feels as pointless as being a stay at home mom, especially when it’s February and we’ve barely left the house in days and neither kid is sleeping through the night and they openly scoffed at the super cute macaroni craft I was counting on to keep us from strangling each other on Monday. Stop rolling your eyes at me and make a damn necklace already. 

The second I pick up a room it gets destroyed. As soon as I make a snack it’s gone and Caroline needs “somethin’ else eat”. I get 90% of the clothes laundry done and realize every sheet and towel in the house is filthy and needs to be washed. 60 seconds after I scrub the bathroom floor Evan has peed on it. Again.

It doesn’t help that I am losing – desperately – the fight against clutter and kids’ toys. For every box I take to Goodwill or basket I drop off at the consignment shop with a note that says “DONATE ANYTHING YOU WON’T TAKE FTLOG GET IT AWAY FROM ME” it seems like 5 more things appear in the house. I am totally out of places to put toys, so piling them up and shoving them into corners is the current strategy and that strategy sucks. Permanent removal is the only feasible plan of attack. I need 3 uninterrupted hours, a dozen trash bags and a memory-wiping device so Evan doesn’t ask “Mommy, what happened to my broken fire truck? I LOVED my broken fire truck!!!”

But that’s not going to happen. Instead, I’m going to put clean clothes on children, wash dirty clothes, feed children, wash dirty dishes, put away clean dishes, clean floor, clean other floor, clean other floor, clean first floor again, wash dirty children, put children to bed, clean the kitchen, wash myself, collapse. Because even though at the end of the day I have practically nothing to show for it, I’m exhausted. And that’s the worst part – nothing to show for it. I don’t have a spotless house or an organized pantry or a freezer full of meals or anything else beyond a headache. How come I can never get ahead?

I realize most of my angst is a result of a long, cold winter and a particular stage of childhood that requires maximum assistance. (Obviously a newborn requires a lot more full-time care but a newborn is incapable of dumping 200 Legos out on the floor. I’m looking at a ratio here.) There’s only so many cleaning-up games they’re willing to play before they realize those aren’t very good games at all. Closeness and familiarity are the enemies this time of year and a change in routine is the only solution. We need to be out of the house, if only so I can end the day with the same mess I woke up to, not one that’s 10 time worse. I’ve pretty much given up on February and I’m hoping too much TV, too many granola bars and too many dust bunnies don’t do the kids any permanent harm for the rest of this week.

C’mon March, I know you can do better.

p.s. We did manage to get Caroline’s room clean today – floor vacuumed and everything! – which is enough of a dent in the disaster that I’m already feeling better. This is how the kids “helped” me clean:

cleaning day


cleaning day-5


cleaning day-2


cleaning day-3

More posing

cleaning day-7


cleaning day-8


cleaning day-6 copy


cleaning day-9


p.p.s. The gingers can even make February bearable. I love them to pieces.


Thursday, November 8th, 2012

We are having nap problems, part of which is totally my own fault – but that doesn’t make it suck any less. A few weeks ago when Caroline started fighting naps, I let her pick which bed she slept in. Sometimes it was her bed, sometimes it was Evan’s bed, sometimes it was the guest bed, and sometimes it was my bed. One day she was up in my bedroom and found the iPad under the pillow. Since she was born in a world that has never been without iPads (OMG flying cars are totally next) she unlocked it, found her app folder and watched Mickey Mouse until she fell asleep. I heard her over the monitor and thought it was funny – “Ha ha ha what a clever baby, how cute that she’s watching her show! And also that nap was so easy!”

You can probably see where this is going. I let her get away with using the iPad before naps as long as she was going to bed with no complaints. It was just so eeeeeeasy to say “Naptime, Caroline!” and have her run happily upstairs and jump into bed to lie down. She never made a peep and would fall asleep really fast. Since it happened RIGHT at the same time Evan stopped napping altogether I just…didn’t have the energy to fight it. Trust me, letting technology put my kid to sleep is LOW on the scale of “Thing I Feel Guilty About As A Mother.”

So anyways, this system worked fine – GREAT even – for a while. But for the last few days she’s been spending longer and longer messing around with the Disney Junior app and less and less time actually sleeping. She does eventually fall asleep – around 3:30 – but then I have to wake her up after an hour so she’ll go back to sleep at bedtime. I thought maybe she was just getting to an age where she didn’t need a nap anymore but AHAHAHHA NO ABSOLUTELY NOT. We tried it on Wednesday and she was a wreck by 6:30. Giving her a bath was like trying to wash a rabid cat and twice as noisy. It took her a full day to recover from missing just one nap. But on the other hand, if she’s basically just going to watch TV all afternoon I could at least keep her downstairs where I can interact with her (or, you know, we could do puzzles or she and Evan can run in circles and try to ride the dog. Again).

I suppose the first thing I should do is just STOP letting her have the iPad, but I’m dreading the screaming. There is already a LOT of angry child in this house and this is one the few things we DON’T fight about. But the current system isn’t exactly working either and I’d rather work on changing it now then a month from now when it would be even harder to stop. Any suggestions for my totally, completely, ridiculously first world problem?


Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Being three years old is really hard. Parenting someone who is three years old is also really hard. Yesterday was one of those days where “hard” turned into “damn near impossible” and I considered just letting my kid grow up to be a selfish, inconsiderate jerk. It would be so much easier.

By 9:30 am Evan and I were both grumpy and whiny. Ten minutes later I was hissing at him to START LISTENING and FIX YOUR ATTITUDE or we would leave gymnastics immediately and he would go home for an extra-serious-in-your-room-full-10-minute-time-out. Ninety seconds later I had to follow through with my threat and drag him kicking and screaming out of the building.

Literally kicking and screaming. Barefoot, since he punched me in the face when I tried to put his shoes on. I pinned him under one arm and led a very sad and confused Caroline with my other hand to the car, where I briefly considered just LEAVING Evan so his sister could finish class. I did not leave him in the car, but I did stand behind the van for 90 seconds taking deep breaths after I strapped him in. Getting punched in the face by your kid is the kind of low point that requires deep, cleansing breaths. They don’t do much to improve your day but at least you can feel in control of SOMETHING, even if it is your own lungs. Take that, lungs! You’re not the boss of me!

The rest of the morning was just as bad. We both used our angry voices. He threw things. We both cried. He asked for a hug and I said no. It was not my proudest moment. After we both calmed down and had a snuggle and said we were sorry we talked about his feelings and why he was upset. He wasn’t really sure, but was worried Daddy was going to be mad so I assured him we still loved him even if he sometimes acted naughty. We talked a lot about being angry and how to express those feelings without hurting people. We agreed using kind voices was much nicer and that we would be friends and love each other forever and watch Little Einsteins during quiet time.

Then we had lunch.

“Mommy, I don’t feel empty anymore!” says Evan.

“Empty?” says Mommy.

“Yeah! I was empty and sad. Now I FULL so I happy!”


Hungry. My kid was HUNGRY. He melted down because I didn’t feed him enough breakfast. HOURS of fighting that could have been prevented with a bowl of fricking cereal.

Sometimes being three years old is really hard because your mother is an idiot.

Caroline: 18 Months

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

One and a half! Tomorrow she’ll be closer to 2 than to 1 which is obviously blowing my mind, just like every other monthday. But this one feels even more surprising: No matter how happy I am about her grown-up, independent spirit, I’m not ready for her to be 2.

I had planned to celebrate Caroline’s half-birthdays, since her near-Christmas birthday means she’ll never have the party turnout Evan gets but this one snuck up on me so we’re not having the adorable little strawberry-themed party I had imagined. But I’m pretty sure the freeze pop she had after nap and the homemade strawberry ice cream she had after dinner are MORE than enough celebration for one tiny child. What can I say, she’s hard to say no to. One day she’s going to ask for a car and I’m going to last barely 24 hours before I cave and get her one. Full of ice cream and cheese.

Last weekend I bought a toddler bed at a church yard sale. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to have it around for when we eventually wanted to move Caroline (because, y’know, we might need the crib again for someone else)(NO THAT WASN’T A HINT HOLD YOUR HORSES)(ask me again in October). It’s just a teeny tiny thing, but that’s perfect for my teeny tiny girl. I dragged it upstairs and put a sheet on it and I figured we’d sloooowly work towards a gradual transition. Nope. That night E tucked her into the bed and left. She went to sleep. And she’s slept in it for every nap and bedtime since. It’s working out great, especially since she’s still way too short to reach the doorknob and get out of the room when she wakes up. The only terrible, horrible, no good, very bad moment so far involved walking in to find a diaperless baby…and that’s as much as I’m going to say about that.

We’ve also started potty training. It’s ridiculous. She wants to be like her brother SO MUCH she’s started peeing on the potty just so she can hang out in the bathroom when he does. I’m sort of hoping she loses interest again, since I’m tired of sitting on the bathroom floor doing the potty cheer every hour, but it’s not like I WANT to change diapers longer than I have to.

Her vocabulary is amazing and she understands pretty much every word I say, including stuff like “Go get that orange thing, the one in the other room”. She says Mommy, Daddy, dog, kitty, hi, bye, hug, cheese, downstairs, yes, Brutus, up, dolly, Bee (what she calls her blankie), swing, pool, beach, brother, snack, bed, baby, book, llama, and at least 20 other words.

Likes include cheese, eating,  ice cream, hot dogs, strawberries, hugs, books, running, the water, hockey, cuddles, drinking from a straw, dancing, sleeping, swinging, being upside down, animals, friends, climbing, somersaults, elevators, purses, necklaces, accessorizing, stairs and giving me heart attacks.

Dislikes include milk, being buckled in, not having enough cheese and strangers who get too close to her face.

Apologies in advance for the ridiculous number of photos:

caroline 18 months

caroline 18 months

caroline 18 months

Future fashion blogger

caroline 18 months

caroline 18 months

caroline 18 months

All her favorite things: blankie, dolly, purse, necklace

caroline 18 months

peek a boo!

caroline 18 months

Outfit change courtesy of Wittlebee – I’ll have a review soon but holy cow is this dress CUTE

caroline 18 months

caroline 18 months

caroline 18 months


caroline 18 months

Girl knows how to relax

caroline 18 months

caroline 18 months

I bought her a pony. It was only a buck.

caroline 18 months

And she LOOOOVES it

caroline 18 months

caroline 18 months

caroline 18 months


18 Month Milestones (from BabyCenter, as usual)

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Will “read” board books on his own – Yep! She read actual books too. Her favorites are the Llama Llama books and the How Do Dinosaurs books.
Scribbles well – Yes, although she still wants to EAT the crayons and markers more than she cares about coloring.

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
Strings two words together in phrases – She’s starting to. She says “Hi Daddy! Hi Mommy! Hi Dog! Hi kitty!” every day. She can add “please” to almost anything she wants because she knows I can’t resist.
Brushes teeth with help – Refuses help. Brushes own teeth.
Stacks four blocks – Next time I find some blocks, I’ll ask her.

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
Throws a ball overhand – She has frighteningly good aim, since most of the time she’s chucking empty yogurt containers at my head.
Takes toys apart and puts them back together – Yes. She also knows how to turn on ALL the toys that make sound.
Shows signs of toilet training readiness – Yes, as discussed previously.

Caroline: 17 Months

Monday, May 21st, 2012

I think it’s insane that Caroline is only 17 months old but I give her almost as much independence as her 3 year old brother. She’s allowed to sit in full sized chairs, climb the stairs, walk next to the cart at the store, help with chores, play in the other room by herself, eat grown up food and take a book to bed without my worrying she’ll rip it up. I’d say it’s about 75% thanks to my second-child-fend-for-yourself attitude and 25% thanks to her really-smart-and-capable attitude. No matter what the cause it makes doing stuff with her a zillion times easier than they were with Evan at this age. Not that Evan was BAD, but he was still my BABY. Caroline wants to know if she can borrow the car this weekend.

Her favorite games are Dinosaur Attack Baby, Tickle Tickle Your Face With Her Razor Sharp Nails, Push Me On The Swing Until Your Arm Falls Off, Terrorize The Cat, Hug The Cat, Terrorize The Cat Again, Try On All The Hats, Eat $12 Worth Of Fruit, and Get Naked.

She still takes one long afternoon nap and sleeps about 12 hours a night. She will take a nap even if she falls asleep in the car on the way home, which means I don’t have to sing VERY LOUDLY to keep her awake – although sometimes I just like to sing very loudly. It’s better than another round of Who Can Scream Loudest because NO ONE WINS. She eats almost any fruit, about half the vegetables, and ALL the carbs. She’s still in 12 or 18 month clothes, size 4 shoes and size 4 diapers. Her hair is still more of an auburn than her brother’s strawberry blond and it’s getting a little curly in the back. I am THRILLED.

Likes include hats, animals, swinging, ducks, running, cheese, fruit snacks, slides, brushing her teeth, playing in the garden, her dolly, shoes, anything that looks like a cell phone, her new car seat, water, jumping, somersaults, books, The Fresh Beat Band, sleeping, taking off her clothes, and Daddy.

Dislikes include raspberries, diaper rash, being hungry, loud trucks, and people who don’t share.

I am super jealous of her eyelashes.

WTF is this nonsense? Cinderella was a CHUMP.

I refuse to stop eating long enough for you to take this picture.

caroline orange rody horse



Happy 17th birthday I mean MONTHDAY Caroline

17 Month Milestones (from BabyCenter, as usual)

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Uses six words regularly – Mommy, Daddy, hi, kitty, doggy, quack-quack, roar, hat, fish, yes, cheese and shoes are all clear enough to be understood by other people. Then she has an entire babble-sign-arm-waving language for me.
Enjoys pretend games – Pretend cooks, pretend takes care of her baby and pretends to listen to me.
Likes riding toys – She’ll straight up tricycle-jack your kid at the playground.

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
Feeds doll – She rubbed an entire squeeze pouch of baby food onto her doll’s face.
Speaks more clearly – Do I need to speak more clearly? I think I answered that one BABY CENTER.
Throws a ball underhand – Sure, but she’s much better at hockey.

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
Dances to music – Sometimes, unless it’s the Fresh Beat Band and then it’s ALWAYS.
Sorts toys by color, shape, or size – I know she knows “blue”, does that count?
Kicks ball forward – Like I said, she’s better with a stick.