Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Taste and See!

When Caroline is the car and asks for "fruit, peez," she's asking for a dried fruit strip (like a fruit roll up, but just fruit and juice). When she wants particular types of fruit she asks for them by name.

A few days ago she asked for fruit and I wasn't sure if we had any strips in the car so I gave her some dried berries that were at the top of the snack bag (leftover from the road trip a few weeks ago). She looked puzzled when I dropped the berries into her hand. "Dis not fruit."

"Yes, Caroline, actually it is," said I.

"Taste and see, Caroline, O taste and see," said Kev.

Next thing we knew her mouth was wide open and she was declarig "I can't see." Not sure how to transcribe the wide mouth, full mouthed talking.

Though I believe in explaining things to kids, a figurative use of the verb "to see"? That's a stumper!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy To You, Sweet C, You're 2!

First of all a handful of pics from the last few weeks. We haven't been great about taking pics the past month. But there are a few more good ones to share... later... perhaps when all the papers are written, the final is taken, the grades are submitted... for now just 5 pics. And then a lot of text.

AMAZING. That's what our girl is.

Frequently heard from her lips these days-
"What happened?" with a shrug of the shoulders.
"Where it go?" with the same shrug, hands up lifted.
"I wad oo." Her rendition of "I love you." Especially when I say "You know what?" For some time now I've looked at her and said "You know what?" Pause. "I love you!" Now I just say "You know what?" and she says "I wad oo!"
"Yook at me, mommy. Yisten to me, daddy." Often taking a chin in her hand and turning it towards her... she has been hearing this and so...
"OH! Yook at dat!" Repeatedly uttered when opening birthday presents at Mamie's house!
"Where's Alistair?" This little guy hangs with C and daddy four days a week and while we were in NY she was missing him. Several times a day we were asked this. Almost as frequently she'll ask "Where's Parker?" He hangs with C and daddy two days a week.
"Fi-o-na!" For the longest time she's called her best friend "Fio," which was awfully cute, but somehow Thanksgiving week she mastered all three syllables. She just reminded me she likes to say "Bubba" too, which is what Fiona calls her brother Ethan.
"Dr. Who" "Tardis" "Rabbit" "Klulu"- ask daddy.
"Want see Khaki. Want see Danel." Aunt Khaki finally has skype and so instead of just saying "want see doggies" on my computer now she says "want see khaki!" And as we wrap up a chat with Khaki she says "Want see Danel." Uncle Danel doesn't have skype yet... but soon. He was tickled to hear this because, for some reason, C was rather afraid of him last week.
"I too pitty." She frequently declares this to whoever comes to the door in the morning.
"I don wanoo." I don't wan't too... usually in a ramp up to a temper tantrum.
"Cahline" she says her name now! She even seemed to say "Doughty" once. Sanderson... not yet.
"Dis is Cahline's!" Especially when other kids are around.
"Dis is mine!" When daddy's flourless chocolate cake arrived after dinner at a restaurant earlier this month her eyes got big and this was her declaration. When daddy took a few bites without giving her any she aggressively commanded in speech and sign "Share!!!"
"I wan some more milk." Yup. Still nursing. Asked several times last week if I have a weaning plan. At this point... it is going to have to wait until we can have a reasonable conversation about it. 3 probably. Unless of course she loses interest sooner. That would be fine with me. I'm really ready to be done, but... she is showing no signs that she is ready. So... keeping on.
I need to take a go at that last one again because she has a very distinctive way of saying milk. It is the only thing that she says that evidences southern influence. She makes it a two or three syllable word sounding something like this "Meh-ilk."
"I need some chocate." Declared after breakfast at Mamie's one day.

Oh and she sings grace with us now, more or less, too cute. "God our Mother. God our Father. Once again, once again, we bow our heads to thank you. We bow our heads to thank you. Amen. Amen." For awhile she's sung the God and the Amen, but now she's getting most of it. Last night she even seemed to initiate a round.

She's signing more and more... all sorts of animals... she even, sometimes, signs "hippo." Somehow I don't even think I knew what a hippo was when I was two.

Oh... and she started grunting and talking in a grunty voice to be funny we think.

She loves playing pretend. Changing her baby doll's or stuffed animals' diapers- "Ooh... poopy! Need fresh dipuh." Or "This jus wet. Need fresh dipuh," She has started pretend nursing of late too. Priceless. She also loves putting her pajamas on her stuffed animals.

Mamie gave her a grocery cart and cash register for her birthday/Christmas. Aunt Khaki gave her play food. She will soon open up a play kitchen from us. We want to encourage this pretend play!

She travelled BEAUTIFULLY to Syracuse for Uncle Danel (and btw, intentionally mispelling to reflect her pronunciation) and Aunt Lauren's wedding. Thank God for portable d.v.d. players and a husband who is willing to drive all night long. She watched "Cars" repeatedly, and "Monsters, Inc.," oh, and "Finding Nemo" many times. She did watch some "Baby Signing Time" on the way, but Pixar was the big winner. And she slept A LOT in the car.

That said... she was sick before we left... and got sicker as we traveled, developing an eye infection of some sort. Her eyes looked grotesque by the time we arrived at the home of our gracious hosts. And then... within half an hour of arriving... she ran into the corner of a piece of furniture, cutting open the corner of her most infected eye. Brilliant. It was quite the arrival. Good family friend, Dr. Jim, took a look at her late that night. We picked up some antibiotic ointment from the all night pharmacy and she was much better within 24 hours. Apparently if her eye hadn't been infected he would have glued the cut closed, but... as it was we just applied antibiotic ointment to the cut too. By the wedding it was looking much better. The funny thing is that Uncle Danel got a black eye at a rugby game the week before the wedding. His bad eye was his left one. So was C's! She was just trying to be in solidarity with Uncle Dan, I guess. Both Danel and Caroline were looking much improved come wedding time.

Speaking of the wedding... at the rehearsal she would only walk down the aisle with Kev and then only rather tentatively. And then, when she'd get to the front she'd try to climb the stairs to me and when thwarted would TOTALLY melt down. She did this twice. So... we figured we had a pretty good picture of what would happen on the big day. The good thing was that her screams could hardly be heard over the sound of the organ. Well... when it came time for her walk down the aisle... she took off all by herself... and took her time... and paused occasionally to smile at people she recognized. In other words, she performed brilliantly. And when she got to the front... she just looked around like "what now?" Kev beckoned her over and they went to the play area on the side of the church and she played happily through the rest of the service with daddy and some other cousins too, I think. I don't know. I was a bit busy.

Even more impressive, perhaps, is the fact that Caroline had french braids in her hair for the wedding, two of them. Her hair started looking really scraggly while we were in Syracuse. Some folks blamed the climate, I'm not sure. In any case, I have no facility for doing hair and I didn't know what to do about it. So I called Alisha, wonder woman when it comes to hair! She came to the rescue and put in two beautiful braids while Caroline watched a d.v.d. and then while she nursed. Unbelievable.

So, we just had a few friends over today to celebrate her birthday. Alistair and his mommy, daddy, and sister Ella. Parker and his mommy. And Raine and her mommy and daddy. We had applesauce muffins with an agave sweetened cream cheese frosting. (She did get some chocolate today when she came to church with me- half a donut! And she had a very indulgent cupcake at Mamie's so... we went a bit healthier today!) It was a very low key affair. Between presents from friends and family at a distance and a few presents I managed to finally pick up just this afternoon she had quite a pile. And she truly seemed delighted with all of it. We haven't assembled her play kitchen yet, but I'm sure that will be a hit. Kev blew up some balloons and taped them to her eating chair and laid a few on the tray so they were among the first things she saw this morning. She was quite delighted. He blew up a bunch more when she was napping this afternoon and she had great fun with them during her party.

I was surprised that we got through a toddler party without a meltdown... but then we went out to dinner with Alistair and his family. And... worst public temper tantrum yet. Hello, two.

She had a low-grade fever when we got home. Not sure if it is because she worked herself up so, or if it is because she's fighting yet another bug. She and I both have been sick and can't seem to kick it. Tomorrow she heads to the pediatrician for her 2 year check up... so... we shall see. Very curious about her height and weight as she seemed to weigh as much or more than both a 3 year old cousin and a 4 year old cousin and wasn't that much shorter than either of them. I didn't think she was especially big until I saw those three playing together.

She continues to love to jump. She really wants to jump on the bed. We won't allow it. But it doesn't stop her from trying. I saw that you can buy your own bounce house at Toys R Us. Wow. That would be a dream present for her. But... where would we store it???

Well... the fever is now done. The busy girl who was falling asleep early after her total meltdown at the restaurant got a second wind and is still going strong though mommy is fading... fast. So this is all for now.

We love you, Caroline Grace. You are AMAZING.

Friday, November 5, 2010

23 months!

Pictures from the last two weeks.

Beginning right where we left off... here is our big girl in her toddler bed, napping after the trip to the zoo!

Caroline may look a lot like her Uncle Daniel, but she just might have her Aunt Katherine's flair for style. She picks her outfits most days. Get a load of this one she put together one Sunday when I was preaching out of town and she and daddy were getting ready to go to our church. She insisted on the converse with the dress! It kind of works...

Caroline's favorite color is most definitely purple. If I ask her what she wants to wear without giving her concrete options she always says "a purple dress." She'll often dig around in her drawers and pull out different shades of purple and ask to wear them together. Such may have been the case on this day. She was definitely grooving on this outfit!

We had a surprise visit from a couple that I knew decades ago. My mom used to provide childcare for their oldest daughter who is my sister's age. C got to wear a purple dress this night! Thanks for dinner, Sue and Chuck! Great to see you!

Last weekend we headed to Georgia for the American Academy of Religion. We left Thursday night so we could see our friend Julie on our way to Atlanta. This turned out to be a great plan because I needed to draft a paper and Julie was happy to play with Kevin and C while I stayed back in her lovely home to write. Julie and I went for a walk in this park Friday morning, then the three of them returned while I settled in to write. Clearly C had a blast. This first shot catches the posture she assumes when she's asking "Where it go?" or sometimes "I don't know." C might have been a little precautious around the ducks outside Matt and Jenn's apartment, but not so in this park, apparently. She was running right up to them. She continues to appear to be generally fearless.

Thanks again for your hospitality, Julie! The white chili was FABULOUS! And from there we went to Caroline's godfamily's house where she set to playing with her Godsister Abby immediately- or, at least with her Godsister's Abby's fabulous toys.

While mommy was busy AARing and paper drafting, Caroline and Abby tried on their matching halloween costumes for the first time. They were twin pumpkin fairies! Great handmade costumes purchased off of Etsy- Caroline picked them out! Abby was not so into the wings, and only occasionally open to the head band. C loved it all. She called her wings her "buhfly" And wanted to wear the costume as much as possible.

Kev couldn't find where I had stashed the shoes we brought for her to wear with the costume so pink converse it was! Kev, Katie, Caroline, and Abby went to the zoo boo at "Abby's zoo" (so dubbed by Caroline without any prompting from anyone else!) It looks like they had a blast and I hear that they got plenty of compliments.

Two wiped out pumpkin fairies.

The 30th was Abby's grandma's birthday so they made a birthday sign and Caroline and Abby put on a little show. Some moments from that fun are captured below.

On halloween proper Katie and I took our fairies to a festival at a church not too far away. They were pretty cranky on our way out the door. Though I don't usually appease with sugar (occasionally, but not customarily) it was halloween so I grabbed a mini-chocolate bar and broke it into small pieces for the girls. It seems that Abby had never had straight up chocolate before. While C popped hers quickly into her mouth and then asked for more, Abby lingered over hers and got it EVERYWHERE. Oh well... twas halloween afterall!

The festival was pretty great (except for an obnoxiously loud youth band playing mediocre Christian rock). When we arrived Caroline saw a large, inflatable slide and recognized its inflation as similar to the bounce house she enjoyed so much a few weeks ago. She saw it as we walked up and said "I NEED TO JUMP!" And then she jumped in place! Fortunately the festival had bounce houses, and these were not time limited at all. C made a bee line for it, pulled off her shoes, and hopped inside. Abby was a bit more reticent, sticking close to mom, overwhelmed by the noise at first. Great photo opps of Abby while C bounced away.

I checked in periodically and kept finding C bouncing away. But one time I checked and she wasn't there. I asked the attendant if she saw a pumpkin fairy get out and she said "Yes." And I said "Well, where is she?" She shrugged. I panicked for only a brief moment and then turned my eyes to the toddler play area and saw her flitting about. Abby soon joined her there.

There were a few little slide in the toddler area that Caroline went down repeatedly.

But after the fifth or sixth time she had had enough of this kiddy business, apparently. She set her sides on the big, inflatable slide (that I am sure she would not have been allowed to go down) and took off running at quite a clip across the field, in stocking feet!

Eventually I got her turned around and she headed right back to the bounce house where I managed to get some pics of her ecstatic bouncing. We have a sweet video of her bouncing. Perhaps I'll post that later.

Other random pics of the pumpkin fairies before they were renamed...

The church had a costume contest. We decided to go in for the infant to preschool award time... why not? But it didn't seem like anything was going on... we didn't know where the judges were... the girls were getting antsy and cranky again. The finally started announcing winners and Caroline yelled out "POO! POTTY!" So... out we went. We never told anyone their names and winners were being announced by name so we figured they weren't in the running. It was a gigundo church so the bathrooms were a little ways away. We planted ourselves in the hallway by the bathrooms and dealt with cranky toddlers and prepared to go home. A woman came out with her kids a bit later and said "It's the butterfly babies! They won the prize!" I went back in to check and indeed they did! They were mistaken for twins and renamed the butterfly babies. Caroline picked a great costume, eh?

Just two more...

the girls in the bath together

and right before we left they insisted on putting their tutus over their outfits for the day... C wore hers almost all the way home.

Our 23 month old got her bangs trimmed today and did beautifully! No pics from today to post... but the last several are VERY recent.

Perhaps more text updates later!