Monday, January 25, 2010

Caroline: 14 months

Caroline turned 14 months on Sunday and I wanted to write a little to remember her at this age. I am amazed to say that she seems to be feeling better since Friday. She still has a pretty impressive snotty nose, but no fever and she is sleeping well and a much happier girl overall. I am so thankful and hope she continues this trend. It has definitely worked in her favor that she has perfected saying "mama" and knows exactly who that special person is! She is normally too busy playing and exploring to snuggle much, but with being sick lately, she has wanted to cuddle with me. I have enjoyed bonding with my usually independent girl, just wish it didn't have to be combined with so much snot!
Caroline has 10 teeth now, four in the front on both the top and bottom and her upper one-year molars. She is a great eater although I wish more of her cooked veggies would end up in her mouth rather than on the floor. She loves her pancakes and waffles for breakfast and even ate some oatmeal this past week, something Rylan wouldn't touch at her age. She has also started dropping her morning nap. I am actually really happy about that because it gives us so much more time to do things in the mornings. She is definitely exhausted by lunchtime, and I am hoping this will translate into taking longer afternoon naps or sleeping later in the morning. I can hope, right? :-)
Caroline has started talking this past month; her vocabulary now includes, "ma-ma", "da-da", "bubble," "bye-bye," "night-night," "ball", "hi," and of course, her favorite,"uh-oh." We hear "uh-oh" when she is experimenting with throwing toys over the bannister, or dropping her food onto the floor (on purpose). If we aren't quick enough with vacuuming, she will crawl around and eat whatever she has dropped, because her food tastes so much better when mixed with carpet threads. When daddy comes home from work or I pick her up from the nursery at church, she squeals "oooh, oooh" with delight at the top of her lungs. She also will hold anything even remotely resembling a phone shape (yesterday it was a trailer to one of Rylan's trucks) to her ear and shout "Hey!"
Caroline enjoys reading books with me at bedtime. We read the same ones over and over again, and I think she likes being able to recognize "her" books now. I make the animal sounds and she has started copying me "quack-quack" when we get to the duck. She also likes to reach out and feel the textures on her touch-and-feel books.
I have to move quickly to be able to catch my girl now. She can almost run and doesn't fall dwon quite as often She is also a climber. Rylan was content to simply push the mailbox on wheels toy when he was a baby. Caroline pulls the little drawer covers off, puts both feet into the hole, and stands up. She also likes to scale the stack of three or four tupperware containers that organize our toys and sit on top of them, grinning like she has accomplished something really impressive.
Her favorite toys are anything that Rylan is currently playing with, anything that can be banged together to make noise, or the dirty contents of the dishwasher or forbidden cabinets. With the cabinet locks in place, the cabinets will only open a small crack. However, it is enough for Caroline to grip the top of the cabinet with her tiny fingers and slam it open and closed. Rylan, the ever helpful big brother, announced to me today, "I am a big boy now, mom, I know how to open the cabinets for Caroline so we can play!" So now, our child-proof cabinets are no longer so child-proof with such a smart 3-year old in the house. Caroline is definitely an instigator of mischief. I can't even bathe her with Rylan any more because she starts kicking her legs and splashing. He joins in and they get each other so excited that I get soaked and the bathroom looks like the splash zone at Sea World.
We've had some warmer weather lately so Caroline has enjoyed some play time outside. She squeals, "oh, oh" when I blow bubbles and was so thrilled with them that she even learned how to say "bubble." She likes the feel of the sand in the sandbox and is figuring out how to "drive" Rylan's ride-on bulldozer, backwards only. Caroline is way more interested in her stuffed animals than her baby doll. I often show her how to wrap her baby and hold her the right way, but she couldn't care less. She does love her stuffed wolves from Grandpa and squeals whenver she sees any dogs in general.
I am seeing some hints of a toddler temper. She will scream and fall down dramatically when I take away something she shouldn't have or stop her from doing something she really wants to. My biggest struggle the past few weeks has been dinner time. From about 3:30 or 4:00 on, as soon as I go into the kitchen to start making dinner, Caroline falls apart. She wails and follows me around the kitchen trying to wedge herself between me and whatever cabinet I am standing in front of. Nothing wears on my nerves faster than maneuvering around a screaming child while I am trying to cook dinner. It is a constant battle to keep from totally losing my patience with her. I have tried so many things to distract her or prevent the drama in the first place, but nothing has worked very well. Praying has helped! I should have tried that in the first place.
All is forgiven a few hours later at bedtime, when Caroline snuggles her head into my shoulder while I rock her. Sometimes, she will just stare intently into my eyes, making me wonder what she is trying to communicate. Then I remember and we rub noses over and over again in our special way of giving kisses. It sure is fun having a girl!

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