Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday, Caroline

My sweet girl turned 2 on Wednesday and received an unwelcome birthday present... the croup. Rylan had a mild case over the weekend and it hit Caroline hard last night. I am also nursing a sore throat and headache, and Charlton's spasming lower back muscle is giving him fits. We are a pitiful bunch right now. I have to work both Wednesday night and Thanksgiving, so I am really hoping we all start feeling better soon so we can celebrate with our turkey dinner on Saturday.
Caroline is a bubbly, independent, active toddler. She is almost always charming us with her cute mannerisms or new phrases. She loved having her Aunts Anna and Bethany spoil her a few weekends ago and we even sat up late with her one night because she was being so cute and sweet we didn't want to put her to bed! This stage of life with young children can be so exhausting and demanding, but there are many times when I wish I could push the "pause" button because I know I will miss these precious moments with my kids.
We go to the doctor for our check-up next week, but at a recent appointment, Caroline weighed 28 pounds, almost the same as Rylan at this age. She wears size 2T clothes and a 6-7 shoe.
She loves to practice dressing and undressing, especially pants. I try to stick with the zipping sleepers for pajamas because one night Caroline took her pajama pants and her diaper off, went #2, and left a disaster in her crib for Charlton. She is still talking about how she "poop on Elmo, poop on Tad, poop on pillow.... and it was yuck!" She doesn't like having a dirty diaper, but when I put big girl underwear on her, she took it off and wore it on her head instead. I don't think we are quite ready for potty-training yet. Her "big girl bed" is on order and we will be making that transition soon. She is such a climber that I am truly amazed she has stayed in her crib longer than Rylan did. She still takes a good 2 hour nap each afternoon and sleeps from about 8:00 at night to 6:30 or 7:00 in the morning. She is a pretty good eater, not terribly picky. Chocolate and pizza are her favorite junk foods and we recently re-introduced her to the wonderful world of ice cream. She is her mother's daughter in that way.
Caroline has a strong will and can throw some pretty impressive "falling-on-the-floor" screaming fits. She has also adopted Rylan's favorite "ugly" phrase: "Go away!" when she is really angry about something. She still hates being contained in a cart or stroller for shopping trips and the other day when she was really worn out, she kept yelling at me, "Turn around, Mommy. Turn around!" Thankfully, her bad moods are usually brief and she is quick to forgive and move on.
Caroline loves to sing and I love to hear her raspy voice belting out snatches of her favorites, one after the other. On one grocery trip, she was loudly singing "Sweet Caroline" from the grocery cart as we traveled up and down the aisles. Now we are singing Christmas songs, but you can tell her father and older brother have influenced her when she shouts, "Jingle bells, batman smells, Robin laid an egg." She talks more and in longer sentences all the time. I can understand most of what she says, but in a pinch, Rylan can usually translate for me.
She still prefers to play with Rylan's toys, but is stealing them less. Both kids will sometimes play games together or at least play contentedly with their own toys in the same room. I love the break from the constant refereeing. She likes to mother her baby dolls, especially Jessie, her new birthday doll. She also enjoys cooking in her play kitchen and taking care of us with her doctor set.
Caroline is terrified of loud noises, like the blender or food processor, and the car wash. Every time we drive by either of our two car wash places, she reminds me "Car wash scary, Mommy." Other than that, she is very brave and not easily shaken. So many times I have watched her fall hard, only to pick herself up and keep on running without shedding a tear. She absolutely loves to climb, the couch, rocks at Garden of the Gods, tables... We are always amazed to see such a little girl so fearless. As tough as she can be, I also delight in seeing Caroline's sensitive side. She often asks, "you okay, Mommy?" if I cough or sneeze, and if she finds anything resembling a boo-boo, she will talk to me in a sweet voice and give me kisses. Lately, she has been asking for hugs and kisses and even for cuddle time. I never turn down those requests.
Caroline, you bring such joy to our family. I love you dearly and can't wait to watch you grow this next year.

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