Monday, July 26, 2010

Sand, Sliding and Splashing

Clay went to a birthday party today and had the best time. It was a water party and there were about 10 other little boys there to play with. I think he would have stayed all day if I had let him! He had such a great time playing in the sand and running around in the water. Here's a few shots from the party (I think it's hilarious how his tongue is sticking out in half of them-such focus!):

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Carolina's Getting Big

Our Carolina girl is 21 months now and she is such a fun girl. She has the funniest little personality and I can't get enough of it! We've loved watching her turn into a toddler and I wanted to make sure and record some of the things that she's into now.

Carolina is a Mama's girl. She loves Mama, looks like Mama and acts like Mama.

As far as her personality goes, she's totally mischievous and loves a good joke. She makes a "monster face" that has people laughing so hard it hurts (a monster face is when she sticks her arms out and stiffens her fingers and makes her whole body tremble) and she loves to do her stinky face. She loves an audience and will do any of her "party tricks" to get a good laugh.

A part of Carolina's personality that I hope never changes is her willingness to jump in with reckless abandon. She is quite the climber and she has no fear. It's not uncommon to find her on the top of the changing table or in the middle of the kitchen table. She's super fast! When you walk up to her she'll say "Gaca!" (we have no idea what it means) and she'll dive at you. Total trust and absolutely no fear in her body at all.

The other night as I cooked dinner I gave her the step stool to stand on so she could "help". She took advantage of the step stool to get to higher ground. That cup cabinet was unloaded before I even knew what hit me! She's creative and she loves to climb.

Carolina's such a smart girl. At her last check-up our pediatrician said she was advanced and I would agree. She talks a lot. She can count and say her alphabet and identify some of her letters (S, A, Z, O). Here are some of the things she says, "I not hungy" (when she doesn't want the food you offered her), "Huck!" (look), "Ca-ay" (Clay), "ele-cant", "eggle" (eagle), "ga-gick" (blanket), "bap" or "pas" (pacifier), "I got dis" (I got this)," I gonna git down", "all un" (all done) , "goodness", "I want muck" (both I want milk or juice) "I gotta go bobby" (I gotta go potty), "ZZ" (zebra) and much, much more. She's incredibly verbal and doesn't hesitate to let us know what she wants.

Carolina has a little bit of a temper. She always has and I'm thinking she always will. She loves to throw herself on the ground when she doesn't get her way but she does usually snap out of it really quickly.

She is by far the rowdiest restaurant diner I've ever known. With Clay, we ate out from the time he was born and we've never had a problem. Carolina's a wild one, though. She screams, she throws things, she wants down, she rears back in her high chair, she's a sight to behold in a restaurant for sure. Mike and I have tried EVERYTHING and nothing has worked. If you look in her diaper bag, you'll see stickers, stamps, stuffed animals, electronic toys, drawing boards, snacks, old phones, dolls, necklaces and at least half of the toys in our playroom have been in there at some point. Needless to say, she has caused two restaurant-loving parents to love eating at home. (I say this not to complain, just to record how it actually is)

That brings me to the next thing about Carolina, she's a homebody. She is a dream at home. She plays well, eats well and is generally happy. The second we walk out the door, though, she turns into a different child. She goes from being a child who loves to play independently to the one who would rather not leave us at the play area. She does let loose and play for a little while if we go to museums and kid places but she checks in with us every couple of minutes to give hugs and get reassurance. She would rather engage in a game with Mike and me than go out and play with Clay and the other kids. If we go outside to play, she will head for the house in less than five minutes. She loves her home, her things and her comfort zone.

Our girl is a pretty good eater but she has a tendency to be picky. While we all love shrimp, she hates it. She loves her sauces (ketchup, ranch and bbq sauce). She especially loves to streak them down her face and paint her body with them when she's finished eating. She won't eat any veggies and only a small amount of fruit (strawberries and bananas). She loves her orange juice (just don't give her too much water in it or she'll throw it at you and fall in a heap on the floor). She loves chicken and she's getting a lot better about eating casseroles. She loves eggs and bean and cheese tacos. She's pretty good about eating bread, lunch meat and cheese. The girl can also eat her weight in cheese enchiladas and queso. She's my kind of girl!

Clay and Carolina have a typical brother/sister relationship at this point. Sometimes they only want to play together and sometimes they drive each other crazy. Their personalities are completely different and it gets tricky sometimes. Clay still calls her Crina and we're not sure if that's ever going away. When we try to correct him he just says "Carocrina". He's also called her Crina Bear a few times which is hilarious because he genuinely thinks we named her Carolina Bear and not Carolina Blair.

I can always count on Carolina eating, playing with and liking just the opposite of whatever Clay has. He loves Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and she wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole- it's Velveeta Shells and Cheese for her. He likes chips, she likes sweet treats. He likes ice cream, she likes the cone. He likes "Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang" and "Bedknobs and Broomsticks", she likes Barney and Elmo. He loves to cuddle up with you on the couch, she loves climbing in our bed by herself and watching her shows. It totally amazes me every day how different they are (and we love it that way).

Carolina is still a great sleeper. It's totally her personality to do her own thing and she usually sleeps at least an hour later than anyone else in the house. She loves to lie in her bed with all her blankets and animals and just chill. I have only seen her sleep on her belly twice in her whole life and she always has legs and arms coming out of the sides of her bed. She goes to bed around 8:30 and usually sleeps until 8-8:30.

She is so into her "stuff". She loves her blanket (which is actually from Clay's bed), her kitty and her pacifier. She loves chenille (but only the kind with the lines) and she will sit and run her fingers up and down the lines on her blanket while she's watching her shows. She drags her blanket all over the house, Linus-style, and she loves having her pacifier. When you go to take her out of her bed, she hands you her things one by one, "Here it is! Pass! Here it is! Kitty!" and she goes on until she's given you everything to carry for her.

One of the great things about Carolina is that she already knows what she wants. I've learned my ways around her preferences and it seems to work for both of us. She'll tell me, "I-unna-nack" (I want a snack) and then I'll offer her several things but she shakes her head back and forth and tells me "I not hungy" if she doesn't like the choice. So I pick what I want her to have, set it on the kitchen counter and walk away. She'll walk over, pick it up (because she decided to) and she'll eat it. Everybody's happy.

What does Carolina like to play with? Blocks, books and puzzles. She'll play legos with Clay and some Play-Doh stuff, too. She loves to sit on the tricycle (she has her own but prefers Clay's) and she loves to drive in the bus. She is always up for doing school, working on letters, counting bears and stamps that we have and all the educational stuff. She's pretty independent about her play most of the time except when it comes to school time and she always wants to sit in my lap.

She doesn't really like baby dolls but she LOVES stuffed animals. She will always find one at a store and she normally has several in her bed. She loves her necklaces and playing with shoes. If Carolina could do one thing all day, though, it would be watching Elmo and Barney ("Bowney"). She is a huge fan and asks for them all the time.

Carolina is the sweetest thing. We just love her personality and all the fun she brings into the house. She is happy, loving, sweet and full of spunk. We love our Carolina girl!

A Mommy Date to Diggle, Diggle Quack

For Easter, I got a book from Mike's parents called "Let's Go on a Mommy Date". It's a sweet, sweet book about a mom and her son and daughter and the things she would like to take them to do. Clay loves it and wants to read it all the time (I don't even really read it anymore because he has it memorized and says it all). Ever since Carolina was born, Clay and I have done some special things together but now we call them our Mommy Dates (or Mommy Dapes if you're three).

So on our last Mommy Date, Clay and I got to go to the cutest little play at the Dallas Children's Theater called "Giggle, Giggle Quack" (once again, Diggle, Diggle Quack if you're three). It was the story of a farmer who goes on vacation and his city brother comes to watch the farm. The animals change all the farmer's notes for his brother so that they can have all kinds of adventures (like having pizza for dinner and playing all day instead of doing their farm work).

We got there pretty early and had to wait in line but Clay was so good about playing with his tractors while we waited.

I was afraid that our seats wouldn't be any good but we were on the third row so it was perfect for Clay to focus on the stage.

He wouldn't even let me hold the playbill because he was "reading" it.

As we sat in our seats waiting for the play to start, we talked about all of the props on the stage. He cracked me up when he pointed to the stage lights above the set and said, "Mama do you see the planets up there?" Ha!

Once the play started he was really interested in it. He certainly hadn't seen anything like it before. The play was really cute and entertaining and he got a huge kick out of the animals singing and dancing. About 30 minutes in he started talking about home and getting a little fidgety. I hadn't mentioned snacks at intermission yet because I knew that would be his focus so I told him to just be still and wait.

When intermission came we were the first in line. My guy was ready for a treat! He chose peanuts and apple juice and could not have been happier. I guess he just needed a little break because he kept asking when we could go back in to watch the play again.

After the play was over, they had the cast in the lobby for pictures. Clay was a little nervous but he still let me take his picture with the duck. I'm glad he did because he'll always have it as a memory from his first play.

The play was so cute and we had the best time. Taking my children to plays is one of the things I was really looking forward to as a mom. This Mommy Date definitely did not disappoint! I'm looking forward to many more theater dates to come!

(Carolina got to have her own party while we were at our Mommy Date. She hung out with Aunt Rebecca, her parents and her aunt. From what I hear, she had a pretty good time herself!)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Red in the Face: Take 2

I stepped away from the table for a minute, tops. Big mistake.

Red in the Face

One night as we were driving home from running errands we saw one of Mike's officer friends. He was on a call near our house so Mike pulled over to say hi and see what was going on. This was a guy the kids and I hadn't met yet so as they finished talking the guy said something to Mike about his family being in the car. The guy came over to the car, shook my hand and talked to the kids in the backseat for a minute. No big deal.

We drove home (maybe 30 seconds) and I opened Carolina's door to get her out and wow. Really? Apparently when we were out running errands our sneaky girl had gotten hold of a piece of chocolate and given herself a chocolate facial. And since her seat is directly behind mine, I didn't notice a thing (nor did Mike).

What are the odds that this guy about the fact that she looked like she had war paint on?? I still can't believe he didn't even crack a smile even though he talked to her for several minutes. I just have to wonder what the guy was thinking about Mike's kid. Thanks for making a good first impression, Carolina. We owe you one.

(This little memento was taken when we got back home)