Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A 3am parent check has now become routine - Caroline cries out for us, makes us hold her for a few minutes, then goes peacefully back to her crib. Good times. After a relatively short morning nap, I took her on a long walk. I let her do quite a bit of stroller pushing and walking herself, hoping to tire her out so we could take an afternoon siesta. Despite getting uber-cranky around 2:45, she never fell asleep, and faded quickly this evening. On a jaunt around campus before dinner, she passed out in her stroller. Please let us have one uninterrupted night of sleep tonight -

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Caroline was irritable most of the day; we'll chalk it up to her latest tooth. The three of us hit the Little Gym this evening to give her a good workout - maybe we won't be treated to a 3am pointless wakeup again tonight.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Ever persistent despite having taken a nasty spill off this same chair earlier in the afternoon as her parents watched helplessly from the sidelines, Caroline climbed onto Cheryl's chair while the cameraman recorded her attention-seeking activities. Someone should really explain to her that desperation is the world's worst cologne.

Lately, every time Caroline sees Cheryl, she must have her undivided attention. Caroline even abandoned her beloved Daisy Responsibility Case (seen by the fridge) to beg her mom to notice her. Cheryl was attempting to have dinner here after feeding Caroline.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Caroline got a ton of awesome new books when we were in NJ last week. Her favorite part of the book collection is the carrying case for her Daisy books with the velcro-closure. She's filling it with various items and carrying it around. I'm calling it her "responsibility case" since "brief case" seems a bit beyond her right now.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Caroline attended Aaron's 2nd birthday party tonight. The girl enjoyed multiple attempts to wrest control of this toy John Deere lawnmower from Aaron throughout the evening. She thought it was a game; Caroline would distract Aaron by tossing a different b-day gift in front of him, he would wander away for a second and Caroline would race to mow the carpet, looking behind her for the older, stronger Aaron to take it back. Cheryl and the rest of the party guests were highly amused by Caroline's manipulations. Aaron was less than thrilled. Also pictured here are Shane, Aaron's friend and neighbor, and the legs of other friends and family members.

Caroline and Emma and their keepers went to the N.C. Zoo today. We came primarily to see the ocelot, and stayed for some sort of Festival de Zoo, featuring a roaming mariachi band and clown. Most of the animals didn't disappoint, but this was the first time I've seen a display ocelot just sleep - usually they pathetically pace back and forth in their too-small glass enclosure. The clown pictured here will likely be Caroline's formative image of her new irrational (but healthy) clown fear - she completely freaked out when he approached her.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Caroline preaches to the girls at playgroup this afternoon at Polo Park. Cheryl doesn't have class on Fridays, so she was able to go as well. After a well-earned long nap following the park, our family walked over to the school's first happy hour. Not surprisingly, according to the classmates who have not seen Caroline for 3 months, she's grown.

Caroline had a fantastic time at the museum yesterday, despite her dour expression in the previous picture (as pointed out by the anonymous comment). Here she's playing with the magnetic spots on the 'giraffes are grifters' display.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

We hung out for a few hours in the Children's Museum this afternoon, spending most of the time in the zoo section (my favorite, because there are few things she can put in her mouth). She's standing on the display for the 'stinging jellyfish'; in the background is the 'crazy crabs crushing clams' display.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

After a trip to the doctor's office for a shriekingly fun blood test, Caroline met up with Emma to hit the samples at the local Costco. They're enjoying some dried apples here; later, they would share a smoothie.

Caroline climbed up onto this chair, scooted herself over to the table, sat down, and grabbed some crackers all by herself.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Continuing Cheryl's post - Caroline has begun getting upset about random things too - I was reading a pamphlet on the couch while she was playing with some toys, and suddenly she decided it was the end of the world if I didn't hand her the pamphlet immediately. And even after I gave her my full attention and put the material down, she was not pleased. I held out through about 5 minutes of a very distraught Caroline before she gave up; this was not a good development.

Last night Caroline woke us with her furious shrieks at about 1:45am. Despite our numerous loving, calming interventions, or perhaps because of them, the girl wailed until about 3:30. I heard a thud in her room shortly after the crying stopped and raced in fearing that I would find her broken on the floor after a "successful" escape from her crib. She was, indeed, collapsed in a pile. But inside the crib bars. Phew.

And so, it seems our sweet, happy toddler is making the transition into an angry, tantrumy toddler. We knew this time would come, but it's hard to watch. More accurately, it's hard to listen to, what with all of the loud yelling. Today she screamed throughout our 15-minute car ride to Little Gym. She threw a fit when I tried to leave her side to go to the bathroom. She also insisted upon eating her dinner with a spoon by herself. I had to strip her to her skivvies and let her go to town to stop the yelling, tears, and flailing. Bath time was more of a hose down. Bed time was like wrassslin' with a mad octopus who wanted to head butt me. Luckily, the exhaustion got the better of the girl within a few minutes, and she is now peacefully slumbering like an angel, gearing up for another day of climbing, screaming, and asserting her independence.

Monday, August 22, 2005

20 lbs! Caroline had her 15 month appointment today with Dr. Cribbs (formerly Dr. Myers) - and she broke the 20 lbs barrier, but just barely. Her stats: 20.02 lbs (10th percentile), 30 inches tall (25-50th percentile), and 18.125 inches head circumference (75th percentile). Our target weight for her 18th month appointment is 21.5 lbs. Also, there was one other baby in the waiting room when we got there, and disturbingly, her name was also Caroline. She was a different Caroline than the one we saw at the 9 month appointment - I'm now expecting half the girls in Caroline's school to also be Carolines.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Another artistic photo of Caroline taken by cousin Catherine. No pictures taken today - we were incredibly fatigued after the long car ride, but Caroline complained the most.

An artistic photo of Caroline taken by cousin Catherine.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Caroline in a Fredericksburg Wawa at 10:30pm. She had a great day until the car ride began to return to NC. An hour and a half was tacked on to the normal 9 hour drive thanks to the highway being closed in Delaware. Thanks to a phone call to Grandma Z, we were able to successfully navigate through a detour - the advertised AM station that is supposed to broadcast traffic information was silent (or the signal was imperceptible), and there were no apparent officers directing drivers through the detour. I normally reserve my scorn for my old nemesis Maryland, a state with a little over 100 miles of I-95 but plenty of tolls and constant construction, but Delaware managed to jump to the top of the list with last night's debacle. Well played, Delaware.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Caroline is winding down after a busy two days having a grand time with her grandma and aunts. Cheryl and I went away yesterday afternoon and returned this afternoon, and Caroline apparently visited various relatives and ate three times the amount of food she usually lets us feed her. Tomorrow, the fun is coming to an end, as we're heading back south sometime in the evening.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Last night, Caroline fought against bedtime until about 9:30. Tonight, we figured we'd take her to the fireworks in Seaside Heights. She fell asleep around 7:15. Here, she's fading post-bath with Grandpa Z shortly after 7.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The family photographer, cousin Catherine, was visiting tonight, so they took multiple potential Christmas card photos. Good thing I'm closest to the camera. My guess is that this one will not be used.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Caroline in front of Kupper's, my sixth employer, enjoying her pizza crust.

We shared a piece of pizza at the Sawmill (actually, she just ate some crust I found in the trash, while I enjoyed a fresh slice).

Caroline and I took a walk on the Seaside Heights boardwalk this afternoon.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Caroline was the center of lots of attention again today, as relatives came down to visit with the girl. They even brought gifts. She's also started performing on cue in public now - she does the thunder sound, the dog sound, and the happy feet pretty much each time we ask her to. Previously, she just made Cheryl and I look crazy when we tell others that she really does her tricks, but never when others are watching. She got two fabulous new outfits and a pail and shovel that will be perfect for the park.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Dance, monkey!

Friday, August 12, 2005

We drove up to New Jersey overnight on Thursday. Caroline slept most of the trip, as we'd hoped. She woke up briefly to experience the magic of rest stops along 95. The Maryland House at 2am was an especially interesting collection of freaks. Today while Cheryl and I recuperated from the lack of sleep, Caroline got all the attention she could handle and a new collection of toys to play with and furniture to climb.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

After a low-key day, somehow Caroline knew bedtime was approaching and decided to get wild. Cheryl reports that dinnertime was a giant mess, as the girl scattered her food everywhere and insisted on trying to "feed" herself. Despite shorter naps and waking up earlier, she still managed to put off her bedtime until 9pm. Tomorrow, though, she'll be strapped in her carseat from ~7pm as we head to NJ.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Caroline was back to extra strength destroyer of worlds today. Cheryl took her to The Little Gym tonight, where she took the toys from all the other children. Here she's tearing through some dumplings and fortune cookies that supplemented her dinner. Afterwards, she managed to stay awake a good two hours past her normal bedtime, more than making up for yesterday's extra naps.

Monday, August 08, 2005

We had a completely different Caroline today. She woke up cranky and feverish, and remained lethargic and irritable all day. She was abnormally thirsty and her nose was a bit stuffy, so I'm thinking it's either a cold or rabies. Cheryl thinks it's a top tooth breaking through.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Caroline was off the charts with energy and happiness and rainbows today. Too bad Cheryl and I were not able to keep up. Our semi-organized living quarters have been thoroughly re-arranged by our master of entropy. Cheryl also helpfully taught her to climb the chairs in the kitchen - making my ability to run to the bathroom or to the downstairs laundry room when Cheryl is not home to help much more dangerous for Caroline.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Caroline had another busy Friday. We started with a trip to Costco, then to the play group, then to the grocery store, then to the mall this evening.

Despite the 90+ heat this afternoon, the play group decided to hit the park. While the parents talked, the children mostly played in the sandbox. By the end, all were covered in a well-earned layer of dirt and sweat. Caroline is pictured here in front of the Potts twins, Emma, and one of the Fernando boys.

Despite a late night at the game yesterday and a full day of activities today, our girl fought bedtime. In our end-of-the-week fatigue, she managed to hang with us in the living room until nearly 10 pm.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

We went to the Warthogs game with Emma, Nicole and Ben this evening. While the adults had a good time with Thirsty Thursday (dollar drafts), the wee ones got a chance to gossip about the goings on at the play group.

We could not not post this picture as well.

Caroline went to Aaron's to play in the wading pool with Aaron and Emma this afternoon. It was absurdly hot and humid, and Caroline and Emma seemed to enjoy themselves cooling off in the water. Aaron, on the other hand, appeared ready to kill the cameraman.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Caroline living dangerously, pushing her cart with her vision obscured by the bags, at the new supermarket section of the Children's Museum.

Caroline and Emma in the new supermarket section of the Children's Museum. There's plenty of opportunity for injury with scores of kids running around the three narrow aisles, pushing their metal carts. Also, these tasty looking plastic vegetables appear to be a wonderful way for the children to share their diseases. They can associate their sickness with Food Lion, the sponsor. (Besides all the canned and boxed items being the Food Lion brand, there's even a sign up saying "Food Lion is the Best Place to Shop". Subtle.) I can't wait for cold and flu season!

We went back to the Children's Museum today with Aaron and Emma. Here, Caroline is busy making the kitchen area resemble the one at home.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Caroline has been a bundle of energy the last two days. Cheryl and I are so very tired.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Caroline's working hard this morning.

Since October 1, 2004