Time outs lead to cookies?

Can I devote some time to sharing the absolute cuteness that is TJ? Tasha and Tony’s son TJ is so sweet, with an easygoing temperament, and contagiously smiley eyes. We had such a nice brunch with them at Tasha’s parents’ home in Western MA on Sunday. Caroline entertained all by retreating to “TJ’s” room repeatedly to bring out many stuffed creatures and spinning. We even caught her singing a song eerily similar to the Alphabet Song. There were definitely some honest to goodness letters in there, she had the tune right, but attempts to recreate this have been less than successful. It was so wonderful to see Tasha and her family. They are clearly doing an amazing job as parents and seem so comfortable and confident in their new roles. Hoping we can plan another meeting of the fams in the fall!

Yesterday Caroline and I met up with Marybeth and her baby girl Julia. I could not get over how many similarities there were feature wise to her older sister Emma! Such a doll face, so happy & so in love with her Mommy. Mary looks great and it had been way way too long since we had caught up. Catching up can be challenging when you’ve got a baby and a toddler in tow, but we managed just fine. I particularly loved her Emma stories about how she likes to be a “girl” wearing ponytails & how she announced to a party after some one on one discipline that she was “embarrassing.” HA! Sassy, just like Mary! Though the husbands will be less than thrilled, the outlets we met at are practically smack dab between our homes and we foresee future catching up trips there. SO GOOD to see Mary and very much looking forward to our holiday outlet shopping!

I tucked a cranky mctiredson into her carseat for the ride home and she instead proceeded to drink her entire cup of water and giggle the whole hour home doing patty cake and dancing to silly music. We did not pass go, we did not collect 200.00, we went right up to her bedroom, snuggled, spoke quietly, BUT she just smiled up at me with wide-open eyes. She silently agreed to some quiet time in her crib, but as I heard from the office she was nowhere near sleeping. After about 30 minutes her quiet play went from giggles and sing songy gibberish to whining and then tears and after a decent amount of that - I retrieved her. It was too hot to be outside and too far into a non-napping afternoon to chance an outing. We watched a bit of a movie (ended in disaster when she raced over to the DVD player and started pushing random buttons), we played with blocks (disaster stuck again when I attempted to assist her in building a tower), we made Duplo helicopters (melt down when whirly copter piece would not stay in place), we hid out in an old diaper box (until she went to get in and fell into the side), and then she began to test my patience. There was hitting, head butting, and my own personal favorite – the digging of the nails into my soft mid section. Despite what felt like constant redirection, explanations of how this hurt Mommy, and ignoring her dramatic overtired fits of throwing herself on the floor - she was getting on my very last nerve. It took just one more stomach grab with a devilish grin for me to firmly place her on the second step for a one-minute time out, which honestly we both needed.

I explained that she was hurting Mommy, that this was not appropriate behavior and she would sit here for one minute. She shocked me by actually sitting still, she didn’t move, though she did start smiling at me and trying to get my attention about 30 seconds in. In that minute as I watched the stove timer tick down I was able to take a deep breath and come up with a new plan to distract her.

We made from scratch cookies! After a meltdown over an apron being placed on her body (oh the humanity!) which I thought she would have loved (and I ultimately won that battle by the way) she was standing on a chair wrist deep in cookie dough. We made Sour Cream Cookies – a recipe that my mother often made for me when I was her age. They are soft, mild, and make just enough to keep a toddlers attention. Caroline helped me pour in the ingredients, watched me mix them up, declined to hold the mixer, and then pretended to plop spoonfuls onto the greased cookie sheets. I let her lick the beaters. I explained that these were the cookies we had made and I captured her first bite on film. Cookies and clean up took up about 45 minutes. Steve wasn’t due home for an hour and half. One more stomach skin ripping grab resulted in an all on assault on those blasted nails which she has been super resistant to and the complete injustice of nail clipping sent her into a sleep inducing tailspin --- at 5:15. Of course.

We woke her about 20 minutes later with some grapes and it was an early easy bedtime last night. Good thing too since I felt just about ready for bed myself.
Thank God for those cookies.

Also -

Happy SECOND ANNIVERSARY to McCashew! I can't believe that two years ago I typed my first entry about how we were having a cashew, complete with photo of belly pointing and all. So much has changed in those two years and I never would have imagined that this blog would still exist or that it would become such an important part of my daily life. I am fast at work created a hard copy version of the blog - a snazzy one with a hard cover and photos - it would be nice to have each year of Caroline's life chronicled somewhere that isn't at the mercy of Google's servers. Second anniversary is cotton - so sorry Steve - I think I am giving myself permission to find something adorable in cotton in celebration of this momentous occasion.


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