This tidal wave of a week

What a strange week.

Mondays stomach bug gave free entry to the cold to end all colds. Tuesday brought an appetite, but also an empty fridge to fill on a workday. Wednesday the snow moved in canceling daycare for Caroline, granting Steve a working from home day for her Dad, and a 1/2 day for her Mother who really utilized the afternoon to snuggle under a blanket and watch a lot of Disney. Thursday brought the revelation that it was actually the last work day of the week and also a new job opp via some casual lunch time seminar networking (no details worth sharing yet) ironically on increasing caregiver happiness.

Today ushered in spontaneous songs by Caroline, namely this one.

"na, na, na... na, na, na... Elmo song." You Tube - you have done well. That little ditty we have watched on repeat of Elmo singing his song to Big Bird and Snuffy apparently had some staying power. Seriously adorable from the front seat on our way back from the pharmacy.

My nose is still dripping like a faucet and I hear that Mrs. C3 is still quite under the weather herself. BUT MRS. C3! Caroline has been sporting all three of her princess skirts! at once! There are even photos posted of the dress up fun. Also accept my apologies for bringing this plague of sickness upon your house, especially when it will put a damper on all the fun of your closing today! CONGRATS LADY!!!

Birthday videos en route...

Helping a senior find resources? Or randomly pulling sheets to scatter
about mommy's office? School was cancelled so I've got her here as
long as I can mentally handle it!

The roads are terrible down here!

Birthday and Birthday

Birthday.

There were streamers and fish sticks. There were smiles and laughs. There were some tears too. There was a sweet little birthday party.

It began a bit rough when our birthday girl decided that she her regularly scheduled nap was somehow mysteriously optional. Both she and C3 Family Christian opted out of naps and trust me when I say that you would never have even known that they were utterly exhausted until they both fell asleep at 6pm. Caroline sported a bit of eau de overwhelmed clingy when she walked downstairs to find the grandfolks and some friends all waiting for her. It was a simple little get together (helped along very generously by the skills of both Kiki and Nana). Caroline and Christian had a blast playing with the balloons we had blown up for the ceiling. We had great luck with the Balloon Time One Time Use Helium Canister. I found it at BJs and it worked great, nearly 50 balloons full and on the ceiling! One caution is NOT to blow up the balloons the night before. Sunday morning we awoke to a sea of balloons on the floor, which was fun for kicking, but would have made me cry on Saturday. The birthday girl blew out her candles with the assistance of her Papa. Mom and Dad were trying to capture it through digital media. I’d say we caught it – the photos are up – you can be the judge.

We are so thankful have an amazing extended family who not only come all the way to us for these celebrations, but who also bring along such yummy additions. It was so nice to see little Zach who it is hard to believe is 7 months old and sitting up solo. Christian is so smart and such a ball of polite energy. Marc, Kelly and the baby entourages – thanks for coming by. It really means the world to us.

It feels strange to have already celebrated Caroline’s birthday. She doesn’t officially turn 2 until the 4th, but she will have to contend with the Super Bowl from now until eternity and unless we are living much closer to more of the family I suspect we’ll be celebrating early or late. Which is better? Someone else is going to have a similar conundrum;

Birthday.

Little Daniel Nolan, born early Monday morning to Sean and Courtney three weeks early. CONGRATS to the new parents!!! Please send photos soon!!! Yes Steve, all your friends’ sons at high school graduations and confirmations to come will inevitably hit on your daughter. It will be hysterically funny.

Maybe you saw my twitter on Sunday night about Caroline thinking that their baby was a boy – maybe you thought – is this an announcement? Silly twitter. People, I would hope I would have a much better way of making news that big public. =) Funny though!

Sunday evening brought the telltale signs of a cold. I acted quickly taking Zicam and Emergen-C. I woke up with a stomach bug, the very same stomach bug I had last year pre-Mexico. WHy don't they make a Zicam for that? It was so eerily similar that I would have thought I had been transported back in time 11 months except this time I had a pint sized nurse standing next to me patting my shoulder telling me it was ok while I hurled my guts out. So – yay – stomach bug. Steve’s day was understandably too crazy to allow for an early dismissal, so Caroline and I were left to our own sick day devices, which meant lots of Disney, sharing saltines, and naps. Steve came home and announced that he was getting sick too, but thankfully with the cold and not the double whammy I got hit with. He means well, but his suggestion for me to have some chowder yesterday almost made me throw up on the phone. I could barely keep the crackers and ginger ale down at that point. I did manage to get a quick shower and by quick I mean I got out after about 45 seconds because I thought I was going to lose all the crackers and ginger ale and the thought of having to clean vomit out of the tub only made it all the worse.

Feeling 100% better in the belly department today. Feeling 100% worse in the drippy nose and cough department this morning. I’ll take it to not feel my gut cramping into telltale you’re going to ralph form. So we’re sick. I am hoping hoping hoping that NOONE else gets this – how guilty would I feel?!?!?

Thanks for coming and hoping you didn't take any germy parting gifts home with you!

Enjoying, annoyed by, stressing about...

Enjoying…

Pandora Radio
Working on Staff Directory for our elderly volunteers (why do I enjoy this???)
The last of the clementine crate
Slowly re reading The Year of Magical Thinking when my lame work computer freezes
THRIDAY
Thinking about Caroline’s Birthday Extravaganza

Annoyed by…

Budget Meeting during Staff Meeting
Coworkers who repeatedly request staff directory and yet are unwilling to do it
Loud discussion in main hall about cell phone minutes

Stressing about…

The party details – do we have enough forks? I forgot to count our white mugs! What can I get done early in the day? How many times will I have to vacuum in the next 48 hours? Will she freak when we sing happy birthday? Do I have candles? Shoot I have to run to Target to get those photos!

It is Thriday. I am so excited for our little girl’s second birthday party and yet I am reluctant to accept that she is about to be two, that I will answer how old is she with a year and not months. We looked back at some very early photos of Caroline to put by the cake and could not get over how much she has changed and yet, how she remains very much the same. (you can experience the same yourself by peeking back at her photos link) This weekend is sure to be full of moments we'll freeze into our parental memories and tuck away. When in doubt of our memory's ability to properly shepherd these memories, well, that is what we have multiple cameras (and photographers) for. I often worry that perhaps I care too much, that I emphasize these details more than I should. I look to Steve to be my barometer.

This morning my gauge drove to a mall 20 minutes out of his way, far closer to my parents than to our home, to select an appropriate princess worthy outfit for his daughter to wear. My Steve likes a bargain and he loathes spending more than he deems appropriate (eg. Jeans in Steve’s world should cost 20.00. Not Caroline’s jeans. Adult jeans. Yup!). He completely splurged on Caroline’s birthday party wardrobe. Clearly there are many other ways to show people you love them – and we practice those everyday – but when Steve goes out and spends with wreck less abandon, well – that’s when you know it is really important to him. Before you get to thinking that Caroline will be sporting a pageant gown, she won’t be, but it is a special little outfit that under normal circumstances we would not have purchased. When we were comparing choices last night he said, “this one is way nicer,” without even flinching that it cost double the next best option. So Caroline, when you look back at the photos of this day, at that carefully selected dress with the cake smeared all over it, at your unending smile and the smiles of those you bring such immense joy to, I hope you remember that your Daddy got you that special dress because he wanted you to feel like the beautiful princess you absolutely are and always will be to him.

Pull ups and Party Prep

Thanks to the recs here and with the Beanies I stopped on my way home yesterday to pick up some pull-ups. Caroline was delighted that they featured Dora and I crossed my fingers at bedtime that they would both fit well and stay put. Sure enough about 30 minutes post goodnight kiss Caroline was still awake, unzipped, hand under onesie rubbing belly, BUT the Pull-up was in place. She immediately sat up declaring “full dipey.” This is such a stall tactic, I know this, but I cannot help reinforce that she doesn’t like the feeling of wetness. New Pull-up in place, zippered up sleeper and she was out cold shortly thereafter. I retucked her as we made our way upstairs to find her once again hugging George tightly. She unzipped herself at some point this morning, but that Pull-up was still in place and both she and her sheets were dry. So eureka. Why didn’t I think of this???

Party preparations continue. I am scoping out some things over my lunch hour this afternoon. My goal was to be relaxed and as laid back as possible about this birthday, while still making it special and fun for her. I have somehow held myself back from going completely overboard, which is way harder than I thought it would be. Our theme lends itself to many crazy time consuming crafty things and I have had to keep my fingers busy at night drinking wine and eating chocolate dipped Madeline cookies. Seriously BJ’s why must your bakery torture me so? With my total lack of craftiness I am trying to make a case for one spendy feature. The debate continues.

Winter Weekend at home - unplanned

It is amazing the things you can accomplish when you are home for an entire weekend, particularly when you hadn’t planned on being home. The whole New England and winter thing caught us a bit off guard and so we had 48 hours (Steve doesn’t get MLK off) together at home. Not sure what you do with found time, but this is what we did.

Saturday –

… headed west early to pick-up Caroline's Birthday Present; a Cozy Coupe in excellent condition. It still needs a little TLC before her party this weekend, but half the price of brand new= awesome. We had a little convo en route about “what to expect when you arrive at craigslister’s home?” “Friendly?” “Sketchy?” The answer my friends was “Sketchy.” We pulled into the driveway, rang the doorbell, and minutes (entire MINUTES) later the garage door opened up and an adult male handed over the coupe in response to a woman screaming “Michael!” from upstairs. I think the condition of the Coupe cancels the sketch level. Also – yes, we are giving our daughter an outdoor toy in the dead of winter. Why? is that strange??

… being out in a neck of the woods we were completely unfamiliar with and needing some lunchtime sustenance we set the GPS for a mall. Since the Coupe was taking up the trunk we hadn’t brought along the stroller and this meant we needed to “rent” one of the mall cars. Thank goodness they have these, I cannot imagine how we could have managed the mall with Caroline minus a stroller. She enjoyed the novelty of it and Steve enjoyed the ability to act like he was driving, complete with swerving and brake noises. We were quite the sight.

… the food court was so amazing that we saw a birthday party set up. (You know I had to figure out the birthday party plan and Steve deduced that the girls had gone to Build-a- Bear, conveniently located off the food court, had a pizza lunch, cake and ice cream.) After our family had a little lunch, Caroline FINALLY got to stretch her legs and play in the great mall playscape. Steve couldn’t get over that I was going to let her go for it alone, especially when there were so many kids, but she held her own as she went down the slide over and over and over again. Each time she reached the top she would seek us out to make sure we were watching, so cute. We were impressed that she did not push, waited her turn patiently to go down the slide, and was able to reconfigure her plan when kids would climb up the slide of her choice. SPEAKING OF – what gives parents?!? Your kids should not be CLIMBING UP a slide. Seriously!?!?!? There was of course one child completely out of control, jumping on other children, from the equipment, and basically behaving badly. His mom took him out only to bring him back minutes later. Steve’s direct quote was “if that kid touches her again, I am going to punch him in the face.” I had to laugh at that one, until I realized he was completely S.E.R.I.O.U.S.

… TWO STORY CAROUSEL. It was Caroline’s first ever ride and so you know I had to make sure she got on a horse that went up and down. She loved it. All day when she looked at her little horse hand stamp she would tell us, “horsey!” “up and down!” Why doesn’t my local mall have a two-story carousel???

Sunday –

…yet another snow event. I prepared for Caroline’s birthday party this weekend by writing a lot of lists. I rethought our little not lunch, not dinner menu. I attempted to make a fishing net out of twine. FAIL and please don't ask.

… Caroline woke up from her nap with a completely dry diaper. So I plunked her down in her potty seat with some juice, some goldfish, and Mickey. Lo and behold there was tinkling/peeing/whatever it is you personally might call urine and did we make a BIG DEAL out of that. There were M&Ms, calls to Nana and Kiki, hooting and hollering, high fives. She hasn’t done it since, but what a huge moment. Our short-lived potty interest from the summer appears to be returning.

… AND THEN it sounded like ice falling off the roof or a train headed directly at our house. A pipe burst in the crawl space beneath the addition. Nice. Wonderful. It was a miracle that Steve was able to locate the until now unknown shut off for that particular pipe that supplies water from the house proper to the backyard off the addition. Thankfully it is just that one pipe and the plumber lives around the corner. Not looking forward to paying for that new pipe BUT very excited about getting a new faucet out back. We are waiting until things start to thaw to get him back to do the work since the pipe is solid ice right now.

… Caroline followed me around during this water emergency nervously trying to figure out why her mother was screaming “WATER,” and why her father was racing to the basement to turn the water off/”wa wa off.” I managed to get to the phone and call the plumber. I believe my exact words were, “pipe burst, under the house, lots of water, crawl space, can’t turn it off, Chris lives around the corner from us.” Click. Caroline spent the next 20 minutes saying “outside?” “wa wa off?”

Special treat on Monday was lunch with LILO. Caroline ate very little, played with all Ethan's toys and books and decided that she didn’t really want to share her mommy’s lap. She also saw a photo from the Loban nuptials and declared to one and all that it was "Da-dee!" Sorry Steve. Ethan was such a contented happy eater and I was astonished to feel the strength in those little legs as he pulled himself up to standing. Amazing. It’s always nice to talk with down to earth Amanda about all things mom and non-mom related. Such a breath of fresh air. We’ll host the next one!

And because I cannot post something this large without a cute Caroline story, allow me to share her latest bedtime activity – unzipping herself and opening or removing her diaper. What fun!!!! Steve had to deal with a wet mess the first time and last night I had to nearly wake her to put her diaper back on and zip her up. I hated to move her because she was snuggling so adorably with George. The ladies of the beanie board have spoken – pull-ups at night. Brilliant. Wonder what the little minx will think of that!

what was your most important day?

There are some days that define us more than others. While I would wish outwardly that I could be characterized by a sunny lingering day spent lazily in a beach chair, my high-strung inner self could not tolerate sitting still for that long. I have been fortunate enough to have had days that most would categorize as important; graduation, wedding, signing a purchase and sale, the birth of a baby. Though important days, these days did not define that inner nervous self that I often find when I look inside my head.

It was July 10th, 2007. We parked, gathered our belongings, and hesitantly moved towards the entrance of an unfamiliar office building. Steve, my husband, punched in a new code we would now have to master and the door opened on a bright, noisy world. The baby in my arms, just five months old, suddenly felt like a part of my own body; her tiny arm fused to my shoulder. We counted the rooms. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Here we were, opening the little latched half door, walking into a small foreign space, saying hello to two young women we had never met. I instantly wished that I had been able to face this day weeks earlier and meet these caregivers, size them up, and find their faults to give me a reason to declare that “no, absolutely not, there was no way I was leaving my precious baby girl here.” It was too late for those declarations now and besides, they actually seemed nice. I felt cornered, pressured, and unwillingly moved towards the corner of the room where her portable crib would be placed.

That’s when I really took notice of the commotion. How would my darling ever sleep with this racket? Almost sensing my own thoughts someone said, “she’ll get used to the noise.”

Why should she? Why should she get used to this? Why couldn’t she just stay with me? She couldn’t. I was on my way to my first day of work in as many months as she was old and they would be expecting me soon, without her.

“Here, say goodbye to Daddy.” The fused limb suddenly detached and her body traveled to her father.

Eyes pooling, I blinked upwards to the ceiling before reclaiming my daughter, realizing that the fused limb was in actuality my own vice grip.

“We call her Caro.”

A cascade of teardrops began to fall from my eyes.

Then Sara, “Call as many times as you want to.”

We walked away from her and I felt my heart sink with each step. This didn’t feel real. This couldn’t be real. I was leaving Caroline with strangers. For God’s sake didn’t anyone else realize how outrageous this was? Would they know to bounce her? Would they be kind to her? Would she even miss me?

The day we brought my daughter Caroline to her first day of childcare was the most important day of my life. I didn’t know it then, but in the days and weeks that followed I would become more than just me; more than a mother, more than a wife, more than a professional. I would become a better version of myself.

As I was growing, Caroline also became a better version of herself. It seems surprising to me even now when she spontaneously identifies her eye or begins singing the alphabet song that I quietly smile and thank day care in my head. These strangers have been wonderful to her and they have unwittingly become a part of our extended family. Could she have learned her body parts with me? Of course she could have, but I know in my gut and deep within my soul that her daycare experience, while not always puppies and sunshine, has been a tool for her to grow and learn and become herself.

I hadn’t planned on her day care being an education for me as well, but nonetheless, it has been. Bringing her to school that day marked a new phase of my life. On my most important day, I came to realize that to calm that jittery inner self I first needed to take a leap in not defining myself by Caroline.

For her entire five months, I had defined my day by her schedule, my mood by her mood, my success as a parent by her milestones, and my happiness by hers alone. After all that time how could I go back to being me? I didn’t know who I was if I was not her mother. My existence was based solely and completely on her. Somewhere along the way I had lost myself.

July 10th, 2007 I let go of that scary grip I seemed to be holding her in and began to share her with the world. That first letting go moment when we drove away and left her was tearfully the beginning of the most important day of my life. It was the first day that I felt like I mattered as me, not just as Caroline’s mother. It was and will be the last morning that I ever feel defined by someone else.

another week... another weekend on the road.


It was the weekend of the shower! I spent Saturday afternoon at my neighbor Ann’s baby shower. She was positively glowing in blue and I hope she won’t mind me posting a photo of the adorable baby sock corsage they made for her. SUCH A CUTE IDEA!

Tom was able to make it up from Virginia for the occasion and I was struck by how excited he seems for his son (Tommy) to arrive. They had decided to start the shower earlier given the snow moving in and by the time we hit the road at 2:30 there was already snow on the ground. So thanks Ann for the head start – about an hour in we were ahead of the snow. I tracked it like a crazy woman on weatherunderground via iPhone. It was awesome I tell you.

We had a lovely pounded chicken farewell dinner for Auntie C who leaves for Oregon at the end of this week. 12 weeks!! I hope it was clear to her how proud of her we are, how much we will all miss her, and how much we love her. Seems like she’s got a plan though – her calendar of visitors or visits to others living out that way appears to be quite full AND she gets to go and meet DOOCE in Portland on her book tour. I am fully expecting the customary colleen self pic! No excuses!!!

On Sunday afternoon Kiki and I made our way to Courtney’s baby shower. It was a lovely afternoon and it was so nice to catch up with some friends up that way. I was even inspired to pick up some Rotell for Caroline’s birthday shin dig. I was struck by an emotional pang as I hugged Courtney and Sean goodbye, how characteristically Kerri (har har). It’s hard being this far away when things like this are happening up north. I am very much looking forward to there being another baby at the beach this summer. By summer 2010 Caroline and Baby M will be holding hands and jumping waves… well – maybe 2011, but SOON ENOUGH!

Back at the ranch things seem to be back to normal. I had a really lovely day with Caroline yesterday. There were so few meltdowns and NOT ONE time out. We didn’t make it to our Library group – grocery shopping proved a bit more time consuming than I budgeted, but that was really ok. Caroline helped me put the groceries away, clean a rotisserie chicken (mostly she put the meat in the gladware), we made airplanes from blocks and snowmen from play doh, and we watched Ariel. I had her entertained until about 4 when we collapsed under a blanket on the couch and enjoyed some Curious George.

Is there ANYTHING in this world better than snuggling with your toddler? Of course, my toddler likes to lift the corner of your shirt to touch your tummy, but I think this makes it that much better. After such a pleasant day we were so content sitting under that blanket together. I got drunk on the absolute goodness of this life we have. It only got better when Steve got home and Caroline ran to him announcing to us “Da-dee home. Da-dee home.” You would have thought he had been away for weeks and not the workday. We made her a grilled cheese knowing she would not approve of the crock pot roast, but she enjoyed the plain ol’ bread and butter more. Who doesn’t love that Bummel and Brown Spread? I taught her how to somersault. I saw myself reflected in her eyes. I held her close and begged her to never change. It was a day.

"Santa coming" ummm. no.

Thriday never felt so strange. How could it possibly compete with the recent Thriday Christmas and Thriday New Year? Sadly, my day tomorrow will not include sleeping in with the whole fam watching Blue’s Clues. It WILL however involve a much-needed Caroline and Mommy day, which we will kick off with the newly rescheduled Friday Toddler Time at our Library. We missed it on Monday as we packed ourselves up and located Mack’s earplugs for post surgical tubs, water fights, and dips in the frigid surf with Papa come summertime.

Sure, I have to pack up a bit on Friday per usual, but that won’t stop us from enjoying some special Caro and Mommy time. Maybe we’ll meet Daddy for lunch? Or get ice cream sundaes? Or watch Belle and brush each other’s hair? Truth be told, I love having a little girl.

We are heading north on Saturday afternoon. There is a hmmm… get together? on Sunday (which I am not sure I can discuss? Can I?) & a very special bon voyage to Auntie C who leaves for the west coast on business for twelve weeks on January 17th. We are so proud of her, but we will really miss having her on this side of the world.

Before we hit the parkway I’ll be helping to shower my neighbor Ann who is due with their son Tommy in just over a month. Time has flown by (at least it feels that way watching her pregnancy from a distance) and I cannot imagine that there will be another baby on the street soon!

Caroline did really well at school yesterday, which was an amazing relief since it was her first day back on their schedule in two weeks AND she was just 24 hours post op. It’s true. Kids relish a set schedule. There were days we were home with her that we couldn’t get her to nap until nearly 2pm, but at school - BANG - out at noon. I won’t complain, I know how fortunate we are to have caregivers who offer such a consistent daily routine.

Steve is waiting to hear about a potential office change that will put his new home office right down the street. AMEN. Poor guy has been hiking it over 30 minutes north for quite some time now and it would be just splendid to have him closer to home (not to mention as a helper with the day care dropping off and picking up). So let’s all cross our fingers that it works out for him.

Post holiday life is kind of boring in comparison isn’t it? We are still trying to explain that yes, Santa is coming, but he won’t be here for another 11 months and that yes, he likes cookies, but leaving them out for him now would make them awfully hard by the time he got here to sample them. January is a tough month isn’t it??? So we decided to give people something to look forward to and host a little second birthday party for Caroline at the end of the month. Plans are in the works for a cute theme of course and I am busy thinking of ways to transform the house in a way that will thrill our toddler. We’re in Caroline’s 24th month (eek!) and I swear I have a new set of photos coming. Hard to imagine that she has been here for almost two years, that last year this time we were thinking about weaning, moving to a sippy, wondering when she would walk. Time slips by.

Tubes - the epic

Just when we were set to get back to normal, wouldn’t you know an ice storm hits? Caroline’s day care actually had a two hour delay this morning, so we went to my office for about 90 minutes to wait it out before attempting to shuffle her through the rain and ice to school. What a change in the year since winter weather or a fever brought her to my office! She was amusing herself playing with a broken office phone, coloring in her coloring books, enjoying snacks that did not come from my body, and flirting with every single senior brave enough to drive in.

When we pulled up to school she started shouting “Sara!” “Sonny!” “Nickle!” She cruised right on into her classroom and as soon as her coat was hung she was involved in a brutal pulling match with Julianna over a doll stroller. No yelling, no hitting, no “MY STROLLER” even, just a pulling back and forth and a perplexed look. It took me nearly an hour to do the round trip with the weather out there, but I cannot fathom getting any real work completed with her here AND I also cannot imagine paying for yet another day that she won’t be there. Our nice little family holiday time cost us approximate 300 bucks.

Let’s talk about those tubes shall we???

We arrived in MA on Monday night around 9:30. We had traveled with her in her pjs and scooped our sleeping beauty right into her bed at Kiki and Papa’s. We were out of the house and en route around 6:30 and arrived at ambulatory services before our assigned 7:35 arrival time. Kiki had offered to come with us and we were happy to have the company. Caroline was a champ in every sense of the word. She allowed the bracelet placement, the blood pressure monitor, the heart rate monitor on her thumb, and even a wardrobe change into the cutest pair of scrub pants which thanks to Keeks we have at home in our pj drawer. I elected to be the parent to go into the OR with her and I was really glad they had prepped me ahead of time.

I should say here just how pleased I am that we opted to drive all the way to Boston for this. From start to finish the ENT team was wonderful and though I did have some "what kind of a crazy mom am I to drive her up here for silly tubes" thoughts leading up to the occasion, all that melted away as soon as we arrived. From the toys in the waiting room (we'll overlook the TERRIBLE Television that barely came in) to the baskets of books and amusements in surgical triage I reminded myself that there had been a reason we had chosen so long ago to seek out care at Children's. Sure, there was the not so nice lady at the last appointment and there was a miscommunication about whether or not Caroline had in fact had a dose of Tylenol pre-op, but all of that matters little when I can contentedly reflect on her overall experience and how pleasant and easy it all was for her. Maybe I am just a hospital snob (I totally am), but I really feel that we made the right choice for Caroline.

So - prepped and ready. I now know what a husband feels like donning scrubs and a silly hat to head into a c-section. That is to say - you do not notice the outfit at all.

We chose Strawberry flavored anesthesia on Caroline’s behalf and after just a couple tries and some being given to her Curious George she accepted its placement over her nose and mouth. Within 30 seconds she was limp in my arms, her legs extending, and breathing low and labored. Kissing her goodbye was tough, but I felt secure that she was in good hands and would be back in mine soon enough.

The procedure went well and I would guess that we were in with her about 30 minutes later. Our recovery nurse asked if she was always this good-natured before sharing that after a brief wake up Caroline had rolled over onto her belly, stuck her tush into the air, found her thumb and went back to sleep. That’s Caroline.

Recovery went well, she snuggled with me under some blankets and drank an entire cup and a half of juice before we got her dressed in comfy pjs and got the ok to go home. She was doing great until she vomited all over herself at the Route 20 exit in Waltham. We pulled over and I hopped in back. She was sick twice more and I had completely run out of blankets and towels to catch it in by the time we got back to Kiki’s house. (we had to learn how to clean the carseat at some point right?!) She is her mother’s daughter, “don’t talk to me, just hold my hand.” We distracted her with the horse farms on the way home to try to keep her awake, but even horsies were not impressive enough to make her smile. But then, just like that she was better. She requested “more cookies,” ate a light lunch, and was running around asking Kiki where the tree went in no time. She slept most of the way home and when we pulled into the driveway it was as if we were arriving home from a regular weekend away. She ate a good dinner, watched a couple movies, and she hit the hay pretty much on time.

We are so proud of how she handled the procedure and how easy the recovery seems to be, except of course for the dreaded ear drops which I have decided must be made of acid given her reaction. No amount of pretending to put them in mommy and daddy’s ears seems to help.

We are ever so grateful for Kiki. She always asks the right questions we don’t think to ask, preps us for what to expect, and provides comfort to our little girl. What a blessing in our life. With her help we were able to get her into nice dry pjs and clean up the vomit covered blankets and clothing AND car seat underpad before heading home. Thanks for being there!!!

"hello?" pronounced "he-woah"

2 hr delay at day care so she's answering phones while we wait

"home"

We're resting with kiki. There was puking en route and some sadness,
but also "horsies." watching George. Attempting fluids later.

Tubes: check

She's all done. A bit groggy but a total champ. This photo is pre
surgery. On our way to kiki and papa's.

a long overdue update

I feel like I haven't posted in WEEKS. Sure, you've seen some on the fly photos with mistyped captions, but it's not quite the same is it?

We hope that everyone had a great New Years! We celebrated in Nashville with the Albennys and Marc's sister at the Opryland Hotel. For the first time ever we exchanged puzzled looks when the NYC ball came down and we still had an hour to go. I guess I never stopped to consider other time zones and what they do after the NYC ball drops. Weird.

We've been enjoying some rest and relaxation since picking Caroline up from her stay at Chateau Nana and Granda. Speaking of the grandparents, they really enjoyed their time with her. Every morning when I called to check in Caroline was happily playing after a wonderful night's sleep. She did not want to talk to me and apparently didn't really miss us, which is a good thing I suppose. Each night when I called to see how the day went my parents sounded happy to have her and were completely unfrazzled. It definitely made it easy to enjoy our little getaway.

And enjoy we did! On Tuesday night Steve could not get me to leave The Stage because the band kept playing great tune after great tune. Who could actually leave while they were playing Summer of 69? or The Gambler? WHO???? Not this girl. Marc's right though, Roberts was better. Cover bands are awesome, but a guy who says "praise the lord, amen" before flipping off the crowd is something you can only see on Broadway in Nashville, TN. Roberts was really great though... lots of Johnny Cash and totally authentic. The regulars could not have been less pleased to see us walk in the door. We did get to meet the Aponavicius clan there and they were all super nice. Steve loved that.

The game - we all know how it went - that is to say not well. BUT WE WERE THERE and that was pretty insane, despite the unbelievable COLD. I cannot believe I am saying this, but I would ABSOLUTELY go to another bowl game with Steve. It was really nice to do a quick getaway, it was fun to be there just us, and it was a great time. So thanks Marc and Kelly for the invite to come join in the festivities. When Caroline is old enough it would be a really great thing to do with the whole fam. Great all around. Just great!

So what's new???

Tubes on Tuesday - I get the call on Monday telling me what time her procedure is and what time we need to be there. I removed her flip flop earrings tonight before her bath. She was more confused than upset, but they were on there nice and tight so it took a little tugging. That was reassuring. I can't wait to get them back in her ears.

"The End" (says it at the end of books before she closes them OR in the middle when she is all done)

"Yeah, Okay" (realized today that Steve and I say it ALL THE TIME!)

"Wait" (with finger pointed while she runs back to get more "hot dogs" for Daddy)

and speaking of hot dogs - she makes them constantly in her little kitchen and makes sure to put "katchip" on them

"H,I,J,K,Lenemmopee"

Pouring water into a cup from her pretend faucet - "wa wa" and then demanding people or stuffed animals "DRINK!"

"Where'd she go" When kitty runs away from her

"I want Daddy" (Alternatively, "I want Mommy" when some unspeakable act like a diaper change or tub disrobing is administered)

"Airplane!"

"What should we build with these amazing blocks?" "HOUSE" or "Airplane"

"Belle"

"Belle"

"Belle"

"Eloise" (we just started reading it)

"Paint"

and empathy all over the place. If she hits you with a book while forcing you to sleep and you say ow she kisses your forehead. If she drops a doll she holds them close and asks them "okay?" and my fav - "my turn" and "your turn" and an understanding of the word "SHARE."

She's blowing our minds. We are so proud of her and so thankful for all this really incredible time we have been able to spend as a family. Getting back to work this week is going to be rough.