Thursday, June 27, 2013

Like Auntie, Like Niece

Oh, hi. We went to the beach weeks ago, and my daughter and my sister made fools out of themselves along the way. And I've been meaning to post the pictures of it, because what kind of mother/sister would I be if I didn't show it to anyone who might want to see it, for all of us to giggle over publicly?

 Framers. All of them.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Obligatory Sleep Post

If you were to take my camera, flip through the thousands* of pictures of Brigid and Caitlin that are currently on it, you would come to two conclusions. One, that Brigid is a handful. And two, that Caitlin does nothing but sleep.

On conclusion number one, you'd be right. Case in point? Yesterday's post. That picture of Brigid getting all attitude-y on me? I have many, many, MANY more of those at my disposal, because that girl spends MOST of her time getting attitude-y on me. Especially when the camera comes out.

But conclusion number two? Well, that one, sadly, couldn't be further from the truth. This nap?
It lasted 15 minutes, at the most. In fact, a majority of Caitlin's naps last about 15-20 minutes at the most. Coming from the land of Brigid, where naps generally hit a minimum of two hours, I do not approve of a baby that only sleeps 40 minutes a day. On a good day.
And at night? When you'd expect her to make up for her terrible daytime behavior? Well...

She could definitely be worse. But she does this thing, where she'll sleep through until 7-8am one night, then wake up between 4am and 6am the next two or three nights, like she's a sleep-storing camel that managed to bank enough good hours to hold her over for the rest of the week. And as I am not such a camel, I'm not such a fan of this practice, either.

This is one of the few times I actually think I'm looking forward to her teenaged days, because I am going to screw with her SO HARD at 6am every weekend...

(WHY DOES SHE NOT LIKE TO SLEEP?!?!? LOOK HOW CUTE SHE IS WHEN SHE DOES IT!! I swear, if she could just SEE how absolutely adorable she is when she's sleeping, she'd want to do it more often.)

*Yes, thousands. I really need to get those off of my phone and backed up on something a little more reliable, and less likely to get stolen or misplaced, don't I?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Discipline. (I don't know how it works.)

I have this kid, see? And she is smart. She's adorable and funny and silly, and she's just too smart for her own good. And I don't know what to do with her right now.

Lately, this kid (we'll call her Brigid) has been testing her boundaries with me in ways that I wasn't expecting until she was a teenager, when I assumed she'd start telling me she was going to a friend's house, so she could go somewhere else to meet up with some boy or something. But she's not a teenager, and yet...the other night? She waited until she thought Steve and I were asleep to sneak into our room with her flashlight, hoping to find an iPad to take back to bed with her. You know, so she could stay up all night to watch her shows, even though she's probably seen each one a million and a half times. And when I 'woke up' and caught her?

She pretended that she had come into our room, at 11 o'clock at night, to grab the rubber band that was sitting on my nightstand.

(For those of you keeping track at home, she's smart enough to lie to me, but not smart enough to realize I wasn't born yesterday. When she does realize that I'm smarter than I look? I might be in serious trouble.)

This isn't the first time she's snuck out of her room to find the iPad we've taken with us after letting her play with it for a few minutes before bed. Several times, when I've checked on her before heading to bed myself, I've found her asleep with on next to her.

She talks back to us. She does the opposite of what we tell her to do, every time we tell her to do something. She won't stay in her bed, ever, when she's supposed to be going to sleep. She won't clean up after herself, or help us when we ask for help, or even take herself potty (which she did at school ALL OF THE TIME!!!) without a meltdown of epic proportions. And I can't help but wonder how much of this is just typical toddler behavior and how much of it is OMG WE'RE RAISING DEMON SPAWN DOWN HERE IN GEORGIA SEND HELP NOW!!!

So. Discipline. She needs it. And I need to figure out how it works. I have some vague thoughts of behavior charts and consistent punishments and all sorts of things that I think will make both my husband and my mother-in-law (who will be responsible for enforcing these new rules with me) hate me forever, but that's about as far as I am right now.

She doesn't look worried, does she?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Flower Girl

My brother-in-law got married this past weekend,* and he and his fiancee had asked Brigid at least a year ago to be their flower girl. While I thought was sweet of them to ask at the time, especially when I saw how excited Brigid was about the whole idea of wearing a pretty dress and carrying flowers around with her everywhere, I was nothing less than terrified at the prospect of keeping my can-sometimes-be-a-'handful' toddler under control for the day of the wedding, once that day finally arrived.

The ceremony was about 40 minutes away from our house, and while my husband and the rest of his family spent the night before the big day in a hotel near the wedding venue, I took Brigid and Caitlin home after the rehearsal, hoping I could get Brigid a better night sleep in her own bed than I could in a strange hotel room where a majority of her favorite people would be spending their time. And that would have been an excellent plan, had it not involved my child, who apparently doesn't need sleep anymore. It was close to midnight when I went to check on her before I went to bed, and she was still awake.

See? Terrified.

I let her sleep until the absolute last moment before we had to leave the next morning, so she still got a good 9+ hours of sleep in for herself, but then when we tried to get her to take a nap a few hours later, knowing she'd be exhausted by the time we walked down the aisle at 7:30? No dice. She wanted in her dress, and she wanted to get the show on the road.
(In case you were wondering, THIS is what you get when you ask Brigid to stand still and smile...)

I got her dressed at the hotel, loaded her awkwardly into the van (carseats are NOT designed to hold flower girl dresses, for future reference...), and began the eleven minute drive to the wedding location.

ELEVEN MINUTE DRIVE. And this happened...
Because of course it did.

Luckily, we had an hour before she needed to be up and running for pictures, so Steve and his dad took turns sitting with her in the car while she napped for about 45 minutes. And while she wasn't exactly thrilled with life when she woke up, there was no meltdown.

She survived pictures. She decided at the last minute that she wanted to walk down the aisle by herself (instead of with me), so that she could hold her flowers with both hands, like all of the other bridesmaids were doing. She didn't run all over the altar during the actual ceremony. She was AWESOME.

And then she celebrated.
(Sparkling cider. Steve got her some sparkling cider. You should have seen me jump across the table before I realized what it was. The videographer thought she was going for the beer next to it...)

She stayed up until something like 2am. She wasn't all that great about going to bed when we told her to go to bed in the past, and now? We may never get her to bed at a decent hour again.

Party animal, that kid.

*(CONGRATULATIONS GREG AND CHRISTINA!! We love you both! Thank you so much for asking us all to share in your special day.)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Smile. Sort Of.

Every time Caitlin finds her happy place, I think I've finally  found my opportunity to catch her smile on camera, because when she's happy, that kid will smile at anything. Except...

She won't smile at just anything, because the moment I point that camera at her, she gets all 'concerned face' on me, like something bad is about to happen. I mean, just because I made her cry that ONE TIME when I scared her with the goofy faces and noises I was making to try to get her to smile, it's not like she needs to expect it to happen every. single. time. the camera makes an appearance.

Ok, CAITLIN? RELAX. Let it go, already.
That will work. FOR NOW.

(PS: I was telling her this morning that I loved her, most of the time, except when she woke me up at 5am, when she'd slept until 7 for Steve the day before, and no exaggeration, she stuck her lip out at me like she was getting ready to cry. As I quickly backtracked and loudly promised that I was just kidding, that I really did love her all of the time, that she and her sister were tied for my favorite people ever, she started smiling at me again. Manipulation, man. They learn at such a young age...)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Contemplating the Next Level

When I was a kid, I took ballet for approximately half a second, before the teacher told my mother she was wasting her time by keeping me in the class. Now, I think that advice had more to do with my complete inability to pay attention to ANYTHING the teacher would tell us to do, but given my general lack of grace, there's a good chance the ballet school just didn't want to have an injured toddler on its hands after I'd done something spectacular like falling over while standing still.

I may or may not have seen Brigid do just that very exact thing in her final ballet class last weekend.

She doesn't plie when the teacher tells her to plie. She doesn't point her toes when the teacher tells her to point her toes. She doesn't spin when the teacher tells her to spin.

She does, however, spin when the teacher tells her to stand still.

She fell over three times in her last class. She didn't wait her turn to do ballet walks across the floor. She never walks on her toes when the rest of her class does, even though she won't stop doing it when she's at home. When she was supposed to be sitting in a circle with the rest of the class?

She would run over to me for a hug.

And when I would tell her to go back to the circle and listen to the teacher?

She would look at me with big eyes and say, 'But, mommy. I just wanted ONE hug.'

(In case you're keeping score at home, the kid is winning. Every battle. And that's not even counting the Friday night coin-in-the-fountain wish she made for me to 'stay home with [her] FOREVER'. If you're looking for my heart, it's in a million pieces on the floor of a Mexican restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia, ok?)

Now, some of this might have to do with the fact that I'm in the room with her during the lesson, which isn't allowed in the next level of classes at the Atlanta Ballet School. And maybe I can take comfort in knowing that Brigid wasn't the most poorly behaved student in the class, just an easily distracted follower.

But, if I'm not in the class, if I can't even see the class except for a few scheduled parental viewing days during the year, how do I know she's paying attention? HOW DO I KNOW SHE'S NOT THE LITTLE RINGLEADER OF DISASTER?

Look at her. You're telling me she's not capable of leading a ballet-shoed revolt of tiny tutu-wearing ballerinas?
The Atlanta Ballet won't even know what hit them.