Friday, June 25, 2010

Moving On Up....

Apparently, we really have a little fish for a daughter. This week, it was made official...Caroline is moving up to Level 2. I was hesitant to make this decision since in the next level she will not even be able to stand due to the deeper level of water and the fact that she will be swimming the length of the big pool. But, several things happened to make me very sure of my decision.
One, she is in Level 1, but the kids are not up to her level. I'm not being snotty about this but the majority of the other kids are SCREAMING, getting out of the pool to have snack which the parent is allowing, not even attempting to swim....must I go on? I called Tim on Tuesday to let him hear the chorus of crying and screaming coming from the pool. It was quite ridiculous!!
Two, Caroline is now 'teaching' her babies to swim at home. She 'plays swim' ALL THE TIME! As a matter of fact, Caroline wants to come home and immediately get back in the pool at home. She loves it! Today, she was the Champion Breath Holder for all three competitions and set the record for the day in that level. She held her breath for 26 seconds, 24 seconds, and 22 seconds. That's quite a challenge for a little tyke! She was so proud of herself. She came home and told Tim that she 'beat all the boys'.
I think I should probably check her for gills. What do you think?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Potato Salad Recipe--Super EASY!

I'm not entirely sure where I found this recipe, but it is super yummy! A few days ago, I bought a bag of potatoes on Manager's Special at Kroger. I thought that I had a few days to cook them, but when I got them home, I realized they needed to be peeled. Yuck! So, now I needed to come up with a recipe ASAP. I have to admit, I am a huge fan of buying potato salad already made in the deli section for pure convenience. The end result was great and the taste was awesome!

Potato Salad Recipe
3 pounds of potatoes, cooked until just tender, peeled and cubed
6 hard boiled eggs, cooked and coarsely chopped
1/4-1/2 cup of red onion, chopped
3/4 cup mayonnaise (little more or less depending on preference)
1-2 tbs mustard
Combine potatoes, eggs, and onions. Stir in mayonnaise and mustard until you have the consistency/taste you desire. Use salt and pepper to taste.
If only I had someone to peel those potatoes, this recipe would have been perfect! This recipe was super easy and relatively quick (after the potatoes and eggs cooled). I made it late one night and then placed it in the fridge overnight to help the flavors come together. We ate on it for several days!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Did I say a schedule???

I just realized that I told you I was going to post our new schedule. Well...I don't have a written schedule like I had envisioned but I am keeping Caroline VERY BUSY with various activities. I have seen quite a difference in her since I've limited the television, put down the computer, and set a kitchen timer (thanks LB!).

Some of the activities that we have been doing include: cleaning, folding clothes, putting away laundry, and cooking. Yes, I have given her chores to help keep her busy. Caroline has also been playing more independently with her dolls, puzzles, and other toys. It's been quite nice! As far as other activities, we've been going to swim lessons, playing in our pool, having playdates, and doing some crafts.

The battle of the bath has been won, though some nights are much easier than others. The constant snacking has been haulted, and bedtime has been easier. LB suggested that I use a timer for a 5 minute warning before bed and it has been very effective!!! Thanks LB!

I guess my new battle is that Caroline is obsessed with changing clothes. So much so that she has taught herself to correctly put on her shirts, shorts, underwear, and shoes. The problem that I face is that she doesn't fold and put them back in the drawers! LOL! But, I can handle that since she is learning a life skill. ;)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Taking a Swim

Caroline started Level 1 for her swimming class. She is doing awesome! I am so proud of her! She's the youngest in the class, so some of the instructions are going way over her head, but after she watches the other kids or the instructor demonstrate the technique, she picks up on it quickly. She is able to independently float on her back, holds her breath for 20 seconds (that was today!), and jumps off the diving board. Caroline tends to do the 'running man' while she is swimming on her belly, but is getting the hang of not bending her knees. She can kick correctly on her back and is blowing bubbles out her nose. The pictures are all out of order and I'm still trying to download the video of her jumping off the diving board. It's so cute!!

Her instructor came up to me today and told me that she was still on the fence about passing her to the next level, Level 2. I told her not to worry about it because I would like to keep her in Level 1 to work on her kicking. In Level 2, she has to swim the length of the pool and begins to learn freestyle swim techniques. Honestly, I don't think she's developmentally ready for that level and I don't think she's strong enough yet to get across the pool by herself. My goodness, she just turned 3! Or, maybe it's that I'm a bit freaked out for her!

A side story about how much I am grateful for swim lessons....Last weekend, we went to two pool parties at some of our friends' houses. She did great on Friday night, no problems. On Saturday night, Caroline fell in to the deep end. I was sitting on the ledge of the steps watching her play with a ten year old girl. Apparently, there was a ledge that went halfway around the pool and dropped off. It was dark in the pool (the lights hadn't been turned on) and she didn't know it ended, nor did I. I looked off to say something to Tim who was sitting on the deck, but I didn't. I quickly turned around because of the gut instinct of something was wrong. I looked up in time to see Caroline being pulled up by the ten year old girl. There was no way that she was under for a long time, probably a few seconds. But, when I got to her, I just reassured her that I was there and there was no problem. I didn't want her to freak out. I also told her that was why we take swim lessons to prepare for things like this. She nodded and didn't seem to scared, even though her heart was rapidly beating. The cool thing is that she 'kicked up'. She knew what to do! So, if you are around pools/water...get your kids in swim lessons ASAP! It helped save her life!

Caroline and Miss Sarah doing a belly float on Day 1
This picture shows how small she is compared to the other swimmers.
Caroline doing her backfloat by herself
My cutie!
I love this pose...check out the bent knee!
Practicing her kicks with Miss Sarah
You can barely see her head over the side of the small!
Pulling herself up to give me a big smile!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

This mommy's confession....

We have made it through the 'Terrible Two's', and I must say, they weren't that bad. Actually, she was quite angelic compared to what we are going through now!!! The "Terrible Three's" have arrived and they are whipping my butt! I feel like I have tried everything to tame the 'beast', but NOTHING is working. So after this weekend's fiasco, I have decided to put Caroline on a regimented schedule with almost every minute accounted for. Tomorrow begins Day 1, but we are doing a 'trial run' today and I can already see a slight difference. I managed to difuse two tantrums this morning. One was over breakfast and the other over giving Peanut a bath. Silly little things really get her blood boiling, lip quivering, and vocal chords going!!

It's time to tell you what a lazy mom I have been since summer judgements please! My child does NOT like to eat breakfast. She simply likes to ease in the morning with some milk and television. I've been horrible at letting her nibble ALL DAY, so when it's time for a meal, she doesn't want to eat. I honestly didn't want to choose this battle since it's a BIG ONE. judgements, please. But, we will be fixing this problem with our new schedule. I think this may be the hardest one to conquer.

Showers and bath have been a HUGE battle for us, so I simply sponge bathe her and all is right in the world....until it's time for the actual shower time. This turns into crazy meltdowns and always ends up with me and her in tears. What happened to my sweet daughter who LOVED taking showers, who loved singing, and playing in the 'rain'? Again, this will be fixed this week. It's time for Mommy to take back control!

Television...yep, it's a bad one. I am pretty strict on the amount of television she watches, but I am human. Some days seem so long and I'm tiptoeing (is that how that's spelled???) around a meltdown/fit/tantrum, that I just give in and turn the television on. If she leaves the room, I turn it off and BAM! another meltdown! Last week, I put her on television restriction for two days. It was quite wonderful!!! No white noise, no singing cartoon characters, no whining from Rintoo, it was just glorious! So, today we started the timer. She can watch television for a certain amount of time and then it goes off. The timer then is set for 90 minutes and then she can have another tv time. But, today she walked out of the room and I turned it off and started the time. I was preparing for meltdown, but IT DIDN'T COME!!! She was fine with it. I think maybe since she could see the timer, it was a visual reminder that it would come back on...eventually.

Okay, so I basically feel like I have bared my soul. To some, it may not seem like this stuff is a big deal, but it is for us. It's time for me to take back control over my VERY STRONG WILLED CHILD. And, I will for my own sanity. I'll post my schedule later this week and I'll keep you updated on how our progress is going. I also plan on reading "The Strong-willed Child" by Dr. James Dobson. Funny sidenote...I was cleaning upstairs and rearranging the books on the shelf when I found this one. I know that I didn't buy it and Tim certainly didn't buy it. Where did it come from???

Friday, June 11, 2010

Zoo Atlanta Trip #2

Caroline and Savannah in front of the flamingos

Once again, not impressed with the petting zoo!
Definitely NOT impressed!
Once I gave Caroline a brush for the animals, she was semi-okay with the petting zoo. She kept telling me the animals were dirty and didn't want to touch them!

She brushed this sheep because I bribed her with cookies!

Posing with one of the goats....he looked tame enough....

Didn't want to touch the goat's ear....

My sister and I decided to take our picture with the cute, tame goat. We sat down and smiled for the picture. This cute goat decided he wanted to nibble on my neck and sit in my lap! YIKES! My sister jumped up and I was trapped with the goat!!! You can tell from my face that I was beginning to feel the goat on my shoulder...

I started freaking out and the goat stood completely up and almost took my head off in the process! I was paralyzed!!
Yep, here I am trying it again with a different goat when the 'other' goat decided to pop into my picture!!! He wouldn't leave me alone! LOL! I guess I smelled great!! By the way, look at those chompers and that hilarious smile he is giving for the camera!

Here's my new boyfriend or stalker!!!

Savannah took the next few pics, didnt' she do a great job?

Savannah and Caroline on the carousel

Caroline loved the carousel! I am so glad that Savannah was there to ride it with her. I cannot ride carousels, as I get major motion sickness on things just going in circles!!!

Caroline was telling me next time she was going to ride the lion..."ROAR!!!!"

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Swim Lessons Part 1

Caroline started her swim lessons again this summer. I must say that she is awesome! She's such a waterbaby and LOVES swimming. Last summer, she graduated from Waterbabies/Toddler Time to Level 1, but she wasn't tall enough, lol! So this year, I put her in one week of the toddler time to get her adjusted back to the water. After the first day, she was ready to go into level 1!!! But, being the slacker/ADD mom that I sometimes am, I forgot to sign up in advance for the next week's level 1 class, so we are having to take off a week. :( But, her teacher showed me some techniques to work with her on at our pool and I must say...she's rockin'! She's still able to dive down and retrieve blocks/toys off the bottom of the 5 feet, she swims under the water, and can still float on her back. We are working on swimming above the water with her face in the water. At first, Caroline was unsure about me letting go of her for to her to independently swim, but she's doing much better. She's almost able to do it by herself after a few days of me working with her. Who knows, maybe she won't go to college on a tennis or softball scholarship; perhaps it's a swim scholarship!!! LOL!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Zoo Atlanta Trip #1

We bought season passes to the Atlanta Zoo (awesome deal...14 months with unlimited passes for 2 adults and 4 children). Caroline and I went on Memorial Day and she LOVED it! The last time we went to the zoo was in Guatemala and it was quite different. The animals were much closer and the ice cream was much cheaper! LOL! I found a $10 bill as soon as we walked in, so it meant FREE ice cream!
Caroline's favorite thing was the 'map'. She was so adorable with it! She mapped out what she wanted to see and then would find it on the map when we stopped at the various animals. She's definitely our daughter (our parents used to keep us busy in the car by giving us maps!).
We went to see the Panda Bears and this one was so cute! He kept looking at us from the glass and probably thinking...'whatcha looking at? You guys are the 'show', not me!'!! Caroline loved the pandas! She can still tell you they are from China and they eat bamboo! Great teaching moment.

They have a great petting zoo for children. However, Caroline was NOT impressed! Actually, she was quite disgusted by all the animals and didn't want to touch anything!
Can you believe that this pot belly pig is exactly what I used to want as a pet? I even researched how to take care of them years ago. The only reason I didn't get one is because they supposedly can open your fridge so you have to put chains on it! LOL!

Not even the funny goat on the rocks got Caroline to smile...

This is EXACTLY how she looked the entire time we were in the petting zoo!

Devouring her free strawberry ice cream!! Yummy!

We stopped to watch the monkeys while Caroline was eating her ice cream. This little guys was hilarious! He jumped onto the fence and just watched Caroline eat. It was a bit freaky and funny!

Forcing a smile for me next to the gorilla statue!

There was a baby gorilla (week old) and it was so cute! Funny story....I have never stopped and watched the socialization of gorillas. The mom was breast feeding the baby and the father was watching with loving eyes. All of a sudden, the 'relatives' came and started gushing over the baby. They literally patted the father on the back and I was waiting for the cigars to be passed out! LOL! The 'relatives' then tried to hold the baby, but the mom was having no part of that. She took off running and they began to follow her. The father stood up and held out his hand (picture stop sign) and they all stopped. CRAZY!!! It was like watching a human family interact with each other. I'm sure Caroline didn't pick up on it, but it was very cool to watch.

This gorilla was cracking us up! He took his food bowl and put it on top of his head and then just stared at us. When we started laughing, he took it off and began to 'hug it'. Too funny!

Caroline decided she wanted to 'ride' a giraffe. LOL!

We also got to see the baby warthogs. Caroline thought they were cute! A family standing beside us were looking at them and speaking in a different language. But the mom said in broken English to her husband "What are they?" He shrugged his shoulders. Caroline then asked me, "Mommy, what are they again?" I replied, "warthogs". She then tapped the mother on the shoulder and said, "Those are called warthogs." I thought it was so cute! She's no longer my shy girl!

We loved the meerkats! They were so cute and playful! We got to watch them being weighed and fed special snacks. This one is funny because he kept imitating Caroline! Look closely and you can see one laying on his back. It reminded us of our dog, Peanut!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tim and Tennis

As I said, I am trying to catch you guys up on what's been going on in our lives over the past month...
Tim participated in a State USTA tennis tournament May 7-9 in Macon, Georgia. Lucky for us, it was only about an hour away and Caroline and I could come watch him. On Friday, I had Bethanie (the babysitter) come and I ventured down by myself to cheer for Tim and his team. I brought Caroline with me on Saturday and Sunday. It was a long weekend of tennis and Caroline was such a trooper! But most importantly...we were so proud of Tim! He did awesome! He only lost one match the entire tournament and the matches he won, he won convincingly! Tennis is a huge part of our daily lives and I can't wait for Caroline to start taking lessons. She's already displaying some tennis skills, as she can hit the ball over the regular net. :) I called the Peachtree City Tennis Center to see if I can bring her for tennis camp, but she's a year too young. However, they said I could bring her for a day to see if she can 'hang' with the older group. I think I may do that. ;)

Tim hitting a winning shot for me on Mother's Day!

Caroline...the #1 Cheerleader!

Showing off her new Nike Tennis outfit! How adorable!!

We were both a bit tired for this picture. :)

Another ta-da moment!

Caroline kept saying, "Go Daddy! One at a time!" How cute!

Just another cute shot!

Caroline kept telling me, "Take my picture Mommy!!"

Such a cutie!
Not sure what's going on may have been after Tim won and he was walking to the net???

Tim on Saturday

A little sidenote...everytime Tim hits a serve, his tongue is out...not sure why, but it must be the extreme concentration!

Moms and Muffins on Friday morning before Tim's tennis tournament. Caroline could have cared less if I was there, LOL! She was so busy playing with her friends!

Don't you just love the 'fake' smile?? I do!