Tag Archives: toddler

Photoblogging: Coraline at Christmastime

Coraline by the Christmas Tree

Coraline poses by our Christmas tree in the dress she chose for the holidays this year (12/8/13).

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A Long-Awaited Date With Santa

Song Lyric of the Day:

He’s making a list / And checking it twice / He’s gonna find out / Who’s naughty and nice / Santa Claus is coming to town

Fred Astaire / “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town

Yesterday we took Coraline to visit Santa Claus at the mall. She’s been asking since January to see Santa again as he made quite the impression last December, so it’s been a long year of:

“Is Santa at the mall? Is he there yet?”

“When will Santa be back?”

“I don’t want to see the Easter Bunny! I don’t like the Easter Bunny! The Easter Bunny is friends with Santa?!?”

“When will Santa come back to the mall?”

“Is Santa at the mall again?”

“Mommy, I saw Santa at the mall! He waved at me!”

“I’m going to be brave and talk to Santa.”

“I get to go see Santa after Thanksgiving.”


Hamming It Up

Coraline hamming it up while waiting in line to meet Santa.

Since Cora’s been talking about Santa all year long, Rich and I figured she’d either go through with a solo visit like she’s been saying (“I’m going to be brave!”) or she’d end up choking at the last minute. She did us proud, though. She waved and yelled hi when Santa entered the courtyard and took his seat. Then when it was her turn, she held my hand on the way to Santa’s chair, happily swinging her free arm the whole way. Once in front of him, she smiled and said, “Hi, Santa.” I asked her if she was ready to sit down with him and if she was going to do it by herself. She said yes, I placed her on Santa’s lap, and my brave girl came through.

Coraline and Santa Claus

Coraline finally gets her moment with the man in the red suit.

I stayed close by since Rich and I are trying to get gift ideas out of her. Whenever we’ve asked what she was going to ask Santa for, she’d answer, “Christmas presents!” What kind of presents? “Toys!” So she hasn’t been terribly helpful there. Today, though, the first thing she asked for was books — she is her parents’ daughter, after all. When Santa asked which ones, I gently reminded her about the Ladybug Girl series and how she mentioned wanting Dora books. She also asked for princess dolls (there’s a big set at Target she’s got her eye on). The last thing she asked Santa for was “Blocks.” Then a few seconds later: “Legos!” Since Santa realized he wasn’t going to get too many specific requests out of her, he asked if she’d like surprise presents. You can imagine how excited she got at that prospect.

Asking for Presents

Coraline asking for books, princess dolls, and Lego blocks.

I think she would’ve hung out with Santa all day if it had been possible. She wished him a merry Christmas and we went on our way. Once we were a little ways away from the courtyard, she hollered, “I. SAW. SAN. TA!”


Coraline at home celebrating once again how brave she was when she saw Santa Claus.

I predict it’ll be maybe three days after Christmas before she asks, “When can I see Santa again?”

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La Di Da Di, She Likes to Potty*

Song Lyric of the Day:

La-di-da-di, we like to party / We don’t cause trouble, we don’t bother nobody / We’re, just some men that’s on the mic / And when we rock upon the mic we rock the mic right / For all of y’all, keep y’all in health / Just to see you smile and enjoy yourself

Slick Rick & Doug E. Fresh / “La Di Da Di

Today marks 7 weeks and 1 day since one of the most magical, glorious, long-awaited things that can ever happen to a parent happened to me: Coraline became fully potty-trained. So yes, there will be some talk of pee and poop within this post.

Thanks to day care — probably the only time I’ll ever be happy about peer pressure — Coraline had been practicing going potty for more than a year. She first successfully peed on the potty just shy of her second birthday. For months now, she’s been accident-free at day care, wearing BIG GIRL PANTIES!!! (her enthusiasm, I assure you) and only wearing Pull-Ups at naptime. On the days I work from home, she’s worn her BIG GIRL PANTIES!!! during naptime without any accidents.

So on that magical, glorious, long-awaited day 7 weeks and 1 day ago, I was working when she walked over and quietly, almost shyly, said, “Mommy, I have to go potty.” Nothing unusual about that (except for the quiet shyness) since that’s what she said any time she had to pee. So you can imagine my surprise when she ended up dropping off the kids at the pool, a first. I could have thrown a party for her right then. As it is, I thought of her breakthrough as her early birthday present to herself, since it was six days before her 3rd birthday. She even came up with a potty-training mantra on her own: Pee and poop go only in the potty!

She’s had a few accidents since then, like an accident at school one day the teacher blamed on Coraline’s enthusiasm to get the job done, or not getting to the toilet quickly enough here at home. But overall she’s done great. And just two nights ago, she announced that she was going potty on her own, no doubt inspired by seeing her two big cousins do just that this past weekend. She was so serious about going on her own that she made me wait in the hall, around the corner from the bathroom door. You know, so she could have some privacy and, oh, not have to see her mother.

Even if Coraline were still working on the whole potty-training thing, I’d still be proud of her. But now that she is fully potty-trained, I thought I’d share it with all of you exactly how proud I am of my (big in her mind) little girl.

Coraline hamming it up the day of The Big Breakthrough (9/18/13).

*My apologies to Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh, but I just couldn’t resist.

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Photoblogging: Cinderella


Coraline As Cinderella

For Halloween 2013 Coraline went as Cinderella. Which is not surprising because lately she is all princess, all the time. This might now be my favorite new photo of her.

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Three: Happy Birthday to Coraline

Coraline on the morning of her third birthday

Coraline is now officially a 3-year-old. Happy birthday to my little princess, who has her own distinct (toddler) fashion sense, great comedic timing, is whip-smart, and has a kind heart. I love you, sweetie. Happy birthday!

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Photoblogging: Angry Face

You won't like Cora when she's mad.

I asked Coraline to show me her angry face, which first made an appearance last Wednesday (7/3/13). I see this as a somewhat frightening glimpse of the headstrong teenager she is going to be. God help Rich and I. (Photo taken 7/5/13)

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Melatonin Down Bedtime

Song Lyric of the Day:

Soft the drowsy hours are creeping / Hill and vale in slumber sleeping / I my loving vigil keeping / All through the night

Harold Boulton / “All Through the Night

The last few weeks, Coraline has experienced a drastic personality change at bedtime. She went from this:

Video uploaded by thebrushborder

To this:

Video uploaded by babylonsfalling

We have no idea what caused the change. She used to be so easygoing and ready to go to sleep for the night after reading some books (oh, how I rue the day I introduced her to my old Disney reader of Three Little Pigs). Then bam! — she’d start screaming like she was dying the second you closed her bedroom door. Seemingly overnight what used to be a pleasant half-hour of quality bonding time turned into up to two-and-a-half hours of Rich and I tag-teaming each other, taking turns trying to calm Coraline into going back to sleep. (Thankfully, she has not been having night terrors.)

A couple of weeks ago I got desperate and called our pediatrician for advice. His nurse promptly called me back and explained that at this age toddlers develop “bedtime resistance.” She suggested giving Coraline two milligrams of melatonin drops about a half hour before we wanted her to go to sleep. Since our bodies naturally produce melatonin, she said you could, in theory, take melatonin drops indefinitely (which we aren’t going to do). Desperate for a return to normal evenings and uninterrupted sleep, Rich and I went straight to a vitamin store after work to buy some. We were giddy at the thought that something might finally help Coraline go back to her old non-screaming, non-head-spinning-and-pea-soup-spewing sweet, sleepy self. I very well may have skipped into the vitamin store.

That night we were only able to get one milligram of melatonin into Coraline, but it did the trick. It was Rich’s turn to put her to bed that night (OK, so I chickened out and traded nights with him. She was THAT bad at bedtime), and he said that she got drowsy right on schedule. He put her to bed without incident, and we didn’t hear a peep from her until it was time to get up the next day. It was glorious.

We’ve made giving her that milligram of melatonin part of her bedtime routine. It has an orange flavor, and since she loves taking medicine, it’s not a problem to get her to take it. We’ll probably stop giving it to her after a month, like her nurse suggested, and see if she’s been “retrained” to sleep by then. If she hasn’t, back on the sauce she shall go.

Now if only I could figure out a way to get her to sleep in on weekends …

Coraline with Red Panda and Nemo. Not pictured: the 72 other stuffed animals and dolls she sleeps with. (10/15/12)

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Wild Toddlers Can’t Be Broken

Song Lyric of the Day:

Five little monkeys jumping on the bed / One fell off and bumped his head /So Momma called the doctor and the doctor said /No more monkeys jumping on the bed!

Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” (book by Eileen Christelow)

Last weekend Rich, Coraline, and I were enjoying the wilds of Asheville, N.C. — particularly the wilds of Biltmore. We enjoyed a stay at the historic Firestone house, which Rich found on Airbnb, which was great. Not only was the house in a terrific location with a wonderful host, but the fact that we were in a home environment versus a cramped, impersonal hotel room was really helpful for Coraline. Unlike our trip to Iowa last summer, she didn’t have to sleep in a hotel’s metal prison-on-wheels crib or her pack ‘n’ play. This trip she got to sleep in a big bed like a big girl.

The first night she slept by herself in the twin bed. Of course, I had to lay down with her until she fell asleep, which ended up taking over an hour. She’d only ever slept in a bassinet, pack ‘n’ play, or crib until this trip, so she needed some reassurance. (So did Rich and I — we placed every extra pillow on the floor next to her, just in case.) Our second night there, Rich took the twin bed while Coraline slept in the full-sized bed with me; she fell asleep in under an hour, passed out with her head on my shoulder. The last night, Rich and I switched and Coraline fell asleep even quicker than the night before.

Turns out Coraline is quite the little bed hog (7/6/12)

Once we got home last Sunday and Coraline went from a vacation non-routine and 24/7 mommy and poppa time (that included all of us sleeping in the same room together) back to her normal schedule and sleeping alone in her crib in her room, well, it didn’t go over so well. No sooner had I placed her in her crib than she was standing up and screaming “mommmmeeeee” over and over, something she never does at bedtime. She normally flips over onto her stomach, pops her thumb in her mouth, and goes right to sleep. I went downstairs where I told Rich how upset she was and turned on the video monitor, which showed Coraline still standing and screaming. Within a couple of minutes we heard a loud bang, Coraline scream, and Caleb bark. I looked at the video monitor and didn’t see Coraline in her crib; I was pretty sure she wasn’t in one of the corners we can’t see. I told Rich I thought she’d fallen out of her crib.

Where's Coraline?

Where's Coraline? (I took this pic back in March when Coraline started squirreling books in her crib.)

We raced upstairs to her room, and no sooner had I opened her door than I spotted her standing on the floor next to her chair. She held out her arms and screamed “MOMMA!” as I snatched her up. Rich and I checked her over to make sure she hadn’t hurt herself; she fell directly onto the hardwood floor, so we were worried about broken limbs and a possible head injury. Thankfully, she was OK. No physical injuries, just scared out of her wits — proof that toddlers are made of rubber and Adamantium. After Rich helped calm her down, I read a few more books to her. While we were reading, Rich brought a mattress pad in and laid it on the floor in front of her crib, just in case. A little while later, I turned off the light and put Coraline back in her crib. This time she rolled over onto her stomach, popped her thumb in her mouth, and went right to sleep.

That was the first — and so far only — time Coraline has ever gotten out of her crib. We think she scared herself so badly that she doesn’t want to try it again. She also scared us so badly that we now have her crib toddler-bed conversion kit in the hallway on standby.

Coraline's room

It's a long way down from that crib.


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