Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Don't Mess with Baby

I know the more common saying is "Don't mess with Texas", but in our house, it refers to Caroline's baby, rather than Texas.  Let me explain.

If you have been around Caroline, or just viewed pictures of her, chances are you have noticed one constant in an overwhelming majority of them:  her pink baby doll.  When Caroline was about 4 months old, my dad came to spend the night with us on his way to Ft. Worth.  Not wanting to show up empty-handed (against the law in Papa-Land), he stopped at good ol' Wally World and picked up the now infamous "Baby" (clever name, I know).  Little did he know that he had started something. 

Even though she was really little, Caroline loved Baby:

*Side Note:  It is SO weird to see her that little again..... And to think that I'm going to have another one soon...

 Her infatuation only grew from there.  In the beginning, she would just sleep with Baby.  But as time has gone by, she and Baby have become inseparable. 

Baby joins us on every outing, and I do mean EVERY outing. 

Even if she doesn't have a death-grip on Baby, she is always near:

Recently, Caroline's obsession with Baby has gone into over-drive.  Not only does she insist on eating dinner with her, but she has been trying to take her into the bathtub and swimming pool as well. So now, when Caroline takes a bath, Baby has to sit up on the edge of the tub and "watch" her.  Yes, I now take orders from a tiny dictator.  At least she is cute.

(I know, I know, I am super cool with my Sepia-toned pic....  Okay, so really, I changed it to keep you all from gasping in horror at our turquoise blue bathroom.  Yeah, that tile goes over halfway up the wall ALL over the bathroom.)

As you can imagine, with her busy social life, Baby can get to looking pretty rough.  Thankfully, she is washable and comes out looking almost as good as new.  However, wrestling Baby away from Caroline long enough to stick her in the washing machine can be quite a challenge.  I have to wash Baby at least once a week, because otherwise she ends up looking like a science experiment, and quite frankly, it drives me crazy. 

The other day, I was having one of those days where I really thought I had this mom/housewife thing down.  I had almost totally finished our laundry, but I had one last load to throw in and Baby needed to go in that load.  It was right around nap time, so I thought I would get Caroline to sleep, and then sneak off with Baby, run her through the washer while Caroline slept, and all would be sunshine and roses.  I was so tickled with myself for syncing Baby's "bath" with Caroline's nap (yes, in my world, these are the things that get my blood flowing).  I now know why I never attempted this horrible fabulous plan before. 

I put Caroline down for her nap, and when I peeked in to make sure she had fallen asleep, I saw that she had Baby in a choke-hold.  I gingerly tried to get Baby away at that point, but when I nudged Baby, Caroline only tightened her grip on her.  So, I decided to let her get into a deeper sleep and try again in a little bit. 

About half and hour later, I crept back in her room and thankfully, Caroline had released Baby from her death-grip.  I snatched Baby up, went and threw her in the washing machine with the other laundry, and high-fived myself for such a well-thought out plan.  I went back to the living room to fold some laundry and catch up on The Real Housewives a highly intellectual documentary.  As soon as my butt hit the couch, I heard Caroline's door open... My heart sank....  And then I heard the little foot steps thundering down the hall accompanied by "Baby?  Baby?  BAaaabbBBBYYyyyYY?"  She came running into the living room with a look of complete horror on her face and kept asking "Momma, Baby?  Where Baby?".  Apparently my child has a sensor that alerts her to when Baby is more than five feet from her.  At that point, even though I wanted to cry because she had slept less than an hour, all I could do was try not to laugh at her (I know, I am an awesome mother).

 After about five straight minutes of interrogation, I finally told her that Baby was taking a bath.  Without missing a beat, Caroline knew exactly what I was talking about.  She ran into the laundry room and started beating on the washing machine while yelling "BAABBBYYYYYYY".  I finally got her to calm down by giving her a snack, but she went right back into the laudry room to wait for her beloved Baby.  By the time I got her a snack and grabbed the camera, she had calmed down, but it was still pretty funny to see her camped out in there.

Listening for the washer to stop

"Baby, are you in there???"

Lesson learned:  Don't think that you can outsmart a two-year old.  Even on those Super-Mom days, the little boogers will find a way to give you a truckload an ounce of humility.  Touche Caroline, touche. 

Another saying that comes to mind is "Nobody puts Baby in the corner", except in this case, I think I'll make this my new mantra:  "Nobody puts Baby in the washing machine during naptime". 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mother's Day Weekend/A Trip to the Zoo

My dad recently moved to Oklahoma City and renovated his condo or "The Lodge" as he calls it, so we decided to take a little trip up to see him over the weekend.  OKC is only about two hours from Wichita Falls, so it is the perfect little weekend trip. 

This was also the first road trip that we had taken since Caroline has been potty-trained.  We did the potty-training lock-in about a month ago, and honestly, she has done really well.  Those first few days were rough (ok, really rough for me because I don't have the most patience in the world), but she has the hang of it now.  She made it the entire two hour drive to OKC without needing to go tinkle.  I was kind of shocked because my pregnant bladder was screaming by the time we got there. 

I wish I had taken pics of my dad's place, but I kind of forgot to.  It looks great.  My aunt and uncle helped him with the design of his renovation and it looks great.  It is a very masculine bachelor pad and just perfect for my old man (even though my dad is in his 60's, he is still the most happenin' bachelor I know).  One humorous aspect about his new place is his obsession with his floors.  They are dark hardwood and he is obsessed with keeping them completely dust and streak-free.  I think they will eventually drive him absolutely crazy, but I can totally relate.  Steven said he now understands why I am so OCD and neurotic about things since I have it coming from both sides.  I just happened to marry a man who may or may not have pig-pen tendencies (but has come a LONG way since I married him..... I have to say that because he will question me about this later, since he is one of my biggest fans.... Hi Steven!).

When we told Caroline that we were going to see Papa Ed and to the zoo, she asked about it about 14,894 times.  We're starting to realize that we have to be careful what we say because she picks up on things and remembers them and does NOT let up until said event happens.  Between the military and my two year old, my vocabulary now exists entirely of acronyms and spelling things O-U-T.  Yeah, I'm one of those parents now.

Any way, enough of my rambling.  I'm sure you're wondering why I titled this post "A Trip to the Zoo" if I am not even going to talk about the zoo... Well, here we go:

Clearly Caroline was really excited to see the giraffes.  I love her Spartan Cheerleader hands.  Sadly, most of the pictures I have of Caroline these days are of the back of her head.  This child will NOT pose for pictures.  She is way too busy living the dream.  And yes, that is a pic of my my darling husband's tush. 

She finally turned around and this is the best she would give me.  And yes, that is still Steven's tush.

Trying to escape from Steven

I thought Caroline was going to lose her business when she saw the train.  One of her favorite shows is "Dinosaur Train" and she kept yelling "Allllllllllllll Abor!" (All Aboard).  Sadly, we never made it on the train.  And Caroline didn't let us forget it either.  We heard about that train all.  Through.  The.  Zoo.

"Mom, do you see this?!  They have a train.  A TRAIN! Can you believe it?!"

And this picture is about the only proof that I was there.  Sad reality of a mom.  Always behind the camera, never in front.

Then we tried getting a pic with Papa Ed, and for once Caroline was looking at the camera, but he wasn't...

And then Caroline wasn't looking.  Eh, I'll take what I can get.

Papa Ed doing what Papas do best:  spoiling little girls.  Caroline really has my dad wrapped around her little finger.  It is pretty adorable.

Caroline loved all the statues of the animals.  I almost think she was more entertained by them than the actual animals themselves.

Yes, I finally have a picture of my child looking at the camera.  It only took 345,958 tries, but hey, who is counting?

I sure do love these dorks.

Papa Ed doing his best to get Caroline to look at me...

Humorous observation:  When I was about Caroline's age, my dad would put me on a horse about 4 times the size of this bronze rhino and not think twice about it...  And yet with Caroline, he is afraid this rhino might get away from her.  Ah, to see your parents as grandparents.  Priceless.

Taking the rhino by the, um.... ears?

This was the point when I kind of started slacking in my picture taking.  We were there in the middle of the afternoon and I most of the animals were sleeping and not too excited.  And I had a 2 year old to keep up with, and quite frankly, I just got lazy. 

But, I did make sure to get the camera out again when we finally made it to the children's zoo.  Caroline was getting really tired and wasn't too excited about the little stream at first, but as soon as she started splashing around, she had a blast.  I wasn't sure we would ever get her out of the water.

 I packed her water shoes, but of course she didn't want to wear them.  What can I say, she is a little hillbilly girl at heart.

Aaaaannnnnddd that's about it for the zoo.  At this point, a bench was calling my name and I let Steven take over. 

We went to church Sunday morning, had breakfast with my dad, aunt and uncle, and then headed back to Wichita Falls to spend the day by the pool with friends.  The weather was glorious and it was just so nice to finally be outside enjoying the pool, even if I do feel like a beached whale at this point.  I had a great little Mother's Day relaxing with my little family and visiting with friends. 

For Mother's Day, I bought myself Steven and Caroline got me this:

I mean, what else do you get a big fat pregnant woman???  An ice cream maker, duh!  Clothes are a sore subject with me at this point, and I have had my eye on this baby for awhile.  I have one of the big traditional ice cream makers that is horribly noisy and has to have ice and rock salt, but I have been wanting one of these to make smaller batches of frozen treats.  I keep telling myself that I am going to make frozen yogurt and sherbets, but who am I kidding.  Ever since I brought it home from the store, my mind has been filled with all kinds of fat kid ice cream combinations I can make.  This was actually probably the most dangerous gift I could have received.  Without the hassle of going to get ice and salt, there is nothing stopping me from cranking this baby up.  It's kind of like giving an alcoholic their own distillery....  I tried it out for the first time last night and made buttered pecan ice cream...  I die....  And I am not looking forward to being weighed tomorrow at my doctor's appointment.  Oh well, you only live once right?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Caroline's Birthday-The Party

So, as I mentioned in my previous post, we had a little party for Caroline's 2nd birthday.  And people actually did attend.  I hope you all don't have anything else to do this afternoon because this is a long one.  Here's how the party went down:
I love this pic with Caroline sticking her tongue out.  She is so Steven's child.
I have that "I'm-smiling-but-talking-through-my-teeth-to-make-my-kid-smile" look on my face.  That's how most of my pictures are these days.  Note to self:  Must work on that.  I think I come by it naturally though... Check out my mom here:
Grandma Daisy and Grandpa "Bimbo" as Caroline calls him.
We were so lucky to have Caroline's grandparents here for her party.  The only one we were missing was Papa Ed :(
We had her birthday party a week later so that Sugar and Pops could be here for the party as well as Easter.  We were so glad they were able to make it up from Louisiana!
 Here is Caroline waiting for her guests to arrive.  She could not wait to get into those presents.  I made her outfit, because clearly I didn't have enough to do.  I am really not sure why I do that to myself.  Why couldn't I have just bought something?  Because it wouldn't have been EXACTLY what I wanted. Duh.  I really am my own worst enemy.

So excited!

I had a really hard time trying to keep her from tearing everything up before everyone got there.  And there I am documenting my nights of lost sleep work.

We finally gave up and let Caroline open her play-doh set from Uncle Drew, Aunt Heather, Gracyn and Hudson while we were waiting for everyone to arrive.  Some times you gotta do what you gotta do.

I love this pic.  It looks like Caroline is saying "Finally!  My people are here!"

Soon after, Caroline really got to work opening her presents:

We all know I may have a few screws loose, but now there is no question.  I bought my kid a drum.  I know.  I'm still not sure what I was thinking other than "Oh she will just love it!".  For the month leading up to her birthday, Caroline turned everything in the house into a drum.  She was (and still is) obsessed.  That is one toy that might just turn up "missing" once Baby #2 arrives....

Caroline really has the present business figured out.  And she doesn't want to sit and play with everything once she has opened it.  She is already on to the next one.  Speed is her thing.  I wonder where she gets that???

So up until this point, you're probably thinking, 'This looks like a pretty normal party'.  Well, in the Broussard house, nothing is "normal".  We are about as crazy as they come.  This is where the party gets interesting.

Back in October, Steven and I decided to have a Sesame Street theme for our Halloween costumes since Caroline was obsessed and we had lost all self-respect.  He was going to be Elmo, I was going to be Big Bird, and Caroline was going to be Abby Cadabby.  We ordered Steven an Elmo mask and I was going to come up with something for the body.  The month got away from me and we had to trash our idea.  Caroline was still Abby Cadabby, but Steven and I dressed up as Phil and Miss Kay from Duck Dynasty (and Steven was mistaken as Osama bin Laden going hunting....  No one at the party had watched Duck Dynasty... Awkward...). 

We decided to keep the Elmo mask since I had already decided to do an Elmo birthday party for Caroline.  I figured that some how between October and March I could come up with a "body" for Elmo.  But then I got pregnant and spent the next 3 months with my head in the toilet on the couch.   So, by the time the party was nearing, I still hadn't figured out what to do with Elmo.  I just wanted to scratch the idea, but that was not ok with my husband.  He had been talking about dressing up for Caroline's birthday party for months.  When I informed him that I simply did not have the time to make a body, he took matters into his own redneck resourceful hands.  And what do you do when you don't have a furry red suit to match your Elmo mask?  Why you wear red sweatpants of course.  Sweatpants are like the duck tape of apparel:  they "fix" any problem.  So, thanks to Amazon Prime, my husband lived his dream of dressing up as Elmo for his little girl's birthday party. 

On a side note:  I know most of you must be wondering how my perfectionist, Type A self can be ok with my darling husband pulling hillbilly shenanigans like this.  Well, it certainly isn't easy.  I am very certain that God put Steven in my life for a reason:  to remind me that not everything can be perfect, and some times you have to find the beauty or humor in other's imperfections.  No matter how hard I try, there will always be a few "unrefined" qualities about him.  I learned a long time ago to just let go and let my husband be his quirky self.  The day I learned to laugh at his weirdo ways, my life became a lot easier.  And more fun.  At times it can actually be amusing to live with a mix of a Duck Dynasty and Swamp People cast member.  Now that's not to say I let him get away with everything.  I still have my limits.  Like his acid wash peg-leg jeans from 1994....  Those had to go.  Any way, back to the party...

To say that Steven was pleased with himself and his "costume" was an understatement.  The best part was how proud he was of himself for improvising at the last minute and putting on a pair of red socks to really complete his look.  His plan was to go change halfway through the party while Caroline was opening presents and return as Elmo to deliver a present to the birthday girl.  Well, even the best plans don't always work out. 

Elmo came out to great his adoring fans, and this is basically what happened:

I really wish I had a picture of Caroline's face when she saw him, but she was totally unimpressed.  Her expression bordered more on disturbed.... 

Caroline:  "No, Daddy, seriously, please don't pick me up.... All of my friends are watching...  Omg I am so embarrassed."

Caroline:   "Mom save me!  I am SO humiliated to have ghetto Elmo at my party!"

Nope, sorry Steven.  She's still not having it.....

Caroline:  "Ugh Daddy I can't even look at you right now.  I'll be sending you my therapy bill in about 20 years."

I think this one might be my favorite.  This would be a great pic to play "Caption This".  Steven just couldn't take the hint that ghetto/redneck Elmo just wasn't welcome.  No birthday party is complete without a creepy photo bomber! 

But this one came in at a close second:

Me:  "Steven, seriously.  Enough.  Let it go man."

In the end, creepy Elmo made every one cry, so he finally took the hint and left.  Bless my sweet husband's heart for trying.  Part of me felt so bad for him because he had been looking forward to his big moment for months.  The other part of me was a little worried that a man in his upper 30's was that excited to dress up in an Elmo costume...  The best part was the fact that several of the guys Steven works with were there at the party (and they certainly did not take it easy on him), and yet my goofball husband completely put his manhood on the line for his little girl.  And that is why I love him.

Once Elmo made his exit, we got on with the rest of the party.  We were videoing this part, but I am so bummed that this is the only pic I have of Caroline blowing out her candle.

Cupcake time!!!

Caroline is definitely my daughter in the fact that she loves sweets, especially cupcakes.  Of course, she only eats the frosting off the top, but hey, isn't that the best part?!

I turned around and Caroline had vanished when I looked back at the table.  I couldn't figure out where she went, but when she returned, she had a spoon.  Because everyone needs a spoon to eat a cupcake right???  Such a little lady.

This is Adelai, Caroline's BFF.  We call them Thelma and Louise.  I'm not sure we have figured out which is Thelma and which is Louise, but it works.  They were born about 6 weeks apart, so it has been fun to watch them grow up together.  I love this pic of Addie because her expression says "Lady, I'm just trying to eat my cupcake.  You got a problem with that???"

Nothing better than cupcakes with friends!

After the party was over, we took Caroline out to see her present from the grandparents:

It was a really cold and nasty day, so we weren't too excited to take her to see it since we knew she would want to stay outside.  But of course, Pops, being the saint that he is, stayed outside to let her explore her new digs.


All in all, we had a great time at Caroline's party (with the exception of creepy Elmo).  It was so fun to celebrate with family and friends. I know that with 2 kids I am going to have to calm down on the parties a bit, but I enjoyed doing this while I still can.  Even though it was a little hectic, it was totally worth it in the end...  Dead fish and all.