Saturday, March 21, 2009

Little Valentine

I am admittedly not very good at celebrating special days. I am notorious for forgetting birthdates, and even when I remember, I usually fail to do anything more than say "happy birthday," or at best send a card.

Now that we have a child, I have a greater desire to make holidays and birthdays special for her, although I still don't do as well as I would like. So this year, sometime in January, I was at Publix and walked past the greeting card aisle which was putting off a rather pink glow. My first thought was, "Oh yeah, Valentine's Day is next month. I'll have to remember to get cards or something." As I kept walking, though, I realized that would never happen unless I stopped right then and there and bought cards. This, of course, was a big gamble with a toddler in the cart...I take a long time to pick out cards. Fortunately, Hallmark makes multi-packs of holiday cards, and this time that was good enough for me. Cards, check. Now on to the goldfish aisle.

Of course, we bought the cards and took them home, but it was still only halfway through January: too early to send them. I wrote a note on my calendar to send the cards a week before Valentines Day. Fast forward....

Two days before Valentine's Day, I realized the cards are still in the package buried in a stack of stuff on the kitchen counter. I wondered if it was too late to mail them. I hoped not, because then all of my good intentions would be down the drain. I also realized at that point that I had no crayons or markers for Caitlyn to "sign" the cards. I dug through the drawer in the kitchen and came up with a red Sharpie marker. It would have to do...yet another risky move with a toddler.

I stripped Caitlyn down to her diaper and put her in her high chair, thinking that was probably the best way to restrain her while she held a permanent marker. Unfortunately, as I said earlier, we had no crayons, so Caitlyn had never really drawn before. (This is probably sad to some of you...don't worry, we now own crayons and Caitlyn has colored on numerous things in our house.) I put the cards in front of her, and showed her how to use the marker. She didn't do a great job of staying on the paper, so I added plastic wrap to the high chair tray to keep it from becoming permanently streaked with red. She signed the cards, and we rushed off to the post office with high hopes. We were thrilled to hear from family members on Valentine's Day that they did actually receive special cards in the mail from Caitlyn. Success!

Look at how hard she was concentrating on scribbling her messages:

My sweet friends Missy and Anna gave Caitlyn this outfit when she was born. It was very appropriate for Valentine's Day, although maybe getting a little bit snug. Doesn't Caitlyn look thrilled to have her picture made?

The meltdown worsens. This picture is for those of you who think Caitlyn never throws fits.

Caitlyn also received lots of special cards and gifts for Valentine's Day. Thank you! She enjoyed playing with them and still keeps them all together in a little red bag. She loves to spread them out on the kitchen floor and point to the animals on the different cards.

And finally, she received a lollipop in one of her packages. We love to hear her say "lolly," and this was the first time she had ever tasted a lollipop. My camera battery died before we could get much video, but we were able to capture the moment.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A place for everything and everything in its place...

Caitlyn has a new fascination with cabinets, particularly with sitting in them. We have child safety latches on most of our cabinets, but she knows the ones that don't have them. This is "her cabinet" where she often sits while I cook dinner.

She sometimes gets frustrated that she can't get all the way in and close the door on her own.

Fortunately the bottom of the china cabinet is currently empty.

It's not quite big enough to seat Caitlyn comfortably.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Go Tigers!

Although it didn't help us win the bowl game, Caitlyn sure looked cute in her cheerleading outfit on New Year's Day. Maybe she'll have more to cheer about during March Madness.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Catching up: After Christmas with the Carrolls

What a treat for us that my parents and brother traveled to Huntsville to see us after Christmas. We had a blast with them, and Caitlyn received another dosage of spoiling!

Finally Uncle Ryan came to visit so he could read the German books that he sent for her birthday. Caitlyn was probably somewhat confused because Will and I "read" them to her in English, so she didn't know what to think when Ryan read them in German.

Caitlyn and Mimi had fun playing with the doll in the new stroller from Great-Grandmom and Great-Granddad. That doll was mine when I was a little girl.

Caitlyn taught Uncle Ryan about the animals on Farmer Tad's fridge farm.

Caitlyn is all dressed up for church and playing with the cradle that Mimi and Pops brought. That cradle was mine when I was little, too.

One of Caitlyn's new favorite toys is the set of Little People blocks that Marmee and Granddad gave her for Christmas.

Grandma and Pop-pop gave Caitlyn this really fun baby for Christmas. She moves and babbles and says "Mama," which Caitlyn mimics every time she plays with it. The baby also has a pacifier and bottle, both of which Caitlyn tries to use for herself, or as pictured here, to poke the baby in the eyes.

Here's Caitlyn riding the rocking horse from the Spinks. She sings "rock, rock, rock" as she rides and has so much fun.

Another favorite gift of the season is the princess tent. Here is the princess herself in her new pink palace. (I think Mimi is hiding in there, too.)

Caitlyn is looking out the window of the tent. What a fun gift! Thanks, Pops!