The Caroline Chronicles

sprinkled …

July 19, 2011, Father’s Day, Caroline Leigh Waddell was baptised, or as BJ likes to call it, “sprinkled”.

Recently, as a family, we have joined to Methodist Church – the same traditional church I grew up in as a teenager.  The same faith I practiced my entire life (with the exception of the stint in the Catholic school where I was a pseudo Catholic) and the same faith that we were married into …

This is has been a struggle for us as a family.  BJ & I are not particularly “religious” though we do think of ourselves as “spiritual” … church has often been important but not vital.  Not until Caroline came a long … and we agreed she needed the foundation and we as a family needed to find a place where we could grow together … thus, life led us to the Methodist Church.  A far cry from the mega church/rock band concert we attended most Sundays at the beginning of our marriage – a very different understanding of God and church than BJ grew up with.

But here we are – volunteers for the nursery & Bible School … pondering book club & Bible Study … asking each other really deep and thought provoking questions as a result of the sermon and sometimes (well, a lot of times) making fun of the bald guy sitting a few pews in front of us.

I often wonder about religion – does it matter?  And I’m not sure if I truly know the answer to that question … I guess the best I can come up with is:  it matters to us right now.


Reflections on Mother’s Day …

This morning, you wrapped your “baby” up in your blanket and sweetly rocked her to sleep.  This was after you gave her a bath in your pretend sink and wiped her nose with three real tissues.  You gently kissed her forehead and hummed a song in her ear.  And when you caught me watching you, you giggled and said, “look at me, Mommy” and in between the words I heard what you meant – I’m like you.

There are so many things about myself that I don’t like and I don’t wish on you – I don’t wish to project or for your to inherit my insecurities or my fears or some of my dramatics.  But for a moment today, I saw what you see when you look at me – kindness. passion. love.

I, too, mimicked my Mommy.  I watched her put on make up every morning … just like you do to me.  I watched her do things for others not because she has to, but because she should – because good people take care of good people.  I watched her listen.  To everything.  No matter how old I was.  But most importantly, I watched and felt her love me & Aunt Leigh more than anything.  She told me once I would never understand how she feels about me until I had my own baby.  She was right – and now I do understand.  I understand completely.  And I am in awe that some one in this world loves me that much.

Sometimes, I am sad because I teach children whose parents don’t love them – and everyone deserves to feel love … everyone deserves to know that kind of love.  You are lucky, little girl, because you are loved like that two times over … and every day, I love you more.

There are days that I fear that you won’t love me back … I know that there will be times when you are in your double digits that you will, perhaps, not think I am the coolest, raddest, most hip person alive (I guess your Dad can be that person) … I know that even though we won’t always agree – one day you’ll understand.  Because one morning, years from now, you’ll wake up, and you watch yourself being mimicked in a little creation that is part you and you will weep … because the love you feel will be summed up in one word – Mommy.

baby, baby, baby, OOOOHHHH …

First, it was the song SWEET CAROLINE … and if she had her rathers, she’d listen to it  continuously.  “BUM BUM BUM” … good times never seemed SO GOOD … SO GOOD … SO GOOD!

Finally, at one point, I couldn’t take it and I banned the song … for over 18 months I’ve been listening to it … even still, when she’s hysterical, it’s the only thing that calms her down – you don’t believe me?  We have the damn song on every CD & iPod we own and travel with.

But now, she’s moved on … found a new obsession … two, actually.  BARNY & BIEBER.

Yes.  You. Heard. Me. Right.

Barney & Bieber … she loves the “I love you” song and she has to dance every night to the Glee video of Justin Bieber’s BABY, BABY, BABY!

“Bye Barney” she screams as Barney asks “won’t you say you love me, too?” and she twirls and squeals and laughs with “BABY, BABY, BABY” … some times, she points to herself and says “MINE” .

She’s 18 months old.  Going on 18.

And I love every. single. second. of her enormous personality … she is, truly, the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me – she is my second love … second only to her father … and I’m not sure I could ever love anyone as much as I love those two people.

puking rally …

Last night, around 12:15, we woke up to our sweet little baby doll screaming her head off.  When I went into her nursery, I leaned over the rail to pick her up and her hands were wet and all of a sudden the smell poured over me – she had puked all in her bed.

All over her covers.

All over her lovies.

All over her PJs.

So, we tag teamed it.  I cleaned her up, BJ cleaned up the room.  We got her some juice.  We snuggled in the big bed.  Around 1:30, everyone was back in their own beds.  Trying to settle down.  About 2:15, more cries.  More puke.  Another bath.  Another pair of PJs.

It wasn’t so bad as the 1st time, just she wallowed in it – in her hair, on me, on BJ, on the blankets.

Oh, and after that, she was scared to go back to her bed.

So we family snuggled all night long – well, CLW got to sleep, Mommy & Daddy, not so much.

With no fever and no diaherra, we figure, it was a sour stomach.  At least we hope.  Today has been MUCH better!  Well, except for the diaper explosion that took place in the baby doll section of Target around 1 pm today … other than that … we’re good! 🙂

18 months old????????????????

My baby is really not a baby (even though she’s my baby and always will be) … she’s getting to be a big girl!

She just turned 18 months old … how can that be?  18 months ?  It’s unreal … every day she learns something new and she amazes me with just how incredibly bright and happy she is – I think Caroline Leigh is meant to make people happy.  She makes her Mommy happy, at least.

Lots of big stuff in the future – number one on the list, POTTY TRAINING … not sure how this is going to work out but I’m excited about getting started … She’s ready – she’s just not BIG enough … so it should be interesting to see how it all plays out … we’ll see!

What I think I’m most excited for is Caroline having enough hair for PIG TAILS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

the frost is melting …

We were frozen in.  LITERALLY!  For one entire week, we were all frozen in together … and there really was no where to go because the roads were frozen, the stores were closed, and the entire city was out sledding in their backyards!  Not us.  We painted the downstairs, watch/read Harry Potter, played with the playhouse, and snuggled in our jammies.  It was pretty awesome!

The problem with being out of school for an entire week is that now there are NO breaks until Spring Break the first of April … but that was okay, because we gave our own selves breaks in February. 🙂

February was a B.U.S.Y. month for Lori & BJ.  First, I met the Beej in Orlando and we went to Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure to check out the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (pretty much AWESOMENESS!) … then, the next week, we went to the Monster Truck Rally (pretty much LAME), then Mimi came for the weekend, then, the last weekend in February, we went overnight to see Brad Paisley in concert with some friends.  I don’t think we’ve had this much excitement since before Caroline was born!  The thing about it is, CLW had to stay with Nana and Papa.

This is very hard for me.

I know she’s safe and taken care of and that she has a great time – but being away from her like that is tough.  Especially overnight.  I don’t like CLW not being in the next room over.  I want her to snuggle with me in the mornings.  I don’t like the feeling I feel in my gut when we are on our way to pick her up and I just want us to be there already because my heart is aching so bad.  I don’t like her being away from me any more than she absolutely has to be.

And I know it’s important for us to have our time together.  And I appreciate it when we get to have that.

I just don’t like her spending the night.

Luckily, we don’t have any overnights planned for a while.

Spring is on its way!  There are so many fun things happening as the weather gets warmer – Caroline’s cousin’s birthday in March (and her friend Jack’s in May)!   We’re heading to Mimi & Coach’s in April for Spring Break (just Lori & Caroline) and hopefully we will get to visit the beach some! 🙂  Speaking of the beach, the rental house is ready for this summer’s vacation – it’s not all the Herndon’s this time, just our family, but we are SO excited to spend the 4th of July in St. Augustine!  Mimi did good on the rental … and we are definitely counting down the days until we get there!

If it is at all possible, Caroline is getting cuter and cuter by the minute!  She has many tricks – she can sing “Sweet Caroline”, “I love you” (from Barney), Justin Bieber’s “Baby, Baby” complete with hand motions, and “La La” – Elmo’s World!  She can tell you where her eyes, ears, mouth, nose, teeth, head, hair, feet, hands and belly button are! 🙂  And she has mastered the words Mommy, Daddy, mine, NO!, yes, Fish, Baby, Please (though it sounds like peas), Cookie, Barney (though it sounds like Barmey), Ansley, Shelly, Papa, and of course, MIMI!  Mimi is the word that she says with the most southern accent … with lots of emphasis.  And usually with pouty lips … it’s adorable!

I’m looking forward to Spring – potty training will commence (she’s 18 months old … it’s time) … eating popsicles and playing with the outside toys!  Swimming and playground trips!  AH … bring on the warm weather!

you spin my head right round right round …

What is it about the carosel?

This round and round and round bring so much excitement to my child.

Great Pops (BJ’s Granddad) gave Caroline caroseul vouchers …  we’ve used them all up!  Yes, pretty much all of them!  She LOVES to go round and round and round … and she refuses to eat in the food court until she rides – this habit, I’m afraid, will most definitely have to be broken in the future!

“WWWWWEEEEEEE” goes her cheesy grin … and she waves heartily as we pass BJ – “HEY DADDY!  HEY DADDY!”  … she doesn’t quite grasp the concept of inside voice so EVERYONE at Northpoint is aware of when Caroline is riding!



it’s going to be a HAPPY NEW YEAR …

I’m the worst blogger ever.  EVER.  I know, I know.  SO … I’m resolving (once again) to be better about my little updates … to write more and love more and play more.  I”m sure 2011 will NOT be the year of the clean house … but hey, cleanliness is overrated! 🙂

Caroline had a most fantastic holiday season.  We spent Thanksgiving in Savannah with Mimi, Aunt Leigh & Coach.  She visited and ate well – Caroline even stayed over night for TWO nights with Mimi & Coach & Aunt Leigh without Mommy & Daddy … and they SPOILED her rotten!  Train rides, ice cream, new clothes … she was pretty content when we got to Savannah.  I can’t say I much blame her, though.  We visited with the Graunts, Gruncles & S’Cousins … and of course, Caroline had to show off every where we went.

Her newest trick:  She sings “SWEET CAROLINE” … actually, she just does the “Bum Bum Bum” part; and it’s adorable.

After Thanksgiving, time was filled with Christmas parties and pot lucks and visits … it seemed there was something to do almost EVERY NIGHT! 🙂  Caroline had fun at all the different festivities … she especially LOVED wearing her Christmas Bell around her neck and jingling it everywhere.  Caroline also became a fan of riding around and looking at the Christmas lights!  On the last week of school before Christmas vacation, there was an ice freeze … and the three of us got to stay home together …  and on the last day, the three of us as a family dropped off tons of presents and over $7000 my school raised for a local family in need.  It was a wonderful start to giving back … and recognizing just how blessed we are with what we have.

Christmas with Nana & Papa & Uncle Kevin, Aunt Jackie & Cousin Ansley was super fun … Caroline LOVES her Fred Flintstone car we have lovingly named “Ruby”.  Though, I ‘m convinced, Caroline would love nothing more than to spend all her time with her cousin – she just LOVES Ansley.  🙂  During our vacation, Caroline & Ansley met up for a “play date” at Catch Air – an indoor play area.  They were so cute; though, I have the kid who thinks she is WAY bigger than she really is!

Mimi, Coach, Aunt Leigh and that damn little dog Gus came for Christmas!  We baked cookies (with Emily, Hannah & Caleb), went to the caroseul, and Auntie Alison came by on Christmas Eve for a short visit and late lunch … how fun???  We had a whole crew over to our house for Christmas Eve celebration … including Uncle Jeremy and Caroline had to show EVERYONE her “house” that Mimi & Coach gave her … it even has a real ding dong doorbell!

Uncle Adam arrived early Christmas morning … and Caroline was the last one up!  She wasn’t feeling too good … we thought she was just tired until she puked.  It was a hangover puke – both Mommy & Daddy have had those before … you puke and then you feel better … she rinsed her mouth out and was READY to go … prancing around in her hat and scarf and gloves, sitting in her monogrammed chair … tickling Elmo & watching Clifford.  Sometimes all you need is to relieve yourself! 🙂

The best part of Christmas morning (besides Caroline unwrapping gifts) was that around 11 AM, it began to snow.  And it snowed for two days.

A White Christmas.

A reminder that it’s the simplest things in life that mean the most – like a love pat, a hearty giggle, or a baby’s kiss.

2010 has been the most fun I’ve ever had – and at times, it’s been the grossest, too.  Here’s hoping 2011 is just as great!

I’m Not Biased …

… but I have the cutest kid ever.  EVER.  I never anticipated falling in love with her more and more every day.  But each day, her personality shows through – like Saturday, she placed one of my bracelets on her arm (and of course, it swallowed her arm) and she pranced around the living room with the bracelet, an old pocket book of mine slung on her shoulder, carrying her sippy cup, Mr. Smoochies, Charlotte & Sugars the Bunny.

And she’s loud.  She’s REALLY loud.

She doesn’t quite understand the concept of “inside voice”.  Her father would say that I don’t either.  Not that I totally disagree … BUT … it’s funny.  She’s loud.  And here lately, her favorite word is “Mom”.

Mom.  Mom.  Mom.  Mom.  Mom.  Mom.  Mom.  Mom … well, you get the point.

She pretty much talks from the moment she wakes up until the moment she goes to bed.  And it’s precious.

I guess I wonder:  If I love her so much and I think that she is so amazing – what will it be like when we have another baby?

And then, I worry about her becoming a brat – I mean I want her to know that she’s special – I just don’t want her think that the world revolves around her – what a fine line love is!

wake me up, when September ends …

October was a month of F.A.M.I.L.Y. F.U.N.!

First, Mommy had to oversee HOMECOMING at her school – and Daddy was there to help … for a whole week it seemed like Caroline would NEVER see Mommy again … but not to fret, there was A LOT of fun family adventures awaiting us …

We went to the FAIR … and CLW LOVED all the lights and noise – but she especially enjoyed the taste of Apple Pie & Apple cider… one thing is for definite: that girl LOVES to eat! 🙂

The next weekend, we had a BIG adventure … we bought Caroline’s first pair of SHOES!  She’s a walking girl now … so shoes are a MUST!  The very next day, we went to BURT’S PUMPKIN FARM … Caroline LOVED the hay ride & the pumpkins & of course, the apple pies & apple cider.

But the fun didn’t stop there – the very next weekend, Mimi & Aunt Leigh came and we went to BOO AT THE ZOO … Caroline really loved riding the carosel and the train and she barked at every animal we passed!  It was really a fun weekend with the Savannah peeps (though it always is!) …

THEN … Caroline got to come to Mommy’s school to the SGA Carnvial – and wear her very own SGA sweat shirt!  She was so very cute!

Finally, on Halloween Weekend … we took a Just-The-Three-Of-Us Weekend Getaway Trip … to the mountains!  She was SUCH a good girl, despite the fact that 4 teeth began popping through that week … she especially enjoyed her first trip to an aquarium … she barked at the fish, too! 🙂

She rode in her Ladybug costume down the strip of Gatlinburg, TN, and everyone who saw her smiled … and we finished our last night on vacation by ordering room service – HOW FUN!

It pretty much was the BEST month ever!