Ok, I can’t believe it’s taken me almost a month to get to this post. Caroline turned 3. Three. Time has just flown by. People try to warn you about how fast the years go by. It’s one of those things that you know is happening, but is still astonishing at the same time. Caroline is 3. Wow.
Every month, every year, I’m so excited to see what the next year brings. I loved the baby stage, I really did, but I’ve loved each year even more. Each year brings out more and more of Caroline’s personality. Each year we get to enjoy more and more things together.
Each year is just amazing to watch how much Caroline has learned.
I just love being a part of Caroline’s life and I love everything about being a mom. While my job as a stay at home mom is hard, it is honestly the most rewarding job I’ve ever had, and I am so glad to be doing it.
Ok so we’ll start with her schedule. Not much has changed over the last year at all!
7:00 am wake (she no longer drinks milk)
7:45/8:00 am breakfast
12 pm lunch
12:30/1-3:30/4 pm nap
5:30/6 pm dinner
7:15 pm bed
2 days a week, Caroline attends school from 9-11:30. She still goes to gymnastics once a week (we also schedule this during the late morning hours), and she has swim class once a week (also in the morning).
My last update was a few months ago. We were snacking all of the time due to my crazy hunger during the pregnancy with April. We now have the snacking under control LOL! We are back to eating 3 good meals a day…although Mama is still super hungry on occasion, so we break the rules every once in awhile.
Caroline has a great sense of smell like Mama does, so she has some picky moments based on the strong smell of things at times. She’s back to trying things without issue though, and can totally be bribed into eating more if need be (if you eat x bites of ___, you can have 1 bite of ____). It’s a helpful tool at times, but really we don’t worry too much about the quantity that she’s eating.
She eats one great meal a day and does her best with the others. We’ve finally broken away from peanut butter and jelly every single day!
Speaking of her great sense of smell… in my last update she’d decided that her milk cup smells and was refusing to drink milk out of any cup. She now very rarely has milk… very rarely. We make sure to give her lots of cheese and yogurt as a replacement. And any time we go out to eat, she loves ordering chocolate milk, of course!
Sleeping has been a bit of a roller coaster since April died.
I’ve written about it a few times here:
Sleep and Behavioral Disruptions- Making a Big Change to Get Back on Track
Toddler Sleep Disruptions During A Family Crisis
For the most part, she’s back to going to bed nicely without screaming. She makes a ton of excuses (itches she can’t get, potty, etc.), but she’s made great progress and goes to bed very well most of the time.
She’s very frustrated with not being able to fall asleep immediately. She will stay quiet for a minute, then complain that “it’s not working” and she needs help to fall asleep. We are working with her to be patient. She used to just read and play and read and play in bed. Now she’s just very aware of the fact that she’s not sleeping, and wants to fix it.
She’s also waking once in the middle of the night still on a good majority of the nights. She will be wide awake and again be impatient with not falling back to sleep. She’s losing sleep as a result of being up so much in the middle of the night. She deals with it so well for the most part, though.
That brings me to naps. A big part of me thinks that if I dropped the nap, she’d probably sleep through the night. But, she’s still taking great naps. She complains that she’s tired. She needs her nap. The only way to remove nap, would be to just keep her up. That’s no help.
She at least needs rest time. On occasion she just sits in bed and reads and plays quietly. But I can’t prevent her from sleeping while still giving her rest time. So for now, we are leaving nap alone, and just not letting her sleep too long.
Back in October, Caroline’s teacher brought to my attention that she was having some anxiety out at the playground. I wrote about it all here:
My Toddler’s Anxiety Around Other Children
I am super happy to report that after our week long “boot camp” addressing the above behaviors, Caroline started doing really well at the playground (read above link). She is still going strong and doing very well.
She still tells me that she doesn’t like playground time. She tells me that she doesn’t like it when both classes go out at the same time because it’s too busy and crowded. Some days she goes down the slide; some days she just stands there.
She always does her best, though. If I ask her to try and run around, she does just that. She is always pushing herself to do her best. I am so proud of her effort and determination. I am so happy that she discusses her anxieties with me. I am so impressed with her willingness to work on this with me.
Gymnastics is still going great. She’s doing very well at the preschool level. She just finished her first session and earned a ribbon. She gets a little progress report now on all of her skills, so we’ll be able to track her progress for each skill. Now that there are new children in the class, she’s having a bit of anxiety again just around the new people. She’s working through it, though and doing well.
She’s also still continuing on with swim class. She’s been at the same level since August, but she’s still enjoying it. Class progression may have stopped, but she’s just at the last step where she needs to do her back float (starfish) on her own…then she’ll move up again.
We also did some rearranging recently in the basement. We removed a large desk that I was no longer using, and created a play area next to the guest bedroom that is set up in the basement. It is working so well! Caroline loves having independent playtime down there, and she is also enjoying watching her new favorite show- Paw Patrol!
Milestones & Interests
Caroline has a new favorite TV show! She only wants to watch Paw Patrol! We only have access to it through the Nick Jr. app, so she’s watching the limited shows over and over. But she loves it. Her favorite pup was initially Skye, but has now changed to Zuma.
Her favorite songs are Thomas Rhett “Unforgettable”, and Luke Combs “When it rains it pours”.
She is enjoying listening to new CD’s at bedtime. We broke out our CD collection from back in the day. She’s listening to things like John Mayer, Backstreet Boys, and old school Kenny Chesney.
She still loves being outside. She grabs sticks and rocks to add to her collection on our front porch any time we are outside. She really enjoyed going to the beach and collecting shells!
Caroline requested recently to talk about “the baby and Chelsea” every single day.
She also now refers to “the baby” as April. Finally! My heart is so happy to hear her say April’s name.
Caroline has become very helpful lately. She offers to help with everything that I am doing. It is so lovely to see.
Caroline says please and thank you, bless you when we sneeze, etc. She is so polite.
Caroline has worked really hard on saying names. She has practiced and mastered saying all of her classmates names.
I shouldn’t even mention this, because I don’t want it to stop… but she’s finally helping me pull her pants up and down! So excited to see her trying to dress and undress herself a bit.
When asked at her 3 year well check what her favorite thing to do is, she responded with “read books”. So true! She also still really enjoys pretend play with all of her characters (Daniel tiger, Trolls, Dinosaur Train, Paw Patrol).
Caroline tried crab in Ocean City, and really enjoyed it! Love that she’s willing to try new things.
There is no hiding food from this girl. She has ears like our dog. So much as open the pantry, open a slice of cheese, etc., and she’s onto you. Trying to hide food in your mouth? Nope not happening. “What are you eating?” she always asks. Or she’ll look at us and just say “Mama” or “Daddy”, with this BIIIIIIG grin on her face, like what’s up!? And where’s mine!?
She’s obsessed with all things Paw Patrol right now. We play lookout tower on the twisty slides at playgrounds, and she pretends to be Zuma some days.
One of these days I’m going to do a full post on this. Caroline shortens words when she talks. It is sooo hilarious. She’ll say things like “wat” for water. “Din” for dinner, etc. She does it all the time, and is just too cool for school! haha
I also thought this was fun and wanted to record it here. A “toddler/preschool test” was circulating on Facebook. So, we had some fun with it and I asked Caroline the questions. Here are the questions and her responses:
No coaching them, just ask and write the response down:
Caroline is currently 1 week from turning 3
What is your name? Caroline
How old are you? 2
When is your Birthday? Ooo! I don’t remember
How old is Daddy? 3
How old is Mommy? 3
What is your favorite color? Purple
What is your favorite food? Cheese
Who is your best friend? Tiny (from dinosaur train)
What is your favorite animal? Ummmmm lion
What are you scared of? Nothing
What makes you happy? Drinking
What’s your favorite thing to do with Daddy? Play and rest
What’s your favorite thing to do with Mommy? Play with you
Where is your favorite place to go? Swim class
What do you want to be when you grow up? A picture
What does love mean? I don’t know