Two Tails on a Two and a Half Year Old

In September, Coraline turned two and a half with little fuss. I don’t have the rocking chair in the corner of her nursery anymore, and we didn’t get out the blocks (though I did think about it). We did measure her height and let Jameson check his, too! But she already seems every inch of two and a half. Even though she’s shorter than Jameson was at her age (only by a bit), she seems more articulate! After all, she’s got her big brother to keep up with.


This is my favorite of her fall outfits. I could dress her in that long bunny tunic all day long. For some reason it shouts “growing up!” and “cute little baby!” all at the same time with those pig tails and new minion socks she picked out. “Slip-shers”, her way of saying slippers, has come and gone.

In the mornings, I asked her if she wants one tail or two, but we mostly do two. Her hair is getting too long for the side tail! Long enough now for a regular pony tail or half up, but my favorite is the piggy tails.

Coraline has this hilarious expression of delight when she’s excited, with eyes wide open and mouth in a big “o”. She says it when I tell her we’re going to gymnastics and when it’s “bath-a-night” as she calls it.


She’s fully potty trained (after a bit of drama with numero duo, we have the whole shebang down pat now – including night training). She’ll even use a public restroom, which is a novelty for me since Jameson was so against it as to cause a little paranoia about going out. It happened over the course of the summer and the many days outside in a swimsuit. She was almost as easy as Jameson was! How I got so lucky with two kids I think is mostly due to daycare.

“Are you hungry in your belly Coraline?” -Brian
“I hungry in my mouth” -Coraline



Coraline likes to do art a bit more than Jameson, and occasionally plays with dolls, but for the most part she likes to do whatever Jameson is doing!

“I coloring mommy. I busy, I busy”

Coraline is doing a bit more pretend play. She’ll play doctor, and my favorite, she plays at being a baby. She curl up on the floor, or snuggle up against me, and do a little fake baby cry. I could do this all day long as long as I’m sitting down (she’s getting heavy!)


We are currently dealing with a bit of fear of the dark. She’s a little too young to explain how she’s feeling or what she’s afraid of particularly, and is pretty quick to go back to bed, but she comes running into our room crying loudly for mommy (sometimes daddy) one to two times a night.

She definitely doesn’t like to be in the dark herself, but Jameson is really getting into play in the dark so we have been taking advantage by trying to play games and make the dark fun! Jameson set out all his flashlights for her.


She adores her little burp clothes which are now called blankies. She’s developing preferences for certain ones. She loves the sheep one (of which there is only one!), and the striped monkey one (which there are two). I’ve tried offering some real blankies, but it’s not the same. These are her favorite and they are starting to look very raggy!

We haven’t really addressed the thumb-sucking actively yet, but will sometimes tell her to remove her thumb from her mouth. We say daily that she’s super cute, and I find it a bit harder to discipline her than Jameson because even though she’s a bit of a drama queen, she listens for the most part (and is terribly distraught when she does get yelled at). She’s responding very well to 1…2… the threat of 3 works great.

Her favorite movie and characters is, of course, Frozen. I sing a verse of the snowman and let it go songs every night. She loves when she gets to wear her new Elsa and Anna shirt. She wants to watch the movie any time, too! I’m looking forward to all the fun ways we can play with the Frozen theme through the winter. I’m hopeful that she’ll be into the snow more this year! So much to look forward to that I don’t frequently look back. We are lucky parents!

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Coraline’s First Haircut

Quite a bit later than Jameson’s first haircut (given, she’s a girl), but we finally got Coraline’s hair cut at the end of June in the hopes that it would resolve some of the crazy knots we’ve been having!



She was very intent on her video, and unlike Jameson, was all smiles! She’s also had a couple opportunities to see him in action though, so she didn’t have any fear.



She even sat still enough for a braid, which was pretty amazing to me! (It hasn’t happened since)



It didn’t, however, really affect the knot situation. After a number of shampoos for both Jameson and Coraline, where I tried to go more natural and manage Coraline’s eczema, I was still having trouble. I also tried a detangler, and it helped, but we still struggled. I finally gave in and bought the good stuff from California Baby.

From the very first night we used it, even drying overnight on the pillow, her (and Jameson’s) hair have been silk soft and easy to brush, comb and style. Coraline’s standard style is pig tails (I hope this phase never ends). I can’t believe it took me that long to commit (okay, California Baby is expensive). But totally worth it for me. It’s a baby wash and shampoo, but to make it last we are just using it as shampoo. I love it.

I also bought their “gel”, and I’m pretty happy with it given that it’s “natural” — it’s certainly not going to spike Jameson’s really long hair he’s been growing out. I use it on Coraline and Jameson’s flyaways, not every day, but when we are having a particularly awesome hair day. Morning routines are getting so much easier. Hopefully the fear of that brush will go away soon!

Note: Affiliate links included. If you buy from my links, I get a few pennies to contribute to my Amazon habit, and share info about more awesome products with you.

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Spring Preschool Concert

Cheesey post-concert faces

Coraline isn’t quite big enough to participate in the preschool concert at their school, but she sure loved watching her brother sing! My favorite song this year was “You Are My Sunshine”.

I actually already owned the album from that particular artist they used, so we’ve been listening to it a lot in the car. I get my own concerts from both kids almost every day! Our favorites are “You Are My Sunshine” and “Let It Go” from Frozen.

Coraline likes to sing with me, though Jameson has always liked to have me sing or to sing himself rather than sing together with me, so I think it’s wonderful to hear them both singing together.

Jameson has helped sing to Coraline before bed a few times the past month or so, and one of their favorites Jameson introduced to Coraline was “Stinkle Stinkle little Stinky” which is a parody of Twinkle Twinkle about a skunk. It’s maybe one I could do without, though when they both hold their noses it’s hilarious.

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Penguins at the Zoo

In mid April, we visited the zoo specifically so that we could see the new penguin exhibit at the Cleveland Zoo. It’s a temporary exhibit, so nothing special, but a fun excuse to get out with the kiddos.


We were joined by our friends and the boys were pretty hilarious running around hand in hand (until they nearly ran people over, at which point we put a stop to that)



The penguins were not too exciting. They have a little glass window and one or two penguins walking around on a little shelf. It would definitely have been a let down except we have a pass and weren’t too concerned about filling our day to make our money’s worth.





This also happened to be the day that there was another 2 or 4 year old boy (there were conflicting reports) who fell into the cheetah exhibit! We were all fine obviously, and we didn’t witness it since we didn’t make it up to that area that day, but when we left there was news crews gathering.

It’s been really fun getting out with both kids now that they’re older. Coraline can handle delayed naps and it was finally warming up enough to really enjoy outdoor activities again!

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Soccer Pro

This year is the first that Jameson has had “real” games against another team in soccer. I was able to capture his first game of the season (after just about 3 practices), which was great since he was more easily distracted in future games. I guess the novelty wore off a bit!


He didn’t stop to pick flowers during the game thankfully. But he did try doing cartwheels a few times, or staring off into space. Kids are hilarious!

First they “warmed up” by running around the outside of their field, which was smaller than a regular sized soccer field. We had adult coaches this time, as opposed to last fall, and they offered a bit more structure to our experience this time.


Before starting the game, the kids had to point to where their net was. It was pretty difficult for most of the kids to get the ball turned around when it wasn’t going the right away (or they’d forget), so some goals were made for the other team. There was no keeping score though and everyone had fun!


They rotated the kids pretty frequently, and when they weren’t playing they sat on the sidelines and picked grass.


Coraline enjoyed watching the games too, and pretty much ate snacks for the full hour we were there in the evenings two days a week (which were right around dinner time).



Jameson got pretty into it in the first game, but got a little more timid as the season wore on. They rotated the kids that got to start the game and throw the ball in from out of bounds or do a “penalty” kick. All in all, I was very happy with the participation that Jameson got to experience. We even got our first sports photos, which were hilariously posed.





The games ended with a team cheer and snacks (the best part!)



And of course we did the “good game” high five with the other team. There were three other teams we played over the month or so we played. It was difficult a few weeks in May because of Brian and I being out of town at times, but we made it to all of the games!

We did decide after it was over that we’re done with weeknight evening activities for a bit, so we’ve picked back up swimming lessons instead that start in a couple weeks but only on Saturday mornings. Coraline will get to experience the first lessons with me, and Jameson is able to go to his level at the exact same time which worked out so nice. We really hope to spend more time in the water this year!

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Easter and Spring!

Easter this year was adorable. We decided to go to a later Easter service, so the kids could find their eggs after breakfast. This year, the weather was nice so the Easter Bunny hid eggs inside and outside!




It only took Coraline a minute to figure out what was going on (though she didn’t find her first one as quickly as she did last year), but then she wanted to eat everything in her eggs before finding the next. She didn’t really get the “find first, eat later” mentality. Luckily, Jameson was a generous big brother and collected eggs that he voluntarily gave to her.





In their Easter baskets were more treats, bouncy balls, and blankets. Jameson got an Avenger action figure the snaps apart, and Coraline got some dress up people. But the blankets were the winners!



After church and a nap, we headed over to Brian’s parents for more Easter hunting fun. It warmed up nicely too, but it was very windy!



At grandma’s house, more than just eggs were hiding outside. The kids loved the little plastic dinosaurs, and Jameson loved the craisins wrapped up. Both kids were a little over the picture-taking and crazy windy hair!




The kiddos always have a blast at grandma’s, and it had been awhile since we were last over so we all enjoyed the afternoon.


There was even some evidence of spring!


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Birthday Girl

On Coraline’s actual birthday, we let her open her gift from Jameson (which he also picked out for himself I’m certain). She loved her new Anna and Elsa dolls! They are her favorite princesses, along with Princess Sophia. And Jameson got to play with Elsa, so he was a happy camper.



We had a party for her the next day, on Saturday. Coraline’s 2nd birthday party was much more low key than Jameson’s have ever been.


Between planning for upcoming vacations and work, we really just didn’t want to do the big bash. And I think we both kind of liked this better in its own way. Certainly, the grandparents probably liked it better. The family all gathered for a calm (well, there was still a 4 year old and 2 year old) gift opening and cake celebration. My mom and sister came up for the occasion too!



Jameson enjoyed helping Coraline open her gifts, and Coraline kept her tutu on like a rock star!




She definitely can be a little girly. She loved pink stuff, Frozen and her new dolly. Coraline really got into ripping the wrapping paper and was definitely a pro.



The biggest gift was her new dollhouse, a joint gift from Grandpa, Poppa and Aunt Melissa. But probably mostly for the box it left behind.



Coraline does love playing with the little baby in the dollhouse, and we’ve combed the living room looking for the missing baby a couple times. It’s a clever little set.


I made Coraline’s cake as I have for all birthday so far. This one was one of the more time consuming ones (they all seem to be after I get started). I made a homemade funfetti cake in a bundt cake pan, and cut it in half to make a caterpillar. The icing got stiff pretty fast, but I suppose that was helpful in order to keep it on the cake! It was pretty tough trying to keep caterpillar stripes even, and I almost ran out of one of the colors.





Really, I could’ve just made a big batch of icing and made the kiddos happy. But I was pleased with it! I made it especially because my grandma made me a caterpillar cake when I was a kid, and I think she would’ve been proud of my effort!

Happy happy birthday little lady!

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Toddler 2.0


Coraline is now a month into the big 2.0 year. She’s lately become very attached to me in the morning, and doesn’t want anyone else to talk to her (including her teachers). She’s a bit slow waking up, not like Jameson who always perked right up in the morning at that age (not anymore).

It was funny to see her hiding away from daddy in the morning, but now it’s made drop off progressively worse. Otherwise, she’s a ball of adorable energy. When she’s not pretending to be shy, she’s saying hi to strangers and playing peekaboo like at the park this past weekend.


Since Jameson’s been in swimming lessons, I started putting Coraline to bed without anyone else home. She was concerned at first that she couldn’t say night night to Daddy and Jameson. Through the past couple months, it has now become a thing to sing our “night night” song to each family member, plus other people, places or objects.

“Night night Coraline
Night night Coraline
Night night Coraline
We’ll see you in the morning”

Has now been replaced with mommy, daddy, Jameson individually, plus our neighbors family, individually. We’ve sang night night to mac ‘n cheese, the wall, butterflies, bugs, Coraline’s potty and more. I’ve had to start limiting it to two extra verses, but she is not a fan. She’s also been calling herself “Coralee” on occasion, and insisted on that one night (though, right before I left the room, she requested her original night night Coraline song).

Potty training? Not really happening. She sits on it for a moment (half a second).

A week or so after she turned two, she did take a big girl step and got a her new big girl bed. She adored it right away, and loved watching daddy put it together. She tried to climb into the window, which has happened a couple times since then as well. It won’t be long before she won’t fit though! She’s getting so big. She’s 24 pounds and in a size 6 shoe! (We were stuffing her into 4-1/2 size, oops!)






Sleeping and napping has been pretty good; she’s been adjusting to the freedom of getting out of bed, and we had a week or so where she didn’t want to go to bed in it after the initial excitement wore off. One day she even took off her pants and diaper and I never heard a sound at naptime! She’s doing really well now, and loves to talk about her big girl bed. Jameson was a little jealous, since it has a roof on it, and he’s also loved playing in it.

Not super pleased about the lack of breakfast before our ear tube surgery this morning.

Coraline also got tubes put in her ears for the second time. So far, everything is great! We haven’t had any tubes fall out like we had within a month last time. It was harder this time around because she really wanted to eat in the morning. She always requested a snack immediately upon waking, and when I told her no, for the first time she said the full, big word “breakfast” with a sad little face. We left for the surgery early so we could get her out of the house and away from the food. After walking around a little stumbly, by evening and after naptime, she was completely back to normal.

Coraline loves getting boo boo kisses for all her “injuries”, singing songs like Hushabye baby, Rockabye baby, Bumble bee and more. The other night, Jameson translated for us a new rhyme she was saying about monkeys in the tree. She’s hilarious, smiley, and almost always in a good mood.

Except when she’s not, and she screams herself red in the face and lays flat on the ground, which is pretty funny as long as I’m still in a good mood. She doesn’t always like getting her hair done, but likes it when I’m finished. Coraline also wants to pick out her own clothes sometimes now, which can be entertaining. The first three or four times she had on short sleeves the past month, she kept trying to tug them down because she was confused about the length. It’s finally feeling like Spring!


Bring on warm weather and our climbing toddler! We’re ready!

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Coraline can now request to watch the movie “Frozen” by name, and frequently talks about the “ice and snow”. Yesterday, she was able to say for the first time in months, that is was “raining”. So before all the snow melts away (pretty please, any time now), here are a few moments we enjoyed outside when it wasn’t too frigid to move.


In January, we enjoyed some sledding at Grandma and Poppa’s house.


Coraline seemed okay with the idea, but after her first run she decided that it wasn’t for her and refused, wailing and crying.


This year, there was no stump in the way down the hill, so Jameson went by himself a couple times with us waiting at the bottom. He even managed to throw himself off the sled when he got too close to a tree at the end!



To entertain Coraline and distract her from the horror that is cold, Aunt Melissa and Grandma made snowmen and snowballs for her to wreck. The best part is always tearing down, not building up, when you are almost 2 years old.


Coraline does like to taste the snow. That’s probably her favorite part.


As usual, I look like a crazy person when I go sledding.


We also had great snow to make snowmen. We were able to spend time outside a couple days between January and February, but we made these particular snowmen in the middle of January and they are still visible today, on March 11, though they are 1/8th the size they were.



Coraline again was not a huge fan of playing in the snow. She didn’t like walking around in Jameson’s old boots, which were too big for her. After we got boots that fit her, she was much more inclined to hang out outside for… a few minutes. It was definitely not her favorite activity! She really liked the idea of snowmen, but would much rather talk about them from the windows inside!





We tried to make an igloo which was more difficult than I expected, so the next best thing was a fort which Brian started. Jameson wanted to climb the fort, and fell off, which he thought was pretty hilarious. He would stay in the snow for as long as we let him, shoveling, sledding, anything!


We had another lovely day outside when it actually was snowing out. This is my favorite time in the snow; I love when the big fat flakes fall down while we are playing outside. It’s the time when snow really does feel Disney magical.

What a fun time outside!

Snowball fight

Jameson had a snowball fight with daddy, and Coraline loved playing on the slide. We had fun playing with the neighbors for quite awhile on this perfect snowy day in February.

Snowy day

For several weeks in February, we experienced temperatures below 0, and really we don’t tend to take the kiddos outside unless it is at least 20 degrees, so we felt very trapped in the house for while, suffered all kinds of sickness. Jameson got a 12 hour stomach bug two separate times, Coraline had more ear infections, and Brian had an ear infection complete too after his awful cold. I also caught a cold with fever, which had me almost out of commission for a couple days.

Snowmen at sunset

Even with perfect snow days, and evenings with colors like this, I am truly ready for things to start to warm up and the snow to melt. I’m ready to run outside, to be able to take the kiddos out to play (especially now with daylight savings!). Any time now, Spring!

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Almost 2 Years Old


I can actually believe we have an almost 2 year old. She’s really trying to show us who’s boss lately, using words like “stop that!” and trying to delay her bedtime by requesting additional songs, stories or “goodnights” from daddy and Jameson.

We had a sick month with miss Coraline, from lingering ear infections to RSV. We had to do the shots for Coraline’s ear infections after two round of antibiotics, and it was tough on me because it coincided with when Brian was out of town for work. It was a difficult month with weather, work, health and family life. I’ll be happy for Spring to appear, though we did have some occasions that we really enjoyed being out in the snow (Coraline is sometimes still a bit hesitant on snow, but getting better now that we have better fitting boots for her). We scheduled surgery for Coraline to get tubes again for her ears after she turns 2.


Coraline has really been discussing what she sees lately, from talking about what she observes in the bedtime stories we read to the clothes she wears. After reading Goodnight Moon, she suggested additional Goodnight things, including house, Minnie Mouse, and soccer ball. She loves playing tea party (though I set up her baby dolls to go with it this time).



Not much activity on the potty training front, except one big event where she pooped on the potty, though not on purpose. I happened to catch her! Because we were in the basement, and missing the potty seat, she wasn’t super happy with me holding her up. Since then, she’s really only been interested in potty training on the surface, but not really in the activity. Sometimes she tells me if she’s peed.


This charming little girl is already getting time outs and getting into trouble! This time around, I feel like Coraline is already acting like a 2 year old, so the upcoming birthday is a bit easier to swallow. I’m making her a compilation video, since we’re only going to have a small family gathering for her “party” this year. It should be a lot of fun to watch her react to her video clips.

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