Sunday was referral day...two years ago we got THE CALL. I am ever so amazed at how the previous 15 months slogged painstakingly by, while the past two years have evaporated at an almost alarming rate. I can't remember life without Caroline...can't IMAGINE what life would be without her. We are all so in love with this kid. She is so different and yet so much the same as the day we met her. She is fiesty and charming, sweet and sassy, precocious and captivating. I studied her face the other in church as she worked her way down the row...first Daddy, then Abby, then Mindy, then me...a tight hug, head on the shoulder...a kiss on the cheek, face framed by her tiny hands...followed by a flash of her sweet, impish smile...she has it down to a science, I'm telling you.
We couldn't have asked for a sweeter two-year-old. And the only bad thing about that is that two has to come to an end. Eventually, they all turn three. Insert shiver down my spine. Three is NOT my favorite age. It's not all bad, of course. They're still innocent. They say the funniest things. They're completely darling...when they WANT to be. And there it is. Free will rearing its ugly head for all to see. Now I'm sure you all can't IMAGINE Caroline sharing her opinions freely and exercising her right to free speech, and yet...she does. LOUDLY. And now it's in English. We have to laugh...or we'll cry. Don't get me wrong...she's still captivatingly charming and about as cute as she can be. But if she doesn't get her way, odds are she's gonna make you pay. And, technically, she's not three yet! Apparently, she's in training.
Sometimes, though, she really does give me a good chuckle. Yesterday, she was disgruntled about something I told her she couldn't do, and she hopped off the sofa, turned around and held up her hand, and retorted, "I'm DONE with this!" WHAT???? See, that's where she gets me. Although she was being sassy, she was genuinely irritated with me and let me know it. It was hilarious in that way that you know it won't be nearly as funny the tenth time she smarts off with it.
So today she's honked off because we're leaving school, and she knows that's followed by an N-A-P. And she fusses at me as I strap her into her carseat with a "you makin' my (me) cwazy!" Yeah, back at ya' sister! Because then, when she's in her bed and her fate is sealed, she starts in with the "I want to wear my jammies". Now, if we're home all day and she wants to wear her jammies, I'm all for it. In fact, some days I might just do the same. But, seriously, I am not having her change clothes three times a day if I can help it. And heaven forbid if you tell her she can't go to "Magga's house" when she wants to. Serious meltdown. Her, not me. At least for the first twenty minutes. Add in the antics of a ten-year-old boy (reminder...Y chromosome at play here) and two teenage girls, and you might have some level of comprehension why, although some days they make MY crazy, my house is never boring. Ever.
So November felt like it was about four days long. Marching band season officially ended (don't worry, you won't hear much about it again until our trip to Phoenix at New Year's), Thanksgiving blew by and now it's Christmas season. We had a really nice Thanksgiving weekend. We stayed home, cooked ourselves crazy, ate until we couldn't breathe, played games and passed out over Black Friday ads. Jon and I insanely got up at the ungodly (and that is NO exaggeration for this NON-morning person) hour of 3 am, and we had already made our strategic purchases and checked out of Kohl's by 4:35 am. We hit a few more hot spots, knocked out quite a bit of our Christmas shopping and were home by 10:30. We really had a smooth day of it, except for the line at Circuit City. An hour. We waited in line for an HOUR. Now, I can be a tough shopper, but it would have been much more tolerable if I'd had, say, a pillow and a lawn chair to get me through. I thought I was going to pass out in the floor, I was so sleepy! Apparently, I got a second wind and decided to take the girls back out shopping for a couple of hours. It was right about the time we were standing in the customer service line to get price adjustments on some early bird specials that I nearly slipped into a shopping coma. We dropped Mindy off at the movies with her boyfriend and headed home after that. I barely made it to the sofa.
Our Black Friday shopping yielded a pair of new bar stools for the kitchen (hopefully a little more indestructible than the last pair)...and the boxes yielded more than an hour of entertainment for Mickey and Caroline. Mickey became a robot, and, not to be outdone, Caroline became an apparent robot hunter. Add shrill screams while running through the house. Oh, yeah. I have no idea why Caroline had the cardboard over her face, but it was funny! And then I had to try NOT to laugh when Mickey couldn't get the box off his head!