in her words...

Having Fun!!!
By, Caroline Fortune

Having fun is great! I love to have fun doing sports, singing, playing with my friends and playing with my sister. There are also other things to do to have fun like doing art, playing instruments, and going outside. You can also have fun by doing stuff inside like watching TV or reading a book. See, there are lots of ways to have fun!


washing made easy (well, easier)

i love when i find a simple invention that makes things easier for myself, or anyone in our house.

it is always something so simple, so perfect that i kick myself for not inventing it! a why-didn't-i-think-of-it-first kind of moment.

the great product i am talking about is the prince lionheart faucet extender.

i had to make a trip to buy buy baby the other day for a shower gift. and may i add that the store made me a bit sad walking through it. as i walked in and out of each aisle filled with items like onesies, swaddlers, bottles, diapers bags and blankets, i realized i was at the place in my life of saying bye-bye to my baby. with hadley's 3rd birthday quickly approaching, i am sad about the fact that she is no longer my baby, rather a toddler all the way. we just don't have much need shopping in a store like that anymore. can i get a tissue, please. sniff sniff

ok, but back to the great find that was at the store... the faucet extender. what a great idea!  hadley uses a stool to wash her hands. even with the stool she is still on her tippy-toes and at a 30 degree angle with arms stretched way out trying to reach the water. i hate seeing her tiny tummy dig into the harsh sink countertop as she leans to reach. that can't feel good. the faucet extender allows the water to come several inches closer to her, which makes her hand washing experience safer and more comfortable. it's a win-win. the top of the extender is rubber so i assume it can fit onto any bathroom faucet. thankfully they come 2 to a pack, so our upstairs and downstairs bathrooms now sport these handy things.

i need to get a picture of hads actually using them. she was so excited when i first showed them to her. gotta love it when washing hands is not a chore anymore.

here is a picture of them on our guest bathroom sink-

awesome, right?


a little venting space

do you want to know what i am a little tired of  today? (i am going to tell you even if your answer was no) i’m getting tired of the two pint-sized girls in my house being either too sassy or too demanding. i know the husband has always said that caroline runs the show and i am getting the feeling that hadley is picking up on that same attitude.

they both pretty much have the attitude of ‘it’s my way or the highway.’ normally i can tolerate this with no problem because the things they care strongly about are small issues to me and not worth a fight. don’t get me wrong, if it were a life or death situation, something that put them in harms way, or something that they just know is wrong, i will put my foot down(and then they run in fear. have you seen me mad!). but that isn’t the case 99.9% of the time. issues of importance to girls under the age of 10 that don’t bother me but do have some amount of significance to them are but not limited to: clothes or shoes they want to wear, hairstyles they prefer, snacks they want to eat, which couch they want to sit on, what toy they want to play with, which blanket will keep them warm, what pj’s to sleep in, what soap to use, which toothbrush to use, what color crayon is best, which color spoon to use, what color straw they want, which room to watch tv in, what book to read at bedtime, or what game to play. those types of things i can let them have their way with without a fight because in the great scheme of things, they simply don’t matter. that being said, sometimes in the end it is the very tiniest detail, the most insignificant little thing, that breaks them which breaks me. those instances drive me crazy because i don’t think i have patience for ridiculousness. when hadley throws her toothbrush because there isn’t enough toothpaste on it. when caroline dramatically pulls a ponytail out of her hair that i just put in because there was a bump. when hadley kicks off the shoe that i just put on her foot because it feels funny. when caroline doesn’t want to eat a waffle that came out a little too dark. when hadley squirms and complains when i have to brush her hair in the morning. when caroline gets frustrated that her sneaker won’t go on because she refuses to loosen the laces. (seriously people, she does this almost every day!) all of these obviously small issues are really starting to pile up and i find myself getting frustrated much quicker than i used to. maybe because there are two of them now and i am outnumbered. maybe because i am getting old. or maybe because i feel like i am always more than willing to give a little but don’t feel like they do the same.

and the attitude! lots of attitude. caroline has that of a 16-year-old dramatic teenager. she is so quick to get mad at me over something so tiny and unimportant. last night she was messing with some of the pieces to a magnetic dress-up doll that hadley was playing with. this made hadley mad that caroline was disturbing what she was playing with. so i asked caroline to just not mess with her sister right now who is sitting nicely, playing alone. i hear, “what! am i not allowed to stand next to my own sister anymore!” excuse me! she goes from calm to overly dramatic in 2 seconds flat. she’s always an academy award winner for best actress in a drama in our house. i told her that i just didn’t want her disturbing her sister, who at the moment did not want to play with her, rather play by herself. caroline tried storming out of the room, and in the process tossed a chair to the floor. i have no problem with tantrums if you take it to your room in your own space by yourself (i believe we are all entitled to feel how we feel) but when you physically try to show your emotions, i have issues. i calmly told her to turn around and pick up the chair, to which she replied, “i didn’t mean to do it!” of course she did. she was basically having the equivalent to a toddler tantrum in behavior and the equivalent to a teenage daughter with her words and attitude. maybe she is somewhere caught in between being a kid/child and a tween. is there a name for this age, the 9-11 range? maybe a tw-id? or a ch-een? because it seems tough on all of us right now.

hadley this morning woke up happy. love when that happens. her attitude quickly changed when it came time to get ready for school. like i said above, she got mad at the amount of toothpaste on her brush (which i know she really shouldn’t be using anyway since it is caroline’s toothpaste with fluoride, hence the small amount on the brush)and she tossed it in the sink. she got mad at her shoes when i was putting them on. she got mad that i didn’t put a blanket on her like a cape when she was in her car seat. that isn’t even possible!

so the point of my post you ask? simply to vent, to complain, and to bitch just a little. maybe another night of interrupted sleep is to blame here. not sure. i do know i’m not alone. all parents go through attitudes, tempers, and tantrums galore and usually on a daily basis. but today, i am annoyed with it.


full of personality

personalities are a funny thing.  they seem to have so many factors that influence them… parenting, siblings, birth order, age, environment and more.  when it comes to hadley’s personality, i think being a second child influences a majority of her personality.

i read this general description of a second child/last born on parents.com-

last born
youngest children tend to be the most free-spirited due to their parents' increasingly laissez-faire attitude towards parenting the second (or third, or fourth, or fifth...) time around. the baby of the family tends to be:

i think this is a pretty accurate description of hadley so far.  She is definitely fun-loving, easy going, outgoing, loves attention, and a bit self-centered (the last also being a toddler thing).

we, her parents, are much more relaxed and easy going this time around than we were with caroline. That is probably both a good and bad thing on our part. I definitely see how that in itself impacts hadley’s behavior and personality. we just don’t stress so much about the little things. it isn't worth it.

i took hadley to a birthday party of a classmate of hers a few weeks ago and i was able to see first hand her personality traits in an environment other than our home. i have to say, i was pretty impressed with her. not to sell her short on her behavior at home but she definitely is willing to test the boundaries with us at home where she is most comfortable. i don’t see her do that to her teachers at school thankfully.

what i witnessed first hand is a child who is not shy or quick to hide behind me, rather one who is outgoing and friendly. as soon as we walked in to the party she was saying “hi” to everyone, parents included. she started playing right away with crayons and then a car. i saw other children enter the party while gripping their parent’s leg or simply lagging behind. children, who when spoken to, hid behind a parent or turned their head in hopes of becoming invisible.
hadley would just walk up to a friend and start a little conversation. she had no problem introducing herself as ‘hadley gray fortune’ to the parents in the room. i was immediately impressed with her outgoing spirit. i was actually pretty proud.

when the gym party was underway, hadley joined right in. from the bear hunt game, to the tent, to the ball kicking, she followed directions given and participated 100%. again, to compare, i saw more than half of the children at the party cry, run away, sit down, or just not participate at all.

the leader of the gym party commented many times on hadley’s good listening skills and willingness to try all the activities. she even asked me at one point if hadley was already in gymnastics as she was very good at all the mat activities. i was pretty impressed with her balancing skills. as a parent, it is easy to assume your child is the great one. but when you hear good things about your child from total strangers, it pretty much guarantees you were right all along. oh yeah!

i guess the point that i am trying to make is two fold; first, that our children really do act differently at home vs. other places, while thankfully being good listeners to those who are not their parents, and second, that birth order does impact my child’s personality.

she is already such a little, outgoing leader. her verbal skills for her age are more than impressive (think that goes along with having a big sister that is so involved). her willingness to share is lacking but hey, no one is perfect. the girl wants what she wants, does what she wants, and sticks to the ideas that she has planted in her head. i am actually impressed with her and her strong nature to stick to her guns. i am pretty sure genetics plays a part too, seeing how i see myself as a pretty stubborn person.

hadley is just such a fun, independent toddler. i love seeing her grow in to her own little person. i can remember when i was pregnant with her being worried i would compare her to her amazing, near perfect sister caroline. however, that is not an issue at all. i truly see these two for who they are and what they have to offer the world. both are so unique and so smart, not to be compared but loved and appreciated for their individual strengths and shortcomings.


9 birthdays later

i think i just posted about caroline's 8th birthday. now i have to write about her 9th birthday. her life seems to be going warp speed. i want her to just slow down. i want to revel in the moment, the day, the minute with her but by the time i remember to do that, it is gone and she is another day, another year grown. the growing of one's child is such a bitter sweet. on the one hand, i am so proud of the little lady she is growing in to. she is amazing, inspiring, thoughtful, smart, and so many other positive things. so as her parent, i can't help but feel simply proud. then i think about it and as quickly as i am proud, i am sad. sad that time is going by so quickly. sad that my first born child is anything but a baby anymore. sad that i am letting each day go by without appreciating what i have in this amazing child. so her growing up leaves me feeling conflicted. enough about me and my emotions. this is about caroline and her awesomeness!

happy 9th birthday, caroline. you rock!

this is how i remember caroline looking but i guess the above pictures tell me otherwise.

we celebrated caroline's birthday w a few of her friends and two of her cousins. her choice this year was dinner at california pizza kitchen, then back to our house for games and a cookie cake. we played tag, did a treasure hunt for goody bags, balloon pop, and a few other minute-to-win-it style games. i think all of the girls, caroline especially, had a super fun time.

the party-goers at cpk for dinner

 caroline is a sweet girl and surrounds herself with other sweet girls

caroline at the age of 9:

  • loves sports and anything related to sports... basketball and soccer especially
  • love sporty clothes- i.e. nike & under armour
  • still takes gymnastics and is pretty close to mastering a back handspring. her strength is definitely the bars
  • started piano 3 months ago
  • joined chorus at her school
  • is in the 3rd grade
  • i am not sure how tall she is but she weights 61 lbs 
  • she is a string bean w long, skinny legs
  • had to wear two different types of mouth spacers this year to widen her upper palette. her teeth look so good and we are hoping she won't need braces ever
  • had her tonsils removed in november. a not-so-fun experience but has paid off as she hasn't had strep once since
  • had her first concussion thanks to a not so successful back handspring
  • had a fish bone stuck in her left tonsil from a fish she caught
  • went skiing for the first time with her dad
  • still loves math... it is her favorite subject by far
  • favorite music is still katy perry and taylor swift
  • favorite tv shows are lab rats, austin & ally, and jesse
  • is a fan of superheroes, especially ironman and captain america
  • does not sleep anywhere but home (we are anxiously awaiting this phase to pass)
  • favorite foods are steak and ribs
  • is still always so thoughtful of others
  • is so patient and kind with hadley. if an award was given for world's best sister, i am 100% certain caroline would win it
  • for as long as i can remember, caroline's nickname from her dad and i has been "LB," which stands for little bit. this year caroline has requested we stop calling her that as she is no longer little. this saddens me
  • still refuses anything in the color of pink
  • doesn't really "play" with many toys anymore
  • is still a small eater, more of a day grazer like myself
  • had her bedroom painted turqoise, her choice
  • is very afraid of bees
  • doesn't eat icing or whipped cream
  • loves to play outside (despite said scary bees!)
  • was selected in a lottery to attend kittredge magnet school (we are still making our final decision on whether she will go or not)
  • is loved by everyone due to her kind, thoughtful nature
i am so thankful for her. every day with her is a complete blessing.

she is nothing short of amazing. i am so excited for what the future holds for her.