The Meltdown

Let me just start off by saying that I am still shell-shocked from last night. Isabella had a meltdown like you wouldn’t believe. Both CJ and my nerves were shot by the time it was over. Here’s the background.

Isabella is apparently a child who needs routine. I suppose all kids are that way  but we definitely learned that if her routine gets thrown off too much, we will all suffer. Our holiday weekend was a busy one. We spent both Saturday/Sunday over at my sister’s house having some quality family time. Both days, we had a pretty normal morning and she got her naps and meals in as usual. But then we’d head to my sister’s house in the afternoon. Munchkin had lots of fun playing with her cousins and all the toys they have. So much fun, that she refused her afternoon naps. Saturday we tried 3 different times. I even had my mom try to work her grandma magic but to no avail. Also, we were eating holiday type food (chips, dip, chili, cheese/crackers, cookies, candy, etc.) with very little fruit and veggies. So her diet was thrown off too. By last night and bedtime, she was very crabby and out of whack.

When we got home, Munchkin played with some toys and watched a little bit of The Wiggles. Then it was time to change her diaper and put on her pajamas. That’s when all hell broke loose. As soon as I laid her down on the changing table, she started screaming and crying. She wriggled and tried to get away but I was able to keep her in one spot long enough to do what I needed to do (I’ve discovered that as parents, we come up with all kinds of creative ways to change a diaper when the kid is being less than cooperative). I figured she’d calm down once I picked her up again, because that’s what usually happens.

Um, no.

I picked her up and she kept on wailing. I tried to give her some juice/water/milk and she would have none of it. I offered her a bedtime snack of crackers and she refused. I gave her a woobie and she batted it away. There was no consoling her at this point so I thought, all right, she just needs to go to bed. We went through our usual routine and as I bent over to turn on her CD player, she grabbed my hair and yanked. Hard. I pulled her hand away and firmly said, “No!” She kicked and thrashed. I tried the CD again and she grabbed my hair for a second time. And yanked hard. I was fed up at that point so down in her crib she went. I figured she would carry on for a little longer than tire out and go to sleep.

I figured wrong.

She kept going. And going. After 5 minutes I went back in, with some juice,  and tried to offer it to her again. She pushed it away. I offered a woobie. She threw it at me. Then, she reached out wanting me to pick her up, so I did. She pointed to the hallway and I thought, hey, maybe she’s hungry for something other than crackers. So we headed out to the kitchen and she stopped crying. Oh thank God. I tried applesauce but she didn’t want it. Offered cereal and she refused. When I handed her the juice cup again, she took it but wouldn’t drink. Just  held on to it. CJ came in and we started discussing other options. Then the crying started again. And got louder and louder. I tried to take the juice away and she wouldn’t let go, yet she still wouldn’t drink it. I finally yanked it from her little hands and she freaked. She threw herself back and out came a wail like I have never heard before. I seriously thought she was possessed. I stared waiting for her head to spin around. When it didn’t, I took her to her room, made the sign of the cross over her and left the room. She continued with her meltdown.

That’s when I did the only rational thing any adult woman would do – I called my mommy. I needed more brainpower for this one – and apparently I needed God on my side. Since mon was a nun way back when, I figured she could help on both accounts. She suggested just letting her cry it out. Go in after 5 min to reassure her and then leave. Wait 10 min and go back in. Rinse and repeat until the demonwas exorcised Isabella was asleep. So, after a bit, I went back in. She was still standing up and crying. I told her it was ok and that she needed to lay down and sleep. She kept pointing to the hallway and I had no idea what she wanted. I asked but didn’t get much of an answer other than, “Muahhhuffffsnifffmuuuooooh.” Since I didn’t have my Toddler Speak dictionary on me, I couldn’t translate. I picked her up and felt her tummy, not really sure what I was feeling for but a nurse told me to do that one time so I did. Her tummy was a little distended and hard which I think means constipation. I had no idea how to fix that at 8:00 at night other than to stick my finger up her butt (a guy at work told me to try that). I didn’t find that option at all appealing so I put her back to bed and offered a woobie, figuring the crying was better than poop splatter. She batted away the woobie so I left her alone.

And she screamed.

It was at this point that I raised the white flag and told CJ to take care of it. After waiting for the right amount of time, he went in there. When he came out, all was quiet. I had to clap by my ears a few times to make sure I hadn’t just gone deaf or something. I don’t know what magic/exorcism/ritual he did in there but by golly it worked. He said he just rocked her and gave her a woobie. Gee, why didn’t I think of that.

Apparently, she just wanted some daddy time since they hadn’t had as much time together due to his surgery on Wednesday.

We tiptoed around the house for the rest of the night, deathly afraid to wake the beast. But she was out cold and slept great all night. By the time it was all said and done, she had screamed for about an hour. That’s an hour I don’t ever want to repeat.

I’ve learned a couple of lessons from this:

  1. Isabella needs a set schedule. Missing 2 days of afternoon naps really threw her off and made her super crabby.
  2. A regular diet is important too. She missed out on her normal amounts of fruits and veggies which contributed to the constipation.
  3. You’re never too old to need your mommy.
  4. You find religion real quick when the devil possesses your child.
  5. From now on, CJ is putting her to bed.

I hope and pray that getting back to her normal schedule today will help and bedtime will be much easier tonight. If not, you will find me curled up in a ball under the stairs, rocking back and forth reciting The Lord’s Prayer.

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New Year’s Eve

Our New Year’s Eve was quiet but it certainly had some interesting moments. I also got a little glimpse in to what 2011 might have in store for us.

I spent the day cleaning and putting away Christmas decorations so by evening, I was tired. I had run to the store in the morning, grabbing a pizza and some sparkling juice to ring in the new year (neither one of us really like champagne. Last year’s bottle sat untouched in our refrigerator until September when I finally threw it out). There wasn’t enough room in the ‘fridge for either one so I stuck them outside on the deck, figuring it was cold enough out there to keep them chilled. I put the pizza on top of the grill and the bottle of juice on the deck railing, to keep them up and away from any animals, namely Samson.

Mid-afternoon, I let Samson out and then went about my business inside. All of a sudden I heard a “thump” outside and I looked up in  time to see Samson tearing in to the pizza box! He had jumped up and knocked it off the grill and was now trying to get at the contents in the box!! Fortunately, it was wrapped up in plastic and I got there before he could tear through that. However, as I was trying to wrestle him off of it, Isabella came wandering out on to the deck (in my hurry to get outside, I’d left the door open) with no shoes on, which was covered in snow. So here I am, wrestling a 90lb dog off our pizza and also trying to grab a squealing 15 month old who thinks this is a fun game. I finally managed to get everyone inside, and Samson in his kennel. *sigh*

Later that evening, I heated up a pizza for dinner and Isabella happily ate it up, shouting “pissa, pissa!” the whole time. I had bought some New Year’s Eve party hats and noisemakers so I let her play with those while we ate. When we were done, she started running around the house with them.


Let me tell you, those $.99 party hats were not made to stand up to a 15 month old. It took all of 5 minutes for her to get part of the lining off the bottom and crunch up the top of the silver one. Good thing I had bought 3 of them!


CJ left around 7 for a quick meet up with some old friends and Munchkin, Samson and I stayed home. We were playing and Munch started to get a little, uh, out of control. She was taking the cardboard noisemaker and hitting everything with it. Samson thought this was a game so he attempted to snatch it from her hand on the up swing. I told him “no” and made him sit on the couch to calm down. Isabella then ran over and started beating Samson on the nose with the noisemaker! I had a quick flash that told me “this is what the ‘Terrible Twos’ will be like so get used to it lady”. I took the toy away and scolded her. She then went and sat against the window, pretty much putting herself in time out.

Around 7:45 I put her to bed and started cleaning up the living room. It was then that I realized I still had the bottle of sparkling juice outside! I went outside only to find that the bottle and it’s contents were frozen solid. I mean, there was not one ounce of juice still in liquid form. Crap. At least it hadn’t exploded. I guess that was the upside. I brought it in and stuck it in the refrigerator, thinking it was best to thaw it out slowly.

CJ was still gone so I made up a quick breakfast casserole that would get heated in the morning, and then threw together some nachos. Hey, it’s NYE – I can chow down on a snack of nachos if I want! Smile I then stuck my “Friends” season 9 DVD in the player and tucked myself in the couch to watch until CJ got home. At one point, I kind of felt a loser for not having a party to go to and sitting by myself, eating greasy food with my “Friends”. But, I got over it and realized that it was actually a good night and I was very happy with my life.

CJ got home around 9:30 and we contemplated playing Wii or a board game or watching a movie. Instead, he joined me on the couch and we continued with my “Friends” marathon. We laughed a lot and what better way to ring in the new year than with humor?

By 11:30, the juice was thawing but still had a block of ice frozen in the center. We ran it under some water until that melted too. As midnight approached, we were ready to toast goodbye to 2010 and hello to 2011. We even let Samson have some sparkling juice. At midnight we toasted, kissed and rang in the new year just right.


And of course we had to take a picture with Samson…

DSC00429(This picture should have a caption that reads “Help Me!” because he looks like he’s being held against his will.)

While it wasn’t a crazy, drunken, party all night kind of New Year’s Eve, it was still a good one full of everything that is important to me – CJ, Isabella, Samson, pizza, chocolate and “Friends”.

Today will be spent eating and watching football with the family. Tomorrow, I start my 2011 resolutions, which I will post about later.

Now, on to 2011!


Isabella had been really into hats lately – ever since Christmas when we broke out the Santa hats. Before that, she’d worn hats as a necessity, to keep her warm, but I guess she never saw them as fun. With the introduction of the Santa hats, suddenly there was a new toy in town!

Admittedly, she wasn’t all that jazzed about wearing hats inside at first. When we initially put her Santa hat on, she yanked it off and cried. Not exactly the reaction we were hoping for. But we kept trying. Eventually she got in to it and started asking to wear hats. She also insists that we wear them too. So…there are many nights when all three of us would we playing in the living room, wearing our Santa hats.

Then, we introduced her to other kinds of hats – baseball caps, fedoras, CJ’s Kangol hat, a Panama hat, stocking caps, etc. Now, anything is fair game. Here are some of her cutest hat moments:

Wearing CJ’s baseball hat:


Santa hat:


At Christmas trying to make a bag of peanut M&Ms into a hat:


Stocking cap:


Panama hat (how cute it that with her little purple pajamas on!)


And fedora:


The other night, I was unloading the dishwasher and she came in and pulled a green Tupperware lid out of the rack. She ran off with it, which was fine, and then I got an idea. I pulled out other lids of various colors and took them to her. We had fun practicing which color was which and going over the shapes.

One of the items was an accordion container that smooshes up to lie flat when you’re not using it and then expands out to hold food when you need to. I expanded it for her and asked what it looked like. I was shooting for “drum” and she right away said “HAT!” By golly it did look like a hat! Then she thought all the lids needed to be hats so one by one, she handed them to me saying “hat” and pointing to my head. By the end of this exercise, I had a stocking cap and 3 Tupperware lids on my head. CJ got home about this time, looked at me and said, “Well, that’s an interesting look.”