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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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.”



Isabella 2 days oldIsabella loves her pacifier (which we call her “woobie”). She loves it so much that she kisses it many times throughout the day. She has always loved it, from the day she was born (well ok, from the day after she was born).

See, that’s where we went wrong. We introduced her to a pacifier too early. We were new parents, in the hospital, trying to console a screaming baby that would only calm down with a boob in her mouth. Well, I couldn’t very well have her attached to my chest 24/7 so we thought, hey, let’s use a pacifier. Big mistake. From then on she was hooked and there was no going back.

She will only use a certain kind of pacifier too. At the hospital, they gave us one called a Soothie that is specially designed for newborns. She loved it and wouldn’t take any other kind. This is problematic when you only have 1 of them and can’t find it. This happened when she was a couple weeks old. We looked EVERYWHERE and it was not to be found. We tried giving her one of the 20 other kinds that we had in the house but she would have none of it. We had to make an emergency run to Target, where we promptly bought up every one that they had on the shelf. We found it later that afternoon. Guess where it was. You’ll never guess,  but try…I’ll wait…

It was in one of the candleholders on our wall sconce behind the couch. How it got there we will never know. It must have somehow bounced just right and then got flung 6 feet up and over, landing in the sconce. I laughed uncontrollably when we found it there because it was so unbelievable. 

DSC00170Now that Isabella is 15 months, I was thinking it might be time to start breaking her of the woobie. See, she not only needs it to sleep at night, but she insists on carrying not 1, not 2, but 3 around with her during the day. She doesn’t keep them with her constantly, but she likes to know they’re nearby. She also uses one of her woobies as a security blanket at night – she sleeps with one in her mouth and one in her hand.  We often hear her cry out “oobie!” in the middle of the night if she’s lost one of them.

Her strong attachment freaks me out a little because I know that taking them away from her will be painful for all of us (Samson even begged me not to do it). There will be all kinds of screaming and crying and her little woobie-loving heart will break, as will mine.

The doc said it’s ok for her to sleep with one until she’s about 2, which gives us another 9 months or so. But I’m thinking we need to start weaning her off of them during the day. She has so many toys and stuffed animals and other things to do that she shouldn’t need her pacifier with her all the time. So, while I’m home for these 5 days, I’m going to work on it.

Pray for me.

If you hear wailing and screaming coming from the Ralston area, you’ll know what it is. No need to be alarmed. It’s just the Traders torturing their little girl. Or else it’s CJ screaming for more pain medicine.

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