Monday, November 18, 2013

holiday fun with a side of the terrible twos

i'm not really sure how to sum up the weekend i just had, but i'm going to try because it was memorable. it was a mixture of one of my favorite weekends of the year - a holiday fun-filled trip up north to visit one of my best friends and her son (a tradition we started a few years ago)...combined with the hardest toddler parenting weekend i've had to date. looking back now, the frustration i felt has long faded, but it was so intense at the time. 

azalea and i headed up to duluth (well, hermantown if we are getting technical) on saturday morning. she did great in the car for the 2.5 hour drive. she didn't sleep at all, but she was happy 99% of the time. the rest of the weekend was another story. to give you an idea, she fit probably a week's worth of meltdowns and tantrums into a 24 hour period. i have never been so humbled by anything. i don't know exactly what to attribute it to. certainly her age, and i'm guessing being out of our routine made her on edge, but was like nothing i have experienced with her before. i thought i had seen the terrible twos. 

we got to dani's house around 10:30am and she and her little guy gino (who turns 2 on jan. 1) were there to greet us. we got a tour of their beautiful new home and hung out for a while before heading to the mall for lunch and a little shopping. we got lunch at noodles and then set out on a mission to get the kiddos some cute christmas jammies :) we were sort of pushing our luck by doing this at nap time, but we all survived and found cute jammies to boot! we went back to the house and the kiddos napped and dani and i just relaxed and chatted. they woke up after a couple hours and that's when things got interesting. azalea started spiraling out of control as soon as she got up. she started sobbing uncontrollably about who knows what and cried intensely for a good half hour. nothing i said or did helped. finally she calmed down, so we decided to take the kids to target to get a some baking supplies and look at more fun christmas stuff. 

azalea cried all the way there in the car. she would not (or could not) tell me what was the matter. once again, she stopped freaking out briefly, so we all went into the store assuming she was done. but nope, the meltdown started up again when we were grabbing a cart and was escalating quickly. i warned her if she didn't calm down that she and i would have to go out and sit in the car and wait for dani and gino. "yes please" she said, so that was that. we went out to the car and she cried the entire time. at this point we were going on an hour of crying. i tried to distract her/cheer her up by telling her we could call dada ("nooooo"), that we were gonna make cookies ("noooooo"), etc. i was bummed to have to sit out in the car, but there was no way i was going to walk through target with her. i called thatcher to see if he could talk to her and calm her down, but it just made her more upset. when dani and gino were done, we drove back to their house and she eventually calmed down. we made this delicious chicken chili for dinner (thanks, faith!). then we made some cute reindeer cookies with the kids. 

azalea was in good spirits, luckily. and the cookies came out really cute! 

before bed, azalea and gino had fun together in the ball pit (note the cute jammies!). 

i was feeling good about how things were going. we got them ready for bed and i laid down with azalea until she fell asleep. after the kids were down, dani and i watched miracle on 34th street. it was a nice, relaxing night. 

azalea and i shared a bed and it was a pretty restless night of sleep. she flopped around like a fish all night and even rolled out of the bed at one point. i was awoken by her screaming in fright on the floor, i felt so bad :( and when i saw her in the morning light, i noticed she had dried blood around her lip from her fall. poor baby! the morning started off okay, but by the time breakfast was done, she unleashed another meltdown over something silly. again, it was escalating quickly and nothing i tried would calm her down, including ignoring her. i know i probably wasn't being judged by anyone, but i was so incredibly embarrassed by the way she had been acting all weekend. and i felt completely helpless to the situation. she was clearly in control (not me) and it was....scary. i was so overwhelmed by the almost constant meltdowns over the last 24 hours. i took her in a back bedroom, called thatcher, and had a good cry. poor thatcher, it's not like he could do anything from 2 hours away. but he did calm me down. :) we weathered that storm and decided to head to target for a second chance shopping trip. both kids did well and i was able to find some super cute christmas jammies for baby brother (i'm keeping the tags on in case he comes way after my due date). after target, we got lunch at culver's and then headed back to their house to pack up our stuff. 

we were on the road by 1pm, which was perfect timing for azalea to nap in the car. she fell asleep quickly and slept for the first hour of the drive. then she woke up and immediately started melting down for the 48957358457834953485 time. she cried because she wanted to take her pants off, she cried because she didn't like the music i had on, she cried because i couldn't read her a book, she cried because she didn't have one of gino's toys that she played with in their car. and on. and on. and on for the next hour. i handled it better since it was just me and her in the car, but i was soooo happy when we got home and thatcher could take over for a while. i was completely drained. like i said, writing this out i feel silly because it doesn't sound all that bad. but it was at the time. and i'm sure it won't be the last time it happens. sorry this turned into a novel, but i want to remember exactly how humbled i was. there is no way to prepare yourself for the things they throw at you. i'm thankful for frustrations that fade away with time because tonight i'm feeling nothing but gratitude and love for my little girl. 


Brittany said...

Aww that sounds very exhausting and frustrating. At least you were still able to enjoy some of your time with your friend and I'm sure she understood. Hopefully Azalea is feeling better this week for you.

~Dawn~ said...

Oh My!! Poor Azalea - it's so hard when they are that age and can't fully verbalize what they are needing/wanting. Sounds like you did get some good times in with your friend and got to relax and bake, tho, which is nice!! I'm hoping you have a better week ahead!!

Courtney B said...

These pictures are soooo cute! But I'm SO sorry about the melt downs! I'm so nervous for the toddler stage and how I will handle total freak outs. I'm going to need to learn some serious patience before then!
I love the tradition of visiting your friend each year!

Missy said...

Ah... How much I can relate to this. Except for the "fine in the car" part of heading up to Duluth. I'm really dreading next week when we have to take the kiddos up to my grandmas. The last trip Cameron had some major meltdowns. When Nate got home on Saturday he said "Sounds like Azalea is about as bad as Cameron right now." So he must have gotten some updates from Thatcher about your trip. It's funny what sets them off. I hope you get lucky and Azalea calms down a bit sometime soon. We're going on about a year of trying times and it doesn't seem to be letting up anytime soon.

ajs {of MN} said...

cute jammies noted!

life is just different with a 2 year old huh, i cant imagine doing all of that AND being pregnant- you rock sista!

i do agree with you when they flip the table and "they are in control" b/c as much as you dont want that you sometimes have no choice b/c you knew them better than they know themselves. and, yes, scary it can be!

it sounds like you over all handled it well, so no beating yourself up for it.

Sarah said...

Aww! What a tough weekend! She still acting that way? Or do you have any ideas why she was doing it?

Durant Imboden said...

Boarding preschool?


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