Elf on the Shelf 2013 – Day 8

It’s funny how much difference a year makes. Last year, Cadence was absolutely beside herself when she work each morning, wanting to hustle downstairs to see what crazy shenanigans she could catch Cosette in the middle of. This year, she’s much more reserved, much more practical.  She questions why she can’t touch the little elf. And instead of being thoroughly amused by Cosette’s antics, she questions the elf’s motives and spends a lot more time studying her, trying to figure her out.

This kid is too damn smart, folks.

I got a big surprise this morning, though, when we came downstairs for breakfast and Cadence discovered Cosette just sitting on the piano–no crazy antics, no shenanigans, no nonsense (a.k.a. I got tired and forgot to set the scene before I went to bed)–and she stopped short, put her hands on her little hips and declared…

“Mom, that’s not right! Cosette is supposed to be on the table playing with Woody and Jessie.”

Cadence is not amused.

I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing.

“Well…” I had to think quick. “I guess Cosette was tired from her trip to the North Pole last night. Maybe she got back late and took a nap.”

“No, Mom,” Cadence said. “She’s supposed to be on the table.”

And then, without skipping a beat, Cadence was headed for the pantry to grab the cereal, and all was forgiven and forgotten.

But, you better shape up Cosette, because Cadence is watching. And she just might have a report of her own to send to Santa if she doesn’t feel like this ornery little elf is keeping up with her end of the bargain.

Project Life 365 – Day 72 – Message

After already being snowed in for two days, being suddenly puked on by my 3-year-old, and then walking outside to find this when it was time to hit the road, I think Colorado was trying to send me a message…


Project Life 365 – Day 63 – Big Personality

Okay, so when it comes to my daughter being awesome, I know I’m biased. I’m pretty sure if there was a Parental Handbook, that would be one of the 10 Commandments of good parenting…

Thou shalt adore your child’s awesomeness above all others.

The trick, though, is to keep things in check. There’s a healthy balance between appreciating your child’s creativity and being brainwashed into thinking they can do no wrong. Those of us who live in reality know that the truth is this…

No matter how awesome your kid is, he/she also has the capacity to be a giant turd.

Yeah, I said it. Judge me if you want, but it’s the truth. For every ten delightful, wonderful, amazing things Cadence does, there’s at least one maddeningly naught moment that often erupts out of nowhere. And nothing can make you question your sanity like a toddler’s temper tantrum.

No joke folks, living with a 3-year-old is like living with a perpetual gas leak of unknown origin–shit smells funny and you’re never quite sure when a spark is going to set off an explosion. Something as simple as not being able to prouduce a fruit snack on command (like when you’re out running errands after picking the kiddo up from prechool) is enough to cause a Chernobyl-size meltdown right there in the backseat of your minivan.

And in that moment, you’ve got a choice to make.

Do you scream back and fuel the fire? Do you just ignore it and hope the little turd eventually tires herself out and forgets fruit snacks even exist? Do crank up the radio to drown out the noise? Or do you wait for the worst to blow over and then use your powers of parental persuasion (and some very clever diversion tactics) to contain the situation until you can sit down and talk like two halfway rational human beings?

It’s a highwire act for sure. But we do the best we can.

And that’s really the goal of this whole parenting thing, isn’t it? Taking the bad behavior in stride and turning it into a learning experience, while encouraging the good things–the creativity, the kindness, the compassion, the energy, the innovation. Encouraging that sweet little soul to grow and share her awesomeness with the world.

And so far, if I was to judge our progress from Cadence’s big personality, her sweetness, her brilliance, her sense of humor, and her awesome taste in music, I’d say we’re doing a pretty good job.


And for your viewing pleasure, here’s Cadence rocking out to her new favorite song These Days by the Foo Fighters…

Project Life 365 – Day 47 – Heavenly

I have to admit, I was a little worried about transitioning Miss Cadence from a crib to a big girl bed. After the incident that prompted us to invest in a crib tent to keep her safely confined over night, our bedtime routine has been pretty cut and dry–drink some milk, brush teeth, read a book, sing a few songs, hugs, kisses, two blankets, favorite song cued up on the ipod.

Some nights Cadence would spend over an hour chattering away, acting out scenes from her favorite cartoons or movies, singing her favorite songs over and over. Other nights, she’d be sleeping almost as soon as I walked out and closed the door behind me.

Either way, we knew she was safely snuggled in for the night. And in spite of all the teasing we endured from friends and family, we both agreed that crib tent was one of the best investments we ever made for our fiesty little girl.

Knowing we might be in for a complete sleep revolt the moment we tried to put Cadence in a regular bed that she would be able to hop out of whenever she pleased, I made sure I started talking to her about her “big girl bed” several weeks before we planned to actually make the transition. By the time the big day (today) rolled around, she was absolutely beside herself with excitement.

At first, she didn’t want to leave her room, and spent hours lying on her new bed, reading books and playing.


After finally coaxing her away long enough to eat a little dinner, it was time to test out our first big girl bedtime routine. We brushed our teeth, drank our milk, read a book, sang a few songs. Then we talked about how it was okay to feel a little scared the first night in a new bed. I told Cadence that the bathroom light would be on in case she needed it in the night, and that the gate on the stairs would be closed so she would be safe and not fall down. I told her that Mommy and Daddy would be sleeping in our room if she needed us. She asked me to stay, but I told her no, it was time for night-night, just like always. I gave her a few extra kisses, and turned on Castle on a Cloud per her request.

Through the monitor, I could hear her singing along half-heartedly. I went downstairs and started doing a few dishes. As soon as the song ended, she started to cry. I waited a few minutes to see if she would calm down, then headed back up to her room.

She looked so small in that great big bed.

I sat down beside her and dried her tears. I told her it was okay to feel scared because it was her first night and the big girl bed was different, but that she was safe in her room and that when the sun came up and she woke in the morning, she would wake up in her big bed and be able to get up and play and come see Mommy and Daddy. I asked if she wanted me to put on another song, and she requested Please Read the Letter. A few more hugs and kisses, and then I tucked her in and said good night.

This time, I listened to her sing along, and then chatter away. A few rounds of Old McDonald, Castle on a Cloud, and the Animaniacs theme song later and all was suddenly quiet.

I couldn’t help myself. I had to sneak a peek. I eased the door open and smiled at the heavenly sight…


My big (baby) girl, snuggled in, sound asleep.

Project Life 365 – Day 39 – Center

Okay, so I sort of fell off the wagon a little  with the 365 Project, but between a weekend visiting Grandma Jayne and Papa Duane for cousin Jordan’s birthday party, Cadence’s 3rd birthday the very next weekend, Cadence getting sick and running a fever the past couple days, her 3 year doctor’s appointment, and getting our taxes done, I didn’t have much time for anything.

I did take a ton of pictures at the birthday parties though, so that makes up for missing a few days.

Hey, my blog, my rules. If you vehemently disagree, feel free to file a complaint. In the meantime, enjoy…

So last weekend, we roadtripped to my folks’ house to attend cousin Jordan’s 5th birthday party. Leave it to Papa Duane to think it’s a good idea to give Cadence ice cream at 10:30 at night. Don’t even ask what time she went to bed after this…


After a night of ice cream fueled mayhem, Cadence was too tired and crabby to go to cousin Jordan’s birthday party without a nap. So, while everyone else finished eating and had a beer at the bar, I took little Miss Stubborn for a drive until she conked out in the back seat. Whatever works, right?


And after a short nap, it was time to party with Zayne and Jordan. Zayne and Steven challenged each other to a few games of Scrabble on the Ipad, and Cadence and Jordan played with all of Jordan’s new toys. The kiddos had a blast, can you tell?















And after having such a great time at Jordan’s party, Miss Cadence was absolutely beside herself waiting a whole week for her own birthday to arrive! Unfortunately, a few guests were unable to make it due to illness and/or sickness, but at least this year a snowstorm didn’t keep anyone away! We ended up with a houseful and loved every minute of it! Thanks to Uncle Bob, Aunt LaRue, Uncle Louis, Grandma Jayne, Papa Duane, Lindy, Richard, Odin, Grandpa Randy, Grandma Vickie, Kendra, Korbin, Sally, Rob, Kathy, Scott, Tammy and Katie for coming to celebrate and making Cadence’s day so very special! Too bad I was so busy chatting and having fun that I didn’t grab the camera sooner to get pictures of everyone before they left!

First, the beautiful birthday girl. I still can’t believe she’s 3!


And the homemade ice cream cake has now officially become a tradition. It’s seriously delicious. and this year I made two for our crowd–one cookies and cream and one mint chocolate chip. Mmmm! Of course Cadence was excited because it incorporates her two favorite food groups–ice cream and chocolate. 🙂

And a shout out to my fabulous hubby for taking over photo duty while I was making sure our child didn’t start her hair on fire blowing out her candles…








After cleaning every last bit of chocolate off her plate, Miss Cadence tought it was time to tear into the gifts–beautiful clothes, art and craft supplies, a couple new movies, money to go do a little shopping, and all things Cinderella. Girl got seriously spoiled.
















After gifts, Cadence, Odin and Sally had fun doing a little watercolor painting…






And we tried to corral a very tired (and increasingly crabby) birthday girl for at least one picture with her namesake great-great-Aunt LaRue. We got a couple silly faces and the token Cadence serious face. Either way, Aunt LaRue and our little Miss Cadence LaRue looked pretty fabulous…




And that’s it, folks. Just a few dozen photos of our wonderfully chaotic life, and the little girl who’s at the center of it all. 🙂

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