Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day 151 - May 31

I've made it through 5 months now! How about that!! Even if you're not impressed with me, I have to say I'm pretty impressed with myself! Some days, like today, are a little less good in the capturing a picture department, but I've taken at least one picture every day (except maybe one). And even on the day(s) I cheated, I think it was only because the picture(s) I took was unsalvageable.

So, that gets me to today... another iPhone picture. I did carry my camera to playgroup with me today, complete with a couple lenses, but I never took it out of the bag. Go figure.

Thankfully, the kid and the dog were happy to provide me something to take a picture of tonight, though. Of course, the camera was still in the car, but the phone was handy.

This is Michaela giving Fred some love. I'm pretty sure it's her way of making up for the fact that she's sitting on him. He's such a great dog, though. His tail was wagging the whole time she was sitting there!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Day 150 - May 30

I didn't spend Memorial Day doing anything Memorial Day-ish. No parades. No cemetery ceremonies. Not even a cookout. (Well, we did have friends over for s'mores tonight, and a friend over for swimming and food cooked outside yesterday, but neither was a big to-do.) I kind of liked it that way, though. I had time think about what Memorial Day is really about.... to remember and give thanks for all those who have served our country and either lost their lives in the line of duty, or were lucky enough to survive service and live long, happy lives.

Besides that, and on a much lighter note, the other order of business today was to make up a big pot of spaghetti sauce and a batch of meatballs. It's not often that I go through the process of making real sauce. Usually, I'll either use a jar of Canale's sauce, or chop up a can of Italian diced tomatoes and call that sauce. And I've only ever made meatballs one other time.

But, a friend recently had a baby, and I was excited to whip up an easy meal to bring over to her and her husband so they had one less thing to worry about. Coincidentally enough, the last time I made meatballs was for another friend who had a baby!

Anywho... all that to just get to a pretty boring picture.... Early stages of homemade sauce. This is the best part - olive oil, butter, tons of garlic, tons of parsley, chopped tomatoes and oregano. The smell that comes out of the pot is truly amazing!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day 149 - May 29

If you're a FB friend, you saw this already, but it came down to either this or a bad picture of Fred sitting next to his new kiddie pool. I was too busy enjoying today to take any real pictures.

So, this is me enjoying a few minutes to myself before the real fun of hanging out by the pool with my friend Melissia this afternoon.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day 148 - May 28

Our garden is getting to be so pretty! And we're actually getting to eat more than one little cherry tomato at a time now, too! We have a bowl of tomatoes sitting on the counter now, and I've been enjoying grabbing a handful to toss into our salads at dinner the last few nights. You can't beat that!

So here's a little look at some of the tomatoes. We have to keep our eye on the regular tomatoes - they seem to go from not-quite-ripe to splitting in a day. But I'll take that small risk when it means home-grown goodness all summer!

Day 147 - May 27

I don't know what was going on with my computer last night, but everytime I tried to get into blogger, it just kept putting me in an endless loop of re-entering my password.

A little maintenance (deleting cookies, doing a software update) fixed the problem, so I'll get caught up now!

Summer is here in force. So, of course, we spent a good part of the afternoon out at the pool yesterday. When we were getting ready to head inside to get ready for dinner, Michaela decided she needed to take a few moments to lounge in my new chair.

Looks like she likes it!
(And this was a 2-picture day... couldn't pick just one!)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Day 146 - May 26

(Stop reading now, Christina... it's another Michaela picture....)

First I have to say that I can not believe that this picture was taken with my iPhone. It's not that the quality of the picture is so good it's hard to believe that. It's that I can't believe I forgot my REAL camera at home.

We went to the park specifically to feed the ducks this morning. She's never fed ducks before, and she was pretty excited at the prospect. (This is a kid who's first birthday theme was ducks. She likes ducks. A lot.) I remembered the bread, so that was good.... but no camera. I realized it about halfway there and we were already late, so I didn't have time to go back for it.

At least the iPhone takes decent quality pictures now, thanks to the recent upgrade. But still, I'm disappointed. I'll be taking my friend Amy's advice and re-staging this one at a future time!

The most important thing, though, is that she had a blast. Sadly, she also donated a sippy cup to the duck habitat (she fell and it rolled right off the bridge and into the water), which was devastating for at least five minutes. But she powered through when tempted with the fun of the near-by playground.

Ducks fed, and time for swinging, post-sippy cup mishap. All around, a good day!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Day 145 - May 25

My kid cracks me up. (I'm sorry, Christina - it's another kid picture... sort of.)

She's a little sponge, soaking up anything and everything that happens around her during the day. That can be bad, like when she parrots me saying "Oh, crap!" (thankfully, I've cleaned up my sailor mouth quite a bit around her and that's all she says!); but it can also be cute and funny when she tries to mimic stuff like me cooking.

Today, all she could talk about was popcorn (thanks, Grandma... I think I can blame that on you trying to get some for her on Monday). I think we were supposed to have popcorn with lunch but I sort of "forgot." So when dinner rolled around, she was still talking about it. And when dinner was done, she was still talking about it. So I made her a small batch and she relaxed on the couch for a bit, munching away for a while, until she decided to experiment a little.

Normally, I'd get pretty mad about the playing with food part of this, but she was just so darn proud of herself that all I could do was smile.... especially when she turned to me with a giant grin on her face, after making the "burner" makes it's frying noise, and said, "I make popcorn!!"

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day 144 - May 24

Today was a travel day - 2 hrs of driving this morning, followed by 2 hours on the first plane, 2 hours for a layover and then 2 more hours on the next flight. Anyone see a pattern?

Anyway, because of that, few pictures were taken. I actually only snapped a couple with my iPhone while we were waiting for the first plane to leave, and I already posted the best of that bunch on facebook, so I stole a picture from Jason.

He also took this with his phone. I probably would've had a similar one, but I was off getting us drinks to go with our Subway, so he was the only one handy to get the picture (with, of course, his iPhone).

I think he might be trying to get Michaela to follow in his footsteps....

Monday, May 23, 2011

Day 143 - May 23

Our family-visting fun continued today! We got up nice and early this morning so we could drive to the half-way point between Scotia, NY and Vernon, CT: Lee, MA. Anyone from near this area knows there are outlets there, but who knows how cute the town of Lee is? Yeah, neither did we! We met for breakfast and then headed over to do a little damage at the outlets. We said our good-byes, but then decided to meet up for a quick lunch - which turned out to be not-so-quick. The end result was Jason dropping me back off at his parent's house so I could get end-of-vacation laundry going while he drove all around his old stomping grounds to let her sleep in the car for a while longer. Kid needed a nap!

Here she is earlier in the day, though, before the first round of good-byes, with Grandma and Grandpa Jeff. She had lots of fun leading them all around the outlets and getting them (and Aunt Heather) to let her ride all the cheesy little store-front rides.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Days 137 - 142, May 17 - May 22

I contemplated doing this as all separate posts, just to keep things uniform for the year, but that's more trouble than I want to deal with tonight after two nights in a row of going to bed around 2am. Family gatherings are fun, but they don't let you get much sleep!!

So I'm going to catch up going back to last Tuesday when we got to NY and I started having no internet connectivity!

Day 137 - May 17
We rolled into Oswego just after dinnertime on Tuesday night, after a lovely day of traveling. Our first stop, just outside Oswego, was, of course, Dunkin' Donuts. We can't get the authentic thing around us, even if we visit the closest one in Pensacola. Somehow it's just not quite right in the south, so we were happy to get some a little closer to the source. This was day 1 of (so far) 6 - we WILL be visiting Dunkin' every day while we're north.
Day 138 - May 18
Wednesday was Jason's birthday. In honor of his birthday, he got to choose our activities for the day in Oswego. Well, most of them. First we stopped at Dunkin' in the morning (told you - every day) and then headed to the zoo in Syracuse. From there, it was all about Oswego-area dining (and bringing back Jason's childhood). Most importantly was our dinner at Rudy's - a restaurant on Lake Ontario. The best part of Rudy's isn't the food, though... it's the chance to throw rocks into the lake - a past time that Jason happily passed on to his daughter.

Day 139 - May 19
Our food tour of Oswego didn't stop on Wednesday. On Thursday night, we hit up Canale's for dinner. This is a favorite Italian place in the Dorval family, and the place where my father in law gets the jars of sauce and salad dressing he sends us periodically. The food was great, but the entertainment - Michaela - was even better. I got her to do "big eyes" which had us all cracking up! (iPhone pic, backlit at that... so not very good!)

Day 140 - May 20
Friday found us on the road from Oswego to Scotia. One of the two real reasons for our trip was to go to Maryanne's (my mother in law) retirement party in Scotia. She's retiring this year after 31 years of teaching, mostly second grade. I caught this shot as one of her best friends (also a retired teacher!) whispered something in her ear during the festivities. I wish I knew what was said! (In her lap is my niece!)

Day 141 - May 21
The second real reason for the trip was to celebrate Jason's grandmother's 80th birthday. She'll turn 80 at the end of the month, but since she was making a rare trip north of I-10 to go to one of Jason's cousin's college graduation last weekend, Maryanne planned the party for this weekend. Forty of Nana's closest family and friends showed up at a luncheon to celebrate her - a surprise, no less!! - and then headed back to my in-law's house to keep the party going. We had to take the opportunity to grab a family picture.... this is everyone related to Nana in some way who made it back to my in-law's house! Of course, not everyone is looking at the camera and it's a little shaky, but everyone's there and that doesn't happen often!
Day 142 - May 22
Finally back to today! I'm cheating since I actually took this picture yesterday. But the only ones I took today were a few of my nephew making a mess out of a teething biscuit and the lighting's off a bit. Besides, I couldn't choose between this one and the one I used yesterday for yesterday, so there ya go...
This is my in-laws with all three of their grandkids. I love how my nephew is looking up at Jim like "Hey, Papa. What's going on up there?" This was the best of the bunch - I consider it a victory that three out of five are looking at the camera and two of them are actually smiling!

So now I'm caught up! Hopefully I'll be able to stay on track now. Things have calmed down here since all the family is gone except for us.... and we have internet! Hope you enjoyed the catch-up!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Day 136 - May 16

It's tough to be Fred. Especially on a beautiful, cool morning with the sun shining and a dog toy (with stuffing in tact) to use as a pillow.

I went out to take pictures of a fully opened zucchini blossom this morning (they didn't come out very good) and Fred joined me out in the yard, along with his newest toy. He found a spot in the sun and sprawled out, using the toy as a pillow.

See? Tough to be Fred....

I'll apologize now if I fall behind in updates for the next couple days. We'll be on the road and I don't think we'll have wireless/fast internet access at our first stop. I'll take the pictures, though, and get caught up when I can!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Day 135 - May 15

In most parts of the northern hemisphere - at least in most of the places we've lived so far - it's just barely turning spring.

Here in the deep south, though, we had our three days of spring sometime back in March and we've been working our way into the worst of summer pretty steadily. Summer brings its own challenges around here - like not being able to breathe outside because the air feels like water and the temperatures hovering in the 90s - but one of the great things about summer was in a bowl on our table at dinnertime tonight.

Tomato and mozzarella salad with fresh basil. The tomatoes tonight were from the grocery store, but that will change in the very near future. The basil, on the other hand, was picked from the garden (by me) minutes before it found its way into the bowl. Yum and yum!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Day 134 - May 14

Ever since she was a baby, Michaela has loved the wind in her face. Our little Kodiak girl would turn her face into the wind on the coldest, most bitter winter day and just smile as the wind whipped at her face.

Some things never change, I guess. Today was a cooler day around here (high-70s instead of the 90s we had last week), with a nice coolish breeze blowing. Of course, the lower temperatures and the cool breeze didn't stop her from wanting to swim, even though Jason stayed scrunched down in the pool to stay warm!

I caught this picture as she was getting her float on to go swim with Daddy. The wind picked up and, as always, she raised her face to it and laughed! She also started to sign "wind," though the pictures of that didn't come out as good. She's such a character!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Day 133 - May 13

I took one picture today. And until a few minutes ago, I forgot that I'd even taken that one. It was a busy day full of playtime at The Watermelon Patch this morning followed by an afternoon visiting a friend who just had a baby yesterday - and lovin' on a newborn!! - and then a night out for a work function for Jason tonight (and more time at Watermelon Patch for Michaela... she was VERY happy about that!).

So, thankfully, I managed to snap one quick iPhone/Hipstamatic pic this morning at playtime and had that to save me tonight! It's not great, but it does show how much Michaela loves a play kitchen. They've got everything a kid could want to play with there, but she gravitates toward the kitchen, just like at home!

Day 132 - May 12

My apologies for being a day late on this. Blogger was down last night, so I couldn't get a picture up. I was ready early and everything... I think I logged in at about 9 last night - very early for me! Plus, I was prepared during the day. I took a bunch of pictures of garden stuff and Michaela and had plenty of pictures to choose from!

I decided on a garden one... this is one of 10 tomato plants we have growing in the garden. So far, only the cherry tomatoes have actually yielded ripe, edible fruit, but I don't think the others are too far behind. Take, for example, this awesome topsy-turvy tomato!

I don't think this grows a tomato better than, say, the ground, but it's a fun novelty, and if you live in a place where you can't plant a garden, it's a good alternative! And it's fun to see the plant curl around to get to the light. (Meanwhile, the other topsy-turvy, which was made for peppers but is currently home to strawberries, seems to be doing pretty well, too!)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Day 131 - May 11

I don't know where this falls in the "rule breaking" category, but I'm sure it's up there pretty high.

I'm not posting a picture tonight. I'm posting a video. There are two reasons for that. 1) It's too darn cute not to post, and 2) I didn't take any actual pictures today. I don't know why I didn't, but I just didn't get around to it.

So, a video it is.
(At the end, she says, "Fork!" No "Amen" around here...just a call for something to use to start eating!)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Day 130 - May 10

Tuesdays are playgroup day!

And, even though it was about 80+ degrees with probably at least 80% humidity already at 10 this morning (I know for sure it was 86 at 11:30 this morning), we braved the elements and headed out to play.

More accurately, the moms all sat under a tree in a small patch of shade and the kids ran around. Luckily for me, Jason was off today, so he got to stand in the sun and watch her while I just got to see my friends!

I pulled out my camera eventually and caught a couple of shots of the kid as she ran around us. I think she was actually running away in this one....

Monday, May 9, 2011

Day 129 - May 9

I like shoes. I like shoes a lot. I've rekindled my love for shoes now that we live here in the real world where I don't have to worry about rain/snow/gray mud ruining my shoes.

And, even better than buying shoes for myself, I've found a new love of buying shoes for my toddler. Toddler shoes, in case you wondered, and especially if you get them on discount websites, are MUCH cheaper than adult shoes.

These are some of the latest shoes to arrive at our house, courtesy of Babysteals. Not only are they orange and pink, but they are squeaker shoes. The kid loves a shoe that squeaks and I'm more than happy to indulge that love...because it's easier to find her at the park.

The one unfortunate thing about these shoes is that they have actual laces. I overlooked that in my rush to buy them because they were so cute and had squeakers. It's a small price to pay for cute, though.

(And for photographer friends... this picture was also an exercise in aperture. I really wanted to get as much light in as I could, but when I opened up my 50mm all the way to the f/1.4 it can do, the DOF was way shallow and looked terrible. In case you wondered, f/1.4 gives great bokeh, but you might not want the whole second shoe to be blurry! So I had to retake the pics a few minutes ago to get it right with a slightly more closed aperture, f/3.2. I love that I actually know what I'm talking about!)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Day 128 - May 8

I'm cheating today. This picture was not taken today. Nor was it taken by me. But at least I'm in it.

It's actually from the week before Easter when Jason's parents were in town and we went to the Easter egg hunt at Bellingrath Gardens. Maryanne actually managed to capture a decent family picture while Michaela tried to run off!

I'm cheating because today wasn't the best day in the world around here with a cranky kid, a mother who'd run out of patience, and the need for the two of us to not be in the same vicinity for a while. So the camera didn't make an appearance at all but I didn't want to post nothing, so I went to the archives.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Day 127 - May 7

In honor of Mother's Day tomorrow (like I need a reason), I'm posting a picture of the person who makes me a mom... the kid.

I had a completely different, non-kid, one picked out, but just couldn't resist this! This was at the end of about an hour of playing at the park this morning... she looks tired, huh? Still adorable, though!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Day 126 - May 6

Tell me this is not something you'd expect to see in a post on May 6th. Go ahead. Tell me.

(Picture first... then story....)

So Jason went out to the garage tonight to get all the stuff he needed to keg the latest batch of beer. Apparently, neither one of us has paid attention to the top of the kegerator in a while since these were still out there. It's not like it's too high up to see. Nor is it in an obscure place in the garage (as in, I walk right by it every single day when I get in the car). And yet, we missed these.

Yes, those are Christmas cookies. Yes, they were still in their tupperware in the garage. And, yes, there were some others out there to keep them company.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Day 125 - May 5

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

This picture has nothing to do with that.

Instead, it's Fred. Just a few feet away from him when I took this, were a child and her daddy, coloring, making a bunch of noise, and generally causing a ruckus.

Doesn't it look like he's squeezing his eyes shut? Like he's thinking, "Please make her stop?"

Poor Fred....

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Day 124 - May 4

I tried to use a non-kid picture today. I really did. It was so nice out that I had the windows open all day (we've been firmly in air conditioning territory for a while now) and the sheers blowing in the breeze were just really pretty. But it didn't translate well in a picture.

So instead we get funny kid again. We got to head out for a walk during daylight hours today (also something we haven't done much of lately because it's too hot for Fred), so I grabbed the camera. Which stayed in place hanging around my neck because there was nothing to take a picture of during the walk.

But, when we got home, Michaela provided some great entertainment and picture-taking in the form of "driving" her Mickey Mouse power wheels car. She will NOT push the button - still - to make it go, but she'll let Jason push her around. Then she decided she wanted to push it herself.

As always, my goofball...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Day 123 - May 3

I have two pictures again tonight, but only because the second one just adds to the hilarity of the first.

I have to apologize for the color on the first one. I had my white balance set for outdoor light and just grabbed the camera to try to get the shot without changing it for indoor lightbulb light. So I edited the best I could, but it's still a little yellow/weird. You get the idea, though....

And the second shot was part of my attempt to recreate the first one, so at least the lighting was right, but I couldn't get her to do the same thing again because she just wanted to see the picture.

She's lucky she made us laugh like this tonight because today was one of those days when you question why you ever wanted to be a mom. *sigh*

Monday, May 2, 2011

Day 122 - May 2

I'm making up for lost time - or lost kid pictures - today. I just couldn't pick one, so I'm breaking the rules again. Mostly I'm happy I got a couple pictures of her smiling and being funny after how grumpy she was this morning!! She caught the cold I'm getting over, so we had a rough morning of being cooped up in the house. She obviously needed to get out of the house as much as I did because she was a much happier girl when we went over to the playground across the street after Jason got home this afternoon (a deflection from swimming).

This first picture cracks me up because we've apparently gotten past the make-funny-faces-at-the-kid-to-make-her-smile-in-a-picture phase. Now, apparently, she just makes funny faces back. This was courtesy of Jason apparently sticking out his tongue and wiggling his fingers near his ears or something. So I'm going to have to come up with good tricks for getting her to smile because if I say, "Smile!" she yells "Cheese!" and makes a weird scrunchy face. And if we make faces, she does this....

The second picture is the usual these days, and something that I think Kinder-Gym is encouraging. She LOVES to hang from anything. She's been having a blast doing little exercises on the low bar at Kinder-Gym and now tries it absolutely everywhere. You can't tell very well from the angle of this picture (I chose it for her smile!), but her toosh and feet are, in fact, off the ground. I want abs like that!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Day 121 - May 1

As I watch the news - along with the rest of the country right now, I'm sure - I think the best picture I could post for today would be one of the stunned looks on both Jason and my faces as we heard Wolf Blitzer announce that Osama bin Laden had been killed. That certainly would be a way to define today, which is what I've tried to do with choosing my picture every day - show a little bit about our day. I don't have that picture, though, so I wanted to at least acknowledge that this is definitely a momentous day in history.

Moving onto a much lighter subject, though, I have the last day of our mini-vacation to New Orleans. Today, we visited the zoo... a MAJOR hit for the kid once we got over the I-don't-want-to-be-in-the-stroller-crankiness (thank goodness for the Kelty backpack and a strong Daddy to carry her). She loved the flamingos, the elephants, and, oddly enough, the toucan! I also liked the elephants, especially when we got to see them giving themselves a dust bath. If my Sesame Street knowledge stands, I think they do that to cool off, which would make sense given that these two were backed up to the very edge of their habitat (and I mean edge... it dropped off into a moat) in the only shady spot, dusting away!

(Now that we're home, I make no more promises in limiting kid pictures. We're back to real life now, which means me and Michaela spending every waking moment together!)