Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day 334 - November 30

Today's picture is actually a series of three pictures. I needed all three to tell the story.

While I was pushing Michaela on the merry-go-round today, an acorn fell from a tree, bounced on the merry-go-round, and then rolled off as she was spinning. She thought this was hilarious.

So, I introduced her to the fun of centrifugal force, lining acorns up on the merry-go-round and then spinning it fast enough to make them roll off. Every once in a while, she jumped hard to bounce them if they got stuck, too.

It was apparently not that much for her to stay on the merry-go-round and watch me do all the work, though, since she made me stop pushing her and took over the duties.

The three pictures show what she did for about 15 minutes... diligently finding "perfect" acorns, placing them on the merry-go-round, pushing it, and then watching for the moment they fell; only to stop and do it all over again! Who knew some acorns and a merry-go-round could be so fun!

(Meanwhile, I love late afternoon light!)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 333 - November 29

Today's picture is not high quality. But I realized just now that I took a lot of video at Watermelon Patch today, and not a lot of pictures (there, or anywhere else). So you're stuck with this!

We almost had Watermelon Patch to ourselves (there was one other little girl there with her babysitter), which I think did Michaela some good. She's been so cranky and off the last few days, I was hoping some good one-on-one time with Mommy would help turn things around. And I think it did.

I know it did ME good.... she cracked me up as per usual, and got me to remember to relax and play a little.... something I haven't been doing because I've been so frustrated the last few days.

It's hard not to laugh and play with a girl in a sparkly red dress, dancing to the kid-singing version of pop music, and running around like a crazy girl with no one else to worry about!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day 332 - November 28

The day before yesterday, everyone (Jason, Maryanne and Jim) but me and Michaela wore shorts to play at the park and get lunch and frozen yogurt.

Today, I wore a cashmere sweater and had to put a jacket over it.

Mother Nature seems a bit schizophrenic these days. Or would that be bi-polar?

Brrrrr.... this was at 9:30 this morning. It did not get much warmer. Right now it's 40 out, and it's supposed to get down to 34 overnight. I'll be turning the heat on when we go to bed. Did I say brrrr already?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 331 - November 27

This day should be marked on a calendar or something.

The only picture I took today was of myself.

And I'm posting it.

(Back story - I needed to submit a bio and headshot for a new volunteer position I have, so this is my "headshot." Thankfully, it didn't have to be professional or look good. Ha!)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day 330 - November 26

This picture just makes me laugh.

I came out from a few quiet minutes of reading alone in my room this morning to see my child, in her seat at the table, eating a cookie.

It was 8 in the morning.

Her father's defense? She'd already eaten yogurt and french toast sticks.

Tell me this is not the face of someone who thinks she's getting away with something.

Day 329 - November 25

Sorry about the delay on this one. The work I did for Thanksgiving caught up to me yesterday and I was just exhausted last night! Luckily, I had taken a picture, so at least I didn't have to "borrow" from a different day.

We headed out to Bellingrath Gardens last night for the Magic Christmas in Lights. It's a pretty cool event (for my local friends, it's going on every night from now until New Year's Eve, and is only closed on Christmas Day) and we were excited to make it back again this year.

Thankfully, it wasn't as cold as it was last year, so we got to enjoy our stroll around the gardens a little bit more than last year! It was also a lot of fun to see Michaela point out familiar characters in the lights - it's funny how much she's changed in just a year!

I didn't take as many pictures as last year since it's all the same, but I loved these lanterns last year and wanted to see what I could do with them again this year. This is straight out of the camera, with the exception of a little cropping to frame it better.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 328 - November 24

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I've been doing the 30 days of thankful thing on Facebook all month, and I've really enjoyed coming up with something every day. They've ranged from the absurd to the serious, but they've all been things I've honestly stopped to think about being thankful for at some point during the day.

This is what I said for today:
Today I am thankful for too many things to list them all. But I'll do a short list: for my little family - my husband and the most wonderful little girl in the world; for our extended families, spread out all over the country, but close in heart; for our CG family, who have so often been the only "family" within thousands of miles at a holiday; for a life full of love, laughter, and adventure; and for God, who provides it all.

I'm also incredibly thankful for the wonderfully huge feast I got to share with Jason, Michaela, my mother in law, my stepfather-in-law, and two friends. We had a smaller gathering than we've had in the past, but we had a great time and we ate a LOT.

In keeping with the theme of the feast, tonight's pictures are of our feast - from appetizers to the flying turkey (Tom's last flight... a family tradition) to the table packed full of all the yumminess!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 327 - November 23

It must be holiday time. There is no other reason why I would've baked two days in a row.

Today's projects were cornbread for the stuffing tomorrow and the cookies for the pumpkin spice whoopie pies.

And I'm remembering why I don't love baking. But the whoopie pies should be worth it based on how good the cookies taste.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 326 - November 22

Because I didn't have enough to do today to clean the house after one guest left (yesterday) and others are coming (today), I decided I really needed to use the old bananas sitting on the counter before they went past being usable.

So I baked. I don't bake, as a general rule. So this was not a quick process.

But I got a Banana Nut Loaf and Banana Nut Muffins (which are now in the freezer) out of the deal, so it was worth it.

And the house still got cleaned!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 324 - November 20

Today it was nearly 80 degrees out by mid-afternoon (when this picture was taken).

I have to share that tidbit because it makes the picture funnier.

And that's all I'm going to say today.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 323 - November 19

These pictures are ridiculous tonight (yes, two pictures). You can't really tell why I took them, but I'm going to document it anyway, because it's hilarious.

So my mom is here visiting and she rented a car for the duration. For whatever reason, Michaela is fascinated by the rental car. Fascinated.

Because of that, every time we've left the house over the last two days, she's nearly cried about having to get into my car instead of the rental car. Tonight, we moved the car seat to the rental and headed out for dinner in that instead of my car. You would've thought she was on an amusement park ride for how excited she was! As we left the driveway she said, "I really love this!"

Meanwhile, I only had my iPhone and it was dark, so we got a crazy scary iPhone picture -with flash - of Michaela in the backseat of the rental car!

I tried to re-take the picture because her eyes were so crazy (I told her there would be a flash and she was getting ready for it!), but she didn't want to have the flash again (because she hates it), so I got the second picture.

My daughter is strange sometimes.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Day 322 - November 18

More dance party today. I feel like I could do a 365 days of dance party blog. There would probably be some indoor dance party pictures, but I'm pretty sure I could get at least one shot of her doing a dance party every day for a year. No question.

Today's dance party had a twist, though.... a dress-up dress. A Barbie bride dress-up dress.

Thanks, Grandma.

Anyway, there are two pictures for today. I have to use the one that shows off the dress/veil. And then I was also practicing shooting into the sun and getting a bit of backlight going, so I had to use one of those as well.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 321 - November 17

We headed back to the backyard this afternoon for snack time. Fred was happy about this because it was another day of popcorn for snack... and a messy toddler who drops a lot of popcorn.

And when you have popcorn, you can bribe your dog to look directly at the camera/phone.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day 320 - November 16

There was nothing exciting about today at all.

Michaela went to MDO this morning; I did some catch up grocery shopping and some house cleaning. After that, it was the same old thing as every day... nap for her (lunch and relaxation for me), a snack after she got up from her nap, a request to "do a dance party" out front again (which she got to do), a walk for the dog, dinner, playtime, bath, stories and bed (followed by more cleaning by me, and then crashing on the couch). You know you're jealous of the fabulous-ness that is the life of a stay-at-home-mom to a toddler. Go ahead and admit it.

I lied, though... there was excitement today. Instead of having snack on the couch while watching one of the many episodes of "Yo Gabba Gabba," "Fresh Beat Band," "Wild Kratts," or "Dinosaur Train" that are permanent fixtures on our DVR, Michaela asked to go outside for her snack. Thankfully, the two days of rain cleared up with a thunderstorm this morning, the humidity went with the storm, and it was beautiful outside.

So we brought the popcorn out to the picnic table and had a nice outdoor snack today. That was our excitement. Again, don't be jealous.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day 319 - November 15

I have two pictures for today. They are completely and utterly unrelated. But I couldn't choose between the two of them because they both show highlights from my day. Plus, I took the first one first thing this morning, planning to use it, and then the kid was too adorable this afternoon to not take/use another one.

So first up is the bag of my DELICIOUS pumpkin spice coffee. I haven't had caffeine (with the exception of chocolate - I'm no hero) since shortly before I found out I was pregnant with Michaela. I chose to give it up completely while pregnant, rather than have it in moderation as is completely ok, because I'm only 5 feet tall. Caffeine is thought to stunt growth so I figured why add another risk factor in growing a really short child. I don't generally miss caffeinated beverages except when the pumpkin spice stuff shows up at this time of year. And particularly, the pumpkin spice Dunkin' Donuts coffee sitting in our cabinet right now.

But yesterday, I went to Fresh Market (the grocery store I avoid like the plague because it's WONDERFUL and ridiculously expensive) to check on turkey price and found DECAF pumpkin spice coffee. They even had some brewed for a sample. And it's DELICIOUS. And I got to brew up a pot for myself this morning. And it made me happy.

The second picture is of the kid, of course. She has a favorite past time of using her metal play kitchen utensils to beat on a metal Christmas pail drum. And she likes to get a reaction (like a camera in her face) when she plays her drum. She concentrates so hard and plays it so LOUD that you can't help but laugh. And, thankfully, courtesy of no longer drinking caffeine (or eating artificial sweeteners), I also don't get bad headaches anymore.... so the drumming doesn't generally make me want to jump out a window!

(Look at that... I related the coffee and kid pictures via the lack of caffeine. I'm good.)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Day 318 - November 14

Today's picture is just a little slice o' life from the day.

On the way home from MDO, Michaela asked to "read" her Cheerio book. "And put Cheerios in it?"

So, in the 20 minutes or so between getting home and nap time, we put Cheerios in the Cheerio book, and generally made Fred really happy with the number of stray Cheerios that were flying around the living room!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 317 - November 13

I don't think anyone will be going hungry around here this week.

I cooked up a big ol' pan of Sausage Spinach Pasta tonight, planning on having it last through a good part of the week. Jason's not around this week and I hate cooking for just me and the kid. So between this, the meal I'm making in the crockpot tomorrow and a night of breakfast for dinner, we should be all set.... through the middle of next week!

(And, actually, I think I'm going to freeze half of it based on how much we didn't eat tonight! I'm pretty sure a full pound of pasta, a full pound of Italian sausage, and more than a pound a spinach - plus tomatoes - is more than two people can eat, even in a whole week's worth of meals!)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day 316 - November 12

Today we headed into downtown Mobile to meet up with some friends who are in town from Kodiak. We also hit up the tail end of the Saturday morning market in Cathedral Square and I took the chance to get some non-people shots with my camera.

As I looked at my measly handful of pictures to find one to post tonight, I realized I seem to have replaced my landscape photography with portraiture. I used to hate taking pictures of people, preferring to frame a landscape perfectly and not worry about whether the people in a picture would like it or not. But I don't have an endless supply of landscapes (or other inanimate objects) to take pictures of anymore so I'm forced to practice on people and I think my skills are a little out of whack!

Time to get out there and find some things to take pictures of to re-hone those skills, I think!

Meanwhile, here's a church at Cathedral Square... I have no idea if it's *the* cathedral for which the square is named, but it was pretty.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day 315 - November 11

Two things before I get to the picture for today.

1) It's Veterans Day. So I want to take a second to acknowledge and thank the many service members and veterans I know, and all those I don't know, for their service to our country.

2) I can't believe there are only 50 days left in this year! Yikes!! I'm so looking forward to having this blog printed when the year is over!

Onto the picture.

I'll just say there were three of those cupcakes earlier tonight. And I probably didn't need one after my awesome macaroni and cheese dinner (Kraft Deluxe with 2% milk, in case you're wondering), but now there's only one left (because Jason ate one, too). Michaela's lucky we saved hers for her!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day 314 - November 10

Today, Michaela experienced the goodness that is a full-size Reese's Peanut Butter Cup for the first time. She's had the mini ones, and the bunny-shaped ones at Easter, but never a full one.

She liked it. A lot.

(And right after I took this picture, she asked for a drink. It's too bad she doesn't like milk... because a glass of cold milk and a Reese's PB Cup is one of the best combinations out there and she's missing out on it.)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day 313 - November 9

I'm learning it's hard to take pictures on Mom's Day Out days. The opposite of that should be true. I should be using the 3.5+ hours that the toddler is at MDO to go out and take pictures! Instead, I do fun things like grocery shop and work on our household budget. You know you're jealous.

So the only picture for today was an instagram one I took of Michaela thoroughly enjoying her dinner tonight. I'm pretty sure the last time I made the same thing for dinner, she wouldn't eat any of it. Tonight, she DEVOURED it. And it's a messy meal when you're two. Which is obvious(-ish) in the picture.

She was really proud to show off her messy face.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 312 - November 8

When Jason got home this afternoon, Michaela and I were outside (front yard dance party... again) and Fred was hanging out inside. I had to come in to check on dinner stuff and left Jason and Michaela outside.

What I walked into was a dog who was pacing, trying to get outside to his Jason.

This dog is the one who runs away from us every night when we try to put a collar on him so he can go for a walk. But when I said to him, "Wanna go see Jason? Hang on, I'll get your collar," (yes I talk to my dog), he actually came TO me so I could get his collar on him and he could go outside.

Collar on and door open, Fred ran out, tail wagging out of control, to get a little Jason love. And he got it!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Day 311 - November 7


I'm sure you're saying, "Finally what?"

Finally, after having the Power Wheels car for almost a year (since Christmas, though only using it sporadically), the kid has figured out how to make it work on her own!

She's still not good at steering (thus the parent-assist bar still attached), but at least she'll now push the button and make it go on her own. This is a major step forward and makes us think the car wasn't completely wasted money afterall!

You can't tell in the picture, but she was moving when I took it.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 310 - November 6

I call today's picture, "She's going to hate me one day."

I'm sure that'll be the case for various other reasons once teenage angst kicks in (if she's anything like I was as a teenager, anyway), so I figure I might as well amuse myself now if she's going to hate me eventually anyway.

By way of explanation, I'll say that, as I may have mentioned before, eating any food with a red sauce results in a naked toddler sitting at the table around here. That's the reason for her being in nothing but a diaper in this picture.

The boots.... well, that's where my amusement comes in. After finishing lunch, and before I put non-church clothes on her, she asked to put her boots back on. Initially, Jason and I both said, "No, you don't need your boots, you're naked."

Then, I realized I needed a picture for today.

And I helped her put her boots on.

I'm a terrible person.

(And she's saying, "Ta da!" in the picture.)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day 309 - November 5

Today we went to the Pecan Festival. I'm all for a good local festival, especially one that's going on during a crisp fall weekend. But we (at least Jason and I) were completely underwhelmed by this one. And that's saying something.

Thankfully, though, if you give Michaela a chance to ride on the world's cheesiest carnival rides, she's a mostly happy camper. Oh, and we had good food, too (though not the fried Twinkie I really wanted to try, courtesy of a post-ride, post-lunch melt-down). So it wasn't a total loss, but we'll probably skip the Pecan Festival next year!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 308 - November 4

Apparently, between Kinder-Gym, "school" (mom's day out) and Storytime, Michaela sees a lot of people taking attendance or somehow getting everyone's name.

I didn't realize this was the case until she got out her magna-doodle tonight, found every toy that resembled a person or animal from around the room, piled them on Jason and then started to check them off on her "list" after asking each its name and if it was there.

It started with just asking me and Jason our names (Michaela: What's your name, Mommy?; Me: Uh, Mommy.), and then branched out to Fred, Woody and Jessie (who were sitting on a chair together), and then every doll and animal in sight.

This child never ceases to amaze me. I'm fairly certain I'm going to be outsmarted by her by the time she's 5. And I'm no slouch in the brains department if I do say so myself.

How many dolls/animals/Sesame Street characters do you see?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day 307 - November 3

Remember this post a couple weeks ago about Michaela's love of a "dance party?"

She was at it again today. Only I started up my SiriusXM app on my phone and actually gave her music.

I caught this picture while she was dancing to JLo's new song, "Papi." I might need to start being concerned about her taste in music. She also told me to turn up Nicki Minaj's "Superbass" in the car today. It might be time to switch to Radio Disney instead of Hits 1 and 20 on 20!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day 306 - November 2

Every Monday and Wednesday, when I pick Michaela up from MDO (Mom's Day Out), we go through an after "school" ritual.

First, we have to go look at the empty church. Michaela calls it going "to see no people." She likes to see that it is a school day and not a church day, and thus there are no people in church. (MDO is held in the same space as Sunday nursery for church, and staffed by the same person.)

Then, once we finally get outside, she has to "around" (run around in circles) in the grass, and go check the bushes for squirrels.

When the weather turned cool enough for her to need a sweatshirt in the morning (which she refuses to take off once we get there), I started joking about how I couldn't see her near the bush (green bush) as a way to diffuse the get-into-the-car-right-now situation (make her laugh and distract her in order to get her in the car).

She took it to a new level today. Where's Michaela??

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day 305 - November 1

November WHAT?!?!?

Today's picture is terrible quality because I had to just snap it quick while I had a semi-cooperative toddler. But I can guarantee it'll make you smile.

Sometimes party goodie bags can have the best stuff in them...

Like silly glasses that don't actually fit on a 2-year-old, but that's what makes 'em even better than ones that do!