Monday, December 31, 2012

Day 365 - December 30

We finished up 2012 with a bang... potty learning with the big kid.

I know some people might think that almost three and a half seems late for potty learning, but we made a decision to not push it after she freaked out when we tried to put her in a underwear a few months ago. We've spent a lot of time just getting her used to the idea, but once the baby came, we were in no rush to start trying since Michaela didn't handle the transition to big sister very well in the early days.

So that brought us to this week.

Jason's been home a lot over the past week or so thanks to having a holiday schedule at work. So I wanted to take advantage of the extra set of hands to help out. (That sort of means I saddled him with the work while I did things like feed the baby.)

We started on Friday and by yesterday afternoon, we'd had two days with no accidents and she was trucking right along. I'm sure we'll have our moments over the next few days and weeks, but she figured it out quickly and I'm very happy to be ending 2012 with only one kid in diapers full-time (Michaela will still be in one overnight for a while).

So if I got nothing else out of 2012, at least I got that! (And a baby... but whatever. Ha.)

Today's picture is of our second sticker chart. The kid is very motivated by stickers and pretend phone calls from Rachel Coleman - the lady from Signing Time (and Potty Time, in this case). Whatever it takes!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Day 364 - December 29

Holy cow. There are only two days left in the year after today. This project started almost two full years ago, on a whim. I actually got my inspiration from another friend who had started her own 365 project, never thinking it would be something I'd be able to stick with, and now here I am 2 years and two (almost) full 365 projects later. So the question is, do I keep going again in 2013? Part of me wants to stop because it can sometimes be tough to keep up with (there have been a lot of late posts since Cate came along!), but I also like that I have this way to keep track of our daily life. I haven't printed 2011 out yet, but I will be printing both 2011 and 2012 in blog books to keep for posterity. I kind of like the idea of continuing to do that, especially since I'm so bad at keeping up with our other blog (that's probably because of this one, though).

Decisions, decisions. Anyone care to weigh in?

Meanwhile, as a way of ending 2012 on a high note (and being an overachiever in terms of her sister), Cate has decided that she'd like to start sitting up on her own. I officially marked it on her calendar for yesterday, but she got even better today, managing to sit herself back up from the folded-up "taco" position. She can't catch herself if she leans too far back or to the side, but she can pretty much stay up on her own for long periods of time now.

I looked back at Michaela's calendar, and she wasn't doing this until she was about two weeks older than Cate is now, but I could've sworn it was later. I think Cate is just determined to grow up on me way too fast. It's so funny how you can't wait for the milestones with the first baby, but when you know it's your last, you want time to stop and to keep that cuddly newborn around forever.

Cuddly newborn she is not.... she's my sitting-up infant and I'm not ready for her to get any bigger!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Day 363 - December 28

Sometimes I have to take a picture just to tell a story.

And tonight is one of those times.

A few days before Christmas, Jason mentioned wanting a Red Sox Tervis tumbler. He had been at the Exchange and looked at the Tervises there, but they didn't have any non-Coast Guard ones.

I, uh, I mean Michaela and Cate, had already bought some golf balls for him for Christmas, but I figured Michaela and Cate might want to give him a cup instead. So I spent a small fortune to ship a Red Sox tumbler here just days before Christmas.

It's worth it, though, to hear Michaela ask him every night, "Daddy, how's yer Sox?" She doesn't just ask him, she's laughs hysterically every single time.

At least she thinks she's funny!

Day 362 - December 27

We went back to Bellingrath tonight to get one last look at the lights for this Christmas season. We thought Michaela might want to go, but that kid was EXCITED about it. It even felt Christmas-y since it was just under 40 degrees and we were pretty bundled up. Our blood has thinned for sure!

Of all the decorations that are up for the Magic Christmas in Lights, there are two kinds that I could look at all night. The first kind is a grouping of trees made out of all kinds of blue and green lights scattered along the great lawn. I posted a picture of them on our other blog back in 2010, the first year we went to see the lights.

The other kind are these balls made out of the lights that they string in a HUGE tree right near the end of the path. They're just so neat and I would totally be stealing them if we had any trees in our yard. Love them!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Day 361 - December 26

Today's picture is about playing with my new toys!

One of the gifts Jason gave me for Christmas was a set of three different lenses to use on my iPhone! There's a zoom lens, a fisheye lens, and a two-in-one wide angle macro.

Apparently, they aren't kidding when they say the macro is a macro. You have to be about a half a centimeter from whatever you're taking a picture of, and it's SUPER close up.

This is the eye of one of our matryroshka Santa dolls. SUPER close up!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Day 360 - December 25

Merry Christmas!!

I'll keep it simple and just say that it's fun to see Christmas through the eyes of a three-year-old.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Day 359 - December 24

I have about 10 pictures that would be great for today. And, eventually, once the other blog shows that Michaela's had her 3rd birthday, I've had a baby, and the last 5 months have happened, I'll put them all up over there.

But in the interest of saving myself some editing time, and in keeping with the whole picture a day thing, I'll limit it to just one picture.

I have a handful of cute ones of Cate in front of the tree this afternoon. And of Michaela tonight (complete with very wrinkly dress). And of the gifts under the tree.

But I had to go with this one of Cate. This baby makes the most hilarious faces! Jason said she was saying, "You just got a bunch of pictures of me. Why are you still taking more???"

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Day 358 - December 23

Tonight, I was trying to get my annual glow-y picture of the tree as Jason popped me some popcorn in the Whirly Pop (side note, my new favorite thing in the world is to pop popcorn with refined coconut oil... it ends up smelling like a movie theater in our house. YUM!). When the popcorn was done - don't worry, I have a point here - I was joined by Fred, who never misses a chance to get some popcorn.

Jason got the very good idea to make him sit in front of the tree when we had perfect bribery motivational treats available for him, and it was perfect!!

So Fred says Merry Christmas! (and, "Now give me some popcorn.")

Day 357 - December 22

There I go... a day behind again. One day I will not be so darn tired all the time. It will be sometime in April I think.

Yesterday was Santa day. We drove across the Bay to Bass Pro Shop to get a picture of Cate with Santa. We like to get the picture when they're too little to know better because, as Michaela has shown us since her first Santa picture at the same age that Cate is, there's no guarantee you'll ever get one again.

(For her part, Michaela stood at least 20 feet away from Santa and mumbled, "Merry Christmas" as we walked away from him. The kid who will hug and trample every Disney character known to man is scared to death of Santa.)

The Santa at Bass Pro is definitely the best one around (I go for the guys with real beards), so it was worth the drive (40 minutes), the wait once we got our Bass Pass (50 minutes), and then the wait once we got into the actual line (20 minutes). Sadly, we couldn't get Cate to smile, but at least she didn't scream or cry, which means we'll have at least one decent picture of her with Santa to match her sister's.

I have two pictures for the day... one of Cate checking out the Bass Pass as we waited in line, and another of her with Santa.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Day 356 - December 21

Happy Winter Solstice! And, aren't you glad the world didn't end?

I had a cute picture of Cate hanging onto the sides of her gym mat thing (rather than playing with the toys hanging from it), but then she had the most perfect reaction to getting ready to eat for the last time tonight, that I couldn't not take a picture of that and use it.

This is the face you get when you ask Cate the question, "Do you want milk milk milk?"

I'm pretty sure her answer was, "Yes!"

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Day 355 - December 20

Tonight you get treated to the "I took this picture at 10:30 at night after looking around the living room for something to take a picture of because I forgot to take a picture today" picture.

But Instagram makes everything look cool, so it's not just Cate's first ornament; it's an artsy-fartsy look at Cate's first ornament.

Day 354 - December 19

I was feeling bad about taking Cate's 5 month pictures a day late until I looked back at the blog from last month and realized I was 2 days late last month. So I'm getting better! Maybe next month, I'll be on time.

I didn't get to actually getting the pictures up until tonight, though (2 days late), because I wanted to take the time to do another Cate world recap. So here goes.

As of December 18, Cate is 5 months old. In the past month, she's mostly continued working on the same skills she had last month, with a few new ones added in. Among her favorite things to do now are to stand up as much as possible (with us holding her, obviously) and to try to sit up on her own (which she is not good at). She still hasn't rolled over again since she did it shortly after 3 months, at least not front to back. She's more or less made it from back to front, though, mostly because she was chasing after a pacifier. Don't get between this kid and a pacifier.

Cate has also been working on grabbing toys and getting them into her mouth as fast as possible. She's obviously teething, though there are no signs of actual teeth yet. But the drool and the constant chewing are dead giveaways. She's started to join us at the table at dinnertime, sitting up in her high chair with a tray full of toys to chew while we eat. She's watching us eat with a lot of interest, too, but we'll be waiting at least another month to get her started on solid foods, so for now, she just gets to watch.

She's still a super smiley and happy baby and is a little more forthcoming with her laugh these days. Michaela can pretty much always get a laugh from her, but she hardly chuckles with me or Jason. She does this crazy big open mouth smile, though, that kind of serves as her laugh. It's silent, but it's bigger than her regular smile, so we'll call it a laugh.

She's NOT silent when it comes to babbling and making other noises, though. The latest and greatest is a neat pterodactyl kind of noise, this really awesome high-pitched squeaky screech thing. It's especially fun in the car. Speaking of the car, she hates it. Unless she's sleeping or has a pacifier in her mouth, we get treated to either her cough/sneeze upset noise, raspberries, this new squeaking noise, or full-on crying to let us know how upset she is to be in the car. Michaela hates it and, in fact, enjoyed a Daddy-Michaela date today that I wasn't invited on because she "needs a break from Cate." Yeah, it's that awesome.

That's pretty much the only time she gets upset, though. Well, that and if you leave the room for too long and leave her alone, which is always fun when it's time to get Michaela down for a nap and there's no one else but Fred to keep Cate occupied. Otherwise, though, she really does rarely cry or get too upset. She does what we call the death moan before going to sleep, but that's not so much that she's upset as she's just trying to go to sleep. It's funny to listen to!

I think those are the highlights. I did this month's photo shoot while Michaela was at school, so unfortunately I don't have any good sister-love pictures like last month. But I do have a few good ones of just Cate to share. I loved that she was grabbing her feet a bunch during the shoot. I mentioned last month that she was doing that, but she had stopped for a while and just picked it back up in the last week of so. She's actually been sticking her toes in her mouth - apparently they make a good teething toy. She also seemed to realize that Tigger was right next to her finally this month. My big challenge in doing the shoot without Michaela was that there was no one besides me to look at and get her attention away from Tigger. So it was a little tough to get shots of her actually looking at me! But I caught a few good ones, so I couldn't decide which one to share, and chose three. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Day 353 - December 18

Again, I'm a day behind. But at least I got all my cookies baked yesterday, so that's why!

I like Tuesday and half of the Thursday mornings. We don't have anything scheduled on those days (the other half of the Thursdays are MOPS days), so we can relax a little in the morning and take time to just be lazy and enjoy each other's company. Of course, by "we" I mean me and the girls. Jason doesn't get that luxury, but someone's gotta earn a paycheck!

Yesterday morning Cate actually woke up before Michaela, so I fed her and then heard the loving (ha!) call of, "Mooooommmyyyyy!!!" shortly after Cate was done. I left Cate in the middle of the bed and went to get Michaela, who then joined us in my room. I was just getting ready to scoop Cate up and head out to the living room to get the day started when Michaela climbed up on the bed to say hi to Cate.

I wish you could see Cate's face a little better in this picture, but she was smiling an enormous smile (Michaela is still the only one who can make her laugh on a regular basis) and just basking in the attention from her big sister. And it looks like the love is at least a little mutual, judging by Michaela's smile, too.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Day 352 - December 17

All of a sudden today, I realized that Michaela's last day of Mom's Day Out is Wednesday. And at the top of my cookie gift list are her teachers.

Oh, and I also need to bring cookies for her party at school Wednesday, too.

And yet I hadn't started my baking at all as of 2:30 this afternoon.

As of 9:30 tonight, I had the cookies done for the party, one batch of "Christmas crack" done (saltine toffee bark), all the "slice n bakes" (they used to be slice and bake... now they're just "plop on the tray and bake) done, and two more batches of pistachio cranberry shortbreads mixed and chilling in the fridge. Tomorrow I bake at least one batch of the short breads and mix and bake at least one batch of peanut blossoms. Then I'll at least have enough done for the teachers and I can do the rest through the rest of the week.

All that to say that one of my favorite tools to use for chopping stuff (I had to chop pistachios and cranberries for the shortbreads) is my handy-dandy trusty ulu knife. I found it's not as helpful at large quantities of pistachios as another chopper I have, but it's fantastic for a rough chop on the dried cranberries. So it's gotten quite the workout in the last few weeks.

Another reason to be happy for our time in Alaska... I would've never known that the ulu knife was a thing if we hadn't lived there!

Day 351 - December 16

I'm pretty sure I don't have to actually say anything at all about this one...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Day 350 - December 15

Waaaaaaay back, months and months ago, before Cate was even born, we somehow figured out that there was going to be a Disney Live show here in Mobile. I think we may have been at Disney World at the time, actually, and we decided it would be a fun pre-Christmas outing with the big kid.

Today was finally the day for the show. Of course, Michaela woke up not feeling well this morning, and even vomited once. We hadn't told her about it yet, so we had that going for us. I stupidly decided to open my mouth, though, and then crossed my fingers that she'd be better after some more sleep and some food.

And she was.

So we headed to the civic center this afternoon, to see Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and a whole bunch of other Disney characters sing and dance; and to eat popcorn for dinner. Michaela loved it, so we did, too. And the bonus was that Cate was fascinated by it, too! I'd say it was worth the wait!

Day 349 - December 14

Christmas time is such a great time for mail. Usually we just get a lot of junk and bills, but Christmas brings cards (lots of 'em thanks to a card exchange), packages of Christmas presents (some are even for the adults in the house), and, sometimes, unexpectedly little things from friends.

Today a little box came in the mail for me. It was super light and in a small box that wasn't sealed at all, so I initially thought that whatever had been inside was lost.

Instead, I grinned a silly grin as I opened the box and found the perfect Alaskan ornament from my friend, Christina.

What kind of former inhabitant (and still official resident) of Alaska has a Christmas tree without an XtraTuf ornament on it? Thanks to Christina, that's not something we need to consider here anymore!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Day 348 - December 13

Caught up again....

I have two pictures for today because one was the one I planned on, and the other is too adorable not to use.

For the first time in months, I think, we finally went on a family walk this afternoon. Jason got home from work at a decent time, it was beautiful (though just a little chilly), Michaela needed to run off some energy, and I really didn't want Jason to have to take Fred later after Michaela was asleep because I have too many things to do to wrangle a baby.

So I had to snap a quick picture to document this fairly momentous occasion. I'm hoping we'll be able to do it more often through the rest of the winter/spring (i.e., till it gets too hot to go before 10pm again).

And the second picture is Cate's adorable squinchy-faced smile. I can't get enough of that! (Complete with finger in mouth.... the usual these days courtesy of a little teething.)

Day 347 - December 12

Christmas. The time of year when I pretend I like to bake in order to have gifts to give friends. That's not entirely fair... I do enjoy my Christmas baking, but only because I like giving cookies away.

My serious baking started last night, even though it wasn't the start of my real Christmas baking. I'm so far behind this year that I haven't gotten to that yet (and there will be a lot fewer kinds of cookies this year... an infant is cramping my style). But we had a cookie exchange at MOPS today, so I had to make 10 dozen cookies so I could share. Thankfully, this shortbread recipe makes a ton and is EASY!!

This was the start of the almost 11 dozen I made last night!

Day 346 - December 11

Ah, Lulu.

We are not as creative with Lulu as a lot of other people are. Lulu fishing was about as creative as we get.

But that doesn't stop us from being somewhat irreverent.

Or maybe Lulu just wanted to ponder Jesus for a day.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Day 345 - December 10

It's 9:09pm and I'm considering heading to bed. I have a list a mile long of things I need to do, but I'm tired and that's winning.

So tonight's picture is of one of the things on my list... the five boxes (of 16 each) of Christmas cards that just don't seem to be sending themselves out.

Maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Day 344 - December 9

It was Christmas Tree day!!

We got our tree yesterday (in 75 degree weather, while I wearing a sleeveless shirt - weird!) and got it into the house. But that was as far as we got. Part of that was a lack of time before getting ready for our party last night. Part of it was because we needed to give the tree some time standing upright so the branches would settle out. I have to say, we got a great tree again this year!

During nap time, Jason got all bajillion lights up, so that Michaela would be able to help us decorate - a highly anticipated activity - when she got up. Within seconds of coming out to the living room, she was already asking to hang up her ballerina ornament, which was a gift from Grandma and Grandpa Jeff this year.

The ballerina was the first ornament on the tree. And then we had a, uh, fun time putting up the rest of the ornaments while trying to minimize damage and make sure they made it up higher than the bottom 3 feet of the tree!

We still have to hang our tin and glass icicles, but it's up and decorated, and looks good, if I do say so myself!

Day 343 - December 8

Saturday was Christmas party day! In the morning, we had the kid's party at the park near the base, and then we had Jason's branch party last night. There are no pictures from the branch party and it's best that way.

But, in the morning, Michaela got the chance to decorate a cookie, her favorite thing about all base parties.

I have to say, the party was great this year. It was very well-attended, there was plenty of food to go around, Santa gave out gifts (though we didn't get any - M is afraid of Santa!), there was a train to ride, bounce houses, and, of course, cookies to decorate.

Check out the concentration....

Day 342 - December 7

I had big plans to only use a picture of Lulu today, but I have to add in a picture of Cate, too. When you see it, you'll know why.

Meanwhile, Lulu decided to go fishing. There was some serious engineering and use of command hooks to make this happen. (And, for the record, command hooks will pull flat paint off the wall.)

Day 341 - December 6

Here it is, December 9th, and I'm finally back-tracking to the 6th. I'm glad I've been taking the pictures, but getting them posted is a whole other story.

So now I can't even remember what happened on Thursday...

I think I just hung out at the house with the girls. Oh yeah. I had big plans to go to the post office and then it never happened. And then I took Cate to the doctor for her 4 month check up (a couple weeks late).

She was up to 14lbs, 9 oz., and 24.5 inches long. She's tracking right along on her own growth curve (right in the 50th-ish percentile), is meeting all her milestones, and has been referred out to see an ophthalmologist because her bottom eyelashes on her left eye seem to want to grow up and into her eye instead of out. We'll see how that plays out.

Meanwhile, she's recently come to really enjoy her playmate and has figured out how to chew on stuff, kick the big whale pillow on it, and also make noise by kicking toys, too. That lasts about 10 minutes and then she's ready to do something else, usually. Seems familiar!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Day 340 - December 5

Wanna know how well my brain works these days? I had to look back two whole days to see if I had mentioned our Elf on a Shelf, Lulu. I'm in rough shape.


So far we haven't been overly creative with Lulu. She spent yesterday sitting on the light over the kitchen table and today sitting in Michaela's stocking.

So for tomorrow, Michaela will find her having a tea party with Barbie and Stacie. And now I need to find some time to actually look at the links I pinned on Pinterest to get some better ideas.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Day 339 - December 4

It was a big day for little Cate. Well, not really. But it was another slap in the face for me in realizing how fast she's growing.

She doesn't use a stroller much (I usually just wear her in my Beco, or we use the Snap N Go with her carseat if we want wheels), but when she has, she's been laying down in the infant part of the Phil & Ted double.

Tonight, Jason thought he'd take her with him on his nightly walk with Fred and had planned to wear the Beco, but it's all nicely adjusted for me. So we decided to try out the ol' Bob stroller and see how she managed that.

She apparently loved it... right up to the part where she got to tired to stay awake. She was super happy to see what was going on around her, though, and fit well in it. So now we have another option for baby transportation!

And thankfully she looks all tiny in there in comparison to how Michaela fits in it, so that makes me a little happy that she's not getting too too big, too too fast.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Day 338 - December 3

The Dorval household was joined by a very special seasonal friend today.

Sometime while I was out picking Michaela up from school, a small Elf made an appearance. Word on the street is that she (yes, she) will be sticking around until Christmas Eve.

My hope is that Lulu inspires some better behavior around here, and that the behavior becomes a habit after trying to be good for so long!!

It wasn't very lady-like of Lulu to hang from the trampoline in a skirt like this, so hopefully she'll try to be a little more modest in the future. But Michaela was pretty excited to find her... and then not touch her!

Day 337 - December 2

Michaela's new favorite pastime is playing in her room. For some reason, she's recently figured out that she can be in there and doesn't have to drag everything out to the living room instead.

And one of her favorite things to do in her room is to turn on her karaoke machine and dance crazy to the Fresh Beat Band (yes, we downloaded the Fresh Beat Band album from iTunes.... ah, parenthood).

Of course, if you're putting on a dance show, you need to have an audience. And what better audience than a bunch of stuffed animals?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Day 336 - December 1

It's DECEMBER!!! I've kept up. I've taken a picture almost every single day again this year (there are a couple cheater posts with recycled pictures). I have a month left only! It seriously seems like yesterday that I was looking at how to get the first year of the blog printed (still haven't done that yet), and trying to decide if I wanted to keep up with this for another year. And here I am... last month!

In keeping with the over-arching theme of my days, I have pictures of the kids today. There's no real explanation for them. Michaela asked to go "chalk" after her nap, so Jason took both kids outside and I eventually joined him, camera in hand.

I was trying to get a good picture of the sun over Michaela's shoulder and now I'm looking forward to the photography workshop I'll be going to in February to get even better at this kind of shot. And since I took a picture of Michaela, I had to take one of the Bug, too.

(I can't decide between the two of Michaela, so I'm posting both.)

Day 335 - November 30

Sometimes it's really weird how much Michaela is like me.

A favorite thing to talk about in my family has always been my reaction to gifts as a small child. No matter the gift, I apparently went through a phase where everything was "just what I always wanted!!!"

It seems like Michaela may have inherited that enthusiasm. In the mail today, she got a set of mini-baking supplies - cookie cutters, a silicone pan, a rolling pin, and a spoon. You would've thought she'd gotten a pony judging by her reaction.

Grandma was pretty excited to know it takes so little to make her happy!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Day 334 - November 29

Cate is 4 months and 11 days old.

She's trying really hard to sit up.

This is not ok with me. I liked it better when her sister was her age and had no designs on doing any physical growing up (other than just getting big). I need her to stay little so I can enjoy every last minute of tiny baby-dom.

Maybe I can just keep carrying her around and never put her on the floor to try to do things like this. Yeah. That.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day 333 - November 28

I'm branching out into the world of coconut oil. Pretty much you can use coconut oil for anything you can possibly imagine. It's an extremely healthy oil and is all the rage in the "crunchy" world.

We were at Walmart tonight and I remembered a friend had told me they had organic refined coconut oil, so I went and grabbed a jar and then promptly asked some friends in a crunchy-ish Facebook group what to do with it. Apparently, since it's the refined kind, it's best to use in cooking/baking/food. It has no coconut flavor/scent to it at all, so it can be used in place of other oils or even butter. It has a high smoke point so it's good for sautéing and frying even. I'm planning to pick up some virgin coconut oil as well, which can be used for all those uses in that link up there - hair conditioner, diaper cream, lotion, zit cream, face scrub, to treat some ailments and sicknesses, and a whole lot more.

Tonight, I used it to pop my popcorn. It was amazing.

Day 332 - November 27

Another Cate picture. I really need new subjects...

In my defense for today, we spent time at a friend's house this morning so there weren't many picture-taking opportunities. Then, in the afternoon, Cate went from being the baby who didn't want to fall asleep on me at all last week (or the week before) to the baby who didn't want to sleep in the swing. So my scope was limited!

I got this picture because her little lips are just too adorable to me. Plus, the pacifier hanging out of her mouth. She didn't want it in her mouth, and she didn't want it taken away. She was happy as long as it was touching her lips.

Day 331 - November 26

Ah, the coordination of a 4-month-old (or lack thereof). 

Cate's been working really hard on grabbing toys and getting them to her mouth. It's so funny to watch because her little eyes cross as she stares at the toy and mostly grabs it, and then steers it towards her face. Sometimes she misses the toy completely and sometimes she misses her mouth. 

I love the grip she's got on the toy in this picture and the look of determination on her face.

Day 330 - November 25

I'm breaking the rules because it was a big day. Cate was baptized and I got to see my friend, Beth, who is visiting her family in the Pensacola area - from Rotterdam.

So, first the Baptism. Cate was welcomed into the Episcopal church through the sacrament of Baptism. Josh and Erin are her godparents, though they weren't able to be there for the service. Michaela did her best to make up for the lack of friends and family there by being CRAZY in front of the whole church. Three year olds and church services don't go well together. It's that much worse when the three year old is on display!

Later on Sunday afternoon, we drove over to Pensacola to have dinner with Beth and her kids. We were neighbors in Kodiak and became great friends (her husband was also a classmate at the Academy), and we've now gotten to see each other twice courtesy of her parents being down the road. Sadly, she was here to help them pack up their house since they were finally able to sell it, so she won't have a reason to visit in the area anymore. But since the Coast Guard is small, and her husband flies the same kind of helicopters as Jason, there's a REALLY good chance we'll see each other again at another duty station!

So, pictures... Pretty self-explanatory, and there are TWO of me!

Me, Jason, and Cate after church on Sunday. Her bonnet is a little funny looking because it's a handkerchief sewn into a bonnet. I'll keep it for her and she'll be able to rip out a couple stitches and turn it into her wedding hanky. Michaela used the hanky that I used at my wedding and will get it for her own wedding one day. I'm sad I didn't have a second one that I used myself for Cate, but I had a new one made and she'll be able to pass it along to her child one day, too.

I had to get a close-up shot of Cate's gown. I'm hoping to have a few pictures done with her in it like I did with Michaela a few months after her Baptism as well. We ended up with a beautiful cotton gown - it just felt southern to us, a nod to our Alabama-born girl.

Michaela LOVED her dress and how "wery" (that's very to you and me) twirly it was. She enjoyed twirling both during the service and during coffee hour.

And finally is a picture of me and Beth after dinner.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Day 329 - November 24

This morning, I got to sleep in a little but ran to get a shower in before Cate woke up all the way. All our Thanksgiving company was leaving today and we were trying to get a family picture taken before the Florida Dorvals had to start their drive home.

Cate had started to grunt and stir a little bit before I headed to the shower, but I figured she'd be fine until I finished.

When I was done, I was greeted by my little Houdini, who had busted out of her swaddle yet again. I think it might be time to actually take the time to tuck the arm flaps inside the miracle blanket in the right way instead of being lazy. She's getting a little too strong!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Day 328 - November 23

Today we played tourist. Well, at least the tourist-y family of a Coast Guard pilot. We headed over to the base to show the out-of-town family around, and give the kids the chance to see the helicopter.

While we were there, I just couldn't resist the opportunity to put the (awake!!) baby in the front seat of the helo. She is the cutest future pilot ever (or at least since her sister sat in the same seat.. but she's afraid of the helo now, so I'm not banking on her wanting to fly one day).