Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day 60 - February 29

Getting to more of the reason for my need to catch-up on yesterday's post....

As many have probably heard, a CG helicopter crashed here off Mobile last night. It was an HH-65, the smaller (compared to what Jason flies) orange helicopters in the CG fleet. The crew was out over the bay doing normal training and something went terribly wrong. As of this writing, one crew member has been declared dead (the rescue swimmer) and the other three are still missing. Search efforts continue.

As you can imagine, this hits pretty damn close to home. Not just literally in that it happened out of the same base where Jason works; but also figuratively, in that the CG family is small and the aviation community is even smaller. So any loss is felt keenly and, unfortunately, reminds me all too much how dangerous Jason's job can be. I am eternally grateful that he is ok, but devastated by what our CG family - and especially the families of the crew - has gone through over the past 28 hours or so.

One thing struck me today, though, as I fought back tears through most of the day (and let them flow at other times). I was struck by the fact that having a toddler in the house at a time like this is such a blessing. Even when my heart was so heavy, she made me laugh more than a few times throughout the day, and it was just what I needed.

I snapped this while we were out for a quick walk this afternoon. The sun broke through the clouds for a few minutes and Michaela used the opportunity to wear her new "Rock Star" glasses. She was rockin' 'em and she cracked me up running around the house wearing them right before we headed out. It helped that she's wearing a shirt that says "Rock like a princess" in silver glitter (yes, the same shirt as yesterday... she only wore it for a few hours yesterday so I put it back on her today!). Kid loves her sunglasses!

Day 59 - February 28

Playing catch up tonight after being hit with bad news last night shortly before I would've posted. I'll get to all that in my post for the 29th. For now, this is what I would've posted last night.

Michaela found the American Girl Doll catalogue that came in the mail and has been perusing her "magazine" for a couple of days now. She just keeps picking it up every so often, getting comfy on the couch or in a chair, and flipping through every single page. Today (the 29th), I had to tell her that those "babies" are for bigger girls and she'll have to wait a few years. She has a Bitty Baby, though, so she thought it was fun to see her same baby in the catalogue. Thankfully, she didn't notice all the accessories that can be purchased for the Bitty Baby.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Day 58 - February 27

One of Michaela's favorite past times is making a fort out of the chairs in the living room. She makes Jason drape the blankets just right to make her a little tent and then she'll climb in and out for hours when it's all set up.

She also likes the story "If You Give a Pig a Party," and, particularly the part where the animals all have a sleepover and they make a fortress out of blankets.

I'm telling you both of those things because I was sitting on the couch earlier this afternoon, catching up with email when I heard, "Look at me, Mama! I made a fortress out of me!" and looked over to the chairs to see this:

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Day 57 - February 26

For Valentine's Day, Michaela's Grandma and Grandpa Jeff sent her a card with $10 in it. Normally when she gets money in a card, I keep the cash and transfer money from my account to her account at our bank. She's got a nice little savings account going already because of that.

This $10 was different, though. It came with express instructions for her to spend the money on whatever she wanted. That week, what she wanted was paints.

Oddly enough, it's almost a full two weeks later, and she still likes the paints, and has used them often. After spending quite a bit of time outside this afternoon and about two seconds after getting the sidewalk chalk washed off her hands, she asked for her paints again.

Twenty minutes later she was done.

But she definitely was into it while she was working on her Cars/Princesses/Dinosaur Train paintings.

And Color Wonder stuff is the greatest invention ever. I might have mentioned that before, but I just wanted to say it again.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Day 56 - February 25

I have a new obsession. Or addiction. Or both. Whatever you want to call it, I can't get enough of the PBS Masterpiece show, "Downton Abbey."

I'd seen and heard a lot about it over the past few weeks and finally had to check it out. I watched the first season, 7 episodes, over 3 days, courtesy of Netflix streaming.

Tonight, I started season 2, courtesy of, and I foresee a lot of Downton and a lot less of other TV watching in my near future. The second season is only available online for another 8 days, so I have to watch them all before my time is up! Thankfully, I just checked and the rest of them aren't as long as the first episode of the season (it was 2 full hours!) or I wouldn't get enough sleep over the next week!

So this was my view tonight as I settled in to watch Episode 1 of Season 2... and it didn't disappoint... though it kept me up kind of late!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Day 55 - February 24

I may have mentioned this before, maybe sometime last year (or maybe earlier this year), but, although I've been thoroughly enjoying getting better at taking pictures of people (and Michaela certainly gives me enough fodder for that), I actually prefer to take pictures of stuff.

When we were in Kodiak, the "stuff" was the never-ending supply of gorgeous-ness (yes, that's a word) around us. There were few hikes that we took, especially in the first year there, that my camera bag did not come with us. I took pictures of mountains and fallen trees and soaring eagles and lounging sea lions and everything else you can imagine! There was just so much gorgeous scenery!

Even before Kodiak, though, from the day I opened the box of my first DSLR camera, flowers were the thing I tried to capture the most (I have mentioned this before.... on day 2 of this year). I even faithfully went outside nearly every day for about a month after I got my camera to capture a rhododendron bloom flowering in the front of our house in Massachusetts.

So when new flowers appear, it's nearly impossible for me to leave them to themselves without trying to capture at least a few images. Yesterday, I saw that our irises are starting to bloom in the front of the house, so I knew I HAD to get pictures. It was so windy, yesterday, though, that I couldn't get a picture without my hand in it, holding a bloom steady. So I waited until today.

And I'm so glad I did! I had three new blooms to capture AND the rain we had earlier in the day was still on the petals, giving me some cool water drops to include in the pictures!

Meanwhile, I was also excited to see what kind of irises we had. They were planted in late summer last year, well past their blooming time here (though February is early.... we've had such a warm winter!), so I had no idea what they were going to look like. I'm a little disappointed they aren't full purple since I totally miss the purple irises of Kodiak, but it's hard to be too disappointed when white ones look like these!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Day 54 - February 23

This warm weather is killing me. Tired, sciatica-ridden pregnant lady does NOT want to spend so much time outside being active. Tired, sciatica-ridden pregnant lady wants to spend the afternoons sitting on the couch, maybe doing a few things around the house.

Tired, sciatica-ridden pregnant lady's toddler just wants to be outside. So that's where we go in the afternoons. Outside to ride a tricycle. Or a Mickey-Mouse power wheels car. Or both. Like today.

At least she keeps me entertained, though. For the full 40-ish minutes we were out there, she just talked. And talked. And talked. She told me about the pretend friends that were riding with her (Dash, Mr. Incredible, Buzz, Woody and her latest imaginary friend, Baby Dragon); she told me about all the black and purple ants she was finding as she rode; she told me to watch out for the pointy tree (a low palm tree); and she told me she was driving a train.

In case you wondered, a train goes, "Chugga-choo-choo-choo-choo!!" in Michaela's world. See?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Day 53 - February 22

Another day, another day at the park.

She branched out a little today, leaving behind the swings and the tire swing to have a couple rides down the slide.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Day 52 - February 21

Happy Mardi Gras, everyone!

To set the record straight, I know everyone thinks of New Orleans when they think of Mardi Gras, but it actually started here in Mobile, and it's a great source of pride around here. It's also a much less crazy place to enjoy the whole Carnival season, and definitely much more family-friendly on Fat Tuesday itself.

To prove that to ourselves, we decided to hit up the afternoon parades today, if for no other reason than to get the real Mardi Gras experience! I don't know if we'll go back again on Fat Tuesday - I think I prefer the calmer pace of the other parades earlier in the season!

That said, we had a great time today, meeting up with friends experiencing their first Mardi Gras parades, getting tons of beads, a few more stuffed animals to add to Michaela's collection, a Moon Pie or two, and a few other little trinkets. It's also always a good time to watch Michaela just light up each time she sees the next float come around the corner. Love it!!

Today is another "my blog, my rules" kind of day, since I wanted to share some of the fun via pictures. So we have 5 pictures today. The first three are from the Knights of Revelry parade. The next one is the royalty of the King Felix parade, and the last one is the "Queen" of the Comic Cowboys.

And now we get to spend the next 11 months telling Michaela there are no more parades!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Day 51 - February 20

It's my blog, so I get to make the rules. Today, that means four pictures.

We went to the park this morning to enjoy the absolutely gorgeous weather (such a change from our downpours a couple days ago). We started off with Michaela riding her tricycle around the running path (about 3/4 of a mile) and then we hit the playground for a little while. We had one tired girl on our hands when we got home!!

No explanation necessary on these pictures!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Day 50 - February 19

Today, I ate carbs. Plus some bacon. Oh, and some oranges.

In my defense, I don't feel good. At all.

It's just a cold, but it came with this awesome hacking dry cough that makes it so I can't sleep. And I can't really take anything for it because of being pregnant. And it also makes me crave salty, hot food to make my throat feel better.

So I followed a pancake breakfast at church (that's where the bacon came in) with kraft mac n cheese for lunch. And then I completed the trifecta with ramen noodles for dinner.

I think I'm going to go make myself some Brussels sprouts for a snack to feel better about it.

Or I'm going to have ice cream. One of the two.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Day 49 - February 18

It rained today. A lot. We got steady rain with thunderstorms and deluge-type rain mixed in every so often. Jason's pretty sure he drained about 4 or 5 inches off the pool... that's a lot of rain.

Michaela wanted so badly to go outside after her nap. She kept asking every few minutes, and we kept pointing out that it was raining. Really raining. At one point, I stepped outside with her and there was a nice clap of thunder a minute later, so she decided it was a good time to go inside.

About 10 minutes later, she asked to go out again. And when we did, she didn't want to come back in. So I told her I was going inside and closed the door. The idea was that she would come in since she doesn't like being left alone.

It backfired. She thought it was hilarious and the most fun she'd had in days to be out there by herself. So she checked out the rain. She smiled a little. And she danced around a lot. Eventually she let herself back in, telling me there was thunder and she had to come in. I don't think there was thunder, but her feet were definitely cold. So I'm glad she came in!

Meanwhile, she gave me a great subject for some pictures today!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Day 48 - February 17

Wanna know what's almost as fun as dressing up? Actually, it may be more fun....

Blowing bubbles!

She kept herself entertained with this for at least 20 minutes today. Which is saying something for the girl with the attention span of a gnat. I love that she finally figured out how to blow bubbles on her own. It's way more entertaining for her than one of us doing it for her.

And as you can see by the second picture, she was entertained! Mostly she thought it was hilarious to blow the bubbles right at me.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Day 47 - February 16

The kid loves to dress up. Loves it.

We started the morning with a toddler in a Barbie bride dress-up dress (thanks so much, Grandma), and then shifted to the ballerina Olivia stuff for a while, before landing back in the Barbie dress shortly before changing into pajamas.

I've got to walk you through the fabulous-ness of this outfit because it was just too much. And I'll apologize for the blurry and back-of-head pictures... she decided she didn't want any pictures taken. I even tried to get the big camera out, but the best I could do was stalk her with the iPhone instead.

So here we have the front view.... note the red tutu and striped arm warmers.

Here, in the back view, you get a little less blurry look at everything. Again, there's the red tutu and the striped arm warmers. We also have the red ballet slippers, about 12 sizes too big, and, best of all, I think, the piece of pink yarn (originally intended to hang a Valentine decoration made from school) used as a necklace/headband/crown.

And please pay no attention to the scattering of toys around here. I think I've mentioned before that, on any given day, it looks like I run a daycare around here and not like I just have one child.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Day 46 - February 15

It's apparently all about the sweets in this house this week. I guess that's what happens during the week of Valentine's Day.

Tonight, it's cookies.

Specifically, it's Michaela eating a cookie, which was the tool used in the purest form of bribery to get her to actually eat her dinner tonight. I'm not ashamed to say I will absolutely resort to giving my child things like, well, whatever they put in those frosted soft sugar cookies to make them taste so fabulous, to get her to eat the real food. It worked, obviously, so there ya go.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Day 45 - February 14

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

It's a day all about love. And buying cards. But mostly about love.

And I love cupcakes.

And I love the man who brought me cupcakes.

And I love that I didn't like the pink champagne cupcake so I felt less bad about splitting 4 cupcakes between two people because I didn't eat a whole half of a cupcake.

And I love that I'm pregnant so I don't really have to think about that anyway!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Day 44 - February 13

It's the day before Valentine's Day. Which meant some candy being handed out at "school." Which, of course, meant Michaela wanting that candy.

She'll be 2 years and 7 months old in a couple of days and today was the first day she ever put a lollipop in her mouth. That's not to say she hasn't had candy, because the girl loves a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup like nothing you can imagine. But I've never given her a lollipop because, well, they're messy. And I'm too Type-A. And I'm ok with that.

But she got this super cute lion lollipop from her teacher so I had to let her have it. And, truth be told, I thought it was molded white chocolate. So I thought she'd just bite into it and that would be that.

Well, it's not molded white chocolate. It's regular ol' sugary sugar. And she didn't like it. Because she couldn't bite it. Only my kid.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Day 43 - February 12

Winter came to Alabama finally.

We're not too concerned, though... it's only supposed to last through mid-day tomorrow when the temperature will be back up in the 50s. And we're expecting to see 70 again on Tuesday. That's right, two days of winter. Woo-hoo!

Dog walking doesn't stop for winter conditions... especially when your dog LOVES winter conditions! Jason busted out the full fuzzy Copper River Fleece, gloves, AND hat for his stroll this evening. Doesn't he look all warm and toasty?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Day 42 - February 11

Apparently, Jason didn't get enough of dressing up last night when he got to wear his fancy tuxedo-like uniform....

Day 41 - February 10

All this talk of a Mardi Gras Ball, you probably thought there'd be a picture to post from it, right?

You'd be wrong.

We were running late, so there was no time to take pictures before we left. Then I went to grab my smaller camera on our way out the door to have something with us and discovered the battery was dead (of course). I guess we could've taken Jason's little point and shoot with us, but I hate that thing, so I didn't even bother.

So we have no pictures of us at the ball.... yet. There was a professional photographer there, so we'll have something eventually.

While we're waiting for those, though, we'll have to settle for a picture of Michaela getting comfy on my bed while I got ready for the ball. She cracked us up, sitting there like she's been hanging out, changing channels on the TV her whole life. Such a goof.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Day 40 - February 9

Today was one of those days when it got to be after dinner time and I realized I'd only taken one picture so far and I'd already posted it to Facebook.

A quick look around (the table because I didn't feel like getting up) produced something pretty... the headband I'll be wearing tomorrow night for the Military Mardi Gras Ball!

My gown is ready (jersey is the BEST material in the world, by the way, when you have NO idea how big your belly's going to be, but you need to buy a dress far enough in advance to have alterations made and you're pregnant), I've got all my accessories (God willing, I'll be able to make it through the night in my ridiculous heels even with this awesome sciatic pain I've got going right now), the sitter is all lined up, and I got the mani/pedi yesterday (people who spend a lot of time washing dishes should never have high expectations of a manicure lasting longer than 3 days... I'm just hoping mine will last til tomorrow night). I'm ready for a fancy night out!!

As long as I can take a nap tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Day 39 - February 8

(Fair warning... wordy story ahead. I think it's funny, but it might be funnier if you hear it instead of reading it. But I had to write it down because it was definitely a story I want to remember!)

In case you wondered, as early as 2.5 years of age, a child can be honing their negotiating skills. That's something I learned today.

After Michaela's nap today, I had to run out to a couple of stores. This is out of the ordinary for us since the afternoons are usually spent playing in the living room with a movie on, or outside in the yard. But I needed some things for dinner, so we had to run out for a bit.

I let her know in advance (this morning actually) that we would be going to Kohl's and Target. She wanted to go to Target first, but I explained that we had groceries to get there, so we had to go to Kohl's first. Thankfully, she was good with that.

So as we pulled into the Kohl's parking lot (which is right across the street from Target, btw), she told me that she needed to go to Starbucks for a cake pop. She then proceeded to tell me that her belly reeeeeally was hurting for a cake pop. I told her that we had to do our Kohl's shopping first, and we could revisit the cake pop discussion when we headed to Target.

Not missing a beat on the timing of things, as we walked back to the car after finishing at Kohl's, she started with the belly hurting for a cake pop thing again. "Mommy, my belly is really hurting. I need a cake pop for it. A cake pop will make my belly fell better." As I loaded her into the car, I offered up the option of popcorn instead (I wanted popcorn. Plus I could get her in the cart and keep her entertained with popcorn!). But she stuck to her guns. She "needed" a cake pop.

As I put her into her car seat, she continued to ask about the cake pop. My answer was continuously a very non-committal, "we'll see," with my fear being that Starbucks wouldn't actually HAVE any cake pops since it was late-ish in the day by now. Almost buckled, and still trying to get a "yes" out of me, my dear, sweet toddler looked me straight in the eyes and earnestly said, "Mommy! You could get a cake pop, too!" as if offering me my OWN cake pop would miraculously mean the answer to her request would be in her favor.

Negotiating. At 2.5. I am scared of her teen years. Petrified.

With only one cake pop left in the case when we got to Starbucks (which is inside Target for those trying to figure out the connection), she nearly danced out of her clothes in impatience and worry that the girl in front of us in line might ask for the cake pop. As she reached up in an effort to will the cake pop into her hands and made a big show of NEEDING it (we discussed need vs want at this point), I silently prayed that the girl in front of us would NOT want the cake pop, and scanned the case to see what a suitable substitute might be. Thankfully, the story ends well. No one else wanted the cake pop, so Michaela got her wish (And I didn't get one.... since there was just that one left. Negotiations didn't even go in my favor!!). And then my toddler... my baby!... took her bagged cake pop off the counter and set herself up at a table (and even started to eat) while I waited for my tea.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Day 38 - February 7

Oh my gosh. This kid kills me.

At playgroup today, she had to swing, of course. She mixed things up a little bit, though, by leaning all the way forward in the swing (it's one of the "baby" swings, so she was safe!) and telling me that she was a fish.

She wasn't just any fish, though. She was an orange fish. And not just any orange fish, but Dorothy (for those not familiar with the toddler world, that would be Elmo's goldfish on Sesame Street). So I asked her what kind of face Dorothy makes, and made my own fish face at her.

Then I got this.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Day 37 - February 6

Every so often, something happens, just something little, that reminds me of the fact that I'm definitely a grown up.

Yes, being married for almost 13 years should be one clue. Other clues include having bought and sold one home, and then having bought a second one; having completed too many military moves to keep track of (ok, just kidding... I've lived in 6 states now courtesy of the CG); driving what is essentially a mom-mobile without being a minivan (yay for my Chevy Traverse!!); and, oh yeah, having a child and another on the way.

Even with all of those things as constant reminders of the fact that I'm a grown up, there are still other things that drive the point home.

Today, it was my complete and total excitement at the sight of the Crate and Barrel box through the open door of the UPS truck as it drove up to the house. I'm not kidding. I jumped up and down and clapped my hands (don't worry, Jason was home to see that. I didn't act like a fool in an empty house or anything).

What could prompt such excitement, you ask?

Glasses. A complete, matching set of glass wear - 12 highball glasses and 12 double old-fashioned glasses. And these glasses rock because they're heat-tempered glass, so I can use them for hot and cold drinks. Yep, awesome!

Ah, being a grown up is fabulous... a week's worth of excitement over the delivery of new glass wear. Be jealous. Be very, very jealous.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Day 36 - February 5

More Mardi Gras madness today...

Sometime before we left for church this morning, and after she'd had breakfast, Michaela asked for a Moon Pie for a snack. She was most excited about getting Moon Pies from the krewes on the floats, but we didn't give her one last night because she was too busy saying, "Throw me somethin', Mister" and clutching her stuffed animals with a death grip.

So, like any other good Mobilian mom on the day after a Mardi Gras parade (I have no idea if that's true, I'm only trying to justify my actions), I let her have a Moon Pie for a morning snack. But she only ate half.

Then we dropped her off at the nursery at church, all sugared up. We're awesome.

(And that's a banana Moon Pie, in case you're wondering about the odd color. She picked it, but I don't think she loved it!)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Day 35 - February 4

It's Mardi Gras time!!!

Last night was the first parade of Mardi Gras season in downtown Mobile. We planned to go but ran into a bump when I realized at about the time we should've been leaving for the parade that I was supposed to go pick up my gown for the ball next weekend from the tailor. So we shifted plans and decided to hit two parades tonight (they roll half hour apart, so it's really like one big parade).

Michaela loved the parades last year, but it was even better this year because she understood what to do. We told her to yell, "Throw me somethin', Mister!!" but her little voice doesn't carry too far. She did, however, learn to hide the throw(s) she already had so that someone would be willing to throw her more. I'd like to thank her daddy for teaching her such tricks.

About 10 MoonPies, a few packages of peanuts, a bunch of beads, 3 stuffed animals, and a plush Clifford the Big Red Dog backpack later, Michaela thoroughly enjoyed our first parades of the season and was already asking to go to the next one on the way out.

I left the big camera at home because we were expecting some rain (which waited til we got home, thankfully), so I just took a few iPhone Hipstamatic pics between catching throws. One is just one of the floats, and the other is Michaela showing that she knows how to get someone to throw her some good stuff!!

Day 34 - February 3

Ok, finally getting to last night's picture. Did you know that a software upgrade never takes the amount of time it says it's going to? It's usually a lot longer. Just thought I'd throw that out there. (I decided to upgrade to the newer operating system for my laptop and what popped up as 30 mins took more like double that. It was awesome.)

Anyway, yesterday afternoon, for the first time ever, Michaela's completely Type A mother allowed her to play with a play-doh like substance (it's a generic brand Mimi and Papa sent for Valentine's Day). Michaela had no idea what to do with it, which cracked me up, and it didn't last long, but she asked for it again today so I guess she liked it.

Here she is trying to use the little bear-shaped mold in the top of the lid.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Day 33 - February 2

Maybe I should've just called this the 366 days of Michaela this year. It seems like she's been my subject more often than not so far. In my defense for today, it was rainy and gross most of the day, so all we did was make a quick trip to Target and then spend a lot of time playing at home. So there wasn't much else to take pictures of!

Yesterday, I posted a quick cell phone picture on FB of myself, all decked out in Toy Story stickers (mostly on one shoulder), courtesy of the toddler.

Today, she didn't decorate me, she decorated herself. And we moved on from Toy Story to Mickey. I think she has a future as a stylist.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Day 32 - February 1

Michaela decided she wanted to paint this afternoon. This decision came while she was cuddled up and we were rocking in the rocker in her room shortly after she woke up, totally cranky, from her nap. She's got a bit of a cold, so she's not sleeping well and was especially clingy... uh, cuddly... after her nap yesterday and today. So there she was, essentially laying on me as we rocked when she sat up straight, said, "I want to paint!!" and happily climbed down to go find the painting stuff.

Sometimes it's like we have two kids.

There are two different options for painting - the first is Color Wonder fingerpaints and the second is a paintbrush marker in a generic brand of Color Wonder kind of thing. She had to use both.

The fingerpaints didn't last long (she is so totally my daughter - Type A and not wanting to get her hands messy), but she really had fun with the brushes. I think everything is pink in the little book, but that was the color that seemed to work best, as she figured out. Plus, I think she just likes pink.

Apparently, painting with a paintbrush marker takes an enormous amount of concentration, too. And thankfully I got a bunch of shots in before she realized what I was doing and said, "Don't take pictures. I'm trying to paint!"