Thursday, May 31, 2012

Day 152 - May 31

I have two pictures today. They have nothing to do with each other, at all. But I took one this morning, fully intending to use it, and then Michaela struck again. I don't know what to think about this kid.

So, first up is a little look at why I wasn't in a huge hurry to go back to work at all, let alone going back to the Coast Guard after my sabbatical. I mean, why would I do that when I can spend my mornings sitting by the pool instead?

And the second... well, I don't even know what to say. This was not the first time she's put herself in this container. I'm sure it won't be the last. But... why???

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Day 151 - May 30

Remember how I posted a picture of M inside her tent two days ago? The tent that's set up in her room and requires no extra work for Mommy?

Well, apparently, that is not good enough for her. Probably because it's all the way back in her room and she doesn't like to play alone back there. And also, she can't watch TV in there. I definitely have a serious TV addict on my hands.

Forget about the red, blue, and yellow tent that comes complete with the tunnel. What fun is all that when you can have Mommy build you a tent out of blankets, chairs, and an ottoman?! And you can peak out to watch The Fresh Beat Band.

She kills me.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Day 150 - May 29

I have to say, the toddler is nothing if not creative.

She is also ALLLL her father with how much she loves to sit on the floor. More often than not, she sits right in front of the couch, on the floor, to watch TV. But I think Fred may have had that spot this morning.

So what's a girl to do when she wants to sit on the floor, but wants something to lean against? Just flip an ottoman over and carry on!

(Pay no attention to the yellow headband that doesn't match her shirt... she grabbed it out of the drawer in the bathroom and put it on herself. So stylish!)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Day 149 - May 28

What I should've taken a picture of was the new configuration of Michaela's room. I thought about it about 4 minutes after I put her to bed. There was no going back at that point!

What new configuration? We spent the morning rearranging her furniture and reorganizing her toys and what-not in order to make room for her coming "big girl bed!" She's still sleeping in her crib (haven't even converted it to a toddler bed) since she's never tried to climb out, but she REALLY enjoyed sleeping in her toddler-sized air mattress while we were in Orlando, so we've decided to move her a little sooner than we'd planned. (Everyone cross your fingers that this doesn't backfire on me!!!)

Plus, I'm starting to get those nesting urges and without all kinds of little tiny clothes to wash and organize, I decided I wanted to at least get the room situated in advance of Yellow's arrival, even though Yellow won't sleep in it for a while. But I suppose I at least need the space to put Yellow's stuff.

After much agonizing over what kind of bed to get her (and how much to spend), I finally ordered the bed yesterday (after two very full days of exhaustive internet searching and furniture store shopping). It's supposed to be here on Thursday, so it was time to reorganize her room.

The first thing we did was move her dresser into the closet, which freed up an entire wall of space. After that, we took everything off the shelf in the closet, which included her tent/tunnel. I'm sure you can see where this is going.... it only took minutes before she asked to set her tent up in the new empty space (WHY did we not put the dresser in the closet sooner?!??!?) so she could play in there. And, of course, that's the only place she wanted to play for the rest of the night.

All that for a pretty bad picture of her playing with a puzzle in her tent, complete with bad iPhone flash. The picture is as bad as it is because I was right next to her... on the floor, in her tent. I don't recommend that as a place to hang out for someone who is less than 9 weeks away from having a baby and old. Just a heads up.

Day 148 - May 27

As per the usual in the summertime around here, yesterday afternoon found Jason and Michaela outside in the afternoon, mostly in the pool. With temperatures in the high-90s, the almost-90-degree pool still has some refreshing qualities to it... but not much!

Anyway, for whatever reason, Jason decided that it was well past time for Fred to get a bath. Since it had probably been about a year (YICK!!), I agreed.

And Fred definitely didn't seem to mind. He got up and tried to run away at one point when Jason was scrubbing him, but he settled down pretty quickly and didn't mind getting hosed-down at all. I'm guessing those temperatures in the high-90s had something to do with that.

Of course, Michaela had to be there to help. Until she wasn't that helpful. Then she went back to swimming.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day 147 - May 26

Another food picture for today... this time at home.

When we got back from Florida last week, Jason was pretty excited to finally get to pick some tomatoes from two of his plants. The best part was that the giant green tomato had FINALLY turned red.

And that giant red tomato turned into dinner tonight. It was delicious paired with some fresh mozzarella cheese, a little salt and pepper, and some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The only thing missing was fresh basil - which I couldn't find at two different grocery stores (wish I'd planted more of that this year!).

Although we've been away from Kodiak for two years now, it's still a novelty to have produce that tastes like it's supposed to. This tomato definitely tasted like a tomato. It was a little bit of summer on our plates tonight!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Day 146 - May 25

It was date night tonight! We hired a babysitter and made reservations for dinner and everything! (Then we went furniture shopping after dinner...)

There are few things in this world that make me as happy as a good meal. Back in the day when we had two incomes and no child, fancy dinners were a pretty regular occurrence. They are not anymore. So when a special occasion rolls around (like our anniversary - that's what we were celebrating tonight), I will pretty much always choose fancy food over anything else.

Tonight we headed to True for a second time (there aren't many "fancy" options around here), and thoroughly enjoyed yummy food, white tablecloths, dim lighting, and quiet conversation. We also had fun watching the couple a few tables over who literally said nothing to each other the whole time they were there. Weird.

Anywho, the food not only tasted good, but it was pretty, too. So I took a picture of my rabbit, shrimp and succotash. YUM!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Day 145 - May 24

This picture should tell you one thing.... the kid does not get lollipops very often. She probably eats more chocolate than she should, but this is only the third lollipop she's ever had (first Tootsie Pop) and she was thoroughly enjoying it.

The other thing you won't get from just looking at the picture is the backstory. I took two other pictures of her with the lollipop. They were good enough, but I was seeing what other funny things she would do. I was rewarded with this one - this was totally posed. She did this and then just sat there like that and waited til she heard the click of the iPhone camera taking the picture. What a ham!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Day 144 - May 23

I have two completely unrelated pictures for today. Well, that's not entirely true... they're related in that they both have something to do with the fact that I'm pregnant.

The first one is specifically for my mom, who probably doesn't even remember her mini-rant about the expectant mommy parking at Babies R Us, but I laughed as I pulled up today and took the spot closest to the door, proudly, with that awesome sign in front of it! The funny part was that I wasn't even there to get anything for Yellow - I was buying fruit puree pouches for Michaela!

And the second one is the instagram picture I already shared on FaceBook today... Michaela used at least 4 different kinds/packages of stickers to decorate my belly and legs this afternoon. I guess that's what you get when you reorganize your toddler's craft supplies and they're easier to get to. I didn't mind, though, since it meant my exhausted tooshy didn't have to do anything to entertain her besides sit next to her on the couch. That was about all I could handle this afternoon!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day 143 - May 22

Today's picture is a fancy picture of a picture. If we hadn't gotten married back in the dark ages before digital cameras, I could've just used an old digital picture instead. But we're that old, so we have to settle for pictures of pictures.

Why did I want this particular picture?

Because it's our anniversary! Jason and I have been married for 13 years now. Some days it feels like we've been together forever (in a good way). Some days it feels like we've only been together since yesterday (and I'm still that 22-yr-old girl just starting out!).

Thirteen years - with just about four of them not really living together (or just straight-up not living together... there was a year there where we shared a house but didn't see it at the same time very much, the rest of the 4 years we just didn't even share a house), 10 different duty stations between the two of us, ten moves, one dog, one and 3/4 kids... and I wouldn't change a thing. Well, that's not true... I would like those four years of not living together back to try to actually really be married and what-not instead. But overall, I wouldn't change it.

I feel very lucky and blessed to be married to my best friend and a man I love more today than I did thirteen years ago. Happy Anniversary to us!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Day 142 - May 21

I'm finally back to the right day!!!

We're back to normal around here - sort of - which just meant fun things like doing laundry, grocery shopping, going to physical therapy, and, OF COURSE, swimming.

My hair is finally long enough that the bottom of it gets wet when I swim (I don't like to get it wet unless I really have to so I don't have to go through the process of showering and blow-drying after being in the pool for 15 minutes... I'm so high maintenance!). So I actually was able to pull my hair back into the world's smallest ponytail - something I haven't done in about 10 years! And I had to document it. So there's two pictures of me in less than a week's time. Don't expect to see another anytime soon!

Day 141 - May 20

We made it home Sunday afternoon, got the kid down for a nap, unpacked, and then went to a friend's son's 1st birthday party.

Through all of that, and because I stupidly left the box in the living room, Michaela asked over and over if she could use the drum set I got right before we left (for my Coastie Chicks cyber-shower).

So I set up the drums real quick and they were a BIG hit!

Day 140 - May 19

Saturday brought the end of vacation and the beginning of our trip home. We always stop half-way and make the drive in two days instead of one. It's do-able in one, but it's not fun, especially not 7 months pregnant, and Marriott rewards points means a free hotel stay, so we break it up.

After asking first thing if we were going back to Disney World that day (and getting a no), I think Michaela wanted to be sure we wouldn't forget her. After one trip to the car with most of our stuff, Jason brought the luggage cart back for the last few things, and Michaela camped out on it while Jason took out trash and I finished packing up the last of the stuff. She definitely makes some cute luggage!

Day 139 - May 18

Happy Birthday to Jason! Which meant a full day at EPCOT thanks to reservations at the Rose and Crown for dinner. I think he picked his birthday dinner based on the beer selection.

We had planned to get a late start since we kept M up so late the night before, but she was up early so we headed out a little earlier than planned. We also were hoping she'd stay with tradition and nap in her stroller at EPCOT, but we had no such luck. Thankfully, though, because of the Flower and Garden Festival, they had some cute little kid play areas set up around the park so there were ways to keep her busy while we wandered around.

Flower and Garden Festival means really cool Disney characters made out of plants, so of course I had to take lots of pictures of those and some of the various other flowers around the park. It's really gorgeous during Flower and Garden, but I think we like Food and Wine better!!

The first two pictures are pretty much self-explanatory, but I feel like I should say something about the last two.

Michaela had her spray bottle/fan with her and told us that she needed to water Lotso in the Toy Story garden. I guess she felt like the plants weren't getting enough water since it was so hot out!

And then, because the child seemed to remember EVERYthing from our trip last fall, she went right for Pluto's whiskers again at the character greeting spot at EPCOT. Cracked me up!

Day 138 - May 17

We started Thursday at Hollywood Studios, and then finished the day (after nap time) at Magic Kingdom.  Michaela enjoyed meeting Buzz and Woody, dancing at the hat, hula-hooping, and watching Beauty and the Beast. But I think the Mickey cake pop might have been her favorite part of being at Hollywood Studios. I can't blame her - my favorite part of that park is my annual caramel and chocolate covered apple. Delish. 

Later, as we walked into Magic Kingdom - heading for a ride of some sort, I'm sure - we saw that there was pretty much no wait to see Mickey and Minnie. So, of course, we had to take advantage of that. Thankfully, the photographer's assistant suggested I hand-off my camera to her, and we actually ended up with a decent family photo! Yes... me in front of the camera... happily! 

And, finally, on the way out that night, just before the Electric Light Parade, I caught some pictures of the castle lit up in different colors. The purple is definitely my favorite!

Day 137 - May 16

We were supposed to hit up another park on Wednesday. But a check of the forecast for Wednesday and Thursday told us that the better part of valor would be to postpone and not get caught in the rain.

It didn't rain all day like it originally looked like it would, but there was definitely some torrential rain and a giant storm around dinner time Wednesday night. We were at Downtown Disney and got caught in it - a much preferred alternative to being at an actual park.

We took advantage of the overcast sky and no rain in the morning to hit up the pool again. Honestly, I'm not sure we actually need to go to Disney World at all while we're in Florida... I think the kid would be just as happy to just hang out at the hotel pool. It's like we don't have a pool in our back yard. Of course, the hotel one had cool water fountains and stuff, so it's got a leg up on our pool, but it was ridiculous how much she just wanted to be there. She definitely had fun, though... as did Daddy (first picture).

Late in the afternoon we headed to Downtown Disney to do our shopping. Our shopping ALWAYS includes a stop at the Pearl Factory kiosk. I got my first pearl as a First Class cadet while sight-seeing around Hawaii and have been addicted to it ever since. It's so fun to watch the saleslady crack open the oyster and see what you get inside. Of course, we've now included Michaela in this tradition, which is kind of getting expensive. But I can't NOT do it, so we both got some jewelry (she'll get hers when she's 16 - or at least old enough to take care of it. Meanwhile, pearls need to be worn to keep them lustrous and pretty, so I force myself to wear hers as well!)

Day 136 - May 15

We had planned to take Tuesday off from the parks originally, and as Monday dragged on, we were VERY happy we had made that decision.

So Jason headed out for his birthday gift of a round of golf first thing in the morning, and Michaela and I hung around the villa and then spent some time at the pool late morning.

Before going to the pool, though, Michaela pulled out the stickers we'd brought with us and started decorating everything in sight.

Including my tattoo.

Day 135 - May 14

Monday morning found us awake bright and early - before the sun came up even - to get ready to head to Magic Kingdom before park opening for our breakfast at the Crystal Palace. Character dining was on the menu again... this time with Pooh and friends. 

Lesson learned here - stick to breakfast at Chef Mickey's. First of all, you don't have to schedule a park day because it's at the Contemporary, so it's outside the park. Monday was not a good day in Michaela-land and we ended up having to force the park issue because we had to use a day on our tickets to get in for breakfast, so we stayed longer than we probably should've. It wasn't pretty. 

Moving on - the other reason to go with Chef Mickey's over Crystal Palace is that it's a better set up. They are more organized at Chef Mickey's so you're sure to not miss a character at your table while you're waiting in the buffet line. I almost missed seeing M with Pooh (my favorite!) because I went to get my breakfast and no one told us he'd be swinging by sooner than later. That wasn't an issue at all at Chef Mickey's so, although I love Pooh and his friends, if we're going to go with a breakfast, we'll stick with Mickey next time around. 

One of the coolest things about having a pre-park-opening reservation, though, is that you get a mostly-empty park to yourself for a while as you wait for your reservation time. That, of course, meant getting a shot of the castle with NO PEOPLE in the picture! LOVE IT!!

Beyond that, we've got Michaela showing off her Mickey waffle again this year. That might have to be a tradition! And the last picture is M getting her autograph book signed by Pooh. She LOVED her autograph book! We bought it on a whim while we were at Shades of Green picking up tickets (gotta love Exchange prices instead of park prices!), and never thought she'd care as much as she did. She thought it was the coolest thing ever to get all the characters' autographs!

And all my pictures are from the morning because the day just went downhill from there. I'll leave it at that.

Day 134 - May 13

 Finally! Getting caught up! I'm not sure I'm even going to be able to remember enough about last week to have anything to say.

That's probably not true. That's the beauty of pictures; they jog your memory like nothing else can, I think.

So let's go back to Mother's Day. We spent the morning at Animal Kingdom - my least favorite Disney park, so totally fitting that we went there on Mother's Day. Surprisingly, though, we had a lot of fun through lunch time, and then headed back to the hotel for nap time. We had to make sure the kid got a good nap because we had reservations for dinner at the Garden Grill at EPCOT - a character dinner where she'd be seeing her two favorites, Chip and Dale.

We also spent a little extra time at EPCOT after dinner and saw Nemo, another favorite. Posing in front of the Nemo statues at The Seas was actually the toddler's idea. Strange.

I'll leave it at that and just go with pictures from here. First is some white rhinos from the Safari ride at Animal Kingdom. Then Michaela with her two best buds... the first of two times seeing them that day (she got some quality time with them at dinner!). Thankfully Animal Kingdom has a few kid-friendly rides as well since our little daredevil really only likes rides. And, finally, her pose in front of Nemo and Marlin at EPCOT.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Day 133 - May 12

Today is about bugs.

We drove from Mobile to Tallahassee yesterday, and then made the rest of the trip from Tallahassee to Orlando today.

Somewhere between Tallahassee and Summerfield (where we stopped to see Jason's grandmother), we hit the motherlode of love bugs. (Go ahead... click on the link to find out what they are.) They get to be a serious issue a couple times of year down this way (we get them in AL, too) and we happened to hit the high season as we were driving down I-75 today.

At some points, it actually sounded like rain was hitting the windshield. It was nasty. And it made it hard to see.

So, of course, today's picture has to be the bugs. And by picture, I mean pictures. Because we have windshield carnage, which is just the left-over splatter; and then we had bumper carnage, which includes the actual bugs.

You're welcome, Central Florida; we were happy to help control the love bug population.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Day 132 - May 11

Shortly after I got Michaela dressed this morning, I was just sitting on the couch, minding my own business, when she stood right in front of me and said, "Take a picture of me in my Fresh Beats shirt." (Today was the first time she wore it since we got it at the concert.)

With both my big girl camera and my iPhone sitting next to me, I asked her which one she wanted me to use. She thought about it for a minute and then said, "Uhhhh, your phone."

So here's Michaela in her first ever concert tee, posing like a goober.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Day 131 - May 10

Tonight I finally got to open some baby gifts that have been at the house for over a month. And it was worth the wait!

I've been a member of a Coast Guard-related online forum for years. This forum does a cyber baby shower every few months for all the soon-to-be-moms. Volunteers sign up to send gifts and the moms get a little bit spoiled by people that we've often never met in real life.

This time around, I knew my giver in advance, although it's usually a secret until you open the package. He is one of the lone "roosters" on the site, as we call them, and he's a retired Coastie. He lives down the road in Louisiana and made the trip over about a month ago to drop off the gifts and to go to the base to take pictures of "Flat Stanley" in a helicopter (a project for his great-nephew).

Anyway, he and his wife definitely went way overboard in their gifts for Yellow. I think they found every last duck-related item out there, and bought them all.... even Yellow Duck Tape. Oh, yes. That's how his mind works.

I'm slightly confused, though, because I thought he really liked me... and yet there's a child-sized drum set in amongst the presents. Yikes!!!

So today's picture is my haul from the cyber-shower. Yellow and I were spoiled for sure!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Day 130 - May 9

I originally planned to post a picture of my green bean blanching assembly line. Not that those pictures were particularly exciting, but it took up a good part of my afternoon to blanch and bag up 4 lbs (in 8 oz batches) of fresh green beans to be frozen, so I figured it was a good way to show part of my day.

But then Michaela provided me with exactly my kind of ironic humor in the form of where she decided to put down her half-eaten apple.

Also, the green bean pictures are on the real camera and the apple one is on the phone, making it much easier to post and I'm feeling lazy.

My apologies to all my FB friends who've seen this already, but I thought it was worth sharing with the people who read this but aren't on FB.

This wasn't staged. This is where the toddler decided to put down her apple. She's awesome.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Day 128 - May 7

Just about every night, after Michaela is in bed, Jason takes Fred for his walk.

Then there are the nights that Jason isn't home for some reason, and the poor dog just gives up and goes to our room to sleep. Tonight was one of those nights (until Jason cancelled his flight and came home early enough to walk him).

This is what it looks like when Fred just gives up. Poor dog.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Day 127 - May 6

Apparently, one of Michaela's new favorite past times at school is to crawl under one of the tables and pretend to be sleeping under there (I feel like I've shared this already....). She's now moved the fun home.

Yesterday afternoon she crawled under the dining room table to "sleep." And the fun started all over again this morning. Only this time she was joined by all her "guys," fuzzy blanket, Bear, and who-knows-what-else.

Day 126 - May 5

It was a big day around here yesterday - the first of the tomatoes were finally ready to be picked! Michaela was SO excited!!

After bringing the handful of tomatoes inside, Michaela, of course, wanted to eat one right away. She picked a pretty big one (they're cherry tomatoes) and went to bite into it. I told her it was going to squirt and to be ready for it. So, smart girl that she is, she just shoved the whole thing in her mouth.

Thankfully I was able to get to the camera before she chewed it too much, so I got a great picture of her chipmunk cheek!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Day 125 - May 4

It's the beginning of May. Do you know what that means?

Vegetables growing in the garden! Our garden is looking sad - a lack of water killed most of the tomatoes - but the stuff that's kind of growing is doing evidenced by the fact that there are beans on our green bean plants!

Even if the garden doesn't produce enough to actually make a meal at any time, it's still fun to watch Michaela get excited about it. Today she wanted to dig as we were checking things out. We had to explain that it's not the time for digging anymore.

And I finally got around to having Jason take another picture of my growing belly. I'll post that over on the FlyingFish.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Day 124 - May 3

It's magnolia time around here! For some reason I thought magnolias were a winter flower. I'm happy to be wrong about that because there are some blooming at the end of our cul-de-sac and, not only are they beautiful, but they smell good.

I'm glad Michaela wanted to ride her tricycle this afternoon - it got me the chance to snap this quick picture - with my Hipstamatic app, of course!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Day 123 - May 2

The theme of tonight's post is "things you can't see." And I have two pictures to help illustrate the theme.

The first is the kid. I can't remember why she ended up like this, but I think it was something to do with a partial tantrum about having to go to bed. The problem was that I looked down at her and just started laughing. This was a staged re-do, but the original was even funnier because her eyes were all smooshed into the couch. So in picture one, you can't see Michaela.

The second is me. I seem to have lost my feet.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Day 122 - May 1

First of all, I just want to say happy birthday month to Jason. If I'm going to celebrate mine, it's only fair to recognize his as well.

But today's picture has nothing to do with that. Instead, it has to do with vegetables.

When we lived in Kodiak, we subscribed (I think that's the right word) to a CSA (community supported agriculture) farm in the Pacific Northwest and got a box of organic veggies flown up to us every two weeks. We paid a small fortune for those boxes, but it was worth it to have fresh, organic produce that actually tasted like it was supposed to, instead of the not-so-great produce offered in the commissary and grocery store up there.

When we first moved here, I checked out the Local Harvest website to see if we could find a new CSA to buy from, but didn't see an organic one, so I gave up. Early this spring, another Coastie wife posted on a local FaceBook group page about the CSA farm they use and, after a little investigating, I signed us up.

FINALLY, a long time later, the first crops of the season are being harvested and we got our first box of truly local produce today. Although this farm isn't certified organic, they use the best practices they can, and I'm happy to know the stuff is coming from down the road instead of across the world.

And the one big bonus - we'll be getting roughly 8 weeks worth of produce for only $200... whereas we spent $40 for each box in Kodiak and got a lot less stuff!

So tonight's picture is the contents of our first box, minus some of the green beans, which I cooked for dinner. We got over 3 lbs of beans, a good-sized zucchini, some kind of small squash, 3 small heads of broccoli, a BUNCH of collard greens, a GIANT napa cabbage, and a kohlrabi. Our box was filled to over-flowing!

Now to figure out what to do with some of this stuff!!!