Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Day 305 - October 31

Happy Halloween!!!

Thank God it's finally over. There should be rules about how long Halloween is allowed to go on and how many different Halloween events are allowed to be held.

At least one fun thing I got out of all of the different Halloween stuff was seeing how many different costumes Michaela could wear in one week. She used Rapunzel twice, was a ballerina with a crappy Target costume on Sunday, and then was a ballerina again today, using her own foofy tutu, shirt, tights, and shoes. It would have been nice to figure that out as a costume weeks ago, before I spent $35 on two different costumes.

Cate was easy - she got good use out of that cow costume!

So here are my girls in their real Halloween costumes, right before we headed out to collect some goodies from around the neighborhood.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day 304 - October 30

The Halloween fun continues in the Dorval household. Today it was in the form of making cookie treats for Michaela's party at Mom's Day Out tomorrow.

I had big plans to make these super cute candy corn cookies, and then I realized I was kidding myself if I thought I was actually going to find the time to mix, chill, cut, and bake cookies from scratch when I don't have anyone else around to keep at least one child busy while I was in the kitchen.

So I put the call out on Facebook for ideas, and a friend gave me a link to these adorable witch's hat cookies. The BEST part of them is that I didn't have to actually bake anything, but 3-yr-olds will love them. I'm at least a step up from the store-bought cookies I was going to get!

AND, I got to let Michaela help me, which she thought was the coolest thing in the world. It was a win all the way around.

For the record, the aerosol can (think sqeezey-cheese) of Wilton icing isn't as easy to work with as you would think. With 3-yr-olds as my audience, though, I think I'll get away with it.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Day 303 - October 29

Today was my least favorite day of the month... shot day.

We follow a modified schedule for infant vaccines, so I have to take Cate in for shots every month instead of just at well-baby visits. I prefer to spread them out this way so we can better monitor for reactions and not overload her system with too many at once, but it's not so much fun to have to go through it every month instead of every other month.

She did fine with getting the shots, but she's been a little clingy and restless since late this afternoon. That could either be from the shots, or from the fact that her sleep routine was all out of whack today because of the appointment.

The good news is that we get to skip November at least since we have to wait at least 30 days between visits and that puts us into December with the way it works out. I'm already not looking forward to it. Shots suck.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Day 302 - October 28

Today is about Fred.

Not just because he's awesome, but because it's his birthday.

The old man, our first baby, turned 9 today.

Happy Birthday, Fred.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Day 301 - October 27

I'm giving both girls equal time today.

We went to Bellingrath Gardens for their annual Halloween event tonight. I would like to start by patting myself on the back for choosing to take both kids to this event without their other parent with them. And I would like to thank my friends who helped me ride herd on Michaela while wearing the baby, pushing a stroller, trying to get Michaela to trick or treat nicely, getting a couple pictures, and then even sitting down to feed the baby.

Sadly, Michaela did not get to be the fairy princess she wants to be for Halloween tonight. I waited until 2 hrs before we were leaving to have her put on her costume, which I was pretty sure was too long, to see if it really WAS too long, and it definitely was.

Thank goodness for the dress-up box, so we had a back up in the form of any one of four different Disney princesses. She chose Rapunzel. (And notice the sweater... fall came to Alabama today!)

Cate was the world's cutest cow, courtesy of a cousin hand-me-down costume, and got lots of comments as I carried her in the Beco and only her little cow-spotted legs and cow hat stuck out. Adorable.

Tomorrow night we're going to try the Trunk or Treat at the base. And then we still have REAL Halloween trick or treating on Wednesday. I'm tired of Halloween already.

Day 300 - October 26

I had to go to the grocery store to pick up a few things today. There were three things on my list. I bought about 20 things, but forgot one of the things on the list.

And I went to the store hungry. And I'm still not enjoying that Jason is gone.

So I bought pretty fall colored pretzel M&Ms.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Day 299 - October 25

Cate is a smiley baby. Like, super smiley. I can't remember if Michaela was like this or not, but Cate is not one to be stingy with smiles at all. I love that, when you walk away from her for a few minutes and then come back, she lights up like she hasn't seen you for weeks or something.

She also thinks it's just hilarious to sit on my lap after she eats and "talk" and blow raspberries and toss herself around so I have to be on my guard every second so she doesn't go flying out of my arms.

It makes getting a picture like this difficult because there's always a risk involved when you hold her one-handed.

But to have this kind of picture for posterity is so worth it!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day 298 - October 24

Poor Fred.

Jason being away means he doesn't get walked nearly as often as usual. He's done pretty well, getting a walk pretty much every other day so far since Jason's been gone, but it's not every day.

Old habits die hard, though, so every night when I come out from putting Michaela to bed, he's been following me around, waiting for his walk, even if he's gotten one already that day.

Tonight, he didn't get one at all, and he just looked so pathetic as he parked himself right in my line of sight and stared at me to see when we would be going.

He eventually gave up and went to the bedroom to sleep, but not before he stared me down.

Day 297 - October 23

Have I mentioned that Jason is out of town?

And that there isn't nearly enough chocolate in my house to deal with this fact? (That's not true, I still have 5 bag of Cadbury mini eggs; I just don't want to open a bag.)

I also don't like to drink when I'm alone with the kids. Even one glass of wine puts me on the edge of not-quite-able-to-drive after abstaining for so long when pregnant and now not drinking much because of nursing. So I skip it when I'm solo.

So I turned to Oreos. And as a friend (thanks, Amanda) pointed out after I posted this picture on Instagram yesterday, I really should not have turned to these particular Oreos. Because the high fructose corn syrup and whatever other really bad things in them aren't bad enough, a single cookie also has 100 calories and 4.5 grams of fat. One cookie. 100 calories. No wonder I have failed to lose a pound while Jason's been gone. I don't think I've eaten more than 200 calories' worth in a day, but I could be wrong about that. But, oh, are they good!!!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Day 296 - October 22

I braved crafting again today.

Jason is across the country and will be gone for quite a while longer, so I thought it would be fun to make a paper chain so Michaela can keep track of the days until he gets back. I'm hoping a little bit that, by seeing the chain get smaller, she'll stop telling me how much she misses him in the world's most pitiful voice. All I can do is say "Me, too, kid. Me, too."

So, armed with the glue sticks, construction paper, and kid's scissors I bought yesterday, we made a paper chain. Michaela did all the cutting and glue application, and I actually stuck the links together. It's not pretty, but she made it. And she had a blast.

And the extra bonus was that she was so caught up in gluing and cutting that she forgot to ask me to put a kid's show on TV, so I got a break from our usual afternoon of Upside Down Show or Yo Gabba Gabba. I might have to bust out the scissors for her every afternoon!

(The picture of her cutting paper is from after the chain was finished. I let her practice cutting the scraps, which turned out to be way more entertaining than making the chain. I guess she'd rather be creative with her cutting than actually have to make something!)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Day 295 - October 21

When Jason is out of town, Fred normally gets neglected. By that, I mean his evening walks get to be few and far between. The good news for this trip, though, is that the weather has been cool, and I figured out that Michaela can walk by herself for a short walk, so we're able to go on a quick one after dinner without a stroller, which is a little difficult to manage along with a leash.

The nice thing about the time of night we go is that it's generally around sunset, so we get treated to some pretty nice views. As Michaela said tonight, the orange sky was "just beautiful!"

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Day 294 - October 20

My morning started early today. In fact, as I type this, I'm thinking I wish I'd gone to bed about an hour ago. But then, I wouldn't have eaten dinner, since I didn't get to that until about 8:30 (and it's 9:23 right now). It's been a long day.

My plans for today involved participating in a fun run (walk). It was the Miles 4 Midwives 5K and Fun Run, with the proceeds going to the Alabama Birth Coalition, an organization trying to make home birth midwifery legal in Alabama (home births themselves are legal; they just can't be attended by a midwife).

The fun run didn't start until 9, but we (a friend went with me) didn't know where we were going exactly, so we figured we should get there early. My alarm was set for 5:45. The baby woke up at 5:06 to eat. Then I never went back to bed between trying to get her back to sleep and having Michaela wake up hungry.

It was worth it to be up early, though. The fun run was a good time, Bridget and I let our girls run around on the playground at the park where the run was, and it was good to be out of the house and out in some beautiful weather for a good part of the morning.

And I got a t-shirt... totally made it worth it!

Day 293 - October 19

I am tired of laundry. Mostly I'm tired of doing baby laundry every other day or so. Even though we have a couple dozen burp cloths (maybe more?), we run out of them on a very regular basis. And bibs. And cloths if the bibs don't do their job.

I'll be very happy when Cate outgrows this spitting up. Ick.

This is two days of burp cloths. Two.

Day 292 - October 18

Cate is three months old. We officially no longer have a newborn; she's an infant now.

To go along with being 3 months old, she is holding her head up really well, though it does get a bit floppy at times (that's a lotta noggin on a little body!), she smiles all the time (especially at the mention of "milk" and when she sees Mommy, Daddy, or Michaela), she loves to blow bubbles and gets the occasional raspberry in there as well, and she appears to have started the beginning stages of teething. Though it could just be that she's finally got the dexterity to get her hands into her mouth on purpose and she just likes to chew on them. I'm not sure which yet.

On top of that, she's sleeping really well at night (we've even gotten a few complete nights), usually giving us one good stretch of 5.5 to 6 hours in a row between 11pm and 4:30 or 5am. Some times her timing is off, though, and she'll wake up about 20 minutes before an alarm is set to go off. Not cool. She seems to be falling into a little bit of a routine during the day as far as nap times and awake times go, too, though it all depends on when she wakes up to eat for the first time.

She's a champion nurser, though she gets easily distracted already. And I have to move my thumb ring sometimes because she focuses on it and keeps her eyes crossed for way too long trying to stare at it. She's also started to do that cute thing babies do where they look up at you, while still latched, and smile a goofy smile. Milk drips everywhere and I laugh, and then she thinks it's hilarious, and the cycle starts again.

She has learned that sitting upright is good because you can see more, so she now cries if you lay her down when she wants to be up. She's still a little too unstable for the Bumbo chair, but she can handle it in short bursts and loves it. She's also started standing up when you hold her up and is pretty strong. She loves to be held upright in your arms and just pops her head up and looks all around, taking everything in.

Basically, she's growing up way too fast. She's my last baby and I want to keep her little forever. But I guess you can't do that, so I'll just be excited to watch her grow and change, and be happy that I'm here for all of it this time around instead of being at work!

On to the pictures. I couldn't decide between the two of just Cate, so I'm putting them both up. Then there's the one of both my girls. Michaela had to get in on the photo shoot, of course. Take a look at their mouths, and tell me there would be any question about them being sisters. That cracked me up! Oh, and note Cate's drool... I totally thought I'd be able to give away or sell those sticky bellies stickers, but she's now ruined the 1 month one with spit-up, and the 3 month one with drool and spit-up. Maybe next month I'll be sure to stick it a little lower on her belly and away from the splash zone!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Day 291 - October 17

As I said yesterday, I was reserving the right to post pictures I took yesterday today. And that's what I'm doing. I did take a few cute ones of Cate today, but I want to use yesterday's anyway.

Before he left on a trip, Jason took some time yesterday afternoon to carve a pumpkin with Michaela. Given the fact that it's still getting into the 80s here, I have no doubt it will not last long, but he won't be here for Halloween, so it was now or never.

As we've talked about carving pumpkins for the last few weeks, Michaela has assured us that she would dig her hands in and scoop out the guts, something she wouldn't do (and apparently remembers from) last year.

She started out super excited. Until we told her to stick her hands in. Then she opted for the spoon.

She did stick her hand inside at the end, but she did NOT touch anything. This was a totally staged shot!

Adventures in pumpkin carving, 2012 edition.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Day 290 - October 16

I am reserving the right to use pictures from today for tomorrow's blog. Just throwing that out there because I had already edited some pictures this afternoon, and then Jason and Michaela carved a pumpkin and I took pictures of that, too. But we've been running around since then, so I didn't get to edit them. So I'm reserving the right to use them tomorrow.

For today, though, we have an adorable picture of Cate.

My mother-in-law asked for a picture of Cate wearing sunglasses. She's doing something with pictures of all four of her grandkids in sunglasses and didn't have one of Cate (of course, because your average 3-month-old doesn't generally wear them. And can you believe Cate is 3 months old almost??).

So I headed out to the backyard this afternoon, armed with a camera, two different pairs of sunglasses, and the chair from the swing to get some pictures. Oh, and the baby.

I think this one is my favorite.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Day 289 - October 15

I could've taken a picture of an excel spreadsheet for today since the bulk of what I accomplished during the day was re-doing our budget. That's always fun. But since the only really exciting excel spreadsheet is my packing list one, I skipped that.

Then I skipped taking any pictures until I was putting together my snack tonight. This is not the first time graham crackers, nutella, and Fluff have been featured on the blog (they showed up sometime last year), but since that snack shows up pretty often in my nightly-snack repertoire, I figured it was only right to take another picture of it.

(Plus, I didn't have any other pictures to use.)

Yummy, no?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Day 288 - October 14

First of all, pay no attention to the fact that Michaela is wearing the same dress as yesterday. She only wore it to the pumpkin patch yesterday and wanted to wear it to church today, so she did. She actually traded it out for the purple tutu dress from the other day before her nap. She loves that purple dress.

Moving on....

When we got home from church, she decided she needed to jump on her trampoline. For some reason, she also decided one of her babies needed to jump with her. Then she decided she needed her hands free. So she said something like, "I wish I had a baby carrier." Which was followed up with, "Maybe I can just stick her in my shirt."

Obviously the 700 miles of fabric that constitute my Sleepy Wrap won't fit on a toddler. And the Beco would just fall off of her.

So, what's a mom to do when she really wants to carry her baby but needs her hands? And she's only 3 years old? She gets her mom to make her a make-shift sling using a swaddling blanket and a ponytail holder.

I'm so proud of my little junior baby-wearing "mama" - I guess a little of my ways are rubbing off on her!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Day 287 - October 13

If I ever get caught up on the FlyingFish blog, I could use it to post pictures like I'm going to post here today instead.

What that means is you're getting 4 pictures. I should just put one here and then put all of them on the other blog, but first I need to put Michaela's birthday, the fact that I had a baby, and updates from the the last three months up first. Then I could get to the pumpkin patch from today!

So instead, you get a bunch of pictures here, against the "picture" (not pictures) of the day rules.

These are all from the pumpkin patch today, the same one we've gone to since we got here, which is actually just a bunch of pumpkins scattered around a fenced-off area at a local church. You take what you can get. I think the pictures are self-explanatory, so I'll leave it at that.

Oh, except that I don't usually go for the matching outfits thing, but I couldn't help it when I saw these dresses. I bought them months ago, JUST for the trip to the pumpkin patch!


Day 286 - October 12

After being held captive by a baby last night (Jason was out, so I had no one to hand her off to), I have a picture of that baby for the day.

This one's just funny because of the story.

A friend of mine has an Etsy shop for making little kids' clothes, J. Marie Designs. Michaela modeled for her last week and this week, she asked if she could borrow Cate to try something on to check the size. The plan was to head over after I dropped Michaela off at Mom's Day Out, but, of course, she fell asleep on the way to drop Michaela off.

I texted Jana, and asked if we could wait til Cate woke up to do the fitting and then told her that she would probably wake up as soon as I walked in the house.

And then she woke up as soon as we walked in the house.

So I took this picture to let Jana know we would be heading out to her house since my little turd woke up! Look how funny she thinks she is!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Day 285 - October 11

From the "it's my blog so I'll make the rules" file, I have three pictures tonight. Everyone in the family is represented (except me since I was the one behind the camera today and had actually only planned to take pictures of Michaela) from our time spent out in the backyard this afternoon.

I grabbed the camera to take pictures of Michaela in her "ballerina" dress because she was having so much fun twirling outside. Then Jason, who I had called inside to change a diaper (have I ever told you about our input/output deal? I'm in charge of input and he's in charge of output...hee hee) came back out with Cate. And, of course, Fred was out there the whole time. So I got pictures of everyone.

On to the pictures...

I think it's time to get Michaela into a dance class. We've talked about it for a while and I think I should have my stuff together enough by the new year to enroll her in a spring class. She can't help but twirl when she's got the right dress on, and this new one (yay for clearance!) also has a tutu-like bottom. There was no way she wasn't going to twirl in this thing!

Next up is Daddy and Cate. I love that I caught them both actually looking at the camera!

And finally, Fred. Our old man will turn 9 at the end of this month and is showing every gray hair to go with that age. Sometimes he still thinks he's a puppy, but then a puppy usually comes along to show him that he's definitely not. This picture cracks me up because the angle of it reminds me of a bad school picture when they would have you tilt your chin in a completely unnatural way. Awkward!

Next time I'll have to try to remember to snap a quick pic of me, too. I definitely need a day where I get us all on here, but not all in the same picture.

Day 284 - October 10

Now that I'm not spending another night baking, I can get caught up with yesterday's (today's) post.

It's been pretty chilly here in the mornings, but then, by mid-day we're back into the 80s. The mornings, though, make it so that Cate's usual outfit of a onesie doesn't quite cut it. I'm pretty bad at figuring out whether it's too hot or too cold for a baby, but I know that at least.

Rather than trying to find stretchy baby pants to match her bazillions of onesies, I had a stroke of genius the other day and bought her a pair of jeans.

And there is NOTHING cuter than a baby in jeans. Add in a striped shirt and I just don't know what to do with myself. So cute!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Day 283 - October 9

To the untrained eye, the subject to tonight's picture just looks like a cute little Halloween craft.

To me, it represents how my Type-A-ness makes doing children's crafts my own personal version of hell.

It's ok to be a mom who doesn't craft with her kids, right? Because I seriously thought I was going to break out into hives as Michaela wildly wielded the glitter glue and haphazardly tore into the foam stickers, ripping one of the "Halloween" stickers in half. And, really, how many times can you put off a kid's request to use glue?

And now I have to go pick up the rest of the pieces that came with this craft and hide them so that Michaela won't remember to ask to keep working on her bats.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Day 282 - October 8

Tonight was Bunco. Our group doesn't normally do a theme for food, everyone just brings whatever, and I'm always the one to stop by the grocery store on the way and pick up something "Winn Dixie-made" (you know, as opposed to "homemade").

I got all crazy this week, though, and decided to make something from scratch. And it was something baked, no less (for those who don't know, the only baking I do on purpose is making cookies at Christmas to give out as gifts; I'm more of a cook). Thank goodness for Pinterest and all the really great, EASY recipes out there.

This is what you get when you mix a devil's food cake mix and a can of pumpkin and bake.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Day 281 - October 7

Today, you should be grateful for a picture of Cate.

You almost got a picture of a trashcan. I bought a new one today because I have HATED our trashcan since we bought it right after we moved here.

Instead, you get a picture of Cate chillin' in the stroller exercising tonight after dinner. We had a beautiful fall day so we got to take care of the cooler temperature and get out as a family for a walk (in the heat of the summer Jason takes him late in the evening alone).

Funny story about the sleeper she's wearing, too....

Last fall, my mom came to visit for a few days. She had to reschedule her original trip because of a freak early snow storm in CT that left them without power for about a week. Had she come on time, I would not have been able to tell her in person that I was pregnant with Cate. But, because she came a week later, I had just (like two days before) found out and was able to share the news in person.

Right after I told her, she said, "Wait a minute!" and ran down the hall to the spare room (as I thought to myself, "Gee, thanks for the congratulations, Mom!"), where she pulled that sleeper out of her suitcase and gave it to me. She said she just had a feeling she was going to need it that trip.

I'm just glad Cate's getting a chance to wear it before she outgrows it. It hasn't been cool enough to need it until today!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Day 280 - October 6

We have less than two years left here in Mobile if we transfer according to our orders.

And yet I'm just finally getting around to decorating my office.

And I didn't even get to finish it because it wasn't until we tried to hang the pictures on the wall that I realized not all my frames had the hardware for hanging. So we got most of the way done and now I have to buy new frames. Ugh.

Some is better than none, though, and will definitely be more motivating than just having the pictures piled up on the floor of the office.

Day 279 - October 5

Tonight, there was a Spouse's social on base. It was great to have a night out with other Coastie wives, chatting and eating a bunch of good food!

So the pictures are about the social.... the food I brought and the fact that it was Cate's first trip to a bar. It was held at the Gator Lounge, which is technically a bar, so there ya go...

My food contribution was supposed to be donut hole skewers, but when I went to buy the donut holes, the little chocolate covered donuts caught my eye instead. I love those little things more than someone should like a completely processed and horrible for you food. But I couldn't resist them, and since they were paired with fruit, they were almost healthy.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Day 278 - October 4

This week, a friend of mine posted a link to a story on Huffington Post about moms getting into the family's photographs. (You can read it here.)

It hit home for me.

As the photographer in the family (good grief, Jason is just BAD at using my fancy camera.... sorry, honey, it's true...), I am almost always behind the camera and hardly ever in front of it. Some of that is purely logistics, but it's also because I just don't like how I look in pictures. I always find something wrong with myself - hair out of place, belly sticking out a little too much, a double chin that doesn't actually exist in real life, a blemish, etc. I think every woman in the world, even supermodels, can relate to that.

But the thing is, what the author of the article said is true... our kids don't care that we don't look perfect in the pictures. They don't care if we're carrying a little extra weight. They don't care if we were having a bad hair day. They just see the whole picture, not the little nit-picky things that aren't perfect. Where I see an unattractive belly roll in the picture of me sitting on the couch reading with Michaela, she'll see that I sat and read with her. Where I see the dark circles that come with no sleep in that picture of me cuddling with Cate, she'll see that I cuddled her.

I need to remind myself of that. And I need to get in front of the camera - even if it's just my own camera, on my phone, held out at arms' length (and I have to say I love the person who invented the camera flipping thing for the iPhone!). There aren't that many pictures of me in general, and even less of me with my girls. I'm going to change that.

And I started today.

(And Cate was not impressed with my desire to take a picture.)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day 277 - October 3

This blog is becoming Cate-heavy. As if it wasn't already Michaela-heavy anyway. I swear there is more to my life than my kids. They're the biggest part of it these days, though, so.....

Anywho, tonight is Cate again. I have no idea how she ended up with two pacifiers in her face while she was in the swing earlier, but this cracked me up.

It's always good to keep a spare close by. And one day she'll even have the manual dexterity for it to matter.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Day 276 - October 2

Tonight we get the two sides of Cate... the sweet and cuddly side, and the, well.... the other side.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Day 275 - October 1

Yesterday's downpours cleared out overnight last night and we were able to head to the park this morning with Grandpa Joe. 

While there, Michaela got a little more brave than usual while watching another little girl in action, and decided she didn't need help with the firefighter pole. Literally, last week, she was having me still help her a little bit (as much as I could help while wearing Cate), and then she was on her own today (after a couple runs with some help). 

I remember when we had to basically do it for her and she was barely holding onto the pole.

So grown up!!