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).


Day 327 - November 22

Happy Thanksgiving (a day late by the time I'm getting to this)!!

We had a great holiday here. Unlike in past years when I've served the antipasto minutes before we were ready to eat the full meal, I got smart and served it for lunch. So everyone stuffed themselves on olives, stuffed peppers, various meats and cheeses, crackers, bread, spicy green beans, and artichoke hearts.

That was followed up by Tom's last flight, Tom's hot oil bath, and then a delicious ginormous meal.

I have a picture of the antipasto. And a picture of most of the food on the dinner table. But I won't be sharing those. Instead, I just have a picture of Tom's last flight, just like I had last year. I love traditions.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Day 326 - November 21

Did you know that tomorrow is Thanksgiving? Yeah, kind of snuck on me, too.

So here I am at 10:30 at night, just finishing up some of my baking to get ready for tomorrow. Tonight was a pumpkin cheesecake and the cornbread for my crockpot cornbread dressing.

I have a bazillion other things to do tomorrow, so thankfully we won't be having dinner until actual dinner time. Especially since I had plans to get a lot more done today and didn't get to it.

At least this much is done, though.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Day 325 - November 20

I'm only two days late, but I finally got Cate's 4 month pictures done today.

So, like I did last month, let me recap what's new in our Cate world in the past month.

Right after she turned 3 months, and while Daddy was away in Astoria, our over-achiever decided she would go ahead and roll over. Jason called it, telling me she was going to do it while he was gone, but I didn't think she'd do it that early. I was wrong, and we spent a couple days having fun practicing that skill. Thankfully I got video, because she hasn't really done it since!

She was doing ok with holding her head up back at 3 months, but now she's a champion. The only time she gets a wobbly noggin is when we put her on her tummy and she tries to hold it up high enough to see everything. That takes a LOT of effort. Otherwise, she's always alert, swinging her head around, and trying to see everything she can - when she's awake.

As for tummy time, we do that in short bursts because of the heavy noggin issue. Right before she turned 4 months, she started to sort of do a superman kind of thing, lifting her feet up off the floor, too, and balancing on her belly. It's pretty funny to watch. Her other favorite activity while laying down this month was to grab her toes when on her back and roll from side to side. She's also digging her ocean-themed activity mat, and loves to kick the whale pillow and chew on everything else dangling from it. Michaela likes to turn the music on for her, which I'm good with for about 3 minutes. Ugh.

Her other major skill is blowing raspberries. She could win contests for spit distance (Michaela has complained of being hit in the back seat of the car) and also for volume. She's definitely an expert. She's also started making this really weird noise that's a cross between a sneeze and a cough sound when she gets frustrated or mad - usually when she's alone and her pacifier falls out, or when she's hungry and the goods aren't forth-coming fast enough. It could be the most annoying sound to ever come out of a baby. I'd take wailing-style crying over that.

Speaking of the goods, eating is an interesting endeavor these days. Cate is highly distractible, so I've started to nurse her in complete silence, or, at least, in the bedroom and away from Michaela, especially first thing in the morning. If she hears something that sounds interesting (especially Michaela or Daddy talking), she'll unlatch, look around for the cause of the noise, look at me and smile, and then go back to eating. This can repeat about 20 times in 3 minutes. Thankfully, she seems to be a very efficient eater, so she can get a full meal in about 5 minutes only, even with the distraction issue.

Cate is definitely a sleeper, and thankfully a lot of it even comes at night. We usually wake her up between 10:30 and 11 to eat one last time at before we go to bed, and then she sleeps anywhere from 4.5 to 6 hours, depending on the night. Usually we get at least 5 hours in a row, which is heaven. She is known to wake up less than an hour before an alarm is going to go off, though, which isn't the best. Jason and I both have the same reaction to it - initially, when we roll over and see what time she starts making noise, we're all happy that it's 5:30 or so. Then we realize it's 5:30 and that, once we get back to sleep, there's less than a half hour until it's time to get up for the day. The excitement quickly fades. I won't complain, though, since it could be a whole lot worse. She usually just eats once in the middle of the night and then again about a half hour after she wakes up in the morning. That's pretty good for 4 months! She also sleeps a lot during the day, with her long nap in the afternoon happening at about the same time as Michaela's nap, which is a little bit of heavenly quiet for me!

Overall, Cate is just such a happy baby. She's quick to smile at a familiar face, wakes up happy even when I wake her early from a nap, and goes to sleep happy. Oh, and Michaela made her laugh for the first time this month. I thought my heart would burst from the happiness of the big sister being the first one to make her laugh. So far we've just gotten a few chuckles, so we're still waiting for that first real belly laugh, but I'll take the chuckles for now!

So onto the pictures....

The first one is self-explanatory. The second one just cracked me up. Every month so far, Michaela has had to get in on the pictures. Back in September, she even wanted to hold Cate. And last month I was able to get a cute picture of the two of them showing off their smirky smiles. This month, Michaela decided Cate smelled like spit-up (she did not... at all) and didn't want her to touch her. It's a good thing Cate will have no memory of that rejection (except this picture!). Ah, sisterly love!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Day 324 - November 19

Instead of a picture of my carrots yesterday, I should've had Cate's 4 month picture. But I didn't get to taking it because I was so busy with my Thanksgiving shopping.

So today should be Cate's 4 month picture. But I didn't get to taking it because I was busy cleaning up the house this morning and the kid slept all afternoon so the light wasn't good enough to do my real pictures with the big girl camera.

However, instead of using a picture of my bag of Hostess frosted donuts (the last bag at Target... I'll miss you Hostess), I'm going to at least use a picture of Cate. And tomorrow I'm going to make every effort possible to take her 4 month (and two days) pictures.

I'm sure no one will object to seeing this cuteness two days in a row...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Day 323 - November 18

I may have reached a new level of laziness in dinner preparation today. By that, I mean actually making dinner, but expending almost no effort, so it's about a half step up from just ordering out.

The meal plan for tonight originally called for spaghetti and meatballs, but then the plan for the rest of the week got pushed back a day, so we went with last night's plan for Boboli pizza. To go with the pizza, I had intended to just make salad for us.

Then I needed to do my Thanksgiving shopping today and got a late start this afternoon in figuring out what I needed to buy and what stores I needed to go to. So I got back from Walmart close to dinner time, with a trip to Target still in my future.

This all made me lazy, so our salad turned into just carrot sticks. And then carrot sticks turned into just whole carrots. Or, as Michaela called them, "Mama carrots." (You know, not baby carrots.)

I had to take a picture of this because I actually laughed at myself when I put the carrots on our plates as I waited for the pizza to finish baking.

Now that's lazy.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Day 322 - November 17

I like to call this picture "Against Every Fiber of My Being."

I was out shopping this afternoon and decided to stop by Burke Outlet, having never been there (it's sort of like Marshall's or TJ Maxx for those not familiar). Looking at clothes for me brought me close to the shoes, where I was reminded that I've been on the lookout for new sneakers for Michaela since the child goes through them in about 2 months it seems.

I scoured the racks, finding a few pairs I liked, but none in her size. As I went to look at the rain boots (another thing she MUST have), I noticed the pink sneaker boxes next to the rain boots.

And then I noticed that the sneakers were Disney Princess sneakers, and I rolled my eyes.

And then I opened the box and found that they were light up Disney Princess sneakers, and I got the heebie jeebies.

Then I texted Jason to see if I was crazy for thinking about buying them.

And then I bought them.


Unfortunately, once I got them home, I realized that only one of the sneakers actually lights up like it's supposed to (both light up, but one of them takes a LOT of effort), so I now get to go back tomorrow and see if they have another pair in her size.

I can't believe I bought these things.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Day 321 - November 16

It was a pretty good mail/package day around here today. In addition to beer supplies for Jason's next batch of homebrew (chocolate stout, I think... he lost me at stout. Ick.), and one of my nephew's Christmas present, I also got 3 Christening gowns via UPS. There were actually only two different styles of dresses, but I ordered one of them in two sizes.

And, of course, the one that I got two sizes of is NOT the one we'll be using.

Jason and I both had a hard time choosing between them, but we also both independently decided we liked this one better.

Stay tuned for a picture on November 25th with the kid actually wearing it when we have her Baptized that day!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Day 320 - November 15

I think maybe our girls are twins. They were just born 3 years apart. Thankfully, I didn't have to stay pregnant for that long.

This morning, I was playing with Cate on the floor and, as I looked down at her, I remembered a picture of Michaela from just about the same age, and I had to see how much they look alike.

It's a little crazy. And a little disappointing because I really thought Cate looked more like me than Michaela ever did. But if they look the same, I guess they also both look like Jason, and not me.


(and here's the picture that's on the phone for a little more clarity....)

Day 319 - November 14

If you don't have one already, you should invest in a Whirly Pop popcorn popper.

And then a cute popcorn bowl from World Market.

And then you can have the world's best snack almost nightly, like I do!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Day 318 - November 13

We've lived here for just over 2 years and 3 months now, and today we finally got library cards. We've spent a lot of time at the library (Michaela and I were regulars at story time for about a year), but we didn't really feel like the kid could handle borrowing books until now.

Jason was off this morning so we headed over and all three of us signed up for cards. Michaela was very proud of her new library card, and then wanted to take out every single book she laid eyes on. The library allows up to 50 at a time per card, but I limited her to six. That seemed like a more manageable number!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Day 317 - November 12

Sometimes, when you're playing and Daddy gives you your pacifier, you decide that you're too tired to keep playing and you just take a nap where you are.

And then your mother starts making bets as to how few pictures she'll ever get of you like this because she has exactly one of your sister, who never would fall asleep anywhere except in her own bed, and your mom is betting you'll be the same way.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Day 316 - November 11

If I had better command of my brain these days, I would've taken a picture of Jason this morning in honor of Veteran's Day. Our church does a small ceremony before the service starts every Veteran's Day to honor past and current members of our military, so Jason wore his uniform to church.

That's if I had better command of my brain.

Instead, I have a picture of the baby. I was trying to get a picture of her fighting sleep tonight. It was pretty funny to watch. But when I put the phone down in front of her, with the camera switched around in the self-portrait mode, she just stared at herself and gave up on sleep all together.

She stared for quite a while, and then gave herself a tiny smile. Cracked me up. Apparently she likes the baby in the phone!

Day 315 - November 10

One of the huge local baptist churches was holding their fall festival today, so we decided to go check it out. It was a bit of craziness, with a ton of different bounce houses set up in the parking lot, along with fair food, live music, games, face painting, and even a hayride.

There were lines at every bounce house, so Michaela picked the princess one to start with, and then it was easy to steer her elsewhere since she is not a fan of lines! Thankfully, they had little mini bouncers set up on a small playground just for kids under 5, so we hit that and she was more than happy to get in and out of those with no lines.

One of the mini bouncers had a small ball pit in it as well. Heaven for a 3-yr-old!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Day 314 - November 9

I love Parents Night Out nights at Watermelon Patch.

Tonight it gave Jason and me (and Cate) a chance to try out a new restaurant. We're not sure how long it's actually been there, but it's fairly new and it was delicious!

So, Mobile friends, check out Montego over by Providence Hospital on airport. I can tell you that the fish tacos were great, as was the potato salad. And they have a great beer selection!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Day 313 - November 8

As if the calendar creeping into mid-November already wasn't enough of a reminder that I have yet to start my Christmas shopping, every toy retailer known to man has invaded my mailbox with catalogs.

So far, I've managed to make wish lists for our parents/the grandparents, and have yet to do any actual shopping myself. But at least I have a lot of things to choose from!

Day 312 - November 7

When I got out of bed this morning, Cate was still all swaddled up, snug as a bug.

I took a shower. I got Michaela up and moving. I made a lunch to pack for Michaela. Then I heard crying from the bedroom and realized Cate was awake and ready to get moving herself.

And this picture is what I was greeted by. Doesn't she look so proud of herself for breaking out of her swaddle? This is a Miracle Blanket. It should be nearly impossible to get out of. Daddy, apparently, didn't wrap her up as tightly as normal when she ate at 5:30.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Day 311 - November 6

Happy Election Day! I'll keep my own political views to myself, but I hope everyone exercised their right to vote today!
(As I type, NBC is calling the race for Pres. Obama... we'll see if that holds all the way through to the morning. I have my doubts given the fact that not all the precincts are in yet, so we'll see.)

Meanwhile, I think I need to get Michaela into some music lessons. She's talked so much about getting a trumpet for Christmas (Grandpa Jeff and Uncle Ryan would be so proud), she wants to play a guitar, and tonight, she was all about rockin' out on her keyboard.

Maybe she and I can take lessons together and both learn to play the piano and the guitar, two instruments I've always wanted to learn how to play.

Day 310 - November 5

The excitement of my day today was trying a new recipe out. This is exciting because it's finally cooling off enough for me to want to cook actual food again, and to have fun with meal planning again.

So tonight was skillet lasagna, except that I used a different kind of pasta because I didn't want to buy a whole box of lasagna noodles just to use only 6 oz of it.

It was delish and will be a regular part of our meal rotation from now on. All the lasagna flavor, none of the lasagna work!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Day 309 - November 4

It's amazing to me how different two kids can be when they're born to the same family.

Michaela was not the fastest physical developer. She took forever to roll over, about normal to sit up alone, forever to crawl, and then about a normal timeframe to walk. Once she walked, she definitely sped up a little on the physical milestones, but she was sloooow at the beginning.

Cate, on the other hand, seems determined to do everything a little sooner than big sister so far. She rolled over on her own about 2 weeks ago (while Daddy was away... he called that), and she's now trying to sit up anytime she's in a semi-lounging position. It's funny to watch her curl herself up into a ball and grunt to try to get up to seated.

This morning, I half laid her in the Boppy (her head was on that burp cloth) while I got dressed after feeding her. The next thing I knew, she was almost sitting up. Then she leaned over on the side of the pillow and started chewing her hand, just chillin' out for a while. It just cracked me up to see her sitting like this.

Meanwhile, she needs to slow down. I am NOT ready for her to keep growing up at all!!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day 308 - November 3

For 2.5 weeks, I have put Cate in her swing in the evening to sleep until I'm ready to feed her for the last time and go to bed. (And by the last time, I mean for the last time before 4am.) It was sort of out of necessity so I could get things done without a baby in my arms, but then even on the nights when I wanted to cuddle her, she wanted nothing to do with me and would get cranky until I settled her in the swing again.

Apparently it's because she only likes to sleep with Daddy at night. She took a few minutes to settle with him, but has been snoozing happily for the last couple hours. Jason took full advantage of the snuggling, too, and fell asleep himself. I guess that's what taking the red-eye to get back to your family will do to you.

It's good to have him home.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Day 307 - November 2

I have three seemingly-unrelated pictures tonight. But they are related in that each one is about one of my three favorite people in the world.

In the order they were taken....

There's Cate, snoozing away in her swing, hugging a little lovey blanket. She has started to grab onto her bib (the one she's always wearing because she spits up so much) and hug that, so I thought maybe she'd like an actual blanket. It was funny to watch her pet it and get a feel for a new, soft texture.

Next is Michaela, doing her Doc McStuffins impression by giving her sea horse a check up after her nap this afternoon. When I turned it on at nap time, I realized the batteries were obviously running low, given the not-so-great sound of the music (like a music box winding down), so I told Michaela to remind me to put new batteries in when she got up. Of course, new batteries weren't enough, so Doc had to get out her bag and give him a full check up while I found a screwdriver and batteries.

And finally, the last picture is the last link on Michaela's paper chain to count down until Jason comes home. I think I was just as happy to see only one link left on the hook as she was. Not only do I just miss having him here, but I really miss his help!! Tomorrow morning can't get here soon enough!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Day 306 - November 1

Jason's trip is almost done. YAY!!!

In celebration of that, and because I'm just burned out, tonight's dinner was provided by the Chick-fil-A drive-thru.

Thank goodness for the invention of the drive-thru and for the fact that a 3-yr-old thinks that having a picnic in the living room is the greatest thing ever. Or, at least on the same level as actually eating in a restaurant.