Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Day 30 - January 30

The Bug, dressed up like a bug (that's a ladybug bib to go with her outfit).


(And this was taken by turning the camera around on the phone and letting her see herself. Hilarious.)

Day 29 - January 29

Things I don't like to see.... a big girl laying in her bed well into the morning and giving me a sick look.  That's never a good start to the day.

At first, I thought maybe she was just playing me to try to get her breakfast on the couch. (I got a pitiful, "Can I have a pancake and eat it on the couch? Pleeeease?") But shortly after she laid down on the couch, she asked for towels. Then I knew she really wasn't feeling well. And then she moved from the couch to the floor.

The weird thing with this kid, though, is that, more often than not, when she wakes up like this, she'll throw up a couple times (thus the towels) and then she'll be perfectly fine.

So today's pictures are before and after.... laying on the floor, feeling pukey, and then hanging out in jammies, being Jessie (from Toy Story), complete with her cowboy boots and a "Yee-haw!" These were taken only about 2 hours apart.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Day 28 - January 28

Every once in a while, Michaela acts like she likes Cate. Maybe even loves her. Cate always acts like that toward Michaela. She thinks Michaela hung the moon. But sometimes Cate is more trouble than she's worth to a three year old.

So I was very happy to see Michaela actually want to lay down next to Cate this morning when I put her down on a pillow next to me on the couch.

I love these kids. More than I ever thought possible.

Day 27 - January 27

In the interest of full disclosure, I did not take this picture on January 27th. I DID take a picture of our new bookcase, but it was boring and plain and just in our garage, so I took a different one tonight (the 28th) and I'm using that instead.

So Jason built this bookcase. I've been searching for the perfect bookcase for the girls' room for weeks. We've had all the books on the bed in our spare room for awhile now because Michaela figured out she could pull the books off the shelves over her bed and "read" after she's supposed to be in bed, and we were afraid she'd pull them all down on her head.

I couldn't find a bookcase I liked, though. I wanted tall shelves to handle big kid's books. I wanted some toy storage since we had to move a piece of furniture that had storage in it to fit the books. I wanted it to only be about 24 inches wide because of where we had to put it. I wanted a closed bookcase so I could still put her grill on top of it. And I didn't want cheesy wood veneer or yet another color of finish since we already have dark wood beds and a light colored storage cube set.

Armed with my very rough drawing, Jason put together real measurements, figured out what materials to use, built it all in an afternoon, and then sanded and painted it over the last couple night. The best part is that it's exactly what I wanted. But along with that, it cost about an eighth of the price of anything that even came close to what I wanted in my online search.

Here's the finished product!

And now I need to figure out what to do with empty shelves over her bed!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Day 26 - January 26

First, I want to say Happy 39th Anniversary to my parents! You guys are a good example of sticking it out and working at it and making a marriage work, even through some of the worst adversity a family could imagine. Love you guys!

Onto the business of pictures now. There are two for tonight because I had to show both my girls enjoying our start to the Mardi Gras season. We made it to our first parades of the year tonight and, even though the krewes were a little stingy with the throws, a good time was had by all.

Michaela just kept telling us she was so excited to be there and acted like a single strand of beads was the greatest thing she'd ever gotten in her life! Cate, we learned, apparently likes a drum line. As each marching band came by us, I would feel the tapping of two little feet kicking my sides (I was wearing her in the Beco carrier). She even woke up out of a dead sleep as the last band came by (not the brass instruments, just the drums) and started her little kicks. It cracked me up every time.

Cate, of course, needed to have an outfit to mark this occasion (don't worry, I put pants on her before we left the house). And Michaela did her best screaming of "throw me somethin', Mister!" to get some new additions to the bead collection, a few moon pies, a little stuffed dog she's calling Banana, and some peanuts.

Day 25 - January 25

She's growing up so fast! I know I keep saying that, but it's just crazy how fast this past six months have gone. 

For the first time, instead of just staying in her infant carrier/snap 'n' go, we pulled Cate out and plopped her in a restaurant high chair (complete with cushy chair cover). She was pretty happy to be able to look around and see what was going on.

All these milestones... *sigh*

Day 24 - January 24

It may have taken almost a month for her to remember these exist, but she definitely made up for lost time when she pulled them out this morning. 

She was very proud of this little masterpiece!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Day 23 - January 23

I'm not entirely sure how I got roped into this today, but somehow the topic of painting fingernails came up when we were driving home from MDO today.

So thankfully when Michaela woke up from her nap, Cate was still sleeping, and I got to give my big girl a mani-pedi (well, not really... I cut and polished her nails... nothing as fancy as the real thing). She had her choice of the two quick-dry bottles of polish I bought just for her months ago, so she chose both.

I tried to get her to alternate polish on each finger, but she decided to just go with one color for each side of her body.

Day 22 - January 22

Sometimes, you're so tired, you fall asleep sitting up.

For Jason, this happens almost every night. (Sorry, honey, it's true...)

For a lot of other people's babies, it happens pretty frequently. You know those adorable pictures where the kid falls asleep at the dinner table? Or mid-jump in the jumperoo?

That kind of thing never happened with Michaela. Once she was past the newborn sleeping thing (when they'll sleep wherever and whenever they're tired), we had to have the perfect conditions for her to take a nap, which usually consisted of there being nothing else around to distract her.

So far, Cate has been the same way. She won't sleep when we're out running errands in the morning anymore. She falls asleep in the car, but, generally, as soon as I move the carrier out of the car, she wakes up and then stays awake to be part of the action.

Apparently, though, even if that's you're personality, sometimes you just get too tired and can't help but succumb to sleep. I was getting us ready to get out of the house this morning (I'm pretending it's actually the 22nd when I'm posting this) and I plopped Cate down in one of our super comfy futon chairs in the living room while I went to put on some mascara and get my shoes and socks.

When I came back to the living room, this is what I found. In her defense, those chairs suck everyone in.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Day 21 - January 21

At church yesterday, when I probably should've been paying attention to a reading or something, I started to think about the bookshelf I really want for the girls' room. I've been on the hunt for the perfect one for weeks, and even have friends willing to bring things here from their nearest Ikeas since that was the only place I found something close (and shipping was going to be $400). I realized that there was no reason why Jason, who has a garage full of fancy power tools, couldn't just build my shelf. I didn't want anything too fancy, but I had in my mind exactly what I wanted and couldn't find it online for less than $200.

So I drew a rough sketch and Jason did all the real engineering dorkiness to figure out actual measurements, what materials he'd need, and then got to work first thing this morning. By tonight, I have my shelf, which just needs a little wood filler, a sanding, and some paint!

But I'm not going to use a picture of my shelf. I'm going to use a picture of Michaela "helping" while Jason was building the shelf. She's such a little mimic it kills me. The "ear mops" (that would be ear muffs or hearing protection to you and me) were to protect her from the sound of the power tools and Jason gave her a few of her own tools to work with.

Too cute, right?

(And a little pat on my own back... this is straight out of the camera. I could've futzed with it a little, but when I opened it in Photoshop, I couldn't figure out what I would need to do, so I left it!)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Day 20 - January 20

I was productive today!!!!!!

Yes, that's a lot of exclamation points. If you saw the condition of our house right now, you would understand my excitement. Our house is clean, but there is crap everywhere. Between the baby and all the things that came into the house because of her, and then Christmas on top of it, the stuff is taking over the house.

So I've had this list of projects in my head for months now and I finally got something accomplished. I had Jason pull all the bins of kid clothes out of the attic and I reorganized them all and put them back in bags and bins by size. This was not a small feat. I promise.

In case you're counting, this is one bag of size 6-9m clothes, one bag of 9m and 9-12m clothes, one bin of 12m clothes, one bag of 12-18m clothes, one giant bin of 18m and 18-24m clothes, one bag of wintertime 24m/2T clothes, one bag of summertime 24m/2T clothes, one bin (half full) of 3T clothes, and one bin of shoes.

I like to call this picture "Why Cate Will Never Have New Clothes in Her Life (or, at least until she's 3)."

Day 19 - January 19

Right before Christmas, Babies R Us was having a sale on Carter's pajamas (buy one, get one free!), so I thought it would be cute to pick up matching jammies for the girls. Michaela had outgrown all her footie jammies, and had been asking for them.

Then she wore one pair of them one night and told me she didn't like the footie jammies anymore. Awesome.

Imagine my surprise when I walked in her room after bath and she was in her footie jammies! So I asked her if I could put Cate in her matching ones and take pictures. And lo and behold, the world's most uncooperative child (when it comes to picture-taking) was all for the idea!

Not many of the twenty pictures I took are useable, but I at least got one or two cute ones. I'm not one for the whole matching outfit thing, but I have to say, this is kind of cute!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Day 18 - January 18

Cate is six months old. What??

This has been the quickest six months of my life. It honestly feels like just yesterday that I was basking in the afterglow of my VBAC, cuddling that little 8lbs of new baby, and dying to get some sleep. Now she's somewhere over 16 pounds, currently sprawled out in Jason's lap, and I'm still dying to get some sleep!

Keeping with what I've been doing for these monthly posts, let me tell you a little about what's going on in the world of Cate.

In the past month, she has continued to sleep really well overnight. We usually get at least one 6 hour stretch and have been pleasantly surprised a few times when she's slept all the way through. She's in the basinet part of the pack n play in our room still. I'm hoping her sleep pattern will get to be a little more predictable soon so we can move her into her (Michaela's) room. Having her in our room isn't the end of the world, though. It definitely makes for much shorter awake times in the night when she's only an arm's length away at feeding time. We've gotten good at nursing laying down, so I barely even have to wake up and can go back to sleep quickly. I think she likes to time her early morning wake-up so that it's right before Jason gets up for the day. That way, she can just stay in bed with us so Jason can get his last 20 minutes of sleep without having to get up and put her back to bed. (And, no, a 6 month old isn't really that sneaky, but she looks verrrrry comfy laying in the bed all by herself when I get up in the morning!)

She's still eating every 2-4 hours during the day, but usually almost at the 3 hour mark. As I mentioned last night, we've tried a few bites of real food, though not much has made it into her belly, but we're pretty much just still on the bewbie juice. Cate is starting to be a little more vocal about things when she's hungry and has started to make purposeful movements towards getting to the food source. The best is when she grabs both sides of my face and dives toward my nose. She has definitely made contact and tried to suck on my nose. I'm not sure what to think of that.

We still have lots of great noises and babbling. The pterodactyl sound is still around, along with various other chirps and squeaks. Cate loves to "talk" to us and try out all her wide range of noises to see our reactions. And she's learned how to scream. It's awesome. She's also still very quick to laugh at Michaela and will laugh when she's tickled. We're still waiting for that really good belly laugh. There are few things as precious to a mommy as that.

In the motor skills department, we have a sitter! She started off the month trying to sit, but being very wobbly. She's now VERY stable and loves to sit on the floor in the middle of the living room, playing with her toys. Cate has also started to reach for things she wants, grab them, and then promptly put them in her mouth. One of the funniest things she's done this month is learn how to make toys squeak in her mouth. She puts either a pacifier or rubbery teething ring in her front gums and then shakes her head back and forth until she gets a good squeaking sound. She'll even do it when we say, "Squeak it!" Hilarious. She still hasn't rolled again so I've been forcing her to spend more time on her belly when we're playing.

Car rides have become a little bit better, though she still doesn't love them. She's better at getting her own pacifier back in her mouth, though, so I think that's helping us. We also give her toys like her beloved Sophie the Giraffe and chewing seems to help her out.

Speaking of chewing, still no sign of teeth, though she's teething hard-core. The drool is truly spectacular, the chewing is out of control, and she's been pretty clingy the last few days. I'm hoping that means a tooth or two will make an appearance soon and we'll have a little break in the cranky before the next set. I have to say, though, I don't know if it's her temperament or the baltic amber teething necklace, but she's handling the teething way better than Michaela did. I'm feeling blessed for that!

Cate's cheeks and thighs seem to get chunkier by the second and she's fully into 6 month clothes, with some 3-6 mixed in. She can also still wear some 3 month onesies, but I've cleared out the rest of the 3-month clothes to be sorted for selling and giving away. And I cried. It's hard to watch her grow, knowing she's my last baby.

Anyway, that's Cate's world. This month's pictures were taken while Michaela was at school again, so it's just Cate. And I really thought I had only one picture to use, but then I couldn't pick between these two. I had to have one with her finger in her mouth (if she's not chewing a toy, she's chewing a finger, and sometimes both at once), but I had to have one of her smiling, too!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Day 17 - January 17

Cate will be six months old tomorrow. Remember how a week ago I said that we were waiting until she was six months old to try food? Well, I broke my rule, but only in a small way. We had some avocado with dinner the other night so we tried to give her a small piece of that (she didn't love it), and then we tried some banana the next night (she couldn't pick it up but I did give her some mashed up and she rolled it around her mouth and then spit it out), and then we tried some watermelon last night (she sucked the juice out and then spit it out). So, in case you're keeping track, we also broke the "rule" of only feeding the same kind of food three times in a row to check for allergies. Ooops.

So tonight, I thought I'd try a bigger piece of banana and see how she did.

Her immediate reaction was a big ol' sour puss face. But she went back for more and seemed to enjoy it at least a little bit. I don't know how much she actually ingested versus what ended up in and on her bib, but she's definitely at least gotten the taste of some new stuff.

I'm still in no hurry to shove solid foods down her throat. Mostly because breastmilk poop is a whole lot more pleasant than solid food poop. So we'll stick with milk and add in some tastes of food here and there and we'll see how she likes it!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Day 16 - January 16

Jason had to head over to Pensacola this morning for his once-every-six-years dunker training (where they try to drown him in a pool so he knows how to get out of the helicopter should they ever crash in the water).

While he was over there, he stopped at Dunkin' Donuts. Oh, but that's not important (plus I forgot to take a picture of my cup). What's important is that he also stopped at Wings, a store that sells all things flight-related.

And he made a three-year-old's day by getting her a "work suit" of her very own! Sadly, the work suit also gave her a giant wedgie, so he'll be trading it up for a bigger size when he's back in P-cola in a couple weeks to pick up his mom from the airport, but this was one HAPPY girl!

She just kept saying, "Now I can go to work with you, Daddy!!" She misses him a lot during the day and I hope she's not too disappointed when she figures out that owning a flight suit doesn't mean you get to go to work!

Oh, and she immediately noticed it had no name patch on it, so Jason got out one of his from Kodiak and put it on there for her. We'll have to have one made with her name on it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Day 15 - January 15

I'm doing two pictures today. I forgot I had taken one, so I finally edited one from the big camera that I took last week and I don't want to "waste" it.

So, first is Cate playing (well, sitting near) Michaela's keyboard. Mostly she kicked it with her feet (she liked hearing the beeping of the volume button), but she was also "dancing" when I turned on the part that plays songs. And by dancing, I mean she kicked her feet as she was sitting there and smiled a lot. By the way, I did all this with her while Michaela was down for her nap, otherwise there would've been a breakdown about how it's "MY keyboard, not Cate's!" Toy sharing is going to be awesome around here.

And the second picture is from last Thursday night (remember my discussion of how I remembered which pictures were taken on which days...). I wish I was this flexible. Though I have no need to eat my own toes, it would be nice to just not be all achy when I get up from sitting in one position for too long.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Day 14 - January 14

Jason and I have been married for 13.5 years. In all those years, he has semi-regularly asked for meatloaf for dinner.

I hate meatloaf. (Sorry, Mom... I never liked it.)

But, tonight, I made meatloaf. I found a recipe for Parmesan Meatloaf on Pinterest and it looked like it was mostly a meatball in meatloaf form, so I decided to give it a try.

It didn't suck. I ate mine so Michaela would eat hers, and now Jason has a half a loaf to eat as leftovers for the rest of the week.

And maybe I'll make it again. Next year.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Day 13 - January 13

What mama wouldn't melt when she looks over at her daughter, playing on the floor with Daddy, and gets this?

Day 12 - January 12

On Saturday morning, we were sort of taking our time getting moving. That's standard around here these days, unlike about 6 months ago when we were always sure to have some place to go or something to do on a Saturday. An infant can make you want to sleep in (sort of) and take it easy.

This is not always ok with the three-year-old.

So she announced that she was going to go put on "real clothes" and go outside to play, as Jason and I sat around in our jammies with no plans to go anywhere, including the backyard. She then told us that she didn't need help and would pick out her clothes herself.

That has never been done in our house, mostly because we have to convince her that getting dressed is a good idea and it's a team project (and we're usually leaving the house). The closest she gets is picking between two outfits, but I figured it couldn't hurt anything to let her try, and it would make for a great "she picked out her own clothes" picture.

I forgot that my daughter has been listening to me talking about matching things from socks to barrettes with her outfits since before she could understand what I was saying. And thus, her outfit matched.

She didn't need long sleeves (it was 70 degrees), and leggings generally don't go with the shirt she picked, but it matched. She then also chose her purple crocs to wear outside instead of the blue ones (which were in plain sight) because they also matched.

I've created a type-A monster.

Day 11 - January 11

Based on this picture for Friday, I'm contemplating making every Friday's picture this year have me in it. Maybe I'll make it every second Friday of the month. Either way, since I sorely neglect our family blog, I need to make sure I'm in the picture more. Sometimes it seems like I'm not there for life because I'm always behind the lens.

So I'll see if I remember this when next Friday rolls around.

Meanwhile, it's me and the Bug.

Day 10 - January 10

The difficult part of getting so far behind in posting pictures is that I then have to remember which picture I took on which day. Yes, four days is too long for me to remember. Michaela stole my brain when I was pregnant with her, and it's all been downhill from there.

I'm pretty sure this is one I actually took on Thursday... which I've concluded based on the fact that Michaela and I did thank you notes before her bath the night we did them. And I colored while she did her part of her notes (which is also coloring). And then I took other pictures of Cate with my big camera (but I have yet to edit them) while Michaela was having a bath. And then she had a bath last night, so two nights before that would be Thursday night, which was when she last had a bath. So this must be the picture from Thursday. Yes, that is how I remembered which picture was from Thursday.

So obviously I need some sort of stress relief mechanism since that's how I figure things like this out.

That's why I was coloring.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Day 9 - January 9

We've chosen to follow the latest guidelines on infant nutrition and not start Cate on any solid foods until she's six months old (and shows all the rest of the signs of readiness), which isn't for nine more days. 

The slight drawback to that is that the child is lusting after all our food right now. She watches each bite go into our mouths, reaches for everything in sight, is practicing chewing, and even prefers to sit with us at the table at dinner (she used to nap through dinner). The good news is that she's at least showing that sign of readiness (interest in food). The bad news - for her - is that I'm not sure she's met the other ones yet, including not being older than six months.

So she has to wait a couple more weeks, but, in the meantime, I thought it would be nice to keep her better entertained at dinnertime. The spoons, teething toys, and various other toys just aren't keeping her occupied well enough.

Enter an ice cube tray and some pumped milk.... and a mesh feeder. Bewb juice popsicle!!!

It took her a couple tries to figure out what part of the feeder to hold to her mouth, but she quickly figured it out and it kept her happy the whole time we ate. 

Win-win for everyone!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Day 8 - January 8

Michaela goes through phases when she is absolutely obsessed with birthday cakes. She wants to sing happy birthday, she wants to cut the cake, she wants to make sure you eat it, etc., etc.

Of course, the cakes are made out of Mardi Gras beads, not actual cake. So candles are made out of chopsticks, they don't really cut, you can't get a piece on a plate, and they definitely don't taste good.

But, it makes you feel pretty darn good when your three year old wants to make you a "birfday" cake and sing to you!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Day 7 - January 7

Baby bunny slippers... multipurpose.

They look cute.

And they taste good, too.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Day 6 - January 6

I had to run to the grocery store (Target) this afternoon to pick up some ingredients for dinner and return a few things. In my wandering from one side of the store to the chicken, I happened to have to pass through the frozen food. I was hungry, and ice cream sounded good, and then I saw this.... salted caramel gelato.

Oh my.

Yes, I ate it out of the container. No, I did not eat the whole container. I scooped half out for Jason first. And then I was mad that I gave him any.

Day 5 - January 5

Is it bad that I'm already having to play catch up for Day 5? Maybe sticking with this wasn't the best plan....

Meanwhile, Jason thinks I take too many pictures of him sleeping. I say if he'd stop falling asleep in weird places, I wouldn't have anything to take pictures of.

Today's picture is brought to you by his night away from the family at a Vestry retreat (church stuff). Apparently, while I was getting up to feed a baby (twice in the span of normal sleeping time), waking up with two kids, doing all the usual stuff, including actually doing dishes (which hasn't been my strong suit lately), he was staying up late playing Scrabble (wild and crazy at those church functions!!) so he was tired when he got home.

Right before I took this picture, he had changed the baby to hand her off to me to feed. He laid down on the floor and I jokingly put my feet on his chest to get more comfy while I was feeding the baby. Not two minutes later he was snoring.

And he wonders why I took a picture.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Day 4 - January 4

One of these pictures needs to make an appearance every so often. Today's the day...

Cate's feelings about me feeding her, apparently. Not very appreciative!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Day 3 - January 3

I make no bones about being a shameless supporter of breastfeeding moms, and breastfeeding in general. Part of my support of breastfeeding moms is just to normalize breastfeeding so that nursing moms don't feel like they have to hide in a corner or something when it's time to feed their babies. I know it can make some people squeamish, but the fact of the matter is that part of what makes humans mammalian is the ability to produce milk. It shouldn't be weird that women actually use their bodies to feed babies. It just shouldn't.

I want my children to know that nursing a baby is normal and not a weird way to feed a baby. If they choose not to do it one day, that's fine, but I want them to at least be exposed to it and know that it's not weird or dirty or something to be hidden.

I nursed Michaela until she was just shy of 22 months old, and I'm hoping to go a bit longer than that with Cate. All things nursing are a big part of my life and my house as long as there's a baby in it.

Michaela is picking up on that, and that makes me so happy!

And it also cracks me up when it's such obvious mimicry of what she sees me doing. This morning, she told me she needed to feed her baby. So she grabbed her doll (the one named Cate, incidentally) and the Boppy. But then she put the Boppy down and I heard, "Oh, wait, I need to find my phone. Where's my phone?" I almost fell over laughing because I never nurse Cate without my phone right next to me. I use it to track feedings and to keep me occupied while she eats.

Sadly, her phone wasn't charged (she uses one of our old iPhones to play games), so she couldn't use that, but she did grab the Boppy and get comfy on the floor to feed her baby and watch a little TV.

Such a copycat!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Day 2 - January 2

Ah, babies getting new teeth. So much fun...

Sleep and getting anything done around the house are very limited around here these days. Jason picked up some Hyland's tablets today, though, so I'm hopeful that, once Cate figures out I'm not trying to poison her by giving them to her, they'll bring us all some relief.

I have to say, though, that her amber teething necklace is obviously doing a lot of pain management. These are just for a boost!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Day 1 - January 1

Happy New Year!

Here's to another year of pictures!

Day 366 - December 31

I did it! Another year!

And I'll end the year with a picture of myself. I've made only rare appearances here, so I guess it's only right to end this year's project with me.

And Cate... because she's been attached to us lately thanks to teething and generally 5-month fussiness.

Year 3 starts tomorrow!