Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Day 120 - April 30

There comes a time in every child's life when they get their first chance to swing in a playground swing.

Today was that day for Cate.

She was not at all sure what to think about that.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Day 119 - April 29

Mmmm, Dunkin.

Jason had to bring Christina to Pensacola for a 6-something flight this morning.

The HUGE upside to that was an early morning Dunkin' run. And it was even still a little warm by the time I got up at 8.

And there was a donut, too. Mmmm.....

Day 118 - April 28

Cate learned something important that I've known for a while this weekend....

Auntie Christina is pretty awesome.

(And, for the record, Michaela was also totally smitten with both Christina and Brad. Today she told me she missed them and that Brad was really fun!)

Day 117 - April 27

Happy Birthday to me!!!

So I mentioned my trip to the hotel/spa yesterday. I have to back track and give a little more information about that because it's just funny.

About a month ago, an email from Marriott showed up in my inbox with a reservation confirmation for The Grand Hotel in Pt. Clear. I had just hinted to Jason shortly before that about the fact that we usually go away for my birthday (and we had a free night on our Marriott account), so it didn't surprise me too much to see that show up. I said something to Jason about it and he just said, "That wasn't supposed to go to you!"

Time passes and my birthday week arrives. All of a sudden, I start to think about this night away and how silly it is to take the girls about an hour away for less than 24 hours, just to be at a hotel instead of at home. Jason had also hinted he was going to send me away to the spa while we were there, so then I worried about him taking both girls to the pool and what that would be like with Michaela wanting to swim a ton and Jason having to hold/carry Cate.

So Monday night, I started to talk to Jason about possibly canceling the weekend, or maybe getting to go alone, or something. On Tuesday, I texted him and asked when our free night expired, with the thought in mind of maybe canceling the reservation and using it for Mother's Day instead (I totally like being alone on Mother's Day, but not on my birthday; my thought was to go alone on Mother's Day). He texted back and said we couldn't cancel (too late) and to trust him. Then he said to "believe in me."

Fast-foward a couple days and Christina lands on my door step and the whole plan unfolds.... the hotel reservation is for me and Christina (thus the two double bed reservation), there are spa appointments, Jason and Brad are going to ride herd on the kids overnight, and I didn't need to worry about anything at all. Though Jason was probably happy that I mentioned going alone so he knew I was open to the idea of leaving Cate for the first time!

Ok, all that to share two pictures from the overnight. The view from our room was beautiful at sunset. We got back to the room just in time to see it after relaxing in the spa and each having facials. After getting put back together, Christina and I headed out to dinner at a little place called the Wash House (delicious food!!!) and then grabbed the bottle of champagne I'd brought from home and sat on the beach and talked for a couple hours while we drank the champagne.

As birthdays go, it was pretty spectacular.

So we have the view from our room and the champagne bottle and "glasses" the next morning, complete with the sand on the bottle (sorry, cleaning lady, for leaving that sand on the carpet...).

Friday, April 26, 2013

Day 116 - April 26

So I've been a little quiet about my birthday this year. But it's my birthday week right now. Tomorrow is my actual birthday.

But I don't even care about the rest of my birthday week now because I got the best present ever tonight.

Jason was running late this afternoon so I sent him a text and asked if he was coming home any time soon. I got an answer that he was just trying to finish up some paperwork and would be heading out soon.

I heard him pull up a while later, and didn't really think about the fact that he didn't text me to tell me he was on the way since we had just texted a while before. So I was on the floor changing a diaper when he walked in. Michaela yelled "Daddy!" and then said something like, "Who else is here?"

I turned around to see one of my very dearest friends, Christina, standing inside my front door. The same one who lives most of the time in Alaska (and some of the time in Virginia). The same one I haven't seen in two years. Yeah. That friend.

And tomorrow we'll leave the boys (Brad, Christina's other half, is coming in tonight as well) with the kids and go to a hotel/spa for the night.

This is probably the best birthday ever. And it's not even my birthday yet!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Day 115 - April 25

I don't think I need to say anything to go along with tonight's picture.

(Well, except that, even though you can't see it, these are our new Boston Strong hats. I'm excited to sport mine once Cate's done with it.)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Day 114 - April 24

I've been sitting on our tax return for a few months now. I think we technically spent some of it already on our last batch of family pictures, but the rest has been sitting there, taunting me from our account.

Today, we spent it. It was time for an upgrade....

And we went big and got the 32g ones because I'm tired of having to delete pictures just to take more and I'm lazy about backing them up to my computer.

Day 113 - April 23

We've been trying to take full advantage of the actual spring here in the Deep South (which is like summer in other places we've lived) by getting out and enjoying the weather.

This includes trying to take a family walk as much as possible.

Michaela's favorite thing to do now is to hold Fred's leash. Somehow he recognizes that it's her on the other hand and he generally takes it easy on her. Or it could be that he's just slowing down in general, but I like to think he knows and he's the best dog ever.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Day 112 - April 22

No matter how much fun I've had getting better at taking portraits - or, at least, pictures that actually have people in them - I can't help but go back to my first photography love. Flowers. Or landscapes. Or  pictures of things without people in them. Or flowers.

So even though I took a bunch of pictures of Michaela while she was out riding her tricycle today, I had to also get a few of the irises blooming in the front of the house.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Day 111 - April 21

The ice cream truck! The ice cream truck!

I seriously think I get more excited about it than Michaela does. Though she's learning quickly that the ice cream truck is one of the greatest things in the world.

Now to get her to realize the awesomeness that is the Strawberry Shortcake instead of the yuckiness that is the Spider Man head artificially colored and flavored frozen chemical pop. Ick.

Ah, strawberry shortcake. Mmmm.....

Day 110 - April 20

I had a few options for pictures today. I decided to show the healthy side of our household instead of the completely unhealthy side.

So instead of a picture of the Zaxby's (fried chicken finger restaurant) Jason nicely brought home for me, I'm going with one of Michaela's vitamins.

Sometimes I feel like we're all a bunch of old people around here with all the pills and vitamins we take every day. Since I started taking prenatal vitamins way back before I actually got pregnant with Cate, though, I figured it wouldn't hurt for Michaela to have a multivitamin as well. And then, in addition to the multivitamin, I thought it would be good for all of us to give our immune systems a bit of a boost.

So now Michaela takes four and a half vitamins every day to go along with the six I take.

We have two gummie multivitamins (Jake and the Neverland Pirates), a D3, a probiotic, and a half of a 500mg chewable Vitamin C. I take the same things (including gummies - but mine aren't Jake), along with extra folic acid as well. There's so much, I got us pill containers and everything. Craziness.

Day 109 - April 19

I let a whole day go by without getting any good pictures. It's probably because Cate and Michaela both wore me out with picture-taking on Thursday.

So all we have is a shot of Jason teaching Cate the ways of the iPad. Apparently, it's never too early to start.

Day 108 - April 18

Cate is 9 months old!

Nine months.


I don't know what it is about the 9-month mark, but I feel like somehow this makes her not a baby anymore. I mean, she's still a baby. And I'll probably keep calling her that well into toddler-hood, but for some reason this is a weird invisible line of demarcation in my head that makes me think she's old.

And that makes me sad.

So let's talk about what she's up to now that she's an old baby.

There haven't been many changes over the past month - at least not right up until just before her 9-month birthday. She still only had her two lone bottom teeth, though the top two were on the verge of coming through (one of them came through on the 19th, the other is sure to follow soon, and it looks like she's got two more on the bottom that should be making an appearance soon).

Cate has at least finally decided that there's something to this whole solid food thing. She's a little picky about what she will and won't eat, and still makes the most hilarious face anytime food goes into her mouth, but she eats things besides breastmilk, so that's exciting. Her favorites include bananas, apple (I give her a chunk and she scrapes at it with her teeth - too funny to watch), cheese, and some pureed fruits and veggies. We've started to just give her bits of what we're eating instead of steaming up something separate, so she's also had black beans, broccoli, chicken, ground beef (not a favorite), fish (that got spit out), red pepper, pizza crust, a little bread, pancake, and a few other random things. I've realized that, by the time she was this old, Michaela was eating a whole container of YoBaby yogurt every morning, along with some fruit, and she was eating a "lunch" that I'd send to daycare with her - usually leftovers of whatever we ate the night before. Cate maybe eats an ounce of real food a day. I'm thinking I might need to get a little less lazy about it and start giving her more so that she might actually eat meals sometime after she turns one. We're down to only three months to practice... might need to get on that.

Sleep has been sucky pretty much since we got back from our trip up north. She used to sleep a good 5-6 hour stretch every night when we went to bed, generally waking up too close to the alarm going off for Jason to be happy, but at least we'd get a good chunk before that. In the last month, though, she's woken up a lot more often and we're getting a lot less sleep again. I don't like it. But between being sick when we first got home, a growth spurt, new milestones, and no longer swaddling her, she's just not sleeping for long stretches. I'm hopeful we'll get back to it one day. I miss sleep. A lot.

Speaking of milestones, Cate has been working diligently on a few big ones. She hasn't started actually crawling yet, but, as I learned at her well-baby check on Friday, the rolling and scooching she's doing actually count as "crawling." Apparently, as long as she can make herself move in a specific direction, she's mobile. And that she is. She'll either roll to get where she wants to go, or push herself backwards on her belly, or scooch on her toosh. The other big thing she's doing is standing up holding on to furniture and people. She LOVES to stand up and is so proud of her new talent. She hasn't quite figured out that her feet can move, but I think that's coming soon. She's also trying very hard to actually pull herself up into a standing position. She can do it if she's positioned just right and can get the right leverage, but it won't be long until she can pull up on anything. Jason keeps asking if it's time to get the kiddie coral gates back down from the attic. For now, I can keep her occupied in an exersaucer or her jumper, so I think we'll wait to take up more floor space with those, but true mobility is not too far in the future, I'm sure. I remember thinking Michaela was never going to crawl, and then, one day, she just did without much warning. Cate is at least rocking on her hands and knees a little, so we have a little heads up, but I think it'll happen fast for her, too... from not getting it to crawling like a champ in two days is my guess.

Last month's obsession was her toes. This month it's her teeth. She spends a lot of time running her tongue over her teeth and feeling them. She also LOVES being outside. Any time we let Fred in or out, if she's in our arms, she reaches for the door and wiggles and kicks her feet. She knows for sure what the front and back doors are, and seems to think that a bunch of other doors also lead to the outside as well, especially the door going IN to Michaela's Mom's Day Out building. She very enthusiastically reaches for it every time we drop off and pick up and we're waiting for it to be opened for us. One day she'll realize it only goes inside. One day.

And, finally, Cate has learned a few "tricks." She started waving just a little bit in the past week or so. She totally melted Jason's heart one night when she looked over at him from my arms and waved to say hi. It's a super sweet sight to see for sure! The other thing she learned was how to drop something and have Daddy pick it back up for her. They sat in a chair together one night and she dropped her pacifier over and over again, laughing hysterically each time it hit the floor and Jason said, "Where'd it go?" or "What'd you do?" Fantastic entertainment for me!

I think those are the highlights. She's growing up too fast (which totally hit me in the face last week when I was packing up the little clothes... I cried) and I'm just not ready for her baby days to be winding down. Before I know it, I'll be planning her first birthday party. Meanwhile, I soak up every bit of cuddling and baby-ness I can get from her, and enjoying being here for it all this time around. Mostly.

So here she is... showing off her 9-month onesie (it's a white onesie, with a sticker... shhhhh) in one and her new skill of trying to crawl in the other. It's a good thing she's not actually good at crawling or she may have fallen off the chair. I'm already predicting difficulty in picture-taking next month.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Day 107 - April 17

Yes, I'm a day behind. I'm going to stay that way because I don't have the time or energy to do Cate's 9-month update tonight. Yes, she's 9 months old already, as of the day I'm actually posting this - the 18th.

But for yesterday, we have a picture of Cate anyway.

She's getting good at standing up on things. And brave. She'll move from the couch to a person as long as she can just reach over and fall on you, and as long as she doesn't have to move her feet. She hasn't figured out how to move her feet.

But standing up is definitely a new favorite activity, which is making for a sore Mommy because it means sitting on the floor all the time and essentially letting her crawl all over me until she figures out exactly what it is she's trying to do. I'm too old for that. Let that be a lesson to others - don't wait until you're 35 to have a baby.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Day 106 - April 16

38 weeks and 6 days. That's how long I was pregnant with Cate. I appreciated that she decided to come as "early" as she did. It kept her from getting too big and it kept me from having prodromal labor for longer than the almost-two-weeks that I did.

So why am I talking about that?

Because it's now been 38 weeks and 6 days since she was born.

As of today, she's spent the same amount of time outside as she did inside. (And, yes, I have too much time on my hands.) So, of course, today's picture is of the world's cutest 38 week and 6 day old baby.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Day 105 - April 15

What is it about babies that fascinates babies?

Cate is enamored with any baby littler than her. How she knows they're smaller, I have no idea, but she does. And she just loves them.

Today I learned that this fascinated extends to dolls as well. Who knew?

Day 104 - April 14


Cate is growing up.

I spent some time crying tonight as I sorted through a bunch of her clothes, getting them ready to be sold. And by her clothes, I mean Michaela's clothes, too. Of all the things that Cate has worn, probably less than a quarter of them were actually new. It was lucky we had another girl - and cheap!

In addition to the clothes, we've also come to the point where bibs and burp cloths are no longer a major part of my laundry. With the exception of drool, bibs are no longer necessary for the constant spit-up, and we just need a few burps cloths around for the just-in-case.

So I packed up almost all the bibs and the majority of the burp cloths, too. It's definitely the end of an era for this mama who dealt with two babies who spit up like it was nobody's business for the first few months of their lives.

And it made me sad. But then Cate had another crappy night of sleep so then I was a little happy that there will be no more babies.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Day 103 - April 13

It was Strawberry Festival day! We've gone the last couple years and Michaela loves the cheesy carnival rides. Loves them.

Usually it's the "Dragon Wagon" roller coaster or the carousel that get her attention, but this year it was the motorcycles.

She rode twice and had a blast the second time around when another little girl ended up on the back half of her motorcycle. They screamed, put their hands up in the air over the little "jump" in the track, and laughed their heads off! Michaela definitely didn't seem thrilled to have to share the ride at first, but she had way more fun with company than she had alone the first time around. Lesson learned.

Day 102 - April 12

Cate decided not to stay asleep this morning after waking up at 6-ish to eat. This is completely not normal for her. Usually, she'll eat about then and go back to sleep until sometime between 7:30 and 8.

So around 7:40, after she'd been awake and playing for far too long, I left her wrapped in a Boppy to go get Michaela and get ready for school. (Don't worry... she's not mobile enough that leaving her on the bed alone is an issue... plus I put pillows around the sides so she couldn't roll too far if she got out of the Boppy.)

When I came back roughly 5 minutes (maybe 10) later, this is what I found.

Apparently the early wake up was actually a really bad idea after all.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Day 101 - April 11

It's officially spring.

Well, it has been for a while, but I'm calling it official now because we got our first basket of local produce from our CSA farm today!

Along with a head of bok choy, a head of napa cabbage, some broccoli, and some kale, we got two of these things. At first, I thought they were beets because of the greens (which I cut off) and the color. But when I cut the greens off, there was no red juice everywhere and I got confused.

Thankfully, I posted on facebook to see if anyone wanted our beets, so a friend could tell me that we didn't get beets, we got kohlrabi.

So, this is kohlrabi. It has a little bit of a broccoli flavor to it, but the texture is sort of like an apple, or an artichoke heart. I ate one raw tonight and it was pretty tasty. The other one is going to be sauteed in coconut oil and garlic. We'll see how that goes.

And I'm excepting any good recipes for bok choy or napa cabbage. I think I'll be making a giant stir fry.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Day 100 - April 10

As if there haven't been enough things to remind me of the fact that one of my children was born in Alaska and the other was born in Alabama, I got another reminder today.

I put shoes on Cate today. Well, now that I think about it, I guess I put some on her one other time for church, but they were way too big and didn't last long.


By the time Michaela was almost 9 months old, she'd been wearing soft-soled shoes almost every day for months because it was COLD and socks didn't cut it by themselves.

But Cate has spent many of her almost-9-months barefoot. Or in socks that she promptly pulled off and no one bothered to put back on because it was pretty much warm enough. But for fun today, I put these itty-bitty orange knock-off crocs on her. She was not at all sure what to do with them. Until she took them off and then they made a great chew toy.

But they looked cute for the time they were on her!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Day 99 - April 9

Today the world was flipped upside down.

I think I have beer with dinner once a month. Jason has beer with dinner (or after dinner) a bunch of times each week.

I have seltzer pretty much every night. Jason has it maybe once a week.

I never have a beer when he doesn't.

Until tonight.

It must be weigh-in time!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Day 98 - April 8

I have no words for this. One, I don't understand liking peeps. And, two, I definitely don't understand liking them enough to eat four at one time.

But she was VERY happy.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Day 97 - April 7

I was sitting in our comfy rocking chair with Cate this afternoon, having just finished nursing her, when Michaela came over to us. She told me that she was going to climb up on my lap. Then she pointed to my leg, rubbed her hand down my thigh, and said, "This says 'Michaela' right here."

So up she climbed and cuddled me and Cate. I, of course, had to have a picture.

I'm a lucky lady, even if one or both of these girls drive me crazy on an hourly basis.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Day 96 - April 6

Despite the fact that we went to bed way too late last night and we were up way too much with a baby who didn't want to sleep in her own bed - again - we got moving this morning and headed out to do some strawberry picking. We didn't need strawberries (there are still some in the freezer from last year), but we did need to do something fun and outside as a family. This fit the bill!!

Michaela ate her first berry within about 5 seconds of getting out of the car. It was at that point I stopped cursing Jason for putting her in the shirt she was in (not one I would normally have her wear out anywhere... but perfect for strawberry picking). There was juice everywhere, but she had a blast, filled her belly, kind of filled her bucket, and you can't go wrong at only $8/gallon and about 45 minutes of fun.

I played the roll of official photographer and baby-wearer, but made Jason take a picture of me to prove that I was there, too.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Day 95 - April 5

I almost fell over laughing this morning when I looked down at the floor in front of my dresser and saw two footprints staring back at me.

We had a rough night with Cate last night, not wanting to stay asleep in her bed, so we both spent some time standing up, holding and rocking her in place.

These are Jason's size 12s, burned into the carpet from standing in one place and shifting his weight back and forth for longer than he really wanted to. There was probably a matching set on my side of the bed, too.

I'm glad I have pictures like these to remind me of why I don't want another baby no matter how much I would love to be pregnant again.

I miss you, sleep. A lot.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Day 94 - April 4

So I have a running list going of things that it would be better if I did not know existed. Not just better in general, but better for my waistline.

Two things that were added this Easter season were Twix eggs and Cadbury Royal Dark mini eggs (all the yumminess of regular mini eggs, but in an amazing dark chocolate).

Today, I added Biscoff spread to that list.

If you've ever flown Delta airlines (and maybe one or two others), you've had Biscoff cookies. I don't know how to describe the flavor except to say they are absolutely yummy. Well, Biscoff spread is actually a peanut butter-like spread that's just made out of the cookies all mashed up with some oil and what-not.

It differs from peanut butter in that it has no nutritional value whatsoever, whereas peanut butter at least has some protein in it.

And it's amazing.

Do yourself a favor and avoid it at all costs. And if you choose to buy it and try it, don't blame me.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Day 93 - April 3

It's a two-picture day. I couldn't decide between the kids, so I have to use one of each.

Today was a rainy, yucky day. I woke up dreading it because Michaela has been more than a little restless lately and we've been doing a lot less physical activity than usual. A day like today does very little to help that situation.

Thankfully, Jason decided to come home at lunch time since he wouldn't be home for dinner, which allowed me to go outside with Michaela and splash in puddles. It wasn't much activity, but it was something to break up the monotony. Plus she got to test out her new boots and coat.

For the record, when you splash in a puddle as big as this one, boots do very little to keep your feet dry.

The picture of Cate is self-explanatory. It doesn't get old watching a baby play in mirror!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Day 92 - April 2

Jason hates that I take pictures like this of him all the time.

He probably hates it more when I share them. Especially when I share them here.

I'm just glad he didn't end up having to fly tonight like he was supposed to. Although he did make it until a little after 10pm (which is late for him!), he's out like a light!

It's been a rough few nights with Cate not wanting to sleep in her bed and being up to eat a little more often than is normal for her. Sleep deprivation is awesome.

Day 91 - April 1

Cate was an all-new baby today after a couple of days of medicine and an ear that drained out the bulk of the nastiness.

We've learned that she really likes to be outside (much like her big sister), so we took advantage of some sunshine and a cool breeze and sat out on the driveway for a few minutes getting some Vitamin D.

Another thing Cate loves is to see herself on my phone when I turn the camera around. This is the result of that. Can you take those cheeks???

Plus I've been trying for probably about 6 months now to get a good squinchy-nosed smile in a picture. I LOVE how she wrinkles up her nose like this when she's really, really smiling. She started doing it early on when I would get her out of her bed in the morning, but I could never get a good shot of it. Apparently she likes to smile like that at herself, too!

Day 90 - March 31

Happy Easter!

Day 89 - March 30

It's amazing what a difference a day and a trip to urgent care can make for a baby.

Yesterday's picture was of a poor, sick girl clinging to her daddy.

Today's picture is of a slightly happier girl enjoying watching her big sister color Easter eggs after being diagnosed with an ear infection and a perforated ear drum. A dose of antibiotics, a dose of steroid/antibiotic ear drops, and Advil exactly every 6 hours and we had a much happier baby!

Meanwhile, Michaela had a blast coloring eggs. We probably should've done a few less than we did, just to keep the process a little faster, though. It took too long and she was already exhausted, so it got a little touchy at the end. But we still had fun and the Easter bunny had 22 eggs to hide for us.