Friday, May 31, 2013

Day 151 - May 31

I don't know why, but this just struck me as funny tonight.

We went out to dinner (all of us but Michaela) and the restaurant we went to has sort of high tables in relationship to their chairs and high chairs. So Cate was sitting down kind of low.

And then the waitress brought one of their metal pan plates so we could share our "Caribbean caviar" appetizer with her (black beans).

What resulted was a hungry girl trying really hard to see over the side of the plate so she could get to the food. And a mommy laughing at her.

She's going to need therapy just like her big sister.

Day 150 - May 30

The view of baby toes while out on a family walk never ever gets old. Especially when she spends most of the walk kicking happily because she just loves being outside.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Day 149 - May 29

I can no longer leave Cate alone for even a few minutes. At least not if there's anything around that I don't want her to get into.

This was after about two minutes, when I left the living room to go make Michaela a sandwich.

Jason recently got the baby corral set-up down from the attic. I might need to use them.

Day 148 - May 28

Sometimes you just need to have a living room chair/blanket fort to hang out in and play with your LeapFrog game.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Day 147 - May 27

Nothing says summer like a morning spent swimming in the backyard.

And nothing says fun in the pool like flying children.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Day 146 - May 26

Michaela was less than helpful while we were strawberry picking yesterday. It was a lot harder this time around than last time since it's at the very tail end of the season so you have to actually look for the berries. Also, they're smaller than at the beginning of the season, so it takes a lot more of them to fill a bucket.

It also takes a lot longer to fill a bucket when only half of each strawberry makes it into the bucket.

Apparently, amongst her whining and running all over the place, Michaela was eating quite a few of the strawberries. But not the whole strawberry... just a bite. Not wanting to waste the berry, I guess, she put the rest of it into the bucket. We saw a few of them and chucked them while we were at the farm, but quite a few made it back to the house.

Which I didn't realize until I went through the bag tonight and washed and trimmed them all.

This is just smattering of what was in the bag. My guess is that she nibbled on about twenty or so berries, and nicely dropped the leftovers into her bucket.

This is what happens when you don't keep a sharp eye on the three year old while picking strawberries!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Day 145 - May 25

At about 8:30 this morning, I was checking facebook and saw that the place we picked strawberries a few weeks back still had some berries for picking. Since I've been spending a small fortune on strawberries at the grocery store, I figured it'd be worth the $8 for the gallon bucket. Little did I know that it was going to take a LOT more work to pick them this time around!

Michaela got bored early and it wasn't enough for me to just carry Cate around and watch again like I did the last time. So I moved Cate from my front to my back, and we got to work.

I have to say, picking strawberries with a baby on my back made me feel a little like a super crunchy earth mama or something.

It also hurt my hips and my back. Go figure.

Cate enjoyed it, though, and we stopped at only one bucket of berries instead of two. Jason couldn't pick fast enough and this was not the most comfortable thing for me. With an 18+ pound kid on your back, berry picking is more than gathering food... it's a work out.

Day 144 - May 24

Cate is a bed hog.

She does a pretty good job of pushing me as close to the edge as she can, but I almost woke her up laughing when I got out of bed this morning.

As SOON as my butt was off the bed, she flopped over onto her side - and right into the spot I had just been in.

Bed hog. Serious bed hog.

Day 143 - May 23

For Mother's Day, I got a bright bouquet of flowers from Michaela (along with roses from Jason). Thanks to my neglect, I lost a few more of the blooms than I should have, but at least part of the bouquet is still hanging in. Not bad for almost two weeks later!

Day 142 - May 22

Fourteen years ago, two newly graduated and very young Ensigns topped off a crazy graduation week by getting married.

Nine houses, tens of thousands of miles in road trips, tours on ships, tours at air stations, tours in offices, grad school, staying at home, two kids, a lot of traveling for fun and for work, and all other kinds of craziness later, and we're still going strong.

Fourteen years went by in a blink. It'll be fun to see what the next fourteen - and beyond - have in store.

Meanwhile, the traditional anniversary gift for 14 years is ivory.

I'm pretty sure they didn't mean this....

Jason's a lucky man to have me.

Day 141 - May 21

As seems to be the usual these days, I'm a bunch of days behind in updating, and I'm also a few days behind in getting Cate's monthly picture done. These second kid really wrecks havoc on my ability to get anything done. You'd think I'd be used to that by now.

So here we are at ten months. Ten.


Do you realize how close that is to twelve?

I'm not going to think about that.

Instead, I'll tell you all about Cate at 10 months. She's gotten ACTIVE this month. Actually, just in the past week or so, she's started to really crawl. It started off as a few tentative wriggles and now she's trying to follow us all around the house. Of course, she still prefers to be picked up and get around the lazy baby way, but if she really wants to get to us (or to something she's not supposed to have), she'll go on her own. The best part is that, when she gets somewhere on her own, she gets so darn proud of herself. She breaks out in a big, wide grin and vibrates with excitement.

Besides crawling, she's also started shaking her head no when she wants to say no, and nodding yes when she wants to say yes. The "no" isn't all that new to see since she's been shaking her head like that forever, but it is funny to see it in context. The "yes," on the other hand, is amazing. It's especially funny when we're telling her not to touch something and she nods, "yes" instead. Too smart! She also enthusiastically signs "milk" when it's time to eat. She's only instigated it once or twice, but she'll sign it  back when we ask if she wants milk. I love that she's starting to be able to communicate with us. And not a minute too soon since she's also learned how to throw a real fit when she doesn't get what she wants. That starts early, huh?

Lastly, on the physical front, she is pulling herself up to standing on pretty much everything now, and likes to practice walking when we hold her hands. She hasn't figured out cruising yet, but it's probably only a few days away. I'm curious to see if she how long it takes her to walk in comparison to Michaela, who took her first steps just shy of her first birthday.

In other news, Cate still doesn't seem to like to sleep. Well, that's not true. She doesn't like to sleep in her own bed, but she'll sleep all night cuddled up to one of us in our bed. I am not a fan of bed-sharing, but desperate times call for desperate measures, and she's spent a lot of time in our bed over the past month. We've tried the pack n play in our room, the pack n play in another room, the crib mattress on the floor of our room (which resulted in a baby half on and half off the mattress, or fully on the floor before we remembered that we had an inflatable bed rail we could use), and our bed. She also spent quite a bit of time on Jason's chest on the couch for about a week - teeth appeared shortly after that stint.  I remind myself daily that this won't last forever and she'll eventually sleep well, but it's tiring right now. We've had some success with the crib mattress on the floor of our room, so we're hopeful we've turned a corner. Just not overly hopeful.

The one thing she is doing well is eating. Once she got the taste for real food, she's all about it. We've started calling her Frank the Tank because her appetite seems insatiable at times. The child ate a whole banana the other night. She pretty much just gets what we're eating now, though I resort to pouches of pureed food when we're eating something she doesn't like or can't have. She definitely likes food, though. A lot.

Cate's love of the outside continues. And we've now added swimming into the mix. She wasn't sure what to think at first, but now she loves the pool! Since Michaela asks a bajillion times a day to go swimming, there are plenty of chances for Cate to get acquainted with the water. She loves to sit on the steps and splash, and kicks up a storm when we bring her out to "swim." We definitely have another water baby on our hands!

And now to the pictures. These are getting much more difficult to get every month. She doesn't want to sit still and is too distracted by everything going on around her to just wait a second while I snap a picture and then move on. Even with Jason's help this month, there were three decent pictures in about 20 shots. And the ones that were bad were really bad! But, I did get at least one really good one, and one funny one. Apparently, it's tough work posing for your ten month pictures.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Day 140 - May 20

To the untrained eye, this just looks like a keg in a bathtub. Which is not necessarily an all together bad thing. But, to the trained eye (and nose as I smelled the wonderful smell fill the air as Jason kegged this one tonight), it is a fresh keg of blackberry wheat beer.

Why is that important enough to take a picture? Well, for two reasons.

1) Homebrewing finally became legal in the state of Alabama over the past couple weeks. Alabama was the last hold out on legalizing it. Why? I don't know. Of course, this may or may not have actually been brewed when it was illegal... but it was definitely kegged while legal. And....

2) Blackberry wheat always being on tap was the caveat to having a kegerator in the first place. It is my very favorite beer that Jason brews, and is officially the house beer. The last batch was not the same as always due to some malt that sort of got cooked in the hot garage, so I didn't even bother drinking any of it. Before that, I was pregnant. I'm really looking forward to the first pint this weekend.

You say keg in a bathtub, I say beer heaven.

Day 139 - May 19

Sometimes, it's really hard for Cate to get comfortable enough to sleep.

Obviously this is not an example of that.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Day 138 - May 18

I'm so excited that this picture gets to live forever on this blog (and in the book I'll eventually have published to live on in print, too!). Jason probably isn't.

Happy Birthday, Jason!!

Aren't you super happy that other people were also celebrating their birthdays at Texas Roadhouse tonight? Because, if they weren't, Michaela wouldn't have heard the clapping and yelling. Then she wouldn't have told the waitress it was your birthday. Then they wouldn't have clapped and yelled for you....

While you were sitting on a saddle. And the yelling was your name and age.

Why do you look so embarrassed in this picture??

Day 137 - May 17

It's almost someone's birthday!!

And I was feeling all Betty Crocker and baked cupcakes and made my own frosting. The cupcakes were from a mix. But it was ok to use the mix because it has a great story. As a kid, I almost always asked for a cherry chip cake. It was something my Grampie loved, and I, apparently, decided I did, too.

Fast forward many years and I find a cherry chip mix at the store. When I got it home, Jason got really excited about it. I thought that was pretty odd until he told me that he ALWAYS had a cherry chip cake for his birthday when he was a kid.

So the mix was cherry chip.

And we, apparently, were made to be together.

Day 136 - May 16

We recently had a break in our veggie deliveries from our CSA farm so they could wait for the growing season to catch up. I'm glad they decided to do that this year so that we didn't get even more heads of cabbage and bok choy. Not that I don't love cabbage and bok choy, but there's only so much you can do with them.

So now, instead of leafy greens, I have to figure out what to do with massive quantities of squash. Apparently three weeks off was just what the zucchini and summer squash needed.

There was even one more zucchini, but that was part of dinner that night. I LOVE getting to eat a vegetable that was just picked that day or the day before, right down the road!

Day 135 - May 15

Swimming anyone?

Even with the temperature in the pool up over 80 degrees finally, it only took five minutes for Michaela to start shivering and rethinking the soundness of the idea of swimming.

But she was still smiling, even through the teeth chattering!

Day 134 - May 14

I really shouldn't get 5 days behind on this thing. It makes it so I don't want to get caught up anymore.

But here I am. It's actually May 18 and I'm getting around to posting about the 14th.

Luckily, I just have a cute picture that pretty much needs no words.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Day 133 - May 13

Cate is nearly 10 months old. In that 10 months, I've managed to get myself back into my pre-pregnancy clothes, but they don't fit like they used to exactly and I'm definitely not as fit as I was.

I did some walking with friends for a few weeks months ago, and then life caught up with me and I stopped doing that. I'd love to get back to Zumba or hip hop fitness classes, but I'm afraid I'd kill myself if I showed up to one right now.

So while Jason did bath night with Michaela tonight, I grabbed Fred, my phone (complete with the SiriusXM app), and my earbuds, and headed out for a brisk walk. We've been trying to walk as a family, but walking while either letting Michaela walk (instead of riding in the stroller) or pushing both girls in the stroller is definitely a little slower than anything that will increase your fitness level!

With my trusty sneakers on my feet and Fred panting at my side, I covered just under 2 miles in about 35 minutes, including stops for Fred to take care of business and time to meet a greyhound named Stitch. Not too bad!

Hopefully these shoes will get a little more use in the days to come. Time to get rid of the post-partum belly!

Day 132 - May 12

Happy Mother's Day!

It was my first Mother's Day as a mom of two. And I got pretty spoiled.

There was breakfast in bed (Michaela said it was her idea... I'm pretty sure her contribution was walking into my room with Jason to bring me the tray). There was a sweet card from the hubs. There was an adorable card from the kids, complete with their little handprints (Hallmark has magic handprint cards....neatest thing ever!). There was an afternoon relaxing by the pool all by myself. There was dinner at Zaxby's (yes, a fast food chicken finger restaurant... I crave it pretty much daily). There were flowers. And there was a gift... a beautiful necklace.

Normal moms would probably get one footprint charm and then a birthstone charm for each kid. But since my girls were born only two days apart (or one if you ask my dad), that would've meant two rubies. So, instead, I got two footprint charms and just one birthstone one. And I love it!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Day 131 - May 11

Cate has been a TERRIBLE sleeper for the last almost-two months. Our trip and her ear infection, along with a bunch of new milestones like finally eating real food, getting teeth, and working on crawling and cruising, totally led to a big regression in her sleep pattern.

We've been experimenting over the past week or so (after a middle of the night meltdown... by me) with different options for getting her to sleep better. We're having nominal success with things like no longer using a sleep sack and moving her pack n play to the spare room in the hopes that she just needed her own space. But she's still waking more often than usual and is harder to get back in bed.

I think the issue is the squishiness (or lack thereof) of her pack n play. We do have a mattress in there and not just the padded cardboard that comes with it, but it's not very cushy.

My conclusion is drawn based on two facts: 1) She sleeps really well in/on our bed, and 2) she sleeps really well on the couch.

Like this:

Day 130 - May 10

It was a momentous day today... first haircut day!

Yes, Michaela is only a couple weeks away from turning 4. No, she has never had a haircut.

Until today.

I meant to do it a bunch of other times. There were two trips to Disney World when I planned to have it done at the barber shop on Mainstreet, USA, at Magic Kingdom. They do a big thing when you get your first haircut there and I thought it would be cool. But I always chickened out.

Then there was just every single time I looked at her scraggly hair and thought, "It's time to get this cut. Seriously." But I would keep chickening out.

It was finally time, though, so I took her to my hairdresser (I needed a trim, too, and thought it would work well if she saw me go first; she wanted to be first, though!) and we got it done.

She was a little haircut expert and was so cute checking herself out when it was done! And it looks a bajillion times better!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Day 129 - May 9

I love seeing Michaela's imagination in action.

This is a spinning light up toy from a Disney show we went to. After paying something stupid like $20 for it, Mickey fell off the top in about three days, so there is now no evidence that it's a Disney thing. But it can still offer up hours of fun.

It's not JUST a spinning light-up toy good for the dark of a theater when you're watching a state show.

It's also an umbrella. Just in case you wondered.

Day 128 - May 8

I love when I have a reason - like the last meeting of the year for MOPS - to make some cookies.

I hate baking in general, but cookies are pretty easy, and the payoff is soooo worth it!

And they make a good late-night snack with a nice glass of milk. Yum.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Day 127 - May 7

Kids love bubbles. Even babies.

Day 126 - May 6

Jason had a day into evening flight tonight, so, of course, they needed to plan a good place to stop for fuel and dinner.

Where better than Monroe, Louisiana, home of the Robertson family of Duck Dynasty fame?

And if you're going to go to Duck Commander headquarters, you, of course, have to buy a shirt.

Day 125 - May 5

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

It was first Sunday at church (we do special kid's stuff on the first Sunday of the month) and one of the last weekends before the crowds thin during the summer.

So an after-church Cinco de Mayo-themed picnic was in order, complete with a piñata.

All the kids got a turn to take a couple swings. I learned little kids (like the 4 and under crowd) aren't very good at piñatas.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Day 124 - May 4

I could've had a cute picture of Michaela riding a pony today. Or of Cate enjoying the sunshine with her daddy. Both of those would've been courtesy of a great birthday party we went to this morning.

Instead, I have the disaster that is our garage right now.

We had our babysitter come over this afternoon to watch the girls while we tackled the house and purged as much stuff as we could. There's a pile of trash and a WAY bigger pile of things to be sold. Now I have to somehow find the time this week to go through and price things and get them organized. Oh, and we still have a bunch of stuff in our trailer over in the storage lot to deal with, too.

So if anyone wants to come help this week, let me know!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Day 123 - May 3

More Cate today. I can't help it - she's been a wealth of picture-taking opportunity lately.

Tonight, she decided to read. Or, at least, move around all the magazines and then the books.

Day 122 - May 2

Cate has found a good use for her cheeks... holding all of her dinner at one time.

She then spit out all the dinner (chicken, green peppers, and mushrooms), and ate most of a banana instead.

At least she tried it.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Day 121 - May 1

I will never get tired of seeing this kid's reaction to herself in the iPhone camera. Ever.