Sunday, June 30, 2013

Day 181 - June 30

Six months down.... six to go!!!

And it was big business in our house - actually, car - today.

Because I haven't been using the infant carrier as a carrier very much anymore, and because it's gotten to be Africa-hot and poor Cate is sweating to death every time we get in the car in it, we finally traded out for the convertible seat today.

She looks so little sitting in there! Especially since Michaela has the same seat and she's at the point of almost outgrowing the rear-facing limits of it. And I'm just dorky enough to love that their seats match!

(Please excuse the blurry iPhone picture... had to do the best I could under less than ideal circumstances!)

Day 180 - June 29

So many choices for pictures today! There were squinchy faces from Cate at dinner time (her new favorite face to make), silly faces from Michaela to combat Cate's cuteness, a bin and piles of clothes from yet more sorting today.... and then, there was a CRAZY storm and that gave me all kinds of pictures. Even from the big camera.

Right after we put Michaela to bed, we went outside to see a giant black cloud heading in our direction. It was one of the craziest storms I've ever seen. There was blue sky, and then the edge of the storm, clearly visible, with super dark swirly clouds in the middle. The worst of it passed over us with just a cool wind, a few rumbles of thunder, and a few lightning strikes.

But then, the whole thing moved over us and we got a drenching rain and more thunder and lightning. I was so happy that held off for a while, though, so we could watch it move over us. Very cool.

This shot has very limited editing. I brightened up the whole thing just the tiniest bit, and then boosted the contrast just a little to compensate for how I couldn't really meter well in the weird light of the storm. But this is more or less what it looked like in real time.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Day 179 - June 28

I love popcorn. I would probably eat it every single day if I wasn't too lazy to make it. Because there's no microwave popcorn in this house. Not only is it pretty bad for you (ever done any research on the chemicals in that stuff?), but once you've made it like I do, you'll never want microwave again.

What's so good about it? Well, I found some delicious organic popcorn at a local coffee bar/shop called RedBar (no GMO corn for me, thanks). So we start with that. Next is refined, expeller pressed coconut oil (refined is a must so it doesn't taste like coconut... did you know they use coconut oil at the movie theater?); not too much, but enough that you still get good flavor. And, finally, a Whirly Pop popper.

Put those three things together, and you have magic. Delicious magic.

Day 178 - June 27

"Look, Mommy! I'm doing a handstand!" she says.

Day 177 - June 26

We decided to have an after-dinner swim since Michaela actually ate her dinner in less than 4 hours for once.

Jason headed out with Michaela as soon as she was done eating and I hung back with Cate so she could finish shoveling her food in. Eventually, we got to join the party and we were all having a good time, enjoying the pool as the sun started to set.

Apparently, Fred decided he needed in on the action. Michaela and I jumped in together in the deep end (big business for Michaela) and, the next thing I knew, there was a big black dog following me back to the shallow end. Normally, he doesn't go near the pool unless he's invited in (which is generally not when Michaela is floundering around in the deep end), but I guess he got tired of watching.

It worked out well for him, though, since he got a few more jumps in, complete with toy to chase down.

Day 176 - June 25

Cate likes black beans at Moe's.

A lot.

Day 175 - June 24

So as I'm actually writing this, Cate is a full 10 days past turning 11 months old. But I took the pictures on Monday, so at least I was only 6 days late on those...

As I've done every month for the past 10 months, I'll now proceed to bore you with the minutiae of Cate's life so I can keep a record.

She's growing and changing so fast, it's hard to keep up with when things happen (and her baby calendar shows it - I'm TERRIBLE at updating that thing). But grow and change she has.

On the sleeping front, we may have finally come out of the other side of the horrific regression that happened after our visit home in March. We were having to deal with 2-3 wake ups a night, more often than every three hours, even. But we seem to be back down to only one really middle of the night wake up. And Cate sleeps in her pack n play (still in our room, but we're good with that) pretty much all night now. We had a big stretch there with her in the bed with us and I was anxious to get her back to her own space. Well, mostly my back was anxious to get her back to her own space - I don't sleep comfortably when I'm spending most of the night being shoved off the bed by a tiny human! But I can deal with waking sometime around 3 in the morning for quick nursing, and then again at about 6:30 or so. It'll get even easier to deal with that again next week when I actually have to be UP at 6:30 again. That's more than manageable!

Next up... food. Good lord this child can eat. She still only gets solid food twice a day, sometimes only once (I'm a lazy mom), so she makes it count when she gets it. She'll eat pretty much anything that we put in front of her. Our only problem is making sure she doesn't just squirrel it all away in her cheeks in her hurry to get it ALL before, well, I'm not entirely sure what she thinks is going to happen to it if she doesn't eat it all right away. A chant of "Frank the Tank, Frank the Tank" is heard on many a night at dinner time and, on more than a few occasions, we've had to dig through the fridge or cabinets to find something else to feed her. Frozen peas are a good thing to have around for that! She pretty much eats everything we eat, though, so it makes it easy to just keep putting food in front of her. The only exception to that is that I've held off on most grains, so pasta night is tough. In addition to her solid foods, she's still nursing a bunch of times per day, though she's gotten so efficient, it's generally only for about 4 minutes at a time every 2.5-3.5 hours. Every nursing baby should be this easy so every mom wouldn't mind nursing. Both my girls have made it easy to be a nursing mom and I'm grateful for that! I can't believe we're only a month away from not having to worry so much about breastmilk being her primary nutrition. Mostly because that means I'll have to actually remember to give her other meals!

Now the fun stuff - walking and talking. Well, not technically walking as of 11 months (she's since started), but she was definitely a lot more mobile from 10-11 months than the month before. She's a fast crawler, which can be dangerous since she can go from a safe place in the middle of the living room to bothering Michaela in the bathroom in about 3 seconds. It's so funny to watch her "take off" crawling. She almost always sits for a few minutes, rocking back and forth excitedly, until she works up the inertia to get to her hands and knees and get going. She's cruising on the furniture, standing up by herself, and ready to get moving. (Again, she did actually walk by the time I'm getting around to writing this - but she hadn't yet when she was still only 10 months!) Cate also graced me with her first word just before she turned 11 months. It was absolutely hilarious. She finished nursing one morning, sat up, clapped her hands, and said, "Yaaaayyyy!" She added "Dada" to her repertoire on Father's Day weekend, standing at the back door watching him mow the lawn, yelling "Dada! Dada!" She likes to do her talking in style.

Clapping is a favorite past time and Cate will do it every single time someone says, "Yay!" I think she should be able to play patty-cake and a few other things, but I've been really bad about doing that stuff with her compared to how I was with Michaela. Poor second kid. But she's growing well and is very healthy and very happy. I could sit all day and just watch and listen as Michaela makes Cate laugh about the most random things in the world. Cate is enamored with Michaela and just gets more-so the older she gets. Hopefully the sibling love will last. Check back with me on that in about a year or so. Cate also likes to wave, signs "milk" very enthusiastically, sort of signs "all done," and drums on anything and everything. She's also becoming a little mimic and will do all kinds of things that she watches us do first, like sticking her tongue out, clapping, drumming, and she even signed "please" on me one night (The sign for "please" is to rub your hand in a circle on your chest. I did it and then she rubbed her hand in a circle on MY chest.). She's a pretty smart little girl, leading me to believe I'm in more trouble than I already was with the big one. I'll be out-smarted by the time they're each 5, I think.

Oh, and one last totally random thing. In an act of the most cuteness known to man, she will hold a baby doll and rock it like a baby. She even does a little tooshy patting and kissing. Though, her "kissing" is more like trying to chew the poor doll's face off. Oh, goodness, I almost forgot! She also gives kisses now! It's the sweetest thing in the world! She also does "noggins." Anyone familiar with "Finding Nemo" knows that Crush and Squirt knock heads together and say "Noggin!" instead of a hug or a high five. I've been doing it with Cate for months, but she now will initiate herself, leaning in to bump noggins. I love it.

Onto the pictures. If I thought last month was hard with Jason's help, this month was terrible with no help! The first shot is a normal one and the second one shows you how well it worked trying to get her to sit down.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Day 174 - June 23

Last Wednesday, while Jason was home during the day, I finally went to the eye doctor for the first time in a couple years. My prescription changed (thanks to the last eye doctor totally over-correcting me), so I had to head out to get some new glasses to go with my new contacts.

Shopping for glasses alone is not that much fun. Thankfully, texting pictures doesn't take long, so I could get both Jason's and my mom's opinions on the frames I picked out.

I had planned to only get one new pair and to just put new lenses in an old pair. But then I couldn't decide between my two finalists, so I got both!

They didn't have enough lens material to make both sets in an hour today, so I just got the pair that I almost didn't buy. I put them on as soon as I got home (had to take out my contacts), and I keep looking at myself because I love them.

I also love that they came in the little blue box... Tiffany. (Though I don't love the price tag - thank goodness I had saved up for two years for glasses since I skipped getting new ones last year. No guilt in spending the extra!)

So these are the first pair of my new spectacles. It's hard to tell, but they're brown on the outside with Tiffany blue on the inside and on the ear pieces. And they have little crystal butterflies. Mostly I just liked the shape, though. I might even wear them a little more often than just right before I go to bed!

Day 173 - June 22

We went to the Eastern Shore this morning for a morning of shopping and playing in the splash pad. Theoretically, I should have a picture of Michaela playing in the splash pad. But I don't because I used that time to return some things to Gymboree and shop with only one child instead of two.

So, instead, I have a picture of Cate sucking on/munching a celery stick at the restaurant at Bass Pro. She was either really hungry, or didn't totally hate the taste of celery.

Either way, it kept her occupied both during lunch (once we ran out of things for her to eat) and while we shopped for a little while. Win-win!

Day 172 - June 21

It was a big day here. A day long-awaited since whenever it was the first previews for "Monsters University" started coming on tv.

Whenever that was, I promised Michaela that she and I would have a Mommy-Michaela date to go see it as soon as it came out.

And we did.

We went to the 5:25 showing on opening night, complete with having popcorn and gummy bears for dinner while we watched. (Popcorn and M&Ms for me.)

This is a very dark shot of Michaela just before the show started!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Day 171 - June 20

Still no official 11 month pictures of Cate, but at least I have some pictures of her for today.

Please pay no attention to the smudges on the mirror. Obviously, this is not the first time she's done this.

The kid loves herself. Or a "day-day" (that's "baby" to you and me) anyway. She'll spend enough time looking at herself in this mirror that I can put my make-up on and do my hair in the morning. It's great entertainment for her, and for me, too!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Day 170 - June 19

Cate turned 11 months old yesterday. You'll note, there were no 11 month pictures yesterday or today.

Instead, today, we have a picture of my sad, lonely, neglected big girl camera. It wanted to take Cate's pictures. It's even all ready to go, just sitting on the toy organizer. And yet.... nothing. And I even took a picture of it with my iPhone, my go-to camera these days.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day 169 - June 18

We started swimming lessons with Michaela this week. Somehow she seemed like such a big, grown up, kid sitting there on the top step, waiting for her turn to show her stuff.

The last nearly four years have just gone by so fast.


Day 168 - June 17

We've been fairly successful in keeping Cate in her own bed at night these days, and our wake-ups are getting to be fewer, which is awesome.

But she still manages to conn her way into our bed for a few hours every morning, which then means the grown ups get squished to the edges by this tiny human. Thankfully, the bed sharing has been happening mostly around the time Jason gets up to get ready for work anyway, so she gets her own spot and doesn't crawl into my armpit.

I almost woke her up laughing when I rolled over to see this, though...

Yes, she really and actually was sleeping just like that.

Day 167 - June 16

So theoretically, this post should be about Jason. Or Father's Day. Or something along those lines.

Instead, it's about Michaela. Because she made us laugh so damn hard at dinner that I couldn't not talk about it.

So we went to Buffalo Wild Wings - Jason's choice for Father's Day dinner - and a "wing man" crown was sitting on the half wall next to our table. Michaela, of course, was eyeballing it enough that she got one of the servers to give it to her without even asking. She's that good.

Anyway, fast forward to the end of dinner and she's standing next to the table, wearing the crown as we're getting ready to go. From out of no where, she yells, "I'm Captain Chicken!" and puts her arm up in the air.

Yep, that's my kid. Captain Chicken.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Day 166 - June 15

There is shameless bragging ahead. Plus I'm using three pictures today, and talking about two totally different things. Well, related, sort of.

First, the bragging. We had a birthday party to go to today. It was for Michaela's friend Lily. We went and picked out Lily's present the other day, and, when I told Michaela we were going to grab a card real quick and then we had everything we needed, she told me she didn't want to buy Lily a card. Instead, she said, she wanted to make Lily a card with glitter pens, paints, pieces of paper that she wanted to cut out, and I think there were a few other things on the list. I just thought it was sweet that she wanted to make Lily's card instead of buying one.

So the first two pictures are the finished product. I think she did a great job!

The last picture is an adorable one of Cate. The party was a princess party and Lily's mom made (knitted? crocheted?) all the kids crowns, including Cate. Adorable, right?

Day 165 - June 14

You know what you don't see outside of Caribbean resorts very often?

Umbrellas in drinks.

Leave it to the Asian restaurant to serve an orange flavored margarita, and then put an umbrella in it.

Meanwhile, we found our new favorite Asian restaurant. (And not just because of the umbrella. I swear.)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Day 164 - June 13

Instead of a baby book for either of my girls, I have used calendars to mark all the milestones of their first years. The good thing about the calendar is that it's fairly easy to jot things down quickly. The bad thing about the calendar is that I almost always forget to jot things down.

We've had a lot of milestones in the past few weeks - talking (well, one word; "Yay!"), a trip to the zoo, clapping, cruising - so I had to get caught up. Thank goodness for FaceBook, this blog, and the bajillion pictures I take so I could reconstruct everything!

Day 163 - June 12

Cate discovered the fun and excitement of the water table! And we discovered that it's a good way to keep her occupied while trying to get dinner ready for an impromptu outside meal. Win-win!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Day 162 - June 11

First things first... why did no one tell me that the last 8 days worth of posts were all listed as the wrong month. It's not May, it's June. I'm pretty sure I'm still not sleeping enough.

Moving on....

Somehow Cate is big enough for this now. I don't understand.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Day 161 - June 10

Michaela is quickly learning that Cate likes everything she's not supposed to have, and that she's quick in getting to it after being redirected to her own toys (over and over again).

She gets frustrated and I hear a lot of, "No, Cate! It's not yours!" or "No, Cate! Leave it alone!"

So, we came up with a solution today. Cate gets mad if we put her in the baby jail for too long, so, instead of using it to keep Cate in, we used it to keep Cate out.

Necessity... the mother of invention.

Day 160 - June 9

Yesterday was on and off rainy all day. Michaela kept asking to swim, but with random storms passing through, it wasn't the best day of it. So we had to get creative in coming up with things for her to do to stay occupied in the house.

Enter the blocks she got for Christmas and seems to have forgotten about. They at least held her attention for a while.

Meanwhile, Cate is starting to be a little difficult in terms of her interest in things she's not supposed to have. So, the baby jail has made it back out of storage. The house is now safe again while I have to be doing something else.

Day 159 - June 8

The day has come. Michaela is now 42 inches tall. This means she can now ride the carousel (at least the one at the zoo in New Orleans) alone.

As we were standing in line to buy a ticket to go on the carousel, Michaela stood next to the sign, and proudly (and loudly!!!) exclaimed that she was as tall as the line. She had no idea what that meant, but she knew she was tall enough for something. When we told her it meant she could ride alone, she jumped up and down and yelled, "I'm tall enough to go alone!!!"

I honestly wasn't sure she'd really want to ride by herself. She usually gets very excited about doing things alone, but then fear gets the best of her and she asks someone to come along instead. This time was different, though. I stood in line with her, got her situated on her zebra, and she was very happy to see me walk out the gate and wave to her from the other side of the fence.

And she enjoyed every second of the three minute ride!

Meanwhile, moms of little babies, don't blink. Tomorrow they will be old enough to do things like this. Cherish and treasure all the little moments because they go by too fast and then your "baby" isn't a baby anymore.

Day 158 - June 7

We decided to take a trip to New Orleans for an overnight Friday night. I had the opportunity to meet up with an online friend (and some other friends I've met in person, but know from a CG spouses message board as well) before she moves north again, so I jumped on it and made it into a short family trip.

"On the way" (not really on the way at all!!!), we stopped in Bayou La Batre to celebrate National Donut Day at a little bakery I just learned about. A bakery which, unfortunately for my waistline, will be opening a store in Mobile next month.

To say the donuts were good would be like saying Mt. Everest is tall. They were divine.

And it was worth the small detour (right, Jason??)!

Day 157 - June 6

Cate has not been the best sleeper lately. She's spent a lot of time in our bed so that we can sleep. Otherwise, one of us (usually Jason - have I mentioned how much better of a night time parent he is than me?) ends up rocking her and walking around, or sitting in a chair, or whatever. She just didn't like her bed, in whatever incarnation it had.

Well, we went back to the pack n play in the hopes that the extra space (vs the crib mattress on the floor with a blow-up "rail" to keep her in it) would help her stay more comfortable. She spent all night in it (with one wake up to nurse) on Wednesday night, so I figured why not try to do a nap in there as well. I mean, eventually, I'd like her to actually nap in her crib in her room, so this is a logical step.

She slept in there for a little over 45 minutes, which turned out to be her whole nap. I was pretty darn excited. One day, we'll be able to get rid of the swing from our living room. And one day, she'll use that fancy Pottery Barn bedding I just had to have.

Day 156 - June 5

SOOOOO far behind! EEK!

So going back to last week, Fred has learned (again) that being next to the high chair is the best seat in the house. It helps that Cate was caught red-handed actually throwing stuff to him. I swear, this child is totally living up to all those second child stereotypes.

But, anyway, Fred. He has taken to just sitting next to her seat while she's in it, hoping for any wayward fruits and veggies to come his way. Smart dog.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Day 155 - June 4

I love this kid.

She had to be wrapped up in her towel, like me, when she got done swimming today. The only problem with that is she's so darn skinny that it takes about 400 wraps (ok, maybe 4 or 5) to get the towel around her.

She loved it, though, even if she couldn't walk.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Day 154 - June 3

I wasn't going to use a picture of Cate today because there have been a LOT of pictures of Cate lately.

But I didn't get around to taking any pictures until a few minutes ago and it was hard to resist this adorable subject.

It's a good thing she's cute because, at 10:30 at night, after what should've been the nursing that put her to sleep, she should NOT be able to be the subject of this picture.

Party's over, baby. Go to sleep!!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Day 153 - June 2

It was HOT today.

And my night of sleep last night (or lack of sleep, I should say) sucked.

And we had pizza for dinner.

So it was only fair that this joined the party.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Day 152 - June 1

We started today with a birthday party for one of Michaela's friends. It was at a place called Pump It Up, an indoor bounce-house play place. Needless to say, Michaela had a blast!

I'm pretty sure she had a meltdown immediately after I took this picture of her and Kendall together, though, because she just wanted to watch Kendall open her presents, but the party had gone over the allotted time, so they just took the presents home. I'm pretty sure Michaela was hoping Kendall would share her presents with her...

I was happy to get a picture of the girls together, though, even if it's a half-blurry cell phone one that I had to crop better. Kendall and Michaela have been playing together at playgroup and various other gatherings for three years now and this may be one of the last few times they see each other. Kendall's family will be moving this summer (ah, the Coast Guard life...), so their chances to spend time together are limited.

We're going to miss Kendall and her whole family!!