We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers. - I Thessalonians 1:2

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Lilypie Second Birthday tickers

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Almost One!

We did round one of first birthday pictures today with Cate in her cute, custom-made top from Olive and Ollie. I think they speak for themselves (they are pictures of pictures since we don't have a scanner, which is why some may appear out of focus).
Round two will be sometime next week, in a different outfit-- her dress from Bloomingdale's (thanks Jessie). We're going to a different portrait studio to get those done. Cate was such a champ today, we got her an early birthday present-- a cell phone. No, not a real one. She loves playing/chewing/drooling/connecting to the internet with our phones, that we've been looking for a good "fake" phone for her. As we went into Pottery Barn Kids today to get a new rug and shower curtain for our bathroom, we found a very good looking fake Razr phone. Cate clearly can't tell the difference as she treated it just like she treats ours.
The buttons make noise, the thinness is about the same as a real one, and the screen has a little holograph thing on it that changes depending on how you tilt it. It's kept her entertained all afternoon!

Happy almost first birthday my darling one!
~Melody :-)

PS...Did you notice the new shoes in her pictures? Cate went to Stride Rite this week and got her first pair of real shoes (meaning she was measured for them). She's barely a size 3. Looks like she's inheriting her mommy's small feet since the saleslady told us that a 3 is typical for a 6-9 month old.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

One More Day

Today I ended up getting ONE MORE DAY off. Last night I went to bed thinking that we were on a 2 hour delay, but I guess the roads just weren't clear enough and at 5:40 this morning I got "the call" saying that school was once again canceled. I love that when I do go back tomorrow (because I'm pretty sure I will), I'll only have one more day of work before the weekend.

Last night our cabin fever was so bad, we went to the little bar/grill/cafe up the street with our neighbors for awhile. Eric had work today, so Cate and I were once again stuck at home. We played a lot on the floor this morning and then ventured out to the Children's Museum after lunch. The roads weren't that bad (but I did grow up learning to drive in NE Ohio, in the snowbelt), and we had the museum pretty much to ourselves. I took a couple of pictures on my phone. They're not the greatest, but I like to travel light when it's just Cate and I heading out somewhere.
And speaking of just having one more day...after one more night (tonight), Cate will be officially weaned. I've only been nursing her at night for the last couple of weeks. Since I'm going out of town overnight next week, I decided this weekend was a perfect time to drop that last feeding. I really don't want to take my pump with me. Cate's been doing great with the thawed breastmilk in the morning and then organic whole milk at lunch and dinner. We'll continue to give her thawed breastmilk at night until our last few bags run out...I'd estimate we have about 20 left. I've been blessed to be able to feed her this long, but am ready to be really, really done.

~Melody :-)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Winter Wonderland

It is day 2 of being snowed in. We've both been off of work the last two days, so it has been nice to have some family time. I looked through the pictures on our computer, and the last time Eric had off work for snow was when I was on maternity leave and Cate looked like this:
Since she loved the snow so much yesterday, we decided to bundle her up again...
...and take her out into the backyard:
The layer of ice makes everything look particularly beautiful and sparkly. Cate sat in the snow, laughing at Zoey for a little while...
...before attempting to crawl in it.
She even got a few mouthfuls of snow (nothing yellow, I promise we were far away from that).

The sun is now shining and the worst of it looks to be over. It's going to be a mess to clean up, but I'm pretty sure I'll be back at work tomorrow (maybe with a delay if I'm lucky).

~Melody :-)

PS...And as a reminder of how fast time flies-- a year ago today I was officially one day past my due date and not very happy about it. You can't rush perfection though.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snow Day!

I got my wish...no school today. I woke up this morning and still hadn't received "the call," but after checking outside and seeing the inches of snow piled on top of everything and an unplowed street, I knew there was no way we could have school today. A few minutes of watching the morning news quickly confirmed this and it was back to bed (I didn't get my official call until 7:30).

The streets are gross, so we haven't done much today other than hang out at home. We took Cate out in the snow for a little bit. Her snow suit is a little big, but kept her nice and warm.
Our neighbors were sledding down their driveway, so they had fun taking Zoey (our dog) and Cate down the hill.
There they go.
Eric ended up being off of work too since the roads were so bad. We're supposed to get more ice and snow tonight, but I'm not getting my hopes up. This day was nice and I don't want to be too greedy.

~Melody :-)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Not Me Monday

It's that time of the week again. Time to shamelessly confess all of those things you really did NOT do over the last week. All started by a woman who calls herself MckMama (you can read lots of hilarious Not Me's over on her site).
Last week I did NOT cry tears of joy when my husband came home from staffing the marathon in Phoenix because I missed him so so much.
I am NOT still driving a rental car because our car is still NOT done. And because the reason we do NOT have our car back yet is the fault of the insurance company (for failing to communicate with the body shop), I did NOT get on the phone and raise you-know-what with a few people to extend our maxed out rental car policy. They listened though and I really did thank them sincerely for extending a little grace our way.
I did NOT get all excited for the first episode of LOST last week. I did NOT put Cate to bed early in order to watch it. And I did NOT feel slightly confused by what is now going on. Luckily my husband was there to explain it to me.
I did NOT spend my first night away from Cate on Saturday so that Eric and I could enjoy our date night. I did NOT eat way too much at Bella Luna. I most certainly did NOT make a big deal to my students that I was going to see GREASE that night, in which the role of Jan is executed perfectly by my high school friend, Bridie. And I did NOT actually wait in line for 10 minutes later that night, waiting for a bouncer at Bootsy's to let us in. And it was so NOT worth the wait to get up there and sit on a purple couch, sipping a drink, watching people and the end of the Cavs game. I did NOT miss my little munchkin so much though that I got up early so we could go get her.
And while holding a 2-month old at a baby shower I co-hosted this weekend with my friend Laura, I did NOT have about a 2 minute itch to have another baby (seriously though, we're waiting until Cate turns two before we seriously begin contemplating baby #2).
And I will NOT turn my pajamas inside out tonight in hopes that the winter weather that the weatherman keeps talking about will head my way and I will NOT have school tomorrow.
Feel free to play along.
~Melody :-)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Date Night

So, Melody and I got to enjoy a night out last night without our little princess. She stayed with her grandmother, and we decided to make the best of it. We started off with dinner at Bella Luna on Eastern Ave. (Highly recommend it if you've never been) We had a flight of Italian white wines (as shown) and started off with asparagus wrapped in prosciuto. Then we moved on to baked Ziti al Forno and Shrimp Scampi, with coffee and bread pudding for dessert. One of the best Italian meals we have shared yet.

Then we headed to the Aranoff to see Grease. Melody went to High School with one of the cast members. Bridie Carroll played the part of Jan and had a couple of solo songs. She did an excellent job as did the rest of the cast (even Taylor Hicks who played the Teen Angel). We got to meet her at the end of the show.

Later, we decided to head over to Bootsy's (a new club and restaurant by Bootsy Collins and Jeff Ruby's). After hearing of my best friend getting denied access to the club because of his attire (mind you, he is from the land of such clubs, LA) we decided to give it a try. After waiting for 10 minutes we got in. In the morning, we had doughnuts and then went to pick up the little Cate monster, who had had a great time at her grandma's house. It was a gret night out. Here's to the married life. :)

- Papa E

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Another Cyclist in the Family

When I was about 7 or so months pregnant with Cate, Eric went to Tucson, Arizona to staff his first century ride for Team in Training. We knew we were having a girl by that point, so he brought back the smallest baby bike outfit in pink that he could find. Since he is staffing the Fletcher Flyer (the ride I'll be doing in June), he came up to the workout this morning to introduce himself to everyone (which he couldn't do last week because he was staffing the marathon in Phoenix). We decided to see if Cate's cycle outfit fit so that she could wear it to the workout and to meet everyone too. It fit and it was a hit!

I guess we should start saving now for a road bike of her own. :-)

~Melody :-)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

At the Library

Cate and I spent a lot of time at the library this summer. We'd walk up with Zoey, leave Zoey tied up on her leash outside, run in to pick up a book or two and maybe a CD or a movie, and then walk home. We'd repeat the process at least once a week. Cate was a little too little to really appreciate the library over the summer though.

With the school year in full swing, I haven't had quite as much time to read. And the weather hasn't exactly been ideal lately for walking to the library. I had to return a couple of DVDs today and pick up a CD that I'd been waiting to come in. Instead of waiting until Eric got home and running up on my own, I decided to stop in on the way home and see if Cate was ready to explore the children's area.
She found a book and a toy right away, but ultimately the book captured her attention.
And she got right down to the business of reading.
That's my girl!

~Melody :-)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Check Out Our New Duds

These are the shirts that Eric brought us back from Phoenix. You can't see it that well in the picture, but mine says "Marathon Mom" and Cate's says "We Run." They're adorable! Daddy has good taste.
And Cate's first birthday shirt is done too. I custom ordered it from Olive and Ollie on Etsy (she sells her stuff at the Beehive Co-Op locally too, which is where I first saw her cute kids' clothes). The shirt pictured below is Cate's that the woman who made her shirt sent to me.
I think she will look adorable come party day! Eric and I both took Cate's birthday off to spend with her since it's on a Thursday. So we'll let her wear her new shirt out (not quite sure what we're doing yet), wash it, and let her wear it for her party on that Saturday as well.

I'm still in denial about her turning one.

~Melody :-)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Not Me Monday

Once again, welcome to Not Me Monday. I realize my life isn't all that interesting...even these things I would never admit to doing...and if you want to read even more not me's, you can check them out at My Charming Kids (linked on the blog list at right).

If you read my Morning Adventures Post from Friday, you already know about some things I did NOT do (like I did NOT wake my baby up and I did NOT drive her to the sitter only to find out I did NOT have school).

And since Eric was out staffing a marathon in Arizona, I did NOT invite my sister down for a girls' weekend. She's the one Cate is named after. And we did NOT have a super fun time eating mint chocolate chip ice cream. We also did NOT rent The House Bunny and I did NOT end up finding it to be much better than I had originally expected.

Cate and I did NOT visit the Children's Museum twice in 48 hours (Friday late afternoon and Sunday early afternoon). And she did NOT show Aunt Catherine what it's all about.
And I'm most certainly NOT writing this post when I should be in bed because I did NOT only get 3 hours of sleep last night. I mean, Cate, my perfect angel sleeper baby, did NOT decide to get up for about 3 hours in the middle of the night because she wanted to just be held and to play with the remote (batteries removed) while I rocked her in the glider in the bedroom. And after rocking her in the glider in the bedroom, I did NOT have to rock her in the rocking chair in her room because she did NOT wake back up when I tried to sneak her into bed the first time.

And I did NOT just about cry when I saw my handsome hubby at the airport tonight because I missed him so much (I would make a horrible military wife). And he did NOT bring home the cutest shirts for both Cate and I (mine says Marathon Mom; Cate's has a baby in a baby jogger and says "We Run").

And now that I am done, I am NOT going to bed even though it is insanely early.

Nope, NOT me.

~Melody :-)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My New Exciting Endeavor...

...is training to ride my bike 100 miles while raising money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in honor of my honored teammate, Liz. Liz is a student on my team this year. I don't have her in class, but I had her brother a couple of years ago and her sister when I was a student teacher. The ride is in Ashville, North Carolina the weekend after school lets out in June. Some of you already knew I was doing the ride, but I wanted to make sure it was okay with Liz and her family before I posted that she would be my honored teammate. I'm so excited to ride for her and to raise money to help find a cure. My goal is to raise $2400, and I'm just under halfway there.

You can read more about Liz by clicking here (http://glittergirlliz.blogspot.com).

And you can follow my progress by clicking here (http://pages.teamintraining.org/soh/fletchr09/mriggstebp). You can also donate if you'd like...no amount is too small.

My first workout was today and man is my rear-end sore. We rode indoors with our bikes on trainers to make them into spinning bikes. I was going to tape my sign to my bike, but it was too big. So I just took a picture of it. "This ride is for Liz."

Sorry no pictures of Cate today. My sister is in town visiting this weekend, so we'll try to take some tomorrow of Cate and her Aunt Catherine tomorrow.

~Melody :-)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Morning Adventure

My husband is an amazing man who every day waits for Cate to wake herself up, feeds her, plays with her, gets her dressed, and takes her to the sitter when they're through with their little morning bonding time. Today Eric had to leave even earlier than I did. Today was the one morning that I knew I was going to have to wake Cate up to take her to the sitter so that I could be at work on time. Today was the coldest day of the year.

All day yesterday there was talk of a delay for this morning. In fact, for the last two weeks, I've been praying and hoping for at least a delay so that I wouldn't have to drag my little munchkin out of bed so early. I normally don't get my hopes up, but the predicted cold I thought we'd for sure have a delay this morning. Kids can't stand out at the bus stop in those temperatures. Much to my disappointment, I didn't get a phone call. No delay.

I woke Cate up, changed her diaper, put her in the car that had been warming up for at least 20 minutes, and headed off to the sitter. As I pulled into her driveway, Eric called me and said "so you have the day off I hear," (one of his coworkers lives in the district where I teach). I told him I hadn't received a phone call or seen it on TV, but was at the sitter's and would check there.

The sitter greeted me with a "you guys are closed today." Sure enough, we were on her TV. I called another teacher to see if it was real. She got her official phone call as we were talking. So Cate and I headed back home where my official phone call was waiting on my answering machine. Of course Cate didn't want to go back to bed, so we played and hung out. I was disappointed to learn that the reason we were off was not the cold weather, but vandalism at our bus garage. Seriously? Who does that? I'm not complaining about the day off, but I don't want one because of someone's idea of a joke.

Anyway, we spent most of the morning at home, went to Children's Hospital to have Cate's lead test done (our pediatrician has every patient that lives in an older home tested--in all her years of practicing she's only had to treat one case of lead). We'll have results in a few weeks when we take Cate in for her checkup (unless something concerning shows up before then). After her short afternoon nap, we headed to the Children's Museum with my grandmother who had never been there before. We ended up back at my grandma's this evening where we ordered pizza for dinner. Cate had it all over her, so a bath was necessary before bedtime. She barely fits in the tub with all of her cool bath toys. Tomorrow is the start of something new and exciting for me. I won't give any details now since this post is long enough already. But if you want a hint, check out the "Liz Lothrop Update" in my blog list at right. She's a student on my team this year.

~Melody :-)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

First the Vacuum....

...now the dishwasher. Man, I hope she is still this interested in chores when she's older. At least I have the pictures to prove how helpful she was as a baby.

And yes, your eyes are not fooling you. That is a small, portable dishwasher. Our house did not come with a dishwasher, and as a family of two it really wasn't a big deal to hand wash our dishes. But when we knew Cate was on the way, the thought of hand washing all of those bottle pieces and pump parts and little spoons and little bowls was way too much to think about. Seeing as Cate was already baking, we opted to go this route rather than rip up our kitchen mid-pregnancy. We ended up getting the thing for free anyway (a long story for another day), even though it was brand new. It does the job well for our family of three. But a kitchen remodel (or bigger house) are in order before we expand our family again. :-)


Monday, January 12, 2009

Make You Laugh Monday

In addition to Not Me Monday, I decided to add Make You Laugh Monday to today's postings as a special treat. Cate enjoys rolling her O-Ball (one of her favorite toys since she was about 4 months old) through the tunnel we inherited from a friend of mine. Today we figured out that the small O-Ball fits through the porthole of the tunnel, which is apparently very funny if you're an 11 month old.

~Melody :-)

Not Me Monday

I did NOT go back to work last week after a wonderful (albeit rough-at-the-beginning-due-to-illness) two week break. And I most certainly did NOT find myself crashing at 8:45 one night last week because I was definitely NOT that tired. And I did NOT crash around the same time last night either. NOT me!

I did NOT pretty much wean Cate last week (we're down to nursing before bed and NO pumping). I am NOT in denial about the fact that she's become adept at the sippy-cup and pulling up all in the last few days which means that she really is growing up. And I did NOT get so excited about her being weaned that I went for a run just to see if I could without my chest hurting. And upon finding that it no longer hurts to run, I did NOT proceed to run 3 miles (I mean, I am the girl that pretty much hated running her whole life).
And of course I would NEVER take a picture of Cate just because I thought her outfit was cute! Okay. Okay. The baby makes it much cuter.

I did NOT get suckered into The Bachelor this week. I haven't watched that show since Trista and Ryan, but it was on while nursing Cate (including a re-run on Saturday night) and I watched it both times-- even after I put Cate to bed, just to see who he picked. I don't know that I will watch anymore though...the girls are always annoying.

And I have NOT been singing "Lovely, Love My Family" by The Roots all weekend because it seems to be on every time I turn to the kids' station on the satellite radio in our rental car (I've heard it's the theme to a kids' show called Yo Gabba Gabba which I have never seen since we don't let Cate watch much TV). In fact, it was NOT so stuck in my head that I did NOT get on iTunes and just download it (the best way to get a song out of your head is to keep listening to it, right?). And I am still NOT ticked that we have to have the rental car one more week, which will make 1 MONTH since we've had our car! But it is what it is.
Finally, I did NOT lift Cate out of the shopping cart at Michael's this weekend only to realize that she was still strapped in to the shopping cart cover. Since the cover came with her and her feet were now all tangled in the cover, I did NOT walk all the way to the car with her still belted in to the cover figuring that I would just resolve it when I went to put her in her carseat.

I think that's it for this week. Feel free to play along on your own blog or in the comments section.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

I Never Cease to Be Amazed...

...at how much Cate's teeth make her seem more like a kid than a baby. Everyone always tells you that the first year flies by...they aren't kidding.

~Melody :-)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cate vs. the Vacuum

Cate loves the vacuum. Anytime either one of us gets it out, she crawls right over to it and squeals with delight. I apologize that it's a little shaky...it's hard to vacuum your carpet and keep the video camera trained on an 11 month old. I only hope that her enthusiasm for the vacuum continues well into teenager-hood when she has to clean her own room.
~Melody :-)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Plotting Their Escape...

...or waiting for Daddy to come home?
Answer: Waiting for Daddy to come home. Zoey always hears Eric's car pull into the driveway when he gets home from work and goes running towards the back door where she proceeds to whimper, bark, and get paw and nose prints all over our back storm door. Cate has been following after her lately, and yesterday she just pulled herself right up. Eric says it's the best greeting he's ever received...and it's now becoming pretty much a daily thing.

~Melody :-)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Not Me Monday!

This is quickly becoming one of my favorite things about Mondays. Last week was my last week at home on Christmas break. And I certainly did NOT start weaning Cate. She certainly has NOT taken to the sippy cup after a few days of being a skeptic. And you know, I did NOT enjoy having a full 30 minute lunch at work for the first time since I went back last April. NOT me.

Last week I also did NOT find myself crying at The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (I recommend it...I really liked it).

I did NOT have a little wreck in the jogging stroller last week (we bent a piece, but we're both okay). In fact, I'm the only one with a bruise and a scrape on my shin).

I did NOT honk a bike-type horn at Cate last week while we were in a store which I thought she'd laugh at but she ended up screaming she was so scared. I mean, I would NEVER do something like that. And Eric and I did NOT keep cracking up about it afterwards.

I am NOT mad that I am still driving a rental car (but the good news is that our car will hopefully be ready by late next week).

I did NOT allow my daughter to eat unhealthy, but yummy, chocolate cake today that we took to my grandmother to celebrate her birthday. And speaking of birthdays, I did NOT spend Saturday evening getting her 1st birthday party invitations ready to go (it's only family, but I still wanted to send out cute, fun invites).
And this little girl just canNOT be 11 months old today!
Come play along with us! It's fun!

~Melody :-)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Back to Work We Go!

One of the best things about being a teacher-- and I'm sure I've said this elsewhere on this blog-- is that I get be a stay-at-home mom during parts of the year too. There are times at my job when I wish I just stayed home with Cate and I start to think about resigning. But then there are times when I've been home with Cate for an extended amount of time and I realize that I'm actually ready to go back to work. The bottom line: I love teaching and I love being a mom. I'm thankful that I'm able to do both. Since Cate doesn't go to our sitter until 9ish in the morning and I pick her up between 3 and 3:30, I figure I'm not missing too much. She plays, eats lunch, naps, and then comes home ready to play with me.

And once she's in school full time anyway...oh wait, I'm not ready to think about her growing up that fast. In the last 24 hours she's gotten a lot better at the sippy cup (she doesn't cry for her bottle and will take about half of what's in the cup now) and we turned her carseat forwards (I know you're not technically supposed to do this until they're a year old, BUT Cate is tall for her age and her knees were bending up a lot when she was rear facing because her feet could touch the back of the regular seat...I just didn't think she was safe that way and when she kicked she really moved her seat no matter how tight we had it latched in).

The last two weeks have been great. Eric has worked very few days so we've managed to fit in a lot of fun family of three time-- especially at the Children's Museum (man that pass was a great gift). On our second trip this week we explored the water table. Cate soaked both of us while Daddy took our picture.
We spent this weekend with my parents, who came down for a quick visit. Cate wore one of her new dresses from Nana to church this morning.
Look at that goofy grin. :-) My favorite part of the ensemble were her tights...specifically the rear-end of her tights:
And now the time has come for both of us to return to work. I'm getting ready to teach some of my favorite units, so hopefully the time until spring break (my next extended time off) will go by quickly.

~Melody :-)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Welcome to the World Baby Aubree

My cousin Melissa gave birth to a beautiful baby girl early yesterday morning. She was originally due December 27th. I know how it feels to watch one month turn into another, but I can't even imagine what it was like for Melissa to watch 2008 turn into 2009 (and just miss that tax deduction ;-) ). Anyway, she was born at 3:16am on January 2nd, weighing in at 8 pounds even and 20.5 inches long. And she's a cutie!
~Melody :-)


For as much as I've complained about giving up most of my lunch to pump, not being able to run while nursing, soreness, Cate biting, and mastitis (which reared its very ugly head for the last time this fall), I am thankful that I've been able to nurse Cate this long. When the pediatrician and lactation consultant both told me this time last year (when Cate was still a month away) that nursing for a year was optimal, I thought they were completely crazy. But Cate was a great little eater from birth and each little hurdle seemed to challenge and encourage me more rather than make me want to quit.

This week we began weaning Cate. She HATES sippy cups (we're on cup type #4 now...the Nuby sippy cup...this after the AVENT Magic Trainer, a Gerber sippy cup, and some from The First Years). Cate takes about an ounce and then decides she's done with the cup-- throwing it on the floor or turning it upside down to shake. Eventually we give in and transfer the milk to a bottle because she needs the milk. Tonight at dinner, we stopped doing that and only gave her the cup. She took more with the Nuby than with the others, but didn't even finish a quarter of the cup. Then she started crying and pulling at me. It hurt to deny what I knew she really wanted- to nurse. But I've got to stay strong. I did NOT like that this morning as she crawled around the bedroom while I got dressed she looked up at me and started smacking her lips...not cool. That means it's really time to wean.

So we're going to keep going with the cup and not transferring it to a bottle...she'll catch on. And for now she can only nurse at night before bed (we're not quite ready for the trauma of giving that one up and it's the one I mind least because she usually falls asleep). I'm looking forward to having a full half hour to eat my lunch which also means I can once again bring hot food as I'll have time to warm it up. And I'm looking forward to running. :-)

I'll leave you with this picture of the peanut playing under her exersaucer instead of in it.
~Melody :-)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

More New Year Fun

After our pancakes and books morning, we decided to go on a chair hunt to fill up an empty space in our living room and add a little more seating. We found just what we were looking for at Ikea. Cate tried out the chair for us.
But she preferred playing in the box.

Which later on, daddy put her exersaucer in the box and then put Cate in the exersaucer. She loved it and I have to admit that I cracked up when I walked in the door from running errands and saw that.
The box got old after awhile and Cate was content to play with some number magnets on the fridge.
Everything wore her out today and now she's fast asleep...just in time to watch the UC Bearcats (I know neither of us went there, but my dad and uncle did and so did Eric's sister).
~Melody :-)