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

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

She Gets It From Her Mommy

Yesterday was my birthday. Since Eric had to work a Team in Training kickoff, my grandmother offered to make me dinner and a Boston Cream Pie (one of my favorites). Of course I wasn't going to turn that offer down. I let Cate have a sliver of pie and apparently it's a dessert she likes too. Then again, on a normal day, she doesn't have a lot of sweet stuff, with bananas, graham crackers, and raisins being about the sweetest things she eats. I think she gets her sweet tooth from her mommy.

While it stunk to not have Eric to spend my birthday with, Cate and my grandmother were great company. Before we left for my grandma's house, Cate played in her swing on the front porch while I blew bubbles. She cracked up every time a bubble was close enough to pop. We iChatted with my mom and sister for a bit and even got Cate to take a couple of steps on her own. The rain let up long enough to take a walk after dinner with my grandmother and again with our dog, Zoey, when we got home. And Cate went to bed like a champ. Actually, for the last week or so now, she has not wanted to be rocked to sleep. She takes her bath, eats her snack, drinks some milk while we read to her, we pray with her, and then set her in her crib. If she cries, it doesn't last longer than 30 seconds, but she usually just rolls over and coos herself to sleep. I'm glad she's independent, but I kind of miss the snuggly, rocking time we used to enjoy.

After she went to bed, I got to enjoy one of my birthday presents from Eric: a subscription to Seeing the Everyday magazine. This magazine is choc-full of great writing and photography, but the best part is that it is completely advertisement free! I don't think my husband, who has celebrated my last seven birthdays with me, has ever given me a gift I didn't love. Accompanying my new magazine subscription were a pair of beautiful pearl earrings (perfect for summer) and a cute summery purse from a woman whose designs on Etsy I simply love.

And to top it all off, when Eric did arrive home, we stayed up late (way too late for me on a school night, but oh well), enjoying our new Wii Fit. The Wii Fit does an analysis of your body using your weight (the balance board can weigh you), a balance analysis, and a couple of other things to determine your Wii Fit age vs. your actual age. So on my 27th birthday, my Wii-Fit let me know I was in pretty good shape for my age, with a Wii Fit age of 29. Not bad. What is bad is my balance...I am HORRIBLE at the balance games. I have to say though that the "games" on the Wii Fit really do give you a workout. I was a little sweaty by the time we were done playing and headed to bed. And since my grandmother sent me home with the leftover Boston Cream Pie, I'll need the extra workouts. :-) Or maybe I'll just let her eat it all:
~Melody :-)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Not Me Monday

Confession time:

With the summery weather this weekend, I did NOT decide to put Cate in sunsuits and/or shorts all weekend in the hopes that her knees would scrape the concrete crawling and she'd be more inspired to walk. It didn't work. She bear-crawled instead. She has NOT really walked on her own since last weekend. Okay, okay, she took two steps at King Arthur's Toys, but that was it.
Eric did NOT teach Cate the sound a pirate makes (ARRRRRRGH). Cate does NOT make it on demand when you ask her how a pirate goes. While most toddlers her age are learning the sounds that dogs, cats, and cows make, my child does NOT know monkey, elephant, and pirate.

I did NOT find a bird's nest in the hanging basket on my front porch. Upon finding the nest, I did NOT breathe a sigh of relief because I was so scared that the reason my plant looked weird was because I was killing it (I missed the green thumb gene).
And speaking of porches, while visiting with our neighbors on their front porch (we like to hang out on front porches 'round these parts), Cate did NOT help herself to the block of cheese they were enjoying with their wine. I mean, surely a good mother would have noticed her picking up the large block of cheddar and taking a big ol' bite.

Before we got our porch swing, we had adirondack chairs on our porch. They are now back by the fire pit. Cate did NOT look like the cutest baby ever, playing in one of the chairs, in her adorable Polo dress (a shower gift from a coworker who recognized Cate would need clothes beyond 6 months...not that I minded the abundance of infant clothes though).
And I did NOT buy a Wii Fit on impulse at Target tonight. That goes against everything Dave Ramsey taught us (sort of). Don't worry, we really did have the extra money in our budget, so we really can enjoy our purchase instead of feeling buyer's wii-morse.

Your turn. I don't know if any will be posted over at MckMama's blog (things are looking up over there for the first time in weeks), but it's still fun to play.

~Melody :-)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Dance, Dance

With parents that love music as much as we do, it's no surprise that Cate enjoys music too. Lately she's been on an "Old MacDonald" kick. We sing it to her a lot and she says "E-I-E-I" (no "O"). She also loves the Ella Fitzgerald version (which mom and dad don't mind). In fact, if you're looking for a good kids' CD, Ella Fitzgerald has a whole kid-friendly jazz CD called Miss Ella's Playhouse, which is available for checkout through the Cincinnati library.

Anyway, here is a video of Cate dancing to another one of her favorite songs, "Family," by Jack Johnson and Zach Gill.

And since we're on the subject of music, might I also suggest the following kid (and parent) friendly downloads from iTunes:
"There, Their, They're" by Astrograss
"Too Much Coffee" by Danielle Sansone
"Lovely, Love My Family" by The Roots
"The Books I Like to Read" by Frances England
"Silly Reflection" by Lunch Money
"Jump Up (It's a Good Day)" by Brady Rymer and the Little Band that Could

Happy downloading!
~Melody :-)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Welcome Spring Summer

Yes, it was warm enough for this today.

~Melody :-)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Welcome Back Spring

The spring weather has come back...in fact, it's quite summery. Tomorrow is supposed to be in the low 80s (and Saturday and Sunday). Eric had time to steal a quick kiss before heading off to do an information meeting for Team in Training up in Xenia.
Cate and I spent some time playing outside with this toy that we inherited from a friend whose daughter has outgrown it (along with 4 bags of clothes...Cate is set for summer).
She enjoyed being off of the little bike and pushing it more than she enjoyed being on it. We'll make a cyclist out of her yet. This is just the beginning.
Later we went and had dinner with my friend, Emily, who just moved back after living in London for almost 3 years. After dinner, we walked around beautiful Eden Park where the fountain was turned on in celebration of the warm weather.
Cate walked part way around the fountain, but wouldn't let go. She has not taken any steps on her own since Sunday.
Emily brought her this cute hoodie from Europe too. I think it makes Cate quite stylish. It says "Italia" across the front.
I'm so ready for the warm weather to begin and excited that we'll actually need some sunscreen this weekend. Hopefully being out in the fresh air will motivate Cate to walk some more.

~Melody :-)

Monday, April 20, 2009

MckMama is still on Not Me Monday hiatus due to impending surgery on her son's heart. But in the spirit of laughter being healing, a lot of us who play along are continuing on.

And now for all of those things I would never do because I am a perfect mother must shamelessly confess to doing.

This week I did NOT squeeze Cate's large cranium into a hat because it matched her outfit for church. I would never put my child through that kind of torture just for a picture. Yes, we did take it off after about 5 minutes and no, there were NOT already imprints on her forehead where the hat squeezed too tightly.
I did NOT let Cate crawl around on the floor of a store.
And I did NOT model in a fashion show as part of a fundraiser for that show.
That is NOT one of my male cycle coaches in the picture above on the left modeling women's clothing. I would never hang out with someone like that. And I did NOT so love the brown dress I'm modeling (cyclist sunburn and all), that I did NOT buy it that very evening. I would never be so impulsive.

And I did NOT attempt to capture the way the sun was setting to the right of our house, but the storm clouds to the left made for eerie sunlight/shadow play. My picture does NOT do justice to the incredible beauty I witnessed tonight (being serious now). I did NOT wish for a small moment to be a professional photographer so I would better know how to capture moments like this.
Feel free to play along and shamelessly admit with me in the comments section or on your own blog. :-)

~Melody :-)

PS...Oh yeah, Cate did NOT take several steps yesterday (three in a row is the record) and then REFUSE to walk at all today. Slow and steady I guess.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Those First Few Steps

Yup, Cate took 'em today. She's still not sure about the whole walking thing, but by the end of the week or so, we may have a real walker on our hands. I was so glad she did this today, when we were both home. Although my philosophy has always been that "the first time we see something is the first time she does it." I think that philosophy helped me get through the whole thought that she might do this whole walking thing at the sitter's or when she's away from us. I guess we don't have to worry about that one now. Here's a video of a couple of steps, taken from my cell phone. I'm sure there will be more videos to come.

~Melody :-)

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Sun Will Come Out...

...today...and yesterday! Finally, some good weather on my spring break! Too bad it's pretty much over. But on the bright side, there's only about six more weeks of school left. When the sun did this yesterday:
We headed here, where mommy had coffee and split a waffle with Cate:
Next up was the park, for a bit.
Then Cate came home to play with Daddy, while I went to see one of my friends from school who just had an adorable little boy, Carter, three weeks ago.
We ended last night south of Dayton. Eric had to do a Team in Training information meeting, so Cate and I accompanied him. We grabbed a quick bite to eat at McDonald's, walked around while Eric did the meeting, and had a pleasant drive home in the sunset. Here's Cate waiting for Daddy to finish up.
Today was also pretty busy. We took my grandma to see her sister in Northern Kentucky this morning.
After she filled us up with lunch and ice cream, we headed back across the river to rest for a bit before we headed to the zoo. We met up with my friend, Laura, and her daughter, Tessa. Tessa and Cate were due the same weekend, but ended up being born three weeks apart since Tessa was early and Miss Cate was late. They kind of "played" together at the zoo. Cate touched a goat too, but I didn't get a picture.
I did get more zoo blooms pictures though.
Tomorrow I'm biking 55 miles. I haven't been to a training ride in three weeks because of the baby shower, Cate's sickness, and then my own illness last weekend. I'm really looking forward to it.

I'm sad to see spring break go, but I know summer vacation is just around the corner.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Baby in Bloom

The rain let up long enough today for us to take a quick trip to the zoo (thank goodness we only live about 10 minutes away). The flowers were blooming all over the place, so of course I had to get Cate out of the stroller to take a few pictures.
And then I played around a little with my zoom lens.

~Melody :-)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Not Me Monday

After a hiatus last week, we now return to our regularly scheduled programming (although the Not Me Monday fun is still on hiatus at it's creator's blog: www.mycharmingkids.net). Keep praying for their son.

I'll keep this one short since most of you already know how last week was for us (with the whole dehydration and such).

My spring break has NOT been off to a rough and rainy start. I did NOT catch a little bit of the bug Cate previously suffered through. Or maybe it was NOT just exhaustion and worry catching up to me. And I did NOT try to do too much yesterday when I was feeling better that I ended up feeling like poo again last night. This did NOT force me to cancel plans with a friend from college and I am NOT totally bummed about that. :-( On the bright side, she's moving back to Ohio in two months, so I'll get to her then.

I did NOT get bored trying to think of things to do inside with Cate on this rainy day. The Children's Museum is NOT out right now thanks to the stomach bug germ floating around. We will NOT be staying away from that place for a couple of more weeks. I did NOT have to keep reminding myself that in the not too distant future, Cate will NOT want to hang out with her mom all of spring break and so I should really just enjoy this. We did NOT take every book off of her shelf, flip through pages, and then do it all again. I did NOT take advantage of the only break in the rain to walk up to the library to get a book.

And while I may sound like I'm complaining, I'm really NOT. I really am grateful that I got to hang out with Miss Cate all day and I really do think a day indoors, playing quietly and just spending time together was just what I needed to kick this last lingering bit of the bug.


PS...I know it's a bit blurry, but she was moving and I did NOT want to turn on my flash because I have NOT fallen in love with the natural light look.

PPS....The rest of spring break looks promising. It looks like we'll get to hit the zoo later this week. :-)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Friday's showers brought out today's flowers...
This is the first Easter Sunday in a long time that I have not gone to church. All of the events of Cate's sickness and ER trips last week finally caught up to me on Friday evening. Call it exhaustion, call it a touch of what Cate had (minus the throwing up), call it whatever you want, but I felt horrible. I slept most of the day Saturday until my parents came over to help move in Daddy's new toy (which Cate also loves).
We got it free from a woman my grandmother works with. Of course Eric is thrilled to have a real piano in the house now.

Saturday night we headed over to my grandmother's for Easter dinner and to meet my cousin Melissa's little girl, Aubree, who was born in January. Melissa, her boyfriend, and baby Aubree were in visiting from Wisconsin. Cate was fascinated by Aubree.
And by the goodies in her Easter basket from Nana.
As soon as I took a few bites of dinner, I knew that I wasn't back to my normal self yet. We ended up leaving early and I spent another evening on the living room floor, watching TV and praying to feel better. Somewhere around the end of Saturday Night Live, I crawled into bed and slept soundly until I woke up this morning...hungry and feeling much better. We took a look at what the Easter Bunny brought Cate.
I still wasn't feeling up to going to church though, so while I continued to sleep a little more, Eric and Cate walked down to the grocery store to get some diapers, which we ran out of this morning (usually I notice when we're low and go to stock up, but having been a little out of it, I didn't get the chance to catch up).

This afternoon I'm feeling much, much, much better. I've always been a bit of a worrier, so I'm not really surprised that the lack of sleep all week because I was worried about Cate finally caught up with me. Even though it's a little chilly right now, the heat is off and the windows are open as fresh air always does a body good. I'm looking forward to enjoying the rest of my spring break which will be spent visiting with friends and getting caught up with some school work and some house work as I head into the final weeks before summer vacation.

Alleluia! He is risen! Happy Easter!
~Melody :-)

Friday, April 10, 2009

First Day of Spring Break

Today is my first day of spring break. And it looks like this outside:
So instead of going to the zoo with my dad like we planned, it looks like Miss Cate and I will be hanging out at home and running a few errands.

Here's a picture of Cate from last night. She's doing much better. In fact, today she has even more color in her face than she did last night.
Hopefully we'll get a few sunny days in over break. The zoo and the park are calling us.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

For the Birds

Cate has become addicted to watching this short little film by Pixar, "For the Birds." At some point in time we downloaded it onto our iTunes and she cracks up at it. If you click on the title above, it should take you to the YouTube site where you can watch the film. If not, go to YouTube and search for Pixar's "For The Birds."

And speaking of birds, after reading a funny cartoon on my mom's friend's blog, I was reminded of this passage from one of my favorite books, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.

"My son Sam, at three and a half, had these keys to a set of plastic handcuffs, and one morning he intentionally locked himself out of the house. I was sitting on the couch reading the newspaper when I heard him stick his plastic keys into the doorknob and try to open the door. then I heard him say, "oh s***." my face widened, like the guy in Edvard Munch's scream. After a moment I got up and opened the door.

"Honey," I said, "what did you just say?"

"I said, 'Oh s***,'" he said.

"But honey, that's a naughty word. Both of us have absolutely got to stop using it. Okay?"

He hung his head for a moment, nodded, and said, "Okay, Mom." then he leaned forward and said confidentially, "but I'll tell you why I said 's***.'" I said Okay, and he said, "Because of the f****** keys!"

I still crack up over that one.

In other news, Cate is feeling much better. We went for a follow up with her pediatrician yesterday who said Cate looked 100 times better. Apparently our pediatrician grilled the doctors at Children's to make sure Cate was getting the best care. The pediatrician also confessed that she almost, ALMOST, called the squad to come and get Cate on Monday. Thankfully, Cate wasn't quite that bad. But still...

I'm officially on spring break as of 2:35 this afternoon...I'll be sure to post pictures of a much healthier looking Cate all week.

~Melody :-)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Night in the Hospital

It's never a good thing when your sitter calls you...several times...while you're at work...because your baby is acting like "she's on drugs" and her "lips are blue" and she hasn't really "woken up." Of course I left work as soon as I could get someone to cover my classes and headed down to get her, making an appointment with the pediatrician and picking up my grandmother (I couldn't get a hold of Eric as he was working the Team in Training booth at Opening Day) on the way.

Our pediatrician took a look at her, told me it was dehydration and sent me immediately to Children's Hospital. She called the ER as we were leaving to let them know we were coming in and that Cate would need IV fluids.

The wait in the ER was long, but more tests and x-rays confirmed severe dehydration. They started an IV.
Basically, Cate never got properly rehydrated after being so sick on Friday night/early Saturday morning. Even though her vomiting was under control and she seemed fine....the extended time she spent sleeping (3 hours when we got home from the ER on Saturday, 14 hours Saturday night), meant that she wasn't getting her fluids replenished. She was fussy, but seemed okay on Sunday, so we didn't force fluids when she pushed them away. By Monday, well...she was lethargic, sleepy, not peeing, blue-lipped, and just not "Cate."

The doctors watched her in the ER until about 7:00 last night, when they decided to admit her overnight. I ran home to get some things, take the dog to my grandma's and get some sub plans together. After much poking and prodding, Cate finally fell asleep.
She peed through several diapers throughout the night because of all the IV fluids. Eric and I got as much rest as we could given that we were in recliner/chair-bed things. In the morning, Cate woke up happy (even though she looks grumpy in the picture below), and began to eat graham crackers and drink more Pedialyte.
And yes, that is a teeny, tiny hospital gown that she has on. Mid-morning, they stopped the IV fluids to see how she would do on her own. She seemed to do fine and after a few more wet diapers, some chicken breast and mashed potatoes, we were on our way home.

The doctors believe she's no longer contagious, but the amount of liquid they pumped into her could make for some messy diapers in the next few days.

Spring break is just around the corner for me and I'm looking forward to spending it with a much healthier and happier little peanut. Yesterday was scary and we appreciate everyone's prayers, support, and offers to help. We are officially on the road to recovery.

~Melody :-)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Happy 14 Months Cate

Cate turns 14 months old today. She seems to be in much better spirits, and would probably be even less grumpy if we'd let her eat the foods she loves (cheese, milk, etc.). But we're sticking to the bland diet for one more night, just to be safe.

She did allow me to take a few pictures of her outside. Eric did some great work planting some tulips in our front flower bed. Normally we don't start work on our flower bed until early summer, because we're lazy and aren't so great at yard work. This year we were feeling a little more inspired. I'll be sure to take some pictures when they bloom. I think our next project may be painting our front steps, which are also pictured below ;-)
While at Target, we picked up a small Little People set with two figurines and a sand castle (in case you were wondering what she's holding onto). My brother, sister, and I all loved playing with Little People as kids and Cate is getting to the age where she can start enjoying them. In fact, she's getting some Easter ones in her Easter basket. I went online the other day, and they actually have small Little People sets for each holiday, including a manger scene.
Anyway, we're thankful our peanut is feeling better and that we can start off the week with no illness. I only have 4 days this week and then spring break!!! Finally!!

~Melody :-)

First Trip to the ER

Cate made her first trip to the emergency room early yesterday morning. About an hour after she went to bed on Friday night, we heard the unmistakable sound of her getting sick coming through the monitor. We got her cleaned up and back in bed and didn't have another incident until about 4 hours later.

Of course, Eric had to leave the house yesterday at 3:30 in the morning to set up and run the charity 20-miler (everyone running The Flying Pig Marathon for a charity does their longest training run together). With 600 runners and walkers expected, there was no way he could stay home.

I thought Cate and would be okay. She was sound asleep when he left. And then the fun began. She woke up getting sick again and could not stop. Every 15 minutes I was cleaning up a mess. I broke down and called the pediatrician because I noticed Cate's diapers were bone dry. The pediatrician on call said that with her vomiting spells getting closer together and dry diapers, that she would need to be seen. It was up to me whether I wanted to take her right away to Children's or wait until 8am to bring her into the office. After a couple more rounds of getting sick, I opted for the hospital. Cate was getting really pale and restless.

Thankfully, my mother-in-law didn't mind making a 25 minute drive from her house to accompany us to the ER. There was no way I could've done it on my own, especially since Cate got sick on the way to the hospital.

Once there, the Pedialyte they gave her came right back up, so they moved on to the bigger drugs. A dose of Zofran helped to settle her stomach and helped her keep some Pedialyte down. But then she spiked a 102.4 fever! Tylenol was ordered and then we played the waiting game. Her fever needed to come down and the Pedialyte needed to stay down before we could go home.

An hour or so later, Cate woke up, happy as could be. She waved to all the nurses, color started to return to her face, and she began to babble. We headed home where I gave her a bath, some more Pedialyte, and put her down for a nap. She slept for 3 hours, got up for about 5, during which we were able to get her to eat some applesauce, crackers, and plain pasta, before heading back to bed, exhausted, at 6.

She didn't make a peep until around 8 this morning. And while she is still not herself, she doesn't have a fever anymore and is semi-interested in eating and playing. Mostly though, she just wants to cuddle with mommy and daddy, read books, and watch Baby Einstein DVDs. We are giving her all of the cuddly love we have. Hopefully she'll feel even better tomorrow.

~Melody :-)

PS...Happy 14 months Cate! We'll take your picture later when you've had some more rest.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Photo Shoot in the Backyard

I have officially taken over 1000 pictures on my new camera. It's not too hard to do. Anyway, Cate and I were playing around in the backyard while Eric had a kickoff party for work. I think these turned out pretty good, don't you? They are a little pixel-y/grainy on blogger--especially her shirt, which really is that bright. The real files on my computer are not like this, so I'm not sure what's going on in the transfer.
See, she can stand up by herself (still no walking though).
Playing with the vine.
I love her face in this one (this is up by our bonfire pit).
Check this out, Zoey!

~Melody :-)