Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Missing Milla

Apparently Cate is missing her cousin ...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Night Night: Part 2

The toddler bed seems to be working fine. In fact, Cate put herself down for a nap this afternoon.

We got home from having lunch about 12:30, which is around her usual naptime. A friend had called, so I was talking on the phone when we walked in the door. My plan was to chat a few more minutes and then put Cate to bed.

Meanwhile, Cate had a plan of her own ... She took off her shoes + socks, found her "blankie," crawled into bed, pulled her comforter over her and said "Night night, Mommy." I took my cue, hung up the phone and went in Cate's room to give her a naptime kiss. I even got an unsolicited "Love you, Mommy" out of the deal.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Night Night

Cate was excited about her crib being converted to a toddler bed.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

baseball + bonfire

Cate + I went to our first Murray State baseball game yesterday afternoon. As much as I like sports, college baseball has never been my thing. We went because our new friend Erin was going. Our friend Cate ended up being there too. (As you can see in the picture above, the Cates are enjoying their time together!) The good company and spring-like weather made it a fun afternoon.

Cate made friends with the stranger in front of us and ended up getting a sucker from her.

Pardon the delay on this picture ... We went to a bonfire at Lucas' cabin on Saturday night. Cate's favorite part was definitely "driving" the golf cart. See that hill (and that's only part of it ...) in the background? Yeah, Greg totally drove up and down (!) that. Cate loved every minute and wanted to drive herself!

Thursday's Thought

... is in the details.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

friends + flowers

After our usual morning walk on Friday, Jaclyn + I chatted while our kids played. Luke + Cate liked looking for flowers/pretty weeds. They really enjoyed themselves ...

I asked Luke to put his arm around Cate, so he did ... without standing up! Then I suggested he stand up ...

Then we had a little "Lost" moment ...

It's like Cate is unsure about what's going on in the jungle and Luke is a flashing creature, like a gentler Smokey.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I like my name. And I like that nobody has ever called me Kris or Kristy or any other shortened version of my name. For as long as I can remember, I've corrected people on the spelling of my name.

But I don't care. It's my name.

Maybe that's why I'm particular about spelling people's names right. Working as a reporter gave me plenty of opportunities to screw up people's names, in print. But I always made the extra effort not to.

I remember being a little girl and looking at personalized pencils, magnets and cups. Usually, they didn't sell K-R-I-S-T-I-N. Sometimes stores carried K-R-I-S-T-E-N and usually C-H-R-I-S-T-I-N-A. But those aren't my names.

Mom would get excited, and snatch up, any personalized goody she found for me.

Now I'm 29, and I still notice. Usually now I look for my name, then Cate's name. K-A-T-E is a much more popular spelling of that name. But since C-A-T-E is short for C-A-T-H-E-R-I-N-E, my daughter has hope.

On Friday, a friend told me K-R-I-S-T-I-N was the "Name of the Day" at Backyard Burger. So, even though it was served personalized, I got a free burger, thanks to my name being K-R-I-S-T-I-N. The burger is long gone, but I do have this picture to remember the occasion.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Swing

This was then ...

Almost 1 month old

and this is now ...

22 months old

Cate fondly remembered this swing today when we played with friends (who have a 5-month-old baby!). She let her cousin Jax borrow hers because, you see, she outgrew it, long ago.


Cate told me the spaghetti was "yummy." Who doesn't love pasta?!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fun with Grandmom

Grandmom gave Cate these bunny ears (from Target's $1 bin!) when we met her in Paducah last night. Cate wore them in the restaurant, had them off most of the time we ate, and then put them back on before we left.

Then Grandmom bought Cate this Nemo (which came along with a noise-making book) when we shopped at Kohl's last night. Of course, Grandmom, who works at Kohl's in Louisville, also helped Cate's spring/summer wardrobe!

Cate kept Grandmom (and me, of course!) laughing during her visit last night and earlier today, but here is the best story: Last night in Kohl's, Cate must have heard Mom (aka Grandmom) call me "Kristin." But she must not have totally understood. From then on, she called Grandmom "Kristin." I would correct her and say, "No, that's Grandmom." And she'd go with that for awhile. Then we'd hear, "Kristin, push." Clearly, Cate wanted Grandmom to push the stroller.

OK, one more ...

Cate also overheard me tell Mom/Grandmom that I liked Daisy Fuentes' clothing line at Kohl's. As we were walking toward that section of the store to check out T-shirts, Cate said, "Daisy." Then barked.

You see, the only Daisy she knows is a dog. And she's heard Daisy bark in the background while talking to Jodi on the phone.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday morning with Daddy

You'll hear the traditional "cheese" for the camera. Then she talks about "Cate's flowers." When she says, "Hold you, Daddy," she really means she wants Daddy to hold her.

Potty Training: Assessing the Situation

So I came up with a plan ... Let her wear panties around the house (especially for the three days I planned to be home with her). Set my timer for every 30-45 minutes, and take her to the potty regularly. Put pull-ups on for naps and diapers at night.

Well, Thursday afternoon went really well. She went in the potty 6 times and had 4 accidents.

Then Friday morning started out well, and she even took her baby to the bathroom with her. But later in the day it seemed to be going down hill. I counted 11 accidents before I stopped counting. She went in the potty three times throughout the morning and early afternoon. But after her nap, she peed on herself 4 times in the course of an hour, even though she went in the potty in the middle of that.

So I started thinking about the check lists I ready online. "Is Your Child Ready?" I could answer "yes" to every questions except one: Does your child wake up from naps dry and/or stay dry for lengthy periods of time?


And I thought maybe it was just because we hadn't tried. But now I think it's because maybe she's not quite ready to hold it. Or, rather, maybe she can't physically hold it. I don't want her crying about the potty, which is where we left it yesterday afternoon. And, like we talked about before, I don't want to be pushy with this.

She did get up and go this morning, but then she peed on herself 20 minutes later.

Again, I'm opening this up for discussion. (Greg just said, so you want everyone to know what we're thinking about potty training. Well, yes, because you all give good feedback!) So, what do you think?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Potty Training: The Beginning

I had in my head I would start thinking about potty training when Cate turned 2. Well, it's been on my mind a couple months sooner than I expected, thanks to Cate saying "diaper change," "I pooped, Mommy" and "potty." Funny thing is, she's cried when I put her on the toilet the last couple of days, even after it was her idea to try it.

Of all the advice (solicited and unsolicited) I've heard about potty training, the recurring concept is you can't force them. They have to be physically and mentally ready. Well, I do think Cate is as "ready" as a kid can be, but I don't want to force her. So we've just been talking about it lately. She's come in the bathroom with me. I let her put her potty seat on the toilet (she likes that part!).

A DVD and book that I'm hoping will serve as encouragement are on the way, courtesy Amazon.com. Oh, and the bowl of M&Ms are waiting on the bathroom shelf.

I'm not in a hurry by any means, I realize she's only 22 months. But I also know if she's ready and already talking about it to some degree, I should go with it. I was glad to read about Katy's experience potty training her daughter and now I'm wondering what the rest of your mothers have to say ...

Seriously, share your stories. You can comment below or e-mail me. What worked? What didn't work? What should I do next?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Ice Storm: Scrap Pages

I scrapped three pages (the middle one is an 8 1/2-by-11 layout; the other two are 12-by-12 pages) about the ice storm in late January.

Yes, I know, I need to perfect taking pictures of pages. I had it down with my old camera, but I'm still finding the best setting with my new one.

Signs of Spring

Look, Mom. Flowers. In other words: Spring is coming!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Ah, spring ...

We went with some friends (Holly is visiting from New Mexico!) to the Ohio Valley Conference basketball tournament this weekend. Murray State's men's and women's teams lost in the semi-finals (both to Austin Peay ... sadly), but we had fun anyway. Can't you tell? ...


Then we spent Saturday late morning and early afternoon at the Nashville Zoo. It was a beautiful, beautiful spring day.

That's us in some really cool bamboo.

Our other favorite part was this treehouse. Yes, even the five adults went in. Walking down this net was rather challenging, especially because I was taking pictures of everyone else!

We definitely wore ourselves out ...

(Greg is just pretending, although I think he really did want a nap. Cate was just playing along, and brought her babies with her!)

You can see many more photos Facebook. (Just click on that link ...)

Friday, March 6, 2009

22 months

Cate got a new hat this week. Then she modeled it, very seriously, for me. All while taking a break from eating her sucker.

It's the simple things, I tell you.

And that's what I've learned over and over again in 22 months of motherhood. Yes, 22 months. That means she's almost 2. And, really, I'm going to stop giving her age to you in months. Promise.

Almost 2 also means we have little conversations throughout the day. Like this one the other day while she was watching "Finding Nemo" (surprise!) and I was reading.

Cate: {Nearly a whisper ...} Dory sleepy.
Me: Oh, really? Dory is going to sleep, huh?
Cate: Shh. {With finger over her mouth ...} Dory sleepy.
Me: Is Nemo sleeping?
Cate: {In a much louder voice ...} Dory sleepy.

{And she was back to Nemo + Dory.}

Cate cracks me up moment after moment. Whether she's trying spell R-A-C-E-R-S like the cheer from the ballgames. Or dancing to her Farmer Tad toy on the refrigerator. She is determined ... to get her own snack out of the cabinet, to wear her duck shirt as often as possible, to help me carry in groceries. And she she'll tell you: "I did it." Or if she drops something: "I get it."

She likes her "baby" (which really is one of about four different choices, depending on the day) to sleep with her. And she wants both her feet and the baby's feet covered up. She likes to sing "You are My Sunshine" (which she asks for by saying "shine") before she goes to sleep.

Different people have told me I will continually say, "I like this age the best." But, seriously, so far, I do like this age the best. I loved cuddling with her as an infant and waiting with anticipation for her to walk. But, really, there hasn't been anything better than listening to her learn to communicate her thoughts and watching her realize the world is a big place with all sorts of joy.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Seeing myself ...

Recently, I finished 2008 pages and moved on to some 2009 stories I wanted to tell. This was a page I've had in my head for awhile. (Pardon the quality of the picture, but you get the idea ...) The journaling was inspired by a blog post, so it may sound familiar.

Some of Milla’s toddler pictures remind me of me. She definitely has Hill baby characteristics that show through, and in this picture from Christmas it’s our cheeks. I’ll take any resemblance to my niece as a compliment.

Then I watched her, and saw myself again. This time she was taking drink orders and helping set the table for dinner. Growing up, those were my jobs.

Think of all the stereotypes you know about first-borns: Bossy. Independent. Organized. Peace-keeper. Responsible. Yep, that's me. Sometimes to a fault.

I would help my mom just like Milla did: set the table, solicit drink orders and assign people seats by placing their drinks. Related to the kitchen, I also put away the groceries, probably because I liked restoring order in small ways.

Watching my 5-year-old niece was like looking into a time-warp mirror. Twice, Milla wanted to set the table and carry people's drinks (for which she solicited orders) to their places. Also, now that she has a younger brother and cousin, she has plenty of opportunities to be the bossy, know-it-all of the group. I'm sure my brother and sister can look at her in those moments and see a less flattering version of me.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Happy birthday, Gran Gran!

(Peggy, aka GranGran, celebrated her birthday Friday, so we had her and Gary over for dinner, cake and cards. As you'll see, Cate helped me get ready ...)

Cate helped me decorate, and even ate some of the candy sprinkles along the way. As you can see (below), a portion of the right side was sprinkle-heavy!

Of course, she helped us eat the cake too!