Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Remember to Remember

There is this episode of The Office, when Jim and Pam finally get married, where the two of them decide they will celebrate the weekend by taking mental pictures of every moment of the event they want to remember forever. It's awkward, it's sweet, it's totally fitting for those two characters, and it has absolutely stuck with me over the years, as I've watched my girls start to grow up. I find myself rocking Caitlin to sleep, thinking, 'This. This feeling right here is what I want to remember about my baby forever.' 

The thing is, I know I had these moments with Brigid, too. And I know that the only reason I can remember the feelings I had when I was holding her at any one point in time is because I wrote them down somewhere. This space, right  here? It is my photo album full of mental pictures. And so...

Things I never want to forget about Caitlin at nine months:
* the way she rests her hand on my chest or cheek, or even grips my shirt collar, when I'm rocking her to sleep.
* the way her face lights up when someone she loves walks into the room (I've often said nobody else in this world will ever get as excited to hear my voice as she does...)
* the way her face crumples when you tell her no, only to turn into the world's biggest smile when you pick her up to comfort her while she cries.
* the way she reaches for me when I go to pick her up from wherever she might be sitting.
* the way she follows me around the room with her eyes when she's waiting for me to come talk to her after I get home from work.
* the way she curls up into a little ball on her side, when I put her to sleep in her crib.
* the way she leans herself out of my arms, to snuggle with Brigid when we pick B up from school.
* the way she smiles and drops her head in shyness, or looks to Steve and I for approval, when a stranger talks to her while we're out running errands.

My sweet, adorable, manipulative little turd. She really is the best...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

It's called 'being thrifty'...

Look, if the pajamas don't come with feet, it's only appropriate to keep your kid in them until they become pajama shorts instead of pajama pants. It's not my fault that Hanna Andersson makes such cute sleepers that I'm not quite ready to retire the set she's kind of, sort of, maybe a little bit outgrowing as we speak.

There are no feet! She has room to grow! It totally still works.

See? She even likes them better this way.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Real Life

Poor Brigid was hit with the fever o'mystery this weekend, which went unnoticed until she fell asleep on the couch for two hours on Sunday afternoon, and woke up feeling approximately one million degrees warmer than she normally feels. We thought it might have just been some leftover heat from sleeping under a sheepskin lined blanket, Mild fever, it was.

Of course, this meant that she had to stay home from school on Monday. I kept everyone in their pajamas all morning because Brigid was sick, and Caitlin was fussy, and I had a two and a half hour conference call to contend with, so naturally Steve called at 12:45 to tell me that people were on their way to see the house, which went on the market over the weekend, and how soon could I have everything straightened up and all of us (two dogs, two cats, two kids, myself) out of the way?

Flash forward to me, unshowered and make-up free, carrying a pajama-clad Caitlin, complete with poop-filled diaper, and leading a nightgowned and barefoot Brigid across the front lawn to the neighbors' house (they told us we could hang there during the showing), with Steve following behind me, trying to contain two barking dogs on leashes, while the realtor was walking up the front walk with the lady who wanted to see the house.

Wouldn't you want to buy a house from the neighborhood rednecks?

Whatever. Brigid was just excited that the Powerade we were making her drink for fever hydration purposes had turned her tongue blue.
 Because THAT doesn't add to our redneck aura at all...

Friday, September 13, 2013

I need a road map...

Caitlin still won't crawl, as her preferred mode of transportation involves rolling around on the floor until she gets close enough to reach whatever it is she has set out to destroy, and she doesn't seem interested in learning how to get herself into a sitting position on her own, either. She can feed herself finger foods, sort of, but she can't do it quickly enough to satisfy her need to have food shoved in her mouth constantly, if there is food in her line of sights. The very real possibility that our heads will explode from the indignant screaming if we're eating and she's not seems to outweigh our desire to reach that particular milestone, so we mostly don't even bother with trying to have her feed herself. She doesn't use any consonant sounds, which is something the pediatrician called our attention to in the last check-up (not in an 'I'm worried' way, just in a 'does she do these things' way), but then again, neither did Brigid. In fact, we were a little worried Brigid was never going to talk, and now she never STOPS talking, so it is what it is, I guess.

AND she still wakes up at least once on most nights, which isn't terrible, but is also something Brigid had already stopped doing by this point in time.

I'm not worried about these things, because I know all babies are different, and SERIOUSLY, she is only nine months old, and NO I don't expect her to act like anything other than a baby at this point, and OF COURSE Caitlin will develop at her own pace, but...I don't know.

It would just be easier if there was a set schedule for when babies hit all of these milestones, so you didn't have to waste so much time and energy wondering when things would happen. That's all.

(Of course, we remembered we needed to lower the crib mattress, because this started to happen:

My mind can be so idiotic sometimes, I swear.)

(She is cute and happy and lovely and perfect and I love her more than just about anything. The end.)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Story Time

I'm not sure Brigid is getting the point of the story across, here, but Caitlin seems enthralled, nonetheless.

Brigid really is shaping up to be such a wonderful big sister, beyond anything I could have hoped for before Caitlin joined our family. It's just such a shame that she's decided one baby is enough...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Caitlin's Baptism

Shortly after Caitlin was born last November, we began discussing the details around her baptism. We knew we wanted to ask Steve's brother to be the godfather and my youngest sister to be the godmother (Steve's sister and my middle sister are Brigid's godparents), but we were hung up on the date. Since we'd already decided that we would be taking the girls up with us to Notre Dame this year, Steve had all of these grand thoughts around waiting until we made that trip, so we could have Caitlin baptized in the Log Cabin Chapel on campus. I, however, argued that there was no WAY we could wait that long to make the baptism happen.

Fast forward nine months, and when we went to Notre Dame last weekend? We took our unbaptized little sweetheart along with us for the ride.

I swear, I had every intention of having Caitlin baptized as a newborn. I honestly have no idea what happened, or how we made it to this point without having done so already. Of course, I still refuse to believe that my baby is three quarters of the way to her first birthday, too, so maybe the fact that time is just slipping away from me in huge chunks really isn't that hard to believe.

Finally, FINALLY, however, we did it this past weekend, at the Saturday evening Mass. The priest officiating this Mass was the same one that used to be a part of Steve's childhood parish and was present at his First Communion, so that was a nice touch (and also a very Sunrise, Sunset kind of moment, I think...). He informed Steve before the event that he 'uses a lot of water, so bring a towel', and he wasn't lying. He basically used a plastic bucket to pour the holy water all over Caitlin, and while I appreciated the enthusiasm, I think my poor child would have preferred a slightly more low-key event.

But then again, she also farted her way through the ceremony, so I think maybe the importance of the event, in general, was lost on her.

And then Brigid spent the the last few days telling everyone that we had cake at our house, because we had Baby Caitlin 'appetized' this weekend, so my kids are pretty much the best, ever.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Nine Month Check-Up: Caitlin Edition

Oh, my sweet baby just continues to grow up, despite my best efforts to stop her from doing so. Today she went in for her nine month check-up (where she got NO shots. I specifically scheduled the appointment for Steve's day with the girls, so that he would take the brunt of the shot association, and then she didn't even get any. I've been informed Brigid is scheduled for FIVE shots at her 4-yr appointment, at which point they want us to bring Caitlin in, too, for flu shot purposes, and I just KNOW I'm going to end up with that appointment. My children are going to hate me.), and she just keeps getting bigger. It's not fair, really.

At some point, I'm probably going to need to stop comparing my kids, because, I don't know, kids want to be their own people or some such nonsense, but I'm just so fascinated by how differently my children are developing. It's just fun to compare the stats, really...
Nine months stats, Caitlin:
Length: 28.5 inches (78th percentile)
(Six months - 26/67th)
(Four months - 24.75/69th)
Weight: 19lbs 3oz (54th percentile)
(Six months - 16lbs 6oz/59th)
(Four months - 13lbs 4oz/56th)

Six months stats, Brigid:
Length: 27.5 inches (50th percentile)
(Six months - 26.25/75th)
(Four months - 25/80th)
Weight: 20lbs 14oz (almost 80th percentile)
(Six months - 17lbs 9oz/85th)
(Four months - 14lbs 10oz/75th)

(Also, I should probably mention the fact that Brigid was in the 85th percentile in head circumference, while Caitlin is in the 86th percentile. Those ladies have some large heads on them. Large heads, for large brains, of course.)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Progression of a Photo Shoot (Again)

Don't all little kids want to get their pictures taken? Don't they want to strike a cute pose, and smile sweetly, and record their general cuteness for all of posterity?

No. No, they do not. In fact, not only do they NOT want you to get adorable pictures of them at every milestone moment in their life, they want to make sure you are recording what rotten little stinkers they are, instead.

Case in point, Brigid's first day back to school (please note the truly terrible ponytail we sent her off to school with on this particular day, as the child refuses to let me put barrettes anywhere near her head, and those wispies won't control themselves...):
Brigid, let me take a picture of you on your first day of school!
Come on, kiddo, give me a good smile!
Nope, that's not it. It's cute, but not quite what I was going for...
Are you...trying to flip me the bird? Just give me one smile, and I'll leave you alone.
Ok, that works.

Happy first day back to school, kid!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Baby's First Visit to Notre Dame

When I was a student at Notre Dame, the Thursdays and Fridays right before a home football game were some of my favorite days of the years. There was a running joke around campus that Notre Dame was like 'Disney World for Catholics', and the crowds that came to visit the place for home football weekends was always an amazing sight to see. Those days, when it took me twice as long to walk home from class because I had to dodge a steady stream of alumni, all so eager to share just a taste of their experiences at the university with the families they had towed along for the weekend, made me feel such pride in my own little place among the years of tradition, I couldn't have imagined choosing to go anywhere else for school. And I couldn't wait to share that feeling with kids of my own.

Last weekend, Steve and I finally got that chance.

And I learned that no matter how hard I've tried to fight it, I haven't been able to avoid becoming one of those 'Well, back in MY day...' kind of people. Also? I've decided I want to go back to school now that there is a Starbucks and a Subway in the student center. WHERE WERE THESE THINGS TWELVE YEARS AGO, HMMMMMM?

As much as things have changed around campus, so many things were still the same. Sure, there were main roads through campus completely erased, new buildings everywhere, a cute little eating and shopping center added right across the street, and the previously mentioned Subway and Starbucks (I will never stop being bitter about this), but the men of Knott Hall still wear those obnoxious orange beanies in 90 degree weather, and the guys' dorms still make their freshmen run through various crowded locations in nothing more than a Speedo, and LaFun still has a little ice cream shop in the back corner of the convenience store, and students everywhere still make their way around campus wearing all things branded with the Notre Dame logo. 

The fight song is still the greatest fight song of all time, and the alma mater can still bring a tear to my eye, and I'm so glad I got to share all of these things with my girls. 

Of course, I also learned that almost-four-year-olds aren't really so much into the sitting through a four hour football game, so I probably won't be sharing these things with my girls again until they're old enough to not need me to spend the entire third quarter of the game running up and down the stadium ramp or to not need my mother to spend the entire fourth quarter making up stories purely for their entertainment, but still...

Things we did this weekend
Friday - shopped at the bookstore, listened to the trumpets playing the fight song under the Dome, watched/listened to the Marching Band step off from the Main Building, lit a candle at the grotto, had our diaper changed and danced naked on top of the tables of the student center (that one was Caitlin specific, thank goodness), went to the pep rally on South Quad.
Saturday - tailgated, ate all of the food, napped naked in the car (Caitlin, again, as I've learned my lesson on that in the past...), survived a brief rain shower, taught Brigid to yell 'Stand up, you pansy' at a QB who does not seem to understand that sometimes you are going to get hit while playing football, sang the alma mater after the game was over.
Sunday - went to mass at the Basilica, for the first time since Steve and I were married there.

Things we did NOT do this weekend:
Get a large soda at the stadium, which means we missed out on our very own collection item of poor proof reading, the 'FIGTHING IRISH' souvenir cup. (Go ahead, look at it again if you need to. If the entire foodservice marketing department missed the mistake, you might need to take a second look to pick it up, too...)

We missed perfection by that much, I guess.