27 July 2013

Cora: 18 Months

I haven't done just a "this is what my child is doing now!" update since 14 months, so here we go.

Cora is officially 18 months old as of yesterday!

Nicknames: Boopster, Honey, Honey Bunch, Cutie McCutie Pie, Cora Aurora Fedora Menorah

Weight/Height: 25 lbs, 3oz. / 33" Still in the 90th percentile on height.

Clothing Size: 18-24 months, and some 2T. Wearing size 4 disposable diapers, but mostly her cloth diaper covers on the longest rise.

Sleep: Cora goes to bed around 7:45pm (after the first part of Jeopardy!), sleeps through until 6:45-7am.  She is down to one nap a day, and sometimes it's only an hour! I'm still messing around with her nap schedule to get her enough rest. I think 1:15 might be the golden nap time.

Vocabulary: She says about 8 words: hi, shoes, baby ("bay"), "dahhhh" (dog/any animal), night night, peace, and sometimes Dada (or just "da" but it sounds different than her word for dog). Notice Mama is not on that list... She babbles a ton, and we just think she's holding out on words in favor of complete sentences.

Food: She now drinks whole milk, sometimes from a cup, and she has a sippy cup with a straw that is her water cup. She drinks water all throughout the day, just like her mother. She's still kind of a picky eater, but every day is a new surprise, like tonight when she finally ate an orange for the first time. Sometimes we just take whatever is for dinner and roll it up into a tortilla like a burrito, and she'll usually eat it! Back when her pickiness started, I began making a list of things she eats in case she wouldn't eat anything offered. Here it is on our fridge:

Mobility: She can walk fast, but she can't run yet. She thinks it's hilarious when I run though. Cora has also recently become a climber. She can climb onto the couch on her own now, and I saw her park her ride-on car in front of a table and climb on it. She gets really frustrated when she can't climb something she wants to.

Other Random Tidbits:

Whenever I say "honk," she grabs her nose. This is definitely because she would grab my nose and I would always say "honk." She also tries to steal the cookie from the picture of her cousin Emma in her family book.

Cora loves to dance, and will do it if she hears music--or anything that sounds like music, like a bunch of people banging on stuff.

We have sorta started potty-training. It's going about as I expected, meaning that she has never done anything in the toilet yet. I might go full-force at it after we get back from our trip in August. Right now, I often let her brush her teeth on the toilet, since her diaper was usually sopping wet before I even got her on there.

She has 12 teeth and has stopped putting things in her mouth most of the time. Sometimes she will put her finger in there, but not really chew on it. I think she's about to cut some more teeth, though.

She loves books and is gentle enough with them now that I trust her with actual paper ones, not just board books. I have been able to tape back together the lift-the-flap books she destroyed, and they have stayed intact.

Cora definitely has started some toddler tantrums when she doesn't get her way. But they're not too bad, and ignoring or redirecting is still working. I have a hunch time-outs will be starting in the next few months, though.

If you ask her, Cora can successfully touch her nose, hair, ears, teeth, belly button, and toes on command. We're pretty impressed!

Speaking of her belly button, Cora is obsessed with it still. She has an abdominal hernia there that has not gone away, and I'm not sure if that's why she likes it or not. It's almost become a self-soothing thing to her. As for the hernia, we may need to get surgery on it after she turns 2. (I'm still in the research phase of what we should do; feel free to let me know if you've gone through this one.)

We love our little Cora Elizabeth, and I'm enjoying this stage so much. Overall, we're very happy being her parents!

(The fancy pics were taken by Heirloom Photography at Lakeside Park here in Fort Wayne. I own the rights to the pictures, though. Please do not use them without permission.)

24 July 2013

5 Favorites: Cora Edition

In honor of my little one turning 18 months old this week, here is a post dedicated to her current 5 Favorites. Of course, being a toddler, these may change in less than a week.
Thanks to Grace for Guest-hosting this week!

Closing Doors and Ringing Doorbells

 Cora is currently obsessed with the "door experience." She likes to close doors then clap for herself. She also points out her finger to hit the doorbell whenever we enter the apartment. We also have a knocker on the front door that she recently became a fan of. She holds her hand out in front of her to hit the handicapped button to open the door at the Y. And now she has started being very interested in the lock mechanism thingy on the side of the door (it's kinda like a button, when you think about it).

Dogs (or "Daahhhhhhhhh")
This is my in-laws' dog Jack, a miniature schnauzer
We don't have any pets, but Cora has been around a handful of dogs, including the in-laws' two dogs and various dogs out for walks in the neighborhood. She loves them, and will follow around the two at my in-laws' house. She is pretty good about petting them gently now, too. She also still uses the word 'dahhhh' for all animals, but when it's actually a dog she says it with ten times more conviction.

Llama Llama Hoppity-Hop

Yes, we have a few of the other Llama Llama books, but this is a board book rhyme for very little ones. She loves it, and she usually does all the motions! If you start doing the rhyme without the book, Cora will go and find it out of the pile and bring it to you. It also ends with "big hug now" and what momma wouldn't love that?


I use the term 'hats' loosely since that picture above is on the rare side. Her preferred hats for playtime are more like this:
That's a mixing bowl
and this:
It's a basket that holds stuffed fruit (this thing from IKEA)
Tumbling and Climbing
We did a Mommy & Me gymnastics class, and my little darling just loved it. She eventually got good enough at the forward rolls to do them on her own. She has also taken to climbing, especially up on the couch.

p.s. why can I never figure out what day this linkup is actually supposed to be on? Tuesday? Wednesday? Whatever, here it is on Wednesday night!

23 July 2013

A Day In the Life

For your blog-reading pleasure today, here is a snapshot into a "normal" day for our little family. No apologies for length.

The day is Tuesday, July 23, 2013. I am a stay-at-home mother to a girl who is a few days shy of 18 months old.

6am(ish) - B kisses me goodbye. I'm still asleep for the most part.
6:38 - My alarm goes off. Ugh, I haven't changed the time setting since my 5K last Saturday. I hit snooze.
6:47 - Alarm goes off again. I don't hear Cora moving through the monitor. I have to make a choice between showering, eating breakfast, and staying in bed. I decide to play on my Kindle in bed.
7:25  - Still not a peep from Cora. Odd. I go check on her; she's still asleep. Breakfast time for me! Sugary cereal and milk.

7:43 - I hear Cora start a soft babble. Immediately I go in there because I've been trying to get her to use the potty in the mornings. I take her into the bathroom right away. Diaper is soaked but I throw her on the potty for a few minutes anyway. Then a new diaper and some clothes for her. I'm still in my pj's.

7:51 - Breakfast for Cora. I have to choose between oatmeal and 'squapplesauce.' I decide on the latter - canned pumpkin mixed with jarred (natural) applesauce. I spread it on some toast so I don't have to help her with the spoon the whole time. She also gets raisins and whole milk. While she eats, I clean up some dishes left in the sink.

8:15 - We finish up breakfast and cleanup. Cora goes off to play with her toys. It's not a gym day, so we're going to stay put in the apartment for a while.  I throw in a load of laundry.

8:30 - I decide to let PBS kids' shows babysit while I take a shower and get ready.

9:00 - I switch off Super Why! so I can watch Live! with Kelly and Michael. My girl (and birthday twin) Heidi Klum is on this episode. Cora plays on the floor and brings me the occasional book to read. Sometimes she walks off before we even get to the second page.

9:45 - I'm hungry again. I make a mental note to eat a better breakfast. I make a bagel and Cora begs for some, so I give her some Cheerios.

10:45 - Diaper change and we head out the door for Mommy & Me gymnastics class at the Y.
Still rear-facing over here!
10:55 - Show up and find out that gymnastics class ended last week. It's a 6-week class, but I thought it was 7 (they apparently shorten the length in the summer). I somehow missed the announcement at the beginning of last week's class that it was the last one.
11:00 - I let Cora walk on the outdoor track near the Y while I swear under my breath and kick myself silently. I try to decide what we'll do next. I decide to just go home. We get home, and Cora is showing signs of being tired. I decide she should get lunch before her nap.

11:30 - Lunch for Cora. What to feed her?? Another decision. She gets leftover baked beans from last night. I find some leftover mixed veggies from a few nights back and decide to sneak them in the beans. She also has a banana. We practice using a spoon and drinking milk from a cup. She's getting great at both.

12:10ish - We do Cora's bedtime routine (book, prayer, song) and I put her down for a nap. She's asleep by 12:30. I eat some lunch and decide to watch an episode of Project Runway I got from the library.

1:15 - I hear babbling. A 45 minute nap, seriously kid?? I check on Cora, and she's still lying down with her eyes kind of open. I decide to leave her alone and see if she'll go back to sleep.

1:40 - I hear a little cough. She's up. Raring to go. Ugh. I just let her play in the living room for a bit.
2:45 - I decide to not waste the nice day. Should we go to the zoo? The splash pad? A park? Or the pool at our complex? I decide on the pool, since it will be the easiest. Our preferred swimsuits are in the wash, so I squeeze Cora into the one-piece that's too small for her. Despite that, she loves the pool and it's a beautiful day.
This is the preferred swim suit, and this is not our apartment (too spacious and clean)
4:00 - We're back from the pool; I turn on Arthur and Cora plays.
4:45 - B gets home (a bit late, but he went on an errand after work).
5:00 - I take Cora to walk to the mailbox. She has on her big pink tutu and a handful of people compliment her on it.
Mailbox visit from a different day. Pink tutu today was way cuter.
5:30 - I start fixing dinner and keep shoo-ing Cora out of the kitchen and yelling at B to come get her because I have to open the oven and there's also oil splattering on my arm. We're having breakfast for dinner-- biscuits and gravy, bacon and eggs. I forget any type of fruit or vegetable. Oops.
6:30 - We eat dinner. Cora surprises us by eating the eggs. She also loves the gravy. B cleans up the mess because of our pact that says whoever doesn't cook has to clean up. I take care of cleaning up Cora.

7:00 - I put Cora on the potty again. Still nothing, so I let her brush her teeth while sitting on it. I get her ready for bed and bring her back out to play in the living room. We watch Wheel of Fortune and Cora "helps" Daddy pick up all her toys. Our other pact is that one person gets Cora ready for bed and the other cleans up the mess. Unlike cooking (which I do 90% of the time), we seem to alternate on this one a lot.

7:40ish - Bedtime routine. We read a book from the library (Do You Have a Hat? this is an awesome book btw), do her night-time prayer, the sign of the cross, big big night night kisses for Daddy and Mommy (she gives Daddy like 3 extra ones), then I take her to her room and sing "Amazing Grace" in her glider. She goes in the crib, and I start up her musical giraffe. I check a bit after 8pm, and she is asleep.

8pm and onward - I piddle on the computer, watch TV, fold some laundry (B helps), write this blog post (I've actually been recording into it all day), and B watches Burn Notice (or something) on his laptop. He hates the TV show I have on, so he goes in our bedroom with a slice of pie to watch his show. He'll go to bed around 9:45, and I'll come in between 10 and 10:30 unless I get distracted by something interesting on the internet.

And that's a pretty typical day around here!

21 July 2013

What I Wore Sunday and a Race Recap

Way later than usual, but still linking up!
I ran a 5K yesterday morning, and then we packed up a few things and headed north to my in-laws' lakehouse in Michigan. My husband had his first days off in over a month, so I'm glad he got to relax on the lake. I finally got to attempt waterskiing, and I never made it up out of the water. But then I sorta knee-boarded. Baby steps over here . . .

Instead of going to our usual vigil mass, we got to go to a 9am service. I love the 9am service because apparently Cora is kinda sleepy then and just kinda chilled out in her grandmother's arms through about 90% of mass (but didn't fall asleep).

And I wore something "beachy" (lake-y?), at least in my opinion.
Shirt: Target // Necklace: Body Central //
Skirt: handed down from my sister a long long time ago // Sandals: Target

I wore a long skirt to see if it gave me "airflow" like everyone who wears maxi dresses says those things do. Yeah, nope. I was hot and immediately changed into khaki shorts the second we got back. Whenever I'm hot, my first instinct is to just peel off as many clothes as possible, so I don't think maxi dresses are for me. But this was a wraparound skirt, not a maxi, so maybe I'm wrong?

As for the 5K I did yesterday, it was my first 5K in over 2 years (I did a 4K back in June). Since B had the day off, he stayed home with Cora and I went to the race all by myself. I ended up using that hidden pocket on my shorts for my car keys, and it worked pretty well!

The run itself was good. It was kinda drizzling out when we started, and it was super humid. I think that threw a few people off, but I have been training in really high humidity (running at about the same time the race started). I felt good the whole time (no cramping and didn't gun it too hard at the start) and had a good pace. I had a goal time in mind, and I knew I was going faster than it. Since I started running again, I have had this other goal time, a really lofty one. I was starting to think I might actually hit that one. But I did not.

I finished the race in 28:17, which is about a 9:08 mile pace. The sensible goal was to do it in 29 minutes, and the lofty goal was 28:00. So I'll still work on the latter for my Color Me Rad race next month.

But the best part?

I won my age group!! I seriously couldn't believe it! My overall place was about 38th. I guess you just gotta find the smaller events (I'm guessing there were about 112 runners total for the 5K) and be a 25-29 female in this town! There were only 5 other girls in my age group.

I posted this on FB right before we left for the lake. Didn't have internet all weekend and came back to 48 Likes on my status. I didn't even know I had that many friends!

19 July 2013

Househunting, Take 2

Catch up on when we started househunting (Take 1), if you want.

For the past month and a half, we have basically gone out about once a week with our Realtor and looked at houses. The first night we did this, we got some family members to watch Cora and we hit a whopping 7 houses. House #6 was darn NEAR PERFECT.

The house itself was almost exactly what we wanted--it even had an extra sun room off the kitchen and a wet bar in the basement! The lot was nice and included an awesome swingset. But it was on the 'main drag' of a busy neighborhood, and we had wanted a quiet cul-de-sac lot. It was also the very top of our (spoken aloud) budget. We hesitated to make an offer right away, since it was our first time out. We said we'd think about it over the weekend. Well, by noon the next day there was an offer on it, a sign in the yard that said "SOLD in less than 7 days!," and we had to just let it go. I've driven by that house a few times since then, and still kinda mourn it.
the beautiful house we didn't buy
So we kept searching. We would usually see 2 or 3 houses after B got off work. We brought Cora along, and B chased her up the stairs or wherever as I explored. It really was me being the picky one. B had basically no requirements or even little extras that were important to him. (He mostly just wanted a house that was built within the last 20 years.) This was actually really frustrating to me, since I knew if I picked a dud it would be entirely my own fault.

I had a handful of things I wanted, and our realtor even took us to a builder to discuss custom-building a house. We decided that wasn't for us for a few reasons, mostly because of the time involved, the cost, and the fact that I didn't really want to live in the neighborhoods where homes were currently being built. I eventually even upped our budget, which I had not wanted to do, since I kept being shown things at the top of our budget that still needed a basement finished (can run about $20K to do this) or something expensive like that.

My parents were in town the week of July 4th, and I drove them around the part of town we were looking. My mom has custom-built TWO houses, which means she hasn't lived anywhere that previous owners held in over THIRTY YEARS. She kept telling me we should build, and I kept saying, "I'm not that picky!" Our Realtor did tell us there was a lack of inventory going on in the market right now, and I still believe that. I started looking in the opposite direction online, at 1970's-built homes that were wayyy under budget, but still looked decent. I never did get in any of those to really see them, but I know they would have required a lot of work to configure into what I really wanted.

A few days after my parents left, I was looking online again, and I saw a house that looked promising. But then I noticed one of the things I seriously did not want in a house.

I had been hesitant to have a main-floor master bedroom with all of the other bedrooms upstairs, mostly because we're still on kid #1. I eventually had to let that go, since a ton of the homes here have that. But the master facing the street? Hrmph.

I asked our Realtor if we could see this other house, and while on the phone, he mentioned the one that had prompted my raging tweets. I told him I didn't want to see it because of the master-facing-the-street issue, and we moved on with the conversation. But then some strange feeling hit me later that day, and I emailed him and asked to see it too. Just to cover my bases, I guess. I'm pretty sure my actual email made me sound like a 15-year-old. Plus, it was $15K under our original budget.

After seeing two other houses I didn't like very much, I ended up liking that house a lot. The house I didn't even want to see originally. Except that it needed a bathroom added to the basement and a complete overhaul of the master bathroom (it has carpet and a hideous tub.) However, it was the first time I had gone out to look at houses during the day while B was at work. I was having trouble chasing Cora around, as it was really hot out and my stomach wasn't feeling too good for whatever reason. The owners of this house were out of town, and had left their thermostat set to 81° so it was sweltering inside the house, too. I decided to ask if I could come back with B that night to see it again. Our Realtor brought along a purchase agreement to the showing that evening. We knew we had to move fast, too, after losing that last one so quickly.

Yes, that's a quiet cul-de-sac
To make a short story long, we came back, looked at it again, and even got to talk to a neighbor. We made a full-price offer on the house while Cora ran around on the sidewalk.

Unfortunately, the story doesn't end there. I woke up the next morning with a heaping dose of buyer's remorse, thinking how much I might hate this house, and how it just isn't perfect. I kept thinking that my actual perfect house was going to come on the market in the next day, now that we had made an offer. I called B in tears. I seriously considered pulling the offer, and I was feeling that we rushed into it all too quickly. I almost felt like I did it just to spite my mom's insistence that we custom-build. B listened to me whine and then told me to get out of the house and go do something else! He also told me we needed to get some bikes for that 3-car garage. I took Cora to the library for story time, and by the time we got back, I was feeling much better. I started seeing all the possibilities with the house, and I looked at some of the pictures again. I even mustered up the courage to call my mom and say, "Hey, we bought a house."

I still don't understand the point of the master bedroom facing the street, other than the front of the house needs a pretty window. (And the only room upstairs that got a pretty window is the one facing the street as well.) But the rest of the house is a blank canvas for us to make into a home. And it does have a lot of great features, like the island in the kitchen, an adorable dining room, an herb garden, and a big basement to fill with kids and their toys. Now, a week later, with this week mostly focused on getting our financing in order, I am officially excited about our new home!

17 July 2013

5 Favorites

Target Cartwheel
Finally, an app-type of coupon clipping thing that you don't actually NEED a smartphone for! You just clip what you want and can either show the barcode on your phone at the register, or simply print it out. Plus, you can stack the Cartwheel savings + Target coupon + manufacturer's coupon + 5¢ off per each reusable bag. (And if you have the Target credit card, you get another 5%!)

I would also like to point out just how similar the font they used is to the one on my blog. It's kinda freaking me out.

Brown Sugar

Why is this stuff so good? I could probably eat spoonfuls of it straight-up.

And a little tip: I prefer the light brown over the dark brown for chocolate chip cookies. Easier to tell if they're burning, too.

my Danskin running shorts
Mine are an obnoxious shade of purple
I don't like the inner liners on most running shorts (um, I'm already wearing underwear!), so I had to search a few places for new shorts.  I eventually got a pair of Adidas ones from Dick's Sporting Goods, which are okay. But then I decided on a whim to buy this $7 pair from Wal-Mart, and they turned out to be my favorite! I mostly just like the hidden pocket, which perfectly holds my scan card to get back into the Y. (It would probably fit my car key, but I leave that in a locker.)

Gallery Walls
I put one in our apartment that you see right when you come up the stairs from the entrance. It's so fun to look at all the pictures, and I love seeing them in other houses. But now I need to figure out where exactly to put ours in . . .

Our New House!
So we're buying a house, and this is it! Offer has been made and accepted, and the inspection will be happening next week, and closing will happen the week after we get back from Virginia in mid-August. The back yard is HUGE, and I think we're inheriting the herb garden as well. I'm kind of excited, but also overwhelmed. It was under our budget, so we'll be making some big updates before we move in. I will be talking much more about this house on the blog, including before-and-after pics, of course!

14 July 2013

What I Wore Sunday (LBD Edition)

Link up at Fine Linen and Purple
I actually have two little black dresses. I have one for more formal occasions that I sadly haven't had an occasion to wear in probably 3 years now. And then I have this knit jersey one that's actually a maternity dress but has served me well on both sides of that fence.
Another selfie, courtesy of my apartment's balcony banister.
Dress: Liz Lange Maternity from Target // Shoes: Jellypop from I'm not sure (Shoe Carnival, maybe?) // Watch: Charming Charlie // Necklace: Charlotte Russe // Camisole bra: Maidenform outlet in Foley, Alabama

[More showings and jabbering about my awesome LBD back in this post.]
Yes, that lace cami is actually part of my bra! I had been wearing solely nursing bras for such a long time that I forgot what I actually had in my drawer. While this bra is definitely not for nursing, it's great for everything else! It was especially awesome in Florida where you tried to be modest but it was just too dang hot for more than one layer.
Genius, right??!
B is off on his monthly Drill weekend, so I did the solo-parenting in mass thing again at vigil last night. We actually went to a different church, since it's the one we'll probably be attending when we buy a house! (And that whole home-ownership thing is becoming more real every day.) I have found a system for dealing with a squawking toddler in mass now. I know some people won't agree with this, but it involves small snacks (mostly Cheerios), paced by me while she sits on my lap through the homily. Last night, it also involved her falling off the kneeler right before communion and a medium-sized meltdown. (I never found the cry room at the new church, but the narthex was fine.) We celebrated by going to Chick-Fil-A where Cora actually ate chicken and then got to play in their kids' area, which thankfully included an under-3 area. That's a pretty good night for us, even though Daddy wasn't here.

07 July 2013

What I Wore Sunday (Vol. 20)

Well, technically I wore it to Saturday vigil, as usual.
But go check out some of Sunday's finest.
A dress with pockets!
Dress: Old Navy // Necklace: Body Central // Sandals: Target //
Bracelet (pictured below): Charming Charlie

We have had a fun and busy week here. My parents drove up from Georgia to hang out for a few days, and they left last night after dinner. We went to the zoo, drove around and looked at houses, went to my in-laws' lakehouse for Independence Day, and even visited Johnny Appleseed's grave. (That last one is a Fort Wayne thing. Hey, every city needs a claim to fame.)

My mom also helped me acquire the fabric for my first sewing project in years. The plan is to make an infinity dress, and I'm a little intimidated but a lot excited about it. Hopefully you'll be seeing it for WIWS a few times! If anyone has made one of these, please feel free to give me any helpful tips. If I can't figure it out, I'll probably just end up matching the fashion sense of my toddler:
That's my girl!