Sunday, November 30, 2008

FIVE Months Old

It is getting harder and harder to refer to Norah as a 'baby' these days, because I just don't think a 'baby' is supposed to have this much personality. I much prefer calling her a 'small person'. She turned the big FIVE months the day after Thanksgiving, so we took our requisite monthly pictures at Grandma Geri's house.

The big news this month is that Norah is finally sleeping in her crib. She doesn't sleep there all night, but we are getting very close. She rolls over like a maniac now and has been known to roll herself from one side of her big blanket to the other. She is a champion exersaucer player and can hit the lion, the dog, AND the cat. She grabs everything and anything in her way and I swear she is trying to crawl (she sticks her little baby bum way up in the air and then throws her arms and legs out Superman style). She can sit up unassisted for a few seconds before toppling over.

She is obsessed with other babies and wants to wrestle with them. She has been known to whack one or two at our parent class, so I am having to keep a closer eye on her. She has no use anymore for her swing or bouncey chair and actively tries to launch herself out of her Bumbo chair. I may never get to take a shower again.

She 'talks' all day (and sometimes at 4 am) and is finally showing some interest in Loretta (hasn't tried to wrestle her....yet). Her hair hasn't really made a grand return yet, and so lately it looks as though she has a mohawk. We're going with it. She is obsessed with her feet and sticks them in her mouth every chance she gets. She loves to drink water but doesn't want a bottle or even a sippy cup. She loves to drink from a 'grown up' cup, even though only about 1% of the water actually gets in her mouth.

Our attachment parenting techniques (baby wearing, co-sleeping, etc) seem to be working as she has some pretty serious stranger danger. She is starting to spend a little time here and there with Manju, who we hope will be her babysitter when I go back to work at the end of January (that is if Manju can survive her melt-downs when mom and dad aren't around). She still is loving story time and bath time and has taken to sleeping on her stomach in the crib.

We love her more than we ever thought possible.

#69: Get Professional Family Pictures Taken

Go to, and click on my name (in the middle of the page).

Thursday, November 27, 2008

You've Got To Be Kidding Me

I have never been a great sleeper. The slightest noise wakes me up and I have been known to log countless hours awake after an appropriate bed time. During the nightmare that was my flesh eating pregnancy rash (ie, PUPPPS), I went for about 3 weeks getting only 1 to 2 hours of sleep a night. Now that Norah is in a more predictable sleeping pattern you would think I would be too. No such luck. She wakes up consistently every night between 3 and 4. I feed her and she goes back to sleep. And I then toss and turn for a while, take a warm bath, drink herbal tea, etc. before ending up writing blog posts at 4:55 am. Thankfully lately BVZ has been going into work much later so when I finally fall back asleep at 6:30 or 7:00, he hangs out with Norah for a few hours while I sleep. This routine isn't going to last forever though, so we've got to figure something out. Before. I. Lose. My. Mind.

Here's a cute picture of the only ones sleeping these days....

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sleep Update

Since several of you have asked I thought I would give a quick update on how the sleeping business is going. It's, well, it's going. Last Monday was the first night we committed to putting her down in the crib and she slept there without a peep from 7:45 pm to 6:00 am. I of course, didn't sleep a wink. We crossed our fingers and hoped it wasn't a fluke.... but of course it was. The next 2 nights she tossed and turned and screamed and demanded to be held. Approximately every 2 hours or so. We obliged her because we decided it would be too traumatic (for her and for us) to have to sleep in the crib AND cry it out at the same time.

So, for the past 4 nights or so this is the routine:
7:45: bedtime routine, Norah gets put down in the crib and passes out.
8:30: Norah wakes up screaming because she's on her stomach. I go in and get her back to sleep, takes about a half hour.
9:30: Norah wakes up screaming because she's on her back. BVZ goes in and gets her down, either in 2 minutes or 20 minutes.
10:30: we go to bed. This seems to help her sleep because we aren't up and about and making noise.
3:30 to 4:30: Norah wakes up, not screaming, but thrashing around and really fussing. Feeding her calms her immediately, but she usually takes 30 to 40 minutes to get back to sleep. She won't stay in the crib at this point, so I try for about an hour and then give up and bring her back to bed with us.

I think this is our biggest problem right now:

Her instinct is to flip over on her tummy, but 1) she can't get back, and 2) sometimes it freaks her out. One night she actually put herself to sleep on her tummy which prompted several phone calls on my part (to my mom, to the advice nurse...) and she seemed content there. But she hasn't been able to do it again, and I am not going to actively put her down on her stomach. As a result, she usually ends up back here:

BVZ wants to employ some cry it out techniques when we get back from Thanksgiving at Grandma Geri's. We'll see.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

101 Things in 1001 Days

Since things are a little Norah-centric these days, I thought I would spice it up by making it more about me, me, ME. I came across a concept that was all the rage last year, and while I found it to be very appealing at the time, I just could never get around to it. Well, there is no time like the present! It is 101 things in 1001 days. The concept is simple: come up with a list of 101 things you want to do and then give yourself 1001 days (almost 3 years) to get them done. I sat down this afternoon to try and make such a list and to my surprise it only took about a half hour. I guess I have a lot of stuff to try. So, I am gettin' to it. The following is my list. As I cross stuff off I will come back and update here. For those of you just here to see pictures of the world's cutest baby, feel free to disregard.

Things I will accomplish from November 21, 2008, to August 19, 2011:
  1. plant a vegetable garden with Norah
  2. take a dance class
  3. dye my hair red
  4. organize my cooking magazines
  5. forgo any kind of artificial sweetner for a month
  6. grow my fingernails out long enough for a manicure
  7. knit something for Norah
  8. lose 40 lbs
  9. watch every movie on AFI's Top 100 list
  10. run in a 5K
  11. write a will
  12. go salsa dancing
  13. take Norah to Europe
  14. clean out the garage
  15. drink Don Perignon
  16. visit the California Academy of Sciences
  17. hike from Muir Woods to Stinson Beach
  18. take Norah camping
  19. see the bats under the Capitol Street Bridge in Austin
  20. show Norah the Suez house in El Paso
  21. bake a perfect souffle
  22. buy designer jeans
  23. take a painting class
  24. volunteer with an Innocence Project
  25. buy at least 5 gifts for an Angel Tree this Christmas
  26. attend a political rally
  27. donate money to a political cause
  28. teach Norah to swim
  29. make Norah a family tree
  30. take Norah to New York City
  31. take a ceramics class
  32. get bangs
  33. fly a kite
  34. make an earthquake/disaster kit for the house
  35. read a book of poetry
  36. take Norah on a train
  37. eat vegan for a week
  38. go on a bike ride with Norah and BVZ
  39. go to a book reading
  40. make all of Norah’s baby food (except for finger food and ones with too many nitrates) until her first birthday
  41. take the same yoga class more than once
  42. volunteer at a soup kitchen on a major holiday
  43. read Kristin’s dissertation
  44. learn how to meditate
  45. get Norah her own library card
  46. buy life insurance
  47. take a nap in a hammock
  48. get new bookshelves for the family room
  49. babyproof the house
  50. read all Pulitzer Prize winners for fiction from 1998-2008
  51. learn how to change a tire
  52. see the Academy Award winners for Best Documentary from 1998-2008
  53. get rid of our videotape collection
  54. take a music class with Norah
  55. back-up our computer files
  56. swim in the ocean with Norah
  57. finish a New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle
  58. take a ferry from San Francisco to Tiburon or Sausalito
  59. get a couple’s massage with BVZ
  60. change all light bulbs in the house to energy efficient ones
  61. take Norah on a road trip
  62. eat at French Laundry
  63. eat at Chez Panisse
  64. organize my spice rack
  65. go for a mole check at the dermatologist
  66. breastfeed Norah until she’s at least 9 months
  67. take a vacation with just the sisters
  68. take a CPR class
  69. get professional family pictures taken
  70. make homemade chicken stock
  71. put all my pictures of Megan and Trevor into albums
  72. get my wedding dress cleaned and preserved
  73. donate any clothing I haven’t worn for a year
  74. replace the family room curtains (and keep the new ones away from Loretta)
  75. get Norah every Shel Silverstein book
  76. become a member of a wine club
  77. figure out a way to stop paying so damn much for cable
  78. phase out all of our plastic kitchenware by 2010.
  79. buy a piece of real art
  80. watch all the ‘Friday the 13th’ movies
  81. leave Norah overnight with my mom (or other family member)
  82. cancel every catalog we get in the mail
  83. start and maintain for at least 6 months a window herb garden
  84. make Beef Wellington
  85. try liquid eyeliner
  86. teach Norah to put herself to sleep
  87. pay the bridge toll for the car behind me
  88. walk across the entire length of the Golden Gate Bridge
  89. have a fondue dinner party
  90. take an Indian or Thai cooking class
  91. go to a spin class
  92. go to a museum by myself
  93. go to a drive-in movie theater
  94. take Norah on a hike in Tucson
  95. get a tattoo
  96. develop my own sangria recipe
  97. bake a red velvet cake
  98. donate $500 to a women’s shelter
  99. tell BVZ every day for 1001 days that I appreciate him
  100. let BVZ take me on a hike of his choice
  101. take a walking tour of San Francisco

Friday, November 21, 2008

What Do You Do All Day?

Before Norah arrived I worried about what I would do with a baby all day. I grilled new moms who assured me that somehow they filled their days, often without time for a shower or even lunch. I couldn't imagine how this was possible, I mean, aren't there only so many times in a day you can sing itsy bitsy spider? But, somehow we manage to enjoy our time together (okay, most of our time together) every day. The following is a small example of what we do all day. I warn you in advance that the video is long (like 3 minutes) and not all that interesting. She doesn't do anything new or exciting. You have to really be into Norah to make it to the end.


So, it is no secret that I don't know jack about fashion or style or beauty products. I own 9,000 black shirts and use Cetaphil as face wash. I blame this on my lack of appropriate feminine role models as a child (sorry Lynnie, you are a great mom, but you are also the woman who told us to use rubbing alcohol on our faces when we asked for toner). I was a little concerned when I learned we were having a girl because I feared I would pass this same ineptness on to her. Unfortunately, it is already beginning. I noticed the other day when we went to visit Lilah that I dressed Norah in an unfortunate outfit. It was all pink (the onesie, pants, and little sweater), but varying shades and textures, none of which complemented the other. I just know that Norah is going to be that kid in pre-school that the teachers assume has parents who let her dress herself and she's going to have to explain to them that no, her mom did it.

Her smarts better make up for her inevitable lack of style and male pattern baldness.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wrestlemania 2008

Today we visited sweet baby Lilah and her parents, Sam and Ave up in SF. Norah was on her best behavior at first and even let Sam hold her for like 15 minutes. Once she caught sight of Lilah, however, all bets were off and all she wanted to do was wrestle with her. But, alas, Lilah is only 7 weeks old and thus not yet ready for a throw down.

We had a lovely afternoon (and lunch!) and chatted about boobs and poop and the fact that even though our babies didn't actually grow in our asses, said asses now require pants 3 sizes bigger (although for Ave this means size 6. Try not to hate her, she's really very nice).

Lilah is a milk drinking champion and has a lovely and contented drunk baby face here:

Norah is thinking about her attack:

If she couldn't wrestle she was at least going to lick:

She is not happy to learn she will not be allowed to manhandle little Lilah. Maybe next time.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Isn't It Ironic?

We are reluctant co-sleepers. From the day we brought Norah home she refused to sleep anywhere but in our bed, right between us. Most nights she would start off in the middle and then gradually work her way over to me. We were a SIDS nightmare. We tried just about everything--a bassinet, a pack and play, a co-sleeper, and nothing worked. We tried to introduce her to the crib and it was a huge disaster (I spent an afternoon with her sheet stuffed in my shirt so it would smell like me, but she wasn't buying it). I finally just gave into it figuring that she knew what she needed and I wasn't going to deny her the comforts of mom and dad.

This worked for about 3 months and then she started to figure out that her arms and legs actually move. I can't tell you the number of times I have been startled out of sleep by getting punched in the face or kicked in the gut. It seemed as though she was waking up between 6 to 10 times a night and each time felt the need to stick her fingers up my nose or twist my bottom lip. My back and neck ache constantly from the contorted positions I sleep in to make sure she is safe. No one was getting a good night sleep, least of all Norah.

I have been trying to get her to take naps in her crib for the past week or so and have been met with great resistance. But, we were at our wits end. Last night we took the plunge and after her normal bedtime routine of bath, stories, and the boob, she got put down in the crib at 7:45. She tossed around a bit and then drifted off to sleep. She woke up at 8:30 wailing, so BVZ picked her up, gave her a hug, and put her back down. It is now 5:11 am and she hasn't made a peep. I, of course, haven't slept a wink all night. I have tossed and turned and checked to make sure she's still breathing at least 300 times.

The ironic thing? I miss her desperately. The bed seems huge without her.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Norah Gets a New Hat

You wouldn't think Norah would have needed a new sun hat in MID-NOVEMBER, but you'd be wrong...

Norah's First NFL Game, aka What the Frick Were We Thinking Taking a Four Month Old to an NFL Game?

BVZ says that he has three great loves of his life: me, Norah, and football. Before she was even born he talked about how fun it would be to take her to a game. Hell, Norah even has a 49'ers footed sleeper. When he arranged for the tickets back in May I figured Norah would be four and a half months old--plenty big enough for a football game. Clearly, I know nothing about babies.

Being the responsible parents we are, we got Norah ear protection for what obviously would be a very noisy game. Here she is modeling her ear phones.

Our good friends Isaac and Karyl drove down from Sonoma to join in the fun. At first it seemed as though the day would be perfect. It was a sunny 80 degrees at our house and we loaded up the car with both tailgating and baby crap. Although I didn't think she'd need it, at the last minute I threw Norah's sun hat into her bag. Now, the stadium is about 10 miles north of our house, and so the weather is usually a good 10 to 15 degrees cooler. Imagine my surprise to find that it was at least 112 degrees in the parking lot (okay, maybe an exaggeration, but it was really, really hot). We did okay at first, balancing stuffing our faces with guacamole and keeping Norah out of the sun.

Here are Karyl and Isaac:

BVZ and the littlest fan. Thank god I brought that hat!

Norah with Karyl:

It was so hot but I dared not take her outfit off of her because I had to keep her protected from the sun (no sun block for itty bitty babies).

The best part of the Prius is the hatch-back, so I just spread a blanket down and let her nap it off.

That's the end of the pictures because that's when it all went to hell. We got into the stadium where it was oppressively hot. We were all so uncomfortable, so I can only imagine how Norah felt. We got her ear phones on her when the fireworks started, and although she couldn't hear the cracking she could probably feel the vibrations. Plus, she couldn't hear us try and comfort her. We had an umbrella but it didn't seem to help create any shade for her. The ear phones, combined with the heat, and she just lost it. She cried, I cried, and 5 minutes into the game it became abundantly clear that this was the worst. idea. ever, and she and I high tailed it out of there.

We came home and drank lots of water and watched some 'America's Next Top Model'. By the third quarter BVZ, Isaac, and Karyl couldn't take the heat any more, so we went and picked them up.

This whole parenting thing is supposed to be hit and miss, right?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Friday Night

On Friday nights we used to go out to dinner. Now we lay on the living room floor and try to stay awake until 8 pm.

Naked Baby

I think the video commentary says it all....

Friday, November 14, 2008

Good Cop

Lately Norah just wants to 'talk' all of the time (she is my kid, after all). I think it frustrates her to no end to not be able to form actual words, but that doesn't stop the never ending babble she's got going. I enjoy her efforts immensely, especially when she is laughing. Baby laughter is far and away the best. sound. ever! Excuse the disgusting noises I am making in the background to get her going.

(Following this will be a post of Norah 'talking' in her not so happy voice.....)

Bad Cop

And this is what she sounds like when she doesn't know whether to laugh or cry. I think she sounds like some kind of wounded dinosaur.

(*disclaimer to those who may be viewing at work: it's LOUD*)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Holy Crap, She Did It!

So, before Norah was born I swore I wouldn't be one of 'those' parents. You know, the kind that go nuts for every new thing their kid does. I mean developmental milestones are cool and all, but the world doesn't care about my kid's first poopy diaper or the first time she figures out how to cram her hand in her mouth. Until now! After weeks of waiting with the camera for Norah to roll over from her back to her front (she has been teasing me relentlessly--she throws her legs in the air, turns to the side, and then... nothing), I have become one of 'those' parents, because I caught it on tape and you must all now watch it!

Seriously, I don't think I could be more proud if she had cured cancer.

Another such moment happened last night, and I am actually really disappointed not to have caught it on film. Norah demands our full attention at all times, even when we're eating dinner. She has to be sitting in someone's (okay, my) lap. But lately she has desperately trying to sit up, and so she will pitch herself forward not realizing that her back muscles aren't quite strong enough. If you aren't careful, she will go flying (BVZ calls it the suicide move). She did such a move as we were eating last night and she face planted right in the middle of my plate of tortellini. At first I was panicked because I thought she had hurt her face. I would have grabbed the camera at that point, but she started frantically licking the artichoke pesto off of her face and hands and I figured her digestive track might not be able to handle olive oil just yet.

Stay tuned because she is just getting started.

Thank You, Global Warming

We have bought very few clothes for Norah, as most of her fashion stash is a result of very generous gift giving. But, too often a baby receives an outfit that is the wrong size for that particular season. Take Norah's frock she has on today. It is a 6 month size, but a summer/early fall ensemble. She just now fits into it, and it is almost mid-November. Normally, this would mean she wouldn't get any wear out of it at all, but global warming has made this fall nice and temperate (polar ice caps be damned!). The penguins might be dying, but doesn't our girl look dashing?

BVZ commented that she looked 'different' this morning and I realized it was because the girl lives in onesies and stretchy pants. I don't think we'll be trying to 'girl her up' too much anytime soon. She already wears a lot of pink, and I figure that's good enough.

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's On Like Donkey Kong

After a particularly bad week of Norah sleep last week, BVZ and I have decided to get serious about sleep training her. You wouldn't think a 15 lb sweet baby girl could wake you up 12 times a night by punching you in the face and twisting the skin on your neck, but you'd be wrong. Even though I have told her a million times that I can hear her when she cries, she insists upon pummeling me to get my attention. And, then after she's up (at 4 am) why go back to sleep when you've got two adults right there? Instead, make them play with you!

We are taking a united front and have both been reading 'The Sleep Easy Solution' and we now have a plan. The first thing is weaning her from night time feedings. This involves first establishing what her patterns are, so for the next 5 days I am keeping notes during the night of when and how much she eats. We started last night and it is harder than you think to keep track of times and durations when you are a waking zombie, but I did it anyway. Then, after 5 days of figuring out her pattern, we start to wean. We (and by we, I mean I) wake her up an hour before she usually gets up and feed her for 2 minutes less than she usually eats. For example, she woke up at 3:45 last night and ate for 12 minutes. So, instead I would wake her up at 2:45 and feed her for 10 minutes. The feedings decrease by 2 minutes every night until she gives it up completely.

Once she is weaned the real fun begins. It does involve some level of 'crying it out' but is designed to teach her to put herself to sleep so that she can put herself BACK to sleep when she wakes up in the middle of the night. And this needs to happen in her crib. I have been so conflicted about the co-sleeping for many months now, but I am now convinced that what she needs is to get a good night sleep, and that's only going to happen in her crib. BVZ is sleeping in the guest room this week so that he can get a week of solid sleep (so he can take the lead on the crying it out portion of the program), and last night was the best night of sleep all of us have had in months. I really do think that we wake up Norah constantly when we move, talk, or I punch BVZ to get him to stop snoring. Once she is comfortable in her own space, in her own bed I think she will sleep so much better. She shows all the signs of sleep deprivation that the book describes (rubbing her eyes, red eyes, tugging her ear, etc), so I don't think we are doing her any favors by continuing to let her sleep with us.

I am actually really excited at the prospect of us all becoming functional again.

The Exersaucer

We recently introduced Norah to the Exersaucer, and all I have to say is, where have you been my whole life, sweet, sweet Exersaucer? It is a contraption that Norah sits in the middle of and entertains herself with a variety of different toys. According to BVZ she 'plays exersaucer' currently at an 8 month level because she can already push the button that makes the lion roar (I am not sure where he gets these developmental milestones, but we go with them). My favorite is when she gets a little tired she starts to sway back and forth and grabs on to the dragon to steady herself. But she can't help trying to eat the dragon. That's just how it goes with dragons.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Dear Norah

Dear Norah,

We try to keep things pretty light hearted around here at the 'ole GVZ blogspot, but today is a special day and I think it deserves some special reflection. Today is election day, and it isn't an overstatement to say that it is perhaps the most important election day in recent history. Dad and I took you to the polls with us this morning so that you could see democracy in action. You looked around for a while and then fell asleep while we waited in line. That's okay, because I will tell you all about it when you wake up in about an hour.

I vote with gusto in every election (it's our civic duty, N!), but today I found myself particularly emotional about it. I think that is because for the first time, voting for the 'future' has become voting for YOUR future. As you are the person I love most in this world, that is a big responsibility and one that I don't take lightly.

I voted the way that I did because I want so many things for you. By the time you are old enough to vote, I want it to be commonplace for women and minorities to be major players in the presidential election. I want you to live in a country where access to health care is a right and not a privilege. I want this unjust and immoral war to be ended in a safe and reasonable way. I want you to have clean air and clean water and renewable sources of energy. I want your education to be a priority. I want you to live in a time of economic stability, where families can pay their bills and stay in their homes. I want you to live in a country that protects its most vulnerable citizens. I want you to enjoy freedom of speech and expression without fear of retribution. I want you to always have the freedom to control your own body. When you grow up I want you to be able to marry the person you love, regardless of their gender.

I look forward to many, many years of our family being involved in our community and in our world. We only get what we give, sweet Norah.

I love you and I am glad I got to share this day with you.


(PS--I ordered you a 'My Mama is for Obama' onesie to wear today and even paid extra for priority shipping. But, alas, something happened to it in transit and it didn't make it on time. I may be a bleeding heart liberal, but capitalism has its perks and I raised a big enough stink to get us a $50 gift certificate to the retailer that messed our order up. When (and if) it ever gets here it will go into your memory chest all the same).

Monday, November 03, 2008


One of the reasons we were so drawn to the name Norah was because it doesn't really lend itself well to nicknames. I like the idea of calling the kid by her actual name. That being said, I think I have probably called her 'Norah' only a handful of times since she has been born. Instead, she is commonly referred to as:

-Norah Bear
-Norah Borah
-Norah Porah Puddin' and Pie

BVZ calls her 'Shorty'.

(*Pic is of no real relation to the post, I just thought it was cute.*)

Like Father, Like Daughter

As Norah's personality emerges more and more every day, I am struck by how much like BVZ she is. Now, don't get me wrong, she's got a lot of me in there too (babbles constantly, hates hot weather, loves the bathtub, etc.), but she is most definitely her father's daughter. Some examples:

--They have very similar temperaments. Both are really very mellow and easy going, unless they get over tired. Then, all bets are off.
--They both are easily overstimulated in new environments. For Norah, this includes birthday parties with a lot of new people. For BVZ, this includes the grocery store.
--They both get the hiccups after eating spicy food.
--They both need their tummies rubbed when they have gas.
--They both have inordinate amounts of gas.
--They both love watching football on TV and nothing can tear them away from it. A giant boob walking in the room wouldn't phase either one of them.
--They both crack themselves up. Many times I have caught them both laughing to themselves about nothing in particular.
--They both startle really easily and scream like little girls when scared.
--They both hate going to Target.
--They both have a serious bald spot. I am starting to be a bit concerned about Norah's, as it isn't even on the side of her head she sleeps on! Last week when we went to her doctor's appointment there were two old ladies sitting at the information desk giving people directions and other unsolicited advice (think, the theater critics from The Muppets). As we walked by one of them said, 'Oh, look at that adorable baby, she has a bald spot!' And the other lady said, 'Just like her daddy.' I kid you not.

I am sure in the next weeks and months this list will be a mile long.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from our little chili pepper!

Norah's costume was a gift from Aunt Stephanie and picked out by Megan who declared that in wearing it Norah would be 'one hot mama.' Indeed. Here she is in full chili pepper glory:

The left arm of her costume was apparently quite tasty.

We walked up the street to the annual Belmont costume parade and contest. Doesn't she look thrilled to be there?

We hung out with the Hale's and their cute baseball player, Ethan.

It was the Hale's dog in his witch costume that got the most attention from the crowd.

In true Norah fashion, she was up all day and then as soon as something fun started, promptly passed out.

The babies had no interest in waiting around for the contest to start, so we headed home to check out our front yard.

Now, with BVZ's crazy work weeks we didn't have much time or energy to do the kind of display we wanted to. We waited too long to get pumpkins and even missed out on jack-o-lanterns. But, we did make a decent showing with the zombie man and his beating heart. It was hard to get a good picture in the dark, but it glowed so brightly and the trick or treaters went nuts for it. (**special thanks to Karyl who came down earlier in the week to help me put it all together**)

Before it got dark we let Norah escape from her chili pepper outfit and took her around the neighborhood to check out all the decorated houses.

Some were really scary!

This was one of my favorites... very subtle, but actually very spooky in person.

Don't forget to vote (for Obama) on Tuesday!

We went back to our house for our traditional dinner of hot dogs and tater tots and waited for the trick or treaters. We thought the rain would deter a lot of them, but by 7:30 we were out of candy (and I had bought over 400 pieces). We have to step it up next year, I think. BVZ is very jealous of the house across the street. They put on a full on haunted house and their line of trick or treaters is at least 30 kids deep at any given time. I think we do okay. It isn't like we give out raisins or anything.

Happy Halloween!