Friday, January 30, 2009

Norah's Room

Norah has a unique ability to find the one thing in the room she isn't supposed to have. Usually it is some kind of electrical cord. Today it was a box of crap I should have taken out of her room a month ago. Plus, there's a cute crawling sequence.

video

Baby Puke

Norah is obsessed with drinking out of our regular, grown-up sized glasses. She inevitably drinks too much, too fast and winds up with water in her windpipe. Choking, spluttering, and puking ensues. A lot of puking.

video

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

SEVEN Months Old!

This has been such an amazing month for us. Norah changes by the hour and we're having a hard time keeping up with her. Because I am insistent that her monthly pictures get taken on her actual month birthday, today's photo shoot was short and sweet (it was after work and we were both exhausted). The only way she would stay in her chair was if I included her two favorite things right now--purple elephant and the ladybug book.

She is so curious. She wants to touch and eat everything. She loves being read to or just getting the chance to eat a book or two. Now that she is crawling like a maniac she is into every nook and cranny. Glasses of water and the remote are her favorite toys right now. She chases Loretta around the house and I am consistently prying her hands open to get out all of the cat hair.

See this look on her face? She furrows that brow whenever she is annoyed at something we've done. Lately that's been whenever I make her eat broccoli. She loves any fruit and all of the orange veggies, but we are having a harder time with the green ones. Zucchini she will do as long as it's mixed with something else (oatmeal or yogurt), which makes perfect sense. I don't enjoy zucchini, but I certainly enjoy zucchini bread.

She loves, loves, loves other kids and babies. Loves their toys mostly, but the babies too. We started a music class in January and she is already learning how to groove. She dances to the beat and consistently tries to eat all of the musical instruments. She's getting so big! She got a new car seat and stroller to start the transition from itty bitty baby to itty bitty little girl.

She would stay in the bathtub for an hour if we let her. She loves getting zerberts on her stomach and every morning she tries to zerbert my face. She is currently obsessed with my hair (even more than usual), and wraps her sticky hands in it constantly. She pulls herself up on anything and everything she can find. She's isn't quite adept at getting herself down from a standing position, though, and often times gets stuck. She sleeps in her crib 85% of the time.

Life is so exciting that she doesn't want to miss a thing.

She's our shining star.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Red Ant


When my sisters and I were kids (okay, also when we were in high school...and maybe a few times last year) we played this game called 'Red Ant.' It was very sophisticated and involved crawling around on all fours and ramming each other with our heads. I am not sure where the name came from as I don't think that ants of any color head-butt each other, but that's neither here nor there. I was going to wait until Norah was at least 2 before teaching her the glory that is RA, but low and behold she figured it out on her own this morning, almost breaking my nose in the process. Good job, Norah. Good job.

(Two interesting Red Ant facts I forgot to include the first time around: 1) Norah's Aunt Amy is the reigning RA champion. Her fighting name is 'Rock Head'; 2) RA has a theme song, sung to the tune of the Pink Panther theme--'red ant, red ant, red ant, red ant, red ant, red aaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnnnttttttt.')

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What Happens to Little Girls Who Won't Nap

Norah refused to take an afternoon nap today. We tried rocking, singing, nursing, and strolling (see below), but she was not giving in. I was feeding her some carrot and parsnips when I noticed her eyes getting very heavy. She was not into eating but kept grabbing her spoon, flinging food all over the opposite wall. I went to get a towel to wipe it up and when I returned she was sound asleep. As in snoring sound asleep.


Strollin'

Technically, Norah is still within the limits of her infant car seat, but she's getting too tall for it and she hates being confined in it. Plus, we needed to get another seat for BVZ's car since he is taking her to the nanny share in the morning anyway, so we went ahead and got her a convertible seat for my car and moved the infant one to BVZ's. She loves it (well, loves it as much as Norah is capable of loving a car seat). Since we never got a travel stroller system (we just had a snap and go that transformed the infant seat to a stroller), we needed a new stroller.

I have been obsessing about strollers for weeks now, researching online and dragging Norah and BVZ to stroller showrooms (scary that something like that actually exists!) on the weekends. I finally settled on the Quinny Buzz when I discovered the 2008 models were on sale to make room for the 2009's. (**Side note: apparently the bright blue or 'Capri' didn't sell very well, so it was even more on sale than the other colors. It is very bright and cheerful and I really like it. However, it isn't going to do much for the everyone-thinks-Norah-is-a-boy problem. I swear unless she's wearing bright pink people assume she's a boy. I had her in jeans and a white shirt yesterday--2 people told me I had a 'cute little guy.' BVZ took her to the grocery store today in her yellow pj's and several people told him his son looked just like him....**)

Anyway, strollers are ridiculously expensive and the whole process is about as stressful as buying a car! But, it was delivered yesterday and so today we took it on its maiden voyage.



She was much more enthused about it then it appears, she was just tired. Welcome to the family, Quinny!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Fat Man In Little Coat

Those of you who have been around for a while will remember the Tragedy of June 2008 (ie, my needing a business suit when I was 9 months pregnant). Luckily my job is one in which no dress code applies on a normal day, so I lived in maternity jeans and long sleeve t-shirts from the Gap. But, I had to do an oral argument in the First District Appellate Court last June and I was going to have to look presentable. I didn't want to spend hundreds of dollars on something I would (hopefully) only have to wear once. Of course I waited until the absolute possible minute to buy something and tried to pull of buying maternity dress pants and pairing them with a black suit coat I already owned (obviously worn unbuttoned). I tried it on like 2 nights before the argument and immediately began crying because I was clearly Fat Man In Little Coat (for those of you too sophisticated to get the 'Tommy Boy' reference, I apologize).

Anyway, FMILC is what I thought of when Norah was wearing the pajamas featured below. She really doesn't do anything in the video, so don't feel compelled to watch it past the initial pj shot.

video

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Green Beans and New Bath Toys

So, as it turns out Norah hates green beans. Which is particularly annoying because green beans took a long damn time to make. I added some apple to the beans hoping that would help, but it was a no go. I added carrots to another spoonful of beans (she loves carrots), but she continued to spit them out. According to the big, bad, baby food book (Super Baby Foods, don't read it, it's the devil), if a kid doesn't like a particular food you should dump a little on their tray and let them play with it, get it on their hands, etc. So, I gave her the bowl and madness ensued.


Because I am stupid and got her terry cloth bibs, I have been doing loads of laundry with bibs every day. I finally wised up a little and got her a few plasticky ones that wipe right off. She hated it. She tried to pull it off and then hang herself with it.


I got a bunch of super cute (and naked) pictures of her in the bath tonight with her new rubber ducky, but BVZ is afraid that if perverts google 'naked baby pictures' they will somehow get directed to this blog. I appreciate his concern, so I am respecting his decision (I feel I have to defer to him on this one, since I did post pictures of him shirtless on the elliptical).

Every night that BVZ makes it home before 7:00, we tag team her bath. The usual bath song is 'splish splash Norie's takin' a bath'. We are bad parents and never bothered to get her any bath toys (Grandma Geri got her a great boat that we're saving for the move to the big person tub). Last week I threw in a little plastic lobster because she wouldn't stop sucking on her wash cloth and needed a distraction. At the exact same time BVZ and I both started singing the B-52's song 'Rock Lobster'. And neither one of us knew any of the words except 'Rock Lobster'.

Ah, soul mates....

Back to the Grindstone


So, I went back to work yesterday. It is amazing how fast almost 7 months goes. I think its the longest I have gone without income (save for those handy disability checks) in 15 or 16 years. First off, I have to give huge props to BVZ for taking on the responsibility of financially providing for all 3 of us. We are a solid two income family (that bay area mortgage and all), and with the tanking economy (I don't even look at our investment statements anymore), I know it has been stressful for him. I also want to acknowledge how lucky I am to have a job that let me take so much time off and is letting me come back at only 50% time. I know lots of people don't have that option, and so I am very grateful that I do.

We are in a nanny share arrangement with another family. The other little girl is Ayana, and she is 11 months old (although she is very petite, so she and Norah are about the same size). Ayana walks (almost) and talks (in her own language) and is a great playmate for Norah. Their nanny is Manju. She is from Nepal and has two kids of her own. She is gentle and kind and Norah likes her a lot. For the first month we'll be taking Norah over to Ayana's house and then in March Ayana will come to our house.

It went as well as could be expected yesterday. I took her over there in the morning (usually BVZ will take her), and she immediately started playing with Ayana's toys. I am not sure she even noticed that I left. But, she apparently figured it out a bit later because the report I got was that there was a whole lot of crying yesterday (and Norah isn't a crier, so I know she was upset). She also didn't eat very much, which concerns me a great deal. I think in the 7.5 hours I was gone she only had 7 ozs of milk. She doesn't get a bottle very often, but when she does get one she does okay with it, so I am not sure what the problem is. We'll see how it goes on Thursday and then re-evaluate based on how she's doing. She has to eat. The consequence of her not eating yesterday was that she wanted to eat all. night. long. She's been sleeping from 7:00 pm to 6:00 am for the past week or so (I haven't said anything because I haven't wanted to jinx it), so last night was rough for both of us (basically I brought her back to bed with us about 1:00 am and she nursed off and on for the next 5 hours).

She has been very clingy today and won't let me out of her sight. She completely melted down when I tried to put her down for a nap, so now she is sleeping in our bed and I am right there next to her with the computer. Every 5 minutes or so she sleepily opens one eye to make sure I am there. It is breaking my heart a little.

As for me, the return was very smooth. I am driving into the city instead of taking the train like I used to (the train is too unreliable--last year it hit on average one person a month. I have been on a train that hit someone before, and despite the fact that the loss of any human life is devastating, it delays service for sometimes up to 3 hours. I can't be stuck on a train with Norah waiting for me). So, I am driving. I am taking 280 instead of 101, so I was at work in just about 35 minutes (the good news). The bad news is that there is all kinds of construction going on around my office and the parking lot that used to be $13 is now $18. That's a big and annoying difference.

Everyone at work was very glad to see me. I have a new office with a big window and nice view (before I had an interior office), which makes a world of difference. I only cried once. I made anyone who stopped by look through lots of pictures of Norah. I didn't do much other than delete emails and voice mails and move stuff from my old office to my new one. I did go to a brainstorm for a colleague, and I will admit that I had a bit of a panic when I tried to review the materials she sent out. Words like 'Miranda' and 'voluntary confession' and 'coercion' weren't making sense in my head at all. But, 20 minutes into the brainstorm and I felt like I could think again. It was really nice to feel connected again. I think the biggest struggle is going to be truly limiting my time to 50%, which is going to mean admitting there are cases and projects I just can't work on. It will take a while for everyone else to get used to it. Pumping at work was not fun. Even with a private office it was weird and awkward (I had a 'do not disturb' sign on my door, but it doesn't lock). I was planning on doing it at least 3 times a day, but now I think I will be lucky if I am able to do it twice.

I really like my job and I have worked hard to get it, so I am really hoping this will be the best of both worlds. It will be an adjustment for everyone, but I am confident it is the right decision for us all. For those moms who go back full time, I always thought you were amazing, but now I think you are downright heroic. The next time I see you, drinks are on me.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Baby Olympics

I went to work today (more on that later). This morning, instead of getting ready like we should have been, BVZ and I amused ourselves by repeatedly setting Norah up at one end of the room and watching her race for her favorite toy--my laptop.

video

Sunday, January 18, 2009

How Norah Naps

Man, Norah sucks at taking naps. It is a daily struggle to get her to go down and stay down. This afternoon she seemed content to be left alone reading her book and playing with her doll, so I let her be. I heard nothing but crickets from her room, so I gave her 10 minutes and then checked on her. This is what I found:

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Christmas 2008 Wrap-Up

Unfortunately, I have slacked so long on our vacation/holiday pictures that we are well into 2009 and no one cares anymore about December. So, I leave you with just a few gems:

Aunt Kristin has Christmas spirit circa 1985 (someone needs to teach Grammy the value of cleaning out her closet every once in a while)....

Making Christmas cookies was awesome. Not only did Trevor create BROWN frosting (with his hands), but when all the cookies were frosted and decorated, he picked out the best looking ones (note, none of the best looking ones have brown frosting) and put a lower case 'n' on each one in red hots. He said it was for Norah (lower case since 'she's still so little.') Trevor rules.

We went to the mall in an attempt to get all the grand kids in a picture with Santa. But, it was December 23rd and the line was 50 screaming kids deep. Grammy settled for a picture in front of the big tree. Steph got much better pictures, but in each one of mine someone either has their eyes closed, is picking their nose, or grabbing their crotch (I won't reveal who).

We continued the tradition of eating a chocolate orange on Christmas day. BVZ let Megan do the smashing and instructed her to smack the orange against the tile floor. Megan misunderstood and HURLED the orange with all of her might to the floor. We thought for sure it would be in a bazillion pieces. But, no. It was perfectly smashed.

And last, but certainly not least, sweet baby girl in her sweet baby first Christmas dress.

Norah Tries to Eat Another Baby

Norah has a very good friend from baby class named Chiara. Chiara and her parents are moving to London tomorrow, so the GVZ's hung out with Chiara today while her parents tried to get all their last minute errands done. Chiara is very stylish and very tall. Norah asked BVZ permission to wrestle with Chiara....

He told her to be careful and she made her move,

When she realized she was no match for Chiara, Norah tried to eat her instead.

She was genuinely surprised to have gotten caught.

We will miss our friend Chiara and her parents dearly. However, we look forward to the day when Chiara will be able to teach Norah to talk in a British accent and use the word 'bloody' as an adjective.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Moms Must Have Nine Lives

Because I died a little 3 times this week (and it is only Wednesday).

Monday:

Norah woke up from her nap and I was feeding her some apples when I noticed that her soft spot was pulsating like a heart beat or something. You may not know this about me, but I have a serious phobia of the soft spot. I am 32 years old and will not do a headstand for fear that I might still have one lurking around in there somewhere. You can only imagine how I feel about Norah's. So, I am not exaggerating one bit when I say that even typing the words 'pulsating soft spot' made me throw up in my mouth a little. Anyway, I immediately called the advice nurse (I call and someone takes a message and the nurse calls back), and while I waited for her to call back I did some Dr. Googling. Apparently, a pulsating soft spot is totally normal and happens all the time. So, when the advice nurse called back I explained what happened and said I was sorry for calling with such a dumb question. She said 'does she have a fever?' I said no. She said, 'so, we're going to want you to go ahead and bring her in. You should come now. Just go ahead and put her in the car and come now. You may have to wait a bit (it was about 5:00 pm) but it will be better for you to wait here then at home.'

I was so freaked out I couldn't even ask what she thought was wrong, I grabbed Norah and we flew down to urgent care (about a 20 minute drive). On the way I called Stephanie who called her neurologist friend (I can't tell you how much I love the fact that she has this friend), and I guess if you have a 'bulging' soft spot with a fever, that's a sign of meningitis. (I have nightmares about the idea of a bulging soft spot, by the way). We get to urgent care, Norah gets checked out and she of course is FINE. The doc said that advice nurses have to follow certain protocols and they will never sign off on anything that has to do with the head. Basically I think they have flow charts and anything having to do with the head points immediately to 'come in immediately and see doctor.' On a side note, once I was talking to one about Norah's florescent green poop and she asked me if Norah had been around any tortoises. Part of the flow chart, I suppose.

Anyway, that was Monday.

Tuesday:

I always put Norah in her high chair while I make her food. I usually put a few toys on her tray, and lately have given her a Joe's O to play with (for you non-Californians, its the same thing as a Cheerio). She isn't all that into eating it, but will play with it and knock it around. Sometimes it makes it into her mouth. I made her some yogurt and applesauce and when I sat down to feed her I noticed the O was gone (so I just assumed she ate it). She proceeded to slurp up her lunch like a champ. As soon as she was done she made the most horrible face and started gagging. She was making noise, so I knew she was breathing, but I immediately thought she must be choking on the O and my reaction was to reach in her mouth and empty it of all its contents. Either from the yogurt itself or my intervention (or a combination of both), she puked up the entire contents of her stomach. Which included a whole lot of yogurt and one perfectly formed Joe's O.

Which leads us to,

Wednesday:

Faithful readers know all about our sleeping struggles, especially with naps. Sometimes I don't have the energy to fight with her about going down (like today), so I let her take her morning nap in our bed. I set up a fort of pillows all around her so she can't roll anywhere. She was napping this morning while I was in the living room having breakfast and BVZ was in the bathroom getting ready for work. Out of nowhere, I heard this loud 'thump' and then an ear-splitting cry. I think the blood in my veins turned to ice and my heart literally stopped. We both flew in there and Norah was laying ON THE HARDWOOD FLOOR on her back. The pillows were all still in place, so she obviously had crawled over them. She screamed for about 10 minutes with me holding her tight and then she let us examine her all over. She seemed fine and stopped crying (and started smiling), so I told BVZ to change her diaper while I called urgent care to tell them we were bringing her in. Our doctor didn't have any appointments until noon, but a different doctor could see her at 10.

We left immediately. (*Funny aside, BVZ was really shaken up by what had happened and apparently forgot to fasten one side of her diaper. Of course she peed in the car and so when I got to the doctor and got her out of the seat, I first had to deal with soaked pj's). We got to the doctor at 5 'til 10:00 (this is important later) and got checked in. Now, the doctor we go to is great. It's a big practice, very professional, and we've never waited for more than 10 minutes before being seen. So, imagine my surprise when we were still waiting after 10, then 15, then 30 minutes. I asked what was going on and was told there were no available rooms. I then watched no less than 30 kids come and go and we still weren't called back. After 45 minutes I was told that the 'urgent care' doctor on call only had 2 rooms available to him and both were occupied. I asked if we could see someone else and was told no. After an hour I asked to speak with our pediatrician who I knew was there. They said she was busy. After an hour and 15 minutes I insisted upon speaking to our pediatrician, and was told no. I lost my patience and said if they didn't notify our pediatrician that we needed to see her I was going to go back and find her.

The receptionist finally agreed to get our doctor and within 2 minutes she came running out. As soon as I saw her I immediately burst into tears and could barely get out 'Baby...fell...hardwood floors...we've been....waiting....almost an hour and a half.' It wasn't pretty. Our doc was so nice and immediately did a full exam of Norah (she is totally, 100% fine) and reassured me that it does not make you a bad parent if your baby falls off a bed once, it makes you a bad parent if she falls off the bed twice. She also said that the asshole at the front desk said we were 30 minutes late to our appointment and that's why we had to wait (such a lie!) If I hadn't have been so emotionally drained at that point I might have really let her have it.

Anyway, I need a drink and if you read this whole thing, so do you.

Here are some cute pictures to wrap up the world's longest blog post.



Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Good Food

I am loving making Norah's first foods. We go shopping to pick out the produce (I like to think she is genuinely interested, but that's probably giving her too much credit), and then she sits patiently in her chair while I bake, steam, boil, and/or puree. So far she's had avocado, sweet potatoes, bananas, acorn squash, butternut squash, pears, apples and carrots. She's liked everything so far, but she goes nuts for squash and pears. The other day we baked a butternut squash and I forgot to set the timer on the oven.

Luckily there was enough good stuff to get at least 2 servings.

We tried yogurt this morning on advice of the pediatrician (in an on going effort to fatten her up a bit). She slurped up every drop of it and then proceeded to puke it all over my shirt 5 minutes later. She puked again an hour after that, and then once more right before bed. Yogurt puke isn't like breast milk spit up. This was real puke, that smelled like curdled milk. Lovely.

Just For Dad

BVZ is working late tonight and missing le bebe, so this one's for him... (I can't email the videos, because they are huge, so that's why I post them here)

video

Sunday, January 11, 2009

What Happened to My Little Fatty?

As you may remember, Lady N was quite the fatty when she was born, in the 94th percentile to be exact. A whopping 9 lbs, 3 ozs. At six months old she is weighing in at 16 lbs, which is now only the 44th percentile. Still a respectable weight, but nothing like the prize fighter we thought we had on our hands. She is still in the 78th percentile for height, and the 80th for head circumference, so her pediatrician thinks she may just be tall and thin like her dad. That I can live with. What I can't live with so much is the fact that she didn't gain a single ounce in over 6 weeks. So, as per doctor's orders, she's been upped to 3 meals of solids per day and I am letting her nurse as much during the night as she wants. I may never sleep again but it's all about Norah, right?

New Year's Resolutions

I am usually the one who takes pictures of Norah, so I am rarely in them. However, there were lots of people taking pictures over the holidays, so I am in a lot of them. Unfortunately I have been struck with the grim reality that after 6 months you can't really call it baby fat anymore. It's just fat. So, while we try to fatten Norah up (post about that to follow), we're going to try and slim me down. Blah. I am so excited I can barely stand it.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

New Friends

While in Austin we got to hang out with some old friends and finally meet Wyatt! Norah is very jealous of Wyatt because he can crawl and pull himself up on things and walk around tables.


Wyatt's parents took us out to lunch. Wyatt was very well behaved and ate some guacamole. Norah was less well behaved and knocked my glass of ice water across the table. We made it up to everyone with gelato and family pictures.


We then went shopping at an awesome toy store than only sells wooden toys. I bought Norah a xylophone for Christmas that I thought she would love (ignoring the fact that the box said 18 months and up). She loved it all right. Loved poking herself in the eye with the wooden stick.

Sitting Up

Captured on video here is the very first time Norah sat up totally on her own. It is really long and Megan is doing the camera work. It is tough raising Norah so far away from those who love her so dearly, so it was awesome she hit such a milestone with everyone cheering her on. Now, all she wants to do is sit up. In the bath, the crib, on the changing table.....

video

The Trail of Lights

The trail of lights is an annual Austin holiday event. It was hard to believe that it was Christmas, given the fact it was 85 degrees. Like with any good GVZ adventure, Norah slept through at least half of it.

video video

Monday, January 05, 2009

Go Vote!!

http://www.vandjphotography.blogspot.com/

Vote for #3!!!!!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Big Pimpin'

This post has nothing to do with Austin (I hope to finish those before 2010). Except for the fact that the outfit Lady N is wearing came from Sarah who gave it to her while we were in Austin. Thanks, Sarah, I love my little J.Lo.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Cousins

Norah is very fond of other babies and kids, but she is especially enamored with her cousins, Megan and Trevor. She was really into Megan when she came to California in September, and became similarly infatuated with Trevor when she met him last fall. BVZ thinks it's because she likes people closer to her own size, but they are both a whole lot taller than her (and Trevor has an adult sized head), so I am not sure that's the case. Either way, she loves them and the feeling is mutual.

Megan can read her stories, which is crazy to me because it seems like just yesterday Megan was Norah sized.

She wanted so bad to keep up with them and would have played a round of kickball if her dumb 'ole baby body had let her. Within hours of being around them she was exhibiting all kinds of mad new skillz. She sat up totally on her own, rocked on all fours, and army crawled--just trying to get a hold of her cousins. Megan has delightful long blonde hair perfect for pulling, and Trevor sits patiently while she mauls his face repeatedly.

They both loved feeding her and although it probably made the whole ordeal way messier, it was also much more fun.

After a particularly messy session of sweet potatos, they got to choose Norah's new outfit. Trevor insisted she needed a hat. You can't see it in this picture, but he also insisted she wear her crocheted cowboy boot booties.

While their love and affection was undeniable, Megan did admit to me that she thought it was really unfair that Norah gets 2 cousins and they only have one and they have to SHARE. Plus, they waited a really long time for a cousin and Norah only had to wait 'like not even one day.' I told her we'd find a way to make it up to her.

We're Back


Happy New Year! We are home. It's great to be back, but we miss everyone terribly. A few things of note:

1. Norah has a terrible cold. She is full of snot and it is soooooo gross.

2. She totally crawled this morning! She teased us the entire time we were in Austin and then this afternoon BVZ and I were lowering the mattress in her crib and she made a move for a toy on the floor. We are very quickly realizing that nice new house in Austin is great for baby to get her groove on (nice plush carpeting, plenty of room to roam around), but older bay area house isn't so great. Hardwood floors (even those with area rugs), are really hard. Plus, it only takes looking away for a few seconds to find her on the other side of the room from where we've left her. We haven't been home more than about 4 hours and Norah has already conked her head a handful of times on the floor, the coffee table, and the side of her crib.

3. We took public transportation home from the airport today and apparently Norah stared at some lady the whole time. Said lady made a point of commenting to us that Norah had been staring at her for like 15 minutes straight. We couldn't tell if she was impressed at her focus or afraid she was possessed.