Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Cleaner

Norah is awesome at cleaning up her toys. You don't even have to ask her, she just does it. Most of the time she doesn't even want any help. I give Pam and Bubby full credit for instilling this excellent habit.

And just in case you were thinking about coming to kidnap my perfect child for yourself, while she may be excellent at housework I also have a sneaking suspicion that she might be a bit of a sociopath. This is evidenced by the fact that last week she SHOVED one of her very best BFF's Ruby off of a slide. Shoved her right off. Norah and Ruby had been bickering over the slide in Ava's back yard for a bit (Ruby would want to slide down and Norah wouldn't move, so Ruby came down and nailed her in the stomach-they both cracked up; they kept trying to block each others' effort to climb the stairs, etc.) and it all seemed to be in good fun until I looked over and saw them both at the top. And then Norah shoved Ruby who fell flat on her back. Slow. Motion. You have never seen 4 moms move so fast in your entire life. Ruby got the wind knocked out of her and was pretty freaked out. I was traumatized. Norah wasn't phased in the slightest. She happily sat in time out (for like 10 minutes) and didn't seem to understand what the big deal was all about. It finally registered with her that night when family movie night got canceled and we talked ad nauseam about what she did and how sad she made everyone. Every day since the 'incident' without prompting she tells me 'it is not okay to push Ruby OR ANYONE ELSE off the slide. It makes Mom sad. Please us watch Nemo.' I hope she gets it. And that Ruby doesn't break up with her.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Today was a sad day because we said good-bye to some of our very favorite people. Ave, Sam and Lilah (better known as Baby Kaboom) are leaving SF for Sam's super fly new job at Emory University in Atlanta (he is a sort of molecular biologist chemist brain nuclear physicist mad scientist extraordinare--and now going to be a fancy schmance professor).

Ave and I worked together (before she ditched me for a different job post maternity leave) but she quickly became much more than a co-worker. She's quite possibly one of the funniest people I have ever met (and easily one of the smartest). We were pregnant at the same time and I can't ever adequately express how awesome it was to be able to talk about search and seizure law and the human cervix in the same conversation.

Even though we don't work together anymore she's still my favorite lunch date and Norah loves Lilah and talks about her all of the time. We will miss you Kabooms! This certainly isn't good-bye, but rather, 'see you later.' Come back soon.

(This picture was taken before bed tonight. Norah is wearing her Curious George 'silk' (ie, polyester pajamas), courtesy of Bubby. Want to know why she is so happy? We underestimated how long we would be in SF this afternoon and how long it would take us to collect Bubby-who wanted to check out some sights while we were at Ave and Sam's-and so we overshot Norah's dinner time by like 45 minutes. She was starving. And so I did it. My terrible shame. I bought her a McDonald's cheeseburger at a drive-thru. And you know what? She freaking loved it. She ate the whole thing in about 30 seconds and then proceeded to tell us 'that was sooooo good!' and 'that tastes the best!' and 'Norah looooves cheeseburgers' all the way home. BVZ said that we could have saved $14,000 in the past 2 years by feeding her cheeseburgers instead of Whole Foods produce. Norah asked if she could have a cheeseburger tomorrow. I said 'hell no.' She asked, 'what's hell?' I said, 'where cheeseburgers are from.')

Happy (Almost) Anniversary

Our actual anniversary isn't until August 13, but Bubby is in town so we took advantage of the free babysitting to get away for a night. Now, I am not a very sentimental person (shocking, I know), but BVZ is actually far LESS sentimental than I am (shocking. I know). So, imagine my surprise when he suggested we spend the night at the Hotel St. Claire, in San Jose, which is the place we spent our wedding night.

Cute, right?

We headed down to San Jose Saturday afternoon and went to see a real live movie in a theater. It had been almost a year since we went to the movies and we saw Inception. I really liked it. It was the only good Leonardo DiCaprio movie since What's Eating Gilbert Grape (please don't comment and say The Departed was a good Leonardo DiCaprio movie. If you liked The Departed we can no longer be friends. Or family, really).

Here's some blurry shots of the St. Claire lobby.

This is the honeymoon suite which is the only room on the 'half' floor. We stayed there the night of the wedding and cracked up because we are so not people who stay in a honeymoon suite.

The king sized bed is what made it all worthwhile. We need a king sized bed. I think the future of our marriage depends on it.

After dinner we had a fun dinner at the San Pedro Square Bistro and Wine Bar. It was really tasty.

BVZ is very happy at the prospect of going to bed before 10 pm, in a king sized bed, without a toddler.

We started with a yummy bistro salad. It had too many pine nuts. I used to love pine nuts. I really don't anymore. I don't know what happened.

Then we had the crab cake. It was good but had way too much celery in it. I don't like crab cakes quite that crunchy.

The scallops were my favorite.

BVZ liked the mini burgers best. I forgot to take a picture until they were half eaten.

After dinner we, wait for it, wait for it, went on a walking tour of all of our wedding location sites. Too sweet, right? Here is the restaurant we had our rehearsal dinner at. Doesn't BVZ look sad? That's because the restaurant (The Tied House) doesn't exist anymore.

Here's the Corinthian Room at the San Jose Athletic Club where we had the ceremony and reception. It's an amazing building.

There was a wedding going on inside, so I just peeked inside the front door a little.

Classy place, right?

We went back to the hotel and had dessert at the restaurant there, Il Fornaio. It was the place of my bridal shower, after wedding brunch, and many, many cocktails with good friends and family.

Sunday morning we had breakfast again at Il Fornaio.

We ordered berries with creme fraiche, which turned out to be creme fraiche with a few berries. I like creme fraiche, but not enough to drink it.

Thankfully my bruchetta eggs,

and BVZ's salmon frittata were much better.

We arrived home to find both Norah and Bubby in one piece and happy to see us.

It was a fun celebration. I was giving BVZ a hard time because on our first anniversary we were in Paris (the vacation that started this blog, actually. Go back to the 2006 archives to see how thin and well rested we were), and now all we wanted was to be in bed by 10. Funny how things change, but I wouldn't change a thing. Well, maybe I would have gotten more sleep. But other than that....not a thing.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Nice Coat

It has been really cold in SF the past week (suck it, Texas) and so I put on a heavy sweater to go to work this morning. While Norah was giving me a good-bye hug she patted my arm and said, 'ooooh--nice coat, Mom.'


Monday, July 19, 2010

There Has Never Been....

...a kid so happy to go to bed as this one was tonight. If only we had know we would have spent the past two years investing in Elmo nightgowns.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Great Toast Incident of 2010

She looks sweet and innocent, right?

Today we went to C's second birthday party and had a fabulous time. C has smart parents and they had his party at a place where they didn't have to clean up the mess. Everything was going great, Norah was having a fantastic time and was stoked to see her friends, especially Ruby (she yelled Ruby Bear, Ruby Bear and gave her multiple giant hugs). However, the two were playing in the little kitchen together, and for no apparent reason, Norah walloped Ruby in the face with a piece of plastic toast. Poor Ruby went running for her mom and did the kind of screaming where her mouth was wide open but no sound at all came out.

Norah had to sit out in the other room for a few minutes to think about what she had done and then apologize profusely. Ruby seemed to be okay with it after a while and even agreed to (cautiously) play with Norah for the rest of the party. I felt so bad. Geesh.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Uncle Kiki

Norah has a hard time saying 'Aunt Kristin' so we started calling her 'Kiki' to see if Norah would pick up on it. She did. However, instead of calling her Aunt Kiki she calls her Uncle Kiki. I have no idea why. She clearly understands that Aunts are female and Uncles are male and Kiki doesn't particularly look like a man, so I don't really get it. But. It is HILARIOUS. Uncle Kiki is a good sport and just rolls with it.

Here Norah is modeling a cute outfit, courtesy of Uncle Kiki.

Everyone's a Bear

Norah has always been referred to around here as 'Norah Bear.' It is a very fitting term of endearment. Lately, she's been tacking on 'Bear' to other people's name to express her affection. When she is being particularly sweet she calls me 'Mommy Bear.' In the past few days we've heard reference to 'Bubby Bear', 'Ruby Bear' and 'Cat Bear.'

Friday, July 16, 2010

More Norah-isms

Norah had quite the language explosion when she was around her cousins and I am loving all of the funny stuff she is saying these days.

  • Everything is 'a little bit.' Do you want some milk? A little bit. Are you sad right now? A little bit. Do you want to pee on the potty? Yes. A little bit.
  • She is really into telling us that she will 'be right back.' I will be in one room and BVZ will be in another. She will tell me something and then say, 'need to tell Dad. Be right back' and then run to him and do the same.
  • She is very receptive when we tell her she can have one more thing (ie, a cookie) or do something one more time (ie, jump off the couch). She announces, 'one more and then NO MORE.'
  • When either of us leaves she says, 'Bye, bye, see you later.'
  • She has started telling us she loves us unsolicited but it is always, 'love you too' even if she's the first one saying it.
  • We get lots and lots of pleases and thank yous.
  • Her cousins taught her to say 'no way, Jose.' Would you like to eat that broccoli? No way, Jose!
  • She is coming up with 5, 6, 7, even 8 word sentences. I have no idea where she picked up some of her words. This morning I was snuggling with her and she rubbed my chin with her hand and said, 'look at me, I am rubbing Mommy's chin.' Really? Chin?
  • She likes to announce, 'I am ready to go!' and 'wait for me, wait for me!' if someone gets to the front door before she does.
Our friend Suzy took this family photo a few weeks ago. I think the look on Norah's face says it all.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Where We've Been

My Grandma Mary passed away last week. She had surgery for a broken hip and her body just couldn't recover from the trauma. She was an amazing grandmother and a super classy lady. I learned a lot from her and will always remember her fondly. We lived less than a mile from my grandparents when we were kids and spent a lot of time at their house (when I was younger it was for the cable tv, when I was older it was for the boxed wine....) and some of my very favorite memories involve my Grandma.

Norah and I flew to El Paso for the services and to be there for my grandfather on the Fourth of July (BVZ was unable to come because of the cost of tickets and work obligations). Our generous and well connected friend BA was able to score us a pair of 'buddy tickets' on Southwest, which saved us well over $1k on last minute flights. We owe her big. The only drawback was that we had a long layover in Phoenix.

The trip didn't get off to a very good start. We flew out of San Jose and while we waited to board I got Norah a Jamba Juice. She insisted upon carrying it while we walked back to the gate and (you can see where this is going), promptly tripped and fell flat on both her face and her juice. I thought she really hurt herself so I immediately scooped her up, which of course, doused me in strawberry juice as well. People around us were so kind. One person went to the bathroom for paper towels, another called someone to clean up the crime scene, and another went back and got her another smoothie! Because I am such a good mom the 'spare' clothes I had in the diaper bag was a 9 month outfit (doh!) and so we both traveled the next 6 hours a sticky, pink mess.

This doesn't even show half of the stain on her shirt...

The best part was that my cousin Courtney and her husband were on our flight to Phoenix. They had been on vacation in Carmel and Monterrey, so it was awesome to get to sit with them and catch up (it had been years). We had a 3 hour lay over in Phoenix. That's a long time. Thank goodness for ice cream cones and the portable DVD player (if I never watch Toy Story again it will be too soon).

We got to El Paso and spent the next day with my grandfather and the rest of the family. It was really sad. But at the same time it was REALLY awesome to see my aunts and uncles and cousins. The last time we all had seen each other was 4 years ago at my grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary party. Despite the sad circumstances we had a really nice time. They are a bunch of good eggs. It was really fun to see all of the kids and share our favorite inappropriate stories. I forgot my camera and so didn't take any pictures, but you can see a fabulous recap by my cousin Mare here.
Tuesday was the funeral. I thought Norah looked really sweet.

She was such a trooper despite the fact that it was over 100 degrees and she hadn't napped in 3 days. I spoke at the funeral and was very worried that she was going to freak out when I went up to the front. As soon as the service began she started pointing to things and saying 'Mommy, what's THIS, Mommy what's THAT?' (not in an inside voice either!) and so Megan and Uncle Mark took her to another room at the church. I thought they would just run around, but come to find out, 5 minutes after they went in there, she set Bear down on the floor, lay on top of him and promptly passed out (Bear needs a serious de-contamination, by the way. He's been dragged along the floors of multiple airports, restaurants, stores, and hotels. She's way more attached to him than ever since we've been away from home, though, and so I haven't been able to pry him out of her grip long enough to even wash him. I keep telling myself-it's all about the antibodies!)
By far, Norah's best time was spent relaxing at the hotel watching movies with her cousins.

My grandparents were together for over 65 years. I can't imagine living with BVZ for 65 years and I like him more than anyone else I know.