Wednesday, August 31, 2011


The moving van (finally) gets here tomorrow. Very shortly, I will be spending an inordinate amount of time here:

This picture of the master bathroom only shows about a third of what's actually there. The closet alone is bigger than pretty much our entire California house. Holla'.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Louis: Six Months

Where has the time gone? Little itty bitty Lou is now 6 months old. We don't have our picture chair or the picture bear (they are in a truck in Oklahoma right now), so this will have to suffice and I will do a belated "official" photo when everything arrives.

Oh my sweet Louie Lou. He's the happiest baby in the entire universe. So mellow, so easy going, he's really nothing but a joy to be around. He definitely suffers from a horrible case of second child syndrome. He gets a bath when he starts to stink. He gets a book read to him when I start to feel guilty about it (note to self...feel guilty about this more often!) He hangs out in the exer-saucer more than I would like. Despite all of my shortcomings, however, he is turning out pretty spectacularly.

We had his final echo cardiogram last week to see if 1) his VSD (heart murmur) had closed, and 2) to check one last final time for any abnormalities in his heart's electrical impulses as a result of my autoimmune issues. I am pleased to report we have a 100% all clear on both fronts. He was a dream baby and just relaxed and smiled the entire time he had a cold, uncomfortable wand on his chest. The cardiologist called him a "zen baby" and said it was the easiest exam she'd ever done on a fetus, infant, or child. Not bad.

He has the greatest laugh. We hear it often. Most often when Norah is around. She continues to be his favorite person. BVZ is a close second (they've spent a lot of time together this past month). I am lucky to come in third these days. He loves: formula, ceiling fans, paper towels, my iphone, smothering himself with blankets, his light up seahorse, napping, baths in the infant tub we left in California, grabbing at his sister's hair, his pacifier, any and every toy on the exer-saucer, being tickled, and getting smothered with kisses. He hates: eating solid food, rolling over, baths in the bath seat we got him in Texas.

His hair is thick and shockingly blonde. It looks very red in certain lights, so we're unsure how it will ultimately end up. He has the coloring of a redhead and is fairly translucent. The pediatrician actually commented on how fair and thin his skin is and warned us that for him sunscreen probably would never be enough and if we were going to live in Texas we should invest in some SPF clothing for him on a daily basis. He has the exact same striking blue eyes as Norah does (no curls yet, but hers didn't show up until after her first birthday).

He is nice and solid, but surprisingly only comes in at about the 25th percentile for weight (I can't remember the exact stats from his's that second child syndrome for you??). I hope that changes once he decides to be into solid food. He continues to be very tall, in the 75-90th percentile for height. His feet and toes, hands and fingers are incredibly long. He doesn't roll over with any consistency yet, although he is priming himself to crawl-when on his tummy his pushes up like crazy and tries to pull in his knees. He sits up perfectly with very little support and is almost sitting up on his own (Reid is a good teacher on this front).

His sleep is great. He consistently and with very little prodding from us takes 3 decent naps a day and is sleeping through the night with no problem. He wakes up at 5:00 am and I would love that to change to 7:00 am. Overall, however, I have absolutely no complaints on the sleep front.

He's as much like BVZ as Norah is like me. As she likes to say, "the girls are with the girls, and the boys are with the boys." We make a good team.

Where We've Been

It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks for sure. Lots of packing, lots of fun adventures, a little crying (okay maybe a lot of crying), and some more packing. We tried to squeeze in as much as friend and family time as possible. There were trips to Fairyland.

Lots of visits to the library.

A ton of running around the neighborhood.

Uncle Kiki flew in to save the day and help us pack. She was a serious task master but she made great progress and helped us out so much. We were able to do a few fun things. Like take Norah and Ruby to see the Winnie the Pooh movie (okay, maybe that was fun for Norah and Ruby).

We went to the beach.

We went to the MOMA to see a special exhibit Kiki was interested in seeing (I was too). We decided to take Norah on the off chance BVZ would get something productive done while we were gone. Norah absolutely loved the museum. We left Kiki to wander at her own pace and Norah and I walked through the exhibit together. She is a big fan of Picasso's blue period and decided that lots of the ladies weren't wearing clothes because "their tushies just need a little fresh air."

About halfway through the exhibit is a door to a rooftop sitting area where we took a little break and had some juice.

After making it through the Stein exhibit we went to the top floor which is always my favorite. It's the most abstract of what the museum has to offer...lots of found art, multi-media exhibits, etc. (not my favorite because that's the kind of art I like best-it's not-but always really, really enjoyable). Shockingly, Norah was immediately drawn to the televisions.

And a giant insect sculpture.

Norah had her last day of school.

And as many play dates as we could squeeze in.

Norah and Ruby had a slumber party. They got (courtesy of Ruby's mom) matching Tinkerbell pajamas. Norah was thrilled when she saw them and Ruby kept screaming, "you LOVE Tinkerbell! It's because Tinkerbell is your favorite!"

Caleb and Lucas were cool to eat pizza, watch a movie, and have a group bath, but they drew the line at having a sleep over with the girls. I asked Caleb many times if he wanted to stay, but each time I got an emphatic "no." I put the futon mattress on Norah's floor and told the girls they could sleep together or apart. They chose together. We read lots of books, they got lots of hugs and kisses, and then they were left to their own devices.

More books ensued, as did several rousing games of hide and seek, as did multiple trips to the potty and to say goodnight to myself and BVZ. I thought they might crash on the mattress.

But they didn't. I thought maybe they would sleep in the bed together, but there was too much fairy playing going on.

Finally at about 10:30, Ruby realized that she was going to have to actually sleep at our house because she asked very tearfully to go home. As I got ready to drive her home, Norah became very upset and cried, "but you can't leave! We have SPECIAL BREAKFAST in the morning." Finally they both agreed that they would try to have a sleep over again when they are four (which coincidentally is also when they get to go on the dragon slide at Fairyland....)

They were no worse for the wear and practiced having a sleep over again a couple of days later at a "kajama movie party."

We had to dismantle the kids' rooms which broke my heart. So much time, effort, and money went into those rooms and I am not ashamed to say that I cried like a little kid when the tree in Norah's room came down. She insisted upon helping take it down. I am not sure why she's naked.

We went up to the city a few times to see friends.

And steadily the mountain of boxes grew.

(We got to spend some time with Grandpa Gene and Mary, but those pictures are on my real camera, which happens to still be on a moving van right now).

Without all of our crap, the rooms looked downright spacious.

Norah made one last trip to the wishing well in our neighbor's front yard.

And said good-bye to her friend Tony.

The movers arrived Tuesday at 10:00 am and didn't leave until after 6:00. We learned that buying the movers lunch and giving them your entire leftover stash of beer to take home generates a lot of good will.

It was a huge truck.

The house felt very empty and it made me very, very sad. As much as I bitched about the size, the mortgage, the lack of bathroom space, etc., it was our home and I loved it.

We spent that night in a hotel.

Had a hectic morning including a doctor's appointment for Lou. Then we managed to get 2 adults, 2 kids, 2 suitcases, 2 car seats, 2 carry ons and 1 cat to the airport after dropping off the Prius to be shipped. It went much smoother than anticipated.

At least the kids were being positive...

We had an awesome welcome at the airport and all was well until we realized that someone had taken one of our car seats and left theirs (to their credit, the bags looked exactly the same). Thankfully, there was a phone number on the tag and although it took about 45 minutes of hanging out at the airport (at 10:00 pm), we were able to make the switch.

Since arriving it has been all about hanging out and staying cool. Oh, and buying a fridge, washer and dryer, dining room table, kitchen table, couch, dressers and maybe a nightstand or two. The credit card is smoking. Actually, it got a hold put on it by the credit card company-flagged as potential fraud. Apparently, changing your address and phone numbers online, moving 3,000 miles, and buying thousands of dollars worth of big ticket items is a red flag. Who knew?

Otherwise, we've been trying to get in as much hanging out time as possible.
And we are slowly getting the house in shape (our stuff isn't here for several more days). Here's the front.

It's even nicer than we were expecting-the pictures definitely did not do it justice. It's HUGE and very nice and very comfortable. I am anxious to make it our own.

The auntie and cousin fairies paid a little visit and did some decorating.

They also left a certain someone a "comfy Rapunzel doll," which she has not let out of her sight. We are about a 45 second walk to the community play structure and pool. Thank goodness because it would be too hot to walk any further. (Really, 105 degrees at 8:00 pm is just mean and wrong and bad).

Lou has adjusted just fine.

It's been a little tougher on Norah. She misses her friends and her house and her school. She sleeps with a picture of Ruby and whenever she gets sad she wails, "I miss Ruby! I don't get to see her every day!" She told me that although she's sad she doesn't get to see her friends every day when she is with her cousins she doesn't feel so sad. Thankfully, they are the most awesome cousins anyone could ever ask for and last weekend they took her to her first major splash pad. It was really impressive.

It's hot, but there are snow cones.

Bubby has been a great hostess and even lets us run the a/c pretty much 24/7. Even so it's much more comfortable to hang out like this.

We are definitely still adjusting to the idea that we live here now. The heat is pretty unbearable and I have no nice things to say about it. The family has been amazing and I have nothing but nice things to say about them. This bodes well for us. Hopefully it eventually cools down but family is forever.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I've got loads of updates but no time to post them. This is why:

So instead I am just posting my new favorite picture of the monsters.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Blind Sided

I am very, very, very near sighted. Like, can't see the number on the clock on my bedside table kind of near sighted. My glasses have always had to be pretty thick, so I prefer contacts. I probably wear my contacts 99.9% of the time. When I was a kid I always worried about getting stranded on a deserted island because for sure there wouldn't be any contact solution.

About 4 days ago I was playing with Lou and he reached up and grabbed my eye. Yay for his fine motor skills, but not so good for the inside of my eyelid which he managed to scratch. The next morning I woke up and my eye was pretty much swollen shut. It got progressively worse and so I went to the doctor on Saturday morning and sure enough, the scratch was infected. I got some antibiotic ointment and it's definitely getting much better, but the worst part is that I am not allowed to wear contacts until it's totally healed.

Not to be out done by her brother's attempt to blind me, this morning Norah and I were singing to Louis together and she flailed her arms out for the dramatic finish, and....punched me right in the face, sending my glasses flying. Of course the frames broke. BVZ had to make an emergency run to the store for Krazy glue while I seriously contemplated fixing the frames with duct tape and driving Norah to school that way. Unfortunately it will probably be a few more years before something like that is appropriate payback.

The culprits (lucky for them they're cute):

Saturday, August 06, 2011

The Best Village

I have talked about my village of moms many times...the women who started off as "baby friends" but quickly became best friends. Friends I have only known for 3 years, yet I can barely remember a time in which they weren't a part of my life. And it's not just the moms. I love these kids more than I can say. I have seen them grow from itty bitty babies to pre-schoolers with the most amazing personalities.

Last weekend we all had dinner at our house and our friend who is an amazing photographer came over to take some pictures of the kids. This is one of my favorites and captures how fun they are and just how much they love each other (the only thing missing is Ava....she had just woken up from a nap in the car and wasn't quite ready to have her picture taken).

Leaving this village we have created is at the top of the 'why it's breaking my heart to leave the bay area' list.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Following Her Lead

Upon the advice of some smart friends, I plan to make Norah a photo book of people and places that will always remind her of her home in California. This past week I have been conscious to have my phone handy and take pictures of her in her natural habitat doing her every day things.

I always (well, except for the days I am running crazy late) walk with Lou in the stroller to pick her up from school and on the way home she always wants to walk through the nursery (plants) that's along the way. Unfortunately the entrance we walk by has a flight of stairs and the ramp is completely on the other side. On Monday, however, BVZ walked with us and so while he went ahead with Lou, Norah and I took our time to walk down and smell the roses.

Yes, she's wearing her Christmas dress in August. It's only 70 degrees here and she picks out her own clothes these days.

Check out what's growing in our front yard. Not going to find that in Texas. Well, maybe there will be some flowers. Brown ones. Shriveled up from the fact that IT WAS 108 GODDAMN DEGREES TODAY.

I have a feeling central air conditioning is going to become my new best friend.

Monday, August 01, 2011

The Blondes v. the Brunettes

The other day Norah told me that Lou is Rapunzel in the beginning and she is Rapunzel at the end (this will make sense to you only if you have seen 'Tangled').