Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Louis: Seven Months Old

Louis is such a cool baby. He is long and lean and I think he's going to be some kind of track star. His legs are like steel.

He pretty much smiles all the time. Or laughs. Lou's laughing might be my most favorite sound of all times. He gets more mobile every day and I imagine crawling is going to happen sooner rather than later. He does 360 degree circles in his crib every night, which is pretty impressive especially given the fact that we still make him sleep in the sleep-suit. He seems to have moved past his string of sleepless nights and is back on track. Smart boy.

He loves his bottles, is the worst solids eater of all times, and shat up and out the back of his diaper TWICE today. He's really into balls, blocks, trucks, and Norah's Rapunzel doll. He likes to eat books. He's getting his first tooth. His hair is awesome (the pictures don't do it justice).

Love you, Lou. We think you're the best.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Stuff (mostly about Lou)

I apologize for the lack of pictures lately. Things have been hectic. For one thing I have been working on my application to the Texas bar. It's a nightmare. They basically want to know every move I have ever made for the past 7 years. I have to get official job descriptions from former employees. And all of my tax returns. And some letter from the dean of my law school. And 18 moral character references. And a whole lot of other shit that's making my head spin and occupying way too much of my time.

Oh and then there's this. Apparently, these assholes love cedar trees and we've got several in the front yard. That doesn't explain however why I found him in my KITCHEN.

You think the big tall man who lives here would deal with it, right? Not a chance. I captured him with a vase and then suffocated him over night. It's a cruel world.

In happier news, Norah and Louis are enjoying spending their days with their cousins. Reid is really into robots. Well, Reid's parents are really into robots. It's the theme of his nursery, he has lots of robot books, some robot themed clothing... you get the picture. Norah has picked up on this and so when he's around she will put blocks and/or boxes on her feet and hands and walk around saying, 'I am a robot, I am a robot' in order to make Reid smile. It's pretty much completely awesome.

Or she will wear her fairy wings and grant them wishes. The other day I was getting frustrated with the television remote (oh how I miss DirectTV and how much I hate this cable!) because it wouldn't work and she told me that the fairies who live in the television were just taking a break from working and I should be patient because they would be back soon. Funny, because when I was about her age (I think) I remember thinking that little men lived inside of traffic lights and would change them from green to yellow to red. At the time, it's the only explanation for how the lights would change that made sense to me.

Lou and Reid play very well together. And by playing well together I mean they either sit side by side and completely ignore each other or they pull hair and attempt some eye gouging.

I think Louie has surpassed Reid in the length department (although this picture is a bit misleading since Reid is slumped down a bit). I would guess they weigh about the same.

Louie's distrust of solid food continues. I routinely experiment with him in the bumbo, Stokke, and booster chair, but none of those options seem to particularly excite him. He just isn't into purees, but he really isn't ready for non-pureed foods either (he gave me a minor coronary the other day choking on a goddamn puff). So far he is much more into non-traditional baby food-he ate a fourth of a cup of hummus the other day but won't touch a sweet potato for anything.

He's way more into what we are eating and so has tried itty bitty bits of lots of things, but I am not up for the whole Baby Led Weaning process (which basically says skip the purees and feed them what you are eating). I am too scared of choking.

Aunt Amy bought him a straw cup the other day and it's his new obsession. He's actually pretty good and getting the water out of it. Doesn't he look ginormous here?

No crawling yet, but lots of rolling and scooting, and sitting, and baby crunches. As seen here.

Part of my 'if you make me move to Texas I get new dining room furniture demand' was that I got this.

Finally a place to store all of that china and crystal we use so much....

Here's a good shot of the play area in Norah's room. Her room has a freaking play area. It's that big, people!

Lou has abandoned the exersaucer for his new true love, the jumperoo. I can't get a non blurry picture of him it is because he jumps so fast and furiously the camera can't capture it. He's that good.

In other news, it's still hot. I am going to start working one day a week which means Norah will go to a full day of school one day a week. She is so excited to take a nap at school that's all she can talk about. She hasn't taken a nap for months. BVZ is really liking his job even though he doesn't get home most nights until after bedtime. Thank goodness for Bubby and her willingness to suffer through bedtime with me. Lou is sleeping much better, thank goodness. Rather, it was Norah who ended up in our bed at 3:00 am last night, or rather, this morning. If it's not one, it's the other. It rained today. Too bad that didn't make it any less hot.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

3:00 am... when this picture was taken. Lou seems to have come to the conclusion that separation anxiety is in fact a real thing and when he wakes up throughout the night and we aren't there he tends to get a little pissed. Add to that the fact that he can't seem to get the paci back in his mouth when he really needs it (even though he does it reasonably well during the day), and we've had a stretch of very sleepless nights. We have been so lucky with Lou and his sleep thus far, and I think perhaps we've taken him for granted a bit. He needs a better bedtime routine (he pretty much just gets thrown in the crib at bedtime) and so that's going to be the first step. You may notice in the 3:00 am picture that he's not even wearing pajamas. That might be part of the problem.


Now that Lou is a legitimate sitter, the kids can ride together in the grocery cart. Which is great because Norah thinks she's too big of a girl to ride in the grocery cart 'like a baby.' I can con her into still sitting in the cart if she thinks it's because she has to take care of Lou. Here's their maiden voyage:

This is a picture of the first time Norah skied around the house. She found two plastic container lids and a tubular mailer and had a grand time. When I asked what she was doing she told me that she was skiing on ice so that she could escape from jail. And, who says television is a bad thing??


I try to pay attention to things like spelling and grammar. I mean, mistakes are inevitable and I am not a stickler like some (Uncle Kiki, anyone?), but I do try and keep it as on the level as possible. There are some mistakes, however, that are unforgivable once someone is past a certain age or level of literacy. It's shocking how many people use it's and its incorrectly. Or their, there, and they're. Or your and you're. But my biggest pet peeve by far is the misuse of the word(s) a lot. Alot is not a word. It never has been, it never will be.

I first met my friend Joe 11 years ago on the first day of law school (feels like a million years ago). He is funny, interesting, and incredibly smart, and one of my all time favorite people. And when we first started hanging out, he thought alot was a word. He was somehow convinced that alot and a lot could be used interchangeably.... kind of like how when you have a word that ends in 's' you can either put an apostrophe after that 's' or you can do an apostrophe and another 's' (e.g., Louis' toy and Louis's toy are both grammatically correct). I told him we couldn't be friends until he straightened himself out regarding this alot business.

So imagine both of our delights when years ago we came across this blog devoted to grammatical errors, and specifically addressed the Alot situation.

Now, both Joe and I consider ourselves to be excellent gift givers. We agree that sometimes the perfect gift doesn't come at the most opportune time, which is why I will go for 3 years without receiving a birthday gift from him and then get something spectacularly awesome in November (note, my birthday is in April). He had been telling me for weeks that Norah's third birthday present was in the works and he came over for dinner on Friday and brought it with him. (As an aside, I have obviously been complaining a ton about how much I miss our friends and how sad I am to have left the bay area because of them, but we also have a ton of great friends here. Shout out to you guys...I am glad we're here). Anyway, he brought a big box that Norah tore into and she pulled out this.
It's the ALOT! It's the ALOT! (Go back now and check that blog link so you can really appreciate how truly awesome it is).

Apparently, Joe gave his talented seamstress mom a picture of the Alot and she sewed him by hand, without a pattern. It's truly one of a kind. Along with the actual Alot came the story of the Alot, which Joe had bound into a book:

With a special inscription. If you can't read it here it says, "For Norm*. So you always know the difference between a lot and Alot." (*Joe has called Norah 'Norm' since the day I told him the story of that nice old lady who thought my adorable baby boy was named Norm.)

It was the best kind of kid gift there is because it was actually more for me than it was for her. She and Louis both love Alot, even though the latter has been banned from Alot due to the massive amounts of fur he pulled out of Alot's head.

Joe hung out with us for the rest of the night, ate massive amounts of lasagna, and got conned into reading a certain someone bedtime stories.

And a good time was had by all. Especially Alot.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Few Photos

These two are so in love with each other. They have been since the day Lou was born, but it's been even better since we've been in Texas. Norah takes care of him like a mama lion. And he thinks she's the bees knees.

Lou is obviously doing great. He has adapted just fine and is stoked to have so many people around him that love him. Norah is a little hit or miss. Obviously she loves being around everyone, but she misses her friends, her school, our old house and really, our old life. She is so thrilled by who and what's around her, but has moments of true and profound sadness.

She says the sweetest, cutest things that are breaking my heart. Like the other night I told her that it was Friday and so maybe we could watch a movie. She got very quiet and very sad because she JUST KNEW that Caleb and Baby Lucas and Ruby were eating pizza and watching a movie without her. Or today when I picked her up from her first day of school and her teacher told me that she made a friend but told the little girl that while she wanted to be friends, she already had a best friend named Ruby who she loved and who loved her back. Oh, and Ruby's mom got them matching Tinkerbell kajamas and they are going to have a sleepover and go on the dragon slide when they are 4.

Anytime she is tired or upset she breaks down and sobs that she misses Ruby and isn't going to see her everyday. She will pick up my cell phone or a toy phone that belongs to one of the babies, and "talk" to people back home. She has frequent conversations with Ruby, Caleb, Caroline, Ava, Pamma, Rana (her old teacher), and Tony (the 97 year old neighbor). Of course the upside is that she is mildly obsessed with her cousins and would spend 24/7 with them if we let her. She's also pretty fond of her aunts, uncles, and Bubby. She and Bubby have this running gag where Norah plays mom and Bubby plays "the children." Norah's name for Bubby during this game is "Jewel." Who knows where she comes up with this stuff. The other day we were at Target and out of nowhere she sighed and said, "I miss Jewel."

Our friends made us an amazing book with pictures of the kids ranging from when they were brand new babies to big three-year-olds, with a sweet story about how much fun they've had together and how much they need and love each other. Norah and I read it together every night before bed. We both usually cry (just a little). I can't help it. It is that good (the last page is a picture of the moms with the line, "they are always in your heart no matter where they live" kills me every time). Geesh.

Anyway, in happier news, we live right across the cove (so like a 30 second walk) from the pool and playground. It will be awesome when it isn't 9,000 degrees here.

There's even a tire swing.

Here's a sneak peek of Norah's fabulous new room. Yes, I put that tree up (with the much appreciated help of Aunt Stephanie). What you see is only about a third of the square footage that all belongs to Norah.

All Louis does is sit up. He's a sitting maniac. It was all about peer pressure. He saw how good Reid was and he couldn't be left behind.

Norah likes to play at her cousins' house. They have cool toys. Like dominoes.

Lou is just big and gigantic and perfectly delicious.

I went to a Scentsy party at my neighbor's house. I am trying to be neighborly. It gave me a small nervous breakdown.

One of the best things is that we now get to go to all the events we have missed over the years. Like Trevor's birthday party. Where Norah got to bowl.

And get overstimulated by arcade lights.

Again with the loving.

Norah got a haircut yesterday. It looks exactly the same except for she now has cute bangs and no longer looks like a shaggy dog.

You can kind of see it here.

If I were a better mom I would have taken a picture of her before school today, given the fact that it was her first day. But like usual we were running late and then I took an unintended turn because I ended up in the wrong lane (small vent-you can be on a 4 lane road here and then with NO WARNING you will get to a light and 2 lanes will be turn only one way, another will be turn only the other way, and only 1 will go straight. Every time I need to go straight I end up in one of the turn lanes).

Anyway, I had to turn and was panicked because my GPS is worthless out here (it doesn't recognize the 8 million new roads out here) and so I said "shit!" under my breath. Of course from the back seat I hear, "shit isn't a very nice word, mom, you need to apologize." All I could think was that we were going to walk into pre-school, someone was going to ask Norah how her morning was and she was going to say something to the effect of, "it was great until my mom started saying shit." So, I didn't think about taking a picture. This was the best I got, Norah playing with the babies after school. Please note that she is wearing the same dress in almost every photo. She tries to wear that dress everyday. It's a great dress, but good grief.

That's it for now.

Wrap Up

My good camera was packed away, so I am just now getting a chance to take a look at the photos I took right before we left. We were able to spend a lovely evening at Grandpa Gene's house. It was probably 60 degrees in August. I miss 60 degrees. Norah loves going to Grandpa Gene's house for many reasons, but especially likes the fact that it has all kinds of pictures of her dad when he was little (and had ridiculously long hair) and she gets to run around his old room. She spent a better part of our time there running up to his room and shouting to the rest of us out the window.

She pretended to take a nap "in dad's old bed" and made me take a picture. Can you believe that's BVZ's old bed? I mean, he didn't just grow to be 6'3 after leaving home. He was that tall in high school (and close to it in middle school). He is literally twice as tall as that bed. He must have really done something to piss his parents off.

Lou (who please note was not only wearing winter pajamas, but was wrapped in a blanket) conked out in Ms. Mary's arms.

Uncles Dick and Alan made Norah's day by coming over as well.

It's been so great to have the VZ's across the bay and we miss them a ton.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Quick and the Dirty

We finally have internet at the new house. And cable. If you having been keeping track, we left California more than two weeks ago. We stayed with my gracious and generous mom for about 10 days. She doesn't have cable (although she thankfully does have internet). That leaves a lot of television for me to catch up on. I can't wait.

There are lots of new developments around here. BVZ starts work tomorrow. Norah starts school tomorrow. Louis is super gigantic and can sit for hours all by himself. The new house is big and fabulous. New furniture rules. Austin is incredibly hot. We were not in any danger from fires (although my sister was). People are very nice. Almost too nice. We've met lots of our neighbors. They are very nice. Apparently they do up Halloween in a big way, which is a relief. I have a hard time being that nice. No one gets mail delivered to their house, rather everyone has central mailboxes. I hate that. You have to drive everywhere in Texas. I really hate that. Norah is doing great. She really loves her cousins. A lot. Norah really misses her friends. A lot. So do I. Having family around is really great. I can't wait to get a job. I love having more than one bathroom. Our California house went on the market on Friday. That's stressful. Groceries are way cheaper here. That's nice.

Pictures soon. I promise.