Saturday, February 26, 2011

Gifts from Afar

My friend Joe recently went to India and sent Norah and I matching bangle bracelets. They are lovely. You can see Norah's (there are like 3 or 4 and they are thin) on her left arm and mine (it is much thicker) on her right arm. I wish I could tell you what mine looked like, but Norah won't let me see it, much less wear it. She is OBSESSED with them. We finally had to hide them last night because she was so insistent upon wearing them to bed.

I like the belly dancing action she's got going on here. Very appropriate.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Snow?

According to all the weather forecasts, a crazy cold front was supposed to move in last night and there was the possibility of snow (for the first time in like, 60 years). It started raining in the middle of the night and we woke up to a dark gray sky, pouring rain, and blustery winds. Norah and I both have a cough and I am still super congested* so I told her that we could have a pajama movie party day.

She woke up at 6:30 am (I know, I know, this isn't that early, but we have gotten acclimated to her sleeping until at least 7:30 or even later), and demanded a 'warm and lovely bath.' I tried to get her to change into clean pajamas (I mean, really. I wasn't even asking her to wear clothes), but no way. The only thing she wants to wear these days, or nights, are her 'Jessie kajamas.' I am not sure why they are 'Jessie'-it is a Grinch Who Stole Christmas shirt and white and red striped pants. I guess they kind of look like chaps? I don't know. Regardless, she paired them with her cowboy hat and my wedding shoes (ie, her 'boots') and was ready to to settle into the couch and start the party.

Anytime I put my feet up on the ottoman Norah takes the opportunity to perch herself on my legs. She doesn't like to sit on my lap on the couch anymore because 'Funky is in the way.'

She will sit next to him and cuddle, though....

It is currently 10:17 am and we are already on movie #2. The sun is peeking through the clouds (there is so going to be no snow anytime soon), and I am going to do my best to drag her off the couch at some point.

*Last night I was coughing up something awful and generally feeling like crap. BVZ tried to convince me to take some Nyquil by rationalizing that Funky was 'already cooked.' Needless to say, I rarely follow BVZ's medical advice.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Norah Daze

It has been a fun (and exhausting) week with Norah-and it's only Thursday. She's a fun person to spend time with and has limitless energy.

We've been taking a lot of walks and searching every puddle for worms.


aOn Tuesday we went to see Gnomeo and Juliet. It was painful to watch (for me) but Norah was in seventh heaven. The theater was packed (school kids are on break this week) and we sat next to a dad and his 7 year old who got antsy half way through the film. He couldn't believe Norah was only 2.5 and could sit transfixed for an hour and a half. She's my movie junk head.


s
She has been asking to take a bath about 40 times a day. She will say, 'can I please have a warm and lovely bath?' I have been indulging her once in the morning and then again before bed. She would be happy to play with her ducks in there for hours if I let her.

We have taken LOTS of bike rides. After about 3 minutes she refuses to pedal and demands that I push her.

We have spent lots of time at the park, playing on the structure and watching dogs running around.



Her new favorite trick is to have me twist the chains on the swing as far as they will go and then let her spin back the other way. I don't blame her, it was one of my all time favorite things to do as a kid.



We have done lots of lounging in our pj's (or as Norah calls them, kajamas).

We bought a second hand double stroller off of someone in my mom's club. I didn't want to invest much in a double since Norah rarely will use a stroller, but I thought it might be handy to have. With this one, the infant seat snaps into the top and then there is a shelf for the older kid to sit on without having to be completely strapped in (the strapping in is the biggest thing she objects to-this thing has a seat belt but not the 5 point harness she is used to). She is obsessed with it and likes to load up the basket with her toys and pretends to 'be the baby' and ride in the front.

We've done some serious movie watching. I don't need to see 101 Dalmatians again for the next 50 years.


We've also done some serious non-napping. This is Norah's new idea of a nap-laying on the couch. Yesterday she was way over tired and I had spent about a half hour trying to cajole her into either laying in her bed or mine. She was having none of it. I finally asked her, 'why do you take such a good nap for Pamma but not for me??' She thought about it for a bit and then said, 'because Pamma is the BOSS.' I couldn't help but laugh. Then before I cried I told her if she didn't lay down and close her eyes she was not going to be allowed to watch tv for the rest of her life. Within 5 minutes she was zonked out for over 2 hours.

She's been "doing the laundry" (ie, gathering whatever she can find in her basket and dumping it in the sun room).

We've been doing a lot of playing in her room.

And flossing teeth.

And rearranging things.


And elaborate re-enactments with her Toy Story dolls and Beauty and the Beast figurines.


Not pictured: ritualized torture of the cat, hours of play with the match box car from the Cheerios box, 14,000 started but not finished art projects, lots of dress up, a close examination of every piece of clothing in her dresser, reading 29,457 books, making forts, dancing and singing, a daily Target run, checking on all of Funkhouser's toys to make sure they are still there, lasagna making, taking 'x-rays' of all her stuffed animals, soccer playing, and jumping on the bed.

In other news, we are set to get the coldest cold front in like 60 years this weekend. There might even be snow! I find this particularly ironic because when Norah was born we were in the middle of a record setting heat wave. I guess we are all about the extremes.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Funkhouser Update: Week 38

Funkhouser will be here in less than a week. I love having a definite end date. I mean, I know at some point every pregnancy ends, but if I had to sit and wonder when that would be I would be even crazier than I already am. Part of me desperately wants to get this show on the road, but a much bigger part of me is hoping Funky stays in place until Monday because: 1) I really, really want my OB to deliver him (as opposed to the on-call OB from her practice); 2) Bubby doesn't get here until Sunday morning; and 3) we couldn't get an appointment to install the car seats until March 1.

I can't sleep for shit. There's no other way to describe it. I am falling asleep relatively easily (thanks to Benadryl), but am up at least 6 to 8 times a night-sometimes for 15 minutes, sometimes for 2 hours. It is really wearing me down. I am obviously physically uncomfortable, but hanging in there. I am not sure where I will find the energy to hang out with Norah all week, but I want it to be a special and fun time for her so I will suck it up and do whatever I can.

Speaking of Norah, I think she senses how much apprehension I have regarding how she will react to everything. We've both been pretty clingy. She's been waking up in the middle of the night (I am usually awake), and calling me for made up reasons-needs some water, has to pee, dropped her bear-stuff that has never woken her up before, knowing that I need her as much as she needs me and I will let her come back to bed with me. BVZ's been sleeping in the living room because he is sick of me thrashing around (and I am sick of listening to him sleep when I can't), so I haven't hesitated to let her in. I am sure that will come back to haunt me next week.

BVZ had today off because of the holiday, so we made some serious progress. I think we are pretty much ready in terms of gear. We set up the co-sleeper, finally got the car seat out of the garage today, and everything is washed, folded and put away. We are finally getting closer to a name (we aren't telling, so don't ask), which is good. I feared we would have to call him Funkhouser forever.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Conversation

I have been trying to get video of Norah but it is impossible lately because she stops talking/laughing/being funny immediately upon noticing I am filming her. I propped my phone up in the car the other day to see if she would notice. She didn't.

video

Shout Out

BVZ is a great dad. He is perhaps the most patient person in the entire universe and really, really listens to what Norah has to say. They share a similar sense of humor and just fundamentally enjoy each other's company. I am not a sentimental sort, but I really love watching and listening to them interact. Work has been blissfully slow for him the past couple of weeks, so he's been able to spend some much appreciated time with Norah in the evenings. He typically gets home as she's finishing up dinner and they will either take a walk or play, or just dance in the kitchen. She LOVES to dance with him and when she hears his key in the door will throw herself at him and say, 'let's dance!' It's awesome.

video

In related news, it is no secret that BVZ doesn't have the best reputation as a cook. I mean, this is the man who when we were first dating invited me over for a 'homemade' dinner and served a frozen Stouffer's lasagna. His heart is in the right place, but I think he had convinced himself of his limitations. I enjoy cooking and like to think I am somewhat good at it, so naturally I have always taken the lead in this respect. When I was so sick at the end of pregnancy with Norah he really stepped up and made dinner every night. This consisted of us eating chicken nugget salad every.single.night. It is exactly what it sounds like-he would bake frozen chicken nuggets, cut them up, and then sprinkle them over bagged salad. On special nights he might add a diced cucumber. Over the past 2.5 years he has really expanded his repertoire, and I am happy to report that he has actually become quite the cook. He has resumed a lot of the cooking duties in the past few weeks and we have been enjoying a rotation of crockpot turkey chili, chicken tortilla soup, shrimp noodle bowls, and taco salads. Good work, BVZ. Good work.

First Day of Maternity Leave

In California, by law, you are entitled to stop working 4 weeks before your due date. As awesome as that would be, I want and need to maximize my actual paycheck, so I only planned to take a week off before Funky's arrival. Like with Norah, my agency permits new parents-both moms and dads-an entire year of 'family leave'. After exhausting my paid time off and state disability it will be unpaid, of course, but still it's a year so I can't complain. (As of now I do plan to take the year off with a handful of exceptions-there are some hearings I will do this summer, etc.)

Even though I was train wreck by the end of pregnancy last time, I was able to keep working (mostly at home) to the end, and planned to take 2 weeks off before Norah was set to arrive. Of course, my water broke the night before my last day of work, so not only did I miss out on any kind of relaxing maternity leave sans baby, but I had a ton of loose ends to tie up while trying to recover from a crazy labor and c-section.

Thankfully, Funky cooperated and I enjoyed my last day in the office on Thursday (I have some stuff to take care of next week, but for the most part I am done for a while). Norah and I celebrated my first official day of leave Friday morning by making a bunch of messes in the house. After about an hour of that we started to get a little stir crazy (it was pouring rain), so we went to the mall.

And had a snack of milk and croissants.

Stopped by her favorite store where we discovered a new shipment of Bullseyes. She had no interest in Bullseye, though, because there was a Sully (from Monster's Inc.) It takes everything I have not to see her love something and buy it for her immediately, but 1) my worst nightmare is a kid who feels entitled to get everything she wants, and 2) another stuffed friend is the last thing in the world she needs. So we talked and hugged them and walked around the store with them and then said goodbye.

We rode the elevator about 9,000 times and discovered a new toy store that had lots of ride on toys. Like a digger.

After lunch, I took Norah to Ruby's house so she would actually nap (she won't nap at home but will do anything for Pamma) and I could run some errands. I planned to get a pedicure, pick up some last minute baby stuff, and then go to acupuncture. I went to the Stanford Shopping Center for the pedicure, which is a lovely outdoor mall, but not one I frequent very often because it's kind of far away. I got an awesome pedicure and treated myself to a Haagen Dazs ice cream cone when I was done. I had about 45 minutes to kill before my acupuncture appointment, so I stopped in a few baby stores (didn't buy anything as they all violated my 'spend no more than $5 for any one piece of kid clothing' rule), but it was all a little annoying because it was pouring rain.

So, I headed back to the (covered) garage to collect my car. And that's when I ran into trouble. See, I have no sense of direction and serious spatial limitations. I have to drive the same route to places I frequent often even though I have been there a million times, and I have to park in the exact same place or I am lost forever. It makes BVZ bananas, especially because he is the exact opposite. My GPS and iphone maps application are my most prized possessions. You can, I am sure, see where this is going. I got to the parking structure and literally had no effing idea where I parked. I walked up and down the rows for about 10 minutes like an idiot figuring that it would come to me, but no dice. The structure wasn't even that big and I knew I hadn't gone down any stairs, so there were only so many places it could be, but I walked around for another 20 minutes and still. Nothing. This is when I started to panic. I was clearly going to be late for my acupuncture appointment and I was going to have to spend the night in the parking structure.

So, I called BVZ to ask what the hell I should do. He told me there was a panic button on the key to my Prius and I should walk around pressing it to see if it would set off any kind of alarm. So, I walked around for another 10 minutes pressing the button. I didn't set off any alarms, but I did open the trunk of a Lexus and a Camary! WTF?? I was thoroughly amused, if a little alarmed, by this.

To make a long story short, I finally found my car tucked in a little corner of the garage after walking around for over 45 minutes. I was totally late to my acupuncture appointment (my excuse? People don't know how to drive in the rain!) and felt like a complete idiot for the rest of the night.

After collecting Norah and battling the people who don't know how to drive in the rain (see, karma will getcha every time) on the freeway, we made it home and ordered a pizza. Then she had an early bath and we had a pajama movie party. Not a bad way to start my leave, I think.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Norah Catch Up

We have been woefully lacking in Norah updates lately, so I thought I would do a bit of a dump.

We've had some pockets of really nice weather, so we play in the backyard as much as possible. Norah doesn't appreciate the fact that I can't get in her playhouse, nor am I very good at running around with the soccer ball. In fact, last week she told me, 'dad is much better at this.' Thanks, kid.

Having a mom who is 9 months pregnant means you get away with a lot of stuff you never imagined was possible. Like having a tv dinner. With chocolate pudding. In the living room.

Norah has stopped napping at home (of course, she still naps like an angel for Pam). I still require her to have some 'quiet time,' meaning she spends at least an hour by herself in her room. This is usually what quiet time looks like.

We had a great date night with the B-S family a few weeks ago. Everyone ate pizza and then the grown ups actually got to talk while Norah and Simon watched Pinnochio (and cuddled on the couch).

Norah and Ruby ride around town in style.

Norah got a great Valentine apron from Bubby and she insists upon wearing it when she 'cooks.' I think here she was making me a sandwich of mustard and coffee.

On Friday we made Valentine cookies for her friends. She was in charge of the m&m's.

Waiting for her friends to arrive, wearing her 'Belle' dress. The dress is a hand me down dress up outfit from cousin Megan and I think it is actually Alice from Alice in Wonderland. But, Belle and Tiana are the only princesses she knows and so this is her Belle dress.

On Saturday we went to Sonoma to visit some of our favorite friends. K is pregnant with twins and has just been put on full bed rest so we wanted to make sure we got to see her before Funky gets here. Her nieces brought over Valentine cupcake supplies and Norah had a blast hanging out with the girls and stuffing cake in her face.

She had a funny conversation with K's sister about Loretta the cat. She apparently told her, 'my mom doesn't like Loretta because Loretta meows all the time. She drives my mom bananas.' Lately my patience has been on the short end in all respects. Getting Norah in the car seat, dealing with the cat, basically household tasks are trying my every last nerve. When I find myself losing my patience around Norah I take a deep breath, bite my tongue, and tell her that she's driving me bananas. Clearly, she's been listening.

Norah had no interest in napping, but was more than happy to have a cuddle with some lovies for the twins and watch a movie on K's bed rest couch.

She had a great Valentine's Day today. She got a new movie, a new book, and got to eat a fun size package of m&m's for breakfast in bed. Life is sweet.


She continues to rock the potty world. I have been trying to get her to use the big potty instead of the little one, and I would say 98% of the time she is fine to pee on the big one. She much prefers to poop on the little one, though. I hate cleaning it, so I tried to get her to tell me tonight why she likes the little one. She said, 'sometimes it takes a long time to poop and the little one is more comfortable.' Well, okay then.

Some of my co-workers took me out to lunch today and gave me some really sweet and awesome gifts for Funky. There were also a couple of surprises for Norah, which was so nice. One of the things for her was a bottle of bubble bath. We've never done bubble bath before because of her sensitive skin (and potential for UTI's), but it is California Baby bath and so I felt safe trying it. She was in absolute heaven.



She swam around for 45 minutes and told me that she was Swimmy and I was the 'Big Tuna'. This is from a book I read to her the other day. We read it twice and that's it, yet she had enough recall that she could re-enact (with surprising accuracy) the entire plot line. I was totally impressed. She tells me all the time that she's 'using her imagination' to do something. Like, she will ask to watch a movie and I will say no, so she'll say she's using her imagination, sit on the couch, and then recount entire plot lines. Or today she told me that she was using her imagination to pretend that her socks were actually her shoes and she got to have chocolate pudding for dinner (instead of spinach lasagna). Yesterday at Safeway the clerk asked her if she was getting a sister or a brother. She said, 'a brother, but I am using my imagination to pretend a sister.' She's a complete crack up.

Despite all the cuteness, lately, bedtime has become a real struggle. Whereas Norah never used to get out of her toddler bed herself, she does not have the same discipline in her twin bed. She gets up and opens her door all.the.freaking.time. On her third trip into the living room tonight I told her that she needed to go to bed because mom and dad needed to watch a grown up show and relax. Her lip quivered a bit and then she sighed and said, 'okay. I will leave you alone.' Man, talk about a heart breaker. That bought her 2 more stories, a song, and mom laying down with her for 15 minutes. Since then she has been up give or take, 17 more times. It is currently 10:52 pm and I can hear her in her room singing, 'but I am not tired. I am not tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrreeeeeddddd.'

It's about to make me bananas.