Saturday, July 30, 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011

And Then There's This

Okay. You sitting down? Really. Sit down for this one. Ready? Really? Okay.

We're moving. As in leaving the bay area. With our stuff. In a moving truck. With the kids. And the cat. And where, pray tell, are we going? That would be Texas. Austin to be exact. Shocked? Me too. I don't quite believe it and I am the one that booked the movers.

Got lots of questions? Me too. And only a few answers.

Whoa. When is this happening?

Really, really soon. We fly out with one-way tickets on August 24.

Are you freaking out?

Yes. A lot.

I thought you loved it here?

I do. WE do. BVZ grew up here and it's been my home for more than 8 years now. I love San Francisco, I love my friends (a lot, a lot, a lot), I love my job, I love the (foggy) weather, I love the (cold) beach, I love our house (most of the time), I love the lifestyle, I love.... well, you get it. But, without going into too much detail, BVZ has been increasingly unhappy and unfulfilled at his job for several years now. Don't get me wrong, his job afforded us many things (like a house) that we would not otherwise have had in this area, and we certainly have enjoyed a certain standard of living. But money isn't everything (duh) and we would prefer him to not have an actual nervous breakdown. Plus, we only get one shot with these kids and he needs to figuratively and literally be around for them.

So, he should just get another job here!

If only it was that easy. It's kind of complicated, but the bottom line is that he is emotionally, physically, and psychologically done with big law firm life. Unfortunately, we bought this house at the ultimate height of the market and we have a ginormous mortgage. I am a public defender. I do not command a ginormous salary. Any job BVZ would be interested in here does not command a ginormous salary. Kids are expensive. They like to eat.

Why Austin?

A bunch of reasons. First. Kids are hard. They are even harder when you don't have a ton of family around. Austin has a ton of family. Second. Austin is cheap. BVZ can do a job he really likes and enjoys without feeling the weight of the financial world on his shoulders. We can get 3 times as much house for a third of the cost. We work really hard. It would be nice to have more than one bathroom. We already have reverse sticker shock. The most expensive preschool is hundreds of dollars cheaper than what we are paying here. Groceries are actually affordable. Especially avocados (weird, right?) Third. Austin is fun. It has fun music and fun food and fun people and fun stuff to do. We have a lot of friends there that we really, really, really like. Fourth. California public schools are in serious trouble. School in Austin affords our kids certain things they simply won't have here.

So, did BVZ get a job in Austin?

Yup. We had been entertaining the idea of moving there for a while, but hadn't really done anything aggressive to make it happen. It was more of one of those "wouldn't it be nice if we could have more than one bathroom" kind of thing. An opportunity came up in kind of a weird way a few weeks ago and one thing led to another. And we took a deep breath and pulled the trigger. He is joining a very small, start up intellectual property firm. Same kind of law he does here but in a very different environment. VERY different environment. He's beyond thrilled.

When is his last day at work here?

Tomorrow. He'll take August off to pack, go to Giants games, take the kids to the beach, and move. He will start at the new firm the second week of September. There's a lot to be said for seven years worth of unused vacation time that gets paid out at the end. I better get a new dining room table out of it.

What about your job?

Sigh. Let's not talk about that one. I love my job. LOVE my job. I work with fabulous people and I really, really enjoy what I do. The work means a tremendous amount to me and I am heartbroken to leave. I may try and take one of my cases with me, that's still up in the air. It's actually a little easier emotionally because I am still on maternity leave and so I am not in the thick of things right now. But it sucks. Really sucks.

Do YOU plan to get a job in Austin?

Yes. I've got some things in the works. Maybe not right away, but yes. I think stay-at-home moms rule the world, but that's not a job I am cut out for. I would love to be able to finagle a part time gig and least while Lou is still so little. We'll see.

Do you have to take the Texas bar?

Oh, hell no. That was my stipulation...I refused to move anywhere I had to take the bar. We've both been practicing long enough that we can apply for admission without having to take the exam, thank god.

What are you doing with your house?

It is going on the market soon. Anyone want to buy it? We will end up taking a loss on it. Hopefully not too much, but time (and it better not be a lot of time) will tell. We could try and wait out the market and rent it out but, 1) what we could get in rent wouldn't cover the mortgage, much less taxes, insurance, etc., 2) renting it seems like an unbelievable hassle, and 3) the market isn't expected to fully recover for years and years and years. We would rather suck it up and get rid of the albatross now. It's a cute house. More than one bathroom is overrated. Buy it please.

Where are you going to live in Austin?

Good question. We're going to lease a house while our house here (hopefully) sells and we figure out what school district, etc. we want to be in. It's proving a little more difficult to find what we want. Housing has taken a hit there too, of course, and the rental market is red hot. We have the worst timing when it comes to housing (ie, bought at the highest, selling at the lowest, renting in the worse rental market ever). Whatever. There are worse things in life.

Texas is hot. Don't you hate the heat?

I need a Xanax just thinking about it. I took this picture 2 days ago when I took Lou for a walk mid-morning. TWO DAYS AGO. That would be July 26. He's wearing a fuzzy bear suit on July 26. Austin has been over 100 degrees for over 80 days straight. Oy.

So, are you buying a Texas sized SUV?

No. We're keeping the Prius.

It's tough to leave a place you really like.

Tell me about it. We'll miss Grandpa Gene and Ms. Mary a ton. We'll miss being within driving distance of GG and Aunt Vanessa. I will miss my cooking club. We will dearly miss our friends, who have been our lifeline all of these years. BVZ will miss the Giants. We will miss Half Moon Bay. We will miss the place our kids were born. I will miss my village of moms. More than I can ever explain. The amount of tears is overwhelming.

This sounds miserable! Is there anything you are actually looking forward to?

Why, yes there is, actually. Mostly this:

And this:

Our kids have cousins in Austin. Super awesome, amazing cousins. And a grandmother who can't get enough of them (and wants to babysit for free). And aunts and uncles that adore them. Who are we to deny them the chance to grow up in the middle of this kind of love fest? Plus, I get my mom. And two of my sisters. Who happen to be two of my very best friends. I haven't lived in the same place as my family in 18 years. That's a long time. Too long. Plus, we get a house with more than one bathroom. I can't begin to describe how much I am looking forward to that. Some of my favorite friends live there. That's going to be great. Oh, and BVZ won't have a nervous breakdown. That's big too.

How's Norah dealing with it?

She says she's excited. She talks about living in a new house and having her own bathroom (what can I say, the excitement is contagious). She is really excited to be with her Bubby and cousins. She is looking forward to all of the swimming pools. She wants to go. And then once we're in Texas she wants to go to Ruby's house. And play with Caleb and Ava and Caroline. And then maybe go to her school and see her teacher. And then see if Pamma will come over. In other words, she totally doesn't get that here and there are in fact mutually exclusive. She'll adjust just like she always does. I just hope it doesn't break her heart.

When will you be back?

Soon. Norah and I have a trip planned in December to meet Baby Goo Goo.

What's your policy on visitors?

They are encouraged and expected.

I think it's going to be a tough transition for everyone (especially for me-for christ's sake it's been over 100 degrees for months!), but at the end of the day it's going to be nothing but good all around. Bay area folks, please make sure we hang out before we leave. Austin folks, come be our friends. And bring beer.

Cheers to the next chapter!


A couple of mornings ago, BVZ and I were laying in bed playing with Lou when we heard Norah's door creak open and the pitter patter of pre-schooler feet. She went to the bathroom and then burst into our room and announced (in a very not-nice voice), "MOTHER YOU BETTER GET OUT OF THAT BED AND MAKE ME SOME BREAKFAST."

I was so shocked by 1) her volume, 2) her tone, and 3) her use of mother that I said (really, without thinking), "fat chance, make your own goddamn breakfast." She got wide eyed and I thought I was in big trouble, but she said, "really, can I, can I, can I?" Apparently, all the girl has ever wanted in the whole wide world is to make her own breakfast. She has now done it 3 days in a row. It takes approximately 17 hours.*

*She goes to the freezer, opens it (it is at her level, below the fridge) and pulls out 4 pancakes. I then have to set up her stool where she can reach a paper towel. She arranges said 4 pancakes on the paper towel. She then carries it across the kitchen and I have to then set up her stool at the microwave. She puts in the time (she just has to press 1 for 1 minute) and starts the microwave. I make her get off the stool so as not to get radiated. I then have to set up her stool on the other counter and she applies (with surprising dexterity) peanut butter. She then cuts up some fruit with a little help (and a real knife) and tries to convince me to let her put cool whip on the fruit. It works probably 25% of the time.

Building a Bear

Last week Norah and Ruby got to go and build a bear. It's not something I ever would have done alone. Some things are just better with a BFF.

First, they got to choose a body. I tried very hard to pick the cute bears but Norah insisted upon choosing an ugly blue one. Whatever.

Ruby picked a cute one.

Second stop was the filling station.

The girls got to pick a little heart and put it in their bear. Then it got sewed up.

After the bears were stuffed and hearted, they got cleaned and fluffed (ie, stuck under a very loud dryer).

Next step was clothes. I was dumbfounded by the options. They literally had every outfit you could imagine, from sports jerseys, to uniforms, to disco outfits. Of course these two made a beeline straight for the princess-ware.

Princess Aurora and Princess Rapunzel.

Everything is better when done with a friend.

Louis: Five Months

Oh, our little Lou...5 months down. He's such a great baby. (It makes me laugh every time I say it because that's always how the addict's back story on Intervention starts, "he was such a good baby..."). But it's true. He's SUCH a good baby. Always smiling, always laughing, always up for a snuggle or two.

He's a good eater and a great sleeper. We consistently get 30 to 35 ounces a day in him, 3 solid naps, and with very few exceptions, sleeps from around 8:00 pm to around 6:00 am. I never knew baby could be this good. I never believed people who said they had babies sleeping through the night this young (and he's been doing it for a while now), but now I feel as though I am a member of some super secret, awesome club. Sign me up. I'll be the president.

We are taking it really slow on solids (some days I forget to even try, just like some days I forget to give him a, he's fine). He likes food but isn't the best at actually swallowing it just yet. I gave him a little piece of banana smushed up the other day (I was eating it and he seemed interested) and he loved it but couldn't figure out a way to make it stay in his mouth. I have no idea how much he weighs but it's a lot. He's an arm workout for sure.

We've just recently put him in the exersaucer, which he digs. Bath time is still fun as is gym time. He was rolling over a while in his sleep but he has seemed to lose interest. I try to encourage him, he looks me straight in the eye, and barfs. He's started to show a lot of interest in loveys and blankets, the latter of which he likes to try and smother himself with while he sleeps. He has an amazing belly laugh and cracks up when you make funny faces or noises in his general direction. He is fascinated with his sister and will watch her every move. I am making a real effort to read more to him (with Norah I probably read her 12,000 books a day at this age, Lou is lucky if he gets 3), and his favorite is the one from Megan and Trevor with the soft animals he can touch.

We love him more than we ever thought possible.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What a Weekend

Whew. What a weekend. Things kicked off with a play date over here on Friday afternoon. The kids had a blast running around in the backyard and eating pizza. I had no shame and drank a Bud Light Lime in front of my friends. The kids didn't want to go home, and frankly neither did we, so Ruby and Norah convinced us to let them all take a bath together. Taking clean kids (in clean pj's) home from a play date is fantastic.

While in the bath, out of nowhere, Norah announced, "Caleb, your skin is black, just like Tiana's!" She was so thrilled and excited that I didn't have the heart to tell her that 1) Caleb is not, in fact, black; 2) it maybe isn't the best idea to make those kinds of proclamations; and 3) compared to Norah, just about anyone looks black. Poor girl is really pale.

Saturday morning we headed over the bridge and spent the latter part of the morning and had lunch with Uncles Dick and Alan and Kate. I can't believe I didn't take a single picture. It was a lovely visit, but poor Lou had a total meltdown at the end. See, he's the world's most mellow baby, but needs about 30 seconds with a pacifier before he can fall asleep. No pacifier and he apparently becomes the devil. For some unknown reason, we managed to pack half the house for our day out, but didn't include a single pacifier. Of course. We made a sheepish escape and stopped at a grocery store to pick up a spare. They didn't have Lou's brand so I got a few alternatives. He was pretty pissed about the whole thing and poor baby probably cried for an hour straight until he finally passed out.

We then went to Grandpa Gene's house where a lot of running took place, as well as a trip to the local park.

I caught her shaking the flowers "for fairy dust."

Grandpa Gene and Ms. Mary are always a lot of fun.

Sunday we figured that relaxing around the house was for wussies and met up with the B's and S's at Half Moon Bay. It started off chilly and overcast, but the clouds burned off after about 20 minutes and turned into quite possibly the nicest day we've ever had at HMB. The beach was packed, so clearly everyone else had the same idea. Norah loves this beach, but loved it even more with her friends.

Relaxing in a frog hat.

Ruby was the only one brave enough to go in the water (her dad surfed for a bit and then took her in). After lunch, all the kids ventured down to the water and found a little inlet to play in where they could splash around but not get really wet-that water is COLD. Some grown ups were up with Lou and the stuff and others were down monitoring the ocean situation. Both BVZ and I were down with the big kids. In true Half Moon Bay fashion, a wave came out of nowhere at a much higher tide than expected. Of course, this happened at the exact instant I turned around to say something to BVZ, and I missed Norah getting knocked down by said wave. Relative chaos ensued (she was NOT happy about getting knocked down or being soaking wet, Ruby didn't seem to mind...) and after the excitement subsided, Aileen called down from the blankets, "where's Caleb?"

I think my heart actually stopped. 5 pairs of grown up eyes immediately started searching. BVZ said, "I saw him walk up, I saw him walk up" but I couldn't stop looking in the water. I don't remember ever feeling quite that terrified, so I can't even imagine how Aileen must have felt. I waded into the water calling his name, while others scanned the beach. It was probably only 2 minutes, but it felt like an hour. Aileen found him about a hundred yards from our stuff (high on the beach), and my guess is that he tried to go back up to the blankets but got disoriented and couldn't find our group.

He was fine. We all needed a stiff drink.

Later that evening we went to the H-R's for a yummy hot dog dinner and smores. They have a killer house (5 minutes away from us), with an amazing view. We have house envy.

Crazy weekend but a ton of fun.

Friday, July 22, 2011

It's Good..... be Norah and Ruby (thanks Ava for the awesome jammies).

Monday, July 18, 2011

In Her Own Words

I found on some random blog the other day a series of questions to ask your kid every year around their birthday. I asked Norah the following and wrote down her responses verbatim [anything in brackets is my own commentary]:

How old are you? I am THREE! Is it my birthday again. I am still three for how many days?

What is your favorite food? Sushi and chicken [I call BS on that one] and tortellini.

What is your favorite toy? Fairies from my cousins, Cootie game, movies, and my special Yoko book. And my kitchen [again, not accurate but she just happened to be looking at it, I think.] My playhouse and I really like my paints.

Who is your best friend? Ruby and Ava and Caroline and Caleb, but he's a boy. Kevin and Lucas and Louie are only brothers. Carmela [from school, I actually don't know that she really likes her that much], Iridessa [a fairy], Allie [her "pretend" friend] and maybe Bubby.

What is your favorite song? ABC song and Gulp, Gulp, Gulp [a song from school]. Daddy likes a song about a house [some Tom Waits song that BVZ sings her at bedtime]. Beauty and the Beast in Pamma's car [Pamma would play the soundtrack to BATB when driving her home].

What is your favorite TV show? World Word, Calliou.

What is your favorite movie? The cat movie [The Aristocats]. No, the Rapunzel movie [Tangled]. Maybe the fairy movie my cousins gave me, but maybe the fairy movie from the library too. I really, really, REALLY like Sword and the Stone.

What is your favorite treat? A cookie and maybe a cake pop. But no Bear Cookies [she will never forgive me for getting her a not-so-tasty cookie shaped like a bear once].

What is your favorite thing to do? Play, play, play with my friends. Go to the beach. Can my friends go to the beach with me? But I DON'T get in the water. Have a kajama movie party.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Smashed Face

We went to Ruby's third birthday party on Saturday. It was awesome.

The kids had such a good time and every detail was perfect.

As the party was winding down, Ruby either invited Norah to come over and see her new playhouse or Norah invited herself (they made this plan without consulting us). Even though they were clearly tired, we thought what the hell, and agreed to let them continue playing. Ava, Caleb, and Lucas came over to check it out too and for a bit all was well.

Apparently, Norah got really tired and decided that she would just head on upstairs and take a quick nap in Ruby's bed. Somehow she managed to trip on the way up and smashed her face into the first step. There was a lot of screaming and a lot of blood. At first I thought she just hit her lip and figured that some ice would take care of it. Any kind of laceration on the face or head bleeds a lot, so I knew it likely looked worse than it was. But, I made her let me look in her mouth and there was also a cut (and a ton of blood) on her upper gum. That entire side of her mouth on the inside was quickly swelling and turning purple. And one of her front teeth was definitely not in the same place it was the last time I looked. Crap.

I decided to take her to urgent care and because there was still so much screaming and crying, Pamma offered to go with us and sit in the backseat with Norah (BVZ and Louis went home straight from the park). I am really glad I took her up on her offer because Norah was so upset and shaken up that I think she would have completely freaked out while I was driving. We didn't have to wait any more than about 10 or 15 minutes at urgent care, and the doctor said that while her tooth was indeed loose, as long as she didn't injure it further (or eat an apple anytime soon), it would tighten up again. Who knew teeth could tighten up again? The bigger issue was the laceration on her gum line, but there wasn't anything they could do for it (not bad enough for stitches). That part is pretty painful for her. The doctor said there is always a chance that she damaged the nerve when she hit it and if that's the case, the tooth will die and turn gray. He said he would be shocked if that happened here.

I felt kind of like a jerk, but I have to admit that I was really, really, really worried and upset at the thought of her losing a tooth. I know that they are just her baby teeth and in the scheme of things all that matters is that she was okay, but I was just not ready for my 3 year old with the gorgeous smile to be missing a tooth. Perhaps a bit superficial, but realistic nonetheless.

And to make matters worse, she WANTED her tooth to come out! She's been looking forward to a visit from the tooth fairy since she was introduced to the concept of the tooth fairy, and told me that she was going to try and pull it out. Argh! I told her that the tooth fairy doesn't bring anything if you lose a tooth before you are 5, but she does bring something if you get a boo boo and you are very brave. I put a new book under her pillow after she was asleep that she discovered this morning. Let's hope that takes care of that little complication.

Here she is in the car on the way home from urgent care. Poor thing.

We gave her ibuprofen every 6 hours because she was in quite a bit of pain last night. This morning she woke up with the side of her face caked in dried blood (SO GROSS). The swelling is a lot better but she's still pretty busted up. Her gum is so swollen it looks almost black, but thankfully her tooth looks fine (it's still a bit loose, but I am not that worried about it anymore).

She's talking a little funny, but in good spirits. Stoked that there's an entire carton of ice cream just for her. I felt so bad that we wrecked the end of Ruby's special day. She was so sad that her friend was hurt, she was crying just as much as Norah was. Not the way I want Ruby to remember her party day! (We'll make it up to you Rubes. I promise.)

Baby Goo Goo

Ruby is getting a baby sister in November. This is very exciting for all of us. Ruby calls her baby sister Baby Goo Goo. Norah is very into Baby Goo Goo. We have been playing Baby Goo Goo a lot lately, and Norah is Megan, I am Ruby, and this little wooden doll is Baby Goo Goo. Playing Baby Goo Goo basically involves Norah (as the mom) telling me that I can't touch Baby Goo Goo's head because she's just a baby and her skull is very soft. She says, 'DON'T touch her head, you're gonna smush her brains!' (Hey, at least she's listening to some things I say, right?)

Catching Up

Quick iphone picture dump....

We finally made it up to Sonoma last week to meet the twin babies of our good friends Karyl and Issac. James and Helyn are perfect, adorable, sweet babies. At three months old they are both so mellow and even tempered, and cute, cute, cute. Of course, I managed to not take a single picture of both of them together. I did get this funny shot of Louis and James hanging out in the pack-n-play.

Norah is really into fudgesicles these days. I am too.

Lou has now tried oatmeal, avocado, and as of this morning, butternut squash. He really likes food, but I don't think he totally gets the concept yet. He opens wide and tries to gobble food down, but his tongue and brain don't quite connect and he ends up pushing the majority of the bite out. He seems to be into the flavor, but I think we may take a break and try again in a few weeks. I made a big batch of butternut squash this morning, but I will just freeze it for later.

The library is still our favorite Thursday afternoon destination. These statutes are outside. Norah calls them her children. She told me to take her picture with them and send it to Pamma.

Lou is cute.

They both are.

Lou has discovered his tongue and feet. He often tries to lick his feet, but isn't very successful.

Ever since watching Alice in Wonderland, Norah is really into tea parties in the hallway.

Louis is a GREAT sleeper. When he's swaddled. Unfortunately, he has recently learned some kung fu moves and doesn't stay in a swaddle for very long. We have those swaddles that velcro around (I can never remember the brand name), and the other night I woke up to find that he had gotten his arms out but one of the velcros was still fastened, and he was basically strangling himself with it. No good. We tried to go cold turkey on the swaddle, but that ended up in a sleepless night for everyone. So, like I usually do, I turned to my good friend the internet for advice and found this:

Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit. The concept is pretty simple...the material is some kind of microfiber and weighs down the baby so that he doesn't engage his startle reflex or thrash his arms and legs around. It's warm and comfy. He pretty much looks like that kid from The Christmas Story or Maggie from the Simpsons wearing her star snowsuit. All I care about is that it works. And it does!

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Last week one of our favorite friends Suzy took some time off of work so her husband could go on a quick trip to London to check out potential neighborhoods (they are moving at the end of the summer...exciting for them, so sad for us). Suzy suggested we check out Fairyland in Oakland and Norah and I were game. I mentioned to BVZ what we were doing and he said that his mom used to take him there all the time as a kid and it was "pretty beat." That would have been around 1979, and apparently it hasn't been updated much since then. I am not sure that anyone over the age of 5 would have much fun, but Norah and Caroline LOVED it and we had a fabulous morning.

There was a little gnome on the top of this mushroom that blew one bubble every 2 minutes or so. Yeah, one bubble. You could even see the little plastic wand. This little fairy couldn't have been more impressed (yes, she's wearing pink fairy wings courtesy of our friends Karyl and Isaac...thanks, guys!)

This giant dragon was a favorite of Caroline's and she could easily navigate her way up and down his scales. Norah wasn't quite as agile (shorter legs, way bigger chicken), but did her best.

This was a big hit-Rapunzel's tower. Norah would have climbed those stairs all day. There was a VERY steep slide inside the house that she would have nothing to do with. It took a couple of climbs up, but Caroline finally went down it.

This is a bad picture, but it was one of Norah's favorite "exhibits." It is a giant whale with a small fish tank. BVZ totally remembers this, which I think is funny. See that purple box? For $2 at the admissions gate you can buy a plastic key which will turn on music and stories at these various boxes located throughout the park. I bought one but kind of forgot about it (plus, a lot of the boxes didn't work and the kids weren't that interested in listening anyway). Norah now uses the key to "lock" Cinderella and other tragic heroines in her bedroom at home.

I think this was Gepetto's workshop.

Lou behaved how he usually does....smiled and looked around for a while and then took a nap.

There were a handful of animals (some rabbits, a horse, etc.) but the kids weren't all that impressed. Norah likes to look from afar only and Caroline apparently is still not over an unfortunate incident she once had with a goat. Tunnels were more interesting.

There were a few rides that looked as though they were last updated in 1983. I wasn't too concerned because Norah isn't that interested in rides (let's face it, she's a huge chicken). There was a ferris wheel type contraption that circles the kids around in enclosed cages. Caroline saw it and made a beeline for the line. Norah held her hand and went running off with her. I told Suzy there was no way in hell Norah was going to get on, so imagine my surprise when she jumped into the little cage with Caroline and clapped her hands in anticipation. The ride started. It made its way around once before we could hear the "Mom! Stop this! Please! I want off!" The woman operating it was very gracious (I would imagine this probably happens a lot), and quickly let her off. Norah dried her tears and we watched Caroline finish the ride.

She recovered quickly and kept on exploring.

Then took a break for a snack.

There was an Alice in Wonderland exhibit that Suzy and I both really liked (BVZ remembers this one too). You wander through a maze of cards and then walk down a tunnel with various scenes from the story set up in diorama form.

Kevin was such a trooper. He chilled in his stroller and ate goldfish crackers.

There was a puppet show performance of 'Sword in the Stone' going on that Norah was pretty into, but I made her go potty instead.

After a pee break the show was over, so the girls hopped on this very sophisticated and technologically advanced ride that went .0000001 mile an hour. So, of course Norah loved it.

There were lots of cute and funny photo opps.

Both of the girls really loved the carousel. They rode it a lot.

It was a really, really fun day. It was very overcast so the weather was quite cool (almost chilly), and the park was not very crowded. I don't imagine I would have enjoyed myself if it had been hot and/or crowded, so thankfully things aligned in our favor.

The girls were pretty tired when we left but somehow caught a second wind. Norah apparently decided she needed to run around and took off as soon as we left the confines of the Fairyland gate. Now, perhaps we are spoiled in that she has never been that kid who takes off or runs away or otherwise puts herself in imminent peril, so I was dumbfounded when she bolted off and didn't respond to my repeated screams of 'stop!, freeze!, and red light!' I was pissed and once I caught her I let her know that her behavior was inappropriate and dangerous and as a result of her refusal to listen she forfeited the privilege of watching a movie that afternoon.

And believe me, after a long morning with a kid who no longer naps regularly, forfeiting a movie is a way worse punishment for me than it is for her.