Sunday, July 28, 2013


There's nothing better than sharing a popsicle with your cousin on a 97 degree afternoon.  The relationship between Lou and Reid is sometimes awesome, sometimes tenuous.  Because they both can communicate like actual kids now, they have some of the most hilarious conversations of all times. The other day I overheard a conversation that went something like this,

Reid: I like garbage trucks.
Lou: YOU like garbage trucks?  I like garbage trucks!
Reid: I like fire trucks too.
Lou: YOU like fire trucks?  I like fire trucks too!

This went on for at least five different kinds of trucks.

Norah brings a TON of art projects, work sheets, random papers, etc. home from school on a daily basis.  I often get behind in the sorting (ie, recycling) of it all.  I was going through a stack yesterday and found this gem.

Lou loves to play garbage truck.  As in, HE is the garbage truck. He will run around pulling things off of shelves, out of drawers, etc. and  pile them up, all the while making a 'beep beep' noise.  Last weekend, I was loading the dishwasher and BVZ was in the shower.  The garbage trucks made a landfill in front of the bathroom door, blocking him in.

My forever BFF had a baby boy on July 3.  Axel arrived a little earlier than expected and is a tiny little peanut, but he's strong and awesome and was home after a short stint in the NICU.  He's incredibly adorable and I can't wait to get my hands on him again.  

Eyes Wide Open

Norah had a vision and hearing screening at pre-school about six months ago and the nurse practitioner who administered the screening said that while she passed as a four year old (which she was at the time), she would not pass as a five year old.  So, while it wasn't necessarily an immediate concern, we definitely needed to have her comprehensively evaluated prior to kindergarten.  We found a pediatric opthamologist that came highly recommended and she had her appointment a few weeks ago.  I fully expected to walk away with a pair of glasses that she would have to wear to see the board at school, when watching television, etc.  She has two parents that are very near sighted so she comes by it pretty naturally.  

Norah loves doctors and dentists.  I don't know exactly why, but it is probably because she gets a ton of positive affirmation from them.  She follows directions well and can engage with them in a way that endears herself to them.  Plus, she loves the attention.  This eye doctor was no exception and Norah very much enjoyed the hour or so we spent getting her vision tested and the health of her eyes evaluated.  

I was not surprised to hear that she needed glasses.  I was, however, surprised that she needed glasses not because of her near-sightedness (which is pretty mild right now), but because she has a moderate astigmatism for a kid her age.  It causes blurred vision because of the way the eye lens is curved.  I have a severe astigmatism and my vision is terrible.  I don't see particularly well with glasses and need to be wearing contacts to feel comfortable doing basic things, like driving at night. Because Norah is so young, the hope is that early correction of the problem can re-train her optic nerve (in some way that I don't necessarily totally understand), and will hopefully prevent her astigmatism from getting worse.  The catch is that for the glasses to make a difference, she has to wear them 100% of the time, save for swimming, bathing, and sleeping.

The good news is that glasses are way cuter now than when I first got them (30+ years ago).  I let her pick out whichever frames she wanted.  I liked the wire rimmed ones, but she much preferred these hipster pink ones:

They took three or four days to come in and Bubby took her to pick them up.  I just noticed she is wearing the same dress in both photos, which is kind of funny.

She's been a great sport.  There was a moment of panic when she realized that she was going to have to wear them ALL of the time, but the adjustment was quick and has been painless.

The front of the frame is pink and the side is purple with some bling.

The day we picked them out we took her out to dinner to celebrate.  She enjoyed all of the compliments.

She's had them about a week now and it's like she's had them forever.  She made the comment tonight after taking them off to take a shower that she felt 'naked' without them.

I can't get over how cute she looks.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Win Some, Lose Some

For a lot of people, potty training is difficult.  I always have said that I earned good karma by suffering through Norah's terrible eating and sleeping for two plus years, because she was the easiest kid to potty train.  Of all times.  Literally, I put her in underwear over one weekend and she started going in the potty.  I think in her whole life she's had a total of five pee accidents.  Never a poop accident.  NEVER A POOP ACCIDENT, people.  

I know there is no way lightening will strike twice, so I have been dreading this stage with Lou. He's an incredibly smart kid.  He's also an incredibly stubborn kid who seems to take great delight in making my head explode.  We have had the little potty set up in his bathroom for months now.  Every night I ask if he wants to use it before his bath and every night he says no.  Okay, no biggie.  We won't get serious about it for another couple of months, right now it's all about the test and see.  He knows that if he pees successfully he can get an m&m.  That doesn't seem to be much motivation.  He will briefly sit, announce, "I peed! Where my m&m?" But, alas there never seems to actually be any pee.

Last night BVZ got home at about 7:30 (hooray!) and he and Norah immediately went into the pool, so Lou and I were on our own.  We played upstairs for a bit and then it was bath time.  I asked if he wanted to try and pee.  No.  I offered an m&m for a pee.  He sat, jumped up, announced his success. But, no pee.  Then I decided to try something new.  Knowing that I had an unopened package of hot wheels cars downstairs I told him that if he peed on the potty he could have a new car.

He thought about it.

And thought some more.

And then said, "two cars."  

I said sure and he sat his skinny little butt on the potty and peed. Just like that.  So, just as I expected, he is fully capable of doing it.  He just needs the right motivation.  I made a big deal about it and ran downstairs to get the cars.  His moment of triumph:

He got in the tub and started to swim around and then I noticed the thing that every parent of small children dreads....the bathtub floaters.  I couldn't believe after that moment of triumph he freaking pooped in the tub.  Ugh.  It was a ton of itty bitty tiny pieces.  Ugh times a million.  He got pulled out along with every toy, the tub got scrubbed, the toys got banished, and I may or may not have gagged a few times.  The kid himself also got wiped up and (twenty minutes later) got stuck back in the bath.  

But, it still, ahem.  Was stinky.  I couldn't figure out the source until I went to get new towels and I saw it.  I SAW IT.  And it was a giant turd on the floor RIGHT NEXT TO THE FREAKING POTTY.* My delightful bundle of joy peed in the potty to get two cars, then waited for me to leave the room, and took a dump on my floor.

Lou may have won the battle, but I will win the war.  I just have to find the right Hot Wheels.

(*Yes, I took a picture of the turd.  Yes, I texted it to my sisters.  Yes, I refrained from texting it to anyone else-you're welcome MS and AB-and/or posting here.  I do have some boundaries.) 

Monday, July 15, 2013

This Girl...

Has gone from being unwilling to put her face in the water to a halfway decent swimmer in a remarkably short amount of time.  Something just clicked in her brain and she is powering through her swim lessons.  She is in the pre-school beginners class right now and after today is getting moved to a more intermediate class.  She will only put her face in the water if she has goggles on, but even without going under she can tread water like a boss.  We threw her in the deep end of our pool yesterday and she got herself to the side and out safely in a manner of seconds.  

The next hurdle is to get her to jump in or go down the slide without someone having to catch her.  We'll see.

5th Birthday Party

Norah's birthday party was the day after her actual birthday.  It was the first time we have had a party not at the house.  At first I was a little apprehensive about giving up that kind of control (ha), but after all was said and done I am pretty much resolved that we will never, ever, ever have a birthday party at the house again.

Norah wanted a gymnastics party and it seemed like a great idea to have a patriotic theme (especially given the fact that it was so close to the Fourth of July and most decor was 50% off).  I found her the most perfect gymnastics party outfit of all times.

The studio where we had the party kept it very simple.  The party could only be an hour and a half, we were only allowed to bring in cake, and they took care of all of the clean up.  Literally all we did were invites, cake, bottled water, a few decorations, and favor boxes for the kids to take home.  The cost of renting out the place was more than off-set by the fact that we didn't feed anyone actual food and we didn't buy any beer.  Favors were red boxes stuffed with sidewalk chalk, animal crackers, a ring pop, glow bracelets, and a bendy drinking straw covered in red-white-and-blue tinsel.

I was slightly stressed because we had an absolute cap (set by the place) of 25 kids that could participate.  I am a big believer at this age that if you invite one kid from pre-school, you have to invite them all. So, once we factored in her class, plus all of the non-school friends, we were at exactly 25. Of course, RSVP's from the school folks were sporadic (or non-existent).  There was a real possibility there would be 10 kids show up.  Or 30.  Plus, there is always the random kid who shows up with 3 siblings in tow.  Thankfully it all worked out and the end count was 20 kids total.  Totally doable.

Cake Boss once again out-did herself.  She made five separate layers, each with distinct decoration. The one that said NORAH and had the candles was gluten free.

In true Cake Boss fashion, I think she started the cakes at like 10:00 pm the night before.  They were amazing and delicious and everyone oohed and aahed over them.  Norah was thrilled.

The way that the party structure was described to me by the place was that there would be a short tutorial and then the kids would be taken through guided gymnastics exercises, all tailored to be appealing to five year olds.  I figured that the younger crowd (ie, Lou and Reid) and the older crowd (ie, Megan and Trevor) wouldn't really be able to take part.  As it turns out there was five minutes of instruction...

Another five minutes of rules...

And then everyone was pretty much turned loose and left to their own devices.  The gym was HUGE and we had the entire place to ourselves.  There was a little something for everyone, including the grown ups: trampolines, foam pits, balance beams, high bars, etc.  It would be so fun to get a group of adults and spend an evening there with a cooler of beer, but somehow I think the gym's liability insurance wouldn't cover it. (I may or may not have done the vault.  Twice.)

Norah was SO into it and really pretty good. It was nice to see her taking some risks and pushing herself out of her comfort zone.

Every kid loved the foam pit.  Louie loved to swing out over it and then just hang on to the rope.  He has the upper body strength of a ninja. 

After about an hour of jumping we had singing and cake and general merriment.  We did our usual book collection in lieu of gifts and amassed a nice pile of kid friendly books to donate.

Camilla wore a matching outfit.  We tried to find one for Megan as well, but 1) it is impossible to find a matching outfit in a 3 month, 5T, and almost 12-year old size; and 2) I am not sure Megan would ever forgive me if I asked her to wear a matching outfit to a 3 month and 5 year old.

After the party wrapped, the family headed back to our house for dinner and more cake.

There were about 500 attempts to take a cousin photo and this is the best we got.  Not bad.

Overall it was a great, albeit very hot, day (Cake Boss had made an extra 24 cupcakes because we weren't sure how many people were going to show up, and the frosting literally melted off on the 22 SECOND walk from the car to the gym).  It was an easy and fun party and it was an awesome team effort. Kiki was still in town and did a ton of the behind the scenes work both in the days leading up to it (ie, stuffing favor boxes) and day-of.  I don't remember how I ever got anything done without Bubby and/or my sisters around.  Good thing I don't have to.

Nothing makes me happier than celebrating my favorite girl.

Friday, July 12, 2013

5th Birthday Day

Norah's birthday was on a Friday, so it was pretty much business as usual.  We got her a scooter and a few other little things.  The scooter was a hit.  She is actually really good at it and picked it up quickly.  If it wasn't 9,000 degrees outside I am sure she would be riding it all day, every day. 

She asked to bring gluten free chocolate chip cookies with mm's to school.  Done and done.

She was really happy to be five.  She kept saying, "But I don't feel five.  When am I going to feel five?"

Pancakes with syrup for breakfast.

I picked her up from school and we went to see Monster's University.  It was a little slow at first, but very cute.  I love going to the movies with that kid.

Louie was napping at Aunt Amy's house while we were at the movies, so when we picked him up Norah got to open a bunch of presents.  Reid gave her a plastic mug that you can chill in the freezer. Norah likes to use it to pretend she's drinking beer.

We were very lucky that Kiki was in town.  Norah was lucky that Kiki was in town with a very special pretty pony.

Bubby just got back from the Bahamas and gave Norah a super special birthday gift--a "real" pearl necklace.

BVZ was in the middle of something nuts at work but was able to sneak away for an hour to have dinner.  By dinner time, Norah was a little pooped and tired of being five.

She perked up a little with pizza and dessert and the day ended on a high note.

BVZ didn't end up getting home until well after 1:00 am.  Which pretty much ruined my plan to get drunk and celebrate five years of parenting.  There's always next year.