Tuesday, April 08, 2014


Compared to kids around her, Norah has been a little late to the tooth losing game.  At her last dentist appointment a few months ago the hygienist discovered she had two "wigglers," so there has been eager anticipation for a while now.  Last week both of her bottom teeth got very, very wiggly and the anticipation definitely started to grow.  Loose teeth are certainly not my favorite thing (the whole concept is pretty gross), but it has been so fun to watch her get SO EXCITED about this part of growing up.  It makes me a little sad that her perfect little baby teeth are on their way out but I am so proud of who she is becoming that I can't mourn their loss too much.

On Sunday Norah had two school friends over for a play date and at the end of it I caught them eating chocolate chip muffins on the couch (naughty factor 10).  She was on the verge of totally getting busted when I noticed the main wiggler was no longer in her mouth.  The first tooth had fallen out and she didn't even notice!  Argh.  Worse yet, the tooth itself was no where to be found and all that was left was the side of a bloody muffin.  Yes, we looked everywhere.  (For sure she swallowed it). Although a less than ideal experience she was still pretty stoked.  

She was a little concerned about how the whole tooth fairy thing goes down if there isn't actually a tooth, so she whipped up this gem before bed:

[What is your name? I lost my tooth.  I hope that is ok.  Love Norah.]

The tooth fairy left a $5 bill wrapped in ribbon and a nice note.  Oh, and the tooth fairy's name is Kalissie (Game of Thrones was on that night--BVZ simplified the spelling).

I thought for sure the other bottom tooth would come out on Monday but no dice.  Tuesday it was hanging on for dear life and sure enough, came out during the post dinner wrestling match between Norah and 30 lbs of Fury.  

This time we had the evidence.

Norah was worried she wouldn't get to keep the tooth, so made sure her wishes were clear.

[To Kalissie.  From Norah.  Pleas [sic] don't take the tooth.  Thank you.]

I hope we are wiggler free for a while now.

Monday, April 07, 2014


On days I am at the office I try to be home by about 5:00 pm.  That gives me a solid 2.5 hours of shenanigans before bedtime.  BVZ is used to none of that time but these days he walks in the door at 6:00 pm.  Total game changer.  The kids aren't quite used to it but are definitely digging it.  They've been especially interested in playing "pranks" on him.  This includes telling him they found a spider nest in his pillow and greeting him with underpants on our heads.

There is a set of money bars on the play structure in the backyard and since we've lived here it has been Norah's nemesis.  Last week she made it across twice.  Hallelujah.  You might think the drama would then be over.  You might be wrong.  Apparently making it across the bars twice does not mean you will always make it across and more times that not she freaks the freak out before she's even half way across.  Lou provides moral support in Green Lantern underpants.

That's 30 lbs of fury for you.  We just had his 3 year well child check and he's 20% for weight, 80% for height and has the biggest hands and feet his pediatrician has ever seen.  You can easily count each of his vertebrae and ribs.  His BMI (body mass index) is calculated at 1%.  That would be ONE percent.  He has the cognitive skills and vocabulary of a five year old so no one is concerned (but me) that he seemingly subsists entirely on goldfish crackers and lint from the couch.

These kids like nothing more than a good superhero cape.

Lou started a soccer class a few weeks ago and is really into it.  The only things he's learned so far are: 1) don't wait until the last minute to say you have to pee, and 2) don't use your hands.

Norah continues to be awesome despite her intense love of polly pockets (ie, my toy nemesis). I find little parts in my nightmares.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Friends With Accents

I have always said that we hit the jackpot when it came to "baby friends." We met some spectacular people when Norah was born that became forever friends, and the L-J family is an integral part of that group. They moved to London right around the same time we moved to Texas (yes, they are that cool), but thank goodness for blogs, Facebook, and Christmas cards because we've gotten to keep up with their adventures. Norah has a photo of C in her room that she looks at every night and loves to hear stories about all the fun they had together as "little kids."  Among a million other things, she remembers spending one Christmas with them and having a water party in their backyard. 

Lucky for us, a friend's wedding in Austin brought them to our neck of the woods and we got to spend a fun long weekend with them.  We have kept up with photos and funny stories, but nothing could quite prepare us for the awesomeness that are little kids with British accents.  C was three and K was two when they moved so it is no surprise that two-and-a-half years in they are full fledged Brits.

Friday morning Norah had to go to school but Lou played hooky and we met up at the Thinkery (children's museum).

C really wasn't this much bigger than Lou, I think it is just the angle I was standing at.

We had to head back north to get Norah but planned to meet up at the original Salt Lick for a bbq dinner.  It was 75 degrees and stormy and because it makes perfect sense, we got caught in a torrential hail storm.  I don't quite understand how that's possible, but apparently it is.

As always, I severely underestimate how much Austin traffic sucks.  What was originally a long drive ended up being an exceedingly long drive.  Thankfully, food was good, beer was BYOB, and company was even better.  Norah was really nervous about seeing C (will she remember me? will she like me? has she seen Frozen?), but within about 30 seconds they were thick as thieves (the Frozen song below was recorded after dinner).

Saturday was spent with Norah's face pressed up against the front door waiting for C and as soon as they got here it was sleepover game on.  S and J made their way to their friend's wedding and the kids made their way into the hot tub.  C was disappointed that the big pool was too cold to swim in (and in all actuality I think she would have been just fine if we had let her go in), but the little one ended up being a lot of fun for everyone.  C and K are both great swimmers and K cleaned up all of the leaves off the bottom for me.

Norah and C got to be ladies of leisure and take a bath in the fancy tub.

They put on their nightgowns, said hello to me, then immediately turned around and went back into Norah's room.  When they came back out they had switched and C was wearing Norah's glasses.  This sent them into hysterics for at least a half hour.  For the rest of the night they kept saying, "who is the real Norah?" and "who is the real C?" and cracked up every time.

K was a formidable opponent for Lou.  For one, he likes to wrestle just as much as Lou does.  Also, he doesn't back down in the way that Norah does, truly giving Louis a run for his money.  Lou couldn't get enough of him.  Every time K was out of his sight he would yell, "where dat kid? I gotta find dat kid."

The rest of the night was a ton of playing.  The plan had been to watch a movie but they never stopped long enough to get it going.  C and K slept in Norah's room and Louis got banished to his own room.  It was a success of a sleep over for sure.

The next day we went to the garden festival at Zilker park.  It's so nice to have friends in town for this kind of stuff because otherwise we would never do it. The weather was perfect and I am so glad we went.  We did not end up seeing much of the festival, but that's okay.  We did get to experience face painting, a picnic lunch, the fairy house trail, and a food truck park with Amy's ice cream.

The food trucks were in this beautiful grove with picnic tables, ample room to run around, lots of shade, and a cool breeze.  We intended to make just a pit stop but ended up staying a while because it was so pleasant to be there.  It was also where Lou pooped in a port-a-potty for the first time.  Now, I didn't have high hopes for him and being out of the house for that long so newly potty trained and broke the #1 rule of potty training and tried to convince him to put on a diaper for the day.  He would have none of that, so I just packed lots of extra underpants with the expectation that there would be accidents throughout the day.  What a rock star he was.  Not only was there not a single accident, he pooped both in a disgusting port-a-potty and at the restaurant at dinner.  I was very impressed.

I think Norah got gluttened (it must have been the ice cream although I can't imagine how it happened since they guy even used a brand new scooper), but rallied pretty quickly and was able to enjoy the rest of the day.

We had dinner at Guero's Taco Bar, one of my favorites, and I looked forward to the day where I would get to eat a meal with my friends without Louis destroying my spirit.  After dinner, S and C went boot shopping and Norah and I went along for moral support.  It convinced me that I definitely need to get a pair of real cowboy boots.

I thought this taxidermy armadillo drinking a beer was really funny.

It was such a fun weekend, but way too short of a visit.  Norah and I are already planning our girl's trip to London.  Watch out!

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Read, Write, Rest

For kindergarten, Norah has a long school day.  The morning bell rings at 7:45 and they go until 2:45. There is a half hour during the day where the kids can choose to either read, write, or rest.  For a long time Norah always chose read but lately she's been picking write and comes home with these gems:

[This is Me and Ruby.  I like Ruby.  She likes Me to [sic].  By Norah.]

Lunch times are staggered by grade and kinder eats at 10:00 am [!]  We have to pack a snack because by early afternoon of course they are starving.  There are a lot of rules when it comes to the snack--mainly it has to be easy, quick, and not messy. Cereal bars with protein are great but it is hard to find a gluten free one that Norah likes.  I thought we hit the jackpot with these until I got this note:

Back to the drawing board. 

Spring Break

Life keeps ticking along at a rapid fire pace.  There never seems to be a dull moment around here and the floor always needs to be swept.  Always.

This year was our first official spring break.  Lou's school/day care remained open (thank goodness), so it was really just Norah that we had to contend with.  Bubby picked up some of the slack and I took a little time off as well so that we could squeeze some fun things in.

One of the kids' favorite things to do is play school.  Norah is always the teacher and Lou is her wayward student.  He gets in trouble a lot.

On one of the days I was home we checked out the new Austin Aquarium.  It is just what you might expect from an aquarium in a strip mall.  Oh yes.  An aquarium in a strip mall.  It was quite possibly one of the worst kid attractions I have ever been to.  The kids, of course, thought it was the greatest place they had ever been.

That's a miniature alligator behind them.

There were several tanks of sting rays (sans stingers) and you could stick your hands in and pet them. It took Norah about 45 minutes of standing there before she would touch one.  Louis tried to climb in the tank.

There was a crappy little indoor play-structure that could support about 10 kids.  We were there early so it wasn't a big deal until 100 more kids showed up and overtook it.  Lou wised up quickly and got out of there.  Norah got stuck in a tunnel with a bunch of jerk-off big kids.

By the time Amy got there with Reid and baby Camilla there were 10,000 more kids, mostly on day care field trips.  It was a bit much.  The kids, of course, want to go back every day.  We will likely go back never.

The big project we wanted to get done over break was to paint Norah's doll house.  She got the house for her third birthday, at a time when I still read, researched, and agonized over every single toy purchase.  Those were the days.  It's made out of some kind of organic wood, hand kissed by fairies. Okay, not really but something along those lines.  The idea was that instead of pre-printed graphics or colors, it would be a blank slate for Norah to create whatever she wanted it to be.  She hasn't shown much interest until a few months ago when she wanted to color it with markers.  I told her we could paint it and it just about blew her mind.

I had a ton of craft paint from various projects so she decided she wanted a rainbow house.  She did a great job for about an hour and then got tired and decided it was more fun to be the boss and tell me what to do.  BVZ wanted us to finish and not drag it out to a week long project in the middle of the kitchen table, so I let her be the supervisor and I ended up doing the bulk of the actual painting.

All of the ideas are hers but the execution is mine.  On the roof and the top floor, one half is day and the other is night.  The other floors are a mix of different colors and on the ground floor there is a rainbow and pot of gold.  We were both pleased by how it turned out.

The other day I was off, Norah and I spent the morning together at the Zilker botanical gardens. Norah had been there on a school field trip in pre-k, but I had never seen them before.  It's no Golden Gate Park, but very enjoyable nonetheless.

Spring time is fairy time and it was the inauguration of the Fairy Trail Walk.  Basically, people in the community build fairy houses and they are strategically placed along a path.  It's a half hour walk or so and there are probably about 20 houses.  The nice thing was that the trail was virtually deserted and so we had the place entirely to ourselves.  Norah loves all things magical and so she was the perfect person to share it with.

We picked up Louie and got frozen yogurt.  He's wearing a pajama top.  He wears his pajama top under his school shirt every day.  His thing with his friends is that first thing in the morning they compare pajama tops.

They both got new shoes.  Lou's are spider-man and light up.  His feet are huge.  The ones Norah are wearing went back to the store the next day because they gave her terrible blisters.  Both kids have freakishly narrow heels.

That weekend we went to a handful of fun birthday parties.  This is the first year Lou has branched out and gotten together with friends of his own.  Having an older sister and a cousin the same age basically means I have expended ZERO effort in finding him his own friends.  But he now has a handful of kids from school and other places that he really likes and talks about all of the time.  He got to go to a pirate party and wore his Jake Halloween costume.  It is so short that more than one other parent at the party asked why he was dressed up as Pinocchio.  Ha.

We also went to a fun party at the children's museum where the kids got to do a science experiment and made "worms."

This is how Lou rolls around the neighborhood these days.