Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Garden Surprise

Last day in June ended with a garden surprise!
A GI-NORMOUS zucchini!
I was watering our back veggie garden where we planted a smattering of things including squash, pumpkins, watermelon and zucchini. Anyway, I stumbled upon this fella under a leaf. Holy moly!!!
I was so excited I started taking pictures to show just how large this zucchini is!We are quite the gardening pair, you and I. All those evenings of tending and watering our first vegetable patch have yielded us a very "healthy" piece of produce. The corn however might be a different story....

Post-pick pictures:
Me in all my zucchini glory!

Explaining my gardening techniques to your father.

Becca and you loving the zucchini.

It's over half your height!

It dwarfs a wine bottle!

And its taller than Stan!

Now, what GIANT dish can we make with zucchini?!?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Picking Peaches and Plums

I have no energy. Funny, since I just returned from a two day energy and enviorment workshop. I left Sunday night and returned home to you tonight. We had dinner and I got to go on our nightly walks with the neighbors.
I forgot to write about Nonna coming up to "pick berries" but since Baugher's strawberry season is over and they do not have pick-your-own of any other berry, Nonna came up to pick peaches and plums. Yum! We hd a wonderful afternoon riding out to the orchard on the tractor and picking peaches and plums from the trees. Some were even low enough for you to grab. And my how you grabbed and ate. You seem to instinctively know to bite the fruit. By the time I had picked 3 or 4 peaches from a nearby tree and turned around, you had already eaten 1/2 a peach! Once you saw Nonna using the ladder to reach the juicy plums on the top of the trees, you wanted to go up too. The three of us went out to lunch at Baugher's resturant and ate ice cream for dessert. At only 15 months you are so involved in almost all the activies we do. You were picking fruit, carrying the basket (until it got too heavy) and generally just participated.

We had our first incident with hitting outside our home. At Ms. Patti's on Monday, another girl would not pay attention to you. You apparently tried over and over again to "talk" to her and get her attention. When she didn't respond to you, you took off your shoe and hit her with it! Goodness. Of course this other girl became upset at your offense. I am told, you were very remorseful and blew kisses at her to apologize. So in every situation we have to take something away: bad= hitting other people not your family. Good= you seemed to understand that you hurt someone and you were sorry. Sigh. Our hitting saga continues.
I am tired. You are snug in bed after a successful bath and books. How constant your presence and schedule is in my life. How grateful I am to return home to you and everything be just as it should be as I left it two night ago.

Friday, June 25, 2010

15 Months of Magic

Whew. What a week. I only was able to spend about an hour with you today; your 15 month birthday. You wore your khaki shorts and your Baltimore Aquarium t-shirt that says, "sometimes crabby, always cute" and your pink sneakers.
I went to work before you got up and come home just in time for bath / bed. Although we spent only a little time together today, it was magic. You are so much fun lately. Your laugh, your energy, your presence is just magic. Somehow the worries and stress and drama of life melt away. Chasing your naked self around upstairs while you wildly laugh is so comforting. So warm. So right. Someone commented tonight they cannot believe you are only 15 months, you seem so much older. Closer to two years old. I got a taste of the terrible twos when I tried to take your toothbrush tonight and you said "NO!" and proceeded to hit me. This has not detracted from your cuteness. I am amazed at your ability to recognize who you are and what you want. We are working on the hitting thing.

Your 15 month old self loves to run in the yard and play with the hose / water (yes, you have learned how to run). You are determined to ride Brandy and/or Stan. You love Love LOVE swinging and enjoy a good slide. You dance to music, sing along to the radio, you "talk" to yourself constantly and love to talk on the phone which you start out with "hi" and the divulge into gibberish. So many details that you notice. Oh! Buckles. You have recently become obsessed with buckles. My little engineer.

How you are treasured.

15 months of pure magic.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Spaghetti for Dinner

We had spaghetti for dinner and a caterpillar cookie for dessert.

So that's about it; nothing going on. I am working full time and really exhausted by the time I get home. You are being an ornery toddler with a tendency to hit the things you don't like. You hit when you are frustrated, when you are angry, when you don't get your way. I try not to smile. Your hits are so cute, feeble and full of little rage because I won't let you put on anymore lipstick or let you fondle my ice cubes in my water glass. But I have held my ground and remained firm about no hitting. Good for me & my budding parenting skills.

I let you know it's ok to be angry, sad, frustrated but you cannot hit because you feel this way. You can cry, you can sit and sulk, or sit alone or sit with me. But hitting is not ok. I think you are starting to understand. You are such a fast learner, I am hoping the hitting stage lasts as long as the stranger anxiety did(about a week).

We broke down and turned on the AC, it is the mid-high 90s. Thank goodness, even a snowball tonight couldn't cool us down (yes, a snowball after the caterpillar cookie, I know I should work on the dessert parenting skills)!!!

Getting excited about vacation amidst all the working this summer. First a trip to see Aunt Kaarn and Uncle Cliff in Virginia, then a trip out the Jothen family farm in Wisconsin (yee-haw road trip) and finally we booked our tickets to L.A.! Hooray! Your first plane ride EVER will be on August 12, 2010. Let's hope it is painless for us and the other 150 passengers on the 5 1/2 hr flight! We'll spend the week on the beach in Venice, California with some side trips to many LA landmarks... DISNEYLAND perhaps, Santa Monica pier, maybe Hollywood... who knows! But we'll have a good time being California girls.

It will be a nice break from Stan, the cookie (or food in general) stealer. Arms up! Keep that food high! Out of Stan's reach! He NOSE you have food Nora! And yes, he ended up with most of the caterpillar cookie, just like anything else you eat walking around with. We had no idea how blessed we were with Brandy and her obedience.

So this is a rather boring post. I told you when we began this meandering that nothing much has been going on lately. Summer is here, we take nightly walks with our neighbors around town. You are quite the sight because you need to hold the leash of Brandy or Stan as they pull you along in your stroller. In fact, after we clean up dinner, you immediately go right over to their leashes and carry them around the house trying to put them on the dogs. You KNOW it's time for a walk and insist on putting the leashes on and getting out the door as fast as possible.

Although I am working full time until July 1st and our lives are not very exciting, I look forward to coming home to you, to cooking dinner, eating together and going on our walks. I look forward to hearing about your day and playtime on the floor. This is what summer nights are all about... well for a toddler and her parents. I'm sure this will change as you grow. But for now I am content with boring.

Belated Happy Father's Day to all the dads and grandpas or Nonnis out there!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day 2010

If you have an extra 15 minutes. This celebrates the 14 months you and Daddy have spent with each other. Johnny Cash songs were chosen because, well, it's your dad.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Breakfast, Bananas and Brushing Teeth

Favorite morning rituals include cereal with milk in a big girl cup, a banana (still with the peel since that's how Daddy eats his) and brushing teeth.

You are obsessed with brushing your teeth. You love to do this. I think you just like the tasty paste that comes with toddler toothbrushes. To get you to finish brushing you teeth, we rinse (you really just play in the running water) and then place the toothbrush back into its "home" and then we wave goodbye to the toothbrush. By having this ritual, we have avoided many meltdowns.

In fact, most of the time we have avoided a spaz situation by waving goodbye to inanimate objects. Wave goodbye to the slide, the pool, the swing, the bag of cookies. Waving goodbye works like a charm with you. Sometimes it seems silly to do, but I could careless what others think as we wave like maniacs at the candy stand in the grocery checkout. You are generally very well behaved in public spaces and any tricks to keep it that way are valued.

One morning, I was too tired to do this wave goodbye ritual with you and just "forced" you to leave the house. The screaming ensued for the entire walk to the car, the drive to Ms. Patti's, and the walk up to Ms. Patti's door. You didn't stop screaming until we were inside and ready for the next ritual of shoes and hands (taking off shoes and sanitizing hands). I learned my lesson. I take the extra time to let you process and officially "close" a situation before moving onto the next. Closure is important to all of us and I promise to always let you take time to wave goodbye.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Catching Fireflies

Summer is really here. All 90 degrees of it. Hot, sticky, sweltering heat. We have decided against turning on the AC to save on our electric bill. I have broken down more than once and said to your father, "You must put on the AC!!!" But then I find a cool spot with some ice water and I retract my declaration. Last night, Daddy almost caved, not for himself, but you became suddenly hysterical around 10:30pm and we don't know why. Daddy thought it was too hot for you... but you, like Mommy, found a cool spot and drink and were fine. I think you were crying because you hit your head rolling around in your sleep. BUT! Not important now. We still have yet to break down and turn on the AC. Hooray for us.

Summer days just look and smell different. For one, you are constantly doused in sunscreen and second, the humidity makes your hair curl!

I love this time with you. You are so enthralled with playing, discovering, touching, picking at, splashing, generally just curious about the world. You wander around the stores or mall with such gusto and people smile when they see this tiny person laughing and running just for the simple pleasure of it. (We love stores with AC and frequent restaurants for the AC.)
We started off today with breakfast. Daddy used the stove to cook eggs even though it heats our house to like 100 degrees.

We watched Wonder Pets (your favorite) and then we played with MARKERS!. Oh markers how you love the smooth wet application. Mommy loves all those stray marks on your face and legs come off with just water.

We went to lunch with Grandma and Grandpa. Daddy bought you a play pool. This isn't just any play pool. This is the Rainbow Ring Playcenter. It is glorious. Sprinkles, ring toss, slide, two pools connected. Although you needed a moment to get used to the cold water, the afternoon was spent in your pool, splashing around and cooling off.

We went on a walk with our neighbors and stopped at the local snowball stand. We strolled around town and ate snowballs. We had an orange flavor with marshmallow toppings. Yum!

Snowball Stink Face!

A summer evening wouldn't be complete without catching fireflies. So as Daddy ran your bath (which you needed desperately after spilling the rest of our snowball all over your shorts), we caught fireflies in the backyard. These magical insects love to crawl on our hands and arms and their butts light up! You should see yourself, Nora, your curious little mind is contemplating such weird creatures. You giggle when they crawl on you, you love to put your eye up to my cupped hand watching the light go on and off. The next three weeks are rather busy for me, I am working full time until July 1st. I hope we get to catch fireflies together again soon.

Although nothing "remarkable" happened today, I want to remember this day forever. Nothing to do, nowhere to go, no agenda; just a lazy summer day... the kind that make summer worth the wait.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Face Only a Mother Could Love

Your stink face...
I love it. I request it from you and most of the time you obliged me. I think it's just adorable.

Lately when dealing with middle schoolers, who have a week of school left (not fun), and teachers who also have a week left before summer vacation (twice as not fun), I keep thinking about you. Ok, truth be told I think about you alot. Call it an obsession if you will. But I love you... every fiber, every stink face, every last morsel of you. This weird obsessive love has actually brought me more patience and understanding in my job and generally in my life.

Everyone is someone's baby. Someone loves that annoying colleague who won't leave your office, that jerk who cut you off in traffic, that student who refuses to listen. Everyone is loved unconditionally by someone, the way I love you. Every mom has the most brilliant, alert, beautiful baby. Every student is gifted. Every person is just incredible.... to someone. Appreciate this love and you will find yourself more able to listen, smile, live more fully.

Believe me, I don't love my students right now or the faculty as I try to pry their technology away for the summer. But now when I look at people I see them from a different point of view... maybe a mother's? I know the love I feel for you is not unique. I am so proud of you, everything you accomplish and learn. This will not change as you grow; even when you are that ornery middle schooler, sassy teen and know-it-all college student. I will love you and be proud of the person you are. This love and pride is not something special to us, Nora. Always keep in mind that all those kids in your class, heck even your teachers are someone's baby and are loved like you are. It gives you a different perspective on people. Try it sometime.
Stink Face!!!

Bedtime with Daddy

Every night around 7pm you get a bath and afterwards you snuggle into your pjs and 3 books are read before going to sleep. This month's favorites? "A is for Apple", "Where's Spot?" and "Peekaboo I Love You."