Thursday, September 30, 2010

When September Ends

When September ends (today) all of these things have occurred:

  • Our digital camera is broken. It doesn't take focused pictures anymore.
  • Tropical Storm Nicole is pounding us now and the skies seem like they will never stop pouring and the sun will never shine again.
  • Schools let out 2 hrs early today b/c of the massive storm. Daddy got home early since he has to travel next week. But we didn't go and pick you up from Ms. Patti's right away. Instead we sat on the couch, cuddled together and watched mindless TV. In fact I think it was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.
  • You use 'please' 'thank you' 'your welcome' and 'bless you' on a regular basis. I've had a cold for a week and I sneeze constantly and I always hear this tiny voice say, "bless you." after every sneeze. I won't lie, it's made this cold a bit more tolerable.
  • I figured out you understood the concept of thank you when I gave you a cup of milk. You took it out of my hand said, "thank you" and toddle out of the kitchen. However, you will not say thank you for abstract concepts, like "thank you for a good time today." All goodbyes are a hardy wave and exuberant "BYE!"
  • Someone has an obsession with kissing. Kissing everyone including Stan and the Lazer cat.

  • Daddy and you love to play "Star Wars" and he has to be Boba Fett and you get to be Darth. Tonight, the whole gang took a ride in the animal train.

  • You're terrified of farm animals in person (my fault from the incident at the petting zoo this summer) but you LOVE to point out cows, ducks, pigs and chicks in any book or on TV. "Cow moo!" "Ig!" That has a "p" sound first Nora. Pig. "Ig! snort snort." My favorite is "duck! quack!" You have your "d" and "t" sounds down pat.
  • The other day you pointed to a picture in a book and said, "brushing teeth." I looked and sure enough the hedgehog in the picture was brushing its teeth.
  • You read to yourself and describe what's going on in the picture. Most of the time, its babbling nonsense but sometimes you recognize the word you need and then you repeat it over and over.
  • Someone can now use a fork correctly & consistently. Stab that food Nora! And you can navigate it very accurately into your mouth.
  • You now have 7 teeth: the 6 that appeared at once when you were 11 months and now an upper molar has emerged. 7 teeth in 18 months? You are a slow teeth grower.
  • Tomorrow you go for your 18 month check up and shots. We have been watching Barney's episode about dentists and doctors to prepare. We'll be singing our favorite, "The Doctor is a Friend of Mine" tomorrow when he's stabbing your thighs.

  • Our joy and pride has not weened since your birth. It's only grown stronger. What a beautiful person you are Nora. I already look forward to the next 18 Septembers to be able to witness a young woman blossom.

    • Wednesday, September 29, 2010

      Pumpkin Picking Party

      We over-planted our pumpkin patch. Over 20 pumpkins sprouted, squirrels ate around 10and we were left with about 14 pumpkins. What better reason to throw a party than to pick a pumpkin fresh from our backyard patch?

      Many people couldn't come for a variety of reasons. However, you were not alone Nora. All four of your grandparents came. Lucky duck! And your BFF Ashley came with her parents, of course. The Wagman family rounded out our attendees. We ate and drank fall food, picked pumpkins, decorated the pumpkins, migrated down the block to the Fall Fest carnival and milled around town.

      The time together was rich with laughter and memories. How you are treasured Nora. You are fiercely loved by family, friends and our community. I am incredibly thankful you are growing up surrounded with so much love. What blessings these pumpkins reminded us we have.

      Monday, September 27, 2010

      Hello Fall! It's Nice to See You Again

      Last Thursday was the official first day of fall. You were in the Fall Fest parade with the neighbors (see previous post). Saturday, you had your 18 month birthday. It seems incredible to me that you have already been alive for 18 months and at the same time it feels like so much longer.

      2009: 6 months

      2010: 18 months

      You said your first sentence last Wednesday. I called Daddy to tell him I was leaving work at 5pm and it's an hour commute home (on a traffic free day). You got on the phone to say hi and clear as could be you exclaimed, "Mommy come home!"
      I cried at my desk.

      On Saturday you went to your first real friend's birthday party, Tomas turned 3. You and Tomas are in the wagon together.

      By real friend, I mean another child whose parents your father and I aren't friends with or related to. You met Tomas at daycare with Ms. Patti and instantly the two of you paired off and became friends. Some days Tomas wouldn't want to play with you or got mad if you touched him. Other times Tomas would get very upset and didn't want to be around you. You don't understand why, but it doesn't prevent you from still being his friend. Tomas was recently diagnosed with autism. Tomas barely spoke or made any attempt at verbal communication besides crying. One day you waved to Tomas while saying BYE! over and over again. Tomas waved back and said "bye." crisp and clear. Cue the tears from all the adults watching. Since you started talking, so has Tomas. You are one of the only people he verbally communicates with. He gets excited when he sees you and you become equally thrilled. I feel so thankful to watch your relationship blossom. It makes me realize that I am not the only person who thinks you're special. Most kids would be frightened by another child who doesn't always act the same as everyone else. You are not rattled at all. You love Tomas for who he is and accept him completely. Once again, I am humbled by the way you act and think I can do better to treat those with special needs with more dignity and respect and love.

      Other things I don't want to forget about 18 month old Nora:
      • How well your diction is developing. 'Tur-tle' is my favorite. You say it so sharply.
      • You say Stan with an "ahn" so you sound British. You call almost every dog Stan, including Brandy.
      • You use the word 'dinner' when asking for all meals.
      • Although you repeat the words 'breakfast' 'lunch' and 'snack' perfectly.
      • You try to say 'octopus' and every time its hilarious.
      • You love shoes and socks. However when I go to put them on you eat your toes and laugh manically. You take them off when you are in the car for more than 5 minutes.
      • Barney is the only thing you ask for anytime we turn on the TV. You immediately begin asking for Barney as soon as we get in the van.
      • You love to play with other kids and frequently engage others in play.
      • You probably use close to 100 words correctly. Your language has just exploded. You probably understand twice if not triple that amount.
      • Books and flash cards are your favorite. You sit while we go through your flashcards and repeat each word, most are perfectly repeated.
      • You can pick out colors / shapes / body parts pretty accurately. Where did you learn all of that?!?!
      • You love the number 2. You count, "one- TWO!"
      • You insist on praying at each meal and always join in on the "amen" its priceless.

      Last year at Fall Fest, we had just moved up here and had no idea the adventures that we would go on. Fall is here again and we're glad.

      Friday, September 24, 2010

      Princess of FallFest

      In less than 6 months you have been in 2 parades! When our neighbors were voted King and Queen of Fall Fest, they asked if you would ride with them on their royal float in the annual parade. Your father and I were so excited as we sat with about 20 other friends of the king and queen. The float was the 6th in line after the police and city officals. As you came down the street our entire section exploded in cheers, whistles, clapping and flashes from cameras. You had refused to wear your princess dress and crown, so you ended up in a summer dress and a bow! Along the parade route to apparaently waved to many fans / friends including Ms. Patti and her family. What fun!

      We were so proud of all of you. The king and queen had to judge the rest of the floats / acts in the parade. You watched each float and waved at everyone. We had cotton candy and even met a green dog!

      Your father kept saying "this is why we moved here."
      So our daughter can be in parades?!?! But I think your father was really talking about a sense of community. We belong here and its nice to feel at home.

      This weekend is going to be full of fall fun. Tonight is Midnight Madness in downtown (close the streets to cars & shop until midnight!), FallFest Carinival (last one of the season), and our Pumpkin Picking Party on Sunday.

      Welcome Fall!!! Even though we're experiencing a heat wave with 90 degree weather.

      Monday, September 20, 2010

      Reading with Elmo

      I bought you this big stuffed Elmo at a consignment sale for a dollar. I wouldn't have bought it if you hadn't taken it off the table and started walking around with it. Then when it was time to go, you wouldn't put it back. Needless to say, Elmo came home with us.

      You are in love with Elmo. Most recently, you insist on reading to Elmo and his friends. You carry Elmo around, gather up some books and make a nest somewhere. You sit down and read to Elmo and whoever else you decide to pick up, tonight it was Jingle Pig and Big Bird. The other day it was Slumber Sheep and your Boyd's Bear. Your stuffed animals are like your friends and you enjoy playing "school" where everyone sits in a circle for story time. You are the teacher and "read" to all the students. It makes me smile to watch you. After a long day where I'm not sure I cracked I smile, you make me laugh from the moment I step in the door.

      You love books. You treasure books and its the only item we have issues with you sharing. You will share food, toys, balls, crayons... but books, no way. You state very clearly with fierce determination, "book mine!" Your brow furrowed with worry as you take off running with your book clutched tightly in your fists. How can I take a book from you?

      You are so obsessed with books, magazines, newspapers, newsletters. Anything that is meant to be read. Did I tell you, Mr. Jerry read the wine festival magazine to you the other day... three times! It only had wine ads and descriptions of local vineyards!!! Then when we got you a real book, you had Mr. Jerry read that, Daddy, Mommy, Ms. Jessica and the neighboring blanket!!! I'm not kidding. I finally stopped you when you asked our neighbors to read it AGAIN after they had obliged you once.

      What are we going to do with a book worm who won't share???
      Well at least you share your books with the stuffed animals... baby steps.

      Sunday, September 19, 2010

      Getting Dressed with Daddy

      Daddy dressed you this morning while I was in the shower. Nice of him, right? He even did your hair! Wow, we sure love Daddy, not so much his fashion sense though. He insisted on putting your dress shoes on since it "matched her shirt."
      And off to the grocery store we went... where you received many compliments on your Stars Wars shirt.

      Nice side pony tail.

      Close up of the shirt Daddy dug out of the back of your closet that was bought for you on clearance over a year ago!

      Playing with Chewbacca.

      Thank you for loving us Nora. Sometimes it might be difficult to understand why Daddy does things but never think for a moment his intentions don't come from the deepest part of his heart; because when it comes to you, they always do.

      Saturday, September 18, 2010

      Wine Me Up

      Today we attended the The Maryland Wine Festival. It's held every third weekend in September in Westminster. Your father and I have been attending for 10 years now, way before we moved up here. You joined us for the first time last year... well if you want to get specific you were growing in my tummy Sept. 2008 when we attended.

      There is something so wonderful about a crisp fall day, fresh local wine and good friends that makes this event perfect every year. The joy and relaxation were welcomed reliefs after a stressful week for your father and I. Playing with you, really just being with you is a centering experience. You are the reason we work so hard and push ourselves. You are the reason we put everything we have into this world... for time with you today and tomorrow.

      We are already looking forward to the 2011 Maryland Wine Festival with our two year-old!

      September 2009: Almost 6 months old

      September 2010: Almost 18 months!

      All the stress and obnoxious work situations are worth it to be able to spend the day with you smiling and having fun. Thank you Bean for reminding us what life is all about.