Wednesday, July 25, 2012

No valid excuse

There is no valid excuse for why I am not posting as much. Maybe a summer slow down. Maybe it's the kid consignment sale I am chairing that has been driving me insane. Maybe it's pure laziness and an affinity for reading other blogs.

Sometimes I feel like I have alot to share and contemplate with you two and then sometimes I am completely blank. Void of any kind of thought. Those are the numerous nights I like to sit aimlessly surfing the Internet or TV. Sometimes we get caught up in summer evening activities at the neighbors or outside.

Going to sleep is also not been a favorite activity for you or your sister. Now the bedtime routine can stretch out until 9pm or later when I just collapse into bed. But in the end, there is no valid excuse.

so here in less than 10 pictures has been our mid-July adventures:

BSO at Oregon Ridge to hear the music of John Williams. Daddy's Father's Day gift since the entire second half was dedicated to the Star Wars movies.

Aunt Kaarn came to help Grandma paint and you had a sleep over with her and Annie and we all got to enjoy crabs, inside due to the rain! She and Grandma also took you tubing on the Gunpowder river where you cried for most of the ride. But you came around toward the end and now you have no plans for a repeat trip until you are 15! Where did you come up with that age?!?! But Aunt Kaarn is going to be ready in 12 years!

Aunt Molly moved to L.A. to fulfill her dreams. Ah to be young, with no strings and the drive to make your dreams come true. We went to go say goodbye and go for a dip in Aunt Clare's pool. However, the lifeguard was a bit strange and did not allow us to get in because of factitious thunderstorm. So Lucy sat there in her floaty suit. After Aunt Molly helped us out to our car and she climbed in hers to drive away, you freaked out. "I don't want her to go! Can I go with her?" you yelled at me. You and Aunt Molly have never had a very loving relationship but somehow the finality of saying goodbye for awhile hit you hard. We jumped out the van and ran up to her car to give her one last kiss goodbye. Thank God for this blog so she can always keep up your life. Now we just have to make sure we keep up on hers. Maybe a new L.A. blog will be born soon?

We celebrated Becca's 19th Birthday with a crab feast with the Wagmans and their friends. A good time was had and of course, in true Noraverna fashion, you had to help blow out the candles.

Did I mention when we went to the beach with Nonna and Nonni that we bought a hermit crab? That you have since named Larry. Larry has a very colorful shell and after some confusion on your part we clarified that he is definitely a crab and not a spider as you originally thought. We didn't know until we got him home that he only has one eye. You and Lucy love your hermit crab (not spider) but being a preschooler and newly dubbed toddler caring for Larry is a bit more of a challenge. So I am left watering and feeding our crustacean friend. Sometimes, you are allowed to play with Larry and you enjoy eating with him. Well you eat and he crawls around the table. Until last night. After we finished dinner, we couldn't find Larry anywhere. He had jumped off the table and crawled away. After your father and I searched for Larry for what seemed like hours (it was only 1) we found him under the buffet. Imagine all of us (Lucy included) on our hands and knees calling out for Larry to come home. Somehow Larry has crawled his way into all our hearts.

I am going to try and make this blog more of a priority in my life. Leave the emails and annoyances for another day.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Our Village

The old adage, 'it takes a village to raise a child' has never been so true for us as it has been this past year. It was a long and sometimes rocky road to get from this:

to this:

On July 4, 2012 at 11:07am our little Lucy Lu turned 1. We had a party/ picnic to celebrate. This wasn't the huge party that we threw you, Nora. Only a few friends and family. Having a holiday for a birthday is a bit more difficult for party planning. But there was never any question what her first birthday theme would be... 
Lucy is not like you in so many ways, Nora.  Lucy is now taking steps by herself. I won't say walking because her prefered method of getting around is still crawling. She still nurses which I am trying to wean her and she will have nothing to do with it. She is a lover of the boob. She is cautious and watchful. She is a cuddler. She is an investigator and will sit and play and poke at something for 20-30 minutes. All of these things are almost the complete opposite of where you were at a year.

But still there are quite a few similarities that make me smile. She loves music and dancing like you. She says dog like you but likes "at" (cats) better. She loves ducks and will say "dut" and she says "momomomom" (its never just one mom) and "DA" is daddy. We are waiting to see what she will call you. She can do all the typical one year old things like follow directions, point, she knows whose who. She is aware of her home and her bed and her blankie. And most importantly, she loves you, Nora. She adores you and craves to be close to you. She knows

Still though some things about her remain a mystery to us. Her eye color will not settle. Starting off as blue and moving to gray to brown to green to yellowish flecks. She is shy and more reserved but man can this girl fight. She is much more aggressive and vocal about getting her way. She is quite determined and very motivated when she gets an idea. She WILL complete/get whatever she sets out to do. It just takes her a moment of watching, observing, thinking and processing what she WILL do. Sometimes she seems like such a juxtopositon to me. So reserved but so strong-willed.  

Our village helped me tackle becoming a mother of two little girls. It was much harder than I thought it would be. Juggling the needs and wants of two children. Putting my career on hold to spend time being a mom, full time. It's been difficult. It's been exhuasting. It's been a time I will never get back. Thank God for good family and friends to help us through this last year. Your relantionship with Ashley is now not of the proding of Jessica and I but of your own accord. Having a best friend to call and vent to and to take you out for your 30th birthday when everyone else is busy is truly priceless. I'm glad your friendship is going strong but Im even happier my friendship with Ashley's mom is strong.

So the party, the first year of Lu, our village. I am rambling. In short, I am so grateful to our family and friends who helped us transition into our new normal of a family of four. I think all of our hard work was worth it. It was quite a 4th of July party and although it was hot, we made sure to cool off with water balloons. We played, created tye dyed t-shirts, ate, sang happy birthday, debuted the most awesome birthday cake ever and set off illegal ground fireworks. Good times were had.

Lucy was enamored with the fireworks. Nora, you were more concerned with the noise so you sat down with Daddy. As the fireworks boomed and crackled and lit up the dusk sky, Lucy cuddled in and I couldn't stop thinking how far we had come since last year we sat in the hospital bed watching the fireworks on TV.

It boggles my mind that we went from this:

To this:

And two very special members of our village were integral parts of not only the party (making the most awesome birthday cake ever which took 5+ hours) but also of our daily lives. Thank you Marta and Mary for making room for our family in your lives and being a part of our village and helping me raise these crazy kids.

Monday, July 2, 2012

There and Back

I could remember our beach vacation by the horrific traffic getting there and back, or the windy conditions that made swimming impossible for half the time, the sickness that permeated the kids, the meltdowns, the torn off toenail, the elusive tuna, the sand that ended up in every crevice of every body part which I had to eliminate from three bodies multiple times of day.

Or I could remember our beach vacation as el sueno, the dream. El Sueno was the name of the house right at mile post 18.5 in Nags Head, NC situated right on the beach. Sunrises and walks in the surf. The time we spent having fun being together. Spending Father's Day with Daddy and spending the week with Nonni and Nonna and Teddy and Aunt Clare and Aunt Katie and Uncle Kevin. Watching you and your sister play together on the beach. Being with Lucy as she touched the ocean for the first time and discovered the magic and texture of sand. Encouraging you to jump in the ocean and let the waves break over you. Watching as you overcame your fear. Experiencing the excitement and joy that only a vacation can bring.

I would rather remember our time as a dream and not a nightmare (although at some points, it was). Get ready for a true photo bomb. This is my one and only post about this va-ca. Read the captions to discover what adventures we got into.

Our house, El Sueno is directly behind Lucy behind the grassy dune. 

Daddy's ready for the beach!

You took Daddy mini golfing for Father's Day.
And on the first hole you got a hole in one!
Someone loved the hot tub... ok both of you did. I loved the view.

Going to the aquarium with Teddy.

Lucy meeting a cayman alligator

Sunrise from our deck

Beach play with Lu and Teddy and Teddy's shovel.

Aquarium fun!

Lucy slept in a closet. Don't worry, it was cedar lined!

More playing in the sand.

Lucy meets a shark.

Lucy meets the ocean

Praise Jesus! ...Or gimme that kite!!!

Nonna and her babies

Father's Day BBQ... yes, they made their own dinner.

Moody Nora.

Nonni's babies.

Nora, you also took Daddy go-karting for Father's Day. Fun!

Sand castle building 101

Good morning Teddy!

My Lulu.

View from El Sueno's deck

Crazy Nonni!

You were transformed into 'Nautical Nora the mermaid' for a cool pirate adventure.

On the pirate ship, searching for treasure, and using the cannon to attack Pirate Pete! Argh!

Another sunRISE over the Atlantic

40 mahi mahi! Not a bad catch Uncle Kevin and Mr. Larry!

Someone loves the beach.

running from the waves.

Waiting for the waves


I love Lucy.

Nonni and Nonna sure do love somone.

Nonna's special girl.

We should've left you there. Just kidding. well...

This is only a fraction of the pictures and of course the memories, both good and bad will live on and have becomed ingrained in us as a part of the story of our lives. Aunt Katie's toenail might never be same. And for the record, almost two weeks later, you still love to get a basin and play "I've hurt my toe like Aunt Katie."  Crazy girl. And when I tell you we are going to Nonni and Nonna's you ask, "To their beach house or their other house?!?" 

I wish the beach house option was always on the table too.