Category Archives: Parenting

Ferocious Jungle Creatures

Ferocious Jungle Creatures

Here’s Nora, in her adorable jungle cat jammies (a gift from Grammy), with the equally ferocious and threatening Leopard Bear. Watch out!

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by | December 3, 2012 · 11:00 pm

Nora’s first Thanksgiving

She was pretty thankful for it.

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Filed under home, Parenting

All work, no play

Over Thanksgiving weekend, we visited the Delaware Children’s Museum in Wilmington. Nora was a little young for some of the displays, but she had a good time pressing buttons, turning wheels and looking at herself in the mirror.  Here’s a picture of Nora, hard at work in her hard hat. She was just about ready for her lunch break.

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Shmooples confronts her fear of the doggie

We visited Grammy and Papa this weekend and they have a sweet, lovable, happy-go-lucky, energetic yellow Labrador named Daisy. Daisy is maybe four times Nora’s size, and though she wouldn’t hurt a fly, she has a loud bark, big teeth, and she likes to lick Nora’s face.

When Daisy barked, Nora winced. Nora whimpered, and held on to our legs when Daisy was near. As Kevin put it, it must be like going to visit your friends – having a good ol’ time – and then remembering that they have a pet lion.

Her reaction was not all about fear though. She was very, very curious about Daisy. She crawled under an armchair, peering at Daisy from her hiding place. She kept one eye on the dog the whole time.

And then, on the last day of our visit, Nora made a bold move: she ventured out into the wild, leaving the safety of the living room to crawl into the kitchen, all by herself, where Daisy lay resting on her side. Nora looked back at us every few seconds, making sure that this was a good idea, but she traversed the wide expanse of the hard wood floor all on her own. She whimpered as she went, letting us know, look, I’m going to do what I have to do, but I’m not saying I like it. But she did it. She made it all the way to the dog.

We saw a similar kind of determination once when she decided to buck up and take her vitamin even though she despised it.  Every other night, when the little dropper came near, she made a show of it, thrashing around, closing her lips and scrunching up her face.   But on this night, she paused and stopped trashing to take a good look at the dropper; she took a deep breath, opened her mouth and pulled it to her mouth.

This is a quality I admire: the determination to go forward even if you’re afraid – to do something tough even if you’d rather sit this one out. This will take her far in life. I hope she’ll be able to access this store of motivation when it comes to completing a difficult homework assignment, hitting a baseball after striking out, singing in front of others, standing up to kids who give her a hard time and doing the grunt work in order to achieve whatever goal she sets out for herself.

I think it’s important to note that she did look back at us to see our reaction – she wasn’t going to approach the scary monster without our support and reassurance that what she was doing was okay. Sometimes, fear is an appropriate reaction to scary situations, and I wouldn’t want her to do something dangerous (although I do realize that I will not always be able to step in and prevent this from happening. She is going to take risks and test us.) But, we just want to make sure she knows that we’ll always be there to support her as she goes forward, helping her to decipher a good decision from a bad one, guiding her and letting her know that we recognize her efforts.

We’re proud of our ten month old girl. Already, we can see the silly, sensitive, smart, curious, courageous little person she’s becoming, and we most certainly love what we see.

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A quiet beach getaway… with zombies?

It seemed the vacation was not quiet going as planned. For starters, we had a helluva time leaving our house. A fall parade was blocking our street, trucks and tubas and floats. Every road we tried was a no go, and it was starting to feel like we were in The Truman Show — (remember when he tries to leave town and faces all sorts of obstacles?) Finally, we headed out to the beach on a dreary, cold and rainy Saturday. Just the weather we had in mind. I seriously brought bathing suits for me and Nora — in October — just in case we had a warm spell.

We arrived to find zombies strolling the boards.

Wait, what?

Yes, you heard me right. It just so happened that our quiet family vacation took place the same weekend as the Asbury Park Zombie Walk. Not exactly what we had in mind, but kinda fun.

Yes, those are zombies… okay people dressed as zombies.

Despite the obstacles, the rain, the zombies, and our lack of sleep (thanks to teething), we had a good old time. As long as we’re together!

Yes, Nora is wearing socks on her hands. We were unprepared for the cold!

Pretty fall decorations in Ocean Grove. Reminds me of Stars Hollow. Anyone?

We got ice cream at Nagles.

We bought Nora a bear jacket and booties.

Another pic of happy Nora in her new booties

Pretty beach.

The fam.

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Apple picking fun!

Thanks to my Mommy friends for a fun outing to Dr. Davies Farm in Congers, NY. We had some adventures, i.e. trying to figure out how to carry the apple-picking-stick with us, while also carting baby strollers and/or babies in slings across the highway and up the hills to the orchard. We took turns picking the apples (using the stick thingy). I mostly got leaves and sticks when I tried, but that’s okay. The babies had a great time and Nora took a bite of her very first apple (pictured below).

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Filed under Parenting, Rockland County

Nora update and naptime question

Update: Nora sits up, crawls, and stands while holding onto one’s hands/the ottoman/the couch. Once standing, she attempts to let go of one’s hands, as if to say, Thanks for the lift, but I‘ve got this. (We’re not quite there yet, Nora, but soon enough!) She likes playing with her toys, but she’d prefer to crawl toward outlets/computer chords/shoes. She also tends to find dust bunnies, picks them up very slowly and intentionally between her thumb and forefinger and draws them toward her open mouth. I do my best to intervene before that happens; she’s a good reminder that it’s time to vacuum again.

She makes lots of consonant noises like ba ba ba ba, ne ne ne, ma ma ma, da da da and the ever-quiet puh. I don’t know why puh is always a secret, but it must be spoken very quietly. A very funny joke is to laugh once — Aha. This gets a smile and sometimes a laugh from her. If I’m talking on the phone and laughing at something someone has said, she smiles up at me and laughs too. I don’t know what you’re saying, but it’s funny.

She likes to get really close to my face so I can just see a blurry little nose and mouth, and grab my necklace — put it in her mouth, grab my hair — put it in her mouth, grab my earrings, zipper, nose, mouth, ears, etc.

She still loves oatmeal and banana, and she’s tried all sorts of vegetables and fruits: apples, pears, peaches, mango, peas, string beans, carrots, etc. She also likes to eat puffs and Cheerios and has gotten pretty good at picking them up. She hates to have her face wiped off after eating. She’d prefer to leave prunes on her face all day. It is a fashion statement, I’ll give her that.

She is a happy baby and pretty easygoing. She likes sitting in high chairs at restaurants, craning her neck to stare at the people in the booth behind us and flirting with the waiters. She also likes to pull/rip the tablecloth into small pieces that she can then put into her mouth.

She sleeps through the night until 5:30 or 6am, although recently, she’s started waking up in the middle of the night, sitting up and crying.

Okay, and naps have been tricky lately. She’s so tired, I can see that, but she screams as soon as I put her down in the crib. She used to calm down pretty fast, but now she just sits there and cries. I don’t think she can fall asleep because she’s sitting up. She naps three times a day, and I wonder if she’s maybe moving toward two naps? I’ve tried to skip the morning nap. This hasn’t worked. I’ve tried rocking her for awhile putting her down, and that hasn’t worked. Any advice on getting an 8 month old to nap in the crib?

Here are a few pics for your viewing pleasure!

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News flash: Nora likes prunes

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Filed under Nyack, Parenting

Looking forward to fall

Well, Labor Day has come and gone and the pool is officially closed until next summer. I will miss those lazy summer days. Nora really liked the pool. She kicked her little chubby legs and slapped the surface of the water with her palms, splashing water all over her face. She laughed and squealed letting everyone see those two funny little teeth. (I mean, those teeth are ridiculous. What are they good for? They’re just cute, that’s all.) There’s nothing like wrapping Nora in a towel and drying her off so she’s nice and warm and cozy.

I realize that summer’s not officially over yet, but I see a few leaves changing colors already. Why be sad about it? One of my favorite things about being a mom is getting to do the kid stuff all over again, from a new perspective.

This fall will be about apple picking (and apple crisp) and walking in the woods. Nora will wear cute hats and sweaters that Grammy knitted for her, like this one:

We’ll decorate our new house with pumpkins, squash and scary cats (that’s about as gory as I get) and we’ll sit on a rocking chair the back porch and where it’ll be nice and breezy. We’ll take Nora on road trips up North to Cold Spring and New Paltz where we’ll wander in and out of little stores and warm our hands with mugs of hot cider. We’ll drive up to Bear Mountain and look out at the yellows and reds and oranges for miles below. We’ll invite friends and family to our home (which will smell like apple crisp. I’m fixing to make a lot of crisp this fall, people.) Our nieces will ride their bikes up and down the street. It’ll be Nora’s first Halloween. We’ll dress her up in a cute/cuddly costume (most likely with bear ears) and take lots of pictures, and she’ll think, “What? What’s the big deal?” Nora and I will sit by the Hudson and look out at the boats. There will be a chill in the air, a cool wind rippling down the river. We’ll bundle up and head back to the car, bracing ourselves for winter.

(And why be all sad about winter? Think, baby in a snowsuit.)

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Filed under Nyack, Parenting

A big girl

What has Nora been up to lately? She’s getting so big!

She sits.

She’s close to crawling. When she sees an object she wants, she flips from a seated position to her stomach and rocks back and forth.

She has an intense focus — she’ll make this grunty noise when she’s after the thing she wants — which is usually Mommy’s necklace/hair/ cheek or Daddy’s glasses/hat/cheek.

She has two little teeth on her bottom gums. Sometimes she leans over and sucks on my leg and I can feel the little sharp little buggers.

She has a really great sense of humor. We spend a good part of the day just laughing together. I laugh, then she laughs, then I laugh, then… well, you get the idea. This is therapy for the soul. Nora also finds it HI-larious when I blow on her face, wipe off the high chair with a wet paper towel, kiss her feet, and puff up my cheeks. Oh, and whatever Daddy does is the funniest thing in the world. He can just look in her direction and she’ll explode into a belly laugh.

She eats solid foods now. Bananas are the BEST. Other favorite foods include pears, apples, oatmeal, Mommy’s shoes if Mommy turns her back for one minute.  She finds peas and avocados to be offensive. Seriously. She actually physically shudders.

She breathes loudly and makes this silly face:

She’s wary of strangers… which, I hear, is age appropriate. When approached by someone new, she tilts her head back and glares at the person with her mouth open. “What are your intentions?”

She makes all sorts of noises. When we’re having a conversation, she likes to chime in, (in her falsetto voice), “blah, blah, belah, belah, bla!” I guess that’s what we sound like to her.

She loves the beach and the pool. Whew!

She’s very affectionate. When we hold her, she rubs our backs, curling and uncurling her fists. She loves to be close to us (and we sure feel the same.)

She’s the best.

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