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I’m so proud of you

Rosie walks at 13 months! We’re so proud of her and of her big sister, Nora for being so sweet and supportive of her. She has been cruising for a few weeks now, but she took her first few steps yesterday. Today, she walked across the floor all the way to Nora.

What else is Rosie up to? She has two new teeth on the top, so that makes eight teeth! She says Mama, bye (with a Southern accent– Bah!), hi (ha!), ball (bah!), Nora (Rara), and something that could mean this or that (datssss). She loves to point at everything and say datsssss or yayackkkk. She really wants to talk about everything she sees. She makes a bunch of animal noises– hooo hooo (owl), pppp (cow or elephant), gah gah gah (duck), raaaaaar (bear, lion or miscellaneous animal) and my favorite- blehbuh blehbuh (fish). She gives hugs, putting her head in your lap and kisses (mah!) She just learned how to drink from a sippy cup and a straw. She wants to join in the fun, whatever it is. She is always mimicking the noises that Nora makes, and she leans forward in her car seat so she can get a better look at whatever shenanigans Nora is up to. Her belly laugh is the best. She is so sweet.

Now, Nora. She really seems like a big kid now. She has a big kid double bed, she can get herself dressed, and she just looks so tall suddenly. She is very thoughtful when she speaks. Sometimes, she’ll look very pensive when I peer back in the rear-view mirror, and she brings up something we talked about earlier that day.

Here’s an example: “Mommy, can I drive the car?”

“When you’re sixteen, you can drive.”

“Why?”

“Because that’s how old you have to be. You take a class called driver’s ed, and you learn how to drive safely.”

(Insert Nora asking “Why?” several more times to whatever I say.)

“When am I going to be sixteen?”

“In twelve years.”

(Quiet for awhile)

“But, why am I three for so long and four for so long?”

“Well, you were three for a whole year, and now you’ll be four for a whole year.”

“But that’s a long time before I’ll be sixteen! What if I’m four forever?”

“You won’t be, I promise.”

I really enjoy these deep talks.

Nora loves art and gets very focused whenever she’s working on something. She made a beautiful painting called “Rainbow World.” She put her paint brush down and said she was finished. “When Daddy gets home,” she said, “I’m going to tell him that I’m not going to paint any more days.” I think she meant that she had created her masterpiece, and needed to paint no more. Luckily, she changed her mind about that later that afternoon and decided she’d like to paint again.

 

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Painting the fireplace

We painted the fireplace white to update it just a little. I’m not saying it was easy. The paint sprayer came to life in the middle of our project and we could not turn it off. Sprayer thought, if ever I were to have a moment in my life to really be me, to just let loose, this would be it. While I applaud Sprayer’s boldness, it made things tough for us. Sprayer got Kevin in the face. Kevin, of course, couldn’t see with white paint clouding his vision, so he started stumbling around, and meanwhile, Sprayer went to town, just doing what he does, spraying the hardwood floor, the stereo, the ottoman. “Stop, stop, stop!” I yelled. This was not helpful. (Sometimes, in emergency mode, I freeze and yell things rather than springing to action.) “I can’t see, I can’t see!” Kevin said. Eventually, Kevin wrestled Sprayer down, I dotted Kevin’s white face with a paper towel and we cleaned up the offending white paint before it dried. Whew!

Before:

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After:

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We started with a white wash, meaning, we diluted the paint with water. (1 part paint, 4 parts water.) Then we brushed it on. That wasn’t working well because the brush was very drippy and the paint wasn’t sticking to the black (mortar?) between the bricks. That’s when Kevin remembered Sprayer, and then the paint went on much smoother (until aforementioned accident.) It worked well when Kevin sprayed and I brushed the paint around to even it out. It was also good to have a wet cloth nearby to wipe any drips. 

Here we were halfway through:

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The first coat looked like this (bad):

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We stood back and looked at our work.

“What do you think?” Kevin asked.

“Um, I like it?” I said.

I hated it but didn’t want to say so because I was the one who wanted to start this project at 8pm on a weeknight. I had done some research before starting, and thought a white wash would be a good option for us so the brick showed through a little. But the problem was the black between the bricks just looked dirty and unfinished.

“Maybe we should try another coat,” Kevin said.

Whew! Glad we were in agreement.

It took maybe another hour or two to keep piling on the layers of paint with a paintbrush, making sure to get in between the bricks. I like that you can still sort of see the brick underneath. We kept the paint pretty thin.

So, to recap:

Before:

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After:

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After with rugs and pictures and whatnot:

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What do you think?

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Good friends

Nora’s lucky to have so many special friends. There are many more who are not pictured here, but who she, of course, loves very much.

Nora and her buddy Cooper, who lives in Vermont. Their moms have known each other for over thirty years!

Nora took a trip to visit her buddy Cooper in Vermont. Their moms have known each other for over thirty years!

Nora's buddy Leo lives in Boston, but made the long trip just to hang out with her.

Nora’s buddy, Leo lives in Boston, but he made the long journey just to hang out with her.

Three buds: Nora, Leo, and her city friend, Henry.

Three buds: Nora, Leo, and her city friend, Henry. Their moms met in Ireland long ago and have stayed good friends ever since.

Nora really looks up to big cousins, Caitlin and Leah.

Nora really looks up to big cousins, Caitlin and Leah. She’s got a good hold on them here.

Nora and her very little friend, Ian, or "da da" as she likes to call him (her word for baby)

Nora is fascinated by her very little friend, Ian, or “da da” as she calls him (her word for baby).

Nora chills with local buddies, Moloaa, Viven and Alon.

Nora chills with local buddies, Moloaa, Vivien and Alon.

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Winter Shmooples

It’s pretty fun to bundle her up and take her out.

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Nora likes to boogie

Happy New Year! We stayed in on New Year’s Eve, but Nora and her dancing kept us entertained.

She’s an amazing baby – she can make you feel like you are the funniest person in the world, or the greatest musician in the world. Here is Daddy playing a “catchy” tune on a plastic trumpet. Nora just had to get moving.

Best wishes to you and yours for a great 2013, and thanks for reading!

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Nora Bear Update

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Nora helping Mommy shop in Target

Nora has six teeth and two more coming in.

She says, “da” for dog and duck and Dada, maMA for mama, “ba” for ball, “buh buh” for bye bye, “”bbbb” for mooo, “ba ba ba” (the noise a chicken makes), snort (a pig noise).

She likes to be chased. She’ll start crawling away fast and then she’ll look back at us and giggle. Once we start coming after her, she squeals in delight and flails her arms and legs.

She likes to knock down blocks, bang things together, grab the remote, my keys, the phone, my computer, etc.

She shakes her booty whenever she hears music. I mean, it’s a whole-body-shake. She moves her butt, swings her arms and bobs up and down on her knees.

She can walk holding onto a walker or table, although, she’d prefer to crawl if there’s something she’s after.

She is a smiley little monster.

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Our house is Nora’s playroom

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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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Little pianist

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by | November 6, 2012 · 8:32 pm

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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