Sunday, October 14, 2012

It's been a while. I won't lie, it is because I can't decide if I should just shut this thing down or press on. I intended to use this as a place to write, to express my ideas, and yet I can't. I have half written essays everywhere - on scraps of paper, in my documents, in my head... and yet they never make it here. The first rule of blogging is to write for yourself, but I know there are (a very few) people who read this, so I can't. And I can't pander to a (extremely small) audience, because that is just plain ridiculous. So sometimes I write some fluff, and sometimes I avoid it with all my might. Obviously I still lurk around all your blog, so I'm still trying to keep up some virtual presence...

Anyway, I broke my silence to talk about how fucked up I am over Jessica Ridgeway. I'm pretty sure this is big national news, so I don't need to rehash the situation. She was kidnapped 5-6 miles from my house. Her dismembered body was found 1-2 miles from my parents' house, at a park where we have walked our dogs. At a park where my husband causally stated that he was surprised no one had ever dumped a body. I know bad shit happens all the time, all over. I know that being the victim of this type of violence is a 1 in 1 million chance. And now I know what they mean when they say it's so much more chilling when it happens in your neighborhood.

Guys, I haven't slept in a week. I already am already  up weekly, paralyzed by fear thinking of cancer, car accidents, and the danger of stairs, and now this? Now I have to worry about buying groceries behind a sick fuck that would dismantle my daughter piece by piece given the chance? That may be bit extreme, but now that I am a parent, I can't put to words what this incident stirs inside of me. I hate that this is the world we live in. I want my daughter to have a community she loves and trusts. I want to teach her to live and love without judgement and fear, and every time something like this happens, it fucks with my view of the world. Of course I plan on teaching Nora about "stranger danger" and how to trust her gut and follow her intuition... I don't want her to be naive or overly trusting, rather a kind but critical thinker. But how can I follow through with that when now I'm not sure I will ever let her out of my sight again? I can only imagine what little Jessica's parents are going through right now, but I can tell you with certainty that our whole community is terrified and heartbroken right now. I'm basically an atheist, so I feel weird saying "pray for us," but please, do what ever you do... pray, meditate, send good thoughts...that we find this killer and soon.

Monday, September 17, 2012


So, I never shared Nora's newest stats. She is a petite little thing (I already knew that). She weighs in at 17.6 lbs (a little less than a lb over the last 3 months) and 28.5 in tall. That's <5th -="-" 12="12" 25th="25th" activity="activity" all="all" anyway="anyway" at="at" barely="barely" but="but" clothing="clothing" doctor="doctor" explains="explains" first="first" fits="fits" for="for" got="got" hand.="hand." he="he" height.="height." her...="her..." her="her" isn="isn" level="level" month="month" nbsp="nbsp" p="p" percentile="percentile" so="so" t="t" that="that" the="the" to="to" weight="weight" why="why" witness="witness" worried="worried">
It seems like she always eating too, non-stop and pretty much eats everything we do. We have been giving her a little bit of spice (Indian or Mexican usually), and she loves it! She has a major sweet tooth, which was inevitable given who her parents are...

And she finally has teeth! Her two bottom are making their way in. She's handled teething really well, thankfully. Her favorite things these days are trying to unlock/open/shut doors, climbing, playing with buckles, eating, and giving hugs and kisses. Waking up to baby kissing her is pretty much the best thing ever.

Random cell phone pictures. Psst... I'm on instagram too: nicoleorgan

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I hate blogger

Every spent 10 minutes out of your busy day to try to comment on someone's blog... an in-depth comment... and blogger takes it and dumps it in the ether? So freaking over it...

Monday, September 10, 2012

I have to miss Nora's 1 year check up today. It sucks. I'm sure everyone will reassure me that it's not a big deal, but it really does bother me. Just too much going on at work for me to leave, when I already have Fridays off and only work 35 hours a week. I normally schedule her doctor appointments for Fridays, but the doctor had to reschedule with us last week and since I will be starting clinicals every Friday, it just didn't make sense to hold off until I could go. Small price to pay for a paycheck and health insurance I guess, but still.

I'm starting to really feel spread thin, but what can I do about it? Work, school, daughter, husband, family obligations, socializing, cleaning, cooking, trying to occasionally have a moment for myself... Part of me is trying to just get through this time, but then I realize that this month is the only month my daughter will be 12 months old, so do I really want to rush through it all on autopilot? I just don't know how to balance everything. I know I'm not alone, but that doesn't make me feel any better. And of course Rob and I need to be active to feel happy, so we still take vacations and expeditions and outings, because without that we'd go crazy. But it's hard to relax and enjoy myself when I know housework and homework wait for me... Oh well, all I can do is keep trying. Not to mention that everyday Nora seems more and more clingy to me (which I appreciate, I really do, but that makes it hard to do a lot of things and then I have additional guilt - guilty that housework/homework isn't getting down, guilty that I'm not fully present for my daughter's affection because I'm thinking about other things, guilty for not knowing how to handle it...). It's that endless mommy guilt cycle.

In other news, this is happening:

Climbing on EVERYTHING... btw, Rob was right next to her as she did this, just out of the camera shot. Half hilarious, half terrifying. She's also learned how to buckle the top portion of her car seat. So... wish us luck on baby-proofing endeavors.

I have a toddler

Nora's birthday outfit
I guess there is some confusion over when the transition from baby to toddler occurs. Some say it is the first birthday and others say after learning to walk. Either way, guys, I have a toddler.

I can't believe how fast this past year has gone. In some ways it has been hands down the best year of my life - being a mother has given me the kind of joy and satisfaction I didn't think was possible. My lover her know shapes how I feel about, well, everything. And when my baby turns and kisses me for no reason other than she wants to, or when she reaches out for me with a big smile on her face, there is nothing in this world that can compare.

In other ways, it has been the hardest. And not because Nora was difficult, or because I had a hard time adjusting to motherhood. That wasn't it at all. It's just that life got in the way a lot. Working outside of the house is hard. Only having one day a week where are all home as a family is hard. The worst is probably the realization that marriage can also be hard.

I haven't talked about it much, but this year has not been all smooth sailing for me and Rob. I don't think it is because we had Nora, it more due to the fact that we are trying to reassess our goals as both individuals and as a family, and growth can be painful. I'm happy to say that we are still here, and that we are working at it to make sure we continue to be together. I've mentioned it before, but while I am proud of what we have, I'm not entirely happy with it. It's hard to know what do next, how to ensure that all three of us are happy and thriving in an especially difficult time in our lives, in the lives of many of our friends and family members, and truly society at large. But as I've been saying since we got married, marriage isn't always easy, but it is worth it. I digress...

And so it was an incredibly proud moment for both of us when we stood on either side of our little girl while she (okay, we) blew out the candle on her cupcake. It was a good party (ice cream social!), full of rambunctious kids and friends and family wishing our daughter well (so glad my parents let us have it at their house - my house fits about 3.5 people on any given day). She seemed to really enjoy the party and was her happy and outgoing self the whole time. What follows are some cell phone pictures (not even my pretty Instagram pictures, just plain shitty cell shots). Some day, if I get my act together, I'll show some pictures from our camera, including shots of the mock birthday we did for her a few weeks back when we were in California (so that my family could wish her happy birthday too).

Her tutu is made from vintage tulle we found in my great-grandmother's dress shop in NJ a few months back.

Cupcakes made by Auntie Kyle

Not sure where to start

Daddy got Nora her own hot rod

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What can Nora do? A way too detailed report of adorable things

Nora has entered a whole new stage of playing - the imagination/imitation games. She likes to pretend to talk on our phones or pretends to feed us. And she imitates everything - from washing her hands, to cleaning her self (she wiped off her feet with a napkin the other day, so adorable), dressing herself (everything goes over her head), washing her hair (she rubs her hair whenever she gets some liquid or lotion on her hands. She was doing it every time we applied sunscreen!), and helping us do the same (she wiped sunscreen all over daddy's face).
She has a great sense of humor. Nothing she loves more than laughing!

Being silly and Ellen and Jorge's house

Still dances whenever music comes on, and now will follow specific choreography depending on the song (anyone remember Sharon, Lois, Brahm and the Elephant Show? She mimics the skinnamarinky dance, but only when she hears that song - even if we just sing it). She has also tries singing a bit (especially to Feist's 1-2-3-4 on Sesame Street).

She will take several steps on her own (she falls as soon as she realizes what she is doing), but for longer journeys prefers dragging adults around by the finger for hours on end.

She isn't saying many specific words besides Mama, Nana, and Daddy. We hear the occasional hi or up but mostly just expects us to understand what she wants without words. Yet she can communicate very clearly what she wants without using words - it's actually pretty amazing to see. She points, uses facial expressions, and uses whatever other means necessary to get her point across. Not to say that she is quiet - she definitely a chatterer, it's just nonsensical at this point.

She has a bit of a diva in her. She shows a strong preference for having other people do things for, even things that she is more than capable of  doing herself (like with bottles and sippy cups - she will actually seek me out and hand me the cup if she is thirsty). Not sure where she gets that from, says the girl who never climbed out of her crib herself. My mom apparently even tried teaching me to get out on my own, but I refused. I just cried and waited for her to come get me.

She knows what "nice" and "gentle" means and will stroke our faces when we ask her to show us "nice."

She also understands quite a bit of what we are saying, since she responds to our commands.

She's way into buckles at the moment. I've gotten a lot of "little engineer" comments. And on a sidenote, I never really saw myself as a feminist until I had a little girl. I mean, as a woman I have always been pro-woman, but I guess I just took a lot for granted. Having a little girl has made me realize that feminisim isn't a dirty word. And isn't it awesome that we live in a time when people (men and women) don't think twice about calling my little girl an engineer? Not sure how often that was thrown around when my mom was a baby...

Nora is familiar with some less common baby games and rhymes, thanks to my mom and grandma. They learned little rhymes in Italian, a mix of Italian and English, or English translated from Italian. There is one that is about a cat and a mouse, and it involves stroking her face slow at first, then fast. She thinks that is so funny!

She also learned a sign this week - "CooCoo, no more!" My Italian Great-Grandma, when the kids' food was gone, would show her left hand to the child and twist her right index finger in her left palm while saying, "CooCoo, no more!" Yeah, Nora learned that one in less than a week. I was feeding her a pouch and when it was empty, she did that. I hadn't said anything to her - she just knew the pouch was all gone. We are considering a few baby sign language classes now. I wasn't sure at first, but she is clearly receptive to that sort of thing.

Still NO teeth. She chews on her hands a lot, and I can see some white under her gums but nothing coming through yet. Which I'm sure means she will get a billion all at once. That sounds painful, but I guess I would rather go through a lot of pain and get it over quicker than be in slightly less pain more often.

She gives kisses all the time. And she usually kisses everyone in the room, multiple times, in order.
Quiet time watching videos with Daddy

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A House Divided

I've never discussed this before, but Rob and I are trying to raise Nora between two very different world. I know we are not the first parents in this situation, but sometimes it is hard to reconcile the wishes of two families that will never see eye to eye on a very important matter.

You see, Rob's family are all Broncos' fans, and mine are Raiders' fans.

found on etsy

If you know anything at all about American football (which I don't), then you know that these two teams are mortal enemies. There are some exceptions. I have a Raiders fan aunt who is in love with John Elway, and Rob doesn't hate the Raiders (he has many friends who love them). Personally I like the Raiders because of familial ties, but being a native Californian I have experienced the obnoxious behavior of Coloradans Broncos fans first hand, much different from what I saw when I lived in California. So of course that's a further turn off (And I'm sure all sports fans can be obnoxious at certain times, I'm just saying it was culture shock to see how crazy Coloradans get over sports as a whole). But Rob's family is fairly down to earth (although devoted) and his sister is actually a cheerleader for the Broncos, so I can't rightfully ban Nora from the Bronocos either.

So Rob and I have agreed to raise Nora to know both teams, so that she may decide for herself as an adult. To be honest, I have a pretty low opinion of professional sports as a whole, and especially football players. I think they are all overpaid and if you ask me, don't seem as gracious and appreciative as I would be in their position. And don't even get me started on Michael Vick. I like watching hockey, I like baseball, we used to watch a ton of MMA, and I do think that athletes should be admired for their dedication and skill. I just don't think they should be revered as gods.

That being said, we are on our way to my and Nora's first football game (Broncos vs 49ers).

*Update: The game was fun, although it was too hot to stay for the whole game. I have to admit the atmosphere is infectious, even for haters like myself. The guy behind us offered to take our picture. He sucked at it, but whatever. Can't complain when someone does you a favor.