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

Stats

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 http://www.etsy.com/listing/78478292/custom-house-divided-football-teams

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.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ghost Friends for Life!

 It all started with a meme.

Seriously. My best friend Kyle posted this on Facebook (with the disclaimer that she doesn't hope; she knows)...



This is because it is true. That aside, I saw these awesome necklaces a week or two later, and remembering that Kyle's birthday was less than a month away, I bought her one. Then I got jealous and bought myself one. So yeah, we have matching BFF necklaces.  It says "SEE U ON THE OTHER SIDE." We're awesome.

image at http://fab.com/inspiration/see-other-side-cameo-necklace




Monday, August 20, 2012

We're Back...

Am I the only one who feels like sobbing the minute I walk back into work after vacation?

Our vacation was great. Fantastic. I love spending time with my family and this may have been one of my favorite trips yet. Rob and I had a few days alone at the beach, and then a week with a ton of my family by the pool. The grandkids are getting older (I'm the oldest, and the youngest is 16.5) which means (thankfully) less drama and more drinking! Nora loved all the attention and of course, everyone loves her. I need to do a separate post of all the adorable things she is doing now, because she seems to learn something new every day.

It has been really hard coming back. The vacation was great, but rather than "recharge our batteries," our time away has put into perspective how unhappy we actually are. Our lifestyle just isn't working for us, and we need to figure out how to make some changes. Of course not every day can be full of food, fun, and recreation, but we shouldn't dread our everyday existence either. There has to be some middle ground.

Don't get me wrong - I love my little family very much, but there are a lot of distractions and misplaced priorities. I am proud of what Rob and I have accomplished together, like buying our first house 4 years ago, or having careers with good futures. But being "proud of" is different than being "happy with," and I think we are starting to get that. What are we working towards anyway? A bigger house? A newer car? 50 more years in jobs we can't stand?

Looking at my mother and her siblings (and Rob's parents), this point is illustrated even more. My mother and her older brother both work corporate, professional jobs in high tech (as a service manager and program manager, respectively). Both have played the corporate game and climbed up the ladder to relative suburban success. Now? Both are burnt out and tired of all that. My mom's younger brothers are a teacher and a self-employed locksmith, respectively. Both love their jobs. Both are more or less as successful (based on your definition of success) and the other two. Maybe the money is less, but the (job) happiness is greater (again, I think my mom and her brothers are all relatively happy, but the younger two certainly win out in career satisfaction).

So what do I do? I feel like I am young enough to try something else and still come back to this if I need/want to, but there is always that concern that you shouldn't leave something stable and promising for something as frivolous as job satisfaction.

If money were no object? I would love to have a small business. Something creative. I've always dreamed of being one of those stay at home moms who made ends meet by doing this and that. Or the professionals who manage to fit in early morning surfing sessions before they head to office (another post, but Rob and I did surf and while I suck at it, it was every bit as amazing as I had hoped. Something about being surrounded by ocean made the lack of catching waves incredibly worth it. It has been a long time since I felt that at peace). But on the other hand, I like health insurance. And I have bills to pay. I keep saying that I need to sit down and figure out priorities and implement a strict budget to achieve those goals, but... I put it off time and time again - because I secretly fear that I will discover there is no way out. But there has to be a way, right? Even if it's not something that can happen right away... there has to be a way to a different lifestyle, somehow? I hope.

Frank Turner gets it.

If Ever I Stray

Photosynthesis

Monday, August 6, 2012

Random Thoughts, and a lot of them

  • Bullets make long-winded, semi-coherent ramblings seem more organized, right?
  • My husband and I have pretty similar taste in music (eclectic with a POV based in punk and rockabilly), with a few exceptions. For example, he can't see the appeal of The Cure, and I pretty much hate Rob's favorite band from his teenage years, Strung Out. Don't know why, but I cannot stand them. I was so in my head this morning that I was already to work before I realized that I had been listening to them the whole damn drive. I guess you could argue that since I didn't notice it didn't bother me that much, but I was certainly aggravated once I realized.
  • There is a little spider in my bathroom, in the corner of my shower. He is small and in a rather hard spot to reach so thus far I have let him live. He doesn't seem to move much which has led me to wonder if he was plotting something. Like, observing my habits so that he can plan a thorough attack. The minute shampoo is in my eye, bam, he goes straight for the jugular. I'm only half joking.
  • Not the same spider. This one was way ballsy-er - building a freaking web right in front of our front door? Well played spider, well played.
  • My parents offered to take Nora to California with them (they drove out this weekend) so that Rob and I can spend some time together when we first fly into CA. Also so that my grandma can be a baby hog before the rest of the family gets in next weekend. I miss her terribly, but I am happy knowing that she gets to meet some of her family that she doesn't see often. Most of my family she will be meeting for the first time this trip.
  • Gradual weaning didn't go well. I stopped pumping a few weeks ago, but for some reason, Nora started wanting to nurse more. Of course I let her -very short sessions, less than 5 minutes at a time, and only a few times a day so I thought it would be fine. Very, very wrong. Apparently that wasn't gradual enough for my body to adjust, and I am paying the price. Oh, and Nora refuses to drink cow's milk so this past week she has only drank juice and whole milk yogurt smoothies. Do I feel guilty for weaning on my schedule, not hers, only to have her refuse milk? You bet your sweet ass I do. And engorgement is the penance I must suffer.
  • I don't have a lot of friends, but I do have some awesome ones. I spent Saturday with my best friend Kyle, and she always makes me feel better. She doesn't mind my semi-coherent ramblings. :)
  • We are also less than a week away from seeing some other really good friends of ours, the Garcias. They "get us" so much more than most of the other people we know. Too bad they live several states away.
  • Rob and Jorge

    
    Ellen and me
    
  • Also on the docket for this week - 8/8/12 is our 4th(!) wedding anniversary. Oh, and 8/10 my 3rd anniversary at NREL. Or as I like to refer to it "Happy Partially Vested in a Pension Plan Day!"
  • From my wedding, not my first day of work.
  • I have gone through and edited several hundred photos, taken over the course of the last 6 months. I should post some. I was specifically looking to do a "12 months of Nora" project and I have some really cute ones.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Little dictator

I've said time and time again that Nora is a sweet, good-natured child, and that is totally true, but...she has a hilarious habit that sometimes makes me wonder if we are seeing a darker side to her personality.

She loves to stand up, get the attention of everyone in the room, and then launch into long (gibberish) monologues with wildly gesticulating arms. It is not unlike watching a very tiny dictator. Maybe it just means that she will be passionate and dedicated to sharing her passion. Or maybe it means we have a bossy little tyke. Either way, it's pretty hilarious on an 11 month old (officially today!).

Almost walking...

On July 17th, Nora took her first step. I was dropping her off at my mom's house, and she wanted my badge. I had placed her by my mom, who was sitting in her office chair. Nora stood up using my mom's leg, and took a step toward me my badge. She didn't even realize what she had done and she only took one step before she fell, but I had a witness and it counted.

She's a pro at standing and cruising, so I knew this day was coming soon. She has been doing the whole hold-my-hand-while-I-kinda-walk for a week now, so I know it's going to all click any moment.

Last Saturday (7/28), she took about three steps by herself before falling. I can't remember what her motivation was, but it was probably something totally baby appropriate like a knife or a cocktail or some assorted chocking hazards.

I'm actually surprised that she isn't walking already, given how active she is. It's one of those things that I am actually happy that we have had a little more time to come to terms with (not that we spent that time baby-proofing, unfortunately). Come September, when we are back from our vacation, we will have to have a nice long baby-proofing/re-designing session at our house. I can already see that all of my nice little vintage items will have to go, since Nora's favorite hobby these days is grabbing things off of table tops. As in she reached up and grabs wildly until she gets ahold of something, preferably something breakable or spillable (keep in mind she can't see what she is reaching for).

Monday, July 30, 2012

A New Era

Everyday I reminded that Nora is more like a toddler than a baby. A delightful new development occurred this morning and I have provided a long-winded description below. You are welcome.

First, some background. Nora is neither a great nor a terrible sleeper. Even as a newborn she slept pretty well, sleeping in 3-4 hour blocks from the beginning. At worst we were only up twice a night. Eventually she went down to once a night, and she never really required much to back to bed. A little comforting, and when she was younger, a mini nursing session and she was back to sleep. 10 minutes at max. Plus she sleeps in all environments - loud, silent, lots of activity, by her self, on the floor, in a crib, in a car... once even during a parade! So we figure in many ways we got off easy.

But she still gets up once most night. We attribute this to her struggle with night terrors and an inability to fall asleep in between cycles  (some nights it's less than 30 seconds before she is back asleep, so she's not really fully awake). Crying it out doesn't help because it causes her to get hysterical and wake herself up more. We know that we have to work on it eventually but we are lazy  for now our solution is to deal with it, by either rocking her back to sleep or bringing her back in the bed with us. This is a large part of the reason why we co-slept so long with her in the first place. For the past few months she has slept at least the first part of the night in her crib (most nights, anyway).

Background part two: about a month ago, Nora figured out how to get off of the bed or the couch (or down stairs). I was very impressed when she first did it, because we certainly didn't teach her, and she only fell once or twice before she realized she needed a new strategy. She gets toward the edge, then spins around on her stomach and lowers her legs down until she touches the ground.

Maybe you see where this is going...

Last night she had a rough time sleeping, so I brought her to our bed at 11pm or so. She slept okay until about 6 this morning - totally normal. Spidy-sense ensures that as soon as she is awake, I'm at least half-conscious. Usually she sits up in bed and pokes/kicks me/Rob until we get up to play with her. This morning she woke up, took one look at us still (half) sleeping, and booked it to the edge of the bed. Rob and I looked at each other and I whispered that we should pretend to sleep, to see what she does.

I'll tell you what she did. She got to the edge of the bed, got off the bed, then sped-crawled down the hall towards the kitchen, without a second glance at us. And you could tell that she was annoyed when Rob scooped her and brought her back to bed.

Guys, it is the start to a new and terrifying era in our household.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

I scream, You scream, We all scream...

I'm not good at keeping this blog up. I'm not even going to pretend like that will ever change. Anyway... my baby will be 1! in 6 weeks. Bittersweet. That means party planning time. I probably haven't mentioned it before, but I hate parties. I love planning them but having them gives me anxiety. It's probably due to the fact that we have no friends. Seriously. Okay, we have a few friends, but not really enough to have parties with. So there is that. And I hate going to them because I always feel awkward. Even at my own parties.

But being a fairly creative and crafty person, I really do enjoy the planning part of things. So I have been focusing on that instead of the fact that in a few short weeks, my little girl will officially be more toddler than baby. We're not really looking to do anything over the top, but we do have a cute theme and some good ideas floating around (hint: look at the title of this post). More details when my invites are done and mailed out.

I'll leave you with this picture of Nora. She was making a silly face for the camera.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The End is Near

On my way to work this morning I realized I had forgotten my coffee. The iced coffee that I specifically went out of my way to make. I was too lazy to open the milk that had been delivered this morning and way too lazy to reach in the back for the already open milk, so I had splashed my coffee with heavy cream. Oh yes I did. And I accidentally grabbed the full sugar caramel syrup instead of the the sugar free almond that I usually use. Some might say that forgetting it was the universe was telling me that I didn't need that basically melted ice cream coffee, but I would like to think it was the universe telling me I didn't need to get to work early.

Anyway, while at a stoplight debating if I should go back for the coffee I realized that I also forgot my pump. That sealed the deal, and back to my house I went. The coffee was good, in case you were wondering.

But really what I want to talk about is the damn pump. Or rather, the end of the damn pump. That's right, we have been green-lighted to wean Nora to whole milk at 11 months. Which, (sob), is in 3 weeks. I've opted to wean at 11 months rather than 12 because it will be easier for our upcoming trip (alone overnight trips!), but also because I'm ready, and it seems pointless to wean her to formula only for a month or two.

I loved breastfeeding. It totally worked well for us. It was one of the things I really looked forward to while pregnant and I am so proud of myself for surpassing my initial goal of 6 months. However, I never mastered the art of nursing in public (family doesn't count), so we brought bottles with us everywhere anyway. That meant a lot time hooked up to a pump, on top of my 2-3 daily sessions at work.

So in 3 weeks, I will pump no longer. I plan on a gradual weaning, and will still night/comfort nurse for a while yet. Part of me will miss it, but I never saw extended nursing as something that would work for our family and I think it is time to move on to the next phase of parenthood. It is shocking how fast this past year has gone. My baby is more like a toddler everyday and while I love all the new things that are coming our way, it's bittersweet. Nora will never ever be that small, helpless, meowing newborn every again, and weaning her is a huge reminder of just how quickly she is growing up.

So, in summary, I loved breast feeding, am super proud of myself for making it 11 months as a working mom, will miss it a little, but am pretty excited about leaving the pump bag at home forever and ever (until the next baby).

Edit:
No sooner had I wrote this than I discovered that I have a plugged duct today. I've only had one once before and it was resolved quickly, but really? Is this to show me that it's not so simple as saying "I'm done!" ? Damn it.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Monday on a Thursday

I hate holidays that fall in the middle of the work week. It's so disruptive. It doesn't help that I work an "alternative work schedule" meaning I pack all of my hours into M-Th, with Fridays off. My manager has a policy that we lose our AWS day off on weeks with holidays. So it's not really a holiday week for me at all - just a different day off rather than an extra one. Lame. But I don't press the issue considering I would rather deal with this than lose the ability to have every Friday off... picking my battles, I guess. But Mondays are hard for me - leaving my baby after 3 days together sucks, no matter how you look at it. And a Monday on a Thursday is just torture. I cried this morning (so did Nora, but that is because I suck and accidentally pinched her with her dumb binky leash thing).

Not to mention that this year 4th of July was really lackluster. Anyone who watched the news in the past month is aware that basically the entire state of Colorado was on fire in June, prompting a statewide fire/fireworks ban. Most of the cities cancelled their firework shows out of either respect or common sense, which I totally agree with. But it still makes for a quiet 4th.

Despite all that, our 4th was decent. It happens to be my husband's birthday, so we did a little celebrating this week. Sunday we had a BBQ at my parent's house; Tuesday night we went out with our bestie, Kyle; Yesterday we went to my in-laws for the day.


Rob's birthday gifts. Nora got him Endless Summer II and Czara got him a little waterproof camera!

Us, at a dive bar. It's been a while since we could go to a place like that.


Us, on our way for the night. Not the best picture, but better than no picture!
  We had a great time at the community pool where my in-laws live. Nora is a little water baby. We've taken her to the pool a few times, and she can't get enough. We support while gliding her through the water and she kicks and splashes like she knows what she is doing. The look on her face while "swimming" is pure, unabashed joy. Pictures coming eventually.


Water baby, at the pool near our house a few weeks ago
 Growing up in California I spent my entire summers in my grandparent's pool, so knowing that my daughter loves swimming as much as I do makes me so happy. I can't wait until August when we go visit my family in California - we will be staying at my grandma's house so she will get plenty of pool action!

And in case anyone is wondering what I got Rob, I signed us up for some surfing lessons in Santa Cruz! We've both always wanted to learn but neither of us has ever been, so it will be cool to learn together. I'm sure Rob, who skates and snowboards, will be much better than me, but I have already accepted that. We will get to Santa Cruz on our 4th wedding anniversary (8/8/12), so it will be a fun few days that kicks off our vacation. We have tons of other fun things planned, but I better stop talking about it or else I won't be able to make it through the next month!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I made this

I have some other stuff to post, but I love this picture and wanted to show off my little girl.

Guys, I made this (the baby):
That dress is my mother's. Her grandmother made it for her when she was a baby. So 1961 or so. She looks like a mix of me and Rob, but this picture really reminds me of myself as a baby (no wonder that I love it). And it is amazing to have a picture in a dress made by her great-great grandmother.



Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wittlebee

I have to admit that I am sucker for online shopping (daily deal sites are my new weakness). Actually, I am a sucker for shopping period. That may come as a shock to some, since I'm really not materialistic or brand loyal or even all that fashionble. But I love shopping. Groceries, home goods, shoes. Oh, and window shopping is really great. I've done a lot of that lately since I am still 1-2 sizes up from my pre-baby body (sad face) - I refuse to admit defeat and buy any clothing in my current size.

So obviously having a little girl has allowed me to sublimate my shopping habits into my daughter's wardrobe. I also really like surprises. So when I heard about Wittlebee, a company that offers a monthly clothing subscription, I decided to try it. Normally a month's (customized) box of clothes costs $39, but the first month they offer $10 off. For my $29, I probably received over a hundred dollars worth of baby clothes. I mean some really nice quality stuff. Not a bad deal!

I also like that you can put your subscription on hold if you need to (which is great, because Nora probably didn't even need the clothes I recieved, lucky girl), and they apparently let you return the box if you don't like the clothes. I am providing a link below if you want to check it out. I wasn't contacted by the company to do a review or anything like that (clearly, since I have about 2 readers), but I did like the service and figured I would put it out there.

http://curebit.com/x/fRU3y

I mean, I have my produced and dairy items delivered to my house, why not my child's clothes? :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Nora Update


What a difference a month makes in the life of an infant! I now understand why moms say every month, "No, seriously, this age is my favorite!" Each stage brings new developments and new firsts. And watching her personality deveopl has been amazing. I learn something new about this little person each and every day.

This girl is truly a sweet and happy little soul. She loves to laugh and smile, loves attention, and is growing by leaps and bounds.

Things about Eleanor Jean at 9 months in no particular order:
  • She slept in the crib all night for the first time last night. She went to bed around 10 (actually fell asleep in her stroller during an evening walk at 8, woke up for about 30 minutes at 9:30, and went to bed for the night at 10) and woke up once at 3 am. She's only been sleeping in the crib consistently for about a week now, and up until last night, we brought her back into our bed when she woke up in the middle of the night. Last night I nursed her and rocked her in her room for about 10 minutes, and that was that. I loved, loved, loved co-sleeping (or bed sharing or whatever), especially while we were swaddling, but she moves like crazy in her sleep now and really needs her own space. It's been a good transition so far.
  • I'm still breastfeeding. My initial goal was 6 months, but it stills seems to be working for us, so we will continue. Because of the pumping at work thing, I doubt we will go much further than a year, but I'm proud that we've made it this far. Pumping/BF during vacation is a little annoying (since I'm not really into nursing in public and Nora has the attention span of... well, her father), so I may actually look at cutting back to night feedings only when we leave for CA. She will be about 11 months.
  • Nora crawls like a maniac and I predict will be walking within a month. She is very methodical about pulling herself up and around. My in-laws described her movements as very similar to a rock climber.
  • She chatters all day long. She knows Dada, MaMa, and NaNa. She understands quite a bit though - as evidenced by her following simple commends (Can I have that?, no, come here, etc).
  • She also knows the word "kisses" and will kiss you when you ask her (and sometimes when you don't, which is always a surprise since her kisses tend to be open mouth and full of drool). She leaned over and kissed the dog the other night, and my heart just melted.
  • She loves food of all kinds except hummus.
  • She can play "How big is Nora?" like a champ.
  • She LOVES music. It calms her, it makes her happy, it makes her dance. She is exposed to a wide variety of music including classic children's songs, punk, rockabilly, old country, hip hop, and even Broadway musicals.
  • She loves animals, especially our dog. Czara is pretty good with baby and puts up with the pulling and grabbing. Czara is a licker and we try to limit it, but occasionally she gets a little wild and Nora ends up with a dog drool bath. For the most part, they do great together.
  • Nora's eyes are still a pretty gray blue and she still has the most perfect eyelashes - long, thick, dark, and curled up at the tips.
  • instagram from our pool day
  • Her hair is a strawberry blond, some days looking more red and some days looking more blond. Guess which way I want it to go? It stands straight up, which is adorable.
  • She has times where she has a definite preference for me and had a monkey grip so that I understand clearly that she does not want to be put down or passed to anyone else. That being said, she is usually pretty great about meeting new people and letting other people hold her.
  • We finally let her watch tv and she loves Sesame Street and Yo Gabba Gabba. Of course we never really monitored her watching TV while the adults were watching, but this month is the first time we started letting her watch kid programs. We are terrible, we know.
  • Still no teeth.
  • Doll baby
  • Did I mention that I am absolutely in love with her?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Play Ball!

Last night Rob, my sister, and I took Nora to Rockies vs Athletics baseball game. We all like the Rockies, but Teresa and I come from a family of Oakland Athletics fans... So we had to represent East Bay pride last night (well, Teresa and I did. Nora was in a Rockies onsie and Rob remained neutral). It was a night game and Nora was exhausted so she was a little fussy at times, but luckily our section was empty so we managed to get through it. It was really fun (especially since the As won!), totally worth the exhaustion I feel right now.

This was actually Nora's second game, as we went with a group from  Rob's work to a Dodger's game last week. Last week they were out of "my first game" pins so we picked one up last night. I know won't remember these little outings when she is older, but it will cool to show her the photos and mementos.

Coors Field

Rockies colors!


Silly faces

tired faces


East Bay Pride!



Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Boston Photo Dump

Boston was fun! I originally had to go for some training for work, but since I didn't want to leave Nora and Rob couldn't take more than a few days off, my mom agreed to come and be my nanny. It was really fun to have some time just for us - in a new city, free to do whatever we wanted (eat, drink cocktails, swim, basically relax). Rob flew out first thing Thursday morning, and we spent Thursday afternoon through Sunday doing some serious sight seeing.

 We managed to pack a lot into a few days. We went to Cambridge (during Harvard graduation!), Gloucester, Salem, Downtown Boston, The North End, Boston Harbor all over the course of about 3 days. We saw tons of historic site too - From Paul Revere's house, the site of the Boston Massacre, a church that George Washington sat in, to Sam Adam's grave, plus many seventeenth century burial grounds, a ton of statues and historic buildings... it was a crash course in American history. We also visited the Italian part of town, the North Side, and enjoyed amazing food and pastries. And of course we had to visit the Cheers bar. We sat in Norm's spot!

 Boston is very different from California and Colorado, and it was nice to do something outside of the norm. One thing that I really loved about Boston was the ease of public transportation. I would kill to have a system like that in Denver.

I would love to go back, especially in the fall. Halloween in Salem sounds like an amazingly cheesy fun time.

Nora, as usual, was a doll. I know that this will one day end, but for now it is so nice to have an easy-going, flexible baby. We are planning our next trip (California in August), and I'm hoping our luck holds up through that trip, especially since that will be my extended family's first time meeting her.

Anyway, photo dump (cell phone only - I'm not ready to start the org/edit process on our actual photos):
In the airport, just minutes before meeting the only person in world who has failed to be charmed by Ms. Nora, aka the man sitting in the seat next to us. :)

Swim time!

Bewitched statue in Salem

Fisherman memorial in Gloucester

Fishermen Widows memorial in Gloucester.

Gloucester, where the Massachusetts Bay Fishing Company started in the 1620s.

Norm's spot!

The North Side

Tickle face

In the pool with Nana
Harvard grad ceremony

Old burying grounds

At The Bell in Hand Tavern, the oldest tavern in America

Also enjoying a drink at The Bell in Hand

Public transportation pro by now...