Saturday, April 28, 2012

My mom's dirty secret

My mom has deep dark secret.

Now I am a certified born and raised Californian, as are my siblings, my cousins, and my mom's two younger brothers. My mother, however, is not. She is from...

New Jersey.

From an Italian immigrant family living in Jersey City. So basically I am one stroke of luck from being straight out of the Jersey Shore. My grandfather moved to California for his job when my Uncle Frank was three and my mother was two. She did spend her formative years in the Bay Area, so I guess you could call her Californian by proxy. But seeing as the rest of her ginormous Italian family lived in Jersey City, she spent much of her vacation time there. And until we moved to Colorado and started spending all our vacation time in California, we also spent many summers in New Jersey. Actually, that stopped when Moremama* got sick. I must have been 10 or so the last time I went. So one of things I looked forward to on this trip was reconciling my childhood memories with my experiences as an adult (spoiler alert - things have changed). .

We are going to visit the building that my great-grandparents owned. Very American Dream - my grandfather, Francesco, came to this country one hundred years ago with his older brothers. They worked various odd jobs and once WWI broke out, he joined up. He earned his citizenship by fighting for America, came back to New Jersey, established himself, and then went to Italy to find a bride. He met and married Theresina and brought her back to New Jersey in the late 20s. The had three children, two girls and a boy. Their middle daughter is my grandmother. My great-grandmother came from a family of seamstresses so to help with the war effort during WWII, she sewed uniforms for soldiers. After the war, she opened her very own wedding dress shop in a building that she and my great-grandfather bought. That building remained in our family until now. It's been sold, and so we decided to fly to NJ to visit it once last time, to help clean up, and take back little mementos of a chapter of our family and of American history, really. I'm so glad that Nora got to go there once, even though I know she won't remember it later.

More detail on the trip, traveling with an infant, and pictures to come!

*Moremama: When I was one or so, I was introduced to my great grandmother. I called my mom "Mommy" and my grandmother "Mama" so when they introduced me to my mom's grandma, I asked "more Mama?" The name stuck and from that day on, she was Moremama to our whole family.

Friday, April 27, 2012


We are doing some traveling. I'm thinking everything will be fine, but I do have some doubts.

Nora still doesn't have any teeth. We've been trying to pin her cranky days on teething for about 3 months now, but still no teeth to back up the claim. Which, really, is fine with us. We aren't excited about seeing our baby in pain, sleepless nights, fevers, and whatever else teeth may bring. But the way she has been drooling and biting (gumming?) this week, I think the time is now upon us. Which coincides with... airplane travel!

Tomorrow morning, we (girls only - Rob is sitting out this trip) will be joining my mother, my sister, and my grandmother on a trip to New Jersey. In May, Nora and my mother will be accompanying me to Boston for a week, where Rob will eventually join us for a long weekend exploring the city. Then in July, we are anticipating a pilgrimage to the home land (California). That means that Nora will have been to 5 (of course we will visit NY while in Jersey City) before she is a year old. Hopefully she likes planes. I'm worried about the teething, but what can I do?

Some of Nora's other potentially non plane-friendly behaviors include squealing at the top of her lungs (straight up high-pitched girly screams - but at least they are happy noises), grabbing everything within reach, especially hair, refusing to sit still for more than a minute at time, and the delusional belief that she can walk (seriously this kid has wanted us to support in a standing position since she was about 3 weeks old and I am not exaggerating). Lately she has taken to squirming to get down while we are holding her, then trying to let go of whoever is helping her keep her balance standing, then giving us this supremely annoyed look when it becomes clear that she, in fact, cannot walk (she thinks we are the ones holding her back). Could get interesting.

On the other hand, she is a super happy and sweet baby so I am hoping that any people sitting near us are charmed by her smiles and squeals rather than annoyed.

More on the trips when I get back. None of the three are pure vacation (family obligations, business travel, and more family obligations), but I am excited for all of them. Throw in some day trips around Colorado and plenty of pool time, and this spring and summer are shaping up to be fun times. Sharing all this with Nora is icing on the cake!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Eleanor Jean, almost 8 months

 I keep a baby book, but I want to record more than just her stats, so I really want to start using this blog to remind myself of the small moments.  Like the time she met our little friend Mila, who is 4. Mila introduced Nora to another family friend by rubbing the back of Nora's head and saying "it's a girl baby." Monique asked Mila "Is she your baby?" and Mila replied with a smile, "She's everyone's baby."

And it's true. She is my baby (well, mine and Rob's), but she has a whole group of loving and supporting friends and family members who consider her their baby as well - and I couldn't be more happy.

She's crawling, babbling, and pretty much charming everyone she comes in contact with. Nora is a really sweet, generally happy child. She loves being out in public and gives big smiles to almost everyone who takes the time to stop and pay attention to her. A few days ago, as we were leaving a restaurant an elderly man stopped us to say that we have a movie star on our hands. She certainly is charismatic for a baby! And if she wants to get your attention, she will attempt to look you in the eye with a huge smile on her face and make noises until you look over. And if you don't, those noises just get louder and more desperate until you notice her.

And those giggles! She is not above getting cranky when she is overtired, but she is just as likely to get slap happy - which is adorable on an infant. She laughs at everything - everything. Just looking at her will send her into fit of laughter. I can tell that she has a good sense of humor already. One of her favorites is when I take her binky and put in my mouth (I bite the edge, not the nipple). She laughs so hard, and grabs it, like she knows I'm playing a joke on her. She also loves peek-a-boo, and will pull blankets up over her own head until someone starts to play along.

She loves solid foods and demands that we give her tastes of whatever we are eating. The only thing that she hasn't liked by the second try is hummus - maybe it's the texture? She has little time for her bottle during the day, much preferring to feed it to her self at her leisure so she can look around and play at the same time. I am still breastfeeding and am going to try to go the full year, especially considering I have already gone through 2 pumps and finally had to buy the expensive model model last week. I should have listened when a friend told me to just break down and buy that model in the beginning.

This post is longer than I intended it to be, and (not) surprising, I could continue on for a while yet. Once I get talking about my girl, I guess I have a hard time cutting it off. So I will just say that she is amazing, and I am smitten. Not every day is great, but they are all so worth it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Pretty much sums up a lot of my life. Serously. If I were to tattoo my knucles (not in my forseeable future- HR/Compensation is a pretty conservative game), I'd totally get the word "someday." It's not about excuses, it's about faith.

Someday I'll have time to craft, organize and edit my photos, and pursue a more fulfilling lifestyle.

Someday I'll have the energy to get up early and work out daily.

Someday I'll even update this blog so everyone can see how pretty Nora has gotten (and read how scary smart she already is - we are so in for trouble).

But today is not that day.