Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Remember her?

Poor Moxie. Baby came along and done stole the spotlight. Don't let lack of presence on my blog fool you though. The dogs are still a prominent part of my growing entourage. In fact, wherever me and Norah happen to be, you can typically find Moxie there too. I just have two rules: Watch where you step and no face licking. She's doing really well with rule No. 1; we're still working on rule No. 2.

Sup spent his first year of life with two little girls, so this whole baby thing is old news. I think he's just biding his time until Norah gets enough hand-eye coordination to be able to pet him. Then he'll be her best friend for sure--it'll be like I grew him a whole extra set of hands.

Moxie, on the other hand, is kind of obsessed. That's why we've had to establish the no face licking rule. If Norah is playing on the floor, there's Moxie. If Norah is crying, there's Moxie trying to figure out what's wrong. If we're on the bed with Norah then ooh, ooh Moxie wants to play too--hence the watch where you step rule.

My favorite thing about our little animal family is that these guys are going to be Norah's childhood pets. As soon as she learns to grab, I'm gonna let her get a fistful of Sup and there's nothing he can do about it. And you'd better believe that both those dogs are going to be ridden like small yellow horses.

Oh, and once she's old enough to wield a shovel, Norah can scoop the poop.

This is what I mean about face licking. I take a picture, get ready for the next, and bam. Face. Licked.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Strawberry Reservoir

So before the madness of going back to work and attending my grandpa's funeral, we celebrated (mourned?) the end of my maternity leave by taking the boat and camper out for a weekend fishing trip. Have I mentioned that we have a truck-bed camper with a heater? Because we do. And I am never camping in a tent again. Really, never.

Norah kept up her track record of being awesome in the outdoors, which means we got to enjoy a full night and day out on the lake. When she gets older I think I'll make her kiss the fish like my dad used to. Just because I can.

Thanks to Mike, Emily, and Matt for joining us. You guys are always invited.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Passing on

I'm not sure where to start. My Grandpa Brinkerhoff passed away on Sunday. It's heart-breaking and glorious. Heart-breaking to have him suffer with Parkinson's and dementia for more than a year; glorious because he can finally be at peace and regain what was taken from him.

Maybe it's because I'm still a little fragile from having a baby; maybe it's because I feel so far away from my religion right now, but I was holding my brand new Norah in my arms when my mom told me he died and I just couldn't help thinking that life is a bitch. Not very poetic, is it?

Let me explain. My little girl is perfect, amazing, incredible--every good adjective you could ever think of. I have so much hope and anticipation for what she can become. The problem is that I can't stop life from happening to her. And with life comes hurt, disappointment, illness, pain. What sort of hopes did my grandpa's parents have for him? Certainly not a drawn-out battle with Parkinson's. Does this even make sense?

But here's how I think I'm coming to terms with it: Last week Norah grabbed a rattle and sat there with it in her hand, studying it with those blue eyes that I made in my body, until she finally thought hard enough to get her brain to tell her hand to get that rattle in her mouth. I wanted to cheer I was so excited for her. Just that one moment was pure joy for me. And the thing is: I get to enjoy those moments every day. How excited am I going to be when she walks, talks, goes to school? So just because my most recent memories are of a frail grandpa who was on his way out of this life, that doesn't take away the fact that his life was full of joy too. That's how his death--or anyone's--makes sense to me. Because no matter what bad things happen, life is full of so much amazingness that I can barely take it in. That's why the pain is worth it. And that's why I have every reason to celebrate each moment.

I know this is nothing new, and I rarely get this serious on my blog, but there you go.

On a lighter note, can I just tell you how for years and years my grandpa has always had the same little catch phrases? Things like: "It will quit hurting when it gets better." "When I was a little girl..." [followed by any number of stories]. And "That's a well-kissed cheek!" [said after each greeting and a dozen or so kisses].

And for those of you who don't know, I had a goat when I was little because my grandpa got me one. I honestly don't know why, but I think it's kind of the greatest thing ever--except when it ate the tassels off my Big Wheel. (I wonder what my parents thought.) One time we came home and there was a rabbit in a box for me on the kitchen floor. He also gave me a rooster that my dad ended up giving to a neighbor because it would wake him up at sunrise. And those are just the ones I can remember.

I hope that those are the sort of things that gave him joy, because they sure made me happy. And that's how I hope to remember him.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


The fact that the current hood for Nic's Coronet is warped and the paint is cracking literally keeps him awake at night. Which also makes it fun to point out when I feel like bothering him beyond belief. But of course there isn't a replacement hood in Utah; the closest one was about 1,000 miles away. So instead of just driving there and immediately back like we did in Washington for his '49 Ford, we decided to make a trip of it. Well, actually, we have a child now and can no longer get away with driving all day and sleeping in the back of the truck. So we also bought a truck-bed camper complete with heating, A/C, a queen bed, sink, toilet, shower, and fridge. I'm never camping for real again.

All this for a weekend trip to Oregon to get some car parts.

I predicted that it would either be awesome or be a complete disaster filled with a screaming baby and frustrated parents. Luckily, it was totally awesome and we kind of can't wait to go wherever we're going to go next. Norah was incredible with no freak-outs and she even kept to her normal sleep schedule. I call that a win. Plus we got to spend all day every day with just our little family. So. Fun.

With the help of GPS we found the hidden junkyard of Nic's dreams outside of Portland that is filled with only Mopar cars no earlier than like 1979. Norah doesn't seem quite as excited, but she did get to help Nic pick out his new hood, which to me is adorable.

We camped right next to the ocean. And if you couldn't tell, we were really excited to be on the beach with our baby.

And apparently the deer at our campsite have no fear. I thought this was awesome until it got a little too close for comfort and all I could think about was When Animals Attack. And then when I had to walk down the path by myself in the dark I was sure that I was going to get sideswiped by one of these guys. It made him seem not quite as cute and cuddly.

But I survived and we were all still smiling by the end of our adventure.

I guess that's how it goes when you spend five days with your favorite people.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Five years

Yesterday Nic and I celebrated our fifth anniversary. Our favorite thing to say all day? Four happy years. We don't really count that first year, what with all the misunderstandings, hormone imbalances, and crocodile tears. It wasn't so funny then, but kind of hilarious now in a I-can't-believe-we-acted-like-that sort of way. We were both ridiculous. Silly, silly us.

Thankfully, being married has only gotten better--better to the point where I don't think either of us have ever been so happy. We both agree that this past year has by far been the best too, and that was even with me being pregnant. (I didn't even lose my mind while I was growing an entire person! I feel like I deserve a prize.) And now we have this perfect, wiggly, noisy, funny, beautiful daughter who is so awesome I kind of can't take it all in and we're so excited to grow with her.

Basically, I feel like doing some sort of cheer for our lives right now. We honestly worked our asses off (sorry Mom) to get here and everything has been 100 percent worth the effort. So thanks to all our family and friends for helping us along the way, and thanks Nic for being the best friend and husband a girl could have.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Weighing in

At two months Norah is now 11 pounds 7 ounces and 24-something inches. This was the first time we got the whole percentile thing: She's 75th percentile for weight and 95th percentile for height. Tall like her mom apparently. I wonder if she'll always have to stand in the back row for school pictures too.

Nic had to come with me to get her shots. He held her little arms across her chest and she looked at him like "Oh, hi Dad, whatcha doin'.....wahhhhhhhh! Why would anyone do something that horrible to me? This is the worst day in the history of my life ever!"

Thankfully, my parents live about five minutes away from our doctor so I got some great all-day help. My dad got the worst of it when I slipped out to the bookstore. Norah screamed for the whole 40 minutes. Sorry, Dad, but thanks too. I really wanted that book.

And how much do I wish that big-people thighs and feet were this cute?

As for information that is only interesting to me and a handful of others: Norah is starting to discover her hands to suck on and swat at things. She's no longer the cross-eyed bobble head that she was only a few weeks ago. Her favorite things include looking at books and not being put down. She is super chatty and wiggly and is rarely quiet or sits still.

Best of all: She takes a bath each night at 8:00 then goes to bed and doesn't wake up until 4:00 or 4:30, has a bottle, then goes to sleep for another two or three hours. And she's been doing that consistently for about four weeks, which means that I'm almost starting to feel like a person again.

At this point I'm about down to my pre-pregnancy weight, but after shopping for some new clothes yesterday I still feel considerably larger than I was. I ended up buying some clothes for Norah instead of me. It's fun to buy her a bigger size, but not something that I was prepared to do for myself.

I'm also trying to prepare myself to go back to work in a couple of weeks. But before I do we've got some boating, road tripping, and general not-working-fun-having to get done first. Yay for maternity leave!