Thursday, December 29, 2011

Being festive

I put up a tree this year. It didn't have ornaments, but it was completely lit, which is more than I can say for years past. Every time we came downstairs for breakfast or came in the door from work, Norah would smile and say, "Tree!" This alone is motivation to start decorating for holidays.

Norah discovered the art of unwrapping the presents that were under the tree. I totally let her because I'm a sucker and don't want to argue with an 18 month old about why sometimes we can open presents and sometimes we can't.  
We spent Christmas Eve and morning with my family, which was delightful as always. We also witnessed a Christmas miracle as Norah slept the entire night in a crib that was not hers. She went to bed without a fight and woke up being her usual, awesome self. Unprecedented!

At some point the pajamas came off and the nakey reading began.

Norah entertained us Christmas Eve by dancing to Beyonce for at least a half hour. Christmas morning she was still in the dancing mood. She's added quite a few new moves to her routine--like jazz hands.

We spent Christmas evening with the Stewarts. After being so good for more than 24 hours, Norah had had enough. I bribed her and two cousins to be good by watching Tangled, which just so happens to be the only movie that Norah will actually pay attention to. It sort of worked--meaning we didn't have to leave before presents, but we didn't ever get back to the 1,000-piece puzzle we so optimistically started.

I have never experienced Christmas madness like I have at the Stewarts. There are so many kids and so many adults and so much excitement and so much good food. It's exhausting and completely wonderful. 

The best part is gathering in the basement to open presents. It's a mad house and I highly recommend it.
As always, I'm overwhelmed by the love of family and friends who make our lives completely magical. We've been blessed with a lot, and we have a lot of people to thank for that.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cleaning house

Remember the weekend before Thanksgiving? Norah doesn't. But here is proof that I took her to her second apple party and attempted to get her to enjoy it. My dad made a valiant effort and even got her to help for a bit.

I ruined it by trying to get an adorable picture of her in the apple bin. Colman and Alexi loved this when they were little!

Luckily for me, J.J. was there to make her smile again.

Oh, and also, I turned 30 this month. The best part was that I didn't even have to freak out because Nic did it all for me. He is seriously not okay with the end of our twenties and could possibly being having an existential crisis of some sort. His reaction completely absorbed any anxiety I would have had about my birthday. All I could think was Jeez, Nic. You need to take it down a notch; this is not that big of deal.

Nic sent me beautiful flowers to my office with the most awesome of all awesome love notes that have ever been written. You'll have to ask me what it said later. My mom came to our house that evening to play with Norah so Nic and I could enjoy a restaurant dinner without me and Norah fighting over who is going to hold her glass of water.

Also, Norah is adorable. I finally got her to let me put something on her head without yelling at me. It's the little victories.

We took Norah to see The Muppet Movie, which was the first time I've dared take her to a theater. It helped my anxiety level knowing that she was outnumbered by adults three to one. My favorite part was when she took the entire bucket of popcorn on her lap, leaned back, and actually watched a lot of the show.

The end.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

So many pictures, not so many words

We spent Thanksgiving week, plus some, in Virginia and the outer banks of North Carolina with all of the Wilcoxes. The top two reasons why it was amazing include that we got to spend time with Josh, Jess, and Ellie, and that this trip has served as a marker for the end of my mom's cancer treatment as we've gone through the past year.

I have an overabundance of things that I'm thankful for; on top of that list is my family. Thanks guys.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Angry sushi

I'll accept waking up before 7 a.m. while I'm on vacation only because I got to spend mornings with the above three weirdos.

Our recent trip to California over Halloween marked a new stage for us: We have a toddler. A toddler. I tried to write off her extreme moodiness as teething, but as soon as I had strangers staring at me and my flailing child in the middle of a family dining establishment, I realized it was all over. Of course, Nic and I are plotting to drag Norah to various vacation destinations throughout her life and force her to enjoy herself. So maybe I'm just upset because she caught on to us so quickly.

Case in point: the beach. Don't let the forced smiles fool you. She would not be convinced that this was anything but torment.

Once we gave up on trying to get her to have fun, Nic starting pushing her buttons solely for our amusement.

She also did not appreciate her homemade Halloween costume. It could be because I keep dressing her up as types of food. Last year she was a lobster; this year she was sushi with a side of ginger and wasabi. I can't help it if I think she's delicious!

Again, we did our best to compel her to have fun, but mostly she just did this:

Norah's adorable crayon (Alice) and paper (Russell) friends got their trick-or-treat on and were a huge hit at the kindergarten Halloween parade.

Out of nowhere there were about 45 minutes when Norah decided that vacation is awesome. This involved us chasing her down the street. Runaway sushi! We put her to bed immediately afterward.

Thank you again, Alissa and family, for still pretending that my baby, uh toddler, is adorable. You are champion hosts! I purposely didn't take any pictures of your spectacular new amazing house because I didn't want to be tempted to post pictures before you do. But people, the Kings' new house is kind of the best thing ever. And it's in a forest in Southern California.

Want to know what Norah didn't get to scream during? So You Think You Can Dance tour! We left the kiddos at home and got to do some screaming of our own. You guys, this is the third time we've been and it's totally the highlight of my year.

If I had to pick a favorite from this season it would be this:

Nic didn't complain about going with us because she was there:

Monday, November 7, 2011


A few weeks ago Nic and I were watching Modern Family. It was the episode where Phil takes his daughter Hailey to some activity at the college she'll be attending in the fall. If you've seen the show you know that Phil makes some lovingly dopey mistakes that embarrass Hailey and cause a fight. They made up after Phil explained to Hailey that her going to college was going to be really hard on him; he said that it seemed like it was just yesterday when he pinched her chubby little thigh trying to get her in the car seat to take her home from the hospital.

You guys. It was just yesterday when Nic was loading our squirmy, perfect, 8-pound 10-ounce baby girl into her car seat to take her home.

Nic looked over to catch me crying as we finished watching the show. Now don't judge him because he really is the nicest guy I know, but when he saw what was going down he immediately asked me, "What is wrong with you?"

You know what was wrong with me? Norah is going to be going to college, like, tomorrow. She's almost a year and a half and already for heaven's sake! Now, you all will have to remind me of this conversation when she's a teenager, but at that moment I could not stand the fact that she's going to leave us someday. It makes my heart ache in this glorious, what-would-I-ever-do-without-you, how-did-we-get-so-lucky-to-have-you sort of way.

. . .

Wednesday night I could hear her frantic in her crib. Thinking she had just lost her binkie, I opened the door to her room and hit a wall of stench. You know the smell. That warm, sticky, sour aroma of a baby who has just thrown up a day's worth of food. The. Worst. That led to her getting into our bed, dad moving to the loveseat, and a night full of pajama and sheet changes.

But it didn't stop. She couldn't keep anything down. We went to the doctor. The Zofran they gave us wasn't helping the nausea. She was dehydrated. We ended up at Timpanogos hospital to get her IV fluids.

I always make Nic come to Norah's doctor appointments so he is the one who holds her down for her shots. While we were at the hospital on Friday, he had to hold her down as nurse after nurse tried to get an IV in one of her tiny little veins that kept collapsing. It took 9 tries. Every time a needle went into a vein, it would blow out so the nurses couldn't start the IV. Finally, they got an IV started in her foot; Nic wanted to hug that nurse.

Norah was beside herself. She was sick, exhausted, dehydrated, and scared. Talk about heartbreaking.

We got a bag of fluid in my baby and they wanted to test her blood to make sure her whatever levels were back to normal. They stuck her heel but couldn't get enough blood. They poked another vein and still couldn't get enough blood to run the test. They wanted to give her a break and try again.

I understand that we had to get an IV started for the fluids and that we had to keep trying even after vein after vein collapsed. But the thought of sticking her with another needle to get some blood for a test was just too much. I told Nic that she was done. We told the nurse and she talked to the doctor. The doctor respected my motherly intuition and discharged us without another poke. Exhausted, we took little Norah home so she could sleep in her own crib without someone waking her up every hour.

This was the first time as parents that we've had to deal with a truly sick baby. It nearly broke my heart.

. . . 

No one ever warned me about this--but apparently I'm in for a life full of heartbreak. That girl can make my heart ache by being such an awesome weirdo; and then she can break it because something isn't right in her tummy. That range of emotion is like nothing I've ever been a part of, and in the end it's kind of magical. Am I right?

Thankfully, Norah is back to her usual, adorable self. I never got sick (knock on wood), but Nic wasn't so lucky. I think it may have been karma getting back at him on my behalf. Because do you want to know what genius thing he said when I was falling apart over Modern Family? He reminded me that I'm also going to be 30 soon.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

It's been a while

Get ready for a lot of catch-up because I've been slacking in the blog department. And now summer is over. How is that even possible?

I can't tell you why I haven't been around here very often. Not because it's some secret, just because I'm not sure. We'll blame it on having a one year old.

So here is an photo-illustrated guide to the past few months:

It's obvious that we've been super busy. Not just anyone is going to feed the dogs ALL of their food. I'm looking at you, Norah.

And those books aren't going to read themselves.

Nic is determined to turn Norah into a fish. So far he is succeeding. She loved swimming at the lake.

She also loves strutting around mostly nakey--another trait she picked up from her father.

Aww. Look at us having so much fun.

If you have a small child and haven't hit up any garage sales, I'm telling you, you are missing out. Got this bike for Norah for $5. Five dollars, people! This is a major benefit of living where people have so many kids...eventually they're not gonna need their kid stuff anymore and then I'm there to buy all their books for a quarter. Don't judge me; it's a special sort of thrill.

And BTW: Norah is a fabulous weirdo. She always trying to look at me in a strange different way.

Also, Nic and I celebrated our sixth anniversary in September. We took the weekend to ourselves in Park City and Norah had her first sleepover with Grandma Wendy. Totally weird to be sans baby. Totally awesome to eat sushi, go to a movie, and sleep until 9:30. I only got one picture. We're riding the tram at Park City resort to go down the zip line.

Other adventures included a Jeep outing. We stayed close to home and discovered that Norah is still an awesome Jeeping baby.

Her dad's hobbies are very exhausting though.

We took Norah to Thanksgiving Point and I managed to get some pictures of her looking like she's enjoying herself. The reality was that most of our time was spent carrying her around trying to convince her that we were having fun.

Notice how Nic is on crutches? That's because he had surgery to repair a torn ligament and remove two bone spurs from his ankle in the middle of September. I agree with him in saying it was the worst surgery ever! He's still hobbling around and I may or may not still be a little bitter about being the only person in our home who can be trusted to climb stairs.

He did have a hard cast for a few weeks; it came off when he was alone at the shop after work at 4 a.m. and got water on it in the shower. I say it came off, but what I mean is he removed it himself with who knows what kind of tool was lying around. He's also been working a lot and can't be held totally responsible for his actions.

Remember how Norah is a fantastic weirdo? She totally is. And I can't get enough of it.

Kudos to you if you're not my mom and you managed to make it this far. I can't promise this won't happen again, but I can promise that Norah has an excellent Halloween costume, which will definitely be worthy of an update.