Monday, March 30, 2009

Na Na Na...The Girl Gets "NO"

So yesterday after driving all morning, Nora fell asleep around Vancouver, Washington and we kept driving on through towards home.

My mom met us at our house to get a few hours with Nora. After unloading the car and getting most of our stuff put away, we settled in for a little lunch and rest. Brian had already emptied a can of Diet Coke, and it was on the coffee table.

Nora, of course, decides to go for it. Now we've said "No" to her plenty of times, but this time I said "No" and she stopped reaching for it for a few seconds, then did it again, this time saying "Na na na" to herself (without actually touching it!).

She did it a couple more times before we just moved the can out of the way.

Then this morning, she did it again. She reached for something she knows is a no-no and said the same thing.

She gets it!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

She Understands...

We spent the past week at Oma and Opa's house up in Mount Vernon, and on Saturday morning, we went to Uncle Jeremy and Aunt Stephanie's house up in Bellingham for brunch and a few hours to try and terrorize them into realizing how cute kids are, and don't they want to get one of their own??? LOL

OK, no pressure...
But in the midst of all Nora's pathological cuteness, she was sitting on the floor after playing ball with Aunt Stephanie, and Aunt Stephanie tossed the ball in her direction, and Nora watched it come to her, seemingly from the sky.

Aunt Stephanie joked: "That's where balls come from -- the sky," not thinking that Nora would really get it. But all of the sudden, Nora looked skyward with a VERY quizzical look on her face.

She got it.
We had a fun brunch and lots of play time. Jeremy has some African spears on his walls and we joked about how childproofed the place was, you know, considering the pointy spears at child's eye-level and all. :)

Nora had a blast with both of them, and knows them by name and sight now. Thank you Jer and Steph!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Rough Start, But a Big Fat Thanks and Some Awesome Pictures...

Yesterday afternoon Nora and I headed over to my friend Kim's house for lunch, who lives just BLOCKS from the zoo on Seattle's Phinney Ridge.

It was wonderful to catch up with her and see her kids and husband Pat. I knew both of them in college, went to their wedding, and wow, was it cool to see both her kids, and let Nora terrorize the house. We didn't break ANYTHING! Although Nora did manage to spill or spread as much stuff around as possible to remind them of the joy of their older kids. Their daughter Cathy showed Nora her Barbie dolls, and they played with balls and found lots of fun stuffed animals upstairs.

We drove up to see Oma and Opa after that, with Nora just barely squeezing in a 20 minute nap on the way.

She needed the sleep too, since earlier in the day, we had had a rough start.

Well, for starters, it began around 5 a.m. when Nora woke up, and the next hour of me saying a gentle "shhhhhhhhhhh" trying to get her to sleep for at LEAST another hour.

Then it was a hellacious morning of her suddenly deciding that MOMMY WAS THE ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD, and EVERYONE ELSE CAN JUST STEP OFF.

You know, that time when if you leave the sight of their little eyeballs, the melt down into a complete and total screaming panic?

Yeah, that was my morning pre-coffee, from about 7:15-8:21 a.m., when I finally looked at the car clock and we were on the road to Seattle.

(A special THANKS to cousins Erik, her 13-year-old cousin who gave up his room this weekend AND saved the morning with diaper garbage bag delivery and putting up with Nora...then John Michael, her nearly 18-year-old cousin who COMPLETELY pitched in and handled Nora, despite her complete freak-out while I loaded the car!).

So, my 8:21 a.m. departure meant that we had PLENTY of time to stop in to Starbucks (thank you to the gods who invented Drive-Thrus...), and then Nora and I headed up to Seattle, swinging into the Woodland Park Zoo.

Woodland Park Zoo is a fabulous zoo, probably at least in the top 10 in the country. I hadn't been there in 10 years or more, and wow, have there been changes!

I didn't see a LOT of the zoo, but we did the loop down by the lions and elephants. A lot of stuff has been filled in, and near the African Savanna look-out which used to be a "Outback" part of the zoo (so far South and East that not a lot of people even made it that far) there was a beautiful peacock sitting right at the gold star with the dedication from radio station KZOK (102.5) for Jimi Hendrix, a Seattle native.

Nora and I then went and had a bite to eat at the Rainforest Cafe, then headed into the Zoonasium I think it's called...it's a little indoor park for kids, VERY perfect for the toddler-5-year-old set who live in the soggy Northwest and need a place to get their little yah yah's out and still be at the zoo.

I've Seen The Bells, Says Nora...But I REALLY Love Opa!

Nora and I got up to Mount Vernon to see her grandparents for a couple of days, and after a long ride in the car, I thought her Oma might be pushing her luck a bit to get Nora back in the car today to go up for Opa's bell choir rehearsal.

...And she wasn't all together thrilled to get into the car, but I handed her a new book from Oma, and that kept her attention for the short ride up there.


She ran down the aisle at church and immediately locked in on the fact that her OPA, who was JUST EATING DINNER with her what seemed like 5 minutes ago, was now at the front of the church directing all these people!

She went right up and stared up at him with her big smile, and thoroughly enjoyed about 10 minutes of all the action before climbing under the tables and causing enough of an interruption that we had to go!

A Seattle Day

Saturday afternoon Nora and I drove up to Gig Harbor to spend the weekend with her Aunt Jill, Uncle John and cousins Erik and John Michael...

So Sunday morning, we all got up to some rather lousy weather, and we headed up to Seattle to spend a little time with Nora at the Children's Museum inside the Seattle Center.

We spent an incredible amount of time with three adults and 2 teenagers following Nora around the children's museum, where There Is So Much To Do...


At one point I really thought she might go completely berserk from all the excitement!

There was a Curious George special display, which meant Nora had ALL sorts of time mimicking the sounds of a monkey...

...And true to Northwest style there was a nice little "trail" complete with logs to climb through, which ended with a really nice little fake campsite.

Truly, a fun day in Seattle on my birthday!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A is for Anatomy

I feel the need to document this little moment in history with a big old shout out:

I GOT AN A!!

Two of them actually (one for my Computer Science class, another for my Anatomy & Physiology class), but the A&P class I worked twice, maybe three times as hard for.

A&P is a 3-quarter series of classes I have to take before I can even APPLY to the nursing program early next year.

You don't get an A, you don't get in. It's really that simple.

The first time I saw the 10-pound, $200 book, I thought my mind would melt from the shear volume of stuff I had to memorize.

I'm one-third of the way through now, and I just saw online that my prof entered my final grade for the class, and it's an A.

YEAH.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Cute Picture of The Day

Nora and I went over to Jeff & Judy's house to see Bestema and her cousin Mike today...and we saw the rest of the family too!

It was one of those days when Nora slept late into the afternoon, and she woke up and got tossed into the carseat, and basically "came to" with an Elmo DVD playing and her juice about half gone, halfway to Bestema's house.

Once there, we saw Bestema and her cousin Mike, who just flew in from Florida. Mom and Mike haven't seen each other since they were LITTLE kids, and it was fun to meet her! She is the daughter of a great-aunt of mine I never met on my grandpa's side of the family.

Nora had a blast at their house as always. She's getting old enough to understand when I say "we're going to see Bestema" who that is, and doesn't fuss in the car at all anymore.

At about 6 p.m., after we'd been there a couple of hours, Nora's Aunt Judy came home from work. Nora remembers Aunt Judy whenever she sees her, and went right to her, whereas with pretty much everyone else she takes a minute to get the idea of who they are in her head again.

It was so cute how snuggly she was with Judy today! Judy even asked if she might be sick, LOL. Well, Nora'd been running around for quite a while, and was feeling pretty cuddly, and she just sat with Judy for the longest time.

Thanks for dinner! And sorry about breaking something again... ;)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

It's Raining, It's Pouring, It's Play-Doh Day

It was pouring buckets this morning, and doesn't look like it's going to end until mid-July, so the Play-Doh came out today!

Daddy showed Nora how to use the factory thing that pushes out Play-Doh in all sorts of shapes...

And of course, she had to TASTE it, SEVERAL times, despite our telling her not to...


But all in all, it was really fun, and by the end of the fun, she did stop eating it and just played with it, but tomorrow's diaper changes should be colorful (someone remind me to warn the babysitter when she comes tomorrow! LOL)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Multiple Choice Photo

a) I can't believe I am running a 100.7 fever ON Tylenol and my mother has gotten me to hold still for a photo.

b) I can't believe my Daddy decided that while I am running a 100.7* fever ON Tylenol that tonight was a good night to be trying on all the shoes I own, while my socks are hiked up to the point of making me look like I wear knickers.

c) My mom is CLEARLY a product of the '80s (and her friends too, for that matter) if they think Vans are cool and that I should be wearing them.

d) All of the above

Thank you Patti for the VANS! Despite Nora's appearance in this photo, she tromped around the house looking quite pleased with her new shoes, once she got past staring at the checkerboard pattern and running into things!

The Duck Inn, Muchas Gracias

So this weekend, before Nora started running a raging 103.5* fever on Saturday night, Brian and I took her to a couple of places to feed some ducks.

This being the capitol city of Oregon we have a couple of fine places to go, one is the old Duck Inn, where my Grandma Peterson used to take us for ice cream, and of course, the State Prison.

First, we started at The Duck Inn.

But first let me tell you how weird it is to live in the town my Grandma did for 60 years of her life, and all of mine...well, until she died a few years ago...

Grandma always drove (albeit badly...she was one of thos "all gas/all brake" kinda drivers). And as I find myself stringing together paths from my house to one store or entertainment or other, I find myself crossing paths with places like The Duck Inn on State Street.

Now granted, it wasn't a "Muchas Gracias" restaurant when I was a kid. But I'll tell you, their food is good Mexican food, so instead of greasy fries, you can now have a very good burrito instead.

When we arrived at the Duck Inn/Muchas Gracias, it was neat to drive up and see the waterfall, and of course the sign saying "keep out" with the run-over fence where obviously a bunch of lawbreakers still cross over to feed the ducks. Well, the Mallard pair that showed up anyway.

Nora was pretty thrilled to see real ducks up close, since the only ones she's seen so far are at the zoo and behind a fence. We threw them both quite a bit of bread, and when no one else showed up, we decided to move on to the other popular place in Salem to feed ducks:

Mill Creek, which runs just outside the jail/prison.

We arrived to find the geese outnumbered the ducks about 5:1, and the seagulls outnumbered the geese about 10:1, so really it wasn't much of a duck/geese feeding at all.

And of course, when we gave Nora a nice toasted crumb of dried bread, her first instinct wasn't to throw it to anyone, but to feed herself.

She had SO much fun, in fact, that she SCREAMED as we tried to get her in the car, and acted as if we were KILLING HER by trying to take her away from the ducks/geese/seagull dropping heaven she was just enjoying.

So I took this picture, just so all of you who say "she's such a happy baby" can realize that yes, she's happy, but ONLY when things are going her way.

And when you take her away from her friends, she is NOT happy!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Cute Picture of The Day

So today, I decided to run the shredder and get rid of the pile of old documents that we'd decided were old enough to destroy.

Nora at first was scared of the shredder, but of course when she saw what was coming OUT of the noisy machine, she decided it was play time!

What a mess...but so much fun to see her play with it.

I'm starting to secretly call her "Miss Magellan" -- she's quite the little explorer.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

She's Got a Herd

Oma and Opa sent Nora a very special gift today!

Since word got out that Nora loves elephants, we have been working on getting a herd started here.

First, Bestema brought her a plush elephant (the medium sized one in the picture) about a month ago.

Then Aunt Jill and Erik and Bestema went to the zoo with her, and of course they had to pick up a little elephant trinket there too.

Today I stacked them all up so Nora could play with them, and she loves them all.

I think Nora's got her elephant herd now. Any more or anything bigger and we'll probably need a permit from the city!

Thank you Oma and Opa!

Monday, March 02, 2009

My Parents Are CRAZY!

I'm pretty sure Nora thinks we're a little insane.

And that's ok, because really, she just needs to get used to the idea, because we aren't changing.

But this morning, we got up and while Brian was loading up the car with our picnic lunch, I said to Nora "Daddy's got the day off. Want to go to the zoo?"

Nora doesn't say yes yet.

But she immediate let loose with three distinct animal sounds all in a row: That of the elephant, monkeys AND lions.


This girl knew where she was going!

We have been to the zoo a lot lately, but we haven't been able to get inside to see the baby, who was born last summer, for a few months now.

Samudra, a baby boy elephant, has been behind closed doors "in training" during the weekends with the heaviest zoo traffic.

But today was Monday, and we had the first parking spot outside the zoo, and only a few dozen people were in there by noon.

So the zoo people let us in to see Samudra and his Mommy, and Nora just loved it!


Today was much warmer than Friday, so we didn't need mittens, or nearly as many stops indoors to warm up.

Instead, there were quite a few kids at the play area with the various animal sculptures, and Nora ran from one to another and another -- almost in circles, often trying to make eye contact with the marble and granit statues, and saying "hi" to some too.


She's the same way with live animals -- as we headed into the petting zoo near the zebras. There's a little pigmy goat area, which is almost always closed during the winter, but this morning we asked if Nora could go in and they let her and a couple other kids join in.

She gets right down to the goats, and will look them right in the eyes. No fear, just "Hi!"

We're still working on what goats say), and she just doesn't understand that everything with eyes doesn't necessarily talk back.

After lunch we went to Lorikeet Landing so Brian could get his bird fix in.

One neat thing we found out today too is that the new lions are at the Zoo, and "introduction" sessions are about to begin. Through the zoo breeding programs, they're going to be making a brand new pride of lions with young lions from other zoos, and the construction on the zoo area for the new big cats section will be done by this fall.

Soon, the roar in the zoo will be real!

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