Friday, February 27, 2009

Another Zoo Day. Can You Stand It?

Yeah, we couldn't stand it.

We went to the zoo again this weekend!

After Brian was gone so much last fall, we feel like we have to make up for lost time I guess. And the zoo for Nora is the Happiest Place On Earth.

I don't think she could believe her luck this morning when she woke up to find Daddy at home (she went to bed last night without seeing him), AND the house was looking like extra clothes, blankets, the stroller and a picnic lunch were about to be loaded into the car.

I mean sure, we woke up to freezing fog, and even in the drive out of town (we live just an hour out of Portland) we figured we'd be heading for OMSI or the Children's museum near the zoo.

But instead, the clouds parted, the sun was out, and with Brian driving, I stuck my fingers outside the windows of the car and pronounced it warm enough to drop everything and go to the zoo.

Well, it turned out to be a pretty chilly day, but fortunately the Oregon Zoo is prepared for that, with lots of indoor exhibits for us to see things and warm up fingers and toes.

We got to see the elephants of course. And at one point Nora started making Zebra noises at the Hippopotomus exhibit, and we realized "She realizes what's next!"

She loves to run around as much as she wants, and of course gets to that point where she doesn't want to do ANYTHING except run around!

We DID at least FINALLY get her to wear her hat -- pretty much without fail.
We went inside at the Africafe' to warm up at one point, and Brian and I got an extra cup of coffee in.

And Brian's pretty much decided he'd like to blow his entire salary on feeding the Lorikeets at Lorikeet Landing (where you can buy little paper cups with nectar for the birds, and they come to your hand and drink out of them).

She can now mimic the sounds of pretty much any animal that makes noise, from chimpanzees, wolves, bears, snakes, lions, and of course, elephants, just to name a few.

Finally, it was time to head home.

It was pretty cold out there, so both Nora and I fell asleep in the car on the way home, leaving Brian to drive.

Ode To The Dead Stove

I won't miss you Dead Stove.

No I will not.

Your elements nearly burst into flames

Whenever I tried to turn you down.

Your oven door never really closed

Leaving the light on.

You sucked Old Stove.

So You, along with a number of other household appliances

Have been replaced.

The new stove is not only wonderful



Ceramic cooktop too.

(Not to mention)

Fully functional


The very first time I turned it on

I cracked an egg to fry it

And a double yolk came out.

I think that has to mean good luck.

Goodbye, sucky old stove.

Hello New Stove by Frigidaire!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Phone Pix

This morning we woke up to a light blanket of snow!

I told Nora "It snowed, Nora! WEATHER!" She has an Elmo DVD about weather, she knew exactly what I was saying. She immediately went to the window and looked out!
The other day, she fell asleep at her high chair during lunch. It was Saturday, and Daddy had run her RAGGED all morning while I went out to study. It was the first time I've ever seen her fall asleep sitting up. It was hilarious!

Of course when we went to move her, she was NOT willing to nap right away, but hey, we got a cute picture.
Yesterday Brian accidentally went to work without his trusty hat. I think I got this thing at a Rite Aid in Denver several years ago when he had lost a nice hat from REI and they didn't have the same ones available. He wanted a fleece inside/wool outside hat.

Nora's Hat Thing is kind of funny. On one hand, she wants to wear the hat, but then she wants to see it, so she takes it off. Then she gets mad because she can't put it back on herself!

In this picture I rolled it up quite a bit to get it not to cover her whole little head. And I love how it pushes her ears out!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Zoo Pics

A Perfect Day With A Perfect Picture (or 2)

We went to the zoo yesterday, and it was just the start of a perfect day together.

Brian and I got Nora ready to roll and we were at the zoo by 9:45, and the sun came out so quickly it warmed up nicely.

We would have been there earlier if we hadn't flung off into downtown Portland, realized we'd lost our map and then Brian was unresponsive to my demands that he tell me where to drive! :)

Anyway, we saw the classics, and Nora learned how to imitate new animal sounds, like the wolf.

And we ate our picnic lunch down in the Africafe', enjoying the overlook to the bird sanctuary there.

Then as we headed up, we went to the Lorikeet Landing where you can buy nectar for the birds and they fly right up to your hands and drink from the cups. Brian did a fantasic job of juggling Nora in one arm and handling 3 birds landing on him all at once.

Later we got back home, and hung out for a while until Bestema came over and babysat Nora for a few hours while we went to a theater in town that was still playing "Australia".

Believe me, if you want to see a true classic in the making, watch this movie. Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman star in it, along with a great cast of characters. It's just a really beautiful movie, with a wonderful story.

It was our first "date" in so long we couldn't remember the last time we went out by ourselves, and the theater served drinks and dinner, so you could eat popcorn, or go early and have dinner...It was so neat!

I'll publish some more zoo pictures later...I just got the ones from Brian from their trip last weekend with Bestema, Aunt Jill and cousin Erik.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Cute Picture of The Day

Nora's cousin Erik is visiting this weekend, and between Mom, Teri, Jill and pretty much anyone else in the family who feeds Nora's need to play with/be/read about elephants, Erik was willing to get down on the floor, wear the silly Elephant hat, and play with Nora in the last moments of the night.

She just LOVES her cousin, and LOVES elephants!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I Think I Can...I Think I Can...I Think I Can...

Some familiy member who might remain nameless (JEFF) decided to teach Nora to come down the stairs at the family house at Christmas time...and at some point she also discovered that there are a LOT of stairs in life, and she must climb them.

But I'll tell you, as much as I worry about her falling down stairs, there's nothing quite like watching your kid's VERY determined look as they climb the stairs, and the victory at the top when they realize there are no more to climb...for now.

Hat Girl

Our friend Laura Berens from Denver gave Nora this hat after visiting The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago this past year.

The very week she sent it last year was the week Nora decided she really didn't like hats.

I thought that's too bad...but we'll keep it around as a toy and see if she changes her mind.

All winter, we haven't been able to get Nora to even keep a hood from her jacket on her head, no matter how cold it was. She's at that age that she doesn't understand that hats and blankets are good to keep warm in, not to toss off or use as toys.

Until last week.

I got a new Elmo video of "Jackets, Hats and Boots", and Elmo explained how you wear jackets, hats and boots outside...and of course, she decided that what Elmo says is gospel, even if it is exactly what Mommy and Daddy have been saying since we stopped saying "Blah blah blah Nora," and started using real words...

So now the Shedd Aquarium hat is a favorite. So much so that I do NOT take it out of the house for fear that I'll lose it. It's kinda like that one bear she's latched onto, and the Animal Book that she loves.

Here's a video of her hanging out with her hat in the crib in the morning too...

Talking Through The Tupperware...

Sunday, February 08, 2009

This Elephant Brought To You By Teri

You don't realize how many elephant images there are in your day-to-day existence until your kid makes the "ARUUUUUUUUUUGA" noise that she thinks elephants make every time she sees one.

We were at the store the other day and Nora raised her arm and started to make her elephant noise before I could figure out that somewhere in a poster on a wall across the room, there was an elephant in the imagery, and she wasn't missing the opportunity to tell me so.

Nora's obsession with elephants was further fed by my friend Teri, who sent her an Elephant HAT, which of course is marked with a "ages 6 and up" so she warned me that while she wasn't sending Nora a set of Ginsu knives, she was sending her something a little out of her age range.

Nora saw the thing and immediately launched into her elephant imitation.

And of course any chance to play elephants is a good one...

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Zoo Day!

Cute Picture Of The Day ("The Money Shot")

There's a full slideshow of the zoo pictures today, but I can't help but repost this one.

A full size orangutan came over, and looked at Nora through the glass.

Sure, maybe he was thinking "She'd make a fine lunch", but I told Brian after I took this picture "We can go now...I have my picture of the day."

You Hear Everything But "Shush" At This Library!

Nora is a bookworm.

And I'm not bragging like "I turn the TV off and make her read" because I don't.

She watches Sesame Street and is pathological about Elmo, so I won't pretend she isn't a little kid who loves her tube either, despite all the dire warnings of letting kids watch TV.

But this is about her thing with the library.

When I lived in Seattle, I always went to neighborhood libraries, often some small branch library with a few books in it.

But when we moved to Denver, they had a brand new, state-of-the-art Central Library that won national architecture awards, and had such an amazing set-up that I would often walk there from work to spend my lunches napping in their Adirondack chairs in the children's department long before I had children.

So here we are in a smallish (150,000 population) town with a 1970s library, and a baby who loves to read.

I take her to the library now, not just because of the wide choice of books that we can take out, but because they have a BUNCH of places for kids to play, and not ONE of them will EVER tell a child to "Shhhhhhhh".

The children's area has "horse" seats where Nora now points and says "pbbbbb" (her sound for horses), a stage area where she can practice her stairs, and puppets to play with.

There's a "discovery room" where she can learn about Oregon past and present, including a teepee for learning about the native culture, and a stuffed, nearly life-size cow for learning about its dairy industry.

They even have children's hours with story telling, dancing, singing and as Nora grows, she participates more and more.

This isn't your mommy's library!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Nora's Crib

Friendly animals from the stuffed variety (Odette's lions are a favorite) and the ones printed on her sheets. Nora shows them all off, and if they make noise, she'll imitate them!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Cute Picture Of The Day

Yesterday afternoon I put down the books and computer after Nora's nap, and as soon as she got up, we went to The Gilbert House.

It's a children's museum that has lots of interactive stuff, including a Toddler's Room where everything's padded and down low where the littles can get to it.

I caught this one of Nora as she looked at herself in the mirror.

One new thing she did yesterday was try to put a puzzle together! She didn't have a clue what she was doing, but she's usually tearing things apart, and for the first time realized she could be putting something together!

One more little milestone...I am dreaming of the day she will put her books BACK on the shelf instead of just pull them out on the floor!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Nora's Chair

Brian pulled this toddler chair out of the garage this weekend and finally glued the seat to the chair (it was loose when we bought it) and after the glue dried, I put it in the family room, where Nora promptly sat in it to watch a video of Elmo and Sesame Street.

I can't remember where we bought this chair, but I can tell you I got it along with a stroller and some other items when I was right around 12 weeks of our very first pregnancy way back in 2002.

Just a week after we bought those two big things (the chair and the stroller), we went to a doctor's appointment where we found out that I had miscarried.

We went on a roller coaster ride over the next few years trying to get and stay pregnant, and after my third miscarriage, I gave away the box full of baby stuff I had acquired in the few times I was out and about, optimistic that that pregnancy would stick, then it wouldn't and the box would go back to the basement.

When I was pregnant with Jacob, I refused to get anything for the baby until I "knew" things were ok, and of course we never got that full assurance.

But that multi-colored chair survived my many purges, and just hung on a nail in the storage area with the camping equipment and spiders.

So yesterday when Nora sat down in the chair, it was just one of those moments where I was so glad I held onto that one thing from our very first pregnancy, and smiled in the moment of realizing that I could never have dreamed what hardship we would go through to get there. I imagined how many of the others could have sat there, sure.

But there was OUR daughter in HER chair, watching her friend Elmo.

And it was a really good moment.


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