Thursday, September 22, 2011

I'm 4! No Pokes!

There are times when I sincerely wonder "WHO TOLD YOU THAT?!?" when I talk to my kid.

I like to joke about blaming the schools, but this time I think I blame her grandma. Or maybe her father.

But it wasn't me.

Nora has all her immunizations.

I just wanted to make sure she was up to date, but Nora informed me "I don't have any pokes today, Mom!"

How do you tell your kid you might get a shot today?

You say "Well, we'll see..."

And then your kid says "NO pokes today Mom!" with greater authority...

And then you launch into a story about immunizations and why they're important. Then you think about the CDC and why immunizations ARE important. And about all your friends that may or may not feel about it like you do, and how it's even become a political topic, and how your nursing training so far has done nothing but show that the benefits outweigh the risks A Bazillion:1, but you're being trained to support the decisions of whatever parent you come into contact with who decides otherwise for their child.

So yeah.

No pokes today.

Miss Nora came in at 43 inches tall. 36.5 lbs. That's the 97th percentile for height and 63rd for weight.

And she took her first eye test.

And she sees (and is as tall as) a 5-year-old.

And she got to tell her doctor "I'm FOUR!"

My little string bean is four.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Our Girl is FOUR!

Miss Nora is four years old today! I LOVE this picture because my Mom (aka Bestema) called right before 9 a.m. (Nora was born at 9) and sang Happy Birthday into the phone.

This was Miss Nora's expression as she listened!

We took her to the zoo today -- it was pretty wet out there, but we had fun anyway. I could see my breath today -- it was that cold at 11 a.m., and then it's supposed to be 85 on Tuesday! Weird!
Anyway, Nora told every zoo employee she came in contact with (the ticket seller, the ticket taker, the lunch ordering guy, the gal who brought our lunch, and the info booth volunteer) that it was her Birthday and she is FOUR!
It really is fabulous being four, and it's just as fabulous if not moreso -- watching her BE four.

When we got home we opened a few presents -- her Auntie Laura in Denver sent a couple of great Amelia Bedlia books (both have been read already), and we gave her a couple of little presents -- an Abby Cadabby plush doll and a Muppet Movie (she loves musicals).
Later this next weekend, we're having a family party in Seattle for Miss Nora's grandparents, aunts and uncles to gather, but we also had a little thing at her school that was a big hit.

Turns out if you show up at a preschool with pizza, cupcakes, balloons and funny hats, you are The Best Parents Ever.
Yesterday we gave her her bicycle (since we had rain in the forecast today) and she was thrilled to have a Buzz Lightyear bicycle -- and rode around and around with Daddy not far behind!

A few turns around the block and she asked Daddy "When can I ride my bike to school?"

Uh, in about 10 years.

Or whenever Mom dies.

Whichever comes first.

OK, I will live and let her go sooner. Just not for a while...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 In Oregon - The 10-Year Memorial

This week has been a long one. That kind of thing that just sort of hangs out there...waiting to be given its due attention, but one you want to avoid.

Like any anniversary of something sad, for me anyway, I find myself wondering why I might be a little sadder than usual, or why I avoid a spot on the calendar. For me, the entire month of June is often lost in me wondering why I feel a little down...then July 7, the date my son Jacob was stillborn, rolls right around with the fireworks that come with it the week before, and with the flash bang of an M-80, it all comes back to me.

It's just that realization of "Oh. Yeah."

I've been pretty fastidious about avoiding another viewing of the Trade Center's plane crashes and subsequent toppling from 9/11/01. I honestly can see it so clearly in my head, I have absolutely no need to see it on television.

Ever again.

But then today came. And my friend Jenny was in labor and had her twins today, and 9/11 got saved from its depressing date to a happy one, and I found myself suddenly willing and able, in the light and happiness of new life today -- to be able to go and walk among the thousands of flags flying in Riverfront Park in Salem, Oregon.

I knew no one personally who died on 9/11, at least not that I know of.

I had several friends and family of friends who died that day. One of them was Fred Cox, my friend Kristen's friend from Arizona, who had recently moved to New York and talked his way into a job in Tower 2 at the World Trade Center.

I blogged about Fred 5 years ago as part of the anniversary of 9/11 project 5 years into it, and interviewed many friends and loved ones of Fred. So today I went looking for his name, and there it was.

It's funny how you don't know someone personally, but in some small but profound way you think of them here and there. His mantra of "Do what you love, love what you do" has stuck with me over the past few years as I've recreated a new career for myself in nursing.

I almost missed the flag pavillion that was put up in the park just due to my wanting to avoid 9/11 up til today. But as I returned home from dinner with a friend in McMinnville, I was on the bridge into Salem, and the bright lights made me move a lane over and head into the park, which had several people still milling about.

These flags are MUCH taller than they appear -- maybe 7 or 8 feet in height -- and you can easily walk among them. They stretch for many many acres of the large city park, and just getting to it and getting the feel for all the names, all the lives they represent, and then you start thinking of all the lives impacted by their death and if you can't at least get a lump in your throat and a tear in your eye, I'd question your humanity.

I saw in there several memorials left by previous visitors, including this picture and a simple "Uncle Paul". Others were more ornate, with a small poem or a batch of flowers.

I search for some meaning in what happened 10 years ago. I look at the toll it's taken on our country, both financially and emotionally, and I won't even "go there" about the political part.

The amazing thing that I took away from today though, has been a bit of watching news snippets of the acts of individual bravery -- of a woman who ran TO the WTC and started hauling people out of the buildings. Of all the stories of people reaching out to each other, whether they were homeless people or first responders.

I hope everyone takes a minute to recognize just how precious and short life can end up being, and take the time to love their families especially, but to reach out to those who need it and give that little bit more.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Day I Became A Duck

My sister-in-law Julie has season tickets to the Oregon Ducks, since she couldn't make it, and she knew I'm about to head back into a busy school year, she gave me the tickets.

We tried to find a sitter, but we couldn't...then Nora was all sick last night so it was just as well that Brian stay home with Miss Nora...and I took my friend Stephanie from school instead.

We had a perfect timing in getting out of town, navigating crazy traffic to Eugene, and then getting through park-n-ride stuff to the stadium itself.

It was super hot (upper 90s) and we had a top of the endzone view of the stadium. What was nice is a VERY good breeze kept blowing, and I took the water fan with me, and we just chug-a-lugged Gatorade and water to stay cool.

The best part was a 69-20 win over Nevada. Nothing makes you bond with those around you like high-fiving more and more people around you as the game goes on!

I went to the University of Washington for my Bachelor's Degree...and it was funny to go to Oregon, even though my Dad was a Duck. The guys behind me were talking about the Pac 10 (now Pac12 as of this year) and I mentioned being from Washington, and he said "Well, thanks for wearing green!"

No problem.

Don't get me wrong. I won't be rooting for the Ducks over Washington...but I did thoroughly enjoy my day in Eugene and seeing the excitement of a large crowd, and being part of a great game!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Old Things That Hang Around

We have made so many trips to the zoo in the past few years with Miss Nora, that I just noticed that I still have the "zoo list" that has been posted on a kitchen cabinet for a long time!

It still has "dipes/wipes" as something to take with us.

It's funny how now that she's completely potty trained, we can leave the house with nothing at all but maybe a beverage or perhaps a small pack of wipes in case we want the convenience of an easy cleanup.

How fast it goes!

Friday, September 02, 2011

My Girl Nora The Explorer

Last night we went over to my brother's house to have a dinner with my niece Hannah who's headed off to college in Chicago...

My Mom went and got Nora early in the afternoon, and she spent some time at their house before we came over for dinner.

During dinner, Hannah told us that while she was Skyping with her boyfriend Rudy in Guatemala, that Nora and her were on the webcam together, so she said to say "Ola", and Nora says "I SPEAK SPANISH!" and then proceeds to say "FELIZ COMPLEANOS!"
Then today, we went to the Science Factory in Eugene, and we met a family with a little girl who speaks both English and Spanish. I sat on the bench with her Dad, who is also bilingual, and we started talking about our kids. He's also an older Dad, and it was just a hoot to hear Nora and the little girl talk to each other. Nora said "OLA! I SPEAK SPANISH!" Fortunately for everyone, the little 6-year-old said "HI! I SPEAK ENGLISH!"

It was absolutely a bilingual laugh riot.


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