"So throw away those Lamentations,
We both know them all too well.
If there's a Book of Jubilations,
We'll have to write it for ourselves.."

-Josh Ritter

Friday, November 28, 2008

You know what I'm thankful for?

Having this kind of joy in my life:

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Raised by wolves

I took out my camera tonight, because Nora was snuggling so nice with her grandpa. Of course, as soon as I was ready, she bolted. Instead, she made herself comfortable on The Most Tolerant Dog on the Planet. Should I be concerned that my tiny, soft, defenseless child is being sniffed by a 200-pound carnivore?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Toddler Logic

When Daddy is reading you Curious George, what do you need?
1. Monkey- of course.
2. Sleeper advertising a microbrewery
3. Mittens

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Snowy days

It's getting chilly here in central PA. We had our first snow that stuck yesterday. In fact, it has at least flurried everyday this week and the snow that stuck has stuck around and was joined by another inch today.

Nora thinks that this is the coolest invention ever. (And by corollary, probably invented by Daddy.) I have been continually serenaded with a repeating chorus of "Mo' 'now? Mo' 'now? Mo' 'now peassssse? Moooo!" That last bit is usually only when we're passing the farm down the road, but it's still funny to me.

Nora was not always entranced with snow, however. I chronicled her first reactions to the white stuff. She did warm up, but her initial take on it is priceless. I feel like I should do a dramatic, single-person, slow-motion standing ovation for her dramatic performance of "Abused Waif in the Cold." Seriously, kid. Replace that pink synthetic jacket for a torn shawl and a woolen babushka and you should be wandering the streets of 1930s Glasgow.

See? She did start enjoying herself eventually. And has discovered that snow means hats. And mittens. Just more reasons to love snow.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I didn't realize...

...That complementary entertainment came with this breakfast.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Third- and Fourth-guessing

Do you ever second-guess your parenting skills? Because I do. All the time. I'm incapable of deciding whether it was appropriate to let Nora play in the rain, or if that time-out was called for, or if it was too long, or if I should have put a heavier coat on her. And are people judging me as a mother for not putting a hat on my baby? (Answer: Almost certainly. But those people are generally the ones that I am secretly picturing taking a long stroll off a short pier.)

Here's a good example. In my last post, I talked about taking Nora to her well child check up. Things went fine. The post itself is a study in parental anxiety and doubt, but things went fine. After I posted that, something was nagging at me and I couldn't quite shake it off.

Nora is a normal normal normal kid. She is developing well and is a good size . Fiftieth percentile for height and seventy-fifth for weight- in other words, pretty average for a twenty-one month old. I was still dressing her in 18 month clothes. And not just one brand or style. We've barely bought any 24 month clothes. Why bother when these are fitting just fine?

But were these clothes fitting fine? What if some weird hang up in my own mind had me squeezing my child into jeans that were uncomfortably tight and she simply hadn't developed the language skills to say, "Excuse me, Mother, but I feel that these dungarees are a tad close in the waist. In fact, I have trouble breathing and playing at the same time after lunch most days."

Nora's crabby? It's obviously because her diapers were too tight and her mother was too self-absorbed to notice. Not eating dinner? It's due to her shirt dangerously constricting her jejunum. Pants hard to deal with during a diaper change? Pajamas amok in the morning? Socks fell off?

So I informed Eric that if we didn't want Children and Youth Services after us, we were going to have to make a trip to the outlets. To his everlasting credit, he only rolled his eyes once and barely sniggered at all. And he chased Nora around Carter's while I grabbed jeans in a size that was obviously more age-appropriate, flattering and ergonomically correct.

I felt so much better. I put those jeans on Nora this morning knowing that I am a good mother who bought those pants for all the right reasons. They were easy to pull on. They didn't strain to button. Nora talked excitedly about the flowers embroidered so fetchingly on the waistband. I set her down to run off and play, knowing that she would be comfortable and happy.

And the jeans fell off.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The story of our day

So, today was the beginning of my four-day weekend that comes after a ten day work week. As usual, I worked for a good chunk of the morning, then ran errands. Then, we had an appointment for Nora's [cough] 18-month well child check at one o'clock. Yes, Nora is in fact 21 months old. You may put this in my permanent record.

So, when I scheduled this, I thought that 1:00 would be a great time to do a doctor's appointment. Knowing intimately how a doctor's office operates, I figured that we would wait for less time if we had the first appointment of the afternoon. Always a good thing with a toddler, right? Last night, I realized my miscalculation. Nora's typical afternoon involves a delicious and nutritious lunch, then a 45 minute blatant refusal to nap before finally crashing on her mat at approximately...12:45.

I was taking a ticking time bomb into a public place.

Where strangers were going to interact with her.

Then, give her shots.

Oh, God.

In a panic, I packed, well, everything in the diaper bag. I had three different snacks, milk, four books, the monkey, crayons, paper, diapers. I got a bad case of torticollis carrying that bag, but we could have survived nuclear winter if you had thrown in some gas masks and a lead suit.

So, of course, because I was prepared, Nora fell right to sleep and had gotten a solid hour nap when I arrived. I woke up a sweet, agreeable child who was more than happy to go meet some delightful new folks over at the clinic. We waited just long enough in the waiting room for Nora to charm the pants off an elderly man in a wheelchair. (To be fair, he was pre-charmed. He was demented and his first wife's name had been Nora.)

Nora thought the scale was new fun kind of ride, but that having her height or temperature taken was somewhat suspect. The nurse kindly checked Baby's temperature first. Sheer genius. By the time we hit the exam room, Nora was measuring Baby's head circumference and demanding that Dr. Dan look in his ears and listen to his heart.

She demonstrated, nay flaunted, her knowledge of animal sounds and body parts and was deemed Perfectly Normal by Dr. Dan. Hooray!

We barely waited at all, rendering my survival pack useless, except as a talisman. And since Nora only got a flu shot, she wasn't even crotchety when we got home.

Nora decided after an hour or so of books that it was time for another nap. While she was sacked out, I sacrificed the pumpkins from our fall display for tasty, tasty soup. And toasted pumpkin seeds.

So the following picture is Nora in her trashed room where we've been playing all afternoon, cheeks stuffed with pumpkin seeds and apple cider checking out the box that the Motrin I gave her before her shots came in. Boxes rule. What can I say?

PS- Height 32.5 inches (50%ile)
Weight 27.9 lbs (75%ile)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Professional (ie, paid for) Pictures

In some ways, I like the pictures that we take more than these. But after months of trying and trying to get one single solitary photo of my little family that we could use as a Christmas card, I caved and we went to a studio.

These were some of the shots that we didn't get prints of, but did get on a CD. Remember, you are solemnly swearing to not download these and print them off. Faustian bargain and stuff.

Weekend of Nanna

Nora was delighted this weekend to have her Nanna Lauer in town to hang out with her. they went to the children's museum, the park, Chocolateworld and hung out around home. I'd be hard-pressed to say who had the better time. No pictures, since we were at work (Booo!) most of the time. But we do have one very happy, very tired toddler right now. Thanks, Nanna!

Here's an oldie-but-goodie of the pals:

Saturday, November 1, 2008


As you all know, tonight we set back the clocks. Which means an hour extra of sleep, right? Sure. Unless, of course you happen to be a parent. In which case, you are in a dilemma. Do you go about your normal routine and anticipate getting up before roosters and surgical residents? Or do you stretch the limits of what a tired toddler can take?

We opted for #2. So, after dinner, bath and pajamas, we just let Nora play. Things got awfully quiet in her room, so I went to check out the damage. And I found that Nora had taken matters into her own hands.

It's good to know that even if her parents are too irresponsible to know that it's bedtime, Nora's going to carry on with the routine anyway. It's time for stories. She's reading stories, daggumit!