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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Nora According to Nora – The 4th Edition

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1. How old are you?  I’m 4

2. What makes you happy? Butterflies

3. What is your favorite animal? Shamus (From Sea World)

4. What is your favorite thing to eat? Spaghettios

5. What is your least favorite thing to eat? Carrots

6. What is your favorite thing to do? Play With My Nana

7. What is your favorite TV show? Equestria Girls

8. What are you really good at? Playing Games

9. What is your favorite movie? Belle (Beauty and the Beast)

10. What is your favorite color? Pink

11. What is your favorite song? Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

12. Who is your best friend? Bella at School and Adelynn

13. What do you and your Mom do together? Make Cupcakes

14. What do you and your Dad do together? Play with My Little Ponies

15. What is your favorite sport? Football

16. Where is your favorite place to go? The Zoo

17. What is your favorite book? My Little Pony Book

18. What do you want to be when you grow up? A Fish Feeder

19. What is your favorite toy to play with? Amya’s My Little Ponies

20. How do you want to celebrate your birthday? I Want All My Friends To Be There.

Cupcake Obsession

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To know Nora is to know that she loves all things cupcake.  She has cupcake clothing, cupcake pajamas, cupcake jewelry, a cupcake winter hat, a cupcake Halloween costume and even cupcake band-aids.  And of course, she will eat just about any type of cupcake that exists.  So, just for fun, I thought I would share some of the cupcake evolution.

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Wishing you much more cupcake happiness in the future baby girl.

Crafty Discovery

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Today I discovered oven-bake polymer clay.

Well, technically, I knew this existed, but I had never attempted to do anything with it before and had no idea how simple it would be to use.

The girls and I used the clay (they sell it in a variety of pretty colors), cookie cutters and glass beads to decorate all kinds of pretty shapes this afternoon.

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I definitely recommend this activity for parents of preschoolers.  Nora loved it.  She spent over an hour pushing beads into her clay shapes and would have probably kept going if we hadn’t run out of clay.

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Look how excited she is watching them bake in the oven.

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Later on she told me that “today was a happy day” because she had so much fun decorating her shapes.

I’ll take it.

Musings on Parenting a Toddler

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The other day in Meredith’s gymnastics class I found myself paying extra attention to the interactions between all of the parents in the class (myself included) and their two year old children.  As I listened to all of the exchanges between parent and child, it led me to wonder this… why is it that we, as parents, become completely humiliated by the behavior of our own two year old, but view the same behavior as normal and acceptable in others?

I can’t begin to tell you the number of times that I have reassured a fellow parent that it was not only their child behaving in a certain way.  I feel bad when I see a parent get upset with their toddler, when I witnessed the entire exchange and know for a fact that my own toddler was as much, if not more to blame for the toddler altercation.  A kid behaves a certain way, getting reprimands from his/her parent and I often find myself saying, “Oh, they all do it.  Don’t worry about it.”

And this is true.  I know that it is completely normal for a two year old to not share well, not wait his/her turn and have complete meltdowns for the most insignificant reasons.  I don’t think less of the parents of these children.  In fact, it often makes me feel better to know it’s not just my kid.  But, when the behavior originates from my child, I am right there with those other parents, apologizing for her behavior and trying to make it stop.  Why does it feel so much more epic when it’s your own?

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I am not saying that because most of this behavior is normal that we should ignore it.  I do believe there are still lessons to be taught and parents should take advantage of those opportunities to teach.  But, that isn’t exactly what is going on.  You can almost hear the panic in their voices, that fear that someone might think their child is undisciplined or rude.  Maybe it’s because what everyone is seeing is just a snapshot of your life.  You don’t want them to walk away with the impression that this is what your child is like all the time.

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It is interesting though because even as we all engage in this knee-jerk reaction to parenting, there is also a sort of fraternity that develops from it.  No one else understands what you are handling on a daily basis quite like another parent.

One of the mother’s in the gymnastics class arrived looking frazzled and made some comments about the difficult morning she had just trying to convince her daughter to put clothes on.  It made me smile.  Not because they had a rough morning.  But, because I have been there.

The Zombie Ballerina

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I bought this book for Nora today.

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Zombelina  By: Kristyn Crow

Is it wrong that I think a book about a zombie ballerina is a good gift for my 3 year old?  What does it say about her, that she absolutely loves scary stories, zombies and Dracula as much as she loves Sophia the First?

For the record, this book is cute.

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It has catchy little rhymes, fun pictures and presents the zombie ballerina idea with every bit of cutesy that my 3 year old enjoys in her stories these days.

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I have been a little surprised by how into “scary” stories Nora is this year.  She is her father’s daughter, no doubt.  I was anticipating that she would enjoy Halloween.  I figured we would watch It’s a Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown and make some ghosts out of paper plates.  But then her father decided a few weeks ago to watch Para Norman with her.  She showed a brief moment of hesitation when she asked about the scary zombies and why they wanted to hurt the people.  After hearing some reassurance from me about the overall character of said zombies, she dived right in and hasn’t looked back.

I know that there are a lot of kids her age who would not be as comfortable seeing and learning all about monsters at this age.  And I know there are probably some parents out there who think she is young, even if she doesn’t seem bothered by it.  I am genuinely enjoying the fact that she seems to get the stories behind these characters, both film and written.  I like that she gets so excited to hear more about why a certain monster is doing what he is doing.

Of course, all of that being said… these are the tamer “scary” stories.  The monsters we are introducing her to turn out to be nice at the end.  Obviously, I have no intention of popping in Halloween tomorrow night and seeing what she thinks of Michael Meyers.

For now, I just love that her nightly cartoon request is for something “scary and new that I haven’t seen”.  I love that she got so much enjoyment out of reading about a zombie ballerina.  I love that she goes out in the front yard and plays in the “graveyard”.  I love that she is Nora… in all her individuality.

And on another note… we painted pumpkins today.  I love Halloween.

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Nora’s Birth Story

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With less than a month to go until Nora’s 4th birthday, I thought I would take the opportunity to share her birth story.  I have been writing letters annually to both of my kids since birth.  This is the first one.

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Dear Nora,

What follows is your birth story.

                We had scheduled an induction for the 3rd of November, which was a Tuesday, due to the fact that on my late ultrasound, my OB was estimating that you were already over 7lbs and we were hoping that by delivering a little early we would be able to avoid a C-section due to your size.  I could barely sleep the night before the induction due to excitement.  We got up early and your Dad and I headed into the hospital by 8a.  They got me settled, started my IV and the medicine to get the contractions going.  You Nana was so excited she also was at the hospital by 10am.  I was really glad that she was there the whole day though to share the experience, as I think she wanted to meet you as much as your Dad and I did.  The three of us played cards and watched some TV while we waited for the medicine to start getting my body ready to deliver you.  The contractions weren’t bad, but they were definitely picking up.  One of the hospital OBs came in and broke my water a little after noon and per my personal OB’s advice, I opted to get my epidural before that happened.  The epidural gave me really bad chills, but once I warmed up, I was able to sleep for a while.  Around this time, you decided that you didn’t like the medicine anymore.  Your heart rate kept dropping.  It wasn’t enough for them to really worry, but it was enough to concern them a little bit.  They kept having me switch positions in the bed to try to make you happier, but it didn’t work.  Eventually they gave me some sugar water through my IV and put me on oxygen and that seemed to do the trick.  Around 6pm, I was starting to feel pressure and the contractions again.  They checked me and we were ready to deliver.  Once my OB arrived and set up, it was time to start pushing.  My OB was guessing you would be about 8.5 lbs.  It took about 40 minutes of pushing and some assistance from the RN at the end to help push you out because of how you were positioned and your size.  We found out later that your collar bone was broken during delivery as well.  There were a couple student nurses in the room to watch the delivery and I remember hearing them gasp in awe when you were born and that was how I knew you were finally here.  I will never forget the moment that Dr. Froehlich laid you on my chest for the first time.  You had a full head of dark hair and this squishy little face.  I cried tears of happiness immediately and couldn’t stop.  It was the most amazing moment of my life.  All 4 of your grandparents were able to come in once you and I were cleaned up.  You ended up weighing 9.9lbs and were given a 9 on the apgar scale… pefect all around.

Words can not describe how I feel to finally be a mother.  I am truly in awe of everything about you.  I thank God every day for the gift I have been given in you.  I am so excited for your future.

I love you,

Mommy

Halloween Love

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It seems like most people have a favorite holiday.  I would be willing to bet Christmas leads the way as the one the majority of people would pick.  And I do adore Christmas… the magic, the lights, the warmth, the anticipation…

But, if pressed to pick my favorite, it would probably have to be Halloween.  For me, it holds a lot of the same excitement and magic that Christmas does.  I remember being so excited as a kid, dressed up and anxiously waiting until the time when it was okay to start ringing doorbells.  I loved seeing all the costumes, being out after dark, congregating with everyone in the neighborhood at the end of the night for the hotdog and hot cider grill out that someone hosted each year.  It was thrilling.

Add to all of those memories, the fact that I love the colors and cooler weather of Fall and this is just the perfect time of year to me.

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When I met my husband, I realized that even though I have always loved scary movies and the excuse to pretend to be something or someone else for a night, I was no where near the enthusiast that I thought I was.  Dave LOVES Halloween.  The first month we were dating, I spent hours pushing pins through a skull cap to help him dress up as Pinhead.  The next year we went as Jack Skellington and Sally from the Nightmare Before Christmas… still what I consider to be our best costume to date.  People didn’t even recognize us.

Eventually we bought a house.  And this happened.

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Something gets added to it every year.  And with the new house and yard, there is even more empty space for him to fill.  I think there may be a ghoulish wedding in the future for next year or maybe a Sweeny Todd exhibit.

It has really become a family celebration.  Both girls are as obsessed with watching “scary” movies, such as Para Norman and Frankenweenie.  And pretty much daily, one of them asks if they can go in the front yard to play with the “zombie”.

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This guy moves and talks.  He is, hands down, their favorite part of the yard display.

It’s all just so much fun.