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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Norah Grows: 8 Months

Little Miss, you were 8 Months old on Christmas Day this year! What a special day to celebrate :) We are in the midst of moving into our condo, and so Christmas kind of snuck up on us this year, but we made it special and festive even if by last minute preparations! 

You loved scoping out the scene from Santa on Christmas morning - stocking, gifts in paper, gifts in bags, gifts in much to look at and feel and crinkle and taste! You pretty much put everything in your mouth lately, and you got a Christmas tooth out of the deal this year! Third tooth to come in, your top left incisor, and you've been having more trouble with this one than you did with the bottom two.  

You cruise around furniture like a pro now, and there is no holding you back anymore!  If there is something you want, you cruise/crawl/shimmy your little booty over there at top speed.  You are so curious, and I think you have a bit of a mischievous streak as well! When one of us tells you no, you look over your shoulder, grin, and boogie even faster towards the forbidden object! 

You love bathtime, and this year bath toys seemed to be the big hit.  You got a set of stacking cups which are fun to play with in or out of the tub! 

You are learning so much about the things around you, and it's almost like we can watch the wheels in your head turning as you figure out what things do and how they fit together.  You also have a pretty strong sense of "object permanence" now, and you know when something is out of sight but you still want it.  Lainey's dog bowl is one know you like to play in the water and try to sample her food (ick!) and even if we move you around the corner and out of sight, you cruise your little self right back if you want to! 

Christmas night we went to Grandma's house, and boy did you get spoiled! You weren't even sure what to make of all the things that were for you! You love your little piano and all the cute, cute clothes from your Grandma! 

You are babbling and "talking" more and more, and sometimes it's really starting to sound like you are saying "Mama" and "Dada".  I can't wait until we know clearly that you are using words to communicate with us, but I am not wishing away your babyhood just to get there sooner! 

Your biggest trouble right now is your night time sleep pattern. You are still in bed with us, and I love co-sleeping so much more than I ever would have imagined.  If someone had told me before you were born that I'd have you in our bed for your first year, I would have laughed and told them they were crazy.  But, that's where you sleep, and for you it works wonderfully.  The only problem with the arrangement is that you think being right next to mama means an all night, all you can eat buffet for nursing, and some nights you wake almost every hour to nurse. This is resulting in a very sleep deprived, exhausted mama. I have finally reached a breaking point, and we are starting to reign in your bedtime routine and try to "take back the night" so that we can all get a little more sleep.  I'm nowhere near ready to wean you completely, but I'm also aware that you are not nursing for satiety but rather for comfort many of the times you wake at night, and those are the feedings I'm looking to cut back on.  I'll update with progress if we see any soon! I'm reading the book "The No Cry Sleep Solution" and so far, I find it very much in line with my thoughts on raising you, so I'm hopeful that some of the ideas from the book will help us improve our night times. 

You got to meet your Aunty Abby this holiday, and I'm so glad that she could finally hold you! She was here the week before you were born, and we were all hoping you would decide to arrive before she had to leave, but it wasn't meant to be.  Now, 8 months later, she finally got to see you in person! Can't wait for her to be a part of your life growing up!

Beauty, I am so in love with you and with being your mama. I cannot believe you will be a year old in 4 months. I am just enjoying the process of watching you grow and develop, and I know we are so lucky to have you and be able to say that you are ours.  I love you, Boo! 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Magic

Here I am, awake at 3:45 AM on Christmas Eve, probably the only year out of the next decade or so that my child doesn't even know it's Christmas and thus I should be enjoying my sweet sleep. But, after her last wake-up around 2:00, I just couldn't fall back asleep, so I'm up, watching A Christmas Story and pondering Christmas magic and remembering the joy of Christmas mornings from my own childhood. I so want to make this season magical and memorable for my kids. I need it to be a special time of year that will always be a warm spot in their hearts when they look back.

This season, our lives were a little bit crazy to say the least.  Our dream of becoming homeowners ended up being postponed due to issues we could not control with the home we had chosen, and the current owner.  We decided that we at least needed to take this time to step out on our own and get a place we could call ours, and so we moved into a rental condo...the weekend before Christmas.  We have boxes and piles all over, but we at least found the stockings and my Mom brought over the small tree and even though we never got around to getting any ornaments on, the twinkle of white lights makes it feel a little festive in here.

I know that Norah won't remember this particular Christmas, but I wanted to start the traditions that will shape what this holiday means to her as she grows up, and we just didn't make much happen this year.  I wanted to read special Christmas books to her every night. I wanted to have our house filled with the smells of treats that make their annual appearance every December.  I wanted to have Christmas music playing as we decorated our space with objects that she will look forward to setting out year after year.  But, circumstances being what they were, we didn't get a lot of those things done this year. What we did, though, is enjoy each other tonight as we all fell into bed.  Norah celebrated her first Christmas Eve with the Smith family at Paul and Julie's.  It's hard to believe that my child is now one of the "littles" that gets to circle around the tree and accept the generosity of loving family members.  And for that, this Christmas Eve, I am so grateful.  Merry Christmas Eve, friends and family! Hope you all have a magical Christmas morning filled with love, happiness, good food, and the company of those you love!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Norah's Christmas Photos

I set up a photo session in our room this weekend and took some holiday photos of little Norah.  For those who haven't seen any on Facebook, I thought I'd post some here.  Enjoy! 

We are still waiting for news on a closing date for the house...hoping to hear something this week! It's been a very stressful process, and we are just exhausted.  There are 5 adults, one baby and one dog under this roof right now, and a kitchen remodel underway.  My last remaining grandparent passed away 2 weeks ago, and I'm adding Zumba classes every week.  Needless to say, we have a lot going on, and it was a much needed break to spend some time with Matt, our girl, and the camera!  Hopefully, the second half of December will be more relaxing and enjoyable for us! 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Norah Grows: 7 Months

My little girl, 7 months ago you joined our family, and 7 months ago we could only have imagined how our lives would be with you in we can't imagine life without you.  Every day now you are learnng something new. This month has been filled with development and exploration.  You are fully army crawling all over the place now, and once you get yourself to a sturdy enough object, you pull right up to stand and view the world from your newfound domain.  We've had to lower your crib to the bottom setting, because you were pulling right up and standing at the edge of the railing and I was afraid you'd launch right over one of these days! You love peeking over the top of the crib and spying out into your room.  This is my favorite thing to walk in and see!

You have learned to "blow raspberries" and you think it's just so funny! You spend a lot of time doing this, when you are being put to sleep, when you are in a silly mood, when you are "talking" to have found that little tongue and you want us to know it! 

You can also clap your hands and play "patty cake" now.  You get very excited about things, and your immediate reaction is to clap, clap, clap!

You had your first Thanksgiving, and you certainly enjoyed sampling all of the delicious food that everyone else got to eat! I'd say you had yourself a regular feast, comprised of mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, green jello "snowflake" salad, cranberry sauce, yams, a green bean, and a little turkey.  Pretty good for your first go! 

 Holidays are just so much more fun when viewed through the eyes of children.  You and your "cousins" have certainly hit things off, and everyone loves having you as the center of don't seem to mind so much either. 

Getting your monthly photos in your chair is getting to be tricky! You don't want to sit still for 5 seconds now that you know you can was a two person job to be sure you didn't roll right out of there! You are so busy and curious and interested in your world and surroundings, and it's a challenge to keep you entertained and safe simultaneously! 

Take 1

Take 2

Take 3...we'll just stop there rather than list the next 37 tries! 
Final Take! Success!
Norah, you are simply the light and joy of our lives. Every single month gets better and better, and I know I keep saying it, but it's true. Being your mama is the greatest gift I could ever ask for, and above anything else in this world, I am thankful for you, for your health, for your smile, for your laughter, for your love, for your babyness, for everything you have given me in the past 7 months.  I am thankful that I am here to watch you grow.  I can't wait for what the next month will bring...your first Christmas, possibly our first home, your first many beautiful things lie ahead for you, baby. I am thankful. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Norah Grows: 6 Months - Happy Half Birthday Baby!

Well, true to what has become our current status quo, not much is getting done on the timeline I would like for it to...including this post. I started on your actual half-birthday, but as can be expected something came up (or woke up) and I got through about 4 lines.  It doesn't help that I typed the entire thing out later this week, and for some reason Blogger deleted it instead of posting it, which did not make me happy, nor feel like spending another chunk of time re-writing it immediately. So thus, the late 6-month entry. Onward. 

My sweet Norah, today marks the end of the first half of your first year of life. You are 6 months old, and when I look at you today, I can't imagine only 6 months ago we didn't know you! If today is any indication of how much I can love you, I stand to be amazed at the conclusion of each milestone marker at just how much more my love for you has grown since the last one.  Just look at how much you've changed since you were born: 

Norah Annabel, one week

Norah Annabel, One Month
Norah Annabel, 6 weeks

Norah Annabel, 3 months

Norah Annabel, 4 months

Norah Annabel, 5 months

Norah Annabel, 6 months

At 6 months, you are sitting up unassisted, and you are so strong! You have abs that are stronger than I think mine have ever been (and certainly will ever be at this point!) and you are so close to being able to pull yourself up into a sit from lying on the ground. Grandpa said you pulled yourself up on the side of the pack n' play at his house this week, too! You are testing out all sorts of positions on the floor, and can roll to where you want to get in a hot second.  Watch out world, Norah's about to be a baby on the move!

We started offering you solids about 2 weeks ago, and it's been one interesting experiment after another. You have had rice cereal, applesauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, peaches, peas, a piece of broccoli, butternut squash soup, banana, and ground lamb...each one with its own corresponding facial expression of either delight, confusion, contemplation, or outright dismissal! I've given you purees and some solids that you can hold and taste and feel all on your own.  You love your Barry's Bagels teething bagels, for sure! You also love to grab our water glasses and try taking sips; sometimes you actually get some of the water in you instead of just all over you too!  But the newest development is that when you sit in your highchair, you like to drink your milk from a sippy cup like a big girl! You still love nursing, and I love it too, and we are not planning to stop doing it any time soon, just adding new foods at meals when we all sit down together. 

Lainey has also figured out that your high chair is the new golden opportunity for possible extra treats!

You are babbling constantly, and you say "dadada" and "bababa" and sometimes "mama" but mostly you are still just testing out your voice and bellowing and screeching and giggling. You think Lainey is the funniest thing, and when she walks by you just laugh and laugh.  I can't wait to hear what your actual voice will sound like when you say your first words. 

Not so much loving the 6 month photo shoot...

You got your first 2 teeth on Sunday 10/23/11, and they both just popped out at once! They are the two middle ones on the bottom, and it was way less traumatic than I anticipated.  I could see two little white lines just under the gums, and then later in the day you had a hard rattle which you put in your mouth, and when you brought it out there was a drop of blood, and both teeth were out! No fussing, no apparent pain, just two brand new choppers! Now we have to watch out when you chew on our fingers, because those things are sharp! 

Your first Halloween is next week, and mama made you a little sleepy owl.  Auntie Allison decided that since you love to hear yourself screech, we should call you a screech owl, and it stuck. So, for your first Halloween you are a screech owl :) The cutest one ever. 

You are so inquisitive, and everyone and everything around you gathers your interest and attention.  You are a sparkling, social little girl already, and you love smiling and being coy with others.  You have such a chill personality, and we just keep remarking about how much of a joy it is to watch you grow.  We couldn't have asked for a better first baby. 


The other big development, although not really about your development, is that your mama and daddy bid on a house this week! We are currently still trying to settle on a price with the seller, but we are so hopeful that this could become your first real home, and the place where you will make memories of your childhood.  I have so many dreams for you, and just one of them is that we can live as a family of 3 in our own home, and maybe even celebrate our first Christmas together there. When I think of our first home, I imagine it filled with your toys and artwork from school, a big crazy dog (check), and most of all  love and family.  I hope that we are able to finally realize this goal that we've had since long before you were born, little one. I want this so much for you. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Quick photo dump update

Since it's almost 11 pm and I'm damn tired (wth am I still up anyway?), I will get down to it since I know most of you probably don't read all my words and just go straight to the photos anyway :) Just kidding, maybe?

Norah's for real 6 month post will be forthcoming next week, when she, for real, turns 6 months old, omgosh what happened to my leetle babay?? For now, tidbits:

She can sit up, nearly unassisted. Well, she can be unassisted, for about 10 seconds. Not quite like a Weeble, for when she wobbles she does fall down.

She's getting blonder by the day

She is maybe not the biggest fan of rice cereal:

Ok, maybe it's not so bad

She loves her daddy, and her first babbles sound an awful lot like "Da Da Da Da". She would. 

 I am insanely obsessed with making these earflap hats for her. And anyone else having babies, so beware. 

Someone's Halloween costume, part 1: 

Ok - more updates photos in a few days.  Love to you all, and to all a goodnight. Unless you're me, in which case the last 2 hours of sleep Norah's been getting will be her "long stretch" and I'll be seeing every hour on the clock once again tonight :) Or maybe not. Hope we have a lucky night! Annnnnd there she is, awake on cue.