Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Stomach flu and Chicken

Erik, Nora and I have all had low grade tummy and cold viruses this week so we've been laying low, trying to get all rested up and ready for the start of preschool next week.

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The positive part of this is that Nora is now completely competent with using the potty, getting there quickly, independent hand washing, etc, etc, having had an unfortunate number of opportunities to practice over the past couple days of stomach bug.

She's quite proud of herself. And we are very proud of her. I've laid on the praise for all her potty mastery, so much so that now she's been praising me regularly every time I use the bathroom.

"Good job Mama- I so proud of you!" with hand clapping and all. And she usually pats my back as well and then flushes for me. And she seems sincerely happy for me and truly excited by my ability.

I suspect that God has blessed this one with the gift of encouragement.

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I am so enjoying watching her independence and self confidence bloom; she takes on new challenges and opportunities with great spirit and tenacity and is always as excited about the process of learning something new as she is with the outcome.

Sometimes I'll tell her something simple; that we're going to get a treat or going to do something she really likes- and she'll shout "Hooray!" with such great joy and gusto that it makes my heart leap.

I also love watching her imagination expand; now that she is so competent with language it is fun to hear her thought process in full detail . Tonight in the bath she took one of her floating bath books and pretended that it was a seat on a carousel animal ("a big horse")- she wanted me to give her a ticket for the ride and then she "rode" that book up and down all around the bathtub.

And then there is Chicken- her imaginary friend. From what I can make out from her descriptions, Chicken is a chicken in actual appearance, but in every other sense is a two-almost- three year old girl. He "appeared" one night about a month or so ago in a corner of her room, eating ice cream, and from then on he periodically is with us in our daily routine. Suddenly she'll say he's sitting next to her in the car, wearing blue crocs on his feet, or she'll point him out diving off the diving board at the pool. Or Erik will go to sit down on the couch and she'll yell "don't sit on Chicken!". She refers to Chicken as a "He" but he is usually wearing a dress when I ask what he has on. He likes to drink "fizzy water" (her word for seltzer) and ice cream and pb&j "swaniches".

Nora pushing Chicken in the swing- he's proven difficult to photograph :)

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Retro Camera

After a week of feeling creatively uninspired, my enjoyment of photography was reignited by the arrival of a package containing a digital"Retro"Zuni camera that Erik so kindly encouraged me to get- it has very few settings to choose from and no exposure control and I had a blast taking shots with it all day. It made me look more carefully at the light and the composition of my shots-- it has a video mode too which is very fun since it comes out looking like Super 8 film and I'll post some video from it soon. These are all straight from the camera shots- no editing at all.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Harvest Time

I've been a bit uninspired in general and I haven't been feeling creative or particularly motivated so I haven't taken many pictures or posted as often as I would have liked this week.

We've basically just been enjoying our last couple weeks of Nora being home full time. I can't believe she is starting preschool already.

It has been hot, but the nights are getting cooler and the crickets chorus gets louder and louder each night.

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To stay cool-

We've been swimming a lot. Nora hasn't quite gotten used to the fact that she no longer needs a swim diaper- I told her to get ready to go to the pool and came back to find her like this-

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We've visited with friends- Nora got to hold a friend's little one-

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whose older brother did not want to be left out of any of my picture taking.

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We've pretended that we're riding our bike to school, while wearing our new school tote bag:

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We've gone to see cats at the Humane Society that we might like to adopt- (although Nora's total lack of interest while we were there made us think we might delay adopting for a bit).

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We've started talking about Halloween costumes already- so Nora wanted to try on her costume from last year- a penguin. Possibilities for this year's costume include a panda bear, Cinderella, Little Bo Peep (mainly because we have a catalog that features a very, very pink Little Bo Peep costume) and a "nice witch".

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And we've just enjoyed August in general- the seed laden sunflowers are drooping in the fields-ready to be harvested-

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'How can we honor our God with our lives,
The God who gives rain in both spring and autumn
and maintains the rhythm of the seasons,
Who sets aside time each year for harvest
and keeps everything running smoothly for us?'



Jeremiah 5:24, The Message

Friday, August 20, 2010

New House

An exciting event for us this week was when papers were signed and my parents- Nora's Mor-Mor and Papa- became the official owners of a house just two houses down from ours on our same street. They are still going to keep their house in Glenwood Springs and split their time between here and there.

It's a very cute little cottage with a beautiful garden. There is a shed in the backyard that will make a perfect playhouse. It needs a little simplification and de-pinkification but it's basic lines are beautiful.

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Nora trying a dance step in the living/dining room

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And the best part to Nora is that there is a perfect climbing tree in the front yard.

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Running back to climb the tree "just one more time!" I probably will never see her once they're down here...

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Good Things

Studying pictures of Mama when she was your age

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An end of summer arrangement

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Obsessively blowing bubbles in the bath

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Finally having hair long enough to wear pig-tails

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Making your own happy face band-aid

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Potty Training

(Warning: Boring post ahead- potty training is never interesting to read about except for parents who are in the midst of it, or parents who are about to start, so feel free to skip this one- I am just recording it mainly for memory's sake!)

Well this weekend was Nora's big potty training weekend and it was a complete success- she seems to have gotten a good start on mastering the process and most importantly she seems to feel really good about it all. She was clearly ready to train; she's been interested in the potty and all things related to it this summer and seeing a couple big girls use the potty at our house helped immensely to get her very excited about the prospect.

We've used pull-ups on and off this summer, which I now realize are a conspiracy on the part of diaper companies to sell more diapers for twice the price, while making parents think that their child is actually starting to potty train.

"Pinny" and Peter Rabbit in Pull-ups

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She had no desire to ever use the potty while wearing Pull-ups- she just preferred wearing them over diapers since they were pink. We did however have distress whenever we ran out of the Pull ups that Nora deemed the pretty ones.

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I took this picture a couple of weeks ago when she was teaching Pooh how to use the potty- we're now potty-seat-free as she wants to sit on the toilet like a big girl.

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Training was speeded along greatly this weekend after the purchase of a pack of Dora underpants (she calls Dora "Noddy" for some reason no matter how much we correct her- I think because the one time she saw Dora on TV she saw the Noddy show at the same time and she combined the two in her mind.) She also has Disney Princess underpants with sparkles and so of course we've had to change underpants every time she uses the bathroom.



I am sure everyone is bored by now- no more potty training talk tomorrow!

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mountain Trip

Erik flew to a conference in Chicago for a few days so Nora and I went to see my parents in Glenwood Springs while he was gone.


While we were there Nora got:

lots of love




Lots of homemade cookies from the special cookie jar that I had also loved as a child

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lots of pancakes at the Kiwanis pancake breakfast- where a clown made her a lovely napkin flower

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the chance to do a lot of bike riding

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and a lot of scooter riding

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and a lot of running back and forth between the two activities.

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We went to the Glenwood Caverns Adventure park that overlooks the town- you take a gondola up to reach it. It was Nora's first gondola ride and she was a bit scared by it- so I didn't take any pictures of her on it since she was in my arms.

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We went up to the park with my friend Kevi and her fiance and son- here we are posing with Doc Holliday (who is buried in Glenwood) and Wyatt Earp

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There wasn't a ton for little kids to do up there but Nora liked the giant sandbox- although she clearly preferred twirling in her dress than playing with the trucks they had.

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Kevi and I had the chance to have some great long chats while Matt and Zach got to do things like this

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and this

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The rest of the time I didn't take a single picture- Nora played, I read, (thanks mom!), we went to Carbondale and we just enjoyed being in the mountains. Nora did not want to leave her Mor-Mor and Papa's house (nor did she want to sleep for one minute on the three hour ride home, despite being super tired and cranky). After three hours of mountain driving, 30+ plays of her same favorite song over and over again and non stop rounds of I Spy (in which Nora very quickly reveals what she spies) I was ready for another vacation.

I will post more next week. We have ditched the diapers here and are working on mastering the potty this weekend. Wish me luck!




Thursday, August 5, 2010

County Fair

We had a great time at the County Fair last night.

Nora got to watch some 'big girls' do some barrel racing and then rode all by herself on a pony ride

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There were rides, tractors and lots of farm animals and Nora got her first taste of cotton candy

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We rode on the carousel and then Nora spotted this fire truck ride and wanted to try that out. It turned out to be a faster ride than either she or Erik had bargained for- you can see her gripping tightly in the middle picture. "It was a little bit scary Mama" she told me afterwards. But she was proud of herself for having done it.

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Then she wanted me to go on this one- she called it the "zipper". She told me that I could go on it and she would take a picture of me on it!

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We compromised and went on the little circus train together



A failed attempt at a family picture!

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Block Party

Our street had its annual block party/ice cream social last night. We missed the one last year because we hadn't moved in yet and so this year we had a good time getting to know some more of our neighbors.

Our street won some sort of raffle from the National Night Out organization and so Outback steakhouse came and served free steaks and Caesar salads at the party. Erik was pleased.

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I love the vintage soda/ice chest employed for ice cream storage

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Bubble table for the kids

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Unfortunately a mid-party rainstorm meant that everyone ended up huddled under the tents


But the rain cleared in time for a block party pet show

Our across the street neighbor Jennifer and her chicken who lives in her backyard and lays an egg a day-

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Chris and her chinchilla

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A bunny and her cute little owner

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Nora is getting a kitten for her birthday in September and she's excited to have a pet show entrant next year.