Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall Doings

I have been enjoying fall here in Colorado so much this past month. Last year we were just moving into our house so I feel I missed the entire season in the blur of unpacking. Before that we were in California where it never felt like fall to me as it was such a late summer and there was never much of a discernible seasonal change (and I heard from friends in Long Beach that it was 114 degrees there today!) So this month I've been hitting Starbucks for their Pumpkin Spice Lattes, ordered fresh cider from our dairy (who deliver lemonade in the summer, cider in the fall and eggnog in the winter), I am planning my fall menus since I always love to cook at this time of year and I've already hauled out the Halloween decorations- pictures when they are all in place.

Nora has been obsessed with scarecrows for a long time now- she always wants me to draw her a picture of a scarecrow and she likes to look at pictures of them in books- but only "nice" ones- not scary ones. So we went to Micheals to get some supplies to make a scarecrow, only to find a large bin of already-made-in-China scarecrows at $3.99 a piece- and of course Nora wanted a couple of these, and I was only too happy to give in as I wasn't sure how in the world to make a "nice" and not-at-all scary scarecrow from scratch anyway. I'll reserve the creative juices for making her Halloween costume...
So we came home and I stuck them out on our front porch in a old milk can that I had found at the thrift shop- it's a more cutesy country display than my usual tastes- but she was quite happy with her "nice" scarecrows, especially after being completely terrified by a large witch figurine she saw at Michaels. And when I came out this afternoon I found she had added her stuffed unicorn head to the display, going for a "fantasy world meets harvest festival" look.


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The wood thing you see behind there it is our new screen door, which it appears will be installed just in time for the cold weather :)

Other than that we've been settling into the back to school routine and nesting at home; today we were truly in hibernation mode as we're having work done on our downstairs shower which involved sledgehammers and Nora hated all the noise so we spent the afternoon reading and hanging out upstairs on my bed. She likes to read to her horse Joe- and use him as a back rest.

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And with back to school comes Rope World- it's a program that one of the elementary schools here sets up for a two weeks every four months. It's an amazing setup of swings, bridges, zip lines, ropes, monkey bars, a climbing wall and mats where kids can come and play after school. We went twice last week and I'm sure we'll go at least that much this next week- the only part I am worried about is having to break the news to Nora that it closes at the end of this week until January- as she has been asking every day if she can go back to Rope World. Fitting for a girl who states she wants to be a mountain climber whenever she's asked what she wants to be when she grows up- boy does she like to climb!

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Day in Denver

Sorry for my extended absence; after just getting back to normal after my fall, the stomach flu hit our house this weekend and I got the brunt of it. Ugh. I am still recovering.

Before I got sick we got to spend a wonderful Friday in Denver with Erik's cousin Amanda, who was like a sister to him growing up. We are keeping our fingers crossed that things will work out for her to be able to move to Colorado next fall...

Just a couple collages of our lovely day together- taken with the tiny "spy camera" that I love using in the bright sun because of the unpredictable results with sun flare and because it's so portable.

We had lunch at a pub downtown, a trip to the zoo, dinner at an Argentinian restaurant and then a stop off at a playground so Nora could get in her daily climbing/hanging quotient.

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And one from the regular camera, just because I really like this pic of these two animal lovers watching the tapir at the zoo-

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Be back tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Nora!

Today was Nora's 3rd birthday. Unfortunately I had to spend the morning getting a root canal on the tooth I damaged in my fall and I feel I am just getting caught up in general after my arm injury, etc, so we didn't have any big celebration for her- we'll have a little party when family comes to visit in a few weeks. She did pick out a baby doll at Target that cries and drinks milk and she was excited by that as well as by her birthday brownie sundae; I know I need to treasure these days when simple birthday pleasures are welcomed and nothing more is requested or expected!

I always think of yesterday as her true 'birth' day- since I spent all day of that day three years ago wondering if I was in labor, going to the hospital to be told that I wasn't and then going into full labor at 5PM (after a large tuna melt from Bob's Big Boy Restaurant- I will never forget that!), back to the hospital at 10PM and then she was born at 1AM.

This one was no sleepy newborn-

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Practicing her walking at her first birthday party-

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Her pretend cake at 2 years old (she practiced blowing the candles out on that cake many, many, many times- she had a birthday pie for the actual celebration)

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And today we went out for a little birthday photo shoot. She thought the apples were a fantastic photo prop- I have about 50 photos of her pretending to eat a rotten apple-

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And not the best photo technically- but my favorite of the day-

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Happy Birthday to my sweet Button Boo! I thank God for the privilege of getting to be your Mama and watching you grow and mature every day. I pray that I will have the wisdom to give you both secure roots and strong wings to fly independently one day.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Good Things

After much debate and many trips to the paint store, finally deciding on the right gray paint color for our living room walls




We ended up choosing "Beach" by Eddie Bauer paints- which looked warmer on the swatch than it came out on the wall but I still like it.

Here's a before shot from moving day last year- I HATED this green and am so glad to see it gone- I can't believe I lived with it for almost an entire year. A lot of visitors liked it (or said they did :), but for me it just didn't work

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Here it is freshly painted- before we put the room back together- much better.

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Playing Doctor. I think this was spurred by our recent visit to the pediatrician- lately Nora has been giving her animals shot after shot- assuring them afterward, "that wasn't so bad!"

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Dancing. "I am an octopus", "I am a dancing animal at the zoo", "I am a beautiful dancing princess animal"

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And the rap star pose at the end of her routine

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Getting a stack of packages in the mail for someone's upcoming birthday...

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Nora's First Day of Preschool

Yesterday was Nora's first day of preschool.

She wore purple from head to toe except for her pink tote. (The preschool wants the kids to bring a tote bag rather than a backpack.)

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I love the general philosophy of her preschool and they did the first day beautifully. She went for an hour yesterday, and then over the next two weeks they will gradually extend the time until they are going for the full two and a half hours. We waited in the entrance hall and each child was greeted personally and given a short tour by one of the three teachers of her class- they helped her pick out a cubbyhole and a coat hook.

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Then we went into the classroom and they were free to play and explore as they wanted.

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There was no immediate circle time or structured activity or forced game or teacher hovering over them which I thought was so great, as it let them start to feel comfortable on their own time schedule. Parents were welcome to stay with them, (and are welcome to attend with them for the next couple weeks if we want to) but if our child was comfortable for us to leave, we could go downstairs and get coffee and visit with the other parents. I stayed for a few minutes, but Nora was so taken with the baby dolls and the loft play area that she barely registered me saying goodbye.

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She had a great time and can't wait to go back tomorrow. I can't believe my little girl is already in school!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Last Summer Weekend

The last weekend of summer-

Nora made several grand messes


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Climbed in a giant tree house


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swang in a tire swing


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and relaxed in a hammock


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Went shopping for new school clothes (the jeans and shirt came home with us, the overalls did not)


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Called Mor-Mor to tell her all about the new school clothes; she was most excited about the new tutu skirt and the Dance, Dance, Dance shirt (I suspect that she's not going to take this outfit off very often)


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Made chocolate chip cookies with daddy


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And tonight she took a nice hot bubble bath so as to be all clean for the first day of school tomorrow!

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Friday, September 3, 2010

Not-so-Normal Wednesday

Nora had her 3 year check-up this past Wednesday. The Dr declared her "beautifully healthy"- which I never take for granted- and she did great at the visit. She did have to get a shot at the end which she was not happy about. When the nurse came to give it she started yelling "Chicken is getting a shot too!" and I had to explain to the nurse about imaginary Chicken, but I don't think she knew much about kids as she just sort of looked as me as if both Nora and I were crazy.

Nora at the Drs, trying to show me how many fingers old she is going to be in two weeks- (she'll be three- not four as she is showing)

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Then we went to the last day of summer swimming lessons. This was the first class series that Nora has done without my participation and she did wonderfully. She really liked her teacher- Miss Faith-and she was excited to go to every class. Her favorite part was some sort of alligator game they played and ring-around-the-rosy. She was told she can move up to the turtle swim class now which she was quite pleased about.

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I love our local outdoor pool- the view is incredible. It has been there since 1915 when it was just a sand bottomed pool. The dressing rooms are getting redone this fall which should be nice. I suspect we'll be here many a summer day in the future.

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It was a fairly normal morning, but then when we got home I slipped on some wet floor, knocked a couple of my teeth out and banged my elbow pretty badly. The rest of the day was spent at the ER and the dentist and the past couple days I have been recovering and dealing with limited right arm function as I've had it in a splint/sling get-up. They suspected my elbow was broken when we went to the ER, and treated it as such (I guess elbow fractures don't always show up on x-rays right away) but tonight the pain and swelling have really diminished, (which is why I can type this blog post) so I am thinking that it was just sprained- thank God! I do have to get a root canal and a new crown next week which is unfortunate.

I have been trying to "give thanks in all circumstances" and to delight in the small joys that have arisen from my situation- like getting visits and sympathy from lovely friends, a wonderful dinner brought over and lots of reading and relaxed cuddle time with Nora. And, as with any physical ailment, comes the appreciation of how great it is to function normally, and how it is truly a gift that most days I can do my regular routine without a second thought and make dinner, clean house, do the laundry, etc, for my family.

And my hugely swollen upper lip makes me swear to never get collagen injections in my lip- it's not a good look for me. I can't lift my camera- so no pictures to share!

Have a wonderful holiday weekend everyone. I know I will be giving thanks for being able to labor for my family and that most of our days are normal, quiet days.