Today was an amazingly beautiful end of summer day here in Michigan. Nora took her sick old dad out for a lovely walk to watch all of the flowers, berries, insects and birds getting themselves ready for fall. She also took time to smell every flower along the way. :)
Monthly archives for August, 2009
Today is Nora’s 21 monthaversary! She’s been 7 months old 3 times now; she’s one month more than 4 times as old as a 5 month old; she’s 3 months shy of her second birthday; ≤ 30 months ago she started to exist; she has 16 years and 3 months before she has to move out (just checking to see if anyone reads this far into the sentence).
Happy Anniversary, Nora! We celebrated by going out for pancakes with Grandma & Papa. I also celebrated by designing a future playtime activity wherein we bake a bunch of cookies together, measure their circumferences, measure their diameters and then find the ratio of circumference:diameter for each cookie. I call it “baking a pi” (baking, experimentation, the scientific method, measurement, ratios, pi). But this geekiness is all in her future; today playtime looks like this:
A lot of Nora’s family reside in Livonia, Michigan. They used to be my family and Jen’s family too, but now they’re Nora’s. :) Anyway, Livonia doesn’t really have what you’d call residential parks (parks you can walk to near your house). Instead they have this massive park complex with more than half a dozen really great play structures and ample parking. It seems weird to me, but Nora loved it. She’d climb up a massive, cool interesting play structure, go down one of its slides and then sprint to the next massive, cool and completely different play structure to go down one of its slides and repeat (check out how tired she is in the last picture below). I have, literally, dozens of pictures and a handful of movies from this outing which I’m finally getting around to posting.
Nora’s off school for a couple of weeks and, this morning, accompanied her mom and me to campus. Jen had to work for an hour or so so Nora and I walked to my office. During the walk Nora said the following (that I understood. there were several things I couldn’t figure out):
“truck, car, car, car, truck, bus BUS!!!!”
(claps hands, sees a truck backing up)
“*beep* *beep* *beep*, doggie!, *owwwww*, *woof* *woof* *owwwwww*”
A big yellow lab licked her head a few weeks ago in a park and nearly knocked her over (I need to post pictures from that outing, btw, someone remind me!). So every time she sees or thinks about a dog now she says “owwwww!” and rubs the spot where his nose bumped her. It can be a blind Yorkshire Terrier half a mile away and she’ll still say “owwwwww! and rub her head. There’s something in that about semantic categories and representatives of a class, but I bore people when I talk about linguistics here.
“truck, birdie, *hee*, dada shoe, nora shoe, dada shoe, shoe, mama?”
(looks around for mama, I say “mama’s at work” which she genuinely seems to understand)
“nora shirt, dada shirt, nora, nora, nora, nora, roll it, pat it, roll it pat it,”
These are from “patty-cake” which her mom & grandma have taught her. The only part she really likes is the roll-it and pat-it part. She does the hand gesture for rolling and pats herself on the chest or tummy for “pat it”.
“*beep* *beep* *beep*”
(“lawn mowers don’t beep,” I tell her, “even riding ones.”)
When she’s down, “down!” means “up!” and when she’s up “down!” means “down!”. You can hear her saying “down!” on the Nora & Beth video we posted a few weeks ago.
There’s just no way to delicately talk about advances in potty awareness on the internet. There isn’t. Let’s just say that someone (I’m not saying it was or was not Nora) is having a big day today. Someone made her first BM in the potty chair this morning. Later in the day, this person told her parents she’d done it again and needed a new diaper right after it happened.
I have no video or photos of whomever this is for what are probably obvious reasons.
Friday was Nora’s last day of baby school. Right now she’s on her summer hols and, when she goes back in two weeks, she’ll be a denizen of the toddler room. We were both pretty nervous about sending our 10 month old to her first first day of school back in October, but I can’t see how it could have turned out better. Michelle, Katie, Lena and Courtney (Nora’s teachers) were all fantastic (Michelle even choked up when trying to say goodbye to Nora on Friday).
I tried not to take pictures in school because I don’t usually post pictures of other kids, but we were uncharacteristically alone in the room on Wednesday and got these.
This will not be one of our typical posts so those of you who only look at the pictures and don’t read any of the text (Erin, McGranny, I’m looking at you) can feel free to come back later tonight. :)
Last evening Nora and I set off alone to reclaim my newly-repaired macbook from the Apple store. I got an entirely new logicboard because of a defective $2.00 headphone jack (linguists need headphone jacks, people with macbooks need AppleCare). Nora happily said, “hello!” to each of the iphones individually but stopped dead in her tracks in front of a mac pro with a giant LCD monitor. Actually, ‘monitor’ doesn’t really do it justice. It was too large to be a large screen television. You’d need to reinforce your desk. I think Times Square has a large bare patch on one of its buildings. She stopped in front of this monstrosity, raised her finger to point at it and with awe in her voice called out ‘apple!’ very loudly*.
Want the secret to receiving great customer service? Bring along an enthusiastic toddler who’ll stand in the middle of the store and dance & sing the name of the product the sales folks are trying to get others to buy.
On the way out of the store (after the best customer service of my life) Nora pointed at the GIANT screen again and this time yelled ‘bubble!’. Watching herself in the Hands-On Museum bubble video we posted has become her favorite pastime. She made me show it 3 times during lunch today alone (the highest I’ve let it go in a sitting was 18 times — she’s watched it twice while I’ve been typing this). So I pulled up her blog on the giant screen (my HTML layout looks just silly when the resolution is most efficiently given in scientific notation) and, without even considering that the giant screen might secretly be connected to similarly giant speakers, pressed play.
It was fantastic. There was a 7/10 life-size scaled Nora dancing, enjoying the giant bubble maker, and yelling so loudly that everyone in the (already dangerously loud) store turned to look. I didn’t turn it down. The place is supposed to be loud, right? Apple wants people to buy speakers so they hook up giant speakers and let people do more or less whatever they want with them, right? And home video of one’s kids has to be responsible for at least as many high-end computer purchases as Portal and Half-Life, right?
Then I witnessed the unimaginable. Nora wasn’t watching bubble. She was clinging to my side and staring around the store at all of the other people and, I swear, trying to disassociate herself from the situation! I managed to embarrass a toddler!?!? I’m going to be good at embarrassing a ‘tween. I hope there is a contest.
(now she’s watched bubble 5 times while posting this)
* she has no idea about the brand. she saw the apple logo, it’s an apple, she’s terribly fond of apples. later at the grocery store she did the exact same thing when I pushed our cart next to the bin of apples, but that time she stopped saying it because she had snatched a Fuji for herself and her mouth was full of apple.
Last night I went into Nora’s room because she was fussing (tossing, thumping, grumbling). As I walked in she very clearly said, “monkey”.
This isn’t as weird as it sounds. She has a stuffed monkey our friend Tami gave her and she won’t go to bed without this monkey. So, naturally, I figure she’s awake at 3:00am and tossing around because she’s either (a) dropped monkey and can’t get him or (b) taken off his shirt and is now annoyed that he has no shirt*. So I ask her if she needs help getting monkey and there’s no reply. “Nora?” and nothing. I peak in at her and notice… she’s asleep! I’m staring at my sleeping daughter and once again she says, “monkey!”.
sweet dreams, little one. Mommy, Daddy and monkey love you very much.
* incidentally, we’ve replaced most of the more vulgar swear words in our house with the disturbingly cathartic “monkey shirt!” It’s good for all occasions and only offends the hard of hearing (and monkeys).
Here’s Nora and her cousin (yes, cousin) Beth playing on a stool at Granny’s house this weekend. I can’t tell which part is my favorite: the grinning clapping or the look of admiration Nora gives Bethy at the end. You decide. (Sorry I cut off your head for most of this, Beth. My general advice is to keep yourself in frame with Nora — as that’s the only thing I’m looking at).