Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Noah's going to be a big brother! We found out the gender today, but before we announce it to the whole wide world, we're going to make you go take a guess in our baby pool. Is the suspense killing you?
Hope your Christmas was wonderful. Ours was, and I promise to post (more) photos soon!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Noah had a blast running around and watching the other kids, but I don't think he ever realized his little cape was flapping around behind him.
He also enjoyed sorting our Halloween candy. Good thing his little fingers can't get the packages open yet!
By the end of the evening, Noah was running to the door for every trick-or-treater, helping them choose their Hot Wheels and candy, and shutting the door behind them. He had a blast. Oh, and he tried to steal someone's sword.
I think after yesterday he answers to "Batman" better than "Noah." Go figure.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Here's a thought I'll share. Sorry I don't have the photos to back it up. I've got to go dig that camera thing out of it's drawer!
Noah amazes me with his sense of humor. The strangest things make him burst out laughing. Sunday night I was singing him to sleep, and I started the song like you would if you were waiting to come in on a round, singing:
Row, Row, Row your boat,
Row, Row, Row your boat,
Row, Row, Row your boat, gently down the stream.
By the time I got to the third Row, Row, Noah was giggling uncontrollably. He knew that I had "messed up" the song and he thought it was hilarious. Needless to say, that didn't make a very good lullaby. Then yesterday in the backyard, Dave and I started throwing a frisbee back and forth, and Noah thought it was the funniest thing of all time. Especially when it went over the fence! He also giggles like mad if he's about to get what he wants, like cottage cheese from the fridge. Yesterday I got to hear that precious giggle when I picked him up from daycare (unusual because Dave usually does it). He heard my voice as I was climbing the stairs, and started laughing before he could even see me. It's such a joyful sound that it overwhelms me with happiness every time!
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Dave took those sprinkler photos that I posted yesterday, so I didn't get to see this in action till later. In the first part of the video, he's trying to fill the little green eggshell toy with water. Fairly successfully, I might add.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Crazy little Noah, drinking from the sprinkler!
He seems to be growing up so fast these days. I'm still in the habit of using the word "baby" around him, but these days every time that word comes out of my mouth, it hits me that he's not much of a baby anymore at all. It's amazing how clearly he thinks and how well he understands... I just still can't understand 99.9% of what he's talking about. Today he brought my shoes to me. I didn't think too much of it because he likes to play with our shoes. But then he went and stood by the back door. Nobody had mentioned going outside, but he knew what he wanted, and he knew mommy needed shoes for that!
He also seems to be growing up fast in more measurable ways. Between two recent doctor's appointments not even a month apart, he grew nearly two full inches. I know teenagers can sprout like that over a summer, but for my little guy... wow! And my arms are swearing up and down that he has put on several pounds in the last couple of days. Tomorrow I should try to weigh and measure him to find out why his clothes keep shrinking and why my elbows are whimpering. I think it might be time to start measuring HEIGHT instead of length, with marks on the wall and everything. How exciting!!!
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
He looks like he's falling in, but he's really throwing rocks:
Those tiny dots on the boulder are Noah's cousins, who swam to the other side of the pool:
We hiked around the grotto (on the left of the photo above). This might have been a good family photo, except for the expression on Noah's face!
The trail around the back side of the pool gets really narrow. The rock right behind Dave is so close to the wall that you have to lean over and walk sideways to get past. That was challenging to get Noah through!
We also hiked down to the nearby river. Here's Noah and Dave watching the little fish swim by:
Friday, July 18, 2008
Of course, along with the convenience of having my very own diaper-trasher, I now have the extra mom duty of checking that trashcan for stray socks and other dirty laundry. It seems he's training for his second job as laundry sorter, and unfortunately, the dirty laundry hamper is right next to the trash can.
Given that he's also been acting as a human vacuum cleaner since he could crawl (Oh, Noah, you found a treasure! Now hand it to mommy before you put it in your mouth), I think we've got a pretty talented little helper over here. Now why doesn't my house look cleaner than it does?
1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. The Bible
8. 1984 - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchel
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34. Emma - Jane Austen
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52. Dune - Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’ Diary - Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
74. Notes From A
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession - AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92.The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Noah hasn't been feeling well for the last several days, and he's been eating poorly. So I had the bright idea to make him some smoothie popsicles with yogurt and bananas and blueberries. He thought it was pretty cool, but he had a hard time holding it himself. So either I held it for him, or he gripped it by the cold part. In the end, I think more melted onto his hands than into his mouth before he got bored with it. But it got me thinking, is there a better* popsicle mold for toddlers out there? Leave me a comment if you have suggestions -- I'm all ears. This mold is just the standard issue from Target that I picked up yesterday when inspiration hit.
For the record, he guzzled down quite a bit of non-frozen smoothie after he gave up on the frozen one, and that was enough to whet his appetite for some real food. Success!
*For Noah right now, this mold is too big, the pop is too top-heavy, and the stick is too small.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Four of us set out in the Prius yesterday to go to dinner and Home Depot, us plus Noah and Dave's mom. When we stopped to pick up the dry cleaning, the car's "OH NO!" lights came on, the same ones we saw when we nearly ran out of gas, the ones that let you know that if you turn the power off, you can't turn the car back on again until the dealer resets it, the ones that the only information in the owner's manual says to turn off the car and call the dealership immediately. It's a hybrid thing. Since we were halfway between home and the dealership, and we knew we were about to be stranded, we decided to drive to Toyota. There we found out that the hybrid guy was gone for the evening, the rental car company was closed for the evening, the courtesy van was not available, no they don't have loaner cars, and that we should "call a friend to come pick us up." Why is it at these kind of moments that you realize you don't have as many friends as you think you do?
Did I mention that Noah was asleep in his carseat?
So while Dave was busy extricating the carseat from the car and calling his best work buddies, I took my sleeping angel around to the sales floor. I was on a mission to find someone who (a) looked like they had some authority, (b) looked to be in a good mood, and (c) looked like a dad. I didn't have to look too far. He even had baby photos framed on his desk. With all 22 pounds of Noah sacked out on my shoulder, and my voice a little shaky with the adrenaline that comes with being a mommy stranded with her baby, I carefully approached him. "Excuse me, do you have a sec? I've got an interesting situation. Ya see, my husband and I are actually in the market for a Rav4 (100% true), and have been talking about test driving them when we get a chance. And coincidentally, our Prius just stranded us here in the service department this evening, we've got a sleeping baby, and we can't find a ride home. Is there any chance you could set us up with an extended test drive overnight so we can get home?"
And the first words out of the good man's mouth were, "I think we can take care of you." The next were "how old is your little boy?" Very shortly after that he was asking, "exactly what model were you guys interested in?"
That's the story of how we traded our Prius in for a Rav4. Don't get me wrong, I still love my Prius, but this one is NEW, and SHINY, and FREE!!!! They "fixed" our car today, but they still don't know what went wrong*, so they want to keep it for observation. I think we have to give the Rav back at some point. Darn.
*Yes, we had a full tank of gas this time! Maybe the best explanation is the car's shock that WE were at a dry cleaners!
Friday, July 4, 2008
You know you're a mom when ... you spend more time looking at your son's expressions than watching the sky during his first fireworks show.
We hadn't really planned on taking him to see the fireworks, but then since he wasn't sleeping anyway, we took him outside to see what we could see. Noah enjoyed the bright colors, and we were far enough away that they weren't too booming. He stared in awe, and kept pointing when they were over. I think he liked them!
Here's a photo from one year ago, and today, in the very same shirt. What a difference a year makes!
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Ok, not really that fast, but we saw a friend this weekend whose baby is three weeks younger and she walked about three times faster than Noah. Literally. Noah is very deliberate, for lack of a better word. Until today. Today it's off to the races (though she would still definitely win).
Here's a photo of Noah and his speedy friend Miranda. It was hard to catch them both in the same frame.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
The Splash Pool is lots of fun, and our lawn is appreciating the runoff!
Noah likes to press the button over and over on the Little People Tractor until it gets to the longer song, and then he stops and listens and gets the biggest grin on his face. Sometimes he'll dance along.
Aunt Elaine had all kinds of suggestions on how to make the tunnel less scary to teach Noah to go through it, but he was pretty fearless! We just tossed one of his new toys into the middle, and he scurried right after it.
Noah really likes this Shape Sorter. Never heard of the brand (Battat), but I like it a lot. The pieces are easy to get back out, the sides are color-coded with the pieces to add another dimension to the matching (or simplify it, if babies can think that way), and one side has some bead sliders for before they're ready for matching. Plus, some of the shapes are letters and numbers. I'm so impressed. Noah figured out the circle very quickly.
Our neighbors are big baseball fans, and they're trying to get Noah started young with this baby teeball set. It's working. Noah likes to hit the ball off the tee with the bat, and push the buttons to make the little people say "You're SAFE!"
Mommy and Daddy got Noah this Radio Flyer Retro Rocket, and it was almost as big a hit with the older cousins at the party.
The Wii Fit was never intended to be a Noah present, but somebody forgot to tell him that. He loves doing his own version of step aerobics, and "helping" mom with her balance games.
a 70th birthday:
two fun nights at the creekhouse:
and several new dogs to meet:
We had another fun weekend playing hostess for our friend Connie, who came to visit all the way from Connecticut. (I only dare post this pic because I warned her she was making a goofy face in order to get a smile out of Noah. When she complains, I might have to take it down.)
In between, there have been lots of swim lessons, lots of walking, and lots of jabbering in Noah-ese. In fact, we've been having so much fun, sometimes we even forget to break out the camera!
Thursday, June 12, 2008
For the record, Noah will still eat plain yogurt off a spoon. He will also eat banana covered in yogurt off a spoon. He will even eat meatball covered in yogurt off a spoon. And corn. This may open a whole new world of possibility.
For the record, how do I implement the three-day allergy wait between new food exposures if I can't get Noah to touch, much less ingest, scrambled eggs or strawberries? What does it take to qualify as exposure? He used to eagerly taste new stuff, at least once.
For the record, one of the best things about turning one is being free to eat/try all those foods that have been off-limits up till now. Maybe my fruit and cheese boy will finally find something else that's gobble-worthy.
And a question: Without getting too graphic (the moms out there know), is there any nutritional value to corn whatsoever if you don't chew the kernels before swallowing?
Monday, June 9, 2008
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Nothing gets under my skin these days like trying to communicate with customer service reps. I think somewhere in the past few years, they've forgotten what their title means. My latest issue is with Shutterfly, and I almost don't even have the energy to resolve it. But then, the dark pessimistic side of me knows that's what they're banking on, and that irks me to no end.
A few weeks ago, Shutterfly sent me an offer for a free 8x8" photo book with any qualifying purchase. This really appealed to me, since it's a $29.99 value, and something I'd been interested in anyway. This is actually Customer Service Issue #4 related to this order.
Issue #1 was almost a non-issue, but it did require an email to customer service. After spending time and money on a "qualifying order" to get the free photo book, they sent me an email for some other promo, and I had to write and tell them that if they weren't going to give me my photobook, they could refund my "qualifying order" because that was the only reason I'd placed it in the first place. In reality, the photobook promo was still in my account, it was just invisible until you placed a photobook into your shopping cart. Thanks for telling me.
Issue #2: After I spent literally dozens (plural) of hours building the pages of my 20-page book in Photoshop, I couldn't get the covers to upload properly because the Shutterfly program kept cropping them funny. I had to write them to get a link to the bleed-and-crop guideline template thingy. Turns out my image needed an extra inch or so on three sides for wrapping around the cover. This template was easy enough to use, except that in the process I found out I needed to go back and resize all 20 of my regular pages so that their edges didn't get cropped off. No biggie. At least this could be resolved with an email, and better to find out earlier than after it was printed.
Issue #3: A handful of hours of cropping and resizing later, I finally put the finished book in my shopping cart and go to checkout, and I can't get the promo code to work. After an hour of online chat and half an hour on the telephone, they explain that when you choose the "digital scrapbook" theme (as opposed to graduation or new baby or father's day, for example) the book gets a different SKU number and hence is ineligible for the promo. Of course, nowhere in the terms and conditions does it tell you this, and nowhere in the digital scrapbook theme does it mention it's a different category of book. But no matter, some supervisor of a supervisor was willing to manually edit my promo code so that it would work "just this one time."
Issue #4: The book arrives in the mail. The inside is as beautiful as I imagined it could be. The cover and back and spine look sharp except for one thing... the background colors of the three panels don't match. The cover is lighter blue, the spine is darker blue, and the back is grey -- not blue at all. They definitely were EXACTLY the same in my original Photoshop and .jpg images. An email to customer service doesn't help. They respond that the book is a faithful reproduction of the images in my project file, and if I look closely the colors do differ in my uploaded images. So they are half right... the three background blues DO differ in my uploaded images, but don't ask me how or why because the originals definitely don't differ. How can uploading an image file change the background color without changing the photo hues? And how do I stop it from happening so that I can fix my cover? BUT the part about a "faithful reproduction"? How does he know? He's not looking at the book. In fact, the color differences in the uploaded files are opposite of the color differences on the actual book. The uploaded spine image is lightest while the actual front cover is lightest, and the uploaded back image is definitely a dark BLUE, not gray. Their solution is for me to send the book back for refund/credit, fix the project files on my end, and re-order it. Never mind that this book was FREE, so the whole refund/re-order isn't going to work in my favor. Never mind that I can't get the colors to remain consistent during the upload process (I tried again today). And above all, never mind that when you go to preview your finished photobook, Shutterfly thinks that showing facing pages in slightly different shades makes it look more 3D-realistic on the computer screen (as evidenced by all my 20 inside pages that were the same shade in Photoshop and in the actual book, but looked different on the Shutterfly screen). Sigh. I just want to hire someone and say "fix this." Isn't that what CUSTOMER SERVICE is for?
Friday, June 6, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Looking at these photos, I think Noah needs another haircut already! What a scraggly kid! But cute... always cute!
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
My friend the pediatric physical therapist says that "walking" is SIX steps. 2+4=6, right?
Never mind the semantics, he took 7 steps in a row later in the evening!
Monday, May 26, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
If you google "taggie blanket tutorial" I'm sure you'll turn up dozens of links far better than anything I could write up here, especially since I didn't take photos of the process. But trust me, it's easy. It was my first sewing project, and I'm no seamstress. But in case you're too lazy to google, here's the gist:
- cut two squares of complementary fabric (cotton, flannel, satin, minky, whatever you like, I made mine anywhere from 15-18" square) and about twenty lengths of ribbon (satin, grosgrain, wide, skinny... again, whatever suits you, mine were 4-6" each).
- pin your squares of fabric, right sides together, and tack the ribbons around the edges, about 5 per side. The ribbons should be folded in half, with the looped end sandwiched between the fabric layers and the cut ends sticking out beyond the fabric just a little.
- sew around the perimeter, leaving a gap on one side between two ribbons so that you can turn the blanket right-side out.
- snip your corners, turn right-side-out, poke the corners out, press the seams flat (especially the gap that is not sewn closed yet), and then sew around the perimeter again, close to the edge but just inside it. (This will close the gap; no hand-stitching required.) If you have decorative stitches on your machine, this may be a fun time to use them.
(I'm backdating this because it's old. I actually made the first taggies on 5/19/2007, but I didn't want this to appear as my very first blog entry)
Monday, May 19, 2008
* this video is also linked in the sidebar to PhotoBucket, if the embedded one doesn't work for ya. Let me know in the comments if there are problems.