Friday, December 24, 2010

This isn't about Christmas

As a typical 18-month-old, Nora loves other babies. “Baby! Baby!” She’ll say whenever she sees a baby out someplace. She loves babies so much, she’ll often say “Baby! Baby!” while pointing to what is clearly a child older than she is. If the kid is being carried or is in a stroller, it must be a baby as far as Nora is concerned.

At times, however, she can carry this to the extreme. We have a pamphlet from the Poison Control center on our refrigerator, and Nora can see it when I’m changing her diapers. “Baby! Baby!” she yells, and points to it. “Haddat,” she will add, which I like to translate as “May I have that please?” but which, if we are honest, probably translates more as, “I will have that. Now.”

This is the pamphlet:


I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, “Well, there IS a baby on that pamphlet, Maureen.”


Ah. True. But what you do not know is that the magnet holding the pamphlet on the refrigerator was covering up that baby. So this is what Nora could see:


This leads us to the only possible conclusion, which is that Nora thinks that old woman is a baby. OK, yes, she’s not THAT old. Not elderly. Fine. But I think we can all agree that she is not a baby.


In conclusion, I finally gave her the “baby” and she proceeded to clutch the pamphlet to her breast and rock it, while singing “Rock-a-bye baby.” But she stopped as soon as I got the camera, because she’s mean like that.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Stir crazy

I've been feeling very very cranky the past few days. I was hoping that this last week before Christmas would be relaxing and fun, but instead I've been trapped in the house with first one, then another sick kid. I finished the chores that are do-able while the kids are awake, so I'm also incredibly bored. (Don't tell Jack, but I don't find playing cars quite as fun as he does.) And this is what my house typically looks like by about 2pm these days:




Yes, the smiling toddler does help matters. As does the fact that making this happen


keeps 'em quiet.

STILL AND ALL. Do you see that first picture, with the chairs? I actually did that one; it is the only means I have of keeping Nora off the kitchen table and away from the knife block on the counter. Because that little monkey can climb, and she also knows how to push a chair to where she needs to reach. I give it about a week before she figures out how to lift the chairs up, and a week and one day before she drops a chair onto her head.

But today I've decided to pick Jack up from school with the stroller. It will get me exercise AND out of the house, so it's a win-win. Well, until Nora falls asleep in the stroller on the way home and screws up her nap, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday photos!

I bought myself a party dress last month, and I finally got to wear it tonight to Andrew's annual work Christmas dinner. I did my hair all fancy and everything. I had my sitter take some photos, and Jack photobombed us in this one. There were better shots of me, but his expression is too priceless not to share.


This week we made a gingerbread house because the internet was all alight with rave reviews over what a fun family activity! So fun! So easy, because of the kits! Ours took two days. We had to take a break after our first attempt because SOMEONE threw a tantrum. It was me. But in my defense, I had never made that type of icing before and the recipe said to add five tablespoons of water, and then add by 1/2 teaspoon increments, if needed. "The icing will be thick" it clearly said. The 1/2 teaspoon increments is what really got me, because this was a huge bowl of icing. It seemed to me that a 1/2 teaspoon of water was a negligible amount. So I added water slowly and painfully and then tried to glue the house together by squeezing what was essentially a solid out of a cheap disposable pastry bag, and my hands nearly broke and bag burst and the stupid house fell apart when I went to put the roof on and I HATE THIS STUPID HOUSE AND WHOSE IDEA WAS THIS STUPID PROJECT ANYWAY.

Oh, right. Mine.

So I smeared the icing onto the gingerbread with my fingers, stuck the house together and called it a day. The next day I readjusted my expectations, thinned the icing out so that it would actually squeeze, did NOT throw a fit when the pastry bag burst again, and it was all fine. And then we took a photo and my children posed with completely relaxed and natural expressions.



Finally, there is this:


That thing is the jar lifter from the canning kit I bought this summer. Nora found it a few months ago and decided it was a perfect place to put her baby to bed. There is a part of me so impressed by her ingenuity that I almost don't want to give her the doll cradle we got her for Christmas. But I think I will anyway.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A few things

First of all, it is of vital importance that I document the fact that Nora thinks that “Nope” means “Yes.” Why, yes! This IS very confusing! But I don’t mind, because it is also hilarious. And we’re getting more and more used to it, so the lag time between her telling us “No” and our understanding that she means “Yes” is getting shorter.

My favorite part is the way she gets the intonation exactly perfect, if only she were saying “Yes.” Today she called out “Treat! Treat! Treeaaaaattttt!” from the car seat. I asked her if she dropped her granola bar, and she plaintively cried, “Noooooooooooooope!” So I stopped the car and got out to get her granola bar, which she had dropped. Like she said.

And since I’m writing things that need to be documented, have I mentioned how she loves to blow zerberts on my belly button? Which she calls a “butt”? Not because she has the anatomy wrong, but because that’s how she says “button.” She’s doing it right now, as I type this. “Butt? Butt? Butt?” she is saying, while tugging at my shirt. Now she is putting her ice cold hands on my belly and going “Woooooooo!” And now she is blowing zerberts. And now she is biting me. Excuse me whilst I put her uselessly in time out, a hilarious game she finds highly entertaining.

Second of all, Nora’s current favorite book is Goodnight, Gorilla, and I love reading it with her because when we get to the page where the lights are out and all the animals say “Good night,” Nora does the voices. SHE DOES THE VOICES.

Yes, I will attempt to get it on video, but she is remarkably uncooperative with such things.

So that brings me to the issue of my glasses. How does it do that? Do not trouble me with details. It brings me here. That is all you need to know. Many months ago, after Nora repeatedly broke my glasses and my optician closed the branch in the next town over, I decided it would be wise to have a back up pair of glasses that I don’t hate. Since Swistle had such recent success with Zenni Optical, I figured I’d give them a try.

Now. I have been wearing glasses for… let’s see… carry the two… twenty-four years. In the course of those twenty-four years, I have made my fair share of unfortunate glasses choices, like when I was eleven and picked out the exact same pair my mother wore. (I’m not trying to put down my mother here, it’s just that glasses suitable for a grown woman are not necessarily the best choice for a eleven-year-old girl.) Even worse was the entire period between 1989 and 1993, when everyone decided that oversized glasses were flattering. Note: They were not.

The Era of Huge Glasses was particularly hard on me because I have an abnormally tiny face. On the upside, it was photographic evidence from the period that made this fact clear to me. Well, the photographic evidence combined with having to push my enormous glasses back up my nose unceasingly for four straight years.

And this brings us once again to the issue of my new glasses. When I started choosing frames at Zenni Optical, I tried to first measure my current glasses, which I love, so that I could find glasses at Zenni of a similar size. I even looked up my current frames online to see if they listed measurements. It was then that I learned that the “JB” in my frame style number, “JB-2701,” stands for “Jelly Bean.” (Insert ominous foreshadowy music here.)

I ordered two pairs of glasses and a pair of sunglasses. It did… not go well.

Current pair. Love!

Purple pair. Not so much with the love!

Blue pair. Gaaaaahhhh!

Sunglasses. Photo included for completeness.

Note the way the new glasses make my face appear shrunken within them, so that the sides of my face outside the glasses do not line up with the sides of my face inside the glasses. "Deformed face" is not typically a look I aim for when selecting eyeware, so this was kind of an issue.

I sent back the blue pair. I kept the purple pair, because Zenni only refunds 50% of the cost of the glasses anyway and I need an emergency back up pair. But I don't wear them or anything. And I don’t think I’ll be buying glasses online again because I clearly need to try on the glasses first. The experience made me wonder how I found such small frames in the first place, so I went back to the website that listed the style of my current frames, only to discover that the glasses I am wearing on my face right this very second, the Jelly Bean 2701s, are children’s frames. I have to buy CHILDREN'S FRAMES. To fit my freakishly tiny face.

In summary, I will now tell you the joke for grown-ups that Jack taught to me, because he specifically requested I tell it to all the grown-ups I know. It goes:

Knock knock! Who’s there? House. House who? House interrupted.

HAHAHA! (Don’t worry; if you don’t get it, it just means you’re not a grown-up.)

Completely off-topic, what do you all think of that shirt I am wearing? I bought it because it fit so well when I tried it on, and it was only $7. I bought two, actually. But I am having second thoughts about those layered ruffle things. So am I pulling that shirt off? If it helps, only look at the picture of me in my normal glasses, since you won't be distracted by my deformed face or my incredibly awkward "casual" pose with my arm out to the side.