Friday, September 26, 2008

vitamin C

We are caught in this in-between, where it's not warm like summer anymore or colder yet like fall. It's nearly each at different times of day, and it's hard to decide how to dress, or dress my child. His new, poofy winter coat is waiting, and for now we're in short sleeves under hoodies.

I like this in-between.

Liam's cold is finally leaving. We- well, he- has really been lucky, as he's never really been sick sick. For full disclosure, this is what we've dealt with since his birth almost sixteen months ago:
* the bruising on his head from the vacuum that helped set him free from my vagina (that sounds way more crude than I want it to but that's just what happened), making breastfeeding difficult for a while
* gas pain as a newborn that warranted medication
* an umbilical hernia that looked CRAZY for a while, then suddenly healed up on its own, well before the deadline by a couple years where you have to start worrying about it
* a brief eye infection that was cleared up quickly with antibiotics
* a couple fevers that disappeared by morning
* an overnight bout of not being able to keep anything down, when he was still on just breastmilk
* that night he projectile-vomited three times after eating macaroni and cheese for the first time (that sound and smell is burned into my memory)
* strabismus

So when he got a cold last week, it was rough. He handled it well, though. Nights were hard for a few days, as the rattle in his nose made it hard for him to get, stay and return to sleep. His nose was constantly dripping and every sneeze was messy. He was a little loopy and goofy and cuddly and generally good-natured. He handled it better than I did, because did you see that list up there? My kid has an immune system of steel. (Almost. I mean, he did just have a cold.)

It's just hard to watch him struggle, and it's hard to hold him down to suck junk out of his nose with a nasal aspirator. Although there were times when he just stood there, ever so patiently, and tipped his face up so I could spray saline up his nose and then suck everything out with a rubber bulb. Oh, bless that child's heart.

He's on the up and up though, enough so that we were able to take a walk again last night, and enough that he was able to spend the afternoon out with my parents. He's going to be completely ok soon, and strangely, it seems I am too even though my face was sneezed on at least three times and I was unable to avoid a lot of other ways of spreading germs. I'm his mom. There's only so much disinfecting I can do on myself while making sure everything else was running smoothly.

I do realize I have probably just jinxed myself.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

be still, my heart

The film adaptation of one of my favorite books is hitting theaters tomorrow, the 26th.

Chuck Palahniuk's writing makes my heart beat a little faster and this is one pages-to-screen transformation I am really looking forward to, since he is involved with writing the screenplay. Like Fight Club, it should be a fair and reasonable representation.

I have not seen the movie version of one of my other favorite books, Tuck Everlasting, because Alexis Bledel from The Gilmore Girls plays Winnie. I don't think I can handle that, because I love the story wayyyyy too much to see Rory Gilmore playing a twelve-year-old in it. ON the other hand, The Virgin Suicides is a beautiful book AND movie.

I may have to wait a week or two or more to get to the theater to see Choke but I am (will be) SO THERE.

absent minded

I am completely mad at myself for missing Mates of State on Yo! Gabba Gabba on Tuesday. Dang it! I was looking forward to it for over a month! It's too recent to be on YouTube yet.

Dear Nora,
Please don't forget the season premiere of The Office tonight. OR ELSE. I'll be mad at you forever. Thank you.
xoxo, yourself

Monday, September 22, 2008

self promotion

I have a contest right now on my art blog for a free set of postcards that I designed. Please check it out and don't forget to enter. My Etsy shop will be opening this week and there will be more random postcard giveaways coming, so one visit will not be enough. Click often!

Back to Nora-ness soon, ok?


Friday, September 19, 2008

Oh, I still have a blog...?

Hey guys! Remember me? It's Nora. Your buddy, That Nora Girl. I'm still here!

Liam is sick for real for the first time ever and my lovely landlords- you know who!- are at it again and still have not turned the heat on in our building even though by law they were required to on Monday, and it's been in the 30s and 40s at night. Oh, the joys of renting.

Also, I want Bridget, Jenny and Sara to know that I do indeed know I have been recognized with awards and tags and have full intentions of addressing those in the coming days or maybe weeks. I know, I am a lame award/tag receiver. Please forgive me that I have not gotten to it yet! Busy, busy.

Can you handle all those links?

I forgot what I came on here originally to say, other than a couple notes and disclaimers. So, a few more:
* more photos from Kay's visit soon!
* so excited that fall is here!
* so excited about the anadama bread on my kitchen counter!
* am missing Bethel an awful lot right now!
* my cousin's daughter's first birthday party is coming up soon and I am also really excited about that!
* apparently really into exclamation marks tonight!
* Liam's been making really funny faces lately that remind me of Andy Samberg's photo shoot in Interview magazine!
* I am really effing cold right now!
* also really hungry?

xoxo Nora

Saturday, September 13, 2008

In Photos: Week One of Nana's Visit, 8/31/08-9/7/08

At the airport, this was the first time my mother-in-law held her only grandchild in five months.
(He cared too, and then he saw someone walking a dog.)

On the Maine State Pier in Portland that day, three generations breathed salty air.
(I vote she moves here.)

The next day we went to Old Orchard Beach, where I swam for the first time (gasp!) all summer.
(The way that felt warrants a blog post all it's own.)

Kay enjoyed the freshness of Maine and the sea.
(She left a hot and humid Dallas behind.)

Liam enjoyed a peach on the beach.
(He enjoys peaches everywhere.)

On Grandparents Day, Liam had three of his four grandparents in the same room at the same time.
(First time since last summer.)

Dinner that day looked like this:
(I made rotini with garlic butter, carrots, zucchini, asparagus, green peppers, green beans, broccoli and black beans, plus Parmesan. My mum made naan. Mmmm.)

Dessert looked like this:
(Banana-zucchini bread wins hearts again.)

After dinner, Liam soaked up the attention of six adoring adults. That's my sister Karsten playing on the floor with him.
(Isn't she the most beautiful lady you've ever seen? Sorry guys, she's married.)

Next time (or so), the following week in photos: apple picking! apple crisp! rice bowls! duck feeding! cuteness overload!

Friday, September 12, 2008

the sweetness

There are moments, as a mother, that you feel desperate, irritated, inadequate, exhausted, and any number of things that will eventually bring guilt.

There are other moments, too, that suggest you're doing things right, and that bring peace and warmth and comfort.

Yesterday Liam didn't nap. Mind you, he's fifteen months old. He needs to nap, but he didn't much feel like it. Because he was mostly on his best behavior, instead of trying to force it I provided distraction until he had an early bedtime.

He watched Labyrinth with me for the first time- more on that later from this David Bowie fan- and even though he wasn't paying attention the whole time, the hour and a half did include some cuddling, dinner on the couch, ignoring the movie, and rapt attention to the goblins who sang and danced. And of course, attention to David Bowie himself because whose kid do you think he is?? Liam knows what's important.

When it was over I started the bedtime routine, and I knew he was eager for sleep. We went through the steps quickly, and we cuddled on the couch again for his bedtime story before he finally fell asleep.

I read Goodnight Moon. Three times. Because when I was done the first two times, he turned the pages back and looked at me expectantly. Then we read I Love You, Mommy. Then he handed me Goodnight Moon again.

Just after I began, "In a great green room there was a telephone, and a red balloon...", he reached up without looking and touched my cheek as I read softly to him. His fingers traced my cheekbone, my cheek, my jaw. His soft fingers played on my skin, and he grazed over my lips. He didn't stop touching my face until the story was over, then he turned around and leaned into me, meaning he was ready to sleep.

And that was it.

I forgot the guilt, his tired fussiness earlier in the day, my own fatigue.

He's my baby. My toddler baby who is growing up fast. Who loves me. Who touches my face when I read to him. Who knows how much I love him.

He was asleep in less that five minutes and he slept all night.

(I know, I know. Sticky sweet. But sometimes that's how I like need it.)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Busy like bees.

I have not been blogging more regularly as I like to, for a few reasons. Firstly, I've been busy daydreaming and planning and preparing for the opening of my Etsy shop, which should be happening soon. Secondly, my lovely mother-in-law Kay has arrived for a three week visit. One week is already almost gone and we are all having a great time. Thirdly... well I don't think there is a concrete third reason other than my general dreamy flightiness of the arrival of autumn-like weather. Did you know apple season has begun? I am going to bake apple everything until I fall down on my kitchen floor in an apple-y, flour-y, cinnamon-y heap.

Currently Kay and I are hanging out in the darkened living room while Liam naps on the couch. He's been phenomenally awesome and is loving having his Nana here, even though she doesn't let him get away with things that I can tell he expects to be able to get away with now, like standing up on the couch or letting his sippy cup drip on the coffee table so he can splash in the puddle. Go, Nana!

I am sitting on the floor with some pillows, sipping the coffee Kay bought me on our way back from running errands and trying not to think about what happened while we were innocently running errands. But since I am trying not to, I am, so I am going to tell you about it because I am sure you've all missed my long-winded stories about things of little importance to the world.

I think we all know the rules of driving in parking lots: stop or at least yield when you pull out of your row, look both ways thoroughly before backing out of your spot, and don't block people's way on foot or wheels. Other than that, I am pretty sure there just are no rules.

Normally I don't patrol the entire parking lot for the closest possible space. I like to park where it's easiest and get a little more walking in. Today though, I was at Wal-Mart to purchase three things. Just three. I saw an open parking space near the front and I pulled into it.

Little did I know this innocent act would give someone a fracking stroke. I turned off my car I was getting out when I see a lady behind me in an SUV yelling at me. She's laying on her horn. She's telling me (in fewer words than this because she was not a native English speaker) that essentially she was born deserving that very parking spot at Wal-Mart in Auburn, Maine, and she's been waiting her whole life for it and I am standing in the way of her destiny by not getting back into my car and moving so that she can claim her very special parking spot. And she just waits, watching me. So I tell her that she should probably find another spot because I am not moving. Because really? Seriously? Does she think I am actually going to put my child back into the car seat and move for her? Destiny, schmestiny.

She sits there honking some more and yelling at me about it being her spot. People are watching now. She's lingering, yelling and honking, like she is going to harass me into submission. I'm looking at her like she's crazy, and I finally start yelling back at her because I am that mature don't really think it's pleasant to be barked at by the craziest stranger I have ever encountered- and I've even been called a selfish bitch by a drunk homeless lady for not giving her my (non-existent, mind you) spare change. You guys, I am not a fighter. But I'm learning to stick up for myself if you scream at me from your car while I am holding my child and trying to buy some effing diapers and graham crackers and dried fruit... I'm not just going to stand there.

I can't even remember what I said, but I let her know I am not moving my car and she needs to find another spot. She's rolling away, still yelling, trying to be menacing in her big, bad Envoy. I take note of her license plate number in case she gets crazier. She calls me selfish and finally drives away, as slowly as possible, probably giving me the Evil Eye I couldn't even see through her tinted windows.

She is lucky she encountered the more passive of the McCourtney-Wolfs. Had Gabe been with me, she would have scampered away, whimpering, in the hellfire and hail that would have rained down upon her for yelling at his wife. In fact, I think the entire conflict would not have even gone down if she'd seen Gabe unfold himself from the driver's seat. He has a notorious Don't eff with me face that just comes naturally. I've seen grown men pry their tail out from their asscracks for looking at me for longer than what's appropriate.

For the record, when we returned to the parking lot my car had not been vandalized, and this lady had found a spot just three down from mine and had to walk an extra fifteen feet to the entrance of Wal-Mart. Oh, the nerve of me.

Then some old lady got lost and bewildered at a red light and pulled into my lane when I was turning left on a green arrow. Where are these people coming from today?

Dear Universe: Please don't make me yell at anyone else in front of my sweet mother-in-law.

xoxo, Nora.