Sunday, June 28, 2009

a tribute

The dance scene in Thriller has always and will always get me. Seriously. It makes me just as giddy and choked up as when Johnny and Baby dance at the end of Dirty Dancing. It's perfect.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

roller rink

An actual conversation I had with my chiropractor in 2005 after she looked over my x-rays:

DR. PORTER: Were you a skater when you were younger? Ice skating or roller skating?
NORA: I used to ice skate every winter.
DR. PORTER: Have you ever broken your tailbone?
DR. PORTER: Well, you're showing some trauma to your tailbone that indicates more than one previous tailbone fractures.
NORA: That's weird.
DR. PORTER: It can be easy for some people to break their tailbone and never know it. Did you ever fall directly on your butt?
NORA: [laugh] Yes.
DR. PORTER: That's probably what did it. Like, two or three times.

So imagine the sweat that gathered on my forehead and in my armpits when my friend asked me to go roller skating with him.

I graduated from high school with Matt, but aside from running into him a few times in the past nine years, I hadn't spent much time with him since algebra class senior year. We've been friends on MySpace and Facebook for a few years now and our pretty regular "We should get together soon!" exchanges after I moved back to Maine last year finally got to the point where we were both meant business. But roller skating? Errr....

I hadn't roller skated since I was 12. It was January of 1994 and I was on a date with my sixth-grade boyfriend that a few of my girlfriends tagged along to. I remember it well, and I know I fell that night.

But I made myself do it, because it's been raining a lot and I was desperate for something new, and even though it was completely outside of my comfort zone I wanted to beat my anxieties into submission with a nail-studded stick. What better way than roller skating?

Dudes, I am SO GLAD I went! Yeah, I was scared and shaky at first, and roller skating is not as easy to me as ice skating, but I did it, and I loved it, and I'm going to start making it a regular thing. THANK GOODNESS Matt asked me to go!

I was really surprised and impressed by the other people skating- there were men and women in their 50s and up who glided so effortlessly on those little wheels, their bodies moving smoothly in the rink like they were weightless. It was beautiful, really.

It'll be nice to have something outside of the house that is not related to errands that I can do on my own, and judging by the ache in my legs for the two days following skating night, it seems to be a pretty good exercise.

Another bonus: with all the butt clenching I do on skates, I am hoping that within a few months time I'll have the firm and perky bum I've been half-heartedly attempting to sculpt at home.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Hangover + my mom-ness

Last weekend my sister kindly babysat for Liam so that Gabe and I could go out for a date! Woo, woo!

We went to see The Hangover, which had obviously been getting great reviews, and which seemed like the kind of movie where we could kind of check out from real life and laugh at the really absurd situations presented in this comedy.

And that's exactly what we did. We laughed a lot.

But you know me. I'm a mom. And there were a few things in the movie that I could not even muster a chuckle at, because I take things really literally and there are some things that I just don't think are funny.

I'm such a bummer.

If you've seen the movie, you'll know what I'm talking about if you read on. If you haven't, don't worry because I'm not going to spoil anything for you.

Everything I thought was unfunny was directly related to the baby that is found in a closet when the guys wake up at a luxury hotel with their hangover.

1. One of the characters moves the baby's arm to mimic the motions of ma$turbat!on. I don't think that ma$turbat!on is dirty or wrong, but I think it's inappropriate to expect adults to find humor in that.

2. They put the baby in the backseat of a car with no car seat, with a regular seat belt on. OBVIOUSLY I know this is not real but it's the idea. I take car seat safety very seriously and some idiot out there might think this is ok. I already know how relaxed some parents can be in real life in regards to their child's automotive safety and I could not see the humor in this situation. And then in the movie they get into a series of minor collisions while the baby's back there, unrestrained!!! Oh my word, I almost passed out. Not funny.

3. They left the baby in the car in the Vegas heat while they went into a chapel to find some more clues about their inebriated night. This is also a serious real-life issue. Babies die in hot cars, just like animals do. In the past couple years I have read several articles about parents who forget their child is in the car seat and they leave the car unattended for hours, or they have ignorantly, stupidly, knowingly left their kids in a hot car because it's easier than getting them in or out.

4. When they reunite the baby with his mom, she sees he's hungry and whips out her boob to breastfeed him, leaving the male characters slack-jawed at the sight of her full breast (which was shown on-screen). Now, I happily breastfed, and I am a full supporter of breastfeeding in general and of the idea that it is natural and should not be concealed away from society. BUT I have a problem with sexualizing breastfeeding, which is one of the big problems that breastfeeding moms face in public when they want to discreetly feed their babies through nursing garments and cover-ups. You wouldn't believe the kinds of things I have heard about people actually saying to nursing moms. If we as a society continue to portray women's breasts solely as tools of sex, breastfeeding will continue to be misunderstood and discouraged in public.

I know this was a comedy, and that pretty much every situation in the movie was unrealistic, but as a mom those four things were too real for me. I found them so unfunny. Gabe and I were the only ones in the theater who seemed to find them distasteful, and I felt like a bit of an old fogy until I reminded myself that my parenting experience so far and research is something I value, and it won't change my opinion.

The rest of the movie was really funny to me and I needed those laughs. It was absurd and it was hilarious and if you think my points won't bother you too much, by all means, go see The Hangover!

Also? Ed Helms playing a different character than Andy Bernard? Tee-hee. He's kind of cute. It made me feel less weird about that bewildering dream I had a couple weeks ago in which Jim Halpert and Andy Bernard were fighting over me.


Friday, June 19, 2009

results: my hair

I had my hair trimmed tonight by Carmen at Karma Hair and Bodywork Salon on Sabattus Street in Lewiston.

Here are my before and after photos. Note the scraggles at the bottom of my hair in the before shot. Those were driving me bananas. In the after shot, my hair looks healthier with a cleaner cut with just a few snips.

The best part is my bangs, which Carmen cleaned up for me. I've been trimming them myself but I am afraid to make them too short so I kept them too long and they were always in my eyes.

Now I can see!
(Please note: that's not some weird chunk of hair on the other side of my face; that's the shadow my giganto nose is casting on the wall behind me.)

Liam loves running his hands through my hair, especially when it's wet. I think subconsciously that's another part of why I don't want to get rid of it all yet. Plus, I can still totally tickle him with the ends of my hair without even turning my face away from him.

My hair looks like it's about the same length now as it was in March of 2006 when I donated it last. I think I'll keep growing it at least through the fall before I cut it again- and now, thanks to Carmen, I'll have healthier hair to send off to someone who needs it more than I do.

A Brief History of My Hair... Riveting!

In March of 2006, I had really long hair. Long enough that ponytails hurt with their weight and I could have posed as Eve in a "forbidden fruit" photo shoot, complete with my hair modestly covering my nakedness.

I decided to go for a Big Chop, and donated over ten inches to Locks of Love. Donating my hair had been something I'd wanted to do for years, but never managed the patience to let it get long enough (to not end up in the end with a Jamie Lee Curtis spiky buzz cut). Finally, I had done it. I was inspired by my six-year-old cousin who started growing out her hair so she could be like Rapunzel, and ended up donating her hair.

I went to Sweet 200 in Dallas, where Kinome gave me a haircut that I LOVED. (If you're in Dallas, call and see if she's still there; she's awesome!)

From there, I grew it out for over a year until the last week or so of my pregnancy. It wasn't nearly as long but it was already getting too heavy and I knew that with a newborn I would be living in buns and ponytails. I really only have pregnancy photos from that time, but you can still see in this photo how long it had gotten. (That look in my eyes? Overwhelming pregnancy fatigue.)

I don't remember which salon I went to in Cedar Hill or the name of my stylist (Remember? Fifteen months pregnant) but she was great, and I was really happy with this cut as well:

This evening when Gabe gets home from work I am heading out to get my hair cut for the first time in over two years. I haven't had anything trimmed except for my bangs, which I do myself. I'm ridiculously excited about this trim- not because it's going to be another drastic cut but because I'm really just getting my hair healthy tonight. I want the wear and tear of two years gone so that I can enjoy these long locks.

About a month ago I was all ready for another Great Chop for Locks of Love, especially with summer coming (someday...) but I decided instead to just take care of my hair and make the most of having this much of it. There's something I'm really attached to about it- I don't know if it's because my hair is as old as Liam or because I have these silly, idealistic visions of being a long-haired lady in the garden with my son. (Ok, I admitted it.)

I'll post my before and afters later. I bet you can't wait.

Well, I know I can't.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


When I was little and my family still lived in Gardner, Massachusetts, my mum's aunt and uncle also still lived in that town. My mum grew up with them in a brick house at a quiet intersection and we'd go over for dinner every now and then.

I remember this one time, Tata made a pineapple upside-down cake for dessert and at that time it was the yummiest thing I had ever tasted (except maybe for strawberry ice cream) so she let me have seconds. I remember her cutting another slice for me and sliding it onto my plate, smiling warmly the whole time.

Tata passed away earlier today after her battle with cancer. Within the first weeks after her diagnosis, there was hope that she'd live another couple years. However, her body did not respond to chemo and radiation and what started out as breast cancer became her tiny body's battle against the tumors in her chest and on her back. For the last few weeks of her life, the only medication she was given were concoctions to keep her sleepy and painless.

My mum was there with her in Florida for the last few months, at the bedside of the woman who raised her. There's relief that there's no more pain but of course, the heartache at knowing that someone so vibrant and vital in my family is gone and that the woman who was essentially my mom's mom is no longer on this earth.

This is Tata in younger and healthier times, on her wedding day when she was twenty years old.

*Please note, those are not black stains on her dress, just scuffs on my photograph.

I'll remember that sweet face and her sweet accent- and the pineapple upside-down cake, and the warm brick house at that quiet intersection.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Our late spring weather has been feeling like early spring instead- chilly and rainy, we're still sleeping between flannel sheets. We've had some shorts and t-shirt weather, and then it switches back to jackets and umbrellas.

Make up your MIND, Maine.

My adventure in gardening is going well. My peas are tall and thriving in the rain but because of the cold nightly temperatures, I only just last week planted other seeds. I'll know in another week or so if his past week's weather allows them to sprout. I still have some seeds starting indoors that will go outside by the end of this month (I hope?)

I recently put in stakes and twine to help support the peas, and Liam had fun circling me, watching closely and asking, "Mama, what DO?" (Which means "Mama, what are you doing?")


I think he'll grow a garden someday, too. With his kids on his heels, asking, "Daddy, what DO?"

Saturday, June 6, 2009

two years

Happy Birthday, Liam.


My bumblebee.

My wiggleworm.

My love.

My danceypants.

My angelface.

Your dad and I adore you and have so much admiration for you. You are a ton of fun and you are so smart, and I feel so lucky and blessed to be your mom.


"Everything you want to be, I can't wait to see you be."

Love (love love love love) always-
Mama xoxo

Thursday, June 4, 2009

almost two years

Because it's been all that's on my mind lately, I'll direct you to this post, which is probably the most complete (but still mostly incomplete) birth story I have typed out so far.

Liam is going to be two years old in two days.

That sound you just heard was my head exploding.