Monday, August 15, 2011

These Little Piggies Went to Market

   Mid-August is my new favorite time of year, especially in Virginia.  I might not like the ridiculous temperatures and the off-the-charts humidity, but the food is absolutely heavenly. 


   Last Saturday, we all went to Eastern Market for a special trip to the farmer's market.  Last summer I often shopped for produce at markets,  but we haven't been able to this summer.  We considered this our special treat, and our trip happened to fall on National Farmer's Market Week, too.


    Overall, Eastern Market is my favorite outdoor market in Metro DC.  It's right up Constitution Avenue from the Capitol Building in a historic red-brick building where they have a huge deli, a flower shop and a restaurant.  On Saturdays and Sundays they have an outdoor flea market and farmer's market. 
   I was somewhat disappointed that the flea market didn't have many resale vendors with used home goods or clothing, and the ones that do won't negotiate prices.  There are many artists there I would love to support if I had money to spend on novelties and artwork.  The deli and the farm stands are really where this market shines, and where you can find the most variety.

  Many of my favorite foods were in season like berries, peppers and peaches.  I honestly can't pick favorites when it comes to fresh, organic produce.  



And, oh, the tomatoes!  Cherry tomatoes, chocolate tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, grape tomatoes and heirloom tomatoes of every color, shape and size; I was sad I could only pick three kinds.  

   Nora's favorites were the blackberries, which were like juice-bombs, and my home-grown grape tomatoes.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thirteen Months

   My-oh-my, what a little mover!  Photographing a 13 month baby is so much harder than photographing a 12 1/2 month baby.  She has completely given up crawling and is walking everywhere.  It seems like walking has doubled her energy.  She can't sit still any longer, which means no reading, no cuddling and no high-chairs.  She's fearless and indestructible.  She wants to run, but doesn't quite have walking down, so she takes a lot of tumbles, but she never cries.  She always gets back up to try it again.  She loves slides, swings and stairs.  I'm already having a hard time catching her at this pace, I fear a little for the time when she learns to run.
   Despite not cuddling, she seems to have become more affectionate.  She's learned how to make kissing noises, give hugs and blow kisses, and she hands them out like candy on the Fourth of July.  She usually gives kisses when you ask for them, and she loves to give her animals hugs and kisses, too.  Sometimes she'll even offer up a few kisses, completely unsolicited.

   She loves to play games and invent new ones.  Some of her favorites are hiding in boxes, playing peekaboo and getting squished between me and the couch.
   David and I seem to have worked out a good bedtime routine.  We give her a bath, read her The Big Red Barn (with David cleverly executing every animal noise),  put on her jammies, sing a song, lay her down, say her prayers and leave her with a lullaby playing.  This was working well enough that we could get her to sleep without a single tear, so we decided to start taking her pacifier away at night.  Now she absolutely loathes bedtime.  The moment she sees one of us holding her book, she throws a royal fit, so we have to skip all the fun stuff and just leave her in her crib until she cries herself to sleep.  It breaks my heart, because singing to her before bed is my favorite time of the day, but I'm afraid if I give her paci back at this point, she will just depend on it more.  Eventually, when she gets used to sleeping without it, we will take it away at nap-time, then in the car, too.  Here's praying that she comes to terms with it soon...
  She's still as social as ever.  She loves Sundays when she gets to see her Sunday-school friends, and lights up whenever she sees Lucas in the morning.  It's so much fun to watch them play peekaboo together and share their toys with one another.  She still loves to go on walks, go shopping, watch us when we play Ultimate Frisbee, and visit the Alexandria boardwalk.
  I'm really looking forward to being able to introduce her to more activities.   Finger-painting and Simon-says are the big ones.  I'm not sure if she's quite there yet, but there's no harm in trying until she gets it.

Cool stuff she can do:
stack 2 blocks
stack rings
climb up and down stairs
go down slides
roll a ball
blow kisses
draw with chalk
pull on hats, necklaces, shirts and bracelets

tomatoes of every variety
eating grape tomatoes straight off the vine
cottage cheese
playing Squish
musical pull-horse
classical and alternative music

Tooth Count:
still working on #5 + 6 (slowly)

Words she can say (and mean it):

Monday, August 8, 2011

I am not a Baby

I eat my cereal.

I sit in a chair.

I walk wherever I darn-well please.


Thursday, July 21, 2011


   During our trip to Minnesota, we took a family trip to Fawn-Doe-Rosa in St Croix Falls, WI.  It's an educational petting zoo with all manner of farm animal, plus deer and other native Wisconsin wildlife.  Many of the animals are allowed to roam, including deer, geese, hens and roosters, and bunnies.  They also had an area with only baby animals, my favorite being the tiny little fox cubs and the calf.  Most of the animals could be fed by hand.
   Nora took a little warming up when we got there.  The first animal we tried to show her was a  little baby bunny, and when we tried to get her to pet it, she pushed it away.  After she woke up and walked around for a while, she was fearless.  Eventually I had to hold her back so she wouldn't lose her fingers to the ponies.

This lamb and kid went everywhere together.  Best friends forever!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Party Time

Last month, we made a trip to Minnesota for Annora's first birthday.  Our trip was originally supposed to last seven days, but we ended up missing our flight out of DC and embarking on a straight 22-hour drive at 11 at night.  In the end, we only got to stay about 5 days, but it was well worth it.
We saw Grandma and Grandpa and went to the park, had a girls' day at IKEA, did Star-Trek night and a lot of video games with our friends (of the Katamari and Kinect varieties), and Nora spent the rest of the time with Grandaddy.

We had originally planned to have a picnic party at Battle Creek Regional Park, but we got rained out and partied at David's sisters' house instead.  Lucky Nora had a lot of friends at her party, half of them my family, the other half were our friends and David's family.  I had planned the party perfectly in between Nora's daily naps, but since it was her party, she decided not to nap and was drowsy the whole time.  Thankfully there were no tears or fits, just a little sleepy face all day.  I couldn't get her to smile once for cake or presents.
Our menu for the day was a potluck picnic lunch, pink lemonade and Strawberry Mousse cake.  We had a special little carrot cake just for Nora to tear apart, but the frosting was a hard butter-cream and she's a dainty eater as it is, so the mess was minimal

Sharing her birthday with Olga and her cousin Cloe

Birthday dress: Laura Ashley, c/o  Auntie Debbie

Debbie brings the party, as usual

Top the trip off with a day at the park and a day at the petting zoo, and I think it may possibly be the best possible first birthday ever.
The trip home alone involved a drive-in movie, a crummy motel room with a wet bed, getting lost in West Virginia for two hours and being stopped by police (just once, thank God).  Probably our most adventurous drive to date.

Back home enjoying her loot

Friday, July 8, 2011

12 Months

   Wow, twelve months old already!  I'm amazed by how much can happen to a little person in just one year.  She's gone from a tiny person who didn't know how to eat or sleep by herself, to a little toddler with the biggest personality and her own opinions about what she should be eating, and when she should be sleeping.  I can't boast that I made her myself anymore, because she's so much greater and bigger than anything I could have ever accomplished.  I'm so proud to have such a big-hearted, fearless girl who loves so freely and openly.
   She has become so independent.  She crawls so fast, cruises laps around the furniture, races her wagon back and forth across the house.  She refuses to be hand fed, and has very decided opinions about which foods she will and will not eat, and "mush" is definitely out of the question.  She loves Sunday school and play-dates.  If I left her in a room full of children, she would stay happy indefinitely, and forget she ever had parents.
  She tries so hard to be grown-up.  Everyday I catch her trying to imitate me doing things, like trying to drink from a water-bottle, read a book, write with a pen, talk on the phone, push carts at the store or open and close containers.  She imitates the way David and I talk, too.  When we leave her in her high-chair for a while she starts to babble, and sometimes she sounds just like me and David when we pick on each other.
  I'm so grateful that she loves music so much.  She dances and claps whenever she hears music, or even when I sing or whistle to her.  She loves to bang on everything and gets so excited when she can make two different sounds at the same time.  Her favorite toy is is her new xylophone, she'll go straight to it and dig it out of a huge pile of toys every time she sees it.  She holds her mallet so artfully, like a tiny maestro.
  I'm pretty intimidated by the thought of raising a toddler.  Raising a baby was easy.  All I had to do was feed her, change her, love her and play with her.  Now she'll require activities, meals, and patience (I am the polar opposite of structure and graciousness).  
Here's to one year conquered, may the next be just as delightful!

Cool Stuff she can do:
Give kisses
Clap to music
Walk (10 steps is her record!)
Climb stairs
Bend over and pick stuff up
Actively play Peekaboo
Play hide-and-seek with a phone
Throw stuff overhand (usually food)
Pull her wagon backwords

Stuff she likes:
Playing chase or peekaboo with Lucas
Her toy xylophone
Digging in my purse
Bread, cheerios, pasta, as long as it's not a vegetable and it's been baked

Tooth Count:
Four, plus two more upper teeth on the way

Words she can sign:
More, milk, food, up, please

Words she can say: