Oma found the time (I don't know how--see previous posts on all the stuff I had them work on...) to make a twirly ballerina skirt for Norah for Christmas! Norah really liked it once she got over the novelty. She twirled around and around and around all morning! Thank you to Oma!
Monday, December 14, 2009
Grandpa and Oma made it to IC just before the dreaded "Blizzard of '09" hit our doorstep! We were trapped inside for about 2 days before they plowed our street, so we had a lot of together time!
Thank you to Oma and Grandpa for all the projects they suffered through while trapped in my house, including (but not limited to):
Making a Play house for Norah in the cubby under the stairs
Re-hanging a counter that had been removed by some repairmen
Painting our hand-me-down nightstands
Cleaning lady bugs out of our light fixtures (we always have tons of lady bugs in the fall...)
Replacing the globe on our new bathroom fixture
Choosing photos for and hanging frames in the bathroom
Fixing the futon
Fixing our toilet so it re-fills automatically
Finishing the doorframe between the finished and unfinished basement
Troubleshooting a broken spotlight in our basement
and much much more!
(boy am I a taskmaster or what?)
Oma and Grandpa still had time to browse the internet, convince Chiara (but not James....) of the wonders of Google's Picasa program, enjoy meals with us, make Christmas cookies, play with Norah, watch Little Einsteins and Sesame Street with Norah, read books and magazines, look through recipes, dance with Norah to the Nutcracker, sing Norah's "Baby Jesus" song, watch Norah in her first Christmas Pageant, and on and on. What a great visit!
The Meijer Gardens had a beautiful train set up inside. It was elevated and spanned two rooms! There were also 3 little trolleys that went around "old Grand Rapids" at toddler-level. Norah couldn't get enough of this train, and we stayed there for a good 30 minutes before I had to drag her away!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Well, it's official: James and I are expecting another Baby Hemsley! I have entered the 2nd trimester, so it's traditionally the time to "tell the world." Here is a picture of the little jelly bean around 7 weeks gestation. Due date: May 20, 2010. Sex: unknown (and I am unsure whether I want to find out!)
Norah is confused about it. When I try to talk to her about it, she says emphatically, "I am going to have a baby, too. A purple one!" Hopefully she will understand more by the time next Spring rolls around.
Norah loves to 'help' James and I rake the leaves in our yard. We have so many trees, that we have had to rake the whole yard at least 4 times (+ I am going back out there later today for one last run). Luckily, we don't have to bag them; our city has a leaf vacuum that sucks them up if you put them by the street.
Anyway, Norah always insists on raking with her 'sweep' (broom). This pile started out nice and tall, and by the time she was finished with it, it was spread over 4 times its original area!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
This happened around Halloween: Norah was Cinderella this year, but we were talking one night at dinner about next year. Since Norah loves Curious George stories, I suggested that next year, she could be Curious George, and Daddy could be the “man in the yellow hat” (I thought it was a GREAT idea!). Norah looked at me in frustration and said, “No, Mommy. Daddy be Uncle Jim. Mommy be Auntie Alessia!” So, I guess it’s decided: next year, James will be Norah’s Uncle Jim, and I will go as my sister!
James has been away on business a lot this month, so Norah and I have been spending a lot more time together in the evening (that is usually when James plays with her). One evening, we were doing puzzles, and she was telling me all the names of the different birds in her bird puzzle. I asked her what her favorite one was, and she said the woodpecker. She asked me what Toucans eat, and I gave it my best guess (fruit loops?). Then, she looked at me and said, “Mommy, are we talking?” and I laughed and said that yes, we were. I guess she too was taken aback that we were having a conversation consisting of more than 1 or 2 sentences!
She has a toddler bible from Grandma and Grandpa Hemsley, and she has been into the stories in it lately. She has been wanting us to read it to her a LOT, and she takes it to bed with her to “read it in bed”. The other night, she wanted me to read from it, and so she started looking frantically through her bookshelf in the living room. Then she asked me in a worried tone: “Mommy, where’s God?” I asked her what she meant, and she repeated “Where’s God?” and then added: “Where’s my God book? My Bible?” And I told her it was most likely upstairs in her crib. She said, “Will you read God to me?” and I said yes! What a neat way to think of the Bible!
Along the same lines, on the way to get James from the airport after one of his trips, she was holding her princess balloon that she got for getting a flu shot (that’s another story altogether). We were just riding along on the way to the airport, and she said, very seriously, “Mommy, God’s not gonna take my balloon.” I agreed, noting that He probably has more important things on his agenda than plucking a 2-year-old’s Princess balloon from her hand!
The other day, we were having lunch, and she asked for chocolate milk, so I gave her some. Then, she took some sips and said, “Chocolate Milk is my favorite! What’s your favorite, Mommy?” I said I loved chocolate milk, too. I asked her what her babysitter Amelia’s favorite drink was, and, without missing a beat, she said, “Beer!” It makes me wonder what goes on when I am not home!
If Norah notices something remotely similar about she and I (i.e, we both have pants on), she says excitedly: “We match!”
Norah calls salad “leaves” and says when we are eating it: “I want some leaves, too!”
When I ask Norah what color her eyes are, she says without hesitation, “Purple!”
Some other things that I am surprised she knows about:
In the morning, “Mommy, I don’t want to watch the news”
A funny story:
One evening I was grading some student quizzes, and Norah kept asking me, “Mommy, what are you doing? Can I watch you?” I told her, “I am grading papers” and said sure, she could watch. Then, the phone rang, and I talked for about 5 minutes. When I came back, Norah was in my seat, holding my red pen, and had written all over about 6 of my students' papers. She looked at me happily and said, “I am grading, too!” I gasped, and she started to cry—she was only trying to be helpful. All I could do was laugh (and apologize to my students for the angry red marks all over their papers).
Well, I hope you have enjoyed these anecdotes. If you are bored stiff, sorry! This is as much for my benefit (I can barely remember my name on some days) as it is for yours!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Alessia, Nonna, and Ethan came to visit in Mid-October, and we did some standard "Fall" things like pumpkin hunting, a petting zoo, the apple orchard, and this Haunted House. Both kids were pretty scared in there. You can really see it on Ethan's face.
James got a new game about Trains, and Norah was really excited (almost as excited as James was) to unpack it and check it out. Here she is helping Daddy pop out the pieces. Now she calls the game, "My Trains" and loves to play with the little train pieces.
We drove to Dubuque one day, which is on the Mighty Mississippi River, to visit this museum. They had a really neat exhibit where you could crawl under the enclosure, and then pop your head up in these bubbles to see the lizards they had in there up close and personal.
Norah loved it!
In September (yes, people, September...I haven't updated in a while...), I looked out the window while I was teaching and noticed huge piles of sand in the streets. I asked my students what was going on, and one of them replied that there was going to be a sand sculpture festival that weekend.
I had to bring James and Norah by the next day to check them out. This one is a mermaid.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Near the Coralville Dam north of Iowa City, there is a place called Fossil Gorge. It is here that, in 1993, when floodwaters topped the spillway, thousands of Devonian fossils were uncovered in the river bed. Last year, in the floods of 2008, more of the bed was stripped away to reveal new fossils. Here is Norah exploring the now-dry riverbed for fossils.