Thursday, February 26, 2009


I don't remember if I have written this yet, but Norah refers to herself as "You." If you think about it, it makes sense, since we always say things like, "Do YOU want some milk?" and "Are YOU tired?" and "How did YOU sleep?"

I KNOW she has the capacity to say her name, but she just won't do it. I will ask her to say Norah and she will just ignore me. If I asked her to say "inconsequential", she would give it a shot, but she WON'T say "Norah."

I have heard her playing and covering her face and saying her version of "Where's Norah?", but she never says Norah, she just babbles and uses the intonation I would use. It is really strange.

So, for now, I guess I have to live with it when she sees her photo and shouts, "YOU!" and whenever she sees Dora the Explorer, she doesn't call her Dora, she calls her YOU.

I guess pronouns are tricky little things!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Some thoughts before I forget them....

It has been really fun watching Norah's language development over the last 1-2 months. She is really talking a LOT now. I feel like we can have little conversations, which is really exciting!

Here is one example: The other day, I went into her room after her nap, and said, "Hi! Did you have a good nap?" Norah said, "Yes". I said, "Did you have pleasant dreams?" She said, "Yes!". I said, "What did you dream about?" (not expecting an answer). She said, very clearly, "Cat-ta-pa-la" (Caterpillars!!!) I laughed, and said, "Oh, that must have been a very fun dream, to dream about caterpillars!"

She also has a sense of observation that I don't always give her enough credit for. The other day, she was looking for daddy, and for some reason I didn't understand what she wanted. So, she tried another route by saying "Dad-dy [cough cough]" You see, James has had a cough for about a week, and she associates coughing with Daddy, now!

She also has a great memory. She was eating lunch the other day, and was staring pointedly at one of the chairs at the dining room table. I asked her what she was looking at and she said, "Joe chair" (Joel's chair). Our friend Joel had recently been over playing board games, and he had been sitting in that chair for the games. Then she pointed at another chair and said "Daddy chair" (where James had been sitting).

Other things she is doing:

She loves to play hide-and-seek. Her favorite thing is to hide in the closets and not come out until we find her.
She loves to watch me cook and see what I am cooking. She always says, "Hot!!!" so that I know she knows not to touch it!
She plays with her baby doll, and really gets into it by dressing her, feeding her, putting her down for naps, putting her in the bouncy seat that Cyrus uses when he is here, reading books with her, etc. It is really fun to see that.
She loves to have tea parties with James and I, and will pour the tea like a little lady.

There is so much more to say, but I am sure I have bored you enough already!

Norah's new trick 2

February 2009006, originally uploaded by James Hemsley.

Notice how EVERY book is off the shelf, but she is kind enough to leave the videos and photo boxes untouched. I appreciate her thoughtfulness in matters like these.

Norah's new trick

February 2009002, originally uploaded by James Hemsley.

Norah's new trick is to read books by pulling them ALL off the shelf, and then reading whichever one she finds intriguing. It's funny to watch (she really had a system as to how she pulls them down) but not funny to pick up 3 times a day!

My only picture of Sunny!

February 2009019, originally uploaded by James Hemsley.

Just so we know that Sunny was there, too! Here she is after (or before?) brunch...

Brunch 2

February 2009014, originally uploaded by James Hemsley.

Norah busied herself with the dollhouse that Sunny has for her niece. I don't think Norah moved from this spot for more than an hour!


February 2009010, originally uploaded by James Hemsley.

Nick and Sunny had all of us over to their house for brunch. It was delicious, and very fun to hang out in a new place. Thanks Nick and Sunny!

John Ball Zoo

February 2009053, originally uploaded by James Hemsley.

Norah was entranced by the monkeys for quite some time!

We had to lure her away with the promise of seeing an alligator, which she calls "a-ghi-ghi"!

John Ball Zoo

February 2009029, originally uploaded by James Hemsley.

Nonna, Uncle Nick, and Norah Bear

John Ball Zoo

February 2009023, originally uploaded by James Hemsley.

We took Norah to the zoo to see the indoor exhibits like the penguins, fish, lizards, and monkeys. Here is Norah with uncle Nick looking at the penguins.

Bri and Norah

February 2009080, originally uploaded by James Hemsley.

Norah and Bri got along much better this trip! There was less fighting, and more squealing, which is a good sign that they will be life-long friends!

IKEA trip

February 2009059, originally uploaded by James Hemsley.

The van was so packed on the way back that there were boxes leaning on the front seats. Alessia doesn't look worried at all, does she?

Trip to Michigan

February 2009057, originally uploaded by James Hemsley.

In late January, we went up to Michigan. James had a Worship Symposium at Calvin College, and I visited family.

We took a road trip to IKEA to get some things; here are Jarrod and Francesca chillin' in the back of the huge conversion van we took.


IMG_5748, originally uploaded by James Hemsley.

One of James' favorite games is "Indonesia", a trading game. As you can plainly see, it is quite complicated (but he INSISTS it is fun!). He and 3 other played a round lasting 5 HOURS!!!! Not my idea of a fun time. I think my limit is 2.5 hours--then I definitely need a change of scenery, theme, company, etc.

One other game-day participant likened this area of the house to an opium den, since the four players were so involved in this game for so long, barely leaving their seats!


IMG_5742, originally uploaded by James Hemsley.

Here are James and Norah playing "Tsuro" with some gamers.

Chopsticks Mega Challenge 3000 again

IMG_5763, originally uploaded by James Hemsley.

Look how fast we are moving those chopsticks!!!

Chosticks Mega Challenge 3000!

IMG_5758, originally uploaded by James Hemsley.

We recently had a game day at our house. We play all sorts of board games, and the fun goes from about noon till midnight. We usually have about 20-30 people show up for at least part of the day.

Here are Joel and I playing Chopsticks Mega Challenge 3000, a really fun game of chopsticks dexterity! He just barely beat me, but it was super-fun (and a bit stressful!) anyway! I was still shaking from the nervous energy and had hand cramps for about half an hour afterwards!!!


IMG_5728, originally uploaded by James Hemsley.

Still chillin' with Baby Cy.

Norah and Cyrus

IMG_5724, originally uploaded by James Hemsley.

They love to lay on the mat together and chill.

Piano practice 3

IMG_5720, originally uploaded by James Hemsley.

All tuckered out after a grueling session!

Piano practice 2

IMG_5718, originally uploaded by James Hemsley.

She does have piano-fingers (very long) like her daddy....

Piano practice 1

IMG_5712, originally uploaded by James Hemsley.

Norah loves to sit at the piano. Here she is practicing a particularly challenging piece by Beethoven. Practice makes progress, Norah!

By the way, I saw that saying (practice makes progress) somewhere lately, and I guess it has replaced the old: Practice Makes Perfect.

I guess it is too much pressure (and a bit unrealistic) for kids to think that with a little practice they will be absolutely PERFECT at this or that....we wouldn't want to disillusion anyone...