Thursday, December 31, 2009

Nora's First Birthday

Grammy Tina and Mimi Terri came up to help us celebrate Nora's birthday today. We kept it a pretty low-key event because we're all exhausted, the house is a mess, and Nora is in a weird phase where a good belly-laugh upsets her.

In case we hadn't mentioned it, Nora fits in her high chair. Erin really didn't test it when we brought Nora home after her cast was put on, but decided to give it a better shot a few days ago, and hurray! It works! The high chair reclines, which allows Nora's legs to end-up where they're supposed to be in the high chair. So, hurray! She appreciates this, because it was almost impossible to allow her to feed herself without the high chair, since it has a tray she can pull food off from.
Got some good pictures! Some are by Grammy, some by me!



















Tina: "This is my new profile picture."

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

December 30th, 2009

Bought some white cake mix and white frosting for Nora's birthday cake(s) tomorrow. I think the plan is that we're making a small one just for her (I have a little heart-shaped baking pan that I bought a few years ago), and a larger one for the adults. We're doing plain-ole white because it will probably be best for her stomach. First cake!

Pepere' Lee came up with Patty a couple days ago, and brought with them Nora's new rocking horse that he made. It's awesome, looks like something you'd find in a fancy high-end toy store. He put a lot of work into it, and it's beautiful. He's now building us a TV stand for the living room that should be sturdier and have more room for storage and knick-knacks than what we have now. Wonder if I could put my Sea Monkeys on it?





Also, Great-Aunt Terry (Terri's sister, it's an interesting story) sent us a very cute "Baby's First Christmas" ornament that I'll grab pictures of later. Hmm...come to think of it, I should take more pictures of presents Nora got!

This afternoon, Nora has a follow-up appointment with her pediatric orthopedist to check on the cast and see how our first week is going. Three more to go!

In a couple days, I'll be getting the blog ready for upload to the book site. If anyone has anything to add that they'd like to see in the book, better do it soon!

Oh! That reminds me: if anyone has pictures of themselves and their family that they could send to us electronically or as a 4x6 photo, Nora has her own photo album that we'd like to add pictures to of the various important people in her life. It's a clear plastic, so she can chew on it if she's so inclined, without ruining the pictures. I'd never seen them before, but Erin found one and got it for Nora as a Christmas present. So send us pictures!

Yea I know, want want want.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Emily and Jeremy's Blog

Most of the viewers of this website will also be interested to know that Emily and Jeremy have set-up their own baby blog, http://adayinthelifeoffirsttimeparents.blogspot.com/ and that I have linked to it in the Links section to the side of this blog. Congratulations again guys, and sorry to hear about your ralphing, Emily.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas 2009

Nora's First Christmas was an almost-complete success! The weather held-out well for travel, right up until we left for home - a little earlier than anticipated, as freezing-rain was expected later this evening (the 26th).

We left for Waterville yesterday afternoon - Christmas Day - after doing our own Family Christmas morning and Christmas Eve, leisurely making our way south without any stress. Nora did surprisingly well, sleeping for just about the entire trip down (and later back). We spent the night at Grammy Tina's, after having an informal dinner and getting a chance to meet a good number of Erin's extended family (thank you all for the gifts and well wishes, it was good to see everyone!). Today was about relaxing, and catching up on sleep. I slept late, got up late, then watched some cable while Ms. Nora and Erin took naps, then kind of threw everything together at the last minute so we could beat the bad weather that we were expecting (sorry Aunt Jeannette).

I may be on the market for a new (or new to me) digital camera soon, the Sony that I've been using and had pretty good luck with in spite of - and not because of - it's abilities and issues, is finally dying. The screen has been wonky, a problem with the series and subject of a class action suit that we haven't been invited to yet (probably didn't register the warranty card), in addition to killing batteries incredibly quickly, shutting itself off at random intervals, and lately the inability to use flash - making indoor shots very dark.

Here are a couple of the pictures that Tina sent us that she took with her camera:



Thursday, December 24, 2009

Nora's Birthday Plans

Nora's birthday celebration is being pushed-back a little. Between planning for Christmas, Erin's work, my school, all the associated events of the season such as visiting family and shopping, and of course medical drama, Nora's birthday plans have been postponed. We didn't want to just spring invitations on everyone at the last minute either ("hey, here's an invitation to Nora's party which would be two days after you receive it!").

We're still working on specifics such as date, time, and location. We'll probably end up having it at Grammy Tina's a weekend or two after New Year's Eve, when Nora's birthday is. Plus, people won't be quite so burnt-out from Christmas by then.

If anyone interested in coming to a little party for Nora will drop us an email RSVP with number of guests, that will help, so we know how many people to expect. I can understand no one wanting to travel in January!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December 22nd, 2009

Ok, so here goes:

After months of being told "oh babies are resilient, stop worrying, I dropped mine a thousand times and she still went off to college, no damage done" by a thousand different people, Nora had an accident that resulted in a broken leg. It's no one's fault, and we feel worse about it than she does. For the next month she'll be wearing a "spica" cast, because that's just how it's done in infants. Looks horrendous compared to her size, like a full body cast, but ultimately the damage was just a 5-degree bend in the bone just above the right knee. The doctor doesn't even think it will ultimately affect her in any way, it's so minor, but it does need time to heal. Ultimately, it looks worse than it is, and caring for it will be a big pain in the butt.

She's now too big to fit into a car seat, so there's a special harness she wears to be strapped on the seat of the car, laying-down. It's....an odd method of transportation, but she seems to tolerate it well enough, and we plan on doing as little of it as possible.

Nora ready for a trip outside


Nora busy doing paperwork

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Baby Lapointe

It's official: Nora will have another cousin, with a due date of July 2010! Congratulations to Emily and Jeremy, you guys will make great parents. It's going to be a lot of hard work, sleepless nights, worry and paranoia, and sometimes you may think that you'll go insane, but just then a little hand will reach out to you, their eyes will light up at your presence, and a little giggle will instantaneously make it all worthwhile, refilling you with hope, strength, and courage, like nothing you've ever experienced before. I get it now, it's crazy stuff, and I'm happy for you both.

I had a thought while on Twitter I'd like to share, and expand upon, since the character limit is ridiculously short sometimes. Deciding to have a baby, was a lot like deciding to jump out of an airplane without a parachute, because while everyone else tried to convince me that I could fly, I for the longest time didn't think I could, it was ridiculous to think otherwise. But someday, I just decided that it was something I wanted enough to take that risk, to see if I could fly. And I did. Maybe the analogy is crazy and doesn't make any sense, I don't know. What I know is that after years of worry about being a good dad, and worries I still have about being a good dad, I look back over the last few months and realize that I am.

Oh, and Jeremy - I keep wanting to capitalize the P in your last name, but noticed that you didn't do it in your Facebook, so kept myself from doing it.

December 16th, 2009

Little over a week before Christmas! Got your shopping done yet?

I got the NextGen information for anyone who would like to make a contribution to Ms. Nora's College Investing Plan. Basically, you write a check payable to "NextGen FBO 50V-91064" and mail it to "College Plan Services, PO Box 1518, Pennington NJ 08534-9987" Make sure you write "Participant Name: Eric Taylor" and"Designated Beneficiary: Nora Taylor" as well. My name is the participant, as it had to be an adult administering the plan. Coupons are available on FAME's website here: http://www.famemaine.com/nextgen/pdf/Contribution_Coupon.pdf

I'd also like to state that money will not under any circumstances be pulled from this account for any purposes short of Nora's education. It's her money, not mine, and not ours.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December 13th, 2009

Erin and Nora went to see Lee and their family yesterday, they had fun. I stayed home to work on projects and relax to try and get over my pneumonia/bronchitis/nasty cough that just won't go away.

So no picts of that (sorry) but here's a couple good ones from just a moment ago:




Proof that Olivia can be a very good kitty: Nora went to reach for Little Monkey (that trouble maker, always causing problems), and fell-over, onto the cat!

Olivia didn't even flinch, which for her is impressive, since it seems like looking at her funny can make her jump. Loud, strange noises? The cat becomes a complete spaz. But Nora lay half-on, half-off the cat for a few minutes, using her as a pillow, quietly playing with her toys, and Olivia just continued to lay there. That cat never ceases to surprise me.



Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Very Nora Christmas

Nora at the daycare Christmas party


Present!


Santa!


Didn't cry at all!




Home!

Can't seem to photograph the tree very well. I think the lights confuse it.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Nora's First Christmas Party

We went to the daycare's Christmas party tonight, it was nice. Nora got a new present, and was held by Santa for quite a while, allowing me to get plenty of pics, all without getting upset or crying. I'll upload them in a bit, there just might be some video in there too!

Also! I received the paperwork back from FAME/Merrill Lynch confirming that Nora is now enrolled in the NextGen College Investing Plan, and have an account number that anyone can use to make deposits into the account. I have information on where you can send checks directly to FAME with Nora's account number on them, if you're interested. Erin and I are contemplating asking for contributions to Nora's college fund in lieu of toys for Christmas/birthday, since she's been so incredibly lucky to have so much support from friends and family all year long (i.e. - she has lots of toys and clothes!).

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December 2nd, 2009

Nora loves wheat germ. Go figure. She's intent on eating finger foods now and drinking from sippy cups, which is great except that it sometimes makes feeding her more difficult. Erin discovered though that coating pears and peaches (cut up into small squares) and coating them in wheat germ a la Shake n' Bake makes them easier for Nora to pick them up and eat. So she does. And she likes the wheat germ itself, as she licks her fingers afterward.

We've both been pretty miserable the last few days though; she yacked-up her lunch a couple times in the last week. Erin took her to walk-in care yesterday, and while the doctor isn't concerned yet, he did advise us to keep an eye on her. No fever yet, but if she gets one, then re-consult. Me: cough, exhaustion, eye-stys. Same as last month. Blah.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

November 29th, 2009

Nora's almost 11 months old!

Still waiting on picts from T-day, but here are some I took earlier this morning:




Friday, November 27, 2009

November 27th, 2009

We're home from Thanksgiving! On Thursday we drove to my brother's house and had Thanksgiving dinner there with his family. Nora's cousin Connor was especially cute, tending to her needs with stuffed animals and binkies.

Then we drove up to Grammy Tinas to spend the night; just in time too: Nora gets cranky riding after dark, and it was plenty dark before we even got there. Another hour and a half on the road would have been torture for all of us. The next day we visited Mimi Terri and headed home, well after the initial shockwave of tourists would have hit Bangor for Black Friday events. Can't say I missed Bangor this morning!

Pictures later, I didn't take any myself, so Grammies, Aunts and Uncles will have to send me what we have. It's time for us to relax in our own home!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Nora and Olivia

Today we went for a walk in the park, quite possibly the last nice-weather walk of the year.



Nora loves the kitty, and Olivia is very tolerant of Nora, a much better state of affairs than we expected at this time last year. Olivia is stubborn and intolerant of most people...except Nora. It's weird, but we're not complaining!

November 22nd, 2009

Got some picts and even video to upload in a bit, stay tuned!

Nora's come down with another cold; not H1N1 as far as we know, since she doesn't have a fever and is generally just very snotty - like I was last week, and Erin seems to be at times.

We're also having trouble finding the vaccine, even though Nora is considered the highest of the at-risk groups. Schools have it - for school children. Including the University. Daycare providers on campus are getting it because they deal with at-risk infants. But the infants actually in the high risk group - well, they're not school children or adults that deal with infants, so they're (insert inappropriate, sarcastic remark here). If anyone knows of anywhere that actually has it and will give it to infants over 6 months like they're supposed to, let us know.

We will be checking this link (http://www.emmc.org/H1N1-Swine-Flu.aspx?id=59410) frequently for updates.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

November 15th, 2009

Just a quick update:

I'm sending the NextGen College Investing Plan paperwork out in the mail tomorrow, hopefully within a couple weeks the account will be open and anyone who wants to contribute can send funds directly to it.

Nora's been a very picky eater lately. She's being a little more assertive and independent, wanting to feed herself and having more input as to food choices (apparently). It's nice that she's developing, but at the same time it's taking more effort to keep her fed. She can be sneaky too, like if we put puffs and banana on the highchair tray, she'll selectively choose the puffs. Not only that, but when Erin smooshed a couple puffs with a banana, Nora figured out how to separate them in her mouth, swallowing the puffs and spitting out the banana. Frustratingly talented infant. Erin bought her some 'dippers' tonight that are like spoons for infants (tiny little dipping 'spoon' with a HUGE handle), and we've been mixing finger-foods that Nora can pick up herself with her spoonfed options that she'll also be able to dip into with the dippers.

Tonight we all went out to shop at Hannaford, and Nora was a pleasure for the whole trip - awake, looking around, fascinated by everything and everyone, and not at all frightened by anything or cranky. It was actually fun to go shopping with my daughter (how long will I be able to say that, I wonder?).

The cat is less of a beast, she doesn't seem to bite or scratch as often, and even play-fought with Erin last night the way she does with me, all without either of them getting too upset at the other and causing physical injury. So I consider that improvement. Olivia still won't stay off the furniture she's not allowed on (desks, coffee table, kitchen table, etc) but it's not because she doesn't know better - she's just stubborn.

Nora's over her cold we think, and I'm almost over mine, but it looks like Erin picked it up last and has just started suffering from it a few days ago. We've single-handedly supported Kleenex over the last few weeks and killed a number of trees in the process (to the trees: sorry!).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

November 12th, 2009

"The future's so bright, I gotta' wear shades."
(Daddy was an 80's child)


Nora helping Daddy study.
The book: Essentials of Business Driven Information Systems.
Shiny cover! Very interesting!


A note on Christmas: we've already started shopping for Nora's first Christmas. If you want to know what we've gotten so that you don't inadvertently duplicate a gift, let us know!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Second Tooth!

We have tooth #2, right next to the first one! We think that helps explain her crankiness this week; it's been a brutal few days, between sickness and teething. I've had on and off migraines since last weekend.

According to this website, there was a study done about baby teeth, and Nora matches the list, having now had both of her lower central incisors at 10 months as a preemie.

Off-topic, here's a link I found interesting about the way babies communicate differently based upon the language mom speaks:

AFP: Among "60 healthy newborns ranging in age from three to five days..."

..."half the babies were born into French-speaking families, and the other half were in German-speaking families as they grew in the womb."

"French newborns tended to cry with a rising melody contour, while the German tots wailed with a "falling" tone, a signature feature in each language, the study found."

"Newborns are probably highly motivated to imitate their mother's behavior in order to attract her and hence to foster bonding," the study notes.

"Melody contour may be the only aspect of their mother's speech that newborns are able to imitate."


Further off-topic, we have this link: "Teens are more likely to behave badly if their parents expect them to, a new U.S. study has found." Well....duh. Adults need to stop lowering standards for adolescents.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

November 5th, 2009

Nora is now over 10 months old! And her parent's 2nd Wedding Anniversary is next week!

We've all been a little under the weather lately; Nora came down with a cold last week, and has been downright miserable for a while. I don't often get sick, but I'm thinking that the lack of sleep has depressed my immune system and made ME completely miserable for a few days. We're both getting over it now though, working our way through the sniffles and congestion. Erin's been fine, which is odd, since she's usually the first of us to come down with something.

Nora's eating cottage cheese now, in very-very small quantities (she still doesn't like it very much), mixed with other things like juice and cereal.

We've been looking for fresh Mangos to feed her, but apparently they're not in season in either hemisphere, we'll have to wait a couple months.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween 2009

We went trick-or-treating tonight with Erin's friend and supervisor Allie, and a bunch of their friends and family, in Bangor. Maple Street is *the* place to be in Bangor on Halloween: nearly every house is decorated, residents are often in costume too, it's got a neighborhood block-party kind of feel to it. And the sidewalks are FULL of people of all ages in costume, walking up-and-down with kids in tow, it's very festive and was a lot of fun! I'll post some of those pictures to my other blog, which you can find here.

Nora had a costume that was loaned to us, the woman who let us use it gives it to someone she knows each year that has a baby of about the right age at Halloween. It's a good tradition, and Nora looks absolutely adorable in it. I know you've all been waiting for it, so here's the Lobster Girl!

















Someone was so pooped-out from the excitement that she almost immediately fell asleep on the short car ride home!




October 31st, 2009

Grammy Tina got some picts that she sent us from her visit earlier this week.

Those aren't teeth, they're bubbles!



Friday, October 23, 2009

Nora, Italy

Did you know that Nora was the name of an ancient city on the island of Sardinia, pre-dating even the Phoenicians (who were later conquered by the Romans)? This ultimately means that the name predates English, German, and Latin! How is that possible? I'm guessing that "Nora" can be spelled with letters from the Phoenician alphabet (with a little imagination), which is the ancestral basis of the alphabet we use today. Otherwise archeologists would have given it a different name, right?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nora,_Italy

http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-city/Italy/Nora/tpod.html

Here's (apparently) the Chinese symbols for Nora:
http://chineseculture.about.com/library/name/female/na_nora.htm

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

October 21st, 2009

We have tooth! Ok, so it's not much of a tooth, and it just barely makes it's appearance, but it's apparently through the gumline (finally) and ta-da, there it is.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Nora and the Netbook

Nora loves computers....perhaps too much. Like Daddy.

"Hi Daddy! I just opened the Control Panel, and the link to the Big computer, all by myself!"

From The Adventures of Nora Leigh

"Hi Daddy! Hey, there's the netbook again! I wasn't done yet!"
From The Adventures of Nora Leigh

"Gimme that netbook!"
From The Adventures of Nora Leigh

October 18th, 2009

Erin just let me know that it's been a few days from my last post. Here's an update!

1. Nora is done with her cold, but moved head-long into teething, and so is still very grumpy at times...especially at night, when neither of us sleep very well. She's been waking up half a dozen times, all night long. We've all been compensating with daytime naps as possible.

2. She's eating chicken now. Kinda. As long as Erin hides it, in small quantities, in something else, such as squash, so that she doesn't even notice the difference. We're feeding her small amounts of dark meat that's been thoroughly pulverized, so that she can get a bit more protein into her diet. This was approved by her pediatrician at her last visit.

We're thinking that over time, she'll like it more, since she didn't even like her yogurt the first time she had it (or most of her vegetables either), but now looks forward to it every night. Seriously, when Nora sees the container of yogurt coming out of the fridge, she gets all excited and fidgety, and opens her mouth before the spoonfuls are even ready. It's quite funny. Erin makes sure to save it for "dessert" as a treat, since we still want her eating her vegetables and not filling-up on yogurt just because she really likes it. But yea, she goes crazy for yogurt.

3. She makes a lot of new noises, from one extreme to the other: whispering to loud growling. It's disconcerting sometimes to be sitting in the living room and hear a very throaty roar coming from behind you. Especially when you're me and have a love of zombie movies...

4. She's figured out that her Exersaucer bounces up and down; it's not exactly a jumper however, and she "drops" when it's all the way up, so every few minutes I'll hear a BANG BANG BANG followed closely by what I believe is called the Baby Elephant Walk. She also enjoys her jumper, and isn't afraid of it like she used to be, and actively bounces in it.

5. Nora has "discovered" the cat. Olivia has been really good with Nora for the last few months, tolerating behavior that we wouldn't have expected any cat to put up with, let alone a beast we refer to as "cat-hole." Even when Nora pulls on her, Olivia tolerates it. Erin and I would have been bitten.

Last night, Olivia was asleep in her chair when Nora tried to get her attention, babbling and talking at her. Finally, she yelled at the cat and woke her up! She was so proud of herself.

6. Erin took Nora to work the other day, by invitation of her supervisor. She said it was a pretty low-key day anyway, the kids were all in the middle of testing, so there wasn't a lot for Erin to do, and she said that it actually seemed to help her kids relax having Nora in the room with them, because it didn't make the whole process seem as formal or intimidating. How anxious can you be with a baby giggling in the corner?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

October 11th, 2009

The picture is a Nora Leigh original painting from a few days ago!

Nora isn't feeling so well this weekend. She's still in good spirits, but she "lost her dinner" the other night. We thought it was a one-time thing, not necessarily an illness. She's a baby, it was bound to happen that something wouldn't agree with her system on a given day. Plus she didn't seem terribly bothered by it, we figured that maybe she was just "full" and that maybe the yogurt was just too-much. But it looks like maybe it's part of an illness - she's been coughing and stuffy, and generally miserable. Cold? Flu? Don't know.

We had company this weekend, and I didn't think to warn them that there was something going around, because that "something" is everywhere already...if we gave it to them, then a big sorry! Kids get sick though, it could just be a coincidence that one of ours and one of theirs "yacked" a couple days apart. I feel fine, and the other adults and kids seem alright. Don't know.

In any case, Ms. Nora is resting comfortably in bed; Erin and I are about to watch a Netflix DVD of Kingdom Hospital and cuddle on the couch.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

October 4th, 2009 p.2

My pictures from this weekend!

Nora and Daddy


Nora standing by herself - with aid of a coffee table!


"Nope, didn't like this story." Nora loves playing with paper.


Nora and Mommy, pooped-out


Nora and Aunt Jeannette