Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Day Care Changes

We have been extremely lucky to have Nora in an at-home day care with one of our neighbors and friends. She has been going there since I went back to work in November 2011 and has really come to love her time with Miss Laura and the kids.

However, our time has come to an end at Miss Laura's house. And although this change has been pretty sad for us, we are thankful that her first year and half in day care was with people who have loved and cared for Nora in such a wonderful way (see how I typed that without crying? Progress!). 

Here is a picture of the day care crew on Nora's last day. 

June 2013

Our new day care is in a center (rather than in a home) and we have gone from part time to full time (part time isn't an option at this particular location). We really like the combination of learning and play and especially love the outside time that she gets. They also offer, without any issue, meals that support our lifestyle (this is not true everywhere).

Drop off is still quite stressful; I hope that what everyone says is true and that it will just take time for that to be an easier time.  It has been an adjustment for both Nora and Mommy, but we have gotten positive reports about her time during the day. So now we be patient and trust that the drop off stress really is fleeting (they say she calms down in just a few minutes) and that Nora will grow and learn and have fun with new friends. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

1st Oreo

The Bendon side of the family has a long sweet-tooth history. Among our favorite cookies is the Oreo. And Nora has had her first one when Gam Gam and Aunt Mary Anne were in town. Of course, she loved it.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Family Visit!


Great Gam Gam and Aunt Mary Anne drove all the way to Illinois to visit little Nora. It was really a wonderful few days together.

In addition to lots of fun around the house, like reading books, playing with weeble wobbles, and chalking outside, we took a few trips out and about.

One day we ventured to the Bloomington-Normal area to visit their Children's Discovery Museum. Nora had a fantastic time, as is evidenced by this picture:

So happy!

The museum had so many things for Nora to experience. Her favorite part was the water table. She also enjoyed the train table, pizza kitchen and delivery truck, the paint room, the music room, and the cows in the agriculture area. She even gave one of the faux-cows a kiss on the nose. Aunt Mary Anne and Gam Gam got in on the fun, too.

Pizza Delivery with Gam Gam 

On another day we headed to the Children's Prairie Farms, a little park in town where you can visit a variety of farm animals. There are sheep, goats, pigs, horses, ducks, and bunnies. The bunnies were Nora's favorites and she even tried to get them out of their cages. "Bunny out!" she kept proclaiming. Once we were in the area with the bunnies, it was pretty difficult to get her to look at any of the other animals.

There was one particularly special (and huge) bunny for us to visit. Nora couldn't believe how big this bunny was. It was really fun and sweet to see Nora get so excited over all the animals that she got to see. She was calling out to them and was just so genuinely amazed to see them. It was so darn sweet (did I say that already?)!

The Finnish Giant

Bunny out!
After our trip to see the animals, we all went out for some Italian food to celebrate Jeff's and my wedding anniversary. It was a delicious meal with wonderful company. None of us can believe that our exciting trip to Las Vegas was 12 years ago. It was nice to share our memories of that trip.

Anniversary Dinner 6-9-13 
One of Nora's favorite, favorite, favorite things to do is to swing so one night we walked down to our neighborhood park for a little bit of playground fun. Nora enjoyed having each of taking turns pushing her and got a big kick out of Gam Gam and Daddy swinging next to her. What a bunch of kids! :)

Nora says, "Higher swing!"

We were all so happy that Great Gam Gam and Aunt Mary Anne made the trip out. We really do enjoy living in IL, but it is difficult to be far from family. I'm so appreciative of this time that Nora got with Gam Gam and Aunt Mary Anne! And I know she loved it, too. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Talky talky talky

My favorite word that Nora is saying right now is "Almost!" As in, we are almost home or almost done with something. It's so stinkin' cute. I also love that when we pull into our driveway she says, "Hooome." It's what I would say when we got home and now she it's her job to alert us of our return to the house. She also likes calling out to you by saying, "Where are you?" which kind of sounds like "Whereareyouuuuu?" all smooshed together into one word. When she says, "Listen" she puts her hand up to cheek or ear and gets real still.

Nora is also working on more sentence type contruction. The other day she said "Closed eyes birdies" when referring to sleeping birds in a book.

More to add to the list:
Mommy kiss
Daddy kiss
Nora kiss
Turn this way
Mommy open please
Socks and shoes
Thank you Stell (Stella, the dog)
Here you go Stell
Eat food
Eat water mouth (to drink)
Nora hot food (and then blows on it)
Nora sit down on mommy lap
Mommy's lap
Up top Daddy's head
Nora do it

Friday, May 31, 2013

Then and Now: May

Then and Now: The Food Edition! 

We are pretty lucky that Nora has (generally) been a pretty good eater. She certainly has her favorite foods, such as hummus, bananas, tofu, blueberries (boo-berry), and pasta (passsa). She has also been very, very good whenever we go out to eat, usually giving away lots of smiles and eliciting some "Aw, so cute, so sweet!" comments. I really enjoy the time that we have together over meals and am genuinely disappointed when we have to eat separately due to schedules. 

2012: In the high chair, eating spring time risotto

May 2012

2013: In her Minnie chair, enjoying mango al fresco

May 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013


Nora loves flowers. Whenever we see one, she shouts "Fwower!" or "Nora fwower!" (which means she wants to pick the flower). When we walk around the neighborhood, she often likes for us to pick the dandelions which she calls "yellow fwowers."

So we got an idea. Jeff was getting ready to plant some flowers at the house so we decided to help Nora plant a little "toddler" garden with things she can pick and smell without "hurting" anything (like the tomatoes Daddy is trying to grow). Of course we picked some yellow flowers to plant along with pink ones and some lavender for Nora to smell.

Daddy taught Nora how to pour in the soil, pat it down, and create a hole for the plant to go into. Daddy did the actual planting while Nora played with her trowel. It was a fun for Nora and continues to be so as we make sure to take care of our plants by watering them. Then there is the fun of picking them and putting them in water in a little cup and having them to look at when we sit at the kitchen table.

the supplies are ready
using the trowel on the soil
smoothing out the soil before putting in the plants 
making a hole for the plants 
planting the flowers

Watering Daddy's plants

Friday, May 24, 2013

Weekend with Gammy (last month)

Every April(-ish), I have a four day work retreat in the Chicago that coincides with one of Jeff's work trips. For the past couple of years, Gammy (or Gam) Wells has come for the weekend to be with Nora.
Kitty cat pictures on the iPad

It was a great weekend! Nora and Gam played, read books, and were out-and-about town going to the grocery store and running errands. They also took a trip to Toys R Us and Nora picked out her very first baby doll. Her favorite thing to do with her baby doll is to have "Mommy rock" her (I'm Mommy, ha ha). 

Minnie ears and books

Nora didn't get to have all the fun though. I was able to enjoy the family time when I got back from the retreat, which I really appreciated.

April 2013