Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving in Baltimore

For this year's Thanksgiving holiday we traveled out to Baltimore to visit Jeff's family. Nora spent time with so many people! The pictures we have don't even do it all justice.

My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is watching the Macy's Parade. Although Nora still likes playing with her toys more than the parade, she did enjoy the giant hot air balloons.

The Thanksgiving crowd at Linda and Saul's is usually a big one! And this year we had two babies in the bunch, Nora and Saul's great-granddaughter JuJu. Nora enjoyed olives and pickled tomatoes for the first time and had some play time with JuJu. She was also eager to give fist bumps to all of her cousins.

The Rubel-Dalnekoff Clan

We also had play-time with Grandma Linda, Pop-Pop Saul, Uncle Bill, Aunt Cheryl, and cousins Jake & Mckenna. Grandma Linda had a big box of building blocks that she's had since Jake & Mckenna were kids and they were still a hit after all these years.

With Grandma Linda
Playing with Mckenna and Uncle Bill
Hiding in the big box of blocks was a play necklace. Nora found it with an "Oooooo" and put it on immediately.

There are a lot of things we didn't capture on film...such as Nora's first potato latkes at Grandpa Sheldon's house, visiting with with Daddy's best friend Doug and his family, and hanging out with Mommy's BFF Hope and her family. What a fun trip!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Gramma Wells

Many months ago, I agreed to go to a conference in Connecticut for work. Jeff would also be at the conference so that would mean that Nora would be coming along, too.

As we got closer to the conference date, I started to doubt the confidence about managing this trip that I felt earlier. Nora had changed so much since I agreed to travel halfway across the country and spend 5 days in a hotel with a toddler. My mom lives just a couple hours away so she agreed to join us and help with Nora when I would be working. Great! Except that Nora had been going through a stage where there were very few people she was totally comfortable with. This made me really nervous! To help ease my concerns, my mom came out to Illinois to spend a weekend with Nora. Thankfully, it was a weekend that put my mind at ease a bit.

Taking a walk around the neighborhood.

So my mom and Fred (Gramma and Happy) made the trek to Connecticut armed with toys, snacks, and confidence. The hotel room provided fun play time with things like mirrored closet doors and the weather was nice enough to get out to a nearby park.

Pooped out after the park.
The trip also gave us a chance to introduce our sweet girl to so many of our friends. She was eager to give everyone she met fist and foot "booms" (bumps) and was quick to giggle with us all.

Although being at the conference wasn't stress-free (Nora was up for most of 3 of the nights we were in the hotel), it certainly was made easier by having Gramma and Happy there with us.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day Care-iversary

It's been one year since Nora has started going to day care up the street at Miss Laura's house. You can revisit that post from last year here. You can also see the changes in Nora and her day care pals Evan and Lily below.

I'm not sure we could have a better day care situation. Nora is truly cared for by Laura and she gets along well with the other kids. Lily and Evan are always kissing Nora goodbye at the end of each day and Amelia likes laying dress-up with her. She goes on field trips, does some crafts, listens to music, and has a lot of toys to play with. It's wild and loving and loud and tender and perfect for us. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Swarm

The Swarm, The Hyman Hive, The Bees
Trick or treat from the Swarm! Our family of bees enjoyed going from door to door up and down our street saying "Trick or Treat." Nora was grinning from ear to ear the entire time  and we got lots of props for our costumes. Nora especially enjoyed putting her treats in her bucket.


The biggest hit of the night was the glow sticks that Daddy bought for us. Nora ended up with three and held on to them all night. In fact, it was a little traumatic when it was bed time and she couldn't take them with her into the crib. :(

Glow Sticks

It was a lot of fun having themed family costumes. I think we'll do that again next year...and until Nora won't tolerate it anymore.

Curtis Orchards in September

Nora is saying, "Oooooo" at the sight of all the pumpkins

Back in September, we took Nora to the pumpkin patch at Curtis Orchards. She had such a great time wandering through the paths and plants, looking at pumpkins and pumpkin blossoms. It was so fun to watch her explore! She liked touching the pumpkins and vines, trying to sit on the pumpkins, and walking along the paths that weaved all through the patch. There were a lot of squeals of delight!

Daddy & Nora

You might remember that we took Nora to Curtis Orchards last year. Look at how tiny she was!

Curtis Orchards 2011
Despite Nora's protests, we were able to take a picture in front of the Yellow Brick Road wall. It's fun to see the difference from year to year. We'll definitely be taking this picture each year as long as we live in Champaign. 

Curtis Orchards 2012