Turning 2: A Bunny BBQ

Amidst the chaos of moving from Washington state to Ohio...settling in corporate housing, house hunting, visiting family and friends, locating pediatricians and finding a preschool...we managed to pull off small and simple second birthday party for sweet Norah. Held at a local park, family and friends provided side-dishes, laughter, love and fun. Mother nature provided a beautiful day!

Bunny and carrots galore! (I'll upload the awesome invitation once I get a great pic of it!)


Midwest Bound

That's right...taking the blog and family back to our roots! Giddy-up! Yee-haw! And all those other obnoxious sayings I'm sure to hear once back home. ;)


Norah Grace Don't Care

Have you ever been asked the question, "If you were an animal, what animal would you be?" I have, and my answer is always sea otter. BUT, have you ever been asked, "If your daughter was an animal, what animal would SHE be?" Yeah, I haven't either. But if I were to be asked, the answer is blatantly obvious...HONEY BADGER. And not just because she can make this AWESOME "honey-badger-crazy-face", but because she's got serious honey badger ways.

Did you know the honey badger is listed in the Guinness World Book of Records as being the word's most fearless creature? Norah Grace* just happens to unofficially be the most fearless toddler in the state of Washington. Coincidence? Hmmm...read on...

Just as the honey badger, Norah Grace is aggressive and has few predators. She can clear out a children's play area within seconds. She pulls hair, throws sand, scratches eyes, puts her finger in older kids' mouths and fish-hooks them until their inner cheek bleeds. She'll push an 8-year-old over without hesitation, just to get up the slide first. She'll scratch the face of an adult, then laugh in her face (ask my friend Jenn- she's a victim).Norah Grace don't care. Norah Grace will smack the shit out of a kid for looking at her the wrong way. I've seen it. I myself have probably qualified for a Guinness record: the most parents giving me the stink eye within a minute.

Norah Grace has an extremely wide diet. She eats anything and everything – from broccoli to bugs. If it fits in her mouth she's eating it. She doesn't question it, doesn't think about it, just pops it in her chops. Like the honey badger, she's a forager. Three meals a day with snacks in between isn't enough for Norah Grace. It's not uncommon to find her under the kitchen table picking up small, dehydrated food particles that have been wedged into the braids of our dining room rug. I've also caught her eating grass, small rocks, and most recently the tip of a giant Color Wonder marker (Which, off-topic, Preston was relieved to find out she'd eventually poop out. This way we could glue it back on. Yay!) Norah Grace is just crazy.

Both Norah Grace and the honey badger are accomplished climbers. Badgers can easily climb up to into the uppermost branches of trees to raid bird nests or beehives.  Norah can easily scale any dresser or cabinet structure in order to destroy (or eat) what she finds. Whether she pushes her baby stroller up to the cabinet to give herself a boost or uses the knobs as foot holds, she reaches her destination. Once atop a table, she recklessly clears the area by tossing all objects to the ground (or eating them). Norah Grace don't care. In her words, "I MESS!"

Honey badgers only weigh up to 30 pounds. Small, but fierce. Norah is about 25 pounds. Not "intentionally designed" to be fierce, but fierce nonetheless.

Couple determination with a high pain tolerance and nothing can stop the honey badger. The honey badger can get stung repeatedly by bees or temporarily pass out from a venomous snake bite, but the badger doesn't change its course. Similarly, Norah Grace can run full force into the sharp corner of a wall, resulting in a liquid-filled lump the size of a bouncy ball protruding from her skull, and she's barely phased. Norah Grace has WILLINGLY pulled the majority of her index fingernail off...blood dripping down her hands...and the only sound out of her mouth was a proud, "Mommy, I pick!" She's pretty bad-ass. Hell, the girl is missing part of her front left tooth and I have no idea when or where it got knocked out.

Ya know, in South Africa a permit is required to capture or keep a honey badger in captivity. While there are many cases in which I support the idea of  men and women being required to obtain a permit prior to becoming a parent, I'm truly glad this isn't a reality. Otherwise my wild and free-spirited little honey badger would probably not be turned over to my care.

(If some of the humor of this post escapes you, watch this, then read it again.)

*Disclaimer: Norah, when you are older and reading this please know I love you with all my heart. And I promise you upcoming posts about how sweet you are. Just not today. But someday, once you get out of this honey badger stage.*


Explaining Easter to a Preschooler

In preparation for the "Kids Sing" mini-concert at church, Preston had been diligently listening to the songs he received on a CD in his Sunday school class. (His class is actually called "Kids Life, Jr." but I'm keeping it old school on the blog!) The disc included three songs, one of which was Happy Day by Tim Hughes. If you aren't familiar, check it here.

One fateful day, while driving in the car, well after Preston had memorized all the song's lyrics, he asked, "Mommy, why does this song say Jesus is Alive? Did he die? Did his parts stop working?"

Mommy nearly went into a panic. I've been a Christian for just under a year and a half. And Preston whips out a mother of all biblical questions.

As I started to fumble through a lame, and ultimately overly-complex explanation, Preston interrupted, "Mommy, well...why does it say I'll never be the same?"

And as sure as Moses parted the waters, I came up with one mother of an answer...

"Let's think of it like this. You and all the kids in your preschool class are good boys and girls, right?"

Preston, "Yes!"

"But sometimes, you make bad decisions. And you get a time-out, right?"

Preston, "Yes! But not all the time!"

"Okay. Well, in the Bible there were lots of boys and girls. Just like in your preschool class. And even though the boys and girls were good, they sometimes had bad behavior. One day, all the boys and girls were getting in trouble, and their teacher said they ALL had to have a time-out!"

Preston, "ALL the boys and girls? That's A LOT!"

"But you know what happened? One boy in the class stood up and said he'd take a time-out for ALL the kids in the class. His name was Jesus. And even though all the kids had bad behavior, Jesus volunteered to sit in his time out chair for as many minutes as it would take for all the kids to have their time-outs."

Preston, "So the other kids didn't have to go in time-out?"

"No, because Jesus was so good and kind. He loved all the kids so much that he didn't want them to have a time-out. He was willing to get in trouble so that nobody else had to! All the kids were so thankful for Jesus. They thought Jesus was wonderful and so nice to take their time out for them. And because Jesus was so nice, the kids decided they wanted to have better behavior. They wanted to be better kids because Jesus was so nice and kind."

Preston, very simply, "Oh okay. That's not confusing like the story you said before."

As I pulled into the driveway of our home, I was feeling rather proud of myself. I made that up on the fly and it made sense! And Preston even seemed to understand it. Go me!

Later that night, however, my so-called impressive explanation came back and bit me in the arse. Preston wasn't being on his best behavior. He was testing me like any good 4-year-old often does. So, I instructed him to go to the corner for his time-out. (We do corner time-outs in our house...much more effective that sitting in a chair!)

Preston looked at me, brows furrowed, and lips tightly clenched. He slowly muttered, "BUT YOU SAID!? YOU SAID JESUS TOOK MY TIME OUT FOR ME!?"

Some people's kids!