Nora is 2

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

It was a good day. We celebrated Nora's second birthday.

Up until yesterday, we weren't sure what our plans were for today. Last year, Nora's birthday was on a Sunday, so there wasn't any question that we'd be with her, but with it being a Tuesday this year, we didn't know exactly what to do. Send her to daycare as usual and go to work? Take the day off to spend with her? Half and half?

Ultimately, we made the decision to stay home with her and I am SO GLAD we did. Once we got her out of bed this morning, I knew in my heart that if I had to drop her off at daycare today, I would've felt terrible about it. In retrospect, I don't know why I even considered going to work!

So we made the day special.

We started by going out to breakfast together, and ordered Nora her own gigantic pancake. We brought a couple of candles with us.

Although Nora can be a champion eater--especially when it comes to yummy things like pancakes!--she only ate about 1/3 of this thing. :) The rest came home with us for leftovers... she can eat it for two more breakfasts!
Nora has learned to blow on food to cool it down (or at least attempt to), so she was also a natural at trying to blow out her candles. She doesn't quite have the wind capacity to get the job done, but it's sure cute to watch her try. :)
After breakfast, I marveled at how big she looks in her car seat these days. It just kind of hit me in that moment, like holy crap--she is not a baby anymore.
She has had congestion and a runny nose this week, so here she is holding her tissue. Half the time, when we try to wipe her nose, she says her equivalent of "I do it" and makes us give her the tissue to wipe herself. Craziness.

We bought Nora a playhouse for our backyard back in June--which was our early birthday present to her--but yesterday, we realized that because her party isn't until Saturday, she wouldn't have anything to open on her birthday. To fix that, we made a quick run through the toy aisle at Walmart and got her a couple of little things. Hey, we couldn't resist. :)

So when we got home from breakfast we let her open one of her presents.
Yes, that is Christmas wrapping paper. One of these days, I will remember to keep birthday paper on hand.
She actually did a really great job of ripping it open herself, which made me happy--I can't wait to see her with her gifts at her party!
It's just a little cash register by Little Tykes. She was pleased. :)
We played with it for quite a while today. It's been a really long time since she's had new toys--Christmas, really--so it's fun for all of us!

We moved into her playroom to play and she made a complete mess of it. She pulled all of her books off the shelves, and "read" by herself quietly. I tried to get her to sit with me to read a few books and she FREAKED OUT. Miss Independent strikes again. She just wants to do everything herself.

After a nap, we got her up and ready to make her first-ever trip to the zoo. We figured that since she enjoyed the aquarium in Boston so much, she would likely get a kick out of the animals at the zoo.

We were right. First stop was with the monkeys, and she was LOVING it.
She made a lot of her animal sounds, and as you can see in some of these pics, she even brought along one of her Little People ZooTalker animals with her. In fact, she brought four with her into the car, but we pared it down to one for the actual trip through the zoo so we wouldn't lose anyone. :) Before we left the house, we were talking up our visit to the zoo and she ran to her ZooTalker zoo and started grabbing animals.

In other words, although challenging at times, there are so many reasons why this age is awesome. :)
Here she is, waving at the crocodiles. She kept saying "Hiii!" randomly to all of the animals.
When we first got to the tiger exhibit, this guy was pacing back and forth. It was actually a little disconcerting (but duh, he's behind a fence for a reason). Next thing we know, he goes and climbs into the bath to relax. Ha!
All in all, we were probably only at the zoo for an hour or so, but Nora was eventually DONE. She seemed tired, actually, which wasn't shocking since she didn't nap for as long as she typically does.

On our way home, we stopped into the grocery store for Nora to pick out a special treat for dessert. I am making a cake for her for Saturday, so I didn't make one for today. She picked out a very patriotic cookie. You'll see. :)

Back at the house, Michael played and colored with Nora while I made her birthday dinner--quinoa and cheese!
Excuse the mess of an open closet behind her. We are still working on getting things back in order around here after the floor installation. I still have to give an update on that!

Nora also chowed down on some corn on the cob, and then it was the moment she had been waiting for... cookie time.
How cool is it that she picked (all by herself) a decidedly "God Bless America"-esque cookie for her birthday on 9/11? :)
Nora made a huge mess of herself with that blue frosting, so it was time for a bath. But first we let her open her other gift from us.

Foam bath letters that stick to the side when wet. They were immediately put to good use. Again, she loves them.

At bedtime, we will typically read her a few books with her in our laps, then turn her around to snuggle with us. Tonight, as I read, she suddenly turned around in my lap to snuggle in and rest her head on my shoulder. She was tired; this was her way of telling me to stop reading, she just wanted to go to bed. :) I took that as a sign that she had a good day.

Despite my best efforts to be strong, I got choked up as I put her into her crib. I held her against me and felt the weight and size of her body, remembering how much lighter and smaller it was last year, and imagining how much bigger and heavier it will be a year from now.

It is so bittersweet that they have to grow up.

On another note... I wrote a post last year about what it is like to have a child born on 9/11. I point you back in that direction now, in case you've never read it. It's a post that I'm particularly proud of because it is so important to me.

People want to reflect and be sad and remember those America lost on 9/11/01. I get that, and I know how important that is. The events of that day were undeniably horrible and tragic. I understand that people don't ever want to forget. I don't ever want to forget. But now that I have the perspective that I do, I just try to urge people to remember that there are things on 9/11 that are worth celebrating. The stigma that some attach to the date is unfair.

Since last year, we've had a few experiences during which someone has found out Nora's birth date and made awful comments to us about it. And every time, I just think to myself--that is my daughter's birthday you're talking about. Would you want someone to say something like that to you about your birthday? I wish people would instead think before they speak. Truly, my wish for everyone is to have a reason to celebrate on 9/11. It doesn't make what happened go away--it doesn't make us forget--but to have something positive to focus on is a blessing.

And now I shall digress for another year. :)

Happy Birthday to my sweet, sweet girl. I love you more than ever.

7 comments:

Elizabeth September 12, 2012 at 3:08 AM  

Happy Birthday to Nora! Growing up so fast!

Heather September 12, 2012 at 3:10 AM  

Beautiful post! Happy Birthday Nora!!!!

jenn September 12, 2012 at 6:21 AM  

What a cutie- happy birthday!

I'm pregnant and about to pop- my due date is Sunday but having a baby born on 9/11 is something we thought about. Obviously we missed it now but its something I wasn't that concerned about. Would I have preferred to not have had her on that date? Yes, but life goes on. Thanks for posting about it (this year and last year) (Her birthday will be 9/15, turns out I need to be induced :/ )

Willowpig September 12, 2012 at 10:25 AM  

My husband proposed to me on the 9th September, then two years later we had our baby boy dedicated at church on the same date (as it was a Sunday).

It is good to have something positive on that date and that does not retract anything from what happened. Life does go on and what better way to celebrate than a young child's birthday or Dedication?!

whatannasaid September 13, 2012 at 3:05 PM  

Happy birthday Nora!!!!

I hope she had an amazing day and what a beautiful post. :-)

I can't believe it but I've been reading your blog now for MORE than 2 years, crazy!!

nikinikinine September 13, 2012 at 6:50 PM  

I can't believe she's two already. Wowza. Looks like she loved her family celebration with the two of you. Glad you also got to enjoy the day off with your girl!

Dana September 14, 2012 at 11:45 PM  

Happy Birthday Nora. Hope you have a great party. Thanks for sharing you life with us it was been great seeing her group up.

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