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A Few of Norah’s New Things

We had a wonderful Christmas.  I’ve already posted about how important family time is to us.  I wanted to share a couple of fun new things Norah received.  And bonus…she didn’t receive any plastic toys this year!

img_7313Norah’s playhouse grew. 

I love that Plan Toys designed their houses to grow by adding a basement floor.  Or really, adding as many as you wish.  Her dollhouse also now has a gazebo and some pets.

To reach the top floor now, she has to stand on the table.  Which, of course, she loves to do. 

You might also see in the bottom left corner of the picture the Plan Toys bug balance game.  The object of the game is to alternately place a ladybug on the color circle rolled by the die.  Don’t let the ladybugs fall.

Not pictured–she received a clever Haba stacking game.  She loves to stack the animals (and also to change their diapers, put them to bed, take them to the zoo, etc).

img_73151The spotted dinosaur is a bank.  Norah is notorious for stashing our spare change in odd cubbies around the house.  Little packrat.  The colorful geometric shapes are really neat shape-builders.  Like wooden legos. 

I made a terrarium for her with moss and ferns.  Norah loves moss.  I hid a few wooden turtles and frogs inside.  She loves to mist her terrarium everyday.

“Norah’s Magic Medicine” is a salve made with calendula, local beeswax, essential oils, and more.  It smells so yummy. 

These gifts are resting on a beautiful earthy blanket that Norah’s great grandfather crocheted for her. 

Not pictured is Ribbit the Rice Sock.  What can I say?  She’s the daughter of a doula so she adores rice socks and asks for a heated sock for every woe.  I sewed a corduroy frog and stuffed him with lavender scented rice.  I think she has requested Ribbit the Rice Sock at least 8 times since Christmas.  And I’ve used him once!  Between the magic medicine and the rice sock, our first aid kit is set!

Another Toy Ramble

Someone recently asked me where we find our toys.  I have several places I look to first. 

1)  Etsy:  I love buying handmade and supporting other moms.  I would prefer to make them myself.  But–um, that prospect is not quite manifesting as I’d hoped.  Check out this gnome furniture and the autumn gnome that might sit to sup. 

2)  Oompa and Three Sisters Toys:  my favorite online sites for toys.  No electronic noises and no batteries required.  Three Sisters may be pricey but they have an “under 10.00” toy category and they offer 5.00 flat rate shipping.  Oompa offers free shipping over 65.00.  Last year I ordered all my Christmas gifts for kids from Oompa so that I received free shipping.  I didn’t have to stand in a single toy store line. 

3)  Amazon makes it easy to create wish lists and to find used books for a fraction of the cost.  And Amazon does offer HABA and Plan Toys.  Now they also have a “Green Toys” category. 

4)  If I need a toy in a hurry, I usually go to O.P. Taylors.  They carry a good selection of Plan Toys and Melissa and Doug.

And again, lest you think I live some ideal life and have no plastic toys…as I write this post, Norah is playing in the tub:  “Mama, did you know Nemo likes warm milk?”  I glance over to find her “nursing” a plastic clownfish swaddled in a wash cloth.

Play Day

Today was babywearing day which is Norah’s big social event of each month.  The Clemson group lasted four hours this time!  Our spur-of-the-moment topic (great to have two procrastinators as leaders) was “How to Get A Baby on Your Back.”  There was much slinging and tossing of tots.  We made a new friend.  The hit of the Clemson group was Jackson’s tin of wooden pineapples

The Greenville group topic was “Wearing Your Podaegi” (because we all have a podaegi lying around, right?).  Carey showed us different ways to use the podaegi.  Kawani brought her boys’ playsilks and Norah brought hers.  playsilks-004.jpg

The kids ran about with various capes, skirts, togas looking like a blissful band of gypsies.  I really didn’t believe Norah would play with the silks.  In the astounding way only a child can be, she becomes incredibly creative with the way she uses them:  sling, baby, water, campfire, lion mane, hat, dress, hiding place.  I’m sold.        

Scott and I spent what was left of the evening with our new ritual–watching Heroes on Netflix and eating popcorn (made on the stove with coconut oil and sea salt–mmm mmm good).  I cannot believe I’m hooked on a TV series.  This is what comes of reading too much nonfiction.  I’m hungry for story.

Walls that withstand

Having a two-year old is like having a puppy all over again.  We are potty-learning.  Which means the wee one runs bare-bummed about the house while I cross my fingers that she will tell me she needs to potty or I will see the signs.  We do not always succeed.  Which is why Scott’s shoes and my friend Joy’s book “Song of the Bride” are sitting on the front porch.  Yep, Norah released the flood on these lucky objects.  Sorry friends. 


Meanwhile, Norah and I continue to fight our cold.  The illness has motivated Norah to use grand sentence structure, “My nose hurts.”  We are taking a homeopathic treatment derived from a geranium that the Zulu tribes used.  Somehow I can’t picture Zulu warriers with colds.  On top of that, I bought an ear candle but haven’t worked up the nerve to use it yet.  I’ve been using a remedy my 4th grade teacher told me about:  heat salt, place into a towel, hold hot salt pack against ear.  I don’t know why that helps…but it really does.  Thanks Mrs. Allen!   

We celebrated Norah’s two-year birthday Sunday.  She received a Radio Flyer wagon, an indoor tent (to be her new comfort corner), plan toys vegetable garden w/ grandpa and grandma dolls (Nana), Haba wooden fruit, the book Mom and Dad are Palindromes (Zach and Noelle), and a shopping cart full of play food and goodies (Grammy and Papa).  Oh, and of course, Grammy and Papa added to Norah’s college fund.  She may not appreciate it now but I know we all will later!  It was a lovely, low-key celebration.   

I give you names like nails, walls that withstand your pounding, doors that are hard to open, but once they are open, admit you into rooms that breathe pure sun.  I give you trees that lose their leaves, as you knew they would, and then come green again.  I give you fruit preceded by flowers.  Venus supreme in the sky, the miracle of always landing on your feet, even though the earth rotates on its axis.  Start out with that, at least.  –birthday poem by Lisel Mueller