Nora is FIVE!

posted by Andrea | 11/22/2016
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nora is 5

Nora is 5 today… can you believe it!?!

I know so many of you have been reading my blog since before she was even born — which means you know A LOT about her and our family. You know how much we struggled to find something she would eat, how we worked through her sensory issues, and how long it took us to FINALLY get her to sleep. You also know how stubborn, strong willed… and sweet she is.

Doesn’t it just seem crazy that this little girl is 5 years old already! 

I remember back when we first started food therapy (around 17 months) and someone told me, “Just wait until she’s 5, these issues usually work themselves out by 5.” At the time, I wanted to punch that person in the face — FIVE sounded so far away, an eternity of sleepless nights in my opinion.

Yet, here we are with our grown-up 5 year old… and I’m happy to say she has outgrown all the food issues, all the sleep issues, and most of the sensory issues. Life is good for miss Nora, and I am proud to be her mama.

Nora requested a Frozen-themed birthday party this year (shocking, I know!). I’ll share more about that next week… Today, I’m simply sharing some of Nora’s favorite things, as well as several of my favorite pictures from the past 6 months.

Nora loves being outside.

I’m so thankful we have a huge yard and a huge driveway (and that Dave is home to play outside with the kids all summer long) because our kids love to play outside.

Nora has had so much fun outside this past year as she has made friends with several neighbor girls. We have 5 neighbor girls who are all within a year of Nora, and all live just a house or two away from ours. They often end up in our driveway, on our tramp, or in our sandbox 🙂

Nora loves blowing bubbles for James, riding bikes with Simon, and doing sidewalk chalk with her friends. She has also been able to ride her bike home from school several times this fall (with me walking with the boys behind her!)

Nora loves learning activities.

I don’t think there has been one single day of her life that she hasn’t tried to learn something new. She ALWAYS wants to “learn something”.

Crafts, coloring, puzzles, and books are her favorite ways to “learn” right now — and she’s always up for a fun “experiment” (thanks to Pinterest and YouTube for all the fun and easy ideas!)

Over the past few weeks, Nora has surprised me with her desire for reading, writing, and arithmetic. She has started writing every word she sees, sounding them out, and asking me how to spell various words throughout the day. She is quickly picking up basic math too!

Oh, and I should mention, this girl loves watching TV — sometimes it’s educational, sometimes it’s just for fun 🙂

Nora loves all things “baby”.

Nora got her first doll (Claire) from my sister on her first birthday… and this is still her most favorite “baby” (see Nora holding Claire below).

Since then, she has somehow amassed a growing collection of “babies” and she plays with them every single day. She dresses them, feeds them, holds them, puts them to sleep, takes them outside, etc.

She recently requested that I get pregnant with triplets so I could take care of one baby, Dave could take care of one baby, and she could take care of one baby.

Sigh…

Nora loves helping.

Everything from helping me cook and clean, to helping me plant flowers, water the garden, or pick veggies!

She is a very quick learner — and although she doesn’t always do everything the way I would do it, she usually gets the job done 🙂

Nora loves playing with her brothers.

Although I’m not sure she would openly admit it, I’m fairly confident Simon is her all-time favorite person right now 🙂

The two of them fight like CRAZY, but they also play so well together — even without adults around. They play outside together, they play inside together, they play with neighbor kids together, they “read” together, they play school together, they dress up together, and they even sleep together now that they are in the same room.

I’m sure James will tag along with these 2 next year (and Nora is SO sweet to James) but right now, Nora and Simon are a pretty fun duo to spend my days with.

Nora loves being “girly”!

I’m still not sure where she gets this from — but this girl LOVES skirts, dresses, makeup, jewelry, nail polish, getting her hair done, sparkles, pink, purple, high heels, playing dress up in all her princess gowns, and talking about all sorts of girly things.

She literally wears a skirt or dress anywhere we go (I don’t think she’s worn “just pants” to school yet!) and all her outfits are meticulously selected the night before to meet her specifications for “enough color” and “enough fun”. (NOTE: this does not always mean they match — and as you’ll notice by all these pictures, she definitely has her “favorites” that she wears ALL the time!)

She has exact requests for how I should paint her nails — multiple colors on each nail, polka dots and stripes, alternating colors, etc. and we’ve had lots of fun experimenting with different hairstyles, braids, curls, etc.

Nora pushes my buttons, tests my patience, and stretches my parenting abilities every single day. But she also surprises me with her generous compliments, her compassion for all living things (even weeds), and her zest for life.

She is exhausting and endearing, sassy and sweet, crabby and charismatic all at the same time.

One thing is for certain, our family wouldn’t be the same without Miss Nora!

Happy Birthday Nora!

We love you, sweet girl.

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44 comments

  1. Elena

    12/06/2016

    What a sweet, sweet post about Nora! Happy birthday, Nora! I can’t believe you are 5 🙂 I do remember when you where expecting her…how time flies. I loved all the pictures you posted. This will be one of Nora’s favorite posts when she looks back on your blog.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Elena!
    I hope Nora is able to read this post and smile some day!

    [Reply]

  2. heather

    11/29/2016

    Hi Andrea,
    So glad to see how you document everything in your life with photographs.
    I had 5 children who all have children of their own now, and the photos of when they were this age are my treasured possessions
    life seems hectic with 3 little ones, but these years pass all too quickly, so make the most of every minute.
    i have written to you before,……and I still adore SIMON!! :)) Soooo sweet.
    A little late, but Happy Birthday Nora!
    Don”t forget to keep us updated on the triplets!!!!

    [Reply]

  3. Joy

    11/25/2016

    Happiest birthday to your sweetest Nora! Trust she had a blast! 🙂

    [Reply]

  4. Beatriz

    11/25/2016

    Happy Birthday Nora!

    [Reply]

  5. janet

    11/23/2016

    Precious words and photos. Thank you for sharing all about your sweet birthday girl! She’s adorable!

    [Reply]

  6. Riana Magdalena

    11/23/2016

    Hallo Nora..Happy birthday beautiful one..
    God bless you abundantly…

    [Reply]

  7. Calliope

    11/22/2016

    Dear Nora, I hope you had a blast in your birthday and received lots and lots of presents! 5 is a great age to be. Hmmm but then so it is 6! It seems you are going to have a great year! Give your brothers a kiss and a hug and remember everyday to laugh a lot!

    [Reply]

  8. Wendalette

    11/22/2016

    Happy birthday,Nora! And happy fifth momiversary to you, Andrea!
    My kiddo is a year younger (and also an Elsa fan!), and following your early years saga helped me so much during her first (special needs, high-demand) year.
    Congratulations on making it through to turn to out such a delightful-sounding little lady, and thank YOU for being the beacon at the end of the tunnel.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much! Glad my posts about Nora were helpful for you!

    [Reply]

  9. Martha Lawson

    11/22/2016

    Happy Birthday, Miss Nora!! It has been such a joy watching you grow up.

    [Reply]

  10. Jenny C.

    11/22/2016

    Happy 5th Birthday to Nora! She is a beautiful little lady:) And congrats to you, Andrea, on being the mom of a five year old!!!

    [Reply]

  11. Nena

    11/22/2016

    It seems like yesterday you just had her.. wow! she is just beautiful

    [Reply]

  12. Linda

    11/22/2016

    She is a very pretty girl!!! Happy Birthday Nora!!!

    [Reply]

  13. Tracie H

    11/22/2016

    Happy Birthday to Nora! She is beautiful.

    [Reply]

  14. KIMI

    11/22/2016

    A very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to a beUtiful and sweet Nora!!!!

    [Reply]

  15. Debbie

    11/22/2016

    I hope her birthday is a blast! She’s such a pretty girl. Happy Birthday Nora!

    [Reply]

  16. Kaye Edwards

    11/22/2016

    What a beautiful little girl! Happy Birthday, Nora!

    [Reply]

  17. Sara

    11/22/2016

    Such a beautiful girl Xxx

    [Reply]

  18. Emily

    11/22/2016

    Happy Birthday Miss Nora!! Five is such a fun age (and one of my favorites!) Hope you have a wonderful day celebrating your sweet girl! LOVE the picture of Nora pulling Simon in the side car on her bike. The helmet and sunglasses on Simon are excellent! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks! I’m loving the 2-5 age!

    [Reply]

  19. Angela

    11/22/2016

    My youngest daughter (age 6) was looking through this post with me and the commentary was so funny. “Hey! I have that same shirt!” “Hey! I have that same colorful tutu!” “Hey! We have that same van!” “Hey! We have that kind of flower too!” : )

    My 6 year old was a very early reader too, and sounds a lot like Nora in that regard. She had a sudden interest in writing and spelling. I got her a set of “Bob Books”, which I really believe launched her quickly into reading on her own, and now she’s in kindergarten and reading at a 3rd/4th grade level…keeping her teacher on her toes in a good way. : ) You might want to add Bob Books to Nora’s Christmas list!

    Nora and Simon remind me so much of my oldest daughter and son when they were little. They’re now 14 and 12, and still very good buddies. My son was also a very good sport about playing with “girl stuff” with his sister! They also shared a bedroom and it’s such a sweet bond they have!

    You do a great job of savoring the moments and enjoying your kiddos!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Angela! I hope Nora and Simon will still be buddies when they are 14 and 12!
    Also, I’ll look into the Bob Books 🙂

    [Reply]

  20. Gayle Greeley

    11/22/2016

    Happy Birthday Nora. You are birthday buddies with my daughter, Alexis. She is 20 years old today!

    [Reply]

  21. Avia Thompson

    11/22/2016

    Happy Birthday Nora! Your description of her reminds me a lot of my oldest who is almost exactly a year younger (and is still up multiple times a night). So it’s fun to see where we might be in a year!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    maybe you’ll actually be sleeping through the night next year!
    Nora doesn’t always get up in the middle of the night now, but it’s not uncommon for her to come down to our bedroom for one reason or another each night. Sometimes she just wants to “check to see if it’s morning” even though it’s so obvious that it’s NOT morning!!

    [Reply]

  22. Mara

    11/22/2016

    Happy Birthday to your sweetie 🙂

    [Reply]

  23. Cathy

    11/22/2016

    Happy Birthday Miss Nora❤️ It has been a pleasure watching you grow up! You have grown up to be such a little lady! Looking forward to many more years of your adventers!

    [Reply]

  24. Sandi

    11/22/2016

    Happy Birthday Nora! I also had a baby 25 yrs ago with these same issues but of course at the time I never heard of these sensory issues that you talk about on your blog .These were very trying times but looking back now my son and I have a bond that no man can break and a love and respect for each other that brings tears to my eyes. I cringe when reading and remembering the tough yrs . I would not change a thing now seeing the caring loving compassionate man he is now . Bless you and your family

    [Reply]

  25. Jessica

    11/22/2016

    Triplets! Oh, Nora…

    Happy Birthday to Nora! Can’t believe how grown up she is!

    [Reply]

  26. Iliana

    11/22/2016

    Happy Birthday Nora!!
    Hope you are having a fun day!!

    [Reply]

  27. Michelle

    11/22/2016

    Happy birthday dear Nora!!! You are a blessing to your family!!

    [Reply]

  28. Rose

    11/22/2016

    Happy birthday!!! She is gorgeous!! God Bless

    [Reply]

  29. Lorrie

    11/22/2016

    Happy birthday Nora! Loved seeing all the pictures and reading all about her!!

    [Reply]

  30. Kellie Denton

    11/22/2016

    I’m one that’s been following since before Nora was born! Can’t believe it’s been 5 years! I really love her little personality – I laughed out loud at her “triplets” comment. HAPPY BIRTHDAY NORA!

    [Reply]

  31. Evie

    11/22/2016

    Happy Birthday, sweet Nora!!

    [Reply]

  32. Lynn O.

    11/22/2016

    So beautiful! I have been reading your blog since before she was born – cannot believe five years has passed! Congratulations on your beautiful family.

    [Reply]

  33. Chris

    11/22/2016

    Happy Birthday to Nora! I think it’s great she loves to learn. I thought it was SO cute that she loves weeds. Aawww.

    [Reply]

  34. JJ

    11/22/2016

    Happy Birthday to Miss Nora! One word of encouragement another parent said that stuck with me is, “If you have a strong-willed child and raise them to love the Lord, they will be strong-willed FOR the Lord.” Standing up for what’s right, etc. Praying Nora will make a huge impact for Him!

    [Reply]

  35. Paulette

    11/22/2016

    Happy Birthday, sweet Nora! I anxiously waited for pictures after you were born and I’ve followed your parents’ journey through all your difficulties. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us in blog land!

    [Reply]

  36. Rebecca

    11/22/2016

    Happy Birthday to Nora!

    In case your are interested, I saw an Olaf Waffle iron at Kohls:

    http://www.kohls.com/product/prd-1919005/disney-frozen-olaf-waffle-maker.jsp

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Even though my daughters are 18 and 22, I still read your posts and get a lot of good information and inspiration to lead a simple life!

    [Reply]

  37. JoAnn C.

    11/22/2016

    Oh my! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NORA. I can’t believe it’s five years already. Wow, that went by so very fast. Thanks, Andrea and Dave, for sharing such a big event! Congrats to you two, too. ; )

    [Reply]

  38. Francie

    11/22/2016

    Happy Birthday, Nora! She has truly grown into a beautiful girl, I remember when you use to post about her as a baby. Time just flies.

    [Reply]

  39. Kristi

    11/22/2016

    Happy Birthday Nora!
    I’ve enjoyed so much watching you grow, and watching your mom grow, too. Being ‘Mom’ is not for the faint of heart LOL and when your child is struggling (with food, with sleep, with sensory stuff) it’s heartbreaking. I know, because a couple of my kids are a lot like you, Nora. You’re a very special little girl and I hope you have a spectacular day.

    [Reply]