Saturday, December 30, 2006

Christmas after

I'm still sorting through everything. Take a look at this picture and you'll see there is a lot to get through. I'm still missing my new running shoes that I wore on Christmas morning. Certainly no one else wants them so they're clearly stuck under something in this house. I suppose that means I need to clean. With both of us just trying to get through the day all week, the house is a total mess - even more so than a regular Christmas. It's all good though. Hard to believe the long holiday week is almost over though and we have to go back to work on Tuesday. Sigh.
Updated to add that I found my new shoes. They were under Bjorn's side of the bed, where I kicked them off while hanging my awesome new curtains that match my new duvet cover. Phew. The mystery of the missing shoes was really getting to me. Now if I could just find those wooden letters.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


It's a fact - throwing diapers all over one's naked body and all over the floor in the span of about three minutes is about the most fun a 23 1/2 month old can have. Kudos, my friend, for ignoring the wealth of new toys Santa brought you and heading right for the Luvs.
Bjorn and I are both better today, but neither is close to 100 percent so at 8 p.m., we're both thinking about going to bed. In talking to folks, it seems just about everyone we know has someone in their family who has a stomach bug this week. Considering how similar Bjorn and my symptoms are, I'm wondering now if I had a stomach thing and not a reaction to the antibiotics. Either way, my stomach is still mushy. In theory, it should be making me us thinner, but we're both too bloated to see any measurable difference. Damnit. At least that would be one positive out of this whole mess.

We're bringing walkin' back, yeah (sung to SexyBack by Justin Timberlake)

My parents gave Andy a wagon for Christmas. He loves, loves, loves it. The best part is that he wants to take walks around the neighborhood again. Of late, he's had little tolerance for the stroller, which has cut down on our walks, but now that he likes being dragged in the wagon, we can start them up again. Today I even let him get out to see if he wanted to pull. He didn't and promptly climbed back in where he sat like an old lady with a blanket on his knee.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Oh, my head

Despite having a fabulous Christmas with good food, family and friends, we've been invaded by germs. I came down with a bad ear infection Saturday where Bjorn had to take me to the emergency care place to get seen. It would figure I would need medical attention on the Saturday of a holiday weekend. The very nice doctor on call confirmed that I did indeed have a "raging ear infection" and prescribed lots of goodies including antibiotics to kill the bacteria, Nasonex to clear the passages, ear drops to numb the pain and Percocet to help me deal with pain and sleep. The pain had eased by Sunday in time for Christmas Eve festivities and by Christmas Day I still had the ringing in my ear, but otherwise felt better. By Tuesday, however, the stomach bug hit. I went to work for a few hours and endured stares from people saying "Get out of here, you crazy lady, and don't get the rest of us sick." I went to the doctor who said the ear was healing up nicely, but that stomach trouble was just a side effect of the antibiotics. He said to stay on them for another week, but after a night like last night where I couldn't keep anything down, I opted against starting up again. I figure I'll kick the stomach bug and then go back to the ear infection. Bjorn has also managed to get some type of stomach bug so we've been a joy to be around. Fortunately, Andy has seemed to miss this one (knock wood, HARD). Keep your fingers crossed that today was the worst of it for us. Those last 24 hours have been tough.

I have a new appreciation for how kids with ear infections feel. The pain hurts worse than I remembered and those antibiotics really do a number on an already sensitive stomach. It might make me rethink treatment for him in the future.

In my seclusion, I stumbled upon this Web site and this rang true for me -

I love my kids. I just don’t love the actual work of raising them. Oh and the amount of talking it requires. And the public humiliation. Also, the guilt of doing this job. But otherwise I love it all.

I, too, love my son more than I ever thought possible (oh, cliche), but what she said made me chuckle. And feel better that I'm not the only one out there, especially on a day like today where I feel so crappy, who wishes for a live-in housekeeper/nanny. You know, Pam Ewing on Dallas was always touted as the nicest, sweetest, bestest mom ever and she's always handing her kid off to the nanny to put to bed.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Wretched excess

As you can see, Santa has been very, very good to us. We are a very lucky family.

Sunday, December 24, 2006


The Jul Tompte (Swedish Christmas Elf) came to our house tonight with tons of great stuff for good boys and girls. Andy made out (no surprise) with some new pajamas, a stuffed reindeer, a Little People alphabet thing, a new John Deere truck, a couple of books in English and Swedish, and a grocery cart. Unfortunately had to be put together so he could only play with pieces of it. It's going under the tree tonight so when he comes down tomorrow, he'll be thrilled. The whole day was so exciting that by the time we got to open presents, Andy was already pretty worn down and not as gracious as he could have been. We'll need to work on that for next year. The rest of the gang went on to another party, but Andy was so exhausted I stayed home and put him to bed. It was only 8:30, but I think he was asleep before I actually closed the door to his room to leave.

Tonight, fingers crossed, Santa will come so I'm trying to clean everything up in preparation. What I'm realizing though is that I'm now entering the phase of parenting where I have to stay up late putting toys together in anticipation. With the older kids, they're fine getting something in a box and putting it together, but these Little Tykes things are so complicated, they usually require the electric drill and a hammer. And often a glass of egg nog for me to calm my nerves while I try to figure out the instructions.

Friday, December 22, 2006


Last week, Andy refused to go down for his nap. I left him in there for a while to relax, well, so I could relax for a bit only to find out that he somehow pulled a picture off the wall and broke the frame. Impressive actually. So the picture is now repaired and hung in another room, but now every time he gets in or out of his crib he points to wall and says "Gone?" We explain that he broke it and now it's in another room so now he gets out and runs to the computer room and points to it and says "Gone." I am thinking I will now hang his wooden initials BAB on the wall that he loves so much (preferably higher than the picture). Unfortunately, in his love affair with the letters all I can find is one B. I've scoured the regular places and I can't find them yet. I have a feeling they'll reappear in a drawer somewhere random.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Jack's Big Music Show

Good stuff - I just heard that new episodes of the Noggin program Jack's Big Music Show are starting January 6. We're huge fans of Jack here, in fact, I think Bjorn might like it almost as much as Andy. I'm afraid Laurie Berkner gets on my nerves a bit, a shame since kids really seem to like her stuff. I prefer some of the other artists better and they never fail to have some cool musical guest star. Bjorn loves the Schwartzman Quartet best, but I think Mel is my favorite.

Only four days until Christmas. I can't wait!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The strange things they do

The good news - Andy is back to eating. The strange news - he only likes to eat if he's sitting on the kitchen floor. The other strange thing is he's attracted to baby food at the moment, like sweet potatoes and apple sauce. I can't quite explain it, but I'm not complaining since he's eating. The bonus is the kitchen floor is easier to clean than the rug in the dining room. Baby food also has the advantage of not having to be prepared.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Code Brown

Me: Bjorn, we have good news and bad news. The good news is he didn't freak out when I gave him a bath. The bad news is we had a code brown.
Bjorn: Code brown, huh? Was it near the potty?
Me: Kind of. If you consider my leg near it.
Bjorn: Your leg? I'm not sure I even want to hear how that was possible.

That's right - somehow my kid managed to use my leg as a toilet. I had him undressed and ready for his bath and was in the process of talking up how fun his toys are and doesn't he want to get in, blah, blah, blah, when he came and sat on my lap. And proceeded to use it as his personal toilet. Odd, it felt warm, but it wasn't the same as when he's peed on me. Isn't this great? I can now tell the difference in his bowel movements based on the warmth it brings to my leg. Mad skillz, my friends, mad skillz. I know you're all jealous.

On a more positive note, we didn't have any temper tantrums tonight. I took him to Wegman's in the evening to get stuff for the office pot luck tomorrow and he was a good sport. We looked at the train, played with twist ties and he was helpful in picking out what he wanted for dinner later. And then when I got home, we put him in the booster chair at the table and when I asked him if he wanted things, he nodded and then ate them happily. He even asked for "addle-sauz" (applesauce) which I understood and brought him. It was pleasant all around.

Oh, and in case you missed Saturday Night Live this week. Check out this digital video short. It was on network TV, but still, you might not view this at work.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

What a gas

After a challenging day, I think I figured out the culprit behind my son's multiple personality - gas. The poor guy had some rather colorful diapers in the afternoon and immediately started to feel better. Today he's been mostly a joy to be around. And no problems getting dressed either. That said, dinner was a nightmare. I've been letting him sit on a booster chair at the table, which he likes, but tonight everything I offered and in every manner set him off. He had been at the mall earlier with Bjorn so he was definitely tired. He also was dehydrated, as evidenced by the very dry diaper, so I'm giving him the Pedialyte type stuff. I find that stuff actually tastes okay. The Pediasure stuff, well, not so much. I ended up putting him down after only three or four bites of dinner. We'll see how the night goes with him on a practically empty stomach.

Last night we finished up with the cookies and baked them. I used the cookie cutters, which is always kind of fun except that after the first couple of sheets, I'm ready to be done with it. I have some cute Swedish ones, including the Dalahest cookie cutter. I love the way they look, but the leg mold is too thin making it tough to actually keep the legs once I transfer to the sheet. Poor one-legged horses. Andy tried to help me. I thought it would be more fun, but he spent most of the time grabbing my hand so I had to abort and come back after he'd gone to bed. Maybe next year he'll be at a better age for that kind of stuff.

Friday, December 15, 2006

What a Long Strange Week Its Been

This has been a very odd week. Andy has alternatively been a beautiful angel and a tantrum-throwing, non-sleeping mess. I did figure out he's getting his second year molars. I did venture to stick my finger in the back of his mouth this morning and felt one of them on the bottom. It was a pretty good-sized bump, but it hasn't broken through the surface yet. I have no idea if there are others popping as when I tried to feel the other side, he bit me. Hard. I can't say I blame him, I was sticking my finger in his mouth, but still. That kid has some chompers.

This morning was initially blissful as he slept until 9 am. Then he threw a tantrum from about 9:15-11. It was quite a challenge. I tried to feed him breakfast which set him off on a crying jag. After about 15 minutes, I put him back into his crib to cool off. He was chipper in like 5-10 minutes only to do the same thing when I tried to do anything - get him dressed, go outside, play with toys. I gave him a little Tylenol and that settled him down briefly. I finally got him to eat some raisins and drink his milk, but my efforts to put pants on him were fruitless. When I asked if he wanted to go to playgroup, he said yes, but if I even had pants in my hand, he would freak. In fact, once I had the door open to the carport and he saw the pants and grabbed them from me. He screamed at me "no, no, no" and proceeded to climb the stairs to his room to put them back where they go. It was funny, except for the screaming part. After a few more visits to his bed to calm down, I finally got him to eat breakfast and let me put his pants on. At playgroup, he was a doll, too. I wish I had any idea what was making him so mad other than the teeth. He doesn't seem sick, I can only think that he wants something and can't tell me. If you have any idea, let me know.

On the flip side, he's been a doll. He seems to love Christmas and we spend time each evening walking around the block pointing at the lights. Our next door neighbors have a ton of lights and he likes to walk through them all and point. It's precious. He also demands that we turn on our outside lights and the Christmas tree lights. I'm thinking he's going to be sad once it's time to take them all down. We might have to take the tree down after he's in bed some evening. We also spent time last night on the floor of the kitchen making sugar cookies. He was "helping" me stir and pour in the ingredients. It makes me smile just to think about it. Tonight we're going to roll out the dough, use the cookie cutters and do the baking. I plan to take lots of pictures.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


For the first time since Thanksgiving, Andy slept through the night. I feel like a whole new woman today. I put him down about 8 last night and kept telling him as hugged him and rubbed his back that I loved him and that his job was to sleep through the whole night and that I wouldn't see him until the morning. A friend says she tells her daughter every night that her job is to stay in her bed and sleep until morning so I tried that and it worked. That or he was so tired he finally gave up.

His vocabulary continues to evolve, must to our amazement. He does seem to put "nenen" at the end of some of his words. So the fire is really "fire-nen-nen." Christmas tree? "Chris-nen-nen. It's so cute I might have to gobble him up.

We saw Santa last night as he made his way through the neighborhood on a firetruck blasting Christmas music. Andy recognizes Santa, but doesn't get that he delivers presents or anything. We spent some time waving. It was very cute.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Very sad, shocking and disturbing news

After I had Andy, I joined a new mom's group organized by INOVA Faifax Hospital. It was held at a local church and it was moderated by a nurse who answered basic questions and assured us new moms that we could handle our new jobs as mothers. After a bit, the group dwindled as those with older babies (those with four month olds, which seemed really old compared to my six week old) left to start a playgroup. My group left a few months later for babies born November through February and if the group still meets, I'm sure that's still happening.

As such, I'm on two online message boards, one for the group of older moms and one for my specific playgroup. I'm much closer to the women I see regularly, but I keep tabs on the other group and usually get a lot from their posts. Today, though, I learned that one of the little girls in the other playgroup died. That's right. Died. She was 26 months old. The details are sketchy, but it had something to do with a GI infection. I didn't know the little girl or her mother. The mere fact of our paths crossing or nearly crossing around here for the past few years and with similar experiences makes me feel like I know them. I hate to be all melodramatic (despite what you've heard, it's not my strong suit), I just don't get it. First my friend Karen, now Joey. It is all just so, so sad. Andy has been a pill this week (he still refuses to sleep at night), but I think I need to sneak into his room and give him a kiss.

Monday, December 11, 2006


It's official - Andy can now wear 3T clothes. It's funny, it sort of snuck up on me. For the longest time, I would buy the next size up, so at 3 months, he was in 6-12 month stuff. Then after blowing past 12-18 months, we settled on 24 months. I had been thinking that 2T was slightly bigger than 12 months, but I discovered at Target this weekend that the sizes are the same (if that's true though, why bother having size 24 month and 2T in the same style? What's the point in that if they truly are exactly the same measurements?) At the airport last week, we found out that Andy weighs 29 pounds (while checking our bags, the flight attendant thought we should weigh him too for fun). With that knowledge, I started to realize that the 2T clothes stop at 28 pounds.

I realize that's a guideline, but considering my mother kept complaining him pajamas were too cumbersome to get over his arms and legs (despite my chant "They're supposed to fit snugly. It says on the label!) it is perhaps time to graduate up. So I bought some 3T pajamas by Carter's figuring the pants definitely would be too long. Instead, the whole ensemble fit. Go figure. Now the poor kid only has like four pairs of pajamas that aren't 18-24 months and most of those are in the laundry trying to get the remnants of meals past off them. Of course, tonight he decided that the only thing he wanted to wear was his Spider Man costume for next Halloween so perhaps we don't need pajamas after all.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Christmas cards

We spent about a hundred hours this morning (okay, maybe one) trying to get a nice picture of all five of us for a Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa card. The older kids were late because they sleep later and Andy was starting to need his nap by the time we finally got started. It was a little tense, but after some trial and error with the self-timer, we got a decent picture of all of us. This isn't the picture we selected, but Andy's expression sums up what we were all thinking. After we finally got a good one though, we all liked each other again.

I ordered them again from Costco. It's cheaper than Ofoto/Kodak Gallery with the huge bonus of the cards (allegedly) being ready tomorrow. With that pace, these might go out before Christmas after all. Maybe.

Andy's new thing this weekend (in addition to his cold) is his letters. A while ago, I bought the letters B, A and B, painted them white and planned to hang them on Andy's wall. It's been a while now so I currently make a point of explaing the letters to him and having him repeat after me. The funny thing is he's become so attached to two of them "AB" that he calls for them by name, rather insistently I might add. He even took a nap with them yesterday. I got him a wooden puzzle that says "Andy" for Christmas. I'd say based on this he's ready for it.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Counting in the Bath

Megan and Andy "counting" together in the bathtub. I think Megan's got the hang of it while Andy mostly thinks the words are fun to say.


Andy has decided that his parents don't need a good night's sleep any longer. For the past week or so, a night hasn't gone by that he hasn't been getting up and screaming. We've been going in to comfort him, and the last few nights he's made it clear that he doesn't want to lie back down, he wants to come sleep with us. We don't mind him in bed with us every once in a while, but we're both afraid of it becoming a more regular thing. Last night from about 3 a.m. to 6:30 a.m., he yelled. We went in at different times - Bjorn is usually better about convincing Andy to lie back down than I am. At alternating points, we let him yell it out only for him to go to sleep around 7 a.m. and stay asleep until after 10 a.m. I guess the yelling wore him out. It also, turns out, means he has a cold. Figures that us trying to enforce better sleep would happen when he's sick. Today he's been cranky and easy to upset. He's been on the Little Colds though and that stuff does it's job. Probably half an hour after giving it to him, he perks up and is more like his regular self.
I'm also trying to get everyone together tomorrow for a Christmas card picture. Of course it would figure that Andy is sick on what's probably our last good weekend day for the photo in order to get them processed in time. Perhaps we'll send Valentine's Day cards this year.

Friday, December 08, 2006

More pictures

Yup. They were tired.

Elizabeth and Megan who STILL didn't want her picture taken in front of the fireplace at Mary's new house in Austin.

With my old camp friends Mary and Hale. We look much older than in the pictures from 1985. Go figure.

Megan and her Tia.

Andy with the drum set my cousin Katchie gave him as a present.


My cousins Frances and George.

Megan wasn't psyched to have her picture taken, but she sure is pretty.

Andy and his Pop playing in the front yard. It was hysterical to watch.

Megan with her father and great-grandmother, Grammy. Grammy is 94 and is so impressive.

Here is Andy with my parents on Thanksgiving at my sister's place .

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Once Upon a Potty

There is a semi-famous book in child-rearing circles called "Once Upon a Potty." It's supposed to help kids understand soiling a piece of plastic instead of their diaper. It's actually pretty straight-forward and good, although I don't particularly like using the phrase "wee-wee" for urine. I don't know why, I just don't. We picked up a copy at the seriously awesome Half-Price Books in Dallas and it has quickly turned into Andy's favorite. He now wants to read it over and over again. I'm totally supportive of the potty plan, but the plot of this book is rather lacking. "Goodnight Moon" doesn't have much of a plot either, but at least it's a story. It seems odd to be reading an instructional book as a good night story, but as my mother always reminds me, there is no accounting for taste.

Sleep has been an issue all week. Andy still isn't sleeping through the night. Last night, he got up at four and after I calmed him down, he did not want to go back to bed. I opened the curtains and tried to explain that it was still dark and thus sleepy time, but he wasn't having it. I finally left and after about 10 minutes of yelling, Bjorn got up to convince Andy to lie down and go back to sleep. He eventually did only to have to be woken up at 7:45 this morning. Why won't he ever sleep late on a day I could sleep late?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Back to work

We've returned from our trip and I, for one, am exhausted. I think I need a vacation from my vacation. Andy was a champ on the flight home due in part to the portable DVD player (for those keeping score at home, this was the third of three that I tried to buy in Dallas. Polaroid turned out to be the winner). In contrast to our flight before Thanksgiving, lines were non-existent and there wasn't much traffic anywhere except the international baggage claim area next to ours at Dulles. I'm always amazed that people travel with huge cardboard boxes with their names on them, but I digress.

The trip to Dallas was great, lots of fun catching up with old friends and family. Andy picked up about a hundred new things, including calling his Aunt Mary "Tia" which both seem to enjoy. He also can say Pop, Meh-han (his version of Megan), and Lexie. Saying Grandmother thus eludes him, but it's funny to hear my mother try. By the end, he could almost say Cowboys, which is a must in Dallas.

The last few nights have been long ones with Andy waking up every 30 minutes for some reason or another. The night before we were in Dallas so I attributed it to the stress of the Christmas party and us sleeping in the room with him, but last night in his own bed in his own room, he did the same thing, much to the chagrin of his exhausted parents. I have a feeling it might be gas due to all the weird stuff he's been eating and drinking the past couple of weeks. Keep your fingers crossed that tonight goes better as I'm quite tired.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Winter storm

We're in Dallas for what turns out to be the story of the season - winter weather. We got a combination of snow, sleet and freezing rain today making it look and feel like Christmas. It's sort of off actually since it was 80 degrees yesterday. That's Texas weather for you. Bjorn arrived back in town safely last night despite DFW closing temporarily due to wind shear, definitely a cause for concern. Dad and I spent the interim time shopping at the Bass Pro Shop nearby, which has a surprising selection of cool stuff, in addition to boats and other things.

Andy has been picking up tons of cool stuff this week, in fact, almost too much stuff to mention. He now yells "phone" whenever it rings and then lumbers toward wherever it is. He has also figured out how to manipulate us into giving him whatever he wants to eat rather than a more discplined diet at home. Course, he is on vacation, right? His sleep schedule is off, but so is everyone's I think. We're having lots of fun with Megan, or "Meh-han" as Andy calls her. She's a few months older, but they're starting to be at a place where they can finally play together. Well, and shout "mine" whenever coming in contact with a toy the other is touching.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


We've just returned from a whirlwind trip to Austin to check out my sister's awesome new house. Bad weather on the horizon, illness and my neice's new found ability to climb out of her pack and play encouraged us to leave today rather than tomorrow. I think we'll all like each other better after a good night's rest. We did manage to hook up with my cousins Frances and George. Photos to follow when I return to Washington.

Andy has positively been a trouper this trip with all the strange places to sleep and new faces to encounter. We're been sharing a room all week and it's actually been more fun and interesting than I would have thought. My mother lent me a book light so I keep reading once he is in bed and it's been kind of neat watching him fall asleep. Normally I tuck him in and leave the room so watching his thought process has been neat.

On the flight here, our portable DVD player broke. Dead. Just what you need on a long flight. I bought one at Academy (a coveted Coby brand that no one has heard of) that worked, but it made a really loud whirring noise - so loud you could hear it over the audio. I know, what do you expect for $69. I returned it and after two failed trips to Target (these are obviously the It toy this year), I found one at Wal-Mart. I got it home only for it to not recognize any DVD. Great. Now I've got to return that one, too. Of course, in our haste to leave Austin, I think I left our DVDs at Mary's. With all this travel, I feel like I've been leaving crumbs across the state that I'm going to be hard pressed to collect before we leave.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Sorry to the lack of photos in the past week. They're all sitting on the memory card on my digital camera. I tried to take some cute pictures of Andy and Megan today, but neither kid was cooperating at the right time. I did get some fun pictures of my dad wrestling with Andy that I'll post next week. Dad was doing the trick where he lays on his back and puts Andy's stomach on my dad's feet/knees and pulls him up. The cackling laugher was really great. My mother keeps trying to get Andy to say "grandmother" but most times he just says "no" (sometimes more emphatically than others). In fact, no has been the theme word of the weekend and the answer to everything. He went through this for about a week a couple of months ago so I'm hoping it passes quickly.

The only downside is that it's been a whirlwind few days with family visiting and I haven't had a chance to call my friends who live here. Tomorrow we're headed to Austin to see Mary's house and show Andy off to the Austin relatives so I'm planning to make my calls later in the week.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

We had a mostly uneventful flight from Washington to Dallas, despite the wind and rain in Virginia that threatened to make things delayed. We gave ourselves lots of time to get through security and then managed to breeze through in less than 10 minutes. Figures. If we were running late, it wouldn't have been so easy. Everything worked great except the DVD player refused to work on the plane. I had purposely not packed tons of toys knowing we could rely on it so it was a challenge keeping Andy busy for all three hours. He was generally a good sport although he refused to sleep despite my best efforts.

Dallas has been great for catching up with family. We had a nice Thanksgiving at my sister's and my cousin Katchie is in town from Pecos. Great fun. Bjorn leaves tomorrow and then we're on our own most of the week until he comes back for the Christmas party and flies back with us on Sunday. We've also done some power shopping with my dad today and it will indeed be a very merry Christmas. We spent some time at Northpark shopping center which in some ways is just the same as when I was a kid and in other ways, feels 20 times larger. On the contrary, Andy and I took a walk past my alma mater Highland Park High School yesterday and it seemed much smaller, despite the additions that have come since my days.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Beta Blogger

Sorry for the lack of posts, we're gearing up for our travels and have been busy trying to get everything packed and get the house in some reasonable order so when my neighbors stop by to check on the cats, they don't report us to Child Welfare Services for hoarding. Blogger is also switching over to a beta version that is giving me some problems on my computer making it difficult to log in and post. I have, however, switched over to Google Analytics which tells me who is visiting. I was using Bravenet before, which was basically just a counter. This is a counter, but it tells me random stuff, like where people are logging in from. So you folks in Austin, Herndon, Norway and St. Louis, stop staring at me. =) I don't know how it knows that, but it's really cool.

Have a great Thanksgiving and keep your fingers crossed that Texas beats Texas A&M on Friday if there will be any peace in my house.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Mr. Fastidiuos

I have somehow managed to have a kid who is bothered by a mess. If you've ever seen my house or office, you know that things being messy doesn't bother me. I like to think I'm personally clean, just cluttered. Andy however is now fixated on being clean when he eats. If he hands get messy during a meal or play, he stops to make sure I clean them. He's also bothered if the tray gets really messy. He wants me to clean that up, too. I suppose it's not a bad trait to have a kid who is clean, it's just surprising. I have a feeling he'll grow out of it.

We leave for Dallas day after tomorrow. Andy and I will be there for 12 days. Seriously, 12 days. That's so long I can barely comprehend it. I really need the break, I just hope my family isn't sick of me by the end. Well, no more than usual.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Potty training is gross

It's a fact - potty training is gross. I'm sure that sounds ridiculous reading it. You're probably thinking "Of course it's gross," but let me explain. After nearly two years of diapers, I've got it down. I can clean up the messiest diaper using only three wipes, put it in the Diaper Genie and not get anything on my hands (well, most days anyway). It's gross, too, but I'm used to it now. Potty training on the other hand, involves my son's excrement on a piece of plastic that I then need to dump in the toilet and then wash out the plastic thing while keeping his hands out of it (naturally, he wants to see what he's done). And naturally at that time, he finds a way to pee on the floor (peeing in the potty earlier apparently doesn't dampen that need).

The good news is that with minimal pressure, he's kind of figuring out potty training. Twice in four days, he's done number two in the potty. Both times he seemed to really know what he was meaning to do. I'm not pushing it on him just yet, but I try to find a time to offer it to him, usually before his bath (when he's already naked). His vocabulary is coming along, but he still can't quite communicate what he needs to do. I think that means the Kirkland Diaper folks won't lose our business for some time.

Hair apparent

Bjorn took Andy to get a much-needed hair cut last week in anticipation of our trip to Texas next week. Andy did great, but when it got to the end, Bjorn decided he'd had enough and stopped before letting her trim the back and sides, declaring to me that we would fix it at home. Problem is, asking ME to cut anyone's hair is a terrible idea. I worked on "evening things up" last night and it's like eating goldfish crackers - you can't stop at one. Now the poor kid now has more of a Marine hair cut that I'm not sure is even. Poor guy. At least hair grows, right?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Magic dust

We still have half a box of infant oatmeal left over. To try to get rid of it, I occasionally put it in yogurt and other things to thinken it up a bit. The last couple of days though, Andy has decided he wants it sprinkled on his food - whatever it is. That means his chicken breast and green beans from last night had to be dipped in oatmeal first. It's funny because it's really flakey and doesn't taste like much. We've decided he must think it's sugar.

Monday, November 13, 2006


Photo evidence of the one bath Andy had last week. The towels at our Westin were so nice (HeavenlyTM if you read all their stuff) that Andy was loathe to get into his jammies. I can't say I blame him.

Both these boys are sick today. Bjorn is actually feeling worse than the younger, but I was called home to take over so Bjorn could take a much needed rest. They're both still asleep. It's kind of precious. Everyone, it turns out, is sweeter and cuter when asleep.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Dancing fiend

This kid can really bust a move, can't he?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Fart jokes

I'm not much into bathroom humor. It seems lame to me since there are a million things in the world funnier than that. It's like a writer writing about not being able to write about anything. It's just a cop out. That said, I was shopping for a birthday present for a two-year old and came across an awesome book called "Walter the Farting Dog." It's about a dog with really bad gas so the family wants to take him back to the pound until his gas conspires to thwart burglars to they keep him. I'm not sure I get the lesson for kids, but it certainly gave me a laugh at Target.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Welcome Natalie

My friend Shelly just had her second baby. Welcome Natalie! It's funny seeing the children of friends. I find myself saying things like "I remember when you were yay high" and "You look so much like your mother/father/aunt/poodle." I do find it amazing looking at the faces of these kids and seeing their parents. It certainly makes me feel like an adult.

More pictures

My brain is still fried from a week of not sleeping so I don't have anything interesting to say. Some might argue I rarely have anything interesting to say and they wouldn't always be wrong. Like the double negative there? Andy and I took the day off to play. We visited the Hidden Oaks Nature Center in Annandale. It's in a beautiful wooded location that looked amazing with all the leaves in color. The center had lots of fun natural history stuff for kids, but he preferred the two story fort to any of that stuff. Such a boy.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Finally some pictures

I've been out of town for the past week in a blur of a big scientific meeting. Now that Andy's in bed, I'm going to shortly go to bed myself and perhaps get more than five hours of sleep. Score! This past week of late nights and early mornings and subsequent exhaustion has reminded me of when Andy was a tiny baby and sleep was so hard to come by. Since I've been gone, Andy has picked up about a dozen new words. His other new trick is pointing at every door jamb and saying "ding dong." The boys had a good week without me, but except for the Saturday night they were with me in Philadelphia, I don't think Andy had a bath all week. Natch.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A music Nazi among us

Andy has turned into a music snob. What's worse is he can't explain to me what it is he hates so car rides have turned into a battle of wills with him yelling from the back seat and me trying to figure out what he's saying while trying not to kill us both. Half the time I just turn it off and listen to him yell. It's not pleasant. I'm thinking about finding a little portable CD player for him to keep in the backseat for himself. I'm not sure about letting him have earphones yet so the ones I've come across with speakers are all too big. I'll keep looking.

His latest musical preferance is for song 2 on The Lion King CD. He dances around his room and even in the car seat to it. I'll admit it's adorable to see him bobbing around and so happy. I'm surprised how many Disney audio CDs I have in my collection. I guess I am/was a bigger fan than I thought. I do like me some musical theater though.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

Tonight was Halloween and despite my best efforts to get Andy home from daycare and dressed early, it just didn't happen. The roads were jammed likely due to everyone else in Northern Virginia having the same idea. Fortunately, we got home in time to walk around and see the neighbors. I took this as a good opportunity to wander around and meet some of the neighbors I'd never met before. Everyone was friendly and I got some candy I didn't need to boot. Score!

P.S. I have a billion pictures from tonight, but I can't get any of them to load at the moment. It's probably because everyone else on the east coast is trying to do the same thing. I'll try adding them later.

Friday, October 27, 2006


It's almost Halloween and therefore time to start taking pictures in costume. My mom got Andy an awesome Spiderman outfit, but it's still a little too big. Then a friend of mine gave me her son's outfit from last year and it fit great. I also like it since it's a two piece and more like a pants/sweatshirt top so that he didn't have a chance to get too mad about it. He started to protest, but I was able to get the top on him and let him get used to it before putting on the pants. We've been working on our bear/lion "rar" noise so once he saw himself dressed in the mirror, he was amused by the ears and tail. Funny thing is that the leopard outfit was the big hit this year. At a party with 12 kids, four were leopards. Here's the one picture where we had them all in the same frame.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Status report

The cut on his head is looking better, but now the swelling is spreading. This morning the redness has spread over his entire eyelid with a nice red streak under his eyebrow. It doesn't seem to bother him, but it bothers me to see his perfect face marred. I suppose that's what I have to look forward to as he gets older and spends more time getting into trouble.

Bjorn gets back from San Antonio/Dallas tonight. Andy keeps asking for Dada so it will be a sweet reunion.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Injury update

Here's a picture from last night. Clearly, it's not as huge and enormous as I made it out to sound, but that sucker really did bleed at the time. It was still rather traumatic on me. I don't think Andy was nearly as worried as I was. Fortunately, the little guy will be just fine and probably won't even have a scar in three or four months, the doctor thought.

Injury report

Andy didn't sleep well last night, mostly due to Miles lingering in his room, and he woke up with his eye a little more swollen so we went to the pediatrician's office just to be safe. She said it looked fine and that I'd made the right call not to take him to the ER (nice to get independent verification of my mommy skills). She said they might have made a case for stiches, but that looking at it, it didn't need it and that the whole ordeal would have been more traumatic for everyone. She said the thing to look for in cases like this are that he cries immediately (a sign that he's not in shock), that the bleeding stops quickly and that his pupils don't seem dialated. She thought that the swelling was partly caused by him lying down overnight so the blood had a chance to pool. The instructions were to put neosporin on it a couple times a day and try to keep him from picking at it. I felt better after that.

His babysitter was so sweet when she saw him. Unfortunately, he's taking to clinging and crying during drop-off, which is particularly traumatic for me. Today, since I was already running late, I went in and the three of us talked and played together. He hugged me for a bit, then hugged her and then me again, then her, at which point I left. He clearly likes her (he certainly doesn't hug most people), but right now this is sort of freaking him out.

Monday, October 23, 2006

House of Martyr

High drama in the house today. My regular babysitter needed today off, Bjorn's out of town and it's the really, really busy season at work so I hired a friend's former nanny to sit for me today. I was worried about the hand-off, but the promise of Jack's Big Music show quickly distracted him. She said the only time he got teary all day was when she moved Coltrane quickly and he seemed upset that she was hurting him (why I don't understand since we're always moving Coltrane). That was all perfectly nice and then he and I proceeded to have a nice evening. Until the bath.

Actually, 9/10 of the bath was great, but as I was luring him out of the tub, he slipped and hit his head by his eye. And started bleeding. I quickly scooped him up, wrapped a towel on his body and started applying pressure. He calmed down pretty quickly and after a couple minutes, it stopped bleeding. In the meantime, I had time to call Bjorn several times, my mother and sister and none answered. After more mild panic, I assessed that it wasn't emergecy room worthy, but could probably use a bandaid. Of course, no kid-friendly band-aids were handy so we headed out to Rite-Aid for a sampling of adhesive tape, New Skin, butterflies and band-aids. And after all that, he refused to keep the butterfly on. It actually looked so much better by then that I just put some Neosporin on it and it seems fine. The swelling is mostly gone and through it all, he was less worried than I was. I've decided to reassess in the morning to decide if he needs a trip to the doctor. I however need a drink, but I'm going to settle for Benadryl to hopefully combat the cold and allergy symptoms I've been having for a week.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Old friends

My friend Andrea from camp was in town with her family for a wedding so we met up today at the National Zoo in Washington with her husband and two boys, aged 4 1/2 and 7 months. The oldest and youngest kids were great, but Andy got cranky relatively early which put a damper on things. We did get to see the new baby panda who was simply adorable, very playful and quite a showman. It was great seeing my friend even though the kids got in the way of us ever completing a thought. Louie, the 4 1/2 year old, was very protective of Andy and kept trying to push his stroller (not that he wanted to be in it), hold his hand and keep him from wandering off. It was really sweet to see. It's also so weird to see the kids of old friends and look into their eyes and see their parents. Cool, but freaky.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Good times

My freshman year in college, my next door neighbor, Laura, and I spent a lot of time doing nothing, including watching Fame reruns and The Little Mermaid on VHS. I don't remember why we watched video so much other than the fact I really liked it and Laura thought that was funny, but we did watch it. A lot.

That was, gasp, 16 years ago and now they're out with a special 2-disc edition. I'm don't get why it needs to be on two discs, but I was looking to get it and it was actually only $14 on Amazon. Sure, I theoretically bought it for Andy, but I know I really wanted to see it. We watched the first 20 minutes of it tonight and I'm surprised how much of it I remember verbatim. In case you didn't know, I am a dork. Andy seemed to like it fine. In fact, the scene with the shark I thought he would find scary, but he instead laughed at the whole thing.

Jail break

Guess who decided to fling himself over the side of the crib this morning? Granted, the crib railing was down, but still. This does not bode well. This may get me thinking about a big-boy bed sooner rather than later. Fortunately, Mr. A was scared more than hurt from his escapade.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Home again, home again

I just got back from a whirlwind 36-hour trip to New York. The work was awesome and went really well, but missed my boys something fierce. Plus it turns out Andy has grown a foot (at least it seems) and learned new tricks. The one that I saw today is when something hurts him, like the edge of the table, he points to it and says "ouch." How precious is that?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Family names

One of my cousins is having a baby and my mom was asked to list some of the family names to see if some of them might be in style. While some are indeed coming back, some of them are downright ugly. My favorite in the bunch is Unicy, which Mom thinks might be short for Eunice, which is also not so pretty, even if you're a Kennedy. Hulda is also a good one. It's fun to read through the list though. I'm always interested to see how names come and go over time.

Virgie Maud
Rezi (Resiah)
Mattie Lou

Pull-ups suck

Andy likes to drink water before he goes to bed. It's our fault for offering, but he seems to find it comforting and I didn't see much harm in it. Except that the water intake can exceed the level of absorbency in his size 5 diaper. He doesn't seem to need to move up to a size 6 (the final frontier in diapers) during the day, just at night so I thought I'd try out some of those "overnight" diapers. We bought some Pull-ups from Huggies that say "extra absorbency for nighttime." Seems logical, right? While the size 2T-3T seem to fit him alright, it turns out they leak. And by leak I mean flood.

I came in to his room about 1 a.m. this morning to find him sobbing hysterically because he was soaking wet - his bed, his pajamas (top and bottom), his blanket. And to add insult to injury, it's cool here right now so we was wet and really cold. Poor guy. He was still kind of asleep as I pulled him out of bed to change his clothes, wipe him off and put him into something warm again. Since his bed was soaked, too, I put him in bed with Bjorn while I changed the sheet and got dry bedding. Poor little guy was so scared of all this (I don't think he ever all the way woke up) that he sobbed hysterically with Bjorn and didn't calm down until I put him back in his bed and rubbed his back until he stopped the convulsive breathing. Even then, Bjorn had to go in about every 10 minutes after that to settle him back down. It was sad.

The only upside is he slept until 9:30. I don't want that trade off, but 9:30 a.m. is like sleeping until 1 p.m. for an adult. Even after a big night, it just never happens. So we're officially breaking up with pull-ups. Perhaps I understood their purpose wrong, but somehow I figured extra absorbent for nighttime meant it had more absorbent power than a McDonald's napkin.


Saturday, October 14, 2006

Alert, bad mommy ahead

Most days, I feel like I've got a general handle on this motherhood business. I know, I know, it's about time, but in my defense, the course keeps changing on me. Today we were out picking up some wedding presents at Neimans and Tiffany, hereafter called "no touch" stores since I had to repeat that a million times as I tried to buy a couple of items and the ever present staff took for friggin ever to process my card and collect the items. While I was trying to keep my son from breaking something very expensive, I kneeled down and noticed his neck. Turns out he has that sort of crusty layer of smudge in the folds of his neck. I bathe him almost daily, but somehow the neck folds have been missed, similar to the spot behind the ears I discovered six months or so ago. In the bath tonight, we worked on the smudge, much to Andy's chagrin as I took a washcloth and had to rub a little more than gently to get the dirt out. As Andy would say "ewwwww."

And speaking of his favorite phrase, we were at my favorite Chipotle the other night and he pointed to a gentleman across the restaurant and shouted "ewww." The guy wasn't really goofy looking (thankfully and thankfully not disabled either), but I now have something else to work on.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Andy and his grandmother driving. He really loved playing with these wooden trucks and the steering wheels.

Note the hand stamp - this fall festival is like a club, at least that's what they were like 10 years ago. Fortunately, it washed off easily rather than seeing it appear on his cheek the next morning. Not that that ever happened to me. Never.

Mom kindly got him two costumes to try on. This chicken costume was not his favorite. It was returned.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Music struggle

Good news - Andy really likes music. Bad news - he really likes his music all the time in lieu of anything anyone else (i.e. me) wants to listen to. Granted, WTOP isn't exciting, but I do need to hear the traffic and weather on the 8s. Andy has a fit now if I listen to anything other than what he wants. It's partly my fault. I've indulged him in listening to Steve Songs in the car alot since it seems to calm him down and that's worth something to me. Apart from it being annoying to me, Bjorn is now outraged that he can't listen to what he wants to when we're in the car together. I've been trying to find happy mediums and the most recent one that works is listening to Barenaked Ladies. I love them, but I haven't listened to the CD in ages. Fortunately, the cadence is similar enough that I can love hearing "If I Had a Million Dollars" and "This Is Me in Grade Nine, Baby" and Andy can tolerate it as well. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to think the same way about Sheryl Crow.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


My mom left today after an all too quick visit. We had good fun and I think she taught Andy a dozen new words. Yesterday we hit the Burke Nursery fall festival, which was pretty cool and very close to our place. It's not quite as extensive as Cox Farms, but it's about 15 miles closer, which is worth a lot. We had a good time checking out the slides and rides and going on the hay ride (although come to think of it, there wasn't any hay on it). My mom also took us shopping and Andy has some really cute fall clothes and jammies, including an awesome new sweater vest from Janie and Jack. You know how I love a little boy in a sweater vest! He also got a Halloween costume. Well, he got two, but he refused to let Mom put him in the chicken costume. The pictures of him protesting are priceless. The little guy had so much fun that he was still asleep when I left the house at 8 this morning.

The other notable thing about the last couple of days was he used the potty. Well, first he peed on the floor in the hallway (thankfully, I pulled up the carpet so it's just a hardwood floor). I then pushed him to the potty where he sat and then peed. Most impressive! He seemed proud of himself and then he got in the bath. The funny thing is that when I change his diaper and it's dirty, I say "ewwww" which he finds hysterical so now he says it, too, when it's dirty. After I'd let the bath water out of the tub, Andy decided to sit naked in the tub for a bit to finish up with his toys. I went across the hall to print Mom's boarding pass when he called out "ewwww." Turns out, he's gone number two in the tub. Ewww indeed. Mom then clothed him while I cleaned up the tub. During the changing, he kept saying "ewww" and then after she was done, he rushed to see what had happened to his poop.

Gross, indeed, but it shows some interest in his bodily functions so perhaps potty training at this age isn't so ridiculous after all.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Clothes horse

It's gotten pretty cool pretty fast, it seems, here in Washington so we've been breaking out the cold weather gear. I have been amusing myself by reorganizing Andy's clothes to see what we have, what doesn't fit and what we need. So far, the only thing he really needs, needs is socks as the bugger has outgrown all but four or five pairs and that won't last very long. He seems to have plenty of long sleeved shirts, including a precious flannel shirt I bought on sale last spring that looked great at the bar mitzvah we went to today. Pants are a bit of a quandry as he can sort of wear some 12 month pants although they're a bit short while the 18 month ones are a little long still. I also have gobs of 24 month pants that are simply way too long. That basically translates into having like three pairs of pants that actually fit right now. I do think he is due for some new pajamas. The ones we have are designed to fit snuggly so when they start being too small, it's really obvious really fast.

Andy's grandmother comes tomorrow (yay!) for a very brief visit and I've been trying to get him to say "grandmother," but he just smiles and says "go-ga." It's very cute.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

War wounds

This kid may be the death of me. Lately, every time I turn around he's smacking me hard with something. It's unintentional stuff, but dang, it hurts! Yesterday, he knocked over a stool right onto my big toe. I limped all afternoon. Then tonight, he smacked my elbow with some tongs in his "kitchen." It's been four or five hours and it still hurts and is a tad swollen. I prefer bumps to spit up because it doesn't smell, but holy Foley, my body aches tonight.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


It's pretty amazing to watch Andy's language skills develop. I swear this morning as I started to clean up his breakfast, he handed me his bowl and said, "Here you go." Just like that.

He's also really getting into books, which is so fun for me. Of course, he never wants to read the ones I find interesting (although, sadly, he finds my People magazine worthy of a flip). But I find I'll be getting the bath ready or something and he'll come to me with a book from his shelf and want to read it. Unfortunately, he can't sit quite sit all the way through a story book yet without getting punchy and flipping the pages too fast. The other fun part is that he is starting to point to details in the pictures and ask about them. Like tonight, he was looking at a picture of a boat and pointed to the flag and then the chimney thing (at least it looked like a chimney - I'm not sure why sailboats have chimneys, but I didn't draw it). He also wants to play along so in the book about the kitten's tounge, he wants to stick out his tounge, too. It all just makes me want to gobble him up for more kisses.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Farm Party

We hit Cox Farms on Friday, which is awesome for kids. They have all sorts of animals to play with (including cute piglets), a pretty elaborate hayride and lots of slides that were lots of fun for me, too. We went last year but he wasn't really old enough to get it. This year, he was walking all over and really seemed psyched to be there.

It was a really good group this year, as witnessed by the attempt at a group photo in the middle (I have a new appreciation for cat herders). The daughter of my friend who died a few weeks ago was also there with a family friend. It was nice to know we're not going to lose touch, but it was strange to see Charlotte there without her mother. She also came without long pants (it was an usually cool day) because her dad couldn't find any that fit that morning. I was thinking that Karen probably hadn't thought to buy any just yet since it wasn't cool a month ago. It's all just so sad.

Friday, September 29, 2006

King Poopsalot

Mark this date on your calendar - Andy used the potty (the Baby Bjorn, natch) today. Bjorn saw him looking like he might be ready, convinced Andy to go to the potty and then coaxed him into using it. This is the second time Bjorn has gotten him to use it (the first was pee though). It turns out Bjorn is going to be the one to potty train him. I suppose that makes sense, them having the same equipment and all.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


I find the whole process of baby naming fascinating. I had a meeting yesterday with a colleague who has a two year old named Agnes. I knew old-fashioned names were back in, but I wasn't quite sure the extent. Boy names seem to fluctuate less, so mostly girl names are the ones I notice. For your amusement, here are names of kids I know personally who have been named in the past two or three years.

Byron (of course)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Deja vu

In case you're curious, here's a link to when we visited this party back in May. He's definitely grown since then.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Guess who likes tractors?

A tooth-brushing victory

For months, I've been trying to teach Andy how to brush his teeth as the doctor recommended and for months, he's shown very little interest. This has been quite frustrating for me as he can really resist something like this very easily. I had an idea this week though. I brought a stool into our bathroom and sat him on it. Then we brush our teeth together. What's amazing is he will sit there for five minutes brushing his teeth (or at least chewing on his toothbrush). Now after his bath, I tell him to go get the stool ready so we can brush our teeth and he runs over to get it and push it into place. I feel quite smug about my victory over the non-tooth brushing wonder. Don't worry, I know this feeling won't last long.