Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Svenska Skolan

I'm still on the hunt for Swedish/English kids books. I posted something on the granddaddy of all listservs - the D.C. Urban Mom- http://www.dcurbanmom.com/. They must have 50 or so messages a day going back and forth on everything from high-risk OBs to and nanny salaries. I got some interesting responses. Turns out there is a Swedish school on Saturdays in Falls Church. It's for kids 5 and over so it won't work for now, but they do have a library that is open every two weeks (I have a feeling the library exists out of someone's garage which is why it's not open more.

There were a couple of recommendations for books. Someone suggested IKEA, which I'm ashamed I didn't think of sooner. That would be the place. Also, a couple of bookstores - Tempo in upper Northwest D.C. and Candida's Books downtown. I think I need to do some shopping.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The windy city

I have returned to Washington, the new windy city. We have had killer winds the past few weeks, which is why it took nearly 6 hours to get to San Francisco and only 4 to get back. I expected, everyone survived without me just fine, much to the chagrin of my ego. The only funny thing is Bjorn fed him some of the few remaining jarred baby food. That's funny only because what was left were things like creamed spinach and green beans, which seem to cause exceptionally dirty diapers, a diaper rash and smelly toots. Sure enough, that's what they caused.

My mom had the great idea that we need to start going out to eat more so Andy gets more practice eating all together. We went out to brunch and ordered off the kids menu for the first time as opposed to just giving us something off our plate. Andy seemed to like the chicken fingers and the fruit that I had substituted for the fries (better for him AND me since I would be required to eat all his fries). It was nice. We need to do that more often.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Toothpaste and other babies

I am much better on this trip than others, but I still find myself getting pangs when I see little kids Andy's age. I did get out and cruise Chinatown so I'm glad to do some things not work related. And the fact that this has been an awesome meeting press wise is a nice bonus. I'm glad to be going home tomorrow though.

On a side note, staying at a Marriott is very odd. They don't have coffee makers OR mini-bars in the room. I believe the Marriott family is Mormon and since they don't believe in those things, we don't have them. I support them in theory although I really wanted a beer last night. After my dinner and work thing, I did have to get out in search of a toothpaste. There is fortunately a Walgreens next to the hotel. Strangely, the toothbrushes are under lock and key, like fine jewerly. There seem to be a lot of homeless here so I wonder if toothbrushes are stolen a lot. Seemed strange since items much higher priced than a $3.39 toothbrush were on the shelves. Heck, Us magazine costs more than that on the newstand.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Dinner time

A thread went around among the mothers in my playgroup about dinner. It seems we're all under the impression that we should be making time to all have dinner together as a family every night, yet very few have been able to actually make it happen and we're all feeling like failures.

In our case, Andy is really hungry by the time I get him home from the sitter's between 5:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. So I usually throw some dinner together for him quickly, usually some array of fruits and vegetables, some cheese along with some meat like turkey, chicken, ham (often deli slices) or lately, fish sticks. If there are leftovers for myself, I'll eat with him. Often as he eats, I'll start working on our dinner, usually something fancy like spagetti. By about 6:30 p.m. or so, Bjorn gets home and if I'm lucky, he finishes dinner while I start the bath and bedtime ritual. So by the time Andy is in bed between say 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., I come down and we eat together.

I like the concept of dinner together, but it just ain't happening right now. I do find it interesting that as mothers, we're all preprogrammed for the guilt over doing the right thing. We're all striving for some ideal that is unrealistic yet we stress over our failure to acheive it. It's like all those that say you have to breast feed for at least a year, "wear" your baby for comfort and "cosleep" with your baby to help him/her feel secure or else you're a failure as a parent. I say, if your kid is happy and healthy, how could you be a failure?

Of course, as I debate this in my head and less eloquently here, I'm away in San Francisco for work for two nights feeling the guilt for being away. They boys will get along great. I think time with me out of the picture is good for their relationship. Although knowing that intellectually and knowing that in my heart when I'm sleeping in a spare (but quite expensive) hotel room are two different things.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Not the most flattering pictures of either of the boys, but I like how Andy is really pushing back on him. It's part of a game they play where Andy pretends to push him away and they giggle. His newest trip though is that he can give a "high five." I haven't evidenced any clapping, but the high five he can do.

We're still having nap troubles. He didn't nap much at all at the sitter's today. He was a little cranky when he got home, but some fish sticks, cheese, strawberries and banana later and he was a happy boy again.

Fun camera phone pictures

We unearthed a cool hat my mom had given Andy so he had to wear it to school this morning. He looks very grown up in these somehow.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Nap time

Ugh, I feel like I've spent the better part of the last two days working on Andy's nap time. He's probably about to consolidate from two naps to one, but he's still really sleepy in the mornings. I guess he just needs a catnap then maybe. Now in the afternoons he's even having trouble settling down. He flings all his toys out of his crib and sort of jumps around. I guess rather than focusing on him sleeping, I should give him a set time to be alone and quiet. Then if he doesn't sleep, I just move on.

Date Night

So my mother-in-law came over to watch Andy and we actually went out. Together! Andy was a precious angel for his grandmother. I was paranoid he'd have trouble being put to bed by someone else, but she said he was perfect and wonderful, and went down without any complaint (it did, however, take him a while to settle down, but he wasn't upset).

We planned to get out and play Trivia, which was used to do a lot. The bar nearby has it, but it was smokey and lame so we headed to see a movie. "Syrania" was what was playing at the right time. Yikes, talk about a depressing movie - in addition to being violent, convoluted and complicated. And, granted it's been a year or so since I last went to a movie, but a large popcorn is the size a medium used to be and is the same price as a large. When did that happen? I wanted a bucket and what I got was a small bag full. Hrmph. I keep expecting to have free refills like at Northpark I and II when we were kids.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The flinging reflex, refined

Andy's flinging reflex has hit a new level. He now likes to get into his crib and fling everything out of the bed onto the floor. I must admit I was a bit startled to go in this morning after a failed nap and find him hanging on the crib rail proudly starring at all his dogs and binkies that have been relocated to the floor. He's starting to go from two naps a day down to one so the morning is always a little iffy these days, but I always try to give him some quiet time should he need it. Clearly, this morning he didn't need a nap or the quiet time.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Play tent

Our friends got Andy a play tent/tunnel combination for his birthday. He loves, loves, loves the tent part. He loves playing "tita-ut" (Swedish for peek-a-boo) and crawling in and out of the panels. I took it to playgroup and he actually played with some of the other kids (normally the kids sort of play indepedently near each other rather than playing together). The funny thing is that the tunnel really scares the crap out of him.

The nice thing about this toy is it really folds up very compactly - about the size of a record album if you remember those. My friend who gave it to me was touting the foldability saying if I read the directions, it can get really small. Of course, the first time I tried to fold it up, I presumed I was very smart and could fold up a stupid toy without the directions. I was wrong.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Happy Valentine's

My mother-in-law very sweetly came over early on the 14th to drop off cards and candy. Andy really seemed to enjoy his card. I didn't think he would even notice it, but he kept grabbing it off the table to "read" it.

He's still not walking, which is making me a little nervous at this point. I wonder if I'm part of the problem now. I keep encouraging him to walk, but then he gets nervous if I push him too hard to walk on his own and he immediately drops to his knees. I keep reminding myself that he's perfectly normal and progressing on target, but then I see all these kids his age walking and it makes me uneasy. And of course, then I'm uneasy for comparing him to others. I know intellectually he'll do it when he's ready and that it's probably easier with him not walking at this point, but knowing something and believing it are not the same.

In other news, I somehow pulled a muscle in my left arm - my Andy-carrying arm - and it's really bugging me. It had it hard to sleep last night and has been bothering me all day. I think the kid needs to learn to walk to slim down.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Playgroup Politics

So I've talked to several friends lately all of whom told me stories of getting "kicked out" of their playgroups. That whole concept just cracks me up. In both cases, they were just passively kicked out in that the group kept meeting they just stopping telling my friends about it. No wonder the company I keep is so fun and interesting.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Cat's in the cradle

I have taken to closing Andy's door at bedtime all the way now. I used to leave it open a crack so I could hear him, but now when he goes to sleep the crack is too distracting so I shut it all the way. I usually go in as I'm heading to sleep and open the door so I can check on him in person and open the door in case he needs us during the night. Unfortunately, my cats usually like to linger in the room so from the basement, I'll hear meowing on the baby monitor so I'll have to go up and release the hounds, as we like to say. It's funny to be downstairs thinking the cats are nearby only to realize they're on the monitor instead. Sometimes I realize they're in there because he'll have a tough time settling down only for me to hear him laughing (talking?) at the cats.

Monday, February 13, 2006


I realized the other pictures didn't full showcase the charming yellow snow/rain boots Andy had on yesterday. I bought them back in December when it seemed like it would snow forever. They're too big (they almost come to his knees) and he can't walk in them, but they are really cute.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Snow snow snow

We got a foot of snow (or close to it) last night so we did some venturing out today. Unfortunately, it was too mushy to really sled on and too deep so Andy wasn't having much fun. I did get him into an outfit we got from his Swedish relatives last year. It's a little short in the arms and legs, but seems to fit around the middle. At least this week.

Lots of new babies to report today. Andy has a new cousin, Simone Ava, who was born in Los Angeles last night. She was 9 pounds, 3 ounces and 20 inches long. My sister-in-law had planned to deliver at home, but something about her midwife being out of town so they delivered in the hospital instead. Both parents and older brother sound good. I also heard that my college friend had her baby, Julianne. Glad to hear everyone is happy and healthy.

Bowling night

Our friends from Baltimore came down with their three kids. It's kind of weird to see children I knew as tiny babies and now see them as kids. The oldest is in first grade now. Such nice kids to be around, even with their mischevious ways. They all loved the cats. In fact, the older two announced that they were going to have to move out because they want cats and their mother is allergic. Bowling was interesting with four kids under eight. We decided that probably six frames is plenty for the age group in question. The adults weren't ready to throw it in until the game was over. Scott managed to beat us all, even with the baggage he had to carry for certain frames. Dana and I did end up beating the four year old, thankfully. We played with the bumpers up, but I'm just enough of a bowler to not hit a lot of gutter balls so they didn't do me any good. Had I thrown the ball at the bumper, I probably would have done better.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Cuwte spelleng errorrs

What is it with kids toys that manufacturers feel they need to give them all really stupid mispelled names? Playskool, for instance. What is that teaching our kids, that spelling is important unless you're selling something? I have trouble with all those made up words, like Cingular for instance, but there should be a rule against doing that for kids toys. Not a law, mind you, we are libertarian enough. It's like those TV shows when I was growing up where the cute kid always had a lisp. Listen folks, having a lisp doesn't make you cute, it's just annoying. Likewise, spelling kids "kidz" doesn't make it youthful, it just makes you look stupid.

Charlie Sheen is apparently coming out with a line of children's clothes called Sheen Kidz. Granted, Charlie Sheen has never given much evidence that he could spell his name (except on checks to high-priced call girls), but you'd think someone in his vast Sheen/Estevez empire would have passed 3rd grade English.

Friday, February 10, 2006

What she said

Everyone is talking about the Britney Spears car seat fiasco. First off, I can't believe people are still talking about this. Second, Erin from the Redhead-Papers rocks. She's totally got it right - why are all those famous people going to Starbucks? They're worth bazillions. Why not have your bodyguard pick up the coffee for you? Or better yet, make it at home. They could probably hire someone from Starbucks to deliver it for them or hire a cook to make the damn coffee every morning. There is a theory that these people are on the payroll at Starbucks. I must say it's a little fishy that they're always there and always at a time when there are cameras.

Another one

We had another pregnancy announcement at playgroup today. I swear there is something in the water. The neat thing about this one is it's a friend who did IVF so I know she was pretty anxious and hormonal (poor thing said she'd put on 20 pounds just due to the hormone treatments). She's been so open about the whole thing that I've been asking tons of questions. Fascinating what biotechnology and the Shady Grove Fertility Clinic can do for you. They run the ads on the radio all the time so it's interesting to hear a first hand account. It makes me feel very fortunate that it's not something we had go through. Her daughter is beautiful and perfect, too, so it's amazing to think that if it weren't for science, she wouldn't be here today. I know some religions, particularly the Catholics, are really against this kind of stuff, but how can they deny the presence of God in science when the result is perfectly healthy children born to parents who love them?


We're expecting our first big snow of the new year tomorrow. They've even predicted a heavy snow warning that has me gleeful. I do love the stuff. We had a weekend of activities planned, but I have a feeling we'll be watching and waiting most of the weekend instead. I do find that I'm going to be one of those idiots that hits the store before snow is expected. With Andy, I find that we really do need to stock up on milk, eggs and diapers in case we're housebound for a couple of days. I really am turning into one of those people that I've spent my life making fun of. If Andy wasn't so damn cute, I would be more irritated.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


This was from last night as Bjorn was heading out to ref basketball. Just cracks me up.

Naked baby

He's really getting into his toy cars now. After his bath, he all but sprinted to get back to his cars. He's now pushing the bigger truck all around which is fun to watch. For now.

A couple of fun things have started happening recently. He's still not walking, but every evening we walk (well, I walk and he walks holding on to my hands) to get the mail. The last couple of days we've walked back up the driveway with him just holding on to my right hand. He's also starting pointing at things. I also think that he's starting to understand simple commands like, "Hand me the ball." It's hard to know if he's reacting to the words or the gestures I probably give, but it seems to be a start at language.

I'm also turning into one of those people. I've put Andy on the phone to talk to people. How annoying is that? If my mom asks, that's fine, but I should force it on people. Blech.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


This shirt rocks. I love that is says "Heartbreaker." He's started getting into cars and likes to move them up and down the hallway. I suppose that means he's ready for this Little People Garage that my sister sent him for his birthday. He's really getting into it so I'm thinking I might need to put the batteries back in. It's pretty annoying, but if he really likes it it might be worth it. I need to gauge what my sanity is worth in this as well.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Mr. Crankypants

I took off work yesterday so Andy and I could play after I'd be out of town all weekend. He seemed pretty tired for parts of the day and woke up from a long afternoon nap seemingly still tired and then was about ready for bed at 6:30, which is fairly early still. My theory is that he was so tuckered out after a hard-playing weekend with Bjorn that he really tired. He is also getting over (still) a cold that has his nose running all over the place. I suppose running noses are better than stuffy noses, but it's pretty gross. I keep calling him a snotmonster, which makes me laugh.

I've started work on our taxes and it's asking for some detailed stuff about his babysitter's tax ID and stuff like that. I called Infant Toddler, which sort of brokers the arrangement (I pay them, they pay her and provide benefits to her), but they don't have any of that kind of information, which struck me as odd since I would think that's what they do. I also signed up this year for a flex account so I'll get to get paid back at a pre-tax dollars for a certain amount of childcare. I think it only goes up to $5,000 for the year, but certainly saving 20 percent or more of such a high figure is worth the paperwork that goes into it.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

I'm baack

I'm back after an intense work trip to San Diego. I had all of about 15 minutes when I wasn't working or in my room trying to sleep. I'm exhausted. The boys survived without me, as I figured they would, and Andy doesn't seem to be covered in peanut butter or hives as I'd feared(although he does seem to have small bits or food or snot in his hair since he hasn't had a bath in a few days). I'm going to do some work from home tomorrow (during nap times, of course) so he and I can play.

Friday, February 03, 2006


I like this picture because he's just so darn happy that he's flung open the door and is planning to make a break for the hallway. I am highly amused when he runs away, which undoubtedly means I'm screwed when he can run fast. At his fastest crawl, he's pretty speedy, but not faster than me. When he's full scale running, it's going to require me to be quicker. And quick has never been my strong suit.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


I have to go away for the weekend, which stinks. I'm flying out tomorrow afternoon and returning Sunday night - right in the middle of the Super Bowl. It sucks to lose a weekend, but I figure it will be good for the boys to bond without me hovering. Plus, check out the hotel. I could get used to that kind of life.

Computer geek

With all the awesome toys we have, the keyboard is probably his favorite. He probably sees us typing on it and wants to play along.

Other precious angel

I caught this cute picture of Miles sleeping in Bjorn's reffing bag. Good thing his shirt is 1000 percent polyester so it actually rejects cat hairs.


Andy's had a bit of a cold of late that has disrupted his sleep. Now that he's mostly better, he's still having trouble putting himself back to sleep in the night. Last night he was up and angry at 11, 12 and again at 3:30. Lovely. I think he's due for a sleep "retraining" plan to get him back on track. Saying retraining though makes me think of something sinister, like out of an Ayn Rand novel about the evils of communism.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

You can't always get what you want

Andy has now discovered that he MUST get whatever he wants, when he wants it. It's rather frustrating to realize that the crying, screaming, kicking that he's doing is no longer because he's hungry (although it could be because he's tired), but because he wants something he can't have. Last night, I was getting his dinner ready. I had a bowl of grapes washed and ready to cut up on the dining room table and went back into the kitchen to get something while Andy stood holding onto the chair. I wasn't moving fast enoughy so after a couple seconds, he reached up, grabbed the bowl and knocked it over to get the grapes. He's a crafty little bugger.