Friday, March 31, 2006

The weather in Washington is gorgeous at the moment. Highs in the low 70s, breezy and mostly sunny. I met my friend Shelly in Old Town Alexandria, which is kinda half way in between for us. The plan initially was some hardcore spring shopping at the Gap Outlet, but we found a spot in the park that was perfect so we spent a couple hours there instead. Andy and Caroline just loved being outside although both did at various times try to eat grass, sticks and an errant cigarette butt. We were having a great time catching up, but Andy had refused a morning nap and started to crash. Poor chicken fell asleep in the ride home with a pretzel in each hand. It was precious.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Painting assistant

As you can see, I'm having a little too much fun with the video clips.

Otherwise, Andy is getting used to wearing real shoes. He wore some hand-me-down shoes today and he seemed to be getting the hang of after a bit. I also found some Gap canvas shoes in his closet that are a size 5, have velro and seem to fit pretty well. He's definitely getting more confident in his walking and can rebalance himself mid-walk if he seems to get off a bit. It's just too cute sometimes and I have to kiss him all up. He's also discovered kissing back - sort of. Recently we've been playing a game where I kiss him on the lips and he squeals and then comes back for more. What a great game!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

More walking

This is a pre-Stride Rite bit of walking I caught on video the other day. Look at him go!

Stride Rite

I stopped by Target on the way home to look for shoes. It turns out I need a buddy to hold Andy down while I force him to try on shoes. He just wasn't having it and after 10 minutes of trying to cajole and then force the issue, I decided it wasn't worth it. Fortunately, I came home and decided to try on some of the hand-me-downs in his closet from his cousins. Low and behold, I found a gently used pair of 5 1/2 Stride Rites. They fit and he can actually walk in them. Well, it's going to take some getting used to, but he can indeed do a bit of the Franken-walk.


So it's time for Andy to get some real shoes. He's been wearing Robeez for months now, mostly to keep on his socks, but it's time to upgrade to some big boy shoes. Everyone at playgroup keeps talking about Stride Rite and getting their kid measured and ordering $50 shoes. I'm not opposed to spending the money to get something good, but I'm a little hesitant about all the hype. I hate to buy expensive shoes just because that's what everyone says to do. I feel like that harkens back to when he was tiny and you had to have formula with "brain and eye builders" and stuff like that. Of course, those are all important things, but it was just marketing hype and the ingredients were all in the less heavily marketed stuff as well. The good news is this is an opportunity to shop for something fun. The bad news is I can't see Andy being keen on letting me push and pull shoes onto his feet at a store for more than 11 minutes.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Once Upon a Potty

So the theme on the mom's listserv today is potty training. I don't need to worry about it until he's closer to 18 months old and then only to have a potty around that he can start to feel comfortable around. Funny thing, the leading manufacturer of toddler potty chairs is a company called Baby Bjorn. As you might imagine, being married to someone named Bjorn, he's not so keen on his son getting down to business on a seat bearing his name. Fortunately, we have some time to worry about this. I figure if it really is the best design out there, we might need to scrape off the name or cover it with a very manly Washington Nationals sticker or something.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Big Boy Haircut, Part Deux

So Andy went with his father yesterday to get his second official big boy haircut. This time he didn't even go to Cartoon Cuts but to a real barber shop (well, if you consider the Hair Cuttery a barber shop). He looks good, but it's a bit blunt on the forehead giving him a bit of a Julius Caesar look, if you ask me. I didn't get good photos tonight so I'll try to post some tomorrow.

Update: The sweet potato video below should work now. I had it on "private video" on YouTube, which I think it why it wouldn't work. Leave a message if you're still having trouble and I'll see what I can do.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


Today it became clear I have a toddler in the house. I finally got around to painting my bathroom today. The bathroom itself is like 4 square feet - tiny - although since it's so small, there is a lot to paint around. I taped up in the morning, painted during his afternoon nap and then this evening I went to remove the tape. Andy came in to "help" and promptly took the toilet paper roll, stuffed the whole thing into the toilet and proceeded to try to flush it. Thankfully, he hasn't (yet) figured out how to flush. I then handed him a brush that I never used that he put into the toilet, then flung the water onto the floor before sticking it into his mouth. Sure, it's gross but it's also really funny.

More video

As you can tell, I'm having fun with video clips. I figured out how to get them onto YouTube pretty easily (although uploading takes a while) and then I can embed the html into Blogger to make it visible. Pretty cool techology actually. Anyway, here's a clip of Andy walking. I think he looks drunk, but Bjorn thinks it looks like he's walking into a hole. I apologize in advance for my high pitched baby talk. I need to work on that because it's pretty annoying.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Fun with sweet potatoes

Master of His Domain

So he now must control the remote in our bedroom. I can kind of turn off the remote for the DirecTV, but not so much with the TV itself. Here's a picture of him controlling the remote and the channel he chose to find.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


I was further relating this story to my friend Michelle who thankfully reads this nonsense and thought it would be amusing to add the dialogue from last night's adventure. This is the conversation as we came down the stairs to greet Bjorn.

K: "Someone has been very cranky tonight."
B: "Were you cranky? What's that about?"
K: "He also just peed on me."
B: "Upstairs?"
K: "No. Right now. My stomach suddenly got very warm. Oh, now it's running down my leg. Lovely. Here, you take him."
B: "No way. I'm in a suit."

Stream king

I'm discovering that I need to set bedtime a bit earlier, probably to 6:30, which sucks since I won't get much time with him in the evenings. Last night, he ate pretty well, but by about 6:30, he was exhausted and cranky. He screamed when I tried to give him a bath. I finally got him in the bath and he thrashed around scaring me and him that he'd slip and get hurt so I pulled him out. Just then, Bjorn got home so I walked down the stairs, Andy in a towel in tow only for Andy to promptly pee all over me. Fortunately, he was pressed against me already so it didn't get everywhere, but I did need a shower.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The damn egg

So last night, my once again precious darling angel baby was in the bath playing with his plastic Easter egg. He was pulling it apart and putting it back together. Then he did something new, he scooped up water in it and dumped it on me. I'm not sure how intentional it was, but the result was a very wet leg.

I'm struggling with getting him to let me brush his teeth. He needs it - that kid has some bad breath on occasion and I imagine new teeth popping through hasn't helped. Last night I got him to brush his teeth (kind of anyway) if I brushed mine at the same time. I guess we're in the imitation phase, which is kind of cool. Although as he starts to get more words, I imagine I'm going to have to clean up my language. Fuck.

Monday, March 20, 2006

He's Baack

The kid is back. He now appears to have all four molars in and is eating and acting like the champ he was before the teeth abducted his personality. He's still struggling with the two naps and will likely be dropping the morning nap altogether shortly. His sitter and I agreed that he seems to still need the morning quiet time so we'll just let him have a short time by himself to chill and perhaps sleep, then he'll go down for an afternoon nap around 1, like the big boys.

Meanwhile, his new toy of choice? A plastic Easter egg. That's right, in a house full of stimulating, politically correct, ergonometic, noisy and most of all, expensive toys, his favorite is this green egg. He loves pulling it apart and putting it back together (sort of). The process of trying to get it to go back together can occupy a full five minutes. That may not seem like a lot, but five minutes for this kid is an eternity. This prompted me to find my stash of plastic eggs and give them a good wash in the hopes of an Easter egg hunt next month.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Of course, after I posted about having a rough time, he followed up by some hilarious moments as he attempted to feed himself. Then after his bath, he was a darling precious angel again.

Transition period

So it's clear to me that Andy is trying to drop from two naps to one nap. What is unclear to me is how this is going to happen without injuries to our psyches. He's clearly in need of more sleep, but the bugger refuses to go down. Today after much protest crying and flinging of the items in his crib, he did sleep for about an hour. Around lunchtime, he was tired, but he refused to actually sleep so I put him in his crib where I proceeded to listen to him on the monitor for an hour and a half. I went in at about 45 minutes to offer some milk and try to settle him down. After the second bout, I decided to pack up and get out of the house. He was very pleasant at my friends' and played nicely with her kids aged 4 and 4 months only to fall asleep (finally!) on the car ride home. I did make it back in time for the George Mason victory over UNC. My picks are all screwed up, but it was so nice cheering for the home team.

Saturday, March 18, 2006


So I managed to wiggle my finger into Andy's mouth to smear on some Anbesol (which really does give a funky feeling when your mouth goes numb) on his gums. Turns out he already has three molars. They're not in the back where I was expecting, but more in the front. So he's got his middle four top and bottom, then skip the eye teeth and then he's got three of his four molars, two on top and one on bottom. He's back to eating like a champ. I bought corned beef as it was on sale for St. Patrick's Day and he seemed to really like it. Actually, everyone really liked it. It's always surprising when people like what I make.

He's also attempting to transition from one nap to two. I'm now putting him down for like 45 minutes of quiet time in the morning. If he sleeps, great, but if not after a while we'll get up. That means he's going down for his afternoon as early as noon, which is throwing the whole day off since he's up from his nap at say 2 or 2:30 which is usually when I'm putting him down.

Friday, March 17, 2006


On an un-Andy related side note, I'd like to point out that all three of our local teams - George Washington, Georgetown and George Mason all made it past the first round in the NCAA tournament. In "his" pool, Andy actually has GW beating Duke next round (it's the hospital where he was born so he's partial to it). He also picked GMU to win against Michigan State. Since the school is a mile away, he's a bit of a fan of them as well. Now we have to cheer on Texas who plays tonight. Andy did wear his Texas Longhorns warm-up outfit today. We did get a few looks at the grocery store.


Andy is still in teething mode, meaning he's irritatable and chewing on his hand a bit. On the advice of friends, I called the pediatrician's nurse line to ask about it and Baby Motrin, which I hear works better for teething than Tylenol. She also recommended Orajel so this afternoon we're going to make a trip to the store to stock up.

Here's a picture from earlier in the week. I love the expression, as if the piece of NutriGrain bar just started speaking to him in Hebrew and shocked him.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Bikes and such

Andy's crankiness this week has kept me from posting pictures until now. Fortunately, Andy is seeming more like his old self today - smiling, laughing, playing and more walking! I watched him walk probably six steps across the room tonight and several other times he didn't drop immediately when he started out. Before, he mostly walked from person to person, but how he's starting to walk toward something he wants.

Precious darling angel baby

So after yesterday where I was thinking I might send Andy to "visit" my parents until he turns 12, he seems to be closer to his old self. He slept fine at night, woke up cheerful and had a good breakfast. He was still doing a bit of the angry whining/crying when he seemed tired this morning, but he perked up on his way to the babysitter's and was happy once he got there to see his friends.

I talked to several friends about this who said that when kids hit milestones like walking, it often disrupts everything else until they get used to it. I also heard that the terrible twos for boys usually starts much earlier than in girls and in either case, starts way before two. Greeat.

The best news of all is that it's Thursday so I don't have to work tomorrow AND it's March Madness. I put in four sheets at the office, one of which is Bjorn's. I said one is Andy's too since I picked GW to beat Duke on that one (hah!) since GW is the hospital where he was born.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Ugh. Andy's eating has improved (he even managed to help himself to grapes at Wegman's as we shopped last night). His diapers are looking a little more normal and his mood is generally better. All good, right? Well, he decided to wake up about 12:30 last night and would NOT go back to sleep. I tried all my tricks - the pacifier trick where I soothe him by giving the pacifier back. I gave him a bottle of water. I changed his diaper. I held him. I sang (not a beautiful sound). Nothing. He did not want to settle back down. I finally went down and got some milk, which angered him even more seemingly. I alternated between letting him cry for a bit and holding him. It was frustrating. After about two hours of this, Bjorn mercifully took over and he went to sleep. I like to think I wore him out, but regardless, he finally went down and stayed asleep. His mouth seems to be feeling better, but now he's discovered his power in keeping us up. I figure we'll get over one hurdle at a time - we'll fix the teeth, then we'll fix the sleeping. Then I will get a drink and take a nap.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


The molar thing is really throwing us all for a loop. Andy has not been himself for several days now. His mouth hurts so he's not eating much so I think he's hungry. I broke down Sunday and gave him some formula (good to get to use what little I have left) and yesterday I bought some PediaSure "meal replacement" type drink. It smelled kind of gross, like any other unrefrigerated milk product, but he liked it. I also got some baby food which he happily gobbled up. So for dinner last night, he had a full jar of sweet potatoes, a half jar of carrots and 8 ounces of PediaSure. After eating so much so quickly, he promptly threw up on Bjorn. As you can imagine, regurgitated unrefrigerated processed milk product smells great!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

George Mason

Thanks to Jeffrey's dad who had the suggestion of contacting local colleges about daycares, it appears George Mason right next door has a daycare center. I e-mailed the director about setting up a tour. Priority goes to students, faculty and staff so if I really like it (although it wouldn't work until he turns two in January, depending on when the enrollment date is), I may have to go back to taking graduate school classes to get him into the daycare. I did actually take a class there so it's not that crazy. Although the rates are so reasonable that it would probably be cheaper than Merritt Academy to take a class for me and sign him up. We'll see.

Meanwhile, it's still unseasonably warm here so I took advantage of the weather and got out with the bike and new InStep bike trailer. It worked pretty well although I'm surprisingly sore in the saddle area from our 20 minute outing yesterday. I went a little further than yesterday and stopped at the playground. Andy has decide he doesn't like the swings, but he loves standing on a platform and watching all the other kids. He's been a bit of a crankpot lately. I've been blaming his lack of interest in food on teething, but I think he's also getting more opinionated. I have no idea where he got that. He also likes to play with his food now. He'll spend time putting his finger on peas and grapes to squish them. I'm not sure if this is an improvement over throwing the food over the side of the high chair.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

We had a party for my now 11-year-old nephew yesterday. Here's a cute picture of Andy. He was going to bed as the festivities started. It's been really warm so he's in a short sleeved pajama outfit from Old Navy that was a hand-me-down. I like it. It looks like swim trunks from the early 20th century.

Biking in style

So we went out and got a bike trailer today. I had seen an InStep trailer on sale at Target for $83 (off from the normal $99 which is still pretty cheap for these) so we went and picked it up. InStep has a pretty good reputation so I'm hoping it turns out to be a good purchase. Of course, by the time we got to the store, bought it, got back, set it up and had lunch, he was ready for a nap so we're going to try it once he wakes up in a bit. I just hope for all this, we actually use it. Fortunately, we did not have Erin's difficulty with bike purchases at Target. It came in a box and easily fit in the back of the Hyundai.

Friday, March 10, 2006


I went and looked at another daycare today. I thought I'd seen them all in my general area, but I passed this Kindercare on my way home the other night. Turns out the address is Burke and not Fairfax, which threw me off since I thought Burke was the other direction. I e-mailed with the director and set up a time via phone with someone else only to show up and have the woman not excited to see me since it was clear she had no idea I was coming. The place was fine, but I was a little thrown off to see the toddler room (2-3 year olds) with 10 kids sitting in front of the TV. I'm not against TV one bit, but I'm not sure I want to be paying someone else to park my kid in front of a TV all day. I was also a little turned off that the ratio of teacher to student goes up to 10 to 1 starting at age 3. I did like that they seem to do lots of art projects, but I didn't get to talk to any of the teachers really. My favorite is still the uber-expensive Merritt Acacdemy although as I look around, I'm liking where he is more and more. I like that it's a family atmosphere so he sees the same person every day. I like that the older kids really like him and were cheering when he started walking, much like older siblings might (or should anyway). We'll see. We're not in Merritt yet so I guess we'll just stick with that we've got, even with a longer commute, at least for the short term.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Andy's back molars (as opposed to front molars, I suppose) are slowly making their way into his mouth and causing all sorts of trouble. I guess they don't poke through quite the way the front, pointier teeth do so they're causing a lot of pressure. It's affecting his eating in that he's not that interested in it at the moment. The kid is far from starving, but instead of his regular heapings of food, he's being a bit more peckish, if you will. He's also chewing on his hands quite a bit. I think if he could get his whole fist in there, he would. This morning he woke me up screaming at about 6 am. He settled back down after a couple of minutes, but I'm still beat today after staying up too late for a soccer game (which we won, by the way) and then getting up with a start this morning. Sigh. Good thing I don't have to work tomorrow.

The walking is really progressing. It's amazing how quickly he went from a couple of steps to 6-8 steps at a time. I have a feeling he'll be running by next week at this rate.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


He's really making a lot of progress on his walking. It's really fun to watch. Here's an action shot I took tonight of his steps. It's truly a step, but it does seem more like Elaine's dance on Seinfeld.

This is a picture of his other new favorite trick, which is running is toy car up and down the wall. Bjorn thinks it's a trap since Andy usually leaves the car right on the other side of the baby gate, thus luring his father into slipping and falling. The kid is cunning, but I'm not sure I'd go that far. Also, you'll note in this picture that the blue rug is up in the hallway. After a year of spit up and most recently some baby urine, we pulled up the rug and threw it out. It's taking some getting used to for me visually and for Andy's knees, but I generally like it.


So his new favorite trick is sitting in the high chair and pressing down on his food to make it splat. Great. So last night I witnessed him going around the tray to find the peas so he could squish them onto the tray. This morning he did the same to the bananas. This does not bode well.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


So he's definitely starting to walk. Today I could get him to walk three or four steps probably a half dozen times. It was so fun to watch I kept trying to set him a couple steps back so he could walk to me and I could catch him. So exciting to watch. I feel like showing him off to everyone!

He has also figured out how to open the kitchen cabinets with ease and pull bowls out and even put them back in on occasion. I have several of the cabinets locked up that have kitchen chemicals in them so I leave a couple of drawers and one cabinet with bowls and cutting boards open so he has a place he can get into.

Meanwhile, based on the recommendations of some friends, I've started Tivoing (now officially a verb) some other kids' shows. My new favorite is Jack's Big Music Show on the Noggin channel, which I hadn't even heard of until recently. The show has some decent music, a hint of a story and some cute characters. There also seem to be some throw away lines that adults would like, too. Bjorn and I took a peek at it tonight. I just hope Andy likes it as much as we do.

Monday, March 06, 2006


More steps today. In fact, I put him down and he stood for about 30 seconds, then turned and shuffled three steps to me. I was so excited. He them promptly refused to show Bjorn his performance when we got home. He's getting there. It's really fun to watch.

So the hunt for Swedish/English books continues. The funny thing is that now I'm on the mailing list for all these specialty shops like the Scandinavian Marketplace in Hastings, Minnesota, that sells imported Scandinavian goods. It's a whole new world of random products. Apparently "Uffda" is some nonsense word that Swedes, mostly in Minnesota and Wisconsin say as an exclamation. Since Bjorn's family is from Sweden, they don't get the joke. There are all sorts of things in this catalog that aren't funny to me, that someone must get. Like the "Lutefisk Buffet" book? Not for me, thanks. Or the "Six Basic Lutheran Church Basement Food Group Trivets" (where the food groups are hotdish, jell-o, funeral meat, pickles, egg coffee and bars)? I do wonder what egg coffee and bars are, but I don't think I need to own this charming set. Although perhaps the "Scrap Lumber King" hat and t-shirt would make an excellent birthday present for someone?

Update: I've asked around and apparently "Uffda" is not Swedish, but Norwegian and roughly translates to "Good grief." Here's a link for more information -

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Blue eyed boy

Here's a picture of Mia and Andy in the little tent thing (technical term, I realize). His eyes are really blue sometimes. I put him in overalls for the first time in ages because he was out of regular pants. He looked pretty cute. We might have to go back to these.

We had friends over last night who have a nearly two year old. In a basement full of toys, beer bottles were by far the hit of the evening for both kids. We decided this picture of Andy will most certainly be shown at his graduation and/or wedding celebration. Meanwhile, he's making progress on his steps. He took a few last night in front our friends and then today he probably took two solid steps before he decided to drop to his knees. We were pretty excited. Andy, of course, didn't have a second thought about it.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Baby crack

So far, I haven't really been into the baby video thing. We got a couple as gifts, but we had DVD problems so I never much tried them now. Well, now the DVD is fixed and Baby Einstein is on. Man, that's some disturbing shit. The plot, if you can call it that, is so non-existent that it makes the Teletubbies seem like Shakespeare in terms of character and plot development. The couple we have mostly show some toys in action. For that, I wonder if he couldn't just play with the toys himself rather than watching it. Then it has some kids laughing, some puppets and a train - none of which seem to make any sense all together.

What's weirder still is the mesmerizing effect is has on Andy. He stares at the tiny TV screen in our bedroom with complete attention. He doesn't do that with much else. We've been calling it "baby crack" since it has him so rapt. I think they could have subliminal messages in there like "Drink Coke" or "Kill the President." If I were an evil genius, I would use these baby videos to take over the next generation.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Spring-like weather

With the spring like weather, Andy was insisting on standing outside. Well, he might as well be Coltrane as he just wanted to stand in the doorway - not really in or out. Letting fresh air in is good, but we have a bit of a step off the back door and I was paranoid he would slip and crack his head open on the cement. That would be suboptimal.

On an unrelated note, what is up with Europe and "The Final Countdown?" Everyone at work is joking about it and I don't remember the band or the song, which is saying something. I do love some tacky 1980s music. Bjorn doesn't even know of them and he usually appreciates all things Swedish (although hair bands tend to agitate him into saying Sweden exports more than just bad music).

Note: Thanks to Betsy, I now realize that GOB on "Arrested Development" always used to perform his magic acts to the tune. Here's a link to the song and GOB performing - Beware - the music is terrible AND infectious.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Baby steps

We managed to get a few baby steps out of Andy today. I think the more we encourage him, the more stubborn he gets about it. Nice. I wonder where he got that?

No luck still on the Swedish books. I did find a bunch of kids' story books in Swedish. Since I don't speak the language, it doesn't do me much good. We have a couple left over from when Bjorn was a kid. There is one called "Kissen Kissen Snurr Snurr" about a rabbit that is indeed very odd. The story seems to jump around making Bjorn think it's missing a page. It's not, it's just still.