Sunday, April 30, 2006


It was a gorgeous weekend here in Washington. Highs in the 60s, lows in the 40s and breezy and sunny. Hard to ask for better weather really. I played soccer this morning and managed to get a nice sunburn. It was in Arlington near our old place in Alexandria so I drove through the 'hood to see how things have changed. I don't miss how small our old house is, but the Del Ray neighborhood is sure cool with the shops and urban living that we really don't have in Fairfax. Of course, a house like ours there with as big a lot as we have would probably cost $1 million there at this point (or close to it), but with Andy it would sure be fun to have a place where we could walk to the library, shops, a coffee shop, etc.

Here's a family picture we took in Dallas. This was the best of the lot. I still want to get the five of us together for a picture, but it's so hard to get us all together at the same time when there is someone to take our picture.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Out and about

Today was frustrating as we spent probably 2 hours trying to find Bjorn's nephew's baseball game down in Stafford, which is about 45 minutes to a hour away. Bad directions from my brother-in-law combined with poor cell phone coverage meant we spent a lot of time lost and unable to find out how to get there. We never did find the field although at a certain point, we finally got out at one field just to stretch our legs and give Andy a diaper change (fortunately, it was more a courtesy change rather than a much-needed one).

Since we were already that way, we decided to cut our losses and stop by IKEA at Potomac Mills. We don't go there much since it's far away and kind of a pain to navigate. I wish I'd gone sooner though. They have lots of cool kids stuff. In fact, I'm really impressed with their cribs that are a little shorter, but very function and many convert to toddler beds with a very simplistic design. Here's an example. I think we'll go back when it comes time to move from the crib to a toddler bed (note to self - must figure out when that is).

They also have lots of cool kids toys at reasonable prices. We ended up getting Andy a Brio-esque train set for $14. They say its compatible with other similar sets (I'm assuming they mean Brio, but can't say it). He didn't show much interest in it tonight, but he was tired from the day. I hope he likes it. I have really fond memories of playing with the set at Nieman's as a kid. They had a great set that was in the middle of the kids section and so fun to play with.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Diary of a Mad New Mother

In honor of Susan who asked for more video, here's Andy walking on the playground yesterday. His walking has really come along so much so he can walk and carry something. Sort of.

Here he is eating an entire pear. It cracks me up that he wants to eat the whole thing like an apple.

Movin' on up

It's official - Andy has outgrown the large sleepsack that goes up to 26 pounds. I went out today to find the next biggest size. Turns out, Halo does sell and extra large, but that's it. After he outgrows this, it's blanket city. Of course, this one goes up to 36 pounds so I think he'll be in it a while.

I went over to Buy Buy Baby to pick this up. I had a 20 percent off coupon so I figured the $4 I'd save was worth the trip to Springfield vs. Fair Lakes since it's not much further. Plus, it's a part of town I don't get to very often. My annoyance with Buy Buy Baby is that the aisles are too small for the carts. It's a baby store so the odds of folks needing carts is rather great, yet they've got crap lining every aisle so you can barely get down it without knocking stuff off, which I did anyway. It feels like a Linens and Things or Bed Bath and Beyond in it's layout (I can't remember if that shop used to be one). While I was there, I was forced to look for more toys - as if Andy needs them. I did spring for a cool puzzle that talks only to get home and realize it's a Leap Frog product so it won't worth without the console. Damn. Now I either have to buy a Leap Frog or schlep back over there to return it.

Meanwhile, it appears I picked up some poison ivy/oak while in Texas last weekend. Great. I've got a little on my leg which isn't bothering me, but the worst is I have it under my chin (I figure I got it when my brother-in-law took me on an awesome tour of his lakeside property on his four-wheeler). Poison ivy loves me so this isn't anything new although my remedy of choice of running hot water over the area until it stops itching isn't going to work on my chin.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

He's gifted

We're still having problems with bath time so I decided to get into the tub with Andy last night. He was pretty upset with the whole thing until I managed to distract him with these foam letters we have. They're probably three inches tall and stick to the side of the tub when they're wet. He put a few on the tub and then pointed at the A and said "ay" in a way that was a little more distinct that his usual point and grunt. I was so impressed thinking perhaps the Fridge Phonics were making a difference and he really knew the letter and the sound it made. Then he pointed at the J and went "ay" in the same way so perhaps he's not quite so gifted after all.

Meanwhile, Operation Pacifier Removal has been temporarily abandoned. We went a solid three days without it last week, but with a visit to my folks and two airplane flights, I felt it was necessary for the people around us to bring back the binky. Of course, having done that, now that I'm back I can't quite kick the habit again. We had been giving him a small water bottle to go to bed with instead, but I'm finding the water bottle more of a pain since he screams when it's empty and then doesn't have anything to comfort him when he wakes up at night meaning I have to get up and refill it. So for the sake of better sleep, the binky has returned. Temporarily, I hope, until we get back into a routine and I can try again. My fear is to have a kindergartener with a pacifier and I'm afraid it's only going to get harder as he gets older, but in the meantime, Mommy's got to get some rest and if this is the trade-off, well...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Fits and giggles

It amazes me the great lengths I'll go to make my chicken laugh. I'm just pathetic. Yesterday, we walked down to the park and Andy proceeded to walk all around and even climb up on the steps (that part is not so good since the playground is clearly for older kids so he could easily slip down between the steps and get hurt). I kept enticing him away from the stairs with our size 2 1/2 soccer ball. He was only mildly interested until I figured out that rolling the ball up the twisty slide made him cackle. So I kept doing it and he kept laughing. Even other kids who wanted to use the slide stopped to play since it was so much fun seeing how excited he got.

In other exciting news, the running shoes my dad got me as an early birthday present should arrive today. Jubilee. I've walked so much this past year that I actually wore down the treads so this replacement comes at a welcome time.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


As you can see, this visit was a well-documented event with the help of three digital cameras. We're still recovering. Andy slept until 8:15 am yesterday and 7:45 today, I'd say he was tired! I was glad as that let the rest of us sleep in an extra couple of minutes.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Flying in style with the cool stroller/car seat combo.

"Swimming" at Fin and Feather. The naked swimming pictures will be good blackmail for later.
Playing patty-cake with Grandmother.

The homecoming

After five days (six for Bjorn) in Texas, we're back, exhausted and happy. It was a great visit, minus the fact that my younger sister had to work and couldn't come play with us. Andy and Megan had fun playing with each other. Amazingly, their favorite toy was a portable booster seat my sister brought over so we wouldn't have to share my mom's high chair. The kids got along really well and can almost play together more so than just stealing a toy and running (wobbling) away. In this picture, they're sitting on chairs at a restaurant. The chairs themselves were far more interesting than anything else there, including dinner.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Flight times

We're off to Dallas today. We sprung for the seat for Andy. After traveling at Christmas, he's just too big to hold for three hours, even for $300. I'm a little nervous about entertaining him for the duration so I've been packing and repacking my bags to get ready. On the way back, Bjorn will be with us so that's good, but there it's just the two of us.

Monday, April 17, 2006


Andy has figured out that he likes to put things away. That's all really cute when we're putting toys back in the bin or dishes into the diswasher, but this morning he took a plastic egg, put it into the Diaper Champ and turned the handle. Great. He stared at it for a few seconds, clearly impressed with himself for making it disappear, then he started looking around for other items that would fit. As for that egg, we do wrap the diapers up before putting them in so it's not that gross, but one plastic egg isn't worth the trouble. When he puts my cell phone in there, that'll be a different story.

I've been asking around about new pediatricians and we found one that's just as close as the other as comes highly recommended from a friend in the office who has two little girls. The good news is there are only two doctors in the practice, they're really close and take their own call so I'm guaranteed to see one of the two of them each time. The bad news is they don't take my insurance. I do have a PPO and a flex account so I can get reimbursed for a lot of it, but it's still a pain to do all the paperwork.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


Turns out, Andy is really good at simple commands. The last couple of days we've been playing games where I ask him to hand me something and he does. It's quite fun. We took that outside today and worked on the Easter eggs. He really caught on quickly, which was great. The only bad part was we practiced so much that by the time everyone got here, he was done with the eggs and preferred to attack the bird feeder.

For Christmas, he got an adorable outfit, but it was shorts and too cold for Texas in winter so he never really got to wear it. When my mom tried to return it, they wouldn't exchange seasonal outfits so he wore it for Easter instead. Sure, the red and green colors (plus the Christmas tree on the smocking) were out of season, but damn, he looked great! I was only sorry he didn't have some great shoes or sandals to wear with it.

Our of my paranoia that he's not talking fast enough, we've really be practicing. It's clear he understands most of the stuff I understand (at least the basic gist). He also manages to use "Mama" when he's really mad and wants my attention (like last night when he bonked his head). We've been working on "up" when he wants to be picked up and he seems to say it every 20th time. I've since done a good bit of reading and I really think he's fine. I also read that kids tend to put talking on hold while they master walking and then pick it right back up in spades once they've got the walking part down.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Spring at last

So after a topsy turvy spring weatherwise, it finally is warm here. In fact, today it's downright hot if you're in the sun. I went with my soccer friend and her son Liam, who is 2 1/2, to the lake down the street. The goal was the feed the ducks, but neither boy seemed that interested. Plus, the ducks apparently have been fed all day as they seemed a little disinterested as well. I imagine their bellies are full of moldy bread on a beautiful day like today.

We hit the playground afterwards which both seemed to like. Andy is really walking well and managed to walk from one aparatus to another without stumbling or needing to hold my hand. He's wearing new shoes today that were actually Liam's at one point. He must have worn them only twice as they're in great shape. They slip on rather than tie or velro so he can't pull them of as easily as some others.

Friday, April 14, 2006

The latest stats

We went for the 15-month check-up, as reported earlier. We saw a doctor that we don't normally see, as Dr. Fugute left to head their new office in Chantilly and Dr. Kapor is on maternity leave. We really liked who we saw today although for the life of me I can't remember her name. Anyhoo, here are the stats:

Weight - 25 pounds 9 ounces - 50th percentile
Height - 32 3/4 - 90th percentile
Head Circumference 19 1/4 - 95 percentile

He's about where he was at his year visit although his weight dropped from 70th to 50th. The doctor said that was nothing to worry about. What did concern he was that he's not really talking much. I said he can say Mama and Dada as well as Hi, Bye and Cat, but she's "low to moderately" worried that he's not putting those into the rotation. She said mostly to keep an eye on it and we'll talk more at his 18 month visit. In the meantime, she told us to get rid of the nighttime binky as that may be hindering things and focus on naming everyday items, like light and duck, as well as basic commands like more, up and all done. It's making me slightly paranoid so I'm really going to make an increased effort.

So operation "binky removal" started tonight. I did pull a bit of the bait and switch as I let him have a bottle of water instead of a binky just so he'd let me out of the room without screaming. I figure we can make the switch to the water bottle since he doesn't like that as much and then switch the bottle to a sippy. Wow, it sounds like quite a scheme I've got going at the moment.

Looking back

Since today we go in for Andy's 15-month checkup, I was thinking back to last year. Hard to believe how far he's really come. I guess seeing it day to day I don't always appreciate the leaps and bounds. Here's a picture from last May when he was still in size 2 diapers and wearing 3-6 month clothing. How he's in size 4/5 diapers (4 during the day, 5 at night) and in 18-24 month clothes, and sometimes 2T works. Bjorn has always said that every age is the best age. I remember when I took this picture that he was really great and that we'd hit a perfect spot. Now at 15 months, I watch him do something like toss the ball into the hoop or feed me a cracker and I think the same thing.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Quite a player

We are having so much fun with the basketball hoop that I can barely stand it. Andy has really figured out the game of putting the ball into the hoop. Now he'll even chase the ball if it bounces out of his reach. We have three balls that we have in the rotation, two small basketballs, probably 5 inches in diameter, and a ball with holes in it that's easy for him to carry over and dunk. He hasn't quite figured out how to get to standing from sitting so he has to crawl over to something to pull himself up or else pull himself up on the rim of the hoop. We haven't put sand or water in the base yet, but so far the torque of his pulling up hasn't made it crash onto his head and cause of a wail of tears. Yet.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Precious darling angel baby

The kid I know and love is back. Well, he still won't take a bath without freaking out, but he's happy and smiley at the moment, which I just love, love, love. I love him all the time, of course, but some times are easier than others. He's loving that the weather is good again so we're spending lots of time outdoors playing in the yard, taking walks and hitting the playground. He also is really getting into his basketball hoop. He hasn't figured out how to get up to standing on his own just yet so he pulls up on something else and then grabs the ball and goes to the hoop. It's great to watch.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Pear-eater (sing to the tune of Hall and Oates "Maneater")

This kid loves pears. Last week we were in the grocery store and he stole a pear out of the plastic bag and started eating it like an apple. I would have stopped him, but it was so darn funny to watch him gnaw on it. Plus, it kept him busy while I shopped. He's much less enamoured of the store these days so I usually have to bribe him with food to keep him busy long enough to pick up what I need. I was a little embarassed when it came time to check out as I had to put a now-slimy pear back in the plastic in order to pay for it. Once we got back in the car, I gave it back to him and he ate it down to the core. I kept thinking this has to be against the baby police rules, but I figured a whole pear was way too big to choke on. In this picture he's eating a strawberry, but I thought it was cute anyway.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Llama Drama

Saturday was a strange day. I had to go to a baby shower for a friend who actually already had her baby (the original shower in January had to be postponed due to Henry's early arrival). The time was 1 pm to 3 pm, which cuts right in the middle of nap time. I tried to put Andy down sooner so we'd be able to get to Great Falls before the party ended. He made a noise about 1:30 so I took that as my cue to get him up and ready although in hindsight I think he could have slept a while longer. Once we got to the party, he was clingy (atlhough smartly dressed in his sweater vest) and actually jealous of the new baby. Every time I tried to hold Henry, he came over and insisted on being picked up. It was kind of cute. The little bugger was tired though. I put him down at 6 pm because he was so cranky and he went right to sleep. Go figure!

Things seemed quite normal until 3:30 a.m. when Bjorn woke up with really, really bad heartburn type pain. After a quick search on WebMD, it became clear that this type pain is either bad indigestion or a heart attack. Not able to tell the difference ourselves, we put the 17-year-old in charge of Andy and headed off to Inova Fairfax Hospital. Once the EKG proved it wasn't a heart attack (phew!), they decided it might be gall stones. After seven hours of tests, a chest X-ray, an ultrasound and some pain medicine, they decided they didn't know what was and sent us home. Scary stuff. We were both exhausted. Fortunately, Andy must be going through a growth spurt as he took at FOUR HOUR nap in the afternoon allowing us a chance to recover.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


I'm not particularly artistic, but I really like how the camera captured the splash in this frame. If you click on the picture, it will enlarge and you can see what I mean.

Bath time

There is no argument - this kid just has great hair.

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice and I'm a total idiot

I went to Toys R Us yesterday. It's against my better judgement because the backwards 'R' just offends me grammatically, intellectually and, frankly, it's just a personal insult at this point. But I had a little bit of credit left from the ghetto Babies R Us where I had gone several months ago to return a bunch of baby crap that I thought would be a good idea, but I never got around to (like the Snugli contraption that should have worked, but I never could quite figure it out). I went to buy a present for my neice who is turning eight in a couple of weeks and to get some new bath toys for Andy in the hopes of distracting him from his new found fear of the bathtub. While there, I found myself lured back into buying Fridge Phonics, again after our disasterous attempt at buying it back in January. I thought getting it at a different store in a different season would help. I wanted to test it out in the store, but the boxes were all sealed to prevent people from snagging an extra Q or something after their kid lost it under the stove. I am an idiot for not insisting on trying it in the store, but it was late, I had a headache and was ready to go home. Do you know that that means? That's right, the damn thing didn't work either. Bjorn placed an angry call to Leap Frog who claims it's a mechanical problem so that means we have to take it back - again. I would just chuck the thing up and find another product, but it turns out I can't find anything similar.

On a different note, I went to a friend's last night who has a 2 1/2 year old. She loaded me down with tons of boy clothes, swim diapers and shoes so we're in pretty good shape for the summer. Jubilee.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Pit Stop

I really need to diaper Andy immediately after getting out of the bath. It seems the warm water just encourages him to pee shortly after getting out of the tub. Last night, I dried him off and was walking him back to his room to get dressed when he quickly darted to his Little People Car Park that has an elevator, a couple of ramps, and a car wash for his cars. Upon seeing his toys, about 20 seconds later he pulled himself up to a stand and then peed all over it. Lovely. Fortunately, the thing is plastic so it rinsed off quite easily and the hard wood floors are certainly an improvement for cleaning up. But still, can't he pee in the tub like every other kid rather than waiting for the few short moments of the day he's not confined? It does make me think we might need to look into getting a kid potty since he's clearly okay going outside the diaper.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Land of the Living

After a rough few days, we're all finally on the mend. Andy stopped running a fever yesterday, which was good because he was probably going to have to go to daycare anyway since Bjorn and I both had big days ahead and had already taken a lot of time off. Fortunately, he was better. He was SO happy to go see his friends and babysitter that he practically leapt out of Bjorn's arms this morning (perhaps part of that was due to the Pop Tart Bjorn fed him this morning.) When I got there in the afternoon, he was glad to see me, but tired after playing all day.

Today was the first day I drove the new commute from work to the babysitter's. It took about 30 minutes door to door leaving at exactly 4:59 from my office and arriving at her door at about 5:29 (I'm supposed to be there by 5:30). I am going to try to get in a bit earlier so that in good conscience I can leave at 4:55. I always end up working more than my alloted hours from home, but it still feels weird to not to among those staying late at the office. I kind of miss that fraternity although my life is certainly more balanced now.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


We've been having fun with the basketball hoop. The big boys now like to shoot from around the living room at it and Andy has figured out how to get the ball into the hoop. He also likes to chew on the rim. Meanwhile, check out Andy's pajama pants - they're covered in basketballs, footballs and soccer balls, which are all very manly. Turns out boy clothes must be mainly primary colors - blue, red, green - and have a boyish pattern on there like dogs, balls or trucks. We laugh at the shirt that goes with it because it has some basketball phrases that no one who has ever seen a game would ever utter. That's because it was made in Guatemala. I don't think basketball is big there.

Still sick

Ugh, Andy is still sniffling and wheezing with a slight fever. Poor little guy. It also doesn't help that both Bjorn and I have variations on the same illness. I'm at work for the morning and then I'll trade off so Bjorn can take the afternoon. Tomorrow is the big question mark as we both have several meetings at about the same time that we can't miss.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


With Andy under the weather, it seemed that I needed to treat him to something nice so I went out and got him a small basketball hoop. He loves, loves, loves watching the big boys play ball in the front and he's getting pretty good and throwing the small ball we have around (Bjorn says he's getting very good at the chest pass) so it seemed like a good present. It was easy to set up although now I need to get some sand to put in the base to anchor it. Then again, he's not dunking just yet so perhaps I can hold off. The sand will just make it heavy and unmanageable. Right now I've got it on the lowest setting and it's just the right height for him to reach over and drop the ball. He so far seems more fascinated with trying to push it up the hoop the wrong way, but he was entertained at least. He's still struggling with a cold, but I'm hopeful the worst is behind us. Fingers and toes crossed.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Converse All Star

Here's a picture of Andy in his new shoes. He's also wearing his spring "below the knee" shorts that are apparently the style for one year olds this year. They don't seem much like shorts though, but more like capri pants.

The poor guy is still sick so I imagine I'll be home tomorrow. He still has a fever, a bit of a cough and a runny nose. When I first got home, I thought the fever had really gone down, but by bedtime he was warm again. He's on some Children's Tylenol cold medicine type thing. It comes with a little cup, but he refused to drink is so I had to use a dropper and that stuff gets sticky really fast.

Poor baby, poor daddy

It's official - he's sick. Bjorn took him to the doctor this morning who said he had a "mild" case of the virus that's been going around. The treatment is rest, Tylenol and some cold medicine. The good news is he's finally old enough to graduate to getting some medicine to treat his symptoms. He weighed in a 24.5 pounds and the cold medicines start at kids weighing 24 pounds. When I called home last, he was sleeping. I'm hopeful this means the cold medicine doesn't hype him up like it does for some kids.

I'm trying to get done what I can today since I'll likely have to take off tomorrow. That's probably just as well. Until everything gets set up, I can't get a ton of work done and everyone here is complaining to high heaven about this and that. I feel badly for the folks organizing the move since they've been working long days and weekends to get the space ready only to have people show up and complain. My new commute was shorter than I thought - about 15 minutes (I hit all the lights so I imagine it won't always be so good). It's the commute to the babysitter's that's going to be a pain.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Poor little chicken

So guess who woke up with a cold this morning? Poor little chicken. He's got an occasional deep cough and a bit of a fever (last I checked it was 100.4), but otherwise he seems in pretty good spirits. He's a little more lethargic than normal and took two good naps, which he hasn't done in a while. But we played in the front for a bit and he seemed pretty normal. He wasn't eating much so I gave him the last can of formula I had, which actually expired this weekend so it was good to use it up. With any luck, we're done with our dependance on Enfamil. He gobbled up the formula as I think it tastes a little better than milk (I know, no accounting for taste). The good part is I know he's had a good supplement of nutrients that he may or may not have gotten from his skimpy meals these days. Tomorrow is a big day at the office - the first day post-move in our new space - so I really can't miss it. Fortunately, Bjorn can stay home and likely take Andy to the doctor. I'm hoping he cured tomorrow. It's so hard to watch him not feel his best.

Meanwhile, I carried him around so much that my left "baby-carrying" arm is really sore tonight. Ouch.

Saturday, April 01, 2006


Andy got his first pair of real shoes today. We went to Nordstrom and bought him some Converse "Chuck Taylor" high tops. They're very, very cool. I think Bjorn might be more excited about them as he remembers those shoes fondly. I think I had a couple of pairs growing up as well. He was measured and came in at 5 1/2 kids although Converse runs large so he's wearing a size 5 and they are a little roomy in the toe. Thankfully, they were cheap so when we get tired of having to tie shoelaces and pull up the high tops, we can invest in another pair. For now, they seem easy for him to walk in, have a flexible sole, fit and most importantly, look very cool on the playground.