Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Swim time

We joined the pool again this year. We've been twice now and so far, Andy's favorite part is the Little Tykes playhouse that's about 8 years old and faded in the baby pool area. For what the pool costs, we could have bought a new play house and had some really nice dinners out. I think he's afraid of the pool. Either that or the cold water freaks him out. New treats this week - he can now say "kitty cat" and mean it. He also has figured out that unrolling all the toilet paper is good fun.

Meanwhile, it's true, kids do read Perez as much as adults.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Tonight's game of choice? Tumbling. I would have thought he was too young, but we spent a solid half hour with him rolling over and over and us helping him to somersaults. It was so fun. He loved, loved, loved getting flipped around and once we taught him to duck his head, he would do it and wait for one of us to push him over. It's was great. The only downside is he was pretty revved up and had a hard time settling down for "sova" (sleep in Swedish). He's actually been tinkering with a later bedtime lately, which is nice since I get to see him more after work. The downside is that if he goes to bed at 8:30, that's pretty late to then start making my own dinner so we might have to start, gasp, eating together or something like that. I think that means I'm going to need to get better organized about meals and such. Sigh.

Monday, May 29, 2006


As a parent, milk takes on a whole new meaning in my life. I now find myself making sure we have at least a gallon of whole milk in the house at all times. Yes, I would be one of those idiots before a snowstorm making sure I had milk in the fridge. BA (Before Andy), milk often went bad in the fridge since we didn't get to drinking it. Now, we usually have three gallons in the fridge at all times (two whole and one one percent for the older residents) and we actually go through it. Of course, this has made me learn a few things about it:

1) Milk gets gross fast. After like four or five hours post meal, it starts to coagulate and get clumpy. That's right - ew.
2) Milk left in a sippy cup in the car gets bad faster than normal. Studies show this may cause the sippy to be tossed into the trash whole or abandoned at a gas station.
3) Milk poured out of a sippy cup onto the patio as a drawing device leaves a stain. Who knew milk would leave a mark? And after one washing, it still looks kind of shiny.
4) Milk can easily clog the rubber spout of a sippy and turn black even after washing. It's not pretty.
5) Milk can make the pain of a skinned knee go away. It's a fact.

Tonight he and I played the greatest game and I think I'm in love all over again. He likes to clap fine, but more than that, he likes to clap my hands for me. It's hysterical to watch and play as it really cracks us both up. For a different spin on things tonight, he would clap my hands and then clap them on his head sending us both to tears we were giggling so much. It may have been the cutest thing ever. Seriously.

Photo gallery

Andy playing in the sandbox. He likes it, but it sure is messy. Of course, that's probably the appeal.

After picture with the new haircut. It is mightly short. Look at the size of the forehead on this kid. It's like a billboard it's so large.

Picture before the train started moving and scared the crap out of him.

Saturday, May 27, 2006


Andy has been fascinated with trains so we headed over to Burke Lake Park today to ride the small train there. He liked it in concept, but once we got moving, it really freaked him out. It seemed to be going pretty fast to me so I was afraid he was going to wiggle out of my arms as we were going around a corner. He didn't mind the train as much as he really hated the noise. And it didn't help that some obnoxious guy was in front of us yelling at things we passed and making loud jokes. Afterwards, we hit South Austin Grill where I get a free entree for my birthday (score!). It was surprisingly family friendly so we'll have to come back another time. I noticed on the way out that the Hair Cuttery next door was empty so we stopped in to get Andy a haircut to improve the home job I tried to do. He really didn't like it and only calmed down when they gave him a lollipop. I may have to get a stash of those for emergencies.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Andy and the goat

He really liked this goat for coming over to say hello. It reminds me of the story my mother tells about taking me to the petting zoo and putting a note on me with my name and phone number on it only to have the goat eat it off within minutes. There were lots of kids at the park who were probably in kindergarten that had name tags pinned to them saying their elementary school name and a phone number. Great idea. And smart to safety-pin it since kids will be less likely to pull it off. Meanwhile, check out the fair skin on my kid. He doesn't stand a chance in the sun, does he?

Farm party

Today we went to Frying Pan Park, a farm park run by Fairfax County. It's actually quite cool and has lots of animals - horses, chickens, cows, goats, sheep, pigs (including lots of baby animals) - and at a perfect price, free (well, compliments of Fairfax County's exorbitant property taxes, I'm sure). It's also quite close as it's in Herndon, about 20-25 minutes away. We were supposed to be meeting some friends. I found a couple of the group, but the main pack eluded us. Still, we roamed around and saw the animals despite intermitent rain drops. Andy seemed to like the goats best, especially since they were so friendly to him. He also really liked the small tractors they have nailed down for kids to climb all over. He definitely seems geared (hah) toward anything mechanical. He loves lights, playing with the radio and, of course, the TV remote.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Fat girl pants

This morning when I was getting ready for work I was lamenting my choices until I discovered a pair of black pants I didn't rememeber owning, much less buying. I tried them on, they fit and seemed comfy. SCORE. It wasn't until I got to the office that I realized they were most likely some vintage of maternity pants although not likely ones I bought because the length was odd once I started to think about it. I realized it mid-morning when a coworker gave me a once over that made it clear something was amiss so I spent the rest of the day trying to sit behind a desk and feeling self conscious. Fun. I desperately need some new clothes. The hard part is it's no fun to shop for me when I can get Andy five new outfits for the price of a nice pair of slacks.

In other news, damn Taylor Hicks. I like him fine (if I don't listen to his screaming soul patrol, because frankly, that's kinda gay), but now I have to listen to that infectious "Do I Make You Proud" dreck that's on the radio. The bonus is it has knocked out Nick Lachey's irritating single out of my head, but it's hardly an improvement. It's enough to make me listen to WTOP all the time. If only they didn't have commercials every 2.5 minutes.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Work it

I bought a push toy/walker for Andy ages ago - like last summer maybe. It was a basic plastic toy that was to help him stand and then walk. It has four wheels and a handle and some little gadgets to keep him occupied on it. I can't say he's ever been that crazy about it so when the living room started filling up, I put it in the carport thinking it might encourage him to walk outside. It didn't. However, tonight out of nowhere, he grabbed it and insisted on pushing it everywhere. We went down the block and almost to the corner. It was frustrating for me because he kept running it into the grass and then having to readjust so it took way longer to go anywhere than normal. Plus, I had to be extra vigilant to be near him since I wasn't holding a hand that I could grab in case he made a break for it.

After his bath tonight, we practiced stomping his feet. It was just precious to him to stomp on command and be so happy about it. I was stomping along with him. If I did it regularly enough, I might get a bit of a workout as I was tired after a bit. I tried practicing "clap your hands, stomp your feet" but he only felt like stomping even on the clapping command. Maybe tomorrow...

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


The sandbox boat (which is sold under the stupid name "Tuggy") continues to be a hit. Tonight we played in the sandbox using his pail and shovel in addition to red solo cups. Since we don't drink much anymore, it's good to put them to use. I also found some of the plastic containers that some plants came in for him to play with. He hasn't figured out how to make sand structures, but he has figured out how to knock them down.

A couple of firsts today. One thing fun is he knows how to stomp his feet on command, which may be one of the cutest things I've seen. He also knows how to hike his leg to climb over something as I witnessed him get into the bath on his own. Yes, the kid who refused to take a bath two months ago now can't wait a second longer to get in. With his new found ability to scale, I thought it prudent to take out the bumpers in his crib that have been out and in a lot since he was born (first in, then out due to SIDS fears, then back in once he started catching limbs in the rails, then out again for some reason then back in because the darkness helped him sleep). If I left them in, I'm afraid he'd be able to step on them and make a break for it. My cousin kindly gave me the bumper and they've just been great and so nice that I didn't have to buy them myself.

Meanwhile, I heard today from our first choice (well, only choice) preschool/daycare that the room he'd be in for the fall is full, but we're second on the list should something open up. Sigh.

Potty failure

I was at the store last week and couldn't resist buying a potty. It was $9 and it was right there, plus, they didnt' have the Baby Bjorn model that I had seen so I went ahead with it. Bad move as the design is hard for him to get on and off of (of course, I'm not sure I want him to really easily get up in the middle, but still). I heard from my cousin that they did something similar so I think I need to just suck it up and get the better designed one. He doesn't need it immediately or anything so I can wait until I find what I want. In the meantime, he does seem to enjoy taking the plastic cup out of the middle of the version we have and carrying that around or putting it on his head.

Meanwhile, Bjorn always calls after drop-off to give me the update.

Bjorn: The package has been delivered.
Me: So how'd it go?
Bjorn: Terrible.
Me: What? Why?
Bjorn: He was mad and screamed at me most of the way until we turned into her driveway.
Me: What's up? Do you think he's getting sick? Is he teething?
Bjorn: Well, I spilled water on him as we pulled out of our neighborhood. I don't think he liked that. It was probably cold.
Me: Oh. That would explain things. Did you need to turn around and get him a new shirt?
Bjorn: Did I need to? Obviously not. Would that have been a better choice? Probably.

Monday, May 22, 2006

To my stalkers

Hey guys. I know you're out there as more people than my dear, sweet, perfect mom are reading this. Drop me a line or post a comment. I'd love to hear from you.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Sand box

Last year, our very nice neighbors gave us a big plastic boat that could be used as either a baby pool or a sand box. He really hasn't been old enough until recently to get it so it's been rotated around our backyard as to not kill all the grass. I was thinking I would use it as a baby pool, but since we joined the pool and it's across the street, that seemed a little silly so a sand box it has become.

Turns out it's so big is takes up more sand than the three bags Bjorn bought so right now it's only half full. But did that stop the fascination? No! Turns out he loves it, half full and all. The only downside is the sand is wetter (for lack of a better word) than I would have liked and makes a bit of a mess more so than the dried sand I was imagining. We're getting more sand this afternoon so hopefully it's a different vintage and when mixed with what we got, will yield the proper consistensy.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Andy said two new words today - "gate" and "outside." I thought I heard him say outside earlier in the week, but Bjorn dismissed me as crazy. Then last night I heard gate, and again, I was told it didn't happen. Fortunately, the little bugger did them both again to prove his father wrong, which is always a plus for me. It's funny, I really expected his first real words to be generic, pastoral nouns like "dog" and "bird" rather than more functional words. Obviously, the ones he's saying mean more in his world.

Meanwhile, a good friend e-mailed yesterday to say Andy looks more like his father in the the spagetti-covered picture below that the third one, like I posted. That's the funny thing about kids, they always look a little differently to others so it's fun to hear who he looks like in the family, especially since it changes just about every day.

Friday, May 19, 2006


Funny, with a digital camera and instant images, I still find it takes me a while to get them off the camera and into a useable format. Here are some pictures from the last week or so. He's again a little ornery this morning. I'm starting to suspect his eye teeth are close to coming in. In the second pictures, I think he looks like Bjorn. At least he has his mouth. Funny that it's so small considering they both have a lot to say. He's also taken to carrying his bedtime dog around the house.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Lovefest is OVER, Well, no, not really

Well, good thing I gushed yesterday because someone woke up on the wrong side of the crib and was ornery all morning for no good reason. Now I know how Paul and Heather McCartney feel. I hope he's not coming down with something. Lots of folks are sick at the office and a sick baby is no fun for anyone. Despite that, he looks adorable today in a blue shirt and khaki overalls. I need to get him into all the hand-me-down overalls he has now because as kids get older, the overalls cease to be cute so I need to get my fix now. He have 4-5 nice pairs given to us by various friends. I usually don't bother with them since their a pain to pull over and hook up and it means I have to put a onesie on underneath. The only bonus is both the overalls and onesie have the ever-popular crotch snaps so while it's a pain to pull on, at least the changing isn't so complicated.

Of course, no sooner did I think that, but I came across some pictures of Andy as a tiny, tiny baby. It's so hard to believe sometimes how far we've come together. What's amazing is he kinda looks like himself. It's hard to say looking at him at the time what he'd look like now, but looking back I do see some features he still has today. Meanwhile, the ball he's "holding" is one of those small maybe 2 1/2 inches in diameter ones. For nostalgia, I saved one of those newborn swaddlers that he's wearing there. It's so tiny, I think it would be too small to diaper my foot and yet at the time it was big enough for a person.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

More Dirt

Just when I thought it was safe to wear clothes again and not expect to have to wash them every time I put them on, I've discovered Andy's feet. By that I mean every time I pick him up now, I get the dirt from his shoes all over me. Sometimes it's not bad, but on a rainy day like today? That's right, Smudge City.

The kid is simply a joy right now. I need to say that because I'm sure in a month he'll be getting more teeth or stop sleeping or whatever so I need to remember when he's being perfect like right now. He's just fun and engaging at the moment. Plus, he still likes to play with me, but he also manages to play alone for little bits here and there. I'm not sure if it's due to the later summer hours or simply age, but he's able to stay awake in the evenings a little later, which gives us more time to play. It's great! I'm sure tomorrow he'll find a way to flush my cell phone down the toilet, but for today, I'm simply smitten.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Potty Training 101?

I think we need to get out and buy a baby potty. Twice in three days Andy has had accidents of the poopy kind around bath time (once in the bath and once out. I know, lovely). I think he's too young for training for real, but perhaps that will let him get comfortable with the idea. And since he's obvious motivated in that regard at that time anyway, perhaps it's a good introduction. Despite the name, I think I may have to go with the Baby Bjorn version. It makes for a funny story at the very least.

He's been hitting some milestones of late. He can now get to standing from sitting. He still prefers to get a hand, but he can certainly do it on his own. He also can officially say "light" (his favorite word) and likes to clap along to Jack's Big Music Show (which is great in spite of the really long Laurie Berkner intervals). His babbling is getting much more sophisticated. I keep thinking I hear words (like yesterday I swear he said "outside" when banging on the sliding glass door). He's also stringing them together like sentences. How cool is that?

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

What a nice day. The boys have been great to me. We had a nice champagne brunch at the house with all the kids and Bjorn's mom and brother. Bjorn made a fabulous egg dish for us all and we had mimosas to go along. Andy got me some tulips (my favorite) and some nice pots to replace the ones in the driveway that everyone seems to run over (if people would just NOT park in my driveway, this wouldn't be a problem!) Later, Bjorn installed a ceiling fan in Andy's room. Last summer, we used just a standing fan, but this will work better to keep his room a little cooler. With his door and window, it can get a little stuffy in there. Also great, I got to go out with a friend last night for dinner and a movie. I so rarely do it now and it's so fun to catch up (although American Dreamz wasn't all that interesting or funny). Now if only we'd managed to win our outdoor game this morning, all would be right in my world.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

My college degree didn't teach me this

Last weekend at Costco, I bought a big package of breaded chicken breasts. I figured that chicken finger type things would be good to feed Andy. Eventually, I hope to evolve to all of us eating together in the evenings but for now, Andy usually eats dinner at 6 pm when we get home and then Bjorn and I eat later so I need stuff for him that's easy to whip together in a few minutes, hence how great chicken fingers would be. Only it turns out I didn't buy those, rather, this is uncooked, but prebreaded chicken, which for some reason ranks high on the ick factor. Although perhaps that's because I microwaved it and started to cut it up before I realized it was raw. Ew.

Friday, May 12, 2006


It's finally going to be consistently warm enough here that I was able to plant my vegetable garden today. It's an ecclectic mix of peppers, tomatoes and squash/zuchinni/eggplant. Should be interesting. I also have a strawberry patch growing back from last year. I'll be curious it bears any fruit big enough to eat. Andy was a surpisingly good sport while I planted. He managed to entertain himself with the recycling bin. He pulled all the plastic bottles out and then toted around a milk jug around the yard.

Last year I pureed the vegetables and frozen them in ice cube trays to be served up for baby food. This year he's old enough that he could have it it larger chunks. The only bad part is that means I'm going to have to cook, which even boiling vegetables isn't my strong suit. That said, I did grill out sausage this evening. Our grill starter hasn't ever really worked so it requires a match and some steel will to get it started. Tonight I managed to singe all the hair on my right arm. Classy, with a K.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


We went to see Bjorn's mom last weekend. I actually took some nice pictures of the two of them, but this one cracks me up since it looks like he's about to get spanked. What was really happening is she was telling a story and he was trying to wriggle away, but it doens't look that way in this shot. The funny thing about the digital camera is it sometimes takes a couple seconds to load and get ready so I find I sometimes take a picture of just after what I meant to get. Regular cameras are probably like that, too, but I just don't get to see the results immediately.


Andy loves burritos almost as much as his mother. Tonight I knew the big boys would be out so we stopped at Chipotle and got a burrito for myself, figuring Andy would have a few bites. No, he wanted the whole darn thing for himself. The good news is for once I didn't leave huge amounts of the burrito on my plate. The bad news is with this kind of appetite, I need to order him a kid sized-portion for him to eat.

Meanwhile, all week Andy has taken a three hour nap in the afternoon and this mornig I had to wake him up for school at 7:45. I wonder if this signals a growth spurt.

He's still working on new words and noises. He's pretty much mastered "light" in the correct context(although not necessarily on command) and he has a few others, like "yay" and "daddy" that aren't necessarily used properly.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Fridge phonics

As you can see, Andy likes his Fridge Phonics. Unfortunately, he gets frustrated easily if he tries to put a letter in and it doesn't work immediately. Rather than tilt it a bit, he usually throws it on the floor. And scene.

Frank Burns

The good news is Andy will finally wear a hat, important for a kid as fair skinned as him with summer coming. The bad news is the hat he'll wear makes him look like Frank Burns from M*A*S*H. Here he is watching the sprinkler, which might be crack to a 16-month-old. I should take videos of sprinklers, patent it and sell my idea to Baby Einstein. I'll be rich, rich!

In unrelated news, I talked to my sister today and learned my brother-in-law's adorable 10-year-old nephew was killed by a car when riding his bike. I can not even fathom how awful this must be for the family. They were doing everything seemingly right - they lived in a nice suburb on a nice cul-de-sac in a nice part of town. He wasn't going anywhere strange, just riding in the alley behind his house only to have something so tragic happen. It turns out the driver of the car was a neighbor who I'm sure is devastated as well. This after the shooting at the Fairfax County police station yesterday that already had me a bit rattled. I tried to hug Andy extra special tight tonight, but he wouldn't sucumb to my hugs and instead kept pointing to the lights going "ungh?"

Monday, May 08, 2006

Tell a story

Yesterday afternoon we had plans to go see my mother-in-law so she could show off some new furniture. The plan was an early afternoon fete with a plan of putting Andy down for a nap a bit early (say noon) hoping he'd be up at 2 pm so we could go. Instead, Andy took a marathon three hour nap so we didn't end up getting on the road until 3:30 pm or so which threw the whole day off (the good news is I was exhausted from an early soccer game-we won actually-so I got a good nap as well. Whoohoo!) As a result, we didn't end up getting home until about 7:30 pm so with dinner, story and bath, he didn't hit the crib until like 8:15 pm. He went down peacefully (I think he was pretty tired) and we retired into the basement for some West Wing and homemade burgers ala Bjorn. Andy then proceeded to talk to himself as if he was reading the paper to one of his stuffed dogs for nearly an hour. Seriously, "La la la ba ight aye da da" for at least 45 minutes until he finally went to sleep. It was really funny to listen to from the monitor downstairs.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Walking days are over

I love taking walks while pushing Andy in the stroller, but he's getting to an age where he wants to walk himself. It's fun to watch him walk, but it prevents me from getting the exercise I could use. We have a new routine of walking over to the park right by the pool across the street. There is a cute little path that goes over a small bridge over a creek and he likes to walk over and stare at the water. It's fun to watch.

Unfortunately, with all this walking he's also scraping his knees up a good bit as he manages to wipe out pretty regularly, even if I'm holding his hand. Most of the time he shakes it off, but his knees are quickly getting cut up from the cement. You'd think that would make him prefer the grass, but he doesn't like walking on it much. He's also almost figured out how to stand up without holding onto something. Right now, when we play with the basketball hoop that is now in the driveway, he can bend all the way down and stand back up, but he hasn't quite gotten to getting himself into the squat position from sitting down. I think it's soon though. I also think he's coming up with some new words. He babble seems more deliberate as if he's really saying something. Plus, I think I hear words (Bjorn thinks I'm imaginging it), but I hear him point to the light and say "la" and now after I give him something, he says something close to thank you, at least with the syllables and the inflection.

Friday, May 05, 2006


Today we took a tour of another daycare, this time the Carousel Child Care Center in Fairfax. It's located in the first floor of what looks like the parish office to a Catholic church although they are not affiliated with them. It was perfectly nice and school like, with lots of age-appropriate toys, chalk boards, a nice-sized (although industrial) kitchen. They also have two playgrounds for the older and younger kids. It's not my first choice, but I did like it fine. Unfortunately, they don't expect to have any openings for his room as a few kids are moving up to the toddler room and there are already four people, including a set of twins, on the waiting list for the fall. I'll keep it mind though. We're currently on the waiting list at Merritt Academy. When I toured, they thought he'd be in by August for the next school year, but I haven't heard back from the admissions person I had e-mailed with previously and thanks to my friend "return receipt," I know she got the message. Hmmm....I wonder what that means.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

New favorite toy

Andy definitely has a touch of engineer in him. He's really quite interested in how things work. I remember when he was really little, he would stare at the motor on his swing as if trying to figure out what made it tick. Now I find he is constantly checking how things are put together. His new favorite is the empty bottle of Baby Wash in the tub. The good news is, it keeps him so occupied that this past week he hasn't had any trouble in the tub. What we do is I fill the bottle with bath water and he works hard to push the top down and giggles when the water comes out. He's also figured out how it unscrews and tonight spent a solid five minutes practicing screwing it on and off. It was quite fun to watch.

He's making strides on communicating, I think. I am hearing some new noises that are closer to words. Like last night I thought I heard him say "nigh-nigh." Of course, upon goading, he stopped being interested. He also really likes his new found clapping skill. It's quite amusing to all of us that he'll clap on command. Also interesting, he claps to the word "crap" as well, as Bjorn found out this morning. Meanwhile, the little bugger has figured out how to open the screen door to the back yard. I sometimes think I can contain him like the cats, but it's clear those opposable thumbs and human intellect are going to make him much more of a challenge.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

More pictures from Dallas

Here is a picture of Dad and Andy in the morning. They both look sleepy.

With a house full of toys and gadgets, Andy and Megan both loved this booster seat for some reason. They enjoyed knocking it over, pulling off the tray and sitting on it, occasionally when the other was already there. In this photo, Andy couldn't pull the tray off so he's attempting to crawl into it.

Mom took this picture. I like it because you can really tell how blue his eyes are. Plus, he's smiling and that's always nice to see, too.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Give him a hand

Andy figured out clapping over the weekend. He's been giving us a high five on command for months, but has shown no interest in clapping - until Saturday. He was so tickled with it (and no doubt excited with how excited we got) that we had great fun playing patty cake and other silly games. He also likes to grab my hands to put them together, which is fun, too.

I think he's picking up some new words. I swear under his breath he's saying "okay" sometimes. It's kind of funny to hear his breathy words as if he's thinking about something and is putting it together. I also heard him say "yay" yesterday. I'm not sure he really understands the contexts, but it's funny to hear. He also really understands simple commands now so I'll ask him to bring me objects (pointing helps). Last night, he actually crossed the room, picked up his shoes and brought them back to me one by one.