Friday, June 30, 2006

18 months already?

I took Andy for his 18 month checkup today. This one was particularly notable as it was our first visit to our new pediatrician. Dr. Staats came highly recommended from a friend as it's just two doctors and they take their own call, plus their office is quite close to our house. The negative is they don't take my insurance. I went back and forth about it, but ultimately decided that a better doctor was better for all of us and I would just suck it up to file the claims with the PPO. I liked the practice physically as there were LOTS of toys and books to keep him entertained while I waited and everyone seemed really nice. Not that the old practice wasn't nice, but I felt everyone was making an effort to get to know us personally rather than going through the motions of what needed to be done. Dr. Staats could not have been nicer. She probably spent 20-25 minutes with us getting to know us and giving Andy a thorough once over. The bonus was he didn't need any shots. I also hear that after 18 months, they don't need vaccinations every time anymore. Jubilee!

On to the facts, he's 26 pounds and 32 inches and measured at 50 percent weight and between 50-75 percent in height. Turns out the old practice measured his height a little differently so that's the reason for the decline in percentile. She seemed unconcerned about that saying he is perfectly healthy and seems to be progressing just fine.

I asked about his talking, saying he probably has 15-20 words in rotation. That he knows what those mean and babbles a lot, but not too many words. She said by age 2, they want to see about 50 words in context so she thought he was just fine. I tentatively asked about the sleeping with a pacifier at night and she seemed to think so long as he's not using it during the day, that it was okay for now. All in all, a pleasant experience, well, for me mostly. By the end, Andy was bored with all the toys they had and I brought and just ready to leave.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The tail wagging the dog

Andy loves his dogs, but do you know about them specifically he loves? Their tails. Seriously, it comforts him to sit or lie with them and feel their soft cotton tails between his fingers. It's kind of strange to see how often he does it now that I've noticed it. My mom gave me Vicki Iovine's Girlfriend's Guide to Toddlers, which is quite interesting. She talks about the Comfort Zone for toddlers and says there is something specific about each lovey that they really cling to, like the tag or whatnot. And sure enough, it's the tails for him.

I'm enjoying this book. Her Girlfriend's Guide to the First Year of Motherhood wasn't nearly as good as the Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy, which I can't recommend enough for anyone expecting, but this is a close second in my book.


Tonight we found another inexpensive toy - shoes. Andy spent a solid 15 minutes taking Bjorn's dress shoes and playing with them. He would grab a black wingtip and carry it around the living room and kitchen. Then he would throw it down and practice putting his foot in it. Quite precious.

It's been raining here seemingly nonstop since Saturday and I think we're all having a bit of cabin fever.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Sagan om den lilla lilla gumman

The good news is that Andy has a favorite book. The bad news is that said favorite book is in Swedish. Seriously, I try to read other books at bedtime, but he can not be cajoled into going to bed until I read him the Sagan om den Lilla Lilla Gumman. At this point, I've figured out the general story about the little little lady and her little little cow and her little little cat that drinks the milk out of the little little bowl. But saying all the words out loud sounds like I have a gumball stuck in my throat. It's not pretty. He seems amused as I sound my way through the book, but it's frustrating that I can't get him interested in something that I can actually read. Then again, since he can't read, perhaps he thinks this puts us on a more level playing ground. Cheeky little bugger.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Cleaning time

With all the rain the past few days, the sandbox flooded - in part because I didn't think to close it all the way. I spent time today and yesterday trying to drain it. Andy thought that was good fun and decided to get into the pile of wet sand and standing water, as evidenced by the second photo after I had stripped him down and was trying to dry him off before heading inside. After I decided to clean that, I figured it was a good chance to clean the car seat cover and high chair cover as well. Andy was fascinated by the car seat undone. In fact, he was upset as I started to take the cover off as if I was hurting it. Once the cover was off and he could sit down on it again, he commenced playing with the clasps - one of favorite things to do.

Note the awesome Texas Rangers outfit his grandmother gave him.

If only I could convince the others in my household that edging was cool.


Andy's vocabulary continues to grow although the words he comes up with always amuse me. This week, he picked up "milk" which seems important enough. He also clearly said "TV" while gesturing at the screen. I have no idea where he picked that one up. It's not like we ever have it on or anything crazy like that. It turns out he's a lot like me in that he wants it on in the background, even if neither of us is really paying much attention to it. I imagine this does not bode well for the future. On the plus side, he now claps whenever soccer comes on the screen. Too bad that wasn't enough to help the Swedes today in their loss to Germany. At this point in the World Cup, all my teams are out. I might have to start rooting for Ghana just to make things interesting.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The barking dog lives

After the diaper-free incident in the crib earlier this week, all of Andy's bedding had to thoroughly cleaned, including his two dogs that I have decided to call Mutt and Jeff. Jeff, the smaller of the two dogs, has a barking component inside so when you press properly, he emits a barking noise. I was figuring the barking part would be ruined by a good trip through the washing machine, but guess what? It miraculously survived. This is great as it means Jeff is still interchangable with the extra Jeff I have hidden in the closet.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Photo gallery

Here's a picture of Andy and his bath. Note the letter 'D' floating in the background. That's the kind of letter I was talking about.
Go Texas. Heja Sverige (note the Sweden shirt he has on).

Andy coloring the driveway with Pop.

Attack of the foam letters

I have a set of foam letters in the bathtub. Andy likes to take the letters once they're a little wet and place them on the inside of the tub. We play a fun game where I hand him a couple of letters at a time and he contemplates where to place them in the lineup. To entertain myself, I often stick the letters on him and that is usually met with great dismay as he can't wiggle fast enough to get them off. Tonight was a different story. I continually placed the letters on him and he seemed intrigued that it made me laugh so to play along, he began to pick up the letters and put them on his own tummy. It was quite cute, especially because every time he stooped to get more letters, the ones on his body would slip off and he would be confused why he only had one letter left.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Close Encounters of the Icky Kind

I was out of town all weekend at a work trip in surprisingly hot northern California. Sonoma was an odd place really. There was lots of super pricey real estate, shops and restaurants surrounded by stunningly low-rent looking apartments and stores. My favorite was the Church Mouse Thrift Shop next to our hotel with a hand written sign in the window that read "Wedding Dresses $30.00."

The boys did great without me, proving that I'm not as indispensable as I lead myself to believe. Exhausted from the trip after a long weekend and a flight that got me home at 1:30 this morning, I took today off so Andy and I could reconnect and play. We both settled down for a nap around 1 pm. It was a warm day so I made the decision to put him into his crib in just a diaper and not zip him up into the sleep sack. Oh, what a mistake. When we got up in the afternoon, I found him in his crib, without a diaper and surrounded in his own excrement. Ew. I hadn't realized it, but he's perfectly capable of removing his own diaper. Lovely. I quickly put him in the bath and did a load of laundry. Unfortunately, his dogs also got mixed up in the mess so Bjorn is going to do a special load for them this evening. In the meantime, Andy is in bed with replacement dog #1. I'm hopeful he doesn't catch on.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Growing up so fast

We went to the playground last night. For those keeping track at home, we went to Laurel Ridge Elementary that has a newer, nicer one than down at the lake. After Andy spent five minutes fiddling with the gate, he walked up the stairs, put his butt on the slide and slid down. By himself. I couldn't believe it. He's never shown any interest in slides so he might have gone down one maybe 5-6 times lifetime. But yesterday? Yeah, walked right up and went down as if he'd been doing it his whole life. I never thought I'd be one of those people lamenting that their kid is growing up so fast, but there you have it. I said it. Next thing you know, I'm going to start telling kids I haven't seen them since they were XX big and calling Bjorn "Dad" in conversation.

Meanwhile, here's a picture from the Nationals game last week. He looks calm, but I think he was just standing still in order to get his picture taken. He likes getting his picture taken.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Where did the time go?

A friend e-mailed me this picture of Andy back from December. I swear December wasn't that long ago, but wow, he looks different now. His face is less round and he's got a gob more teeth. I guess I'm going to spend the rest of my life watching him age and being amazed when I look back. I liken this to losing weight. You don't really notice it day to day, but when you step back and see a before and after photo, dang, you can really see the difference that you can't see when you're so close to it.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Wow. What a weekend. With my parents here, the party last night and a rash of birthdays, it's been a non-stop party this weekend. I'm exhausted and the house is still a mess - even though I stayed up late vacuuming up the tortilla chips some kids threw on the floor of the basement and then stomped on.

Andy has been a champ all weekend about rolling with the flow of things. It took him no time to warm back up to my folks and was a very good sport yesterday with all the activity going on around him. I only wish he had been kind enough to make today one of his 8:30 mornings - I could have really gone with a couple extra minutes.

Exciting World Cup action going on. I hope the U.S. can do better than Sweden, who could only pull off a tie against Trinidad and Tobago - a country with only 1.5 million residents, small considering Fairfax County alone has 1 million people.

Also, since everyone cares, my computer is acting much better and once I recover I'll post some new photos of the weekend. Thanks to Viv and Brian for their help.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


It's almost 10 pm and people left less than an hour ago for our party that was over at 7 pm. Thankfully, we ran out of beer in the outside coolers or I think some of these people would have stayed forever. Actually, it was a ton of fun to see everyone, but after a morning of getting ready and a day of hosting (not to mention an evening to catching up with my folks and our old friend, Mr. Single Malt Whiskey), I'm tired!

Andy was a champ today. My folks were kind enough to keep a close eye on him much of the time and he very nicely shared his toys with all the other kids although he did seem to show increased interest in them when another kid started to play with it. The big hit of the day was the sandbox. I think a good bit of the sand is now in the yard though so we'll need to restock it fresh. We also got a nice present from the four year olds who managed to throw tortilla chips on the floor in the basement and stomp them into little bits. I can see my future and it scares me.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Go Nats

We took Andy to his first baseball game. Everyone seemed to have a great time, but boy am I tired. I actually watch alot of the games at home since they're on all the time and I'm usually home at night. Live though, I spent most of the time keeping Andy busy rather than getting to actually enjoy the game. It wasn't his fault - it was late for him to be up and at his age he's not interesting in watching when he could be walking or climbing somewhere. He did look quite smashing in his way too big Nationals jersey. I finally took it off him in the third inning because I was afraid it would get caught under foot and he would trip, consequently cracking open his head on the fine concrete steps at RFK stadium. And speaking of smashing, guess who's going to a prom tomorrow?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


It's two days to the World Cup and like the rest of the world, I'm totally psyched. However, is America psyched? Not so much. I haven't encountered a person that is not on my soccer team or related to me that has any interest. What's up, folks? You'll watch curling at 2 a.m. on MSNBC, but the U.S. vs. the Czech Republic in world-class soccer is boring? Seriously. Andy is going to grow up liking soccer. It's just a fact. Sure, if he wants to play the violin or twirl the baton, that's fine, but he WILL know about soccer. I believe he's quite gifted at the sport already. He's quite good at throwing the ball and can even kick it on occasion. Perhaps we need to trade in our basketball hoop for a soccer goal.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Computer problems persist so I haven't been able to upload photos the last few days. I did catch a great picture last night that I'll upload eventually. Andy had fallen asleep sideways in the crib, meaning instead of his body being longways, he was asleep all the way at the end with his head on the side rail. What was so amusing is he's so tall now that his two feet, clad in a sleepsack, were poking through the siderails. I had to risk waking a sleeping toddler to catch a picture of it because it was so darn cute.

Edited to say the photo was uploaded June 8.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


My computer is infected. I've got adware, spyware, you-name-it ware popping up as I try to do anything interesting. I've tried a new browser (although Mozilla has it's own brand of pop-ups that are totally annoying), I've tried deleting Internet Explorer (you can't), I've tried Ad-Aware to get the stuff off (it doesn't) so the last gasp is to save all my photos to a CD and have Bjorn reinstall everything. It's a pain, but it's necessary at this point. What's amazing is I have nearly 1,400 MB (two CD-RW) full of photos. And that's just since last August when I backed up last. That's a lot of photos and guess who 90 percent are of? That's right. I think if I played them end to end you could actually see him age like those funky shows where you watch plants hatch and grow.

I haven't heard many new words (that I can understand) coming out of Andy's mouth the last week, but tonight, Bjorn walked in and he said, "Hi, Daddy." Seriously.

Saturday, June 03, 2006


My cousin has been figuring out her digital camera and her son is just too cute not to share his picture. Also, take a good look at what he's wearing as I'm sure you'll see Andy wearing it next summer as George's mother has been ever so kind at passing along the hand-me-downs, not to mention the advice - both things I have appreciated very much.

Race for the Free Samples

Today was the Race for the Cure in Washington. It's a fabulous experience actually to see all these folks united against cancer (although, really, who is going to be passionate for cancer. What does that platform sound like?) What's also amazing is the amount of crap that goes with such an event - there were dozens of stations set up giving out free crap - water bottles, breakfast bars, yogurt, stickers, cereal, scarves. We got a late start so we missed meeting up with my coworkers so rather than racing at all, we showed up at the finish line and milled around (it's a 5k so the racers were at the finish line in like 10 minutes). Andy seemed to get a kick out of seeing the masses and it was indeed touching to see the personal messages people had on their shirts for relatives and friends who had survived or passed due to the disease. I'm not into such public displays on emotion, but it was moving to see.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Andy + Macaroni and Cheese=L-O-V-E

Tonight Andy has his first real taste of macaroni and cheese ala Bjorn and he loved, loved, loved it. Even more so than his beloved grapes, and that's saying something. The initial plan was to go out for sushi tonight, but after my lovely coworkers took me to the fabulous Squire Rockwells for lunch, I found myself feeling somewhat sick in the afternoon and begged for some soothing pasta instead. I gave Andy a small bowl for himself and he couldn't get to it fast enough after a few bites. He had two small bowls full and even managed to eat some of it off a fork. He also managed to fling some of it off his fork. Ah, good times.

Meanwhile, Squire Rockwells brags on their Web site about their 40 item salad bar (they claim to have introduced it to Washington), but I think I've seen nicer ones at gas stations it was so icky, picked over and poorly lit. I'm not quite sure, but I think one of the items was butter. In a cannister. With a spoon. That said, the cheese factor in this place was so high, we have to go back for happy hour just to check out the crowd. It would be people watching at its finest.