Wednesday, August 30, 2006


It's true, I have a boy in the house. I tend not to want believe that boys are generally wired for mechanics and girls toward nurturing, blah, blah, blah, but then I see my son gravitate to cars, keys, doors and anything mechanical while having no interest in babies or dolls. The toy du jour is an battery operated remote control that his sister gave him six months ago. It's a pretty sophisticated car in that it goes forward and reverse and has headlights and brake lights that turn on appropriately. What's funny is Andy insists on getting it out and then is terrified of the car once it comes toward him. He has decided the car can go by only if he's on Bjorn's knee and far, far away from the dreaded car. He can also operate the damn thing. Sure, he can't even drink a juice box without half the juice running down his face and shirt, but an electronic control? Sure, he's got that down.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Congrats to Aunt Mary for buying her first house in Austin. Andy has told me he plans to dibs one of the bedrooms as his own for when we come visit.

Beach, baby

The beach at Chincoteague is actually Assateague National Park and Wildlife Preserve. The nice thing is the feds keep is clean and in good working order. The negative is it's not right on the island (a short drive). I had good fun boogie boarding in the water and Bjorn bought a cool kite to fly. The waves were just enough for me, but Andy wasn't so keen on them. He did like the sand so long as he didn't have to walk in it. His favorite though? The shower. Go figure that we'd drive all that way for him to love that water. The hotel, a Comfort Suites, was just as I had read. It was nice enough while in the town, with a view, clean and with a friendly staff. It was a suite so we had a little more room and a balcony overlooking the Chincoteague Channel so after bedtime, we sat up watching the fishing boats and watching the bridge traffic. I also bought a copy of Misty of Chincoteague, which I reread last night. It's a corny story - good thing I didn't know that as a kid. We did see the wild horses though. They are in bands on Assateague as well as in a few places in town. The town was an ecclectic mix of locals, retirees and tourists. My favorite was the "His and Hers Seafood and Bait Shop." I guess if you don't want to eat it, maybe a fish does.
The drive wasn't bad. Andy slept a good bit and I managed to need a pit stop at just the wrong places and therefore encounted some of the nastiest bathrooms in the entire DelMarVa region. On the way back, we hit the Premium Outlet Mall on the other side of the bay bridge where Andy got some clothes for fall at the Carters and OshKosh outlets.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

We're off

The patient seems mostly recovered (fingers crossed ) and we're off. Let's just hope the long car ride doesn't make us hate each other.

Friday, August 25, 2006


The hotel is booked, the plans are made and expectations are running high so guess who decided to wake up with a fever this morning? Figures. I talked to the nurse at our new doctor's office, who was very nice. She said to keep an eye on the fever and to call if it gets above 104. No need to give cold medicine if he doesn't show symptoms, but keep up with the Tylenol or Motrin for fever relief. Oh, and expect the symptoms to start once the fever drops. This does not bode well.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


It's official - we're taking a vacation. That's right, a real vacation. We're not going to a wedding or visiting family, we're going somewhere just because it looks fun and interesting. We're heading to an island off the coast of Virginia. It looks calm and restful while having stuff to do. I'm psyched for the beach and waterfront, but I'm also quite excited to see the wild ponies of Chincoteague. I loved Misty of Chincoteague as a kid (and anything else horse related) so I hope it lives up. Same goes for the vacation in general. I'm pretty burned out right now so I'm hoping the time away does me good.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Musical genius

Parenting has opened my eyes to lots of things I never noticed before, like how milk starts to become chunky when unrefrigerated for more than four hours and the unique smell of barf that a mother knows comes with spit-up. It's also brought me around to fun stuff, like how cool it is to walk through the back yard picking up rocks, dusting them off and putting them in a plastic pail for later inspection. The look of marvel and determination in his eyes when we made that journey was pretty amazing to watch, too. I've also gotten into some decent kids television, like Jack's Big Music Show on Noggin. Heck, I'm not sure I realized Noggin existed two years ago. I've also gotten into kids music. Jack's has some pretty good tunes on it that are clever and catchy. We've also discovered SteveSongs, which is pretty good, too. The problem is that these tunes that are good for Andy because they're repetitive and engaging are also the kid of songs that stick with you - seemingly forever. So this morning I woke up with Laurie Berkner's "In my boots" song (In my red boots, in my red boots. I dance around in my red boots.)in my head only to be shortly replaced with Steve's "Gravity" songs (Down, with gravity, baby.) I love watching Andy dance so it's a small price to pay, but damn, it's pretty annoying when I'm in a meeting and I can't get "It's a Marvelous Day" from churning in my brain.

Mr. Yogurthead

For some reason, one of Andy's new tricks is to make a show of putting his hands on his head and face. Cute right? Yes, so long as his hands aren't covered in yogurt. Bjorn usually feeds him breakfast while I shower in the morning so I've had the lovely surprise of coming down to a kid with crunchy hair. He's already got hair issues so it involves quickly washing it out and recombing. It's an amusing process. A couple of times I haven't caught that he's got some crunch-wrapped hair and I've discovered while we're out that it's thicker than normal. On the positive side, it does keep it down at least.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Geri curl

It's no secret - my kid has really great hair. It's totally great in the goofy way that all kids look this age in that it sticks up a little funny half the time like he just got out of bed. He's also got a cool double cowlick like his grandfather that causes it to spike up like Dennis the Menace. For special occasions, I try to pat it down sometimes with water and brush it, but generally I let it be since I just love it. It's part of being a toddler at the moment, plus it's his thing.

What I find funny about it is how many people (mostly strangers) comment with heavy sighs about how terrible it's going to be when it gets older. Granted, I can barely think past next week so I'm not terribly concerned with his junior prom pictures, but it strikes me as odd how all these people want to "warn" me about how bad it's going to get. I guess they press on since I make it clear that I'm just not that worried about it. In a completely sexist way, I can see how a girl having a really goofy hairline could make her more self-conscious, but I figure boys get a little more latitude in this regard since they can always get a buzz cut and not have to think about it. Plus, it's his hair people, not a third arm or something truly tragic (I say, knocking on wood very quickly...)

Friday, August 18, 2006


We've been on a tear with live music lately. We used to go to lots of shows back when we were younger, cooler, single and I lived in the city, but now that we're out in the big, fat suburbs, the cool joints just aren't here. However, I've recently discovered that Fairfax County puts on free concerts on Friday nights in the summer. What fun! Andy is good for about 15 minutes and it's fun to get out for a show when it's close by and the price is right. The only bad part is the concerts start at 7:30, which is rather late for a kid who is usually in bed by 8:00. A small price to pay. Last week was a bluegrass band from Annapolis. Tonight is Irish music. It's definitely an eclectic mix of shows, but we don't care.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

What's that?

Andy's new favorite phrase "What's that?" with a point to something is really cute right now. I have a feeling it's going to get old really fast though. It's nice that his phrases are coming along. He has also progressed to saying "oh no" like this friend Jack although when Andy says it, it comes out more "oh nah" which is amusing in itself.

He's also proving to be quite interested in shoes. It's really funny to see him rounding the corner with a pair of random shoes. He hasn't been that interested in trying them on, but he's definitely interested in moving them around making it that much more difficult for me to get out of the house on time in the morning.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Mother's helper

It's official - I have a helper. Andy's new thing is that he wants to help me do things (when it's convenient and he's in the mood, of course). Tonight he helped me carry boxes out to the curb for trash tomorrow. He also likes to "help" yell up the stairs when we're calling for someone. It's pretty funny to see him waddle over to the base of the stairs and yell gibberish actually.

Later this evening, I spent a solid 45 minutes taking apart and reassembling a modular shelving thing. Andy helped by bringing me pieces I asked for and helping push the sides together. Of course, the reason I had to fix the bookcase was because I'd had it stationed at the end of his crib and lately he's been enjoying wedging his chubby shins through the slats to kick the shelves apart.

It's pretty wild to think he can understand commands and actually be useful. Next up, I need to teach him to bring me a beer out of the cooler. Now that would be useful.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Date afternoon

Yesterday we had friends who happen to have kids about Andy's age over. It was great fun seeing our friends as well as watching our kids almost play together. They're still not quite to the age where they get playing with another kid so much, but they did gravitate toward each other and played nice for the camera. Especially toward the end of the evening, the kids started interacting more. It was great fun to watch. Andy also discovered the picnic table at the far end of our yard. It's been there forever, but he's never shown any interest until last night when he casually walked down, pulled himself up and sat at the table. Just like that. Around sunset, Mia followed him down and the two of them sat there, together, in the dark for about 10 minutes (hours in toddler time). It was rather amazing. Years from now when they hate each other, it will be nice to pull these photos out.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Mommy is a fool

I made a mistake - a big one. I showed Andy how to step on a crate in the kitchen in order to watch me cook. It seemed innocent enough - this let him watch me without me having to hold him up and cook with one hand. Trouble is, now he finds the stool and uses it to hoist himself up to places. Not a good plan as it means I have to move things one level higher in order to keep them out of his way. Not smart. Sure, he would have gotten there eventually, but that could have been six more months at least.

Today we went to Wolf Trap and save Steve Songs, which was great. The music was actually quite entertaining (which is saying something for kids music) and Andy seemed to enjoy it as well. He was really jamming along the first 20 minutes and then lost interest. Still, 20 minutes is a long time for a kid his age to be engaged like this so I consider it a victory. Plus, after a long hot spell, it's now cool(ish) and breezy. Great day to be at the park in the woods.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Admit it, how beautiful is this kid? Not that I'm biased or anything.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Athletic stars

I'd just like to brag that you're talking to the 6 v. 6 indoor women's over 30 soccer champion. That's right. I'm practically Paris Hilton at this point I'm such a celebrity. Where does all this athletic prowess come from? Just check out the picture my dad surfing this week. Andy has been quite athletic lately himself. He's perfected the run (amazing how fast they go from barely walking to sprinting) and now he likes to twirl in the kitchen, occasionally with a good foot stomp to accentuate his dance. It's quite amusing to watch. He is also quite good at kicking a soccer ball (well, quite good might be an overstatement) and he's very handy putting the basketball in the hoop. He's also, sadly, quite good and putting random objects, like my cell phone, in the trash can.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


I swear Andy is this close to talking. It's pretty amazing actually. He still has a few nouns mostly that he throws out there, like cat and light, but now he's starting to put strings of words together. I swear last night he went "I want some more." Of course, it didn't actually sound like that. More "um um sum more," but still, it's there. It's like it's right on the tip of his tounge, if he could just wrap it around just perfectly. Now I find he'll give me a concerned look and then start to tell me something. It doesn't necessarily come out as something I can understand, but he's right there trying to get his point across. Rather amazing actually.

He's also getting better at nodding yes or no to things. So I can ask him if he wants milk and he'll nod yes and walk to the fridge. And, amazingly enough, tonight I asked him if he wanted to go to bed and he nodded yes.

Being a kid must be a totally weird experience. Imagine getting dropped in Siberia (or the Bahamas or Texas, it doesn't have to be cold or unwelcoming necessarily) not understanding the language or even how to communicate to get what you want. It must be totally overwhelming sometimes. I guess that's part of what makes it so special when he and I realize we can finally communicate.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Tag, You're It

Andy has figured out how to play chase and damn, is it cute. Our house is a colonial so the living, dining room, kitchen and foyer all run together in a circle so we've been practicing chasing each other around, with alternating bouts of stopping to sneak up on the other. Well, I'm usually doing the silent stalking and he's the one looking tentatively around the corner until I sneak up and grab him, to the tune of fits of laughter. I swear, the sound of a kid laughing is just about the greatest thing ever. That almost makes up for all the cleaning I had to do this weekend - almost.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Last night, we went to check out the free concert held at the lake near our house. Unfortunately, we had to drive as it's on the other side of the lake and too far to walk (the trail has so many steps to get to the other side that it's pretty tough to get there in a stroller.) The band was fun and Andy seemed to enjoy dancing (i.e. bouncing up and down). Plus, the heat has finally cooled a bit and it was a surprisingly nice night after a long week of heat.

Today we went to our second class at My Gym. I was hoping for more a tumbling class to teach him somersaults and the like, but it's more free time than that. He was tentative at first, but really started to warm up to it. Plus, the cliquey moms from the week before weren't there (surprising amount of dads this week) so it was fun.

On a gross note, my kid cannot be trusted without a diaper - ever. Until he's 7 maybe. Tonight I was going to let him get in the pool out back, but he decided to climb on top of the sandbox instead where he proceeded to empty his bowels. Yes, it was as gross as you can imagine. Bjorn cleaned him off as I got his bath ready. Then as he was standing to get into the tub, he peed on the floor. Nice.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Category>Too cute

When I give Andy something to eat and point out that it's hot, he now blows on it first. In fact, if I point out anything is hot, he makes his blowing noise. It is, in fact, precious.

Relax, Do It

The plumber came out today to finally fix a few things, including the spigot for hose in the backyard that wasn't working. That made it easy to blow up the kiddie pool my mom got when she was visiting a while back and give it a go. Since it's our own pool, I figured he could get in it naked. True to form, as he was just standing in the water, he decided to poop. I managed to clean that up before he soiled the water and was figuring we were in for a good time. Then sure enough, about five minutes later. He went AGAIN. I cleverly fished it out and as I was disposing of it, he made more poops. Seriously. This kid is a poop machine when it comes to cool water. After that, I had to drain the thing and clean it. I filled it up again and he had no problems after that.

Later on in the day (after he had clothes on), we went into the backyard and he insisted on jumping into the pool again - clothes and all. A couple hours later, he did the same thing. That thing is a magnet. He's never out in the back without me, I'm definitely going to have to drain it to prevent any possibilities of an accident.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Captain Pruneyfeet

Each night as Andy's bath is wrapping up, I pull the drain and we make a point to wave bye bye to the water. I started doing that after a friend said kids can get freaked out by the drain since they can't figure out where the water goes. Lately, he starts to wave to the drain when he's ready to pull the drain only now instead of getting out, he wants to stay and watch the water drain out and then play in the tub when it's empty. I figure it's one of the few chances he gets to be diaperless and this is the safest place with a drain nearby. The funny thing is that him lingering in an empty tub turns his feet into little prunes. It's just adorable.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Uh oh

I discovered a new thrift store near my office. It's huge and has tons of kids toys and clothes at great prices. It's like the best garage sale I've ever been to in that the stuff is well organized, clean, priced well and there is LOTS of it. Earlier this week Andy scored an awesome lawnmower for $2.92. He hasn't stopped playing with it since I brought it home. And at that price, he can have two. Assuming, of course, I have room for all this plastic crap.

On a side note, Andy loves his blueberries, but we've been told by his babysitter not to give them to him for breakfast anymore. Apparently it turns his poops black and runny. It turns out blueberries have lots of iron in them as well which also makes it tougher for him to nap. Go figure.