Friday, September 29, 2006

King Poopsalot

Mark this date on your calendar - Andy used the potty (the Baby Bjorn, natch) today. Bjorn saw him looking like he might be ready, convinced Andy to go to the potty and then coaxed him into using it. This is the second time Bjorn has gotten him to use it (the first was pee though). It turns out Bjorn is going to be the one to potty train him. I suppose that makes sense, them having the same equipment and all.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


I find the whole process of baby naming fascinating. I had a meeting yesterday with a colleague who has a two year old named Agnes. I knew old-fashioned names were back in, but I wasn't quite sure the extent. Boy names seem to fluctuate less, so mostly girl names are the ones I notice. For your amusement, here are names of kids I know personally who have been named in the past two or three years.

Byron (of course)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Deja vu

In case you're curious, here's a link to when we visited this party back in May. He's definitely grown since then.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Guess who likes tractors?

A tooth-brushing victory

For months, I've been trying to teach Andy how to brush his teeth as the doctor recommended and for months, he's shown very little interest. This has been quite frustrating for me as he can really resist something like this very easily. I had an idea this week though. I brought a stool into our bathroom and sat him on it. Then we brush our teeth together. What's amazing is he will sit there for five minutes brushing his teeth (or at least chewing on his toothbrush). Now after his bath, I tell him to go get the stool ready so we can brush our teeth and he runs over to get it and push it into place. I feel quite smug about my victory over the non-tooth brushing wonder. Don't worry, I know this feeling won't last long.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Does this kid have great hair, or what?


I toured another pre-school yesterday and guess what? I actually liked it. The school starts at age 2 and goes up to age 5. There is actually a private elementary school across the street that goes from kingergarten to 6th grade. It's called Grasshopper Green and it's off a main street, but tucked away up a hill so you'd never know it was there. For once, the lady who greeted me was friendly and seemed to have a clue I was coming. Andy immediately sat himself down at a play table and started to check out the toys, which I thought was a good sign. They do lots of fun stuff, like talk about the weather every day and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. They also have an awesomely huge playground for a class of 18 as well as a gym down the hill where they have gym class twice a week. They have several off campus field trips to the zoo and whatnot as well as other planned activities on site like magicians and that kind of stuff. In the three year old room, they start using computers and in the four year old room, they start Spanish. I got a good vibe.

The downside is that it's not perfect geographically, which is why it hadn't showed up on my radar until a friend told me his son goes there. It is closer to my office than where he is now, but it's the other direction for Bjorn meaning I'd be doing more drop offs and pickups on the same day. We'll see. We've got another four months before he's even eligible, but I have a good feeling about it.

Friday, September 22, 2006


He sure likes his trike (which has now moved semi-permanently to the back patio), but he still can't figure out where his feet go. It doesn't help that his feet just barely touch the pedals.

Another article was published today about my friend Karen.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


I just liked this picture and thought I'd post. I've been distracted this week and don't have much to say except mothers of 20-month-olds shouldn't die. Period. Also, 20-month-olds shouldn't have to have surgery or need stitches. Period.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


To go along with our fancy new patio of 2006 and the new kitchen of 2003, we decided to renovate our bathroom off the kitchen. So I spent the weekend removing wallpaper (those who hang wallpaper should be shot), priming and painting. Bjorn removed the sink and countertop. Now we are in the process of installing a new vanity. Things are moving slowly as I can only get stuff done with Andy is not in my way. He insisted on coming in and touching the paint, knocking the cabinet and generally making a mess before crying. Granted, he is still a baby so it was foolish to think I could try to get work done with him around. I did give him a short paint roller that just came out of the wrapper and he's been carrying it around and rolling it on everything, including my face, head and eyes.

He's also obsessed with blocks and stacking things at the moment. He loves stacking blocks and knocking them down (often with his head). Last week, I gave him some chunks of cheese with he stacked on his plate as well. Bjorn says he's a born architect, but I think it has more to do with being a boy.

Monday, September 18, 2006

World of Makebelieve

It's amazing to watch Andy as he starts to develop his imagination. Lately, we've been pretending to eat off the bowls in his kitchen as well as pet and talk to his dogs, Mutt and Jeff, as if they were real pets like the cats. The thing that really gets him into fits of giggles is when we read one of his Swedish books that has a picture of a banana and an apple. We pretend to gobble it up (complete with noises) and press the piece of paper to our faces. Then the laughing commences. I love listening to his laughs. He just gets so tickled about the simplest things sometimes. I do so love watching the world through his eyes. He's like a good proofreader - he seems to catch things that I don't notice anymore.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Very sad, disturbing and shocking news

I just heard that a friend of mine with a daughter Andy's age died. She apparently had either a heart attack or pulmonary embolism in her sleep last night. Just like that. Karen was actually my first mommy friend. We first met at a childbirth class through Inova and we bonded because everyone else seemed strange since they were taking this childbirth class only a couple of days/weeks before their estimated due dates. Later, we reconnected through the Inova mom's group. Together, we cheered our sucesses, laughed at our missteps and marveled at our kids, who are a mere 5 days apart. Karen always had a light-hearted and realistic approach to child-rearing without an ounce of pretention and competitiveness making her fun to be around. She will most certainly be missed.

Meanwhile, I'm going to work with my friends to get together pictures of Karen to put in an album for her daughter. Sadly, this is the best I could come up with. It's so strange to think we spent so much time together and have so many pictures of our kids, but we never managed to actually get in the frame. Karen had actually volunteered to take our Christmas card picture this year. In her honor, I need to make sure we still do that.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

What part of no don't you understand?

It's a fact - Andy doesn't quite understand what no means. Well, he gets it when I tell him no, but if I ask him if he wants something, he automatically says no even if it's something he really wants, like to watch Jack's Big Music Show or to have a sippy cup of milk. He has two versions of no - one is the straight up, rational "no," as if you asked if he wanted crushed pepper on his salmon and he did not. The other is a whiny "noooo" that he utters when I try to do something he doesn't want, like take away his tricycle or put a toy away. I've been trying to work on him saying "yes" when that's the proper answer, but when I do, he just smiles that smile of, "You can say whatever you want, crazy lady, but I don't believe a word of it." I have a feeling I need to get used to that look.

He's picking up all sorts of more complicated words though (in addition to goddamn). He can now say football and banana. He also loves to say "wow." That one is just precious. Half the time when I give him something he wasn't quite expecting, he pauses to say "wow" in a hushed voice.

Friday, September 15, 2006

B-o-o-t-s - boots!

Last winter when it snowed, I rushed out to buy Andy some snow boots. Turns out they didn't have anything really except these adorable yellow rain boots. They were WAY too big last year and it turns out they're still too big. But doesn't he look cute?

Andy had his first curse word today. Something we should all be proud of, of course. Bjorn has been getting Andy in the morning and bringing him back to bed hoping he'll go back to sleep. In the past 20 months, this has worked all of once, I think, but that hasn't stopped Bjorn from trying this three or four times recently. The only thing that definitely happens is it wakes me up and Bjorn yells at the cats who are now awake, too, and demand attention. Today Bjorn didn't yell at Coltrane like he usually does, he just pushed her out of the way which is when Andy said "Goddamn it." Just like that and in proper context. On the one hand I'm proud he's picking things up, on the other hand, this isn't really what I had in mind meaning we have to really clean up our language now. Shit. It's like going on a diet in order to fit into a dress. You know you need to at some point, but can't that some point be later?

And on a completely unrelated point, I'm sure most of you know that I'm a celebrity junkie. It's an addiction, I admit it, but since my friends and I have aged, there just isn't anything all that interesting to gossip about. Plus, I can't get in trouble gossipping about Angelina and Brad. So while this is a guilty pleasure for me, I had no idea how mainstream this stuff has become. I was at work this week and CNN breaking news popped into my in box reporting that Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown had broken up. Seriously? That's breaking news worth broadcasting? Wednesday wasn't a slow news day either - there was the tragic shooting in Canada and bank hostages in Chicago - but the powers that be at CNN thought Whitney and Bobby was breaking news. I am very sad for America. Well, until Jessica Simpson and John Mayer get back together.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

New set of wheels

Andy now has his first tricycle. I bought it off eBay from a lady in my area for $21.06, half what a Red Flyer would have cost and probably a third what this Kiddi-o German trike would have cost (cracks me up to think there are imported German wheels even at his age). My friend Viv was kind enough to pick it up from me since she lives new the seller. Andy saw it for the first time this morning and was quite excited about it. The bad part is his little legs aren't quite long enough to work the pedals even when I moved the seat up a bit. It probably won't be too long.

It's funny, growing up waiting for Christmas or my birthday was the hardest thing ever. Now as a mother, I'm finding it really hard to wait to give Andy something because I am so eager to see how he likes it. I know, I'm such a sap.

In other exciting news, Andy can answer a couple of questions in Swedish. I would love so much for him to be good at languages since I never was so I'm pushing Bjorn to read him books in Swedish and talk to him in it as well. The fun part is I'm learning some new words, too. Skol!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Chip off the old block

A while ago my mom sent Andy these cool cardboard blocks. They're great because they're big blocks, but they're not heavy. Lately, he's really been having fun stacking them remarkably high - taller than him even - and then gleefully batting them down. The funny thing is he really likes to knock them down to the ground -- with his head. So he stacks them six or seven high and then headbutts them down. The other night, though, in his quest to knock them down immediately he dove too far and banged his head on the coffee table resulting in a bruise. He didn't seem to mind actually. I guess he was having too much fun.

My son the shoplifter

I'm ashamed to admit it, but we have a shoplifter in the house. Andy has such quick little hands these days that I'm finding after I leave a store that we've accidentally taken something we weren't supposed to. So far, he's stolen a $.99 plastic Monster truck and an $.83 pack of Crayons, both from Target and on separate days. Today at Wegman's, I had just paid when I realized he was hoarding some Cabot cheese in his hands. I was still at the register, but we'd just paid so I had to fork over the $2.05 in cash. Fortunately, I caught it this time before we were in parking lot.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

One year later

Today we went to the baptism for our friend's son Henry who was born on the same day as Andy, one year apart. It was a beautiful service with a priest that is a good friend of the family so it was all very personal and special. Henry was adorable, but we were amazed at how much difference a year makes. I remember at about that time thinking that Andy was so big and mature, blah, blah, fishcakes, and seeing Henry in the same spot a year later, I realize how wrong I was. I imagine I'll think the same thing next year.

Meanwhile, do you realize, my loyal readers, that it's been almost a year since I started this thing? I've never been good at keeping a diary so this is pretty exciting stuff. Texas plays Ohio State tonight. I think I might have to celebrate with a nice glass of wine.

Friday, September 08, 2006


Greetings, New Patio. We're glad you're here.

Cartoon Cuts Caper

I took Andy to get his hair cut last weekend. It was long overdue, but the Cartoon Cuts at Fair Oaks Mall has been closed for a few months for renovations as it moves to another part of the mall. That left going to the Hair Cuttery, which isn't so great with kids, or schlepping to Springfield Mall, which is a slightly iffy place to be. Out of a sense of adventure, I picked the mall. Cartoon Cuts did have lots of toys for him to play with while we waited, but they were all pretty beaten up. When it was our turn, the stylist promptly put in a video of Blues Clues, which while not Andy's favorite, it did keep him mildly distracted. It was a much more pleasant experience than the last at Hair Cuttery where he cried and had to be held down. Afterwards, I was so relieved that after I paid the cashier and tipped the stylist, I left my wallet. I realized my folly the next morning and Bjorn went to retrieve it for me. Fortunately, Cartoon Cuts had my wallet. Unfortunately, they took all my cash, probably $50-70. Quite a shame, too. I was hoping we could hold off on the $100 haircuts a la Bill Clinton until he was President. Based on this, the credit card folks suggested tearing up and replacing the cards.

You know, it's been years since I haven't had a credit card and it's been hard all week. I spent $500 getting my brakes fixed this week and had totally forgotten about not having any cards. Fortunately, I did still have my ATM card and actually had cash in the account. Phew. What also sucks is that because I cancelled my cards over a holiday weekend, only one replacement card has arrived. Discover, thankfully, sent their DHL so it arrived last night. The others, which promised to be here Tuesday, have yet to arrive.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Andy is fascinated with bicycles. It's actually quite cute. He'll go out of his way to go up to a bike and touch the tires, pedals, handle bars. For that, I've been thinking about getting him one. I know, I should wait until Christmas or his second birthday, but that's, like, months away and I want to see him thrilled now! Who would ever think that it's just as hard for the parents to wait for Christmas as it is for the kids? I saw one at Target that we both loved, a Red Flyer with a little basket that was so cute for $39. I was shopping for Jennifer's (gasp) 21st birthday so it didn't seem right to buy him something on her birthday. He protested loudy when I pulled him away. It was quite sad. After that, I've been researching trikes. The one I keep hearing about is the Kettrike. I did a quick Froogle search and the main version is over $200. Seriously? Americans are so crazy about their kids we'll spend that kind of money on a toy? Gah. I guess this is a country where people actually buy those $800 Bugaboo Frog strollers.

In other news, the patio was finished today. It's beautiful. It was too dark to take any good pictures so I'll just leave you with this before picture for now. The cement slab is the original. The dirt around it was excavated and then filled into before the patio was put down.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Little Swimmers = leakage

Swim diapers are a joke. It's required at most pools that kids who aren't potty trained need to wear some type of diaper, mostly to keep the big stuff from getting into the pool and contaminating the whole thing. There are a couple manufacturers of them, but most common is Huggies Little Swimmers that come in convenient Finding Nemo patterns in blue boys and pink for girls. The problem I have is that they don't absorb anything. I get that you can't use regular diapers because they're so absorbent that the kids would nearly drown with the weight of the absorbed water, but can't they absorb something?

Case in point, we went to Viv's on Sunday with the goal of swimming. Unfortunately, the cool weather sent the temperature of the pool down to a brisk 71 degrees - too chilly for swimming even after a couple of beers. Andy was already in his swim diaper and when the dogs barked and scared him, he jumped up to my knee and peed - all over himself and me. Nice. Since the diapers are just pretty pieces of plastic, it didn't soak up any on the urine so it came out everywhere. Not pretty. I, of course, had a change of clothes for Andy, but it never occurred to me to bring a change for myself. It wasn't pretty.

I think for next year (assuming he's not a brilliant 2 1/2 year old who has already potty trained himself), we're going to opt for a suit that has a washable diaper inside. Heck, it can't be any less absorbent than the Huggies.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Bye bye babyhood

My son is no longer a baby. I've been denying the evidence for some time, but it's true - he's growing up on me. Yesterday, I watched him pull himself up to the table in the basement, take out some crayons and make marks all over the paper just like he's been doing it forever (for the record - this is the first time other than me practically taping his hands to the crayon a la the Tiger Woods' Saturday Night Live skit that I've ever seen him draw anything.) He also fancies himself as my little helper in the kitchen as he can bring me things on command and put stuff in the trash. Today I took him to Cartoon Cuts for a haircut and when they called out his name, he said "An-ny" all the way back to the chair. Then tonight when I put him to bed, he said "night" back to me as I left the room. Sigh. I love how much more interactive and predictable he is compared to when he was a newborn. And there is no underestimating how great a good night's sleep is, but somehow there is something crushing about knowing that in just 17 years he's going to (hopefully) graduate from high school and leave for college. I know, I'm such a sap.

By the way, the picture above is when he was just a couple days old (hence the jaundice). It makes me laugh since I saw him kicking a football this size just today and it's way smaller than Andy now (thankfully, since giving birth at his current size would be way, way uncomfortable).

Friday, September 01, 2006

Boys and girls

Former Hurricane Ernesto is upon us and it's raining buckets outside. It's cool to watch, but we got drenched on our way to Costco earlier to stock up on diapers and other goodies. Andy doesn't seem to want to believe that it's not okay to go outside. He's plaintively standing by the door and looking sad and forlorn. We've trekked out to the carport a couple of times so he could really see the storm, but after a bit inside, he insists on seeing it again. A kid who loves storms - a boy after my own heart.