Thursday, November 30, 2006

Winter storm

We're in Dallas for what turns out to be the story of the season - winter weather. We got a combination of snow, sleet and freezing rain today making it look and feel like Christmas. It's sort of off actually since it was 80 degrees yesterday. That's Texas weather for you. Bjorn arrived back in town safely last night despite DFW closing temporarily due to wind shear, definitely a cause for concern. Dad and I spent the interim time shopping at the Bass Pro Shop nearby, which has a surprising selection of cool stuff, in addition to boats and other things.

Andy has been picking up tons of cool stuff this week, in fact, almost too much stuff to mention. He now yells "phone" whenever it rings and then lumbers toward wherever it is. He has also figured out how to manipulate us into giving him whatever he wants to eat rather than a more discplined diet at home. Course, he is on vacation, right? His sleep schedule is off, but so is everyone's I think. We're having lots of fun with Megan, or "Meh-han" as Andy calls her. She's a few months older, but they're starting to be at a place where they can finally play together. Well, and shout "mine" whenever coming in contact with a toy the other is touching.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


We've just returned from a whirlwind trip to Austin to check out my sister's awesome new house. Bad weather on the horizon, illness and my neice's new found ability to climb out of her pack and play encouraged us to leave today rather than tomorrow. I think we'll all like each other better after a good night's rest. We did manage to hook up with my cousins Frances and George. Photos to follow when I return to Washington.

Andy has positively been a trouper this trip with all the strange places to sleep and new faces to encounter. We're been sharing a room all week and it's actually been more fun and interesting than I would have thought. My mother lent me a book light so I keep reading once he is in bed and it's been kind of neat watching him fall asleep. Normally I tuck him in and leave the room so watching his thought process has been neat.

On the flight here, our portable DVD player broke. Dead. Just what you need on a long flight. I bought one at Academy (a coveted Coby brand that no one has heard of) that worked, but it made a really loud whirring noise - so loud you could hear it over the audio. I know, what do you expect for $69. I returned it and after two failed trips to Target (these are obviously the It toy this year), I found one at Wal-Mart. I got it home only for it to not recognize any DVD. Great. Now I've got to return that one, too. Of course, in our haste to leave Austin, I think I left our DVDs at Mary's. With all this travel, I feel like I've been leaving crumbs across the state that I'm going to be hard pressed to collect before we leave.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Sorry to the lack of photos in the past week. They're all sitting on the memory card on my digital camera. I tried to take some cute pictures of Andy and Megan today, but neither kid was cooperating at the right time. I did get some fun pictures of my dad wrestling with Andy that I'll post next week. Dad was doing the trick where he lays on his back and puts Andy's stomach on my dad's feet/knees and pulls him up. The cackling laugher was really great. My mother keeps trying to get Andy to say "grandmother" but most times he just says "no" (sometimes more emphatically than others). In fact, no has been the theme word of the weekend and the answer to everything. He went through this for about a week a couple of months ago so I'm hoping it passes quickly.

The only downside is that it's been a whirlwind few days with family visiting and I haven't had a chance to call my friends who live here. Tomorrow we're headed to Austin to see Mary's house and show Andy off to the Austin relatives so I'm planning to make my calls later in the week.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

We had a mostly uneventful flight from Washington to Dallas, despite the wind and rain in Virginia that threatened to make things delayed. We gave ourselves lots of time to get through security and then managed to breeze through in less than 10 minutes. Figures. If we were running late, it wouldn't have been so easy. Everything worked great except the DVD player refused to work on the plane. I had purposely not packed tons of toys knowing we could rely on it so it was a challenge keeping Andy busy for all three hours. He was generally a good sport although he refused to sleep despite my best efforts.

Dallas has been great for catching up with family. We had a nice Thanksgiving at my sister's and my cousin Katchie is in town from Pecos. Great fun. Bjorn leaves tomorrow and then we're on our own most of the week until he comes back for the Christmas party and flies back with us on Sunday. We've also done some power shopping with my dad today and it will indeed be a very merry Christmas. We spent some time at Northpark shopping center which in some ways is just the same as when I was a kid and in other ways, feels 20 times larger. On the contrary, Andy and I took a walk past my alma mater Highland Park High School yesterday and it seemed much smaller, despite the additions that have come since my days.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Beta Blogger

Sorry for the lack of posts, we're gearing up for our travels and have been busy trying to get everything packed and get the house in some reasonable order so when my neighbors stop by to check on the cats, they don't report us to Child Welfare Services for hoarding. Blogger is also switching over to a beta version that is giving me some problems on my computer making it difficult to log in and post. I have, however, switched over to Google Analytics which tells me who is visiting. I was using Bravenet before, which was basically just a counter. This is a counter, but it tells me random stuff, like where people are logging in from. So you folks in Austin, Herndon, Norway and St. Louis, stop staring at me. =) I don't know how it knows that, but it's really cool.

Have a great Thanksgiving and keep your fingers crossed that Texas beats Texas A&M on Friday if there will be any peace in my house.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Mr. Fastidiuos

I have somehow managed to have a kid who is bothered by a mess. If you've ever seen my house or office, you know that things being messy doesn't bother me. I like to think I'm personally clean, just cluttered. Andy however is now fixated on being clean when he eats. If he hands get messy during a meal or play, he stops to make sure I clean them. He's also bothered if the tray gets really messy. He wants me to clean that up, too. I suppose it's not a bad trait to have a kid who is clean, it's just surprising. I have a feeling he'll grow out of it.

We leave for Dallas day after tomorrow. Andy and I will be there for 12 days. Seriously, 12 days. That's so long I can barely comprehend it. I really need the break, I just hope my family isn't sick of me by the end. Well, no more than usual.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Potty training is gross

It's a fact - potty training is gross. I'm sure that sounds ridiculous reading it. You're probably thinking "Of course it's gross," but let me explain. After nearly two years of diapers, I've got it down. I can clean up the messiest diaper using only three wipes, put it in the Diaper Genie and not get anything on my hands (well, most days anyway). It's gross, too, but I'm used to it now. Potty training on the other hand, involves my son's excrement on a piece of plastic that I then need to dump in the toilet and then wash out the plastic thing while keeping his hands out of it (naturally, he wants to see what he's done). And naturally at that time, he finds a way to pee on the floor (peeing in the potty earlier apparently doesn't dampen that need).

The good news is that with minimal pressure, he's kind of figuring out potty training. Twice in four days, he's done number two in the potty. Both times he seemed to really know what he was meaning to do. I'm not pushing it on him just yet, but I try to find a time to offer it to him, usually before his bath (when he's already naked). His vocabulary is coming along, but he still can't quite communicate what he needs to do. I think that means the Kirkland Diaper folks won't lose our business for some time.

Hair apparent

Bjorn took Andy to get a much-needed hair cut last week in anticipation of our trip to Texas next week. Andy did great, but when it got to the end, Bjorn decided he'd had enough and stopped before letting her trim the back and sides, declaring to me that we would fix it at home. Problem is, asking ME to cut anyone's hair is a terrible idea. I worked on "evening things up" last night and it's like eating goldfish crackers - you can't stop at one. Now the poor kid now has more of a Marine hair cut that I'm not sure is even. Poor guy. At least hair grows, right?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Magic dust

We still have half a box of infant oatmeal left over. To try to get rid of it, I occasionally put it in yogurt and other things to thinken it up a bit. The last couple of days though, Andy has decided he wants it sprinkled on his food - whatever it is. That means his chicken breast and green beans from last night had to be dipped in oatmeal first. It's funny because it's really flakey and doesn't taste like much. We've decided he must think it's sugar.

Monday, November 13, 2006


Photo evidence of the one bath Andy had last week. The towels at our Westin were so nice (HeavenlyTM if you read all their stuff) that Andy was loathe to get into his jammies. I can't say I blame him.

Both these boys are sick today. Bjorn is actually feeling worse than the younger, but I was called home to take over so Bjorn could take a much needed rest. They're both still asleep. It's kind of precious. Everyone, it turns out, is sweeter and cuter when asleep.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Dancing fiend

This kid can really bust a move, can't he?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Fart jokes

I'm not much into bathroom humor. It seems lame to me since there are a million things in the world funnier than that. It's like a writer writing about not being able to write about anything. It's just a cop out. That said, I was shopping for a birthday present for a two-year old and came across an awesome book called "Walter the Farting Dog." It's about a dog with really bad gas so the family wants to take him back to the pound until his gas conspires to thwart burglars to they keep him. I'm not sure I get the lesson for kids, but it certainly gave me a laugh at Target.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Welcome Natalie

My friend Shelly just had her second baby. Welcome Natalie! It's funny seeing the children of friends. I find myself saying things like "I remember when you were yay high" and "You look so much like your mother/father/aunt/poodle." I do find it amazing looking at the faces of these kids and seeing their parents. It certainly makes me feel like an adult.

More pictures

My brain is still fried from a week of not sleeping so I don't have anything interesting to say. Some might argue I rarely have anything interesting to say and they wouldn't always be wrong. Like the double negative there? Andy and I took the day off to play. We visited the Hidden Oaks Nature Center in Annandale. It's in a beautiful wooded location that looked amazing with all the leaves in color. The center had lots of fun natural history stuff for kids, but he preferred the two story fort to any of that stuff. Such a boy.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Finally some pictures

I've been out of town for the past week in a blur of a big scientific meeting. Now that Andy's in bed, I'm going to shortly go to bed myself and perhaps get more than five hours of sleep. Score! This past week of late nights and early mornings and subsequent exhaustion has reminded me of when Andy was a tiny baby and sleep was so hard to come by. Since I've been gone, Andy has picked up about a dozen new words. His other new trick is pointing at every door jamb and saying "ding dong." The boys had a good week without me, but except for the Saturday night they were with me in Philadelphia, I don't think Andy had a bath all week. Natch.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A music Nazi among us

Andy has turned into a music snob. What's worse is he can't explain to me what it is he hates so car rides have turned into a battle of wills with him yelling from the back seat and me trying to figure out what he's saying while trying not to kill us both. Half the time I just turn it off and listen to him yell. It's not pleasant. I'm thinking about finding a little portable CD player for him to keep in the backseat for himself. I'm not sure about letting him have earphones yet so the ones I've come across with speakers are all too big. I'll keep looking.

His latest musical preferance is for song 2 on The Lion King CD. He dances around his room and even in the car seat to it. I'll admit it's adorable to see him bobbing around and so happy. I'm surprised how many Disney audio CDs I have in my collection. I guess I am/was a bigger fan than I thought. I do like me some musical theater though.