Saturday, December 30, 2006

Christmas after

I'm still sorting through everything. Take a look at this picture and you'll see there is a lot to get through. I'm still missing my new running shoes that I wore on Christmas morning. Certainly no one else wants them so they're clearly stuck under something in this house. I suppose that means I need to clean. With both of us just trying to get through the day all week, the house is a total mess - even more so than a regular Christmas. It's all good though. Hard to believe the long holiday week is almost over though and we have to go back to work on Tuesday. Sigh.
Updated to add that I found my new shoes. They were under Bjorn's side of the bed, where I kicked them off while hanging my awesome new curtains that match my new duvet cover. Phew. The mystery of the missing shoes was really getting to me. Now if I could just find those wooden letters.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


It's a fact - throwing diapers all over one's naked body and all over the floor in the span of about three minutes is about the most fun a 23 1/2 month old can have. Kudos, my friend, for ignoring the wealth of new toys Santa brought you and heading right for the Luvs.
Bjorn and I are both better today, but neither is close to 100 percent so at 8 p.m., we're both thinking about going to bed. In talking to folks, it seems just about everyone we know has someone in their family who has a stomach bug this week. Considering how similar Bjorn and my symptoms are, I'm wondering now if I had a stomach thing and not a reaction to the antibiotics. Either way, my stomach is still mushy. In theory, it should be making me us thinner, but we're both too bloated to see any measurable difference. Damnit. At least that would be one positive out of this whole mess.

We're bringing walkin' back, yeah (sung to SexyBack by Justin Timberlake)

My parents gave Andy a wagon for Christmas. He loves, loves, loves it. The best part is that he wants to take walks around the neighborhood again. Of late, he's had little tolerance for the stroller, which has cut down on our walks, but now that he likes being dragged in the wagon, we can start them up again. Today I even let him get out to see if he wanted to pull. He didn't and promptly climbed back in where he sat like an old lady with a blanket on his knee.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Oh, my head

Despite having a fabulous Christmas with good food, family and friends, we've been invaded by germs. I came down with a bad ear infection Saturday where Bjorn had to take me to the emergency care place to get seen. It would figure I would need medical attention on the Saturday of a holiday weekend. The very nice doctor on call confirmed that I did indeed have a "raging ear infection" and prescribed lots of goodies including antibiotics to kill the bacteria, Nasonex to clear the passages, ear drops to numb the pain and Percocet to help me deal with pain and sleep. The pain had eased by Sunday in time for Christmas Eve festivities and by Christmas Day I still had the ringing in my ear, but otherwise felt better. By Tuesday, however, the stomach bug hit. I went to work for a few hours and endured stares from people saying "Get out of here, you crazy lady, and don't get the rest of us sick." I went to the doctor who said the ear was healing up nicely, but that stomach trouble was just a side effect of the antibiotics. He said to stay on them for another week, but after a night like last night where I couldn't keep anything down, I opted against starting up again. I figure I'll kick the stomach bug and then go back to the ear infection. Bjorn has also managed to get some type of stomach bug so we've been a joy to be around. Fortunately, Andy has seemed to miss this one (knock wood, HARD). Keep your fingers crossed that today was the worst of it for us. Those last 24 hours have been tough.

I have a new appreciation for how kids with ear infections feel. The pain hurts worse than I remembered and those antibiotics really do a number on an already sensitive stomach. It might make me rethink treatment for him in the future.

In my seclusion, I stumbled upon this Web site and this rang true for me -

I love my kids. I just don’t love the actual work of raising them. Oh and the amount of talking it requires. And the public humiliation. Also, the guilt of doing this job. But otherwise I love it all.

I, too, love my son more than I ever thought possible (oh, cliche), but what she said made me chuckle. And feel better that I'm not the only one out there, especially on a day like today where I feel so crappy, who wishes for a live-in housekeeper/nanny. You know, Pam Ewing on Dallas was always touted as the nicest, sweetest, bestest mom ever and she's always handing her kid off to the nanny to put to bed.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Wretched excess

As you can see, Santa has been very, very good to us. We are a very lucky family.

Sunday, December 24, 2006


The Jul Tompte (Swedish Christmas Elf) came to our house tonight with tons of great stuff for good boys and girls. Andy made out (no surprise) with some new pajamas, a stuffed reindeer, a Little People alphabet thing, a new John Deere truck, a couple of books in English and Swedish, and a grocery cart. Unfortunately had to be put together so he could only play with pieces of it. It's going under the tree tonight so when he comes down tomorrow, he'll be thrilled. The whole day was so exciting that by the time we got to open presents, Andy was already pretty worn down and not as gracious as he could have been. We'll need to work on that for next year. The rest of the gang went on to another party, but Andy was so exhausted I stayed home and put him to bed. It was only 8:30, but I think he was asleep before I actually closed the door to his room to leave.

Tonight, fingers crossed, Santa will come so I'm trying to clean everything up in preparation. What I'm realizing though is that I'm now entering the phase of parenting where I have to stay up late putting toys together in anticipation. With the older kids, they're fine getting something in a box and putting it together, but these Little Tykes things are so complicated, they usually require the electric drill and a hammer. And often a glass of egg nog for me to calm my nerves while I try to figure out the instructions.

Friday, December 22, 2006


Last week, Andy refused to go down for his nap. I left him in there for a while to relax, well, so I could relax for a bit only to find out that he somehow pulled a picture off the wall and broke the frame. Impressive actually. So the picture is now repaired and hung in another room, but now every time he gets in or out of his crib he points to wall and says "Gone?" We explain that he broke it and now it's in another room so now he gets out and runs to the computer room and points to it and says "Gone." I am thinking I will now hang his wooden initials BAB on the wall that he loves so much (preferably higher than the picture). Unfortunately, in his love affair with the letters all I can find is one B. I've scoured the regular places and I can't find them yet. I have a feeling they'll reappear in a drawer somewhere random.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Jack's Big Music Show

Good stuff - I just heard that new episodes of the Noggin program Jack's Big Music Show are starting January 6. We're huge fans of Jack here, in fact, I think Bjorn might like it almost as much as Andy. I'm afraid Laurie Berkner gets on my nerves a bit, a shame since kids really seem to like her stuff. I prefer some of the other artists better and they never fail to have some cool musical guest star. Bjorn loves the Schwartzman Quartet best, but I think Mel is my favorite.

Only four days until Christmas. I can't wait!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The strange things they do

The good news - Andy is back to eating. The strange news - he only likes to eat if he's sitting on the kitchen floor. The other strange thing is he's attracted to baby food at the moment, like sweet potatoes and apple sauce. I can't quite explain it, but I'm not complaining since he's eating. The bonus is the kitchen floor is easier to clean than the rug in the dining room. Baby food also has the advantage of not having to be prepared.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Code Brown

Me: Bjorn, we have good news and bad news. The good news is he didn't freak out when I gave him a bath. The bad news is we had a code brown.
Bjorn: Code brown, huh? Was it near the potty?
Me: Kind of. If you consider my leg near it.
Bjorn: Your leg? I'm not sure I even want to hear how that was possible.

That's right - somehow my kid managed to use my leg as a toilet. I had him undressed and ready for his bath and was in the process of talking up how fun his toys are and doesn't he want to get in, blah, blah, blah, when he came and sat on my lap. And proceeded to use it as his personal toilet. Odd, it felt warm, but it wasn't the same as when he's peed on me. Isn't this great? I can now tell the difference in his bowel movements based on the warmth it brings to my leg. Mad skillz, my friends, mad skillz. I know you're all jealous.

On a more positive note, we didn't have any temper tantrums tonight. I took him to Wegman's in the evening to get stuff for the office pot luck tomorrow and he was a good sport. We looked at the train, played with twist ties and he was helpful in picking out what he wanted for dinner later. And then when I got home, we put him in the booster chair at the table and when I asked him if he wanted things, he nodded and then ate them happily. He even asked for "addle-sauz" (applesauce) which I understood and brought him. It was pleasant all around.

Oh, and in case you missed Saturday Night Live this week. Check out this digital video short. It was on network TV, but still, you might not view this at work.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

What a gas

After a challenging day, I think I figured out the culprit behind my son's multiple personality - gas. The poor guy had some rather colorful diapers in the afternoon and immediately started to feel better. Today he's been mostly a joy to be around. And no problems getting dressed either. That said, dinner was a nightmare. I've been letting him sit on a booster chair at the table, which he likes, but tonight everything I offered and in every manner set him off. He had been at the mall earlier with Bjorn so he was definitely tired. He also was dehydrated, as evidenced by the very dry diaper, so I'm giving him the Pedialyte type stuff. I find that stuff actually tastes okay. The Pediasure stuff, well, not so much. I ended up putting him down after only three or four bites of dinner. We'll see how the night goes with him on a practically empty stomach.

Last night we finished up with the cookies and baked them. I used the cookie cutters, which is always kind of fun except that after the first couple of sheets, I'm ready to be done with it. I have some cute Swedish ones, including the Dalahest cookie cutter. I love the way they look, but the leg mold is too thin making it tough to actually keep the legs once I transfer to the sheet. Poor one-legged horses. Andy tried to help me. I thought it would be more fun, but he spent most of the time grabbing my hand so I had to abort and come back after he'd gone to bed. Maybe next year he'll be at a better age for that kind of stuff.

Friday, December 15, 2006

What a Long Strange Week Its Been

This has been a very odd week. Andy has alternatively been a beautiful angel and a tantrum-throwing, non-sleeping mess. I did figure out he's getting his second year molars. I did venture to stick my finger in the back of his mouth this morning and felt one of them on the bottom. It was a pretty good-sized bump, but it hasn't broken through the surface yet. I have no idea if there are others popping as when I tried to feel the other side, he bit me. Hard. I can't say I blame him, I was sticking my finger in his mouth, but still. That kid has some chompers.

This morning was initially blissful as he slept until 9 am. Then he threw a tantrum from about 9:15-11. It was quite a challenge. I tried to feed him breakfast which set him off on a crying jag. After about 15 minutes, I put him back into his crib to cool off. He was chipper in like 5-10 minutes only to do the same thing when I tried to do anything - get him dressed, go outside, play with toys. I gave him a little Tylenol and that settled him down briefly. I finally got him to eat some raisins and drink his milk, but my efforts to put pants on him were fruitless. When I asked if he wanted to go to playgroup, he said yes, but if I even had pants in my hand, he would freak. In fact, once I had the door open to the carport and he saw the pants and grabbed them from me. He screamed at me "no, no, no" and proceeded to climb the stairs to his room to put them back where they go. It was funny, except for the screaming part. After a few more visits to his bed to calm down, I finally got him to eat breakfast and let me put his pants on. At playgroup, he was a doll, too. I wish I had any idea what was making him so mad other than the teeth. He doesn't seem sick, I can only think that he wants something and can't tell me. If you have any idea, let me know.

On the flip side, he's been a doll. He seems to love Christmas and we spend time each evening walking around the block pointing at the lights. Our next door neighbors have a ton of lights and he likes to walk through them all and point. It's precious. He also demands that we turn on our outside lights and the Christmas tree lights. I'm thinking he's going to be sad once it's time to take them all down. We might have to take the tree down after he's in bed some evening. We also spent time last night on the floor of the kitchen making sugar cookies. He was "helping" me stir and pour in the ingredients. It makes me smile just to think about it. Tonight we're going to roll out the dough, use the cookie cutters and do the baking. I plan to take lots of pictures.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


For the first time since Thanksgiving, Andy slept through the night. I feel like a whole new woman today. I put him down about 8 last night and kept telling him as hugged him and rubbed his back that I loved him and that his job was to sleep through the whole night and that I wouldn't see him until the morning. A friend says she tells her daughter every night that her job is to stay in her bed and sleep until morning so I tried that and it worked. That or he was so tired he finally gave up.

His vocabulary continues to evolve, must to our amazement. He does seem to put "nenen" at the end of some of his words. So the fire is really "fire-nen-nen." Christmas tree? "Chris-nen-nen. It's so cute I might have to gobble him up.

We saw Santa last night as he made his way through the neighborhood on a firetruck blasting Christmas music. Andy recognizes Santa, but doesn't get that he delivers presents or anything. We spent some time waving. It was very cute.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Very sad, shocking and disturbing news

After I had Andy, I joined a new mom's group organized by INOVA Faifax Hospital. It was held at a local church and it was moderated by a nurse who answered basic questions and assured us new moms that we could handle our new jobs as mothers. After a bit, the group dwindled as those with older babies (those with four month olds, which seemed really old compared to my six week old) left to start a playgroup. My group left a few months later for babies born November through February and if the group still meets, I'm sure that's still happening.

As such, I'm on two online message boards, one for the group of older moms and one for my specific playgroup. I'm much closer to the women I see regularly, but I keep tabs on the other group and usually get a lot from their posts. Today, though, I learned that one of the little girls in the other playgroup died. That's right. Died. She was 26 months old. The details are sketchy, but it had something to do with a GI infection. I didn't know the little girl or her mother. The mere fact of our paths crossing or nearly crossing around here for the past few years and with similar experiences makes me feel like I know them. I hate to be all melodramatic (despite what you've heard, it's not my strong suit), I just don't get it. First my friend Karen, now Joey. It is all just so, so sad. Andy has been a pill this week (he still refuses to sleep at night), but I think I need to sneak into his room and give him a kiss.

Monday, December 11, 2006


It's official - Andy can now wear 3T clothes. It's funny, it sort of snuck up on me. For the longest time, I would buy the next size up, so at 3 months, he was in 6-12 month stuff. Then after blowing past 12-18 months, we settled on 24 months. I had been thinking that 2T was slightly bigger than 12 months, but I discovered at Target this weekend that the sizes are the same (if that's true though, why bother having size 24 month and 2T in the same style? What's the point in that if they truly are exactly the same measurements?) At the airport last week, we found out that Andy weighs 29 pounds (while checking our bags, the flight attendant thought we should weigh him too for fun). With that knowledge, I started to realize that the 2T clothes stop at 28 pounds.

I realize that's a guideline, but considering my mother kept complaining him pajamas were too cumbersome to get over his arms and legs (despite my chant "They're supposed to fit snugly. It says on the label!) it is perhaps time to graduate up. So I bought some 3T pajamas by Carter's figuring the pants definitely would be too long. Instead, the whole ensemble fit. Go figure. Now the poor kid only has like four pairs of pajamas that aren't 18-24 months and most of those are in the laundry trying to get the remnants of meals past off them. Of course, tonight he decided that the only thing he wanted to wear was his Spider Man costume for next Halloween so perhaps we don't need pajamas after all.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Christmas cards

We spent about a hundred hours this morning (okay, maybe one) trying to get a nice picture of all five of us for a Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa card. The older kids were late because they sleep later and Andy was starting to need his nap by the time we finally got started. It was a little tense, but after some trial and error with the self-timer, we got a decent picture of all of us. This isn't the picture we selected, but Andy's expression sums up what we were all thinking. After we finally got a good one though, we all liked each other again.

I ordered them again from Costco. It's cheaper than Ofoto/Kodak Gallery with the huge bonus of the cards (allegedly) being ready tomorrow. With that pace, these might go out before Christmas after all. Maybe.

Andy's new thing this weekend (in addition to his cold) is his letters. A while ago, I bought the letters B, A and B, painted them white and planned to hang them on Andy's wall. It's been a while now so I currently make a point of explaing the letters to him and having him repeat after me. The funny thing is he's become so attached to two of them "AB" that he calls for them by name, rather insistently I might add. He even took a nap with them yesterday. I got him a wooden puzzle that says "Andy" for Christmas. I'd say based on this he's ready for it.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Counting in the Bath

Megan and Andy "counting" together in the bathtub. I think Megan's got the hang of it while Andy mostly thinks the words are fun to say.


Andy has decided that his parents don't need a good night's sleep any longer. For the past week or so, a night hasn't gone by that he hasn't been getting up and screaming. We've been going in to comfort him, and the last few nights he's made it clear that he doesn't want to lie back down, he wants to come sleep with us. We don't mind him in bed with us every once in a while, but we're both afraid of it becoming a more regular thing. Last night from about 3 a.m. to 6:30 a.m., he yelled. We went in at different times - Bjorn is usually better about convincing Andy to lie back down than I am. At alternating points, we let him yell it out only for him to go to sleep around 7 a.m. and stay asleep until after 10 a.m. I guess the yelling wore him out. It also, turns out, means he has a cold. Figures that us trying to enforce better sleep would happen when he's sick. Today he's been cranky and easy to upset. He's been on the Little Colds though and that stuff does it's job. Probably half an hour after giving it to him, he perks up and is more like his regular self.
I'm also trying to get everyone together tomorrow for a Christmas card picture. Of course it would figure that Andy is sick on what's probably our last good weekend day for the photo in order to get them processed in time. Perhaps we'll send Valentine's Day cards this year.

Friday, December 08, 2006

More pictures

Yup. They were tired.

Elizabeth and Megan who STILL didn't want her picture taken in front of the fireplace at Mary's new house in Austin.

With my old camp friends Mary and Hale. We look much older than in the pictures from 1985. Go figure.

Megan and her Tia.

Andy with the drum set my cousin Katchie gave him as a present.


My cousins Frances and George.

Megan wasn't psyched to have her picture taken, but she sure is pretty.

Andy and his Pop playing in the front yard. It was hysterical to watch.

Megan with her father and great-grandmother, Grammy. Grammy is 94 and is so impressive.

Here is Andy with my parents on Thanksgiving at my sister's place .

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Once Upon a Potty

There is a semi-famous book in child-rearing circles called "Once Upon a Potty." It's supposed to help kids understand soiling a piece of plastic instead of their diaper. It's actually pretty straight-forward and good, although I don't particularly like using the phrase "wee-wee" for urine. I don't know why, I just don't. We picked up a copy at the seriously awesome Half-Price Books in Dallas and it has quickly turned into Andy's favorite. He now wants to read it over and over again. I'm totally supportive of the potty plan, but the plot of this book is rather lacking. "Goodnight Moon" doesn't have much of a plot either, but at least it's a story. It seems odd to be reading an instructional book as a good night story, but as my mother always reminds me, there is no accounting for taste.

Sleep has been an issue all week. Andy still isn't sleeping through the night. Last night, he got up at four and after I calmed him down, he did not want to go back to bed. I opened the curtains and tried to explain that it was still dark and thus sleepy time, but he wasn't having it. I finally left and after about 10 minutes of yelling, Bjorn got up to convince Andy to lie down and go back to sleep. He eventually did only to have to be woken up at 7:45 this morning. Why won't he ever sleep late on a day I could sleep late?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Back to work

We've returned from our trip and I, for one, am exhausted. I think I need a vacation from my vacation. Andy was a champ on the flight home due in part to the portable DVD player (for those keeping score at home, this was the third of three that I tried to buy in Dallas. Polaroid turned out to be the winner). In contrast to our flight before Thanksgiving, lines were non-existent and there wasn't much traffic anywhere except the international baggage claim area next to ours at Dulles. I'm always amazed that people travel with huge cardboard boxes with their names on them, but I digress.

The trip to Dallas was great, lots of fun catching up with old friends and family. Andy picked up about a hundred new things, including calling his Aunt Mary "Tia" which both seem to enjoy. He also can say Pop, Meh-han (his version of Megan), and Lexie. Saying Grandmother thus eludes him, but it's funny to hear my mother try. By the end, he could almost say Cowboys, which is a must in Dallas.

The last few nights have been long ones with Andy waking up every 30 minutes for some reason or another. The night before we were in Dallas so I attributed it to the stress of the Christmas party and us sleeping in the room with him, but last night in his own bed in his own room, he did the same thing, much to the chagrin of his exhausted parents. I have a feeling it might be gas due to all the weird stuff he's been eating and drinking the past couple of weeks. Keep your fingers crossed that tonight goes better as I'm quite tired.