Sunday, December 30, 2007


My mother came this weekend to visit and help get stuff ready for BGB, who is now officially due in less than a month. We toured Babies R Us (it's been a while since I've been there) and stocked up on newborn diapers, a new Diaper Champ, some newborn nipples for bottles and lots of other things that I haven't needed in a few years. I still have some stuff left to do, like rent a breast pump and some other exciting details, but I feel pretty confident now that the main stuff is on hand.

It was really good that she was here to help me really think about what we needed to get. While I'm very ready to not be pregnant any longer, the thought of a newborn in the house is actually quite scary. A friend gave me the name of a night nurse she used a few days a week with her daughter that I'm hoping can help me a few days a week when BGB comes. My theory is that if I can avoid the true, all-consuming bone-numbing fatigue that comes with a newborn, I might actually be able to survive getting up three or four times a night for months on end. I swear after having Andy, I began to understand why slept deprivation is a form of torture. It really does mess with your head.

Speaking of my head, I am recovering from an ear infection. If you're counting at home, you'll know that this pregnancy has brought me:
1) Four months of morning/afternoon/evening sickness.
2) Stomach flu.
3) Strep throat.
4) Never-ending cold.
5) Fluid in my left ear that refuses to drain due and makes it difficult to hear.
6) Bronchitis.
7) A middle ear infection.

I'm back on penicillin and I'm hopeful this will knock it out. I went to my internist as opposed to my OB and I'm glad I did. He listened to my lungs and said it's not pneumonia, which is a relief since I've been coughing for two months. The ear was definitely infected so he gave me the antibiotic as well as some steroid nose spray that is safe in pregnancy. He hopes the nose spray will help dry up my sinuses and hopefully dry up the fluid in my ear as well. Fingers crossed.

Andy loved having my mother here for the weekend. She spoiled him by reading him lots of books, helping him work puzzles and generally being his playmate. He was sad when we had to say good-bye to her at the airport although I imagine my mother was ready for a good nap.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

I'm only posting this one of me and Andy because it doesn't look like I'm 35 weeks pregnant here. Sure, I don't look svelte or anything crazy, but I don't look, "Holy cow, you're big!" the way some people seem to think (and naturally say to me, with the exclamation point and everything). Of course, I am sitting and leaning forward, but I'll take it at this point.

The big kids looking tired as Andy is quite chipper blowing through presents and wanting to play with everything right now.

Andy opening blocks from his Grandmother. He spent a large part of the day making a car out of them blocks. Too bad his version of a car is eight inches tall and two inches wide.

The grandchildren with their Fafa after the jultompe came and left presents.

Andy, looking quite dapper in his blue blazer, oxford and gray slacks. Too bad he has decided to squint whenever the camera comes out in anticipation of the flash.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas to the enormous pregnant lady

As an early Christmas present, Andy has managed to use the potty successfully twice in two days. I still think we're a ways off full-blown potty trained and with a baby due in five weeks, I'm figuring whatever we do now will succumb to regression as he gets used to all the changes in the house. But I'm encouraged that his interest has picked up again. Certainly the fuss we make over it and the special cookies (a piece of Cookie Crisp cereal) help.

We're officially ready for Christmas around here. Andy has been loving the Christmas books we've been reading, especially the Polar Express. Bjorn has hidden lots of the presents for their big debut on the 25th and we have a separate special pile to take to his mother's tomorrow for the Swedish celebration. Jennifer and I even went out today to get our nails done -- pedicure for me and a manicure for her. If Santa looks at nails to determine if we've been good or bad, we're all set.

I'm definitely feeling more and more like a pregnant whale these days. When shopping the other day, I had to park pretty far away and found I had to pause half way there. It's wasn't that I out of breath per se, but seemed to develop some type of a walking cramp kind of thing in my side. I know I'm out of shape, but dang, that's harsh. I'm also finding it harder to sleep more than a few hours at a time (cruel irony since I know what's coming). My left ear is still stopped up and the cold is not showing signs of going away. I'm now resigned to the fact that neither will improve until after I have this baby. Now if I could just figure out how to have the baby, take a week to recover by getting lots of sleep and perhaps drink plenty of wine and THEN start caring for a newborn, I would really like that. That's possible, right?

The last piece of office furniture -- the filing cabinet -- is now out of the baby's room and into the basement until we figure out exactly where it should go permanently. Andy and I spent some time getting the baby's closet together and putting some baby clothes away. I haven't packed a bag yet, but it's definitely starting to seem more real. Yikes.

Meanwhile, as a little Christmas present from me to you, check out this really awful school picture over here. The crying kid combined with the bizarre phallic mushrooms and creepy lizard combine to make a portrait that this kid's parents will use for blackmail with friends and girlfriends the rest of his life. It's gorgeous.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas is coming!

It's so much fun watching Andy gear up for Christmas. There are still parts of it he doesn't get, but generally he's excited to help wrap presents and he loves putting presents under the tree. We have talked about Santa and he's dutifully opening his advent calendar, but I'm not sure he's put the whole thing together yet. That said, I can't wait for Christmas morning when he comes down to see that Santa has come. I'm even thinking we should leave some cookies out for Santa Christmas night to help get ready. Well, if I get around to making cookies.

It's been funny talking with Bjorn about Christmas traditions now that we have to worry about Andy remembering and getting it (or questioning us). His tradition is opening presents on Christmas Eve (when the Swedes traditionally celebrate). That evening, the jul tompte (Christmas elf) comes and leaves gifts for the children. There is usually a fun event when everyone goes out to look at Christmas lights or the moon or something and the jul tompte usually comes and leaves presents when we're gone. It's quite fun and involves lots of glogg (Christmas wine) drinking.

For my tradition though, we have stockings over the fireplace and we rush down Christmas morning to see what Santa has left us (assuming we've been good). Usually there are a few unwrapped presents from Santa and gifts in our stockings. Then we settle in to open presents from the family. Bjorn and I disagree on this part though -- I say there are Santa presents and then presents from family, but he says they're pretty much all Santa gifts. So much so that he wants to hide all the presents until that morning to make a bigger impact. You'd think we would have this all worked out with Mark and Jennifer, but by the time Bjorn and I got together seriously, they already knew about Santa so it wasn't a big deal. I think I'm okay with doing it his long as he's the one moving all the presents. I'm not quiet as helpful in my enlarged state.

My cold/stuffed ear continue to nag me, which is making me more pregnant and cranky than I think I would be otherwise. My doctor said to take Sudafed as needed during the day and Benadryl at night to try and dry everything out. It is definitely improving my symptoms and I love that the Benadryl is helping me sleep. All the drying is unfortunately making my throat pretty dry, but I'll take that over the coughing and snot making any day.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Mutt, Jeff and now Steve

When Andy was little, he fell in love with a stuffed dog. It was a cute, brown Gund, officially named a Treynor. Once I noticed the love, I made a point to order a few extras. What I didn't realize was they came in various sizes so I ended up with a few little Treynors (that bark if you squeeze them) and a bigger version. Andy saw the bigger one and had to have it, too. We (I) named them Mutt and Jeff.

That worked pretty well for a while. I had spares on hand to wash in case of emergency. It was also nice to know that if one was lost, the world wouldn't end because we had it covered.

When Andy started his new school in February, he had a whole new nap routine. To make it easier, I sent along a Mutt back-up dog for him to sleep with at nap time. That seemed to be going pretty well. Andy didn't really question why Mutt was here and there. Until recently.

Andy pressured me into naming the new dog since it was obvious it wasn't Mutt. So I came up with Steve. Random. And, of course, it stuck. Now he loves Mutt, Jeff AND Steve -- what a happy trio -- and insists that Steve go with him back and forth to school now. Around the house, he now talks to his dogs and takes all three of them with him everywhere. I am a little worried that at this rate, he's going to find the spare Jeffs hidden in the closet and he'll be carrying six matching stuffed dogs any time we leave the house.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ginger bread house

Jennifer is back from college and babysat Andy for us Friday night so we could go to my office Christmas, er, holiday party downtown. She brought along a ginger bread house and Andy was beyond excited to help her decorate it. I was actually quite impressed with his attention span with it. Of course, it was a new activity and he was excited to see Jennifer, but still. They did quite a nice job. Andy is very proud of himself for having "made" it. I swear, this kid likes to claim credit for stuff he didn't do all the time, but that's another story.

I put the completed project in the center of the dining room table and he keeps talking about how he wants to go inside the house and stay there. Sure, it would be cramped, but come on Mommy, it has a door! What else do you do with a door besides open it to go inside?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Santa Lucia

We were cool urban people tonight and went to the Swedish Embassy in Georgetown (which is new and quite magnificent) for Christmas songs, including a Santa Lucia procession where young beautiful women sing songs with candles on their heads. The weather was supposed to be nasty, causing folks all over the area to stock up on ice and snow shovels only for the area to only get a light dusting...of rain.

Andy enjoyed the singing of the Swedish songs, as did I, especially the few songs I recognized. Afterwards, we sipped glogg and ate Swedish pastries (none as good as Bjorn's mother makes) before dancing around the Christmas tree to more songs. There were tons of little kids of all shapes and sizes. Andy wore his blue and yellow Swedish flag skull cap the entire time we were there. He looked quite cool actually. I only wish my ear would unstop and I could hear things normally

Naturally, I forgot to take my camera. I am clearly in the real forgetful stage of pregnancy, which combined with my intense pregnancy-induced clumsiness, makes me a danger to be around. One month, 17 days, and 17 hours to go.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Much better

Thanks for your well wishes. Andy seems much better. He took a long nap Monday afternoon (so long I even kept checking in to make sure he hadn't died from the anesthesia. What? What's so weird about that?) Since then, he's been chipper and quite darling. Well, he's still 2 11/12 so he has his moments, but he seems to feel pretty good.

The nurse instructed us (well, me, Bjorn doesn't do baths in our house at the moment although that might have to change in a couple of months) to put cotton in his ears just until he gets the all clear in a couple of weeks that the ears have healed properly. Unfortunately, I can't seem to master getting a little cotton ball into his ear without it promptly falling out once he hits the bath water. He is also supposed to be getting antibiotic ear drops for the next couple of weeks. The instructions say five drops in each ear twice a day, but Andy is dead-set against them so it's more like two drops in each ear, each day. Oh well.

As you can see from the picture, he seems to be feeling pretty good. Here he managed to take the furnace air filters, carry them upstairs and proceed to "make a train." I'm not sure what he was envisioning exactly, but it's clear he has an imagination. He loved playing with those filters so much that I finally had to remove them under the cover of night to get them out of view. I love how strange and active his mind is right now.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Today was Andy's surgery for his ear tubes. I was nervous, but it all went quite smoothly. In fact, the folks at the Fairfax Surgical Center were exceptionally throughout and efficient. Quite an operation.

7:00 a.m. - Leave the house for Fairfax City.

7:15 a.m. - Walk in the doors for an 8:30 a.m. surgery, slightly off the 1.5 hours they recommend.

7:20 a.m. - Check in and go upstairs to another waiting room.

7:25 a.m. - Consult with the anesthesiologist who explains that it will be a general anesthesia and it shouldn't be a big deal. BUT he warns that about one in a thousand do have a reaction so they have breathing tubes and other gear on hand just in case.

7:30 a.m. - We go back into an area like an emergency room with curtained rooms to sign papers and change Andy into a gown while they check his temperature and blood pressure. Then they give him a little Tylenol in advance of the surgery to take any edge off. The procedure is technical painless, but apparently all the ear popping afterwards can be uncomfortable. Bjorn is also given a gown to wear over his clothes since he will be the one holding Andy while they give him the anesthesia.

7:45 a.m. - I'm sent to the waiting room, Bjorn and Andy head for semi-sterile toy room while they wait for anesthesia and talk to Dr. McBride about the surgery.

8:00 a.m. - Andy is given the anesthesia mask. After three deep breaths, he passes out. Bjorn is sent to Consultant Room 2 in the waiting room where we wait together.

8:15 a.m. - Dr. McBride comes to talk to us. Andy did great. The tubes are in place and the fluid that was in his ears have been drained. He's free to take baths and swim in the pool, but he needs to keep his ears plugged if he swims in less sterile water, like in a creek, lake or ocean. After this, he should hear much better. Bjorn and I look at each other wondering how much smarter he'll be now that he can hear. We are due to see the doctor again on December 26 to see how everything is going. In the meantime, he is to finish his Suprex antibiotics and also get prescription ear drops to use for the next couple of weeks to make sure the tubes stay open.

8:25 a.m. - We're taken to the recovery room where Andy is just starting to sit up. He's transferred to my lap in a lazy chair where he groggily cries for his dog and his binky. The nurse gives him a little apple juice and he and I cuddle while watching Clifford the Big Red Dog (a terrible show that Andy doesn't mind today.) The nurse explains again that he might be groggy for a bit, but that by the afternoon he should be himself again.

8:45 a.m. - Get him dressed again.

8:50 a.m. - We're given the all clear and walked to the elevator, which takes us to a door to the parking lot that is different than the one we came in. Andy is still groggy and a little whiny.

9:00 a.m. - Swing through the Dunkin' Donuts drive through to get Andy a chocolate donut with sprinkles and much needed coffee for the grown ups. As Andy eats his donut, he starts to perk up like his old self. Whenever he burps though (and apparently that is several times this morning), he complains that his ears hurt. This must be the popping they were talking about.

9:15 a.m. - Arrive back at home. We put Andy in our bed to cuddle up with his dogs and watch some Little Einsteins (or "Lil Eintines" as his calls them). He refuses to take his hat off, as you can see. I give him the antibiotics and some more apple juice.

10:30 a.m. - He's now wide awake and hyper although he alternates between hyper and saying he's not a little tired, but "big tired." Bjorn administers the ear drops, which Andy says tickle and are cold.

11:30 a.m. - We try to put him down for a nap and count our blessings that this all went so smoothly. Now if only I can arrange for labor and delivery to be this quick and mostly pain free.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

'Tis the Season

Andy is old enough now to understand the advent calendar. Well, sort of. He's old enough to understand counting numbers and the idea of opening the little windows every day (and eat the chocolate). He's not quite old enough to get the concept of what he's counting down toward per se, but it's still fun each day to see him open his window. It's pretty darn cute.

Saturday we had Andy's sibling class at Virginia Hospital Center. It would have been better had we arrived on time and/or not spent 10 minutes trying to locate the room for the class considering it only lasted about an hour. But Andy did instructions on how to gently hold a new baby (using a doll) and sing it a lullaby. We also took him on a tour of the labor and delivery and post-partum floor. We'll need to know where that is soon enough.

We also saw the nursery. The lovely nurse teaching the class warned that we might not see any babies in the nursery since they "really encourage rooming in," but there must have been at least 10 tiny babies in there. Intellectually, I know how small they start out, but it was a good (and scary) reminder to actually see hours old babies. I think it's finally hitting me that we're going to have a tiny baby sometime next month. Wow.

Andy has been a darling most of the weekend, including getting his hair cut (quite short) this morning. In all this cuteness though, I know his ear surgery is tomorrow. I'm trying not to worry about it, but it sort of lingers in the back of my mind. We had the pre-op appointment on Friday with his pediatrician who is always exceptionally nice. She gave me some basic advice, like how it's hard for mothers to watch the anesthesia take effect since the kids often look like they're dying even though they're not (funny, the surgical nurse who called to give me last minute instructions said the same thing). The surgery is tomorrow morning. I'll post something when I get a chance letting everyone know how he's doing.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Last weekend, we went to another birthday party at the Pump It Up indoor moon bounce. Andy was more excited about it since he'd been the week before, but he still was timid about going on the slides. Fortunately, Bjorn came with me this time so he was able to coax Andy onto a couple of the slides and get him into it. Andy has since been asking about going back to the moon bounce place every day.

The first picture is of Bjorn on the ride. Dang, those slides are fast. I was bitter that I couldn't really jump on them myself since clearly they're sturdy enough for adults. The slides are really quite fast for anyone who weighs over 100 pounds though. All the adults that went down the slides found themselves not stopping at the bottom as is intended by the bumper at the end, but instead halfway across the room. It was really fun though. We decided they need to open it later in the day and serve drinks.
Meanwhile, this second picture cracks me up because it seems like Andy is purposely not listening to the instructor that was telling them what to do. Likewise, Mia looks downright pissed to have to endure the talk.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Andy brought this home from school this week. From what I gather, it's a little baking tin with some purple baking soda-esque paste in it -- it's still a little mushy, but not wet. Then there is a purple fuzz ball off to one side and on the bottom, is the Little Jack Horner rhyme:

Little Jack Horner sat in the corner
Eating his Christmas pie
He put in his thumb and pulled out a plum
And said, "What a good boy am I!"

Is that supposed to be a Christmas pie with a plum in it? Random. And pretty scary actually. Bjorn wanted to throw it away immediately, but I rescued it in order to take a picture. It will soon make it's way to the trash again. Before you get outraged, I do try to keep a lot of his art, certainly for a few days at least, but some of it is just so bad that it has to go very quickly.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

What? Is a baby coming or something?

Just today, my friend Jenn returned a bunch of Andy's stuff and my cousin Frances sent me some stuff from her daughter. On top of the crib we already had, glider I bought from a friend, rug Bjorn bought, shoe moulding I installed and a dresser, suddenly the room is looking just about ready for a baby to go in it. How crazy is that?

What's weird is with all the baby stuff taking over the house in combination with all the Christmas decorations out, suddenly my house is feeling exceptionally full and disorganized. I'm not especially clean and organized to begin with so that's saying something. It just seems that in every room there is an extra chair or table -- hopefully temporarily.

And since I'm clearly nesting (and therefore somewhat hyper and manic), what stinks is that a lot of it is too heavy for me to realistically be lugging up and down the stairs. That means my frenzy is dependent on someone stronger than Andy being around and willing to move things for me at a moment's notice. Yeah, Mark and Bjorn don't think that is getting old at all.

One month, 28 days and 15 hours to go. Not that I'm counting. (Actually, I'm not technically counting either, but my Yahoo! widget is counting for me.)

In case you're curious, this is what the room looked like a couple of weeks ago.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

More antibiotics

Andy goes in for his ear tube surgery a week from tomorrow. That didn't stop him from developing yet another sinus infection (as identified by the prodigious amounts of eye goo he had this morning) and reinforcing that this in indeed the right thing to do to keep him healthy and happy. Once we saw the goo, I put in a call to the pediatrician's office who called in a prescription for Suprex (at a cool $50). Hopefully that will clear him up until the surgery when the new found ear drainage should help prevent every cold from turning into something more severe. In this case, I think this is the same infections he's had for weeks that we just can't seem to get rid of.

As he's on his antibiotics, I am on amoxicillin for the cough I've had for weeks now. The doctor said it sounded like bronchitis, but she's an OB and not necessarily an expert at diagnosing regular stuff like this. I haven't noticed a difference since I started taking the medicine on Friday, unfortunately. It could be that like Andy, I can't seem to shake illnesses these days either. Apparently pregnancy weakens my immune system so that my body won't reject the fetus as a foreign substance. Yet another side effect I'm having these days. I'll admit it's been tough, being big and pregnant (read hormonal and cranky) is trying enough without adding on all the infections that make it harder to get through the day and sleep at night. The most irritating thing about this most recent illness is my left ear is totally stopped up so I have difficulty hearing as well as telling if I'm talking too loud. At least we're coming into the home stretch -- only eight more weeks to go to my due date. And that means just five weeks until I'm 37 weeks and considered full-term. Yay! (And shit! There is a lot to do between now and then, including Christmas.)

Meanwhile, I'm on Bjorn's computer tonight and found this old picture of Andy. I think it's from summer 2006. I love how round and babyish his features are. And I laugh to think I thought he was ready back then for finger painting. If I recall, he really only succeeded in getting his hands covered in paint and never really got the point of drawing on the paper and making a mess everywhere.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Starches, sugars and carbs, oh my

I failed my glucose test, that lovely test where you have to drink a bottle of super sweet, flat Fanta-esque orange drink and then get your blood drawn to look out for gestational diabetes. Apparently I was borderline, coming in at 134 when the cut-off is 130. My sister was right, apparently until a year ago it was 140, but they recently dropped it back to 130. Great. That meant I got to back for the three hour fasting glucose test where I have to not eat anything after midnight the day before, get my blood drawn, then drink the Kool-Aid and have my blood taken again at one hour, two hours and three hours. It was pretty grim.

My sister advise me to really hunker down and have a good diet this week in preparation. I think that's slightly cheating, but as she said, if I don't do it now they'll make me do it later. I was even holding back from the Tootsie-Rolls that my office mates have around the office, which is hard for me. While I don't much care for dessert, I do love candy. Drinking the glucose wasn't that bad, I got fruit punch flavor this time, not the orange that I've had before.

It was sort of interesting hanging around a doctor's office. I brought plenty of work to keep me busy, but I love to people watch and wow, is that fertile ground. Things were packed again, apparently Fridays are their busiest day with all the doctors in the office (normally someone is at the hospital). Plus, apparently Fridays are the chosen day for folks to schedule OB appointments since a lot of government workers have compressed schedules. There were several men there to support and a few kids with dads, probably to see the ultrasound. At the peak, there was a problem with enough seats, but this time men and other women were fighting to give them up to a pregnant lady. I must have just gotten there on a good day.

It was also interesting to see all the drug reps stopping by to hand out free samples of vitamins and other things. I counted two in an hour at one point. They all look the same - women in their mid-30s and 40s wearing tight fitting work suits, carrying a PDA and rolling a suitcase.

I got my OB visit in while I was there. BGB is now head down, but again she was refusing to look at us so I haven't gotten a good look at her face. It's pretty cool seeing the ultrasound now. In the beginning, it's just a speck on the screen and now she's so big her body won't fit on the screen. She's definitely looking more and more like a baby which is pretty amazing. I didn't get a lot of ultrasounds with Andy (my old OB was pretty old school and didn't have a machine in her office) so it's fun to see her develop as all I can see day to day is my belly growing and moving. The other bonus of the visit was I had gained less than a pound in the last three weeks. Score! Some earlier appointments were quite disheartening in the weight gain department making me fearful I'd end up with a 20 pound baby so it's nice to know the tide might be ebbing a bit. I wonder if that means I'll get to stay in the clothes I'm in for the duration.

Speaking of duration, I'm at exactly the two month mark until my due date. Not that I'm counting for anything.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pictures galore

Now that I have a new camera, I've been taking a lot more pictures to try to get used to how it works. No sense practicing on BGB when she comes, I need to get my practice now so I can make sure to document every 15 minutes of her life, much like we did with Andy. I swear with the ease of digital photography we could almost put all the pictures of Andy in a row and watch him age before our eyes. That would be kind of cool actually.
Andy and I walked down to the park last week to check out the playground and feed the ducks (and play with my new camera). Those specks in the distance are the birds. Andy is waving the bag at them telling them we have food. As you can see, the response was not immediate.

We had two stale hot dog buns to feed the ducks. I gave Andy one and instructed him on tearing off bits to throw into the water. He them promptly threw the whole thing in. At least he hit the water.

The ducks, er, mostly geese once they finally came around. The buggers were pretty aggressive so after a bit, I had to shoo them off with my feet to keep them from chasing Andy. By the end, he was karate kicking at them to keep them away. Rather amusing.
This one is out of place with the others, but I liked it anyway. Here Andy is after a bath where he declared it was "too cold" and promptly curled up in the hallway. I'm not sure why exactly either, but he wasn't so cold that he didn't want to smile for the camera. This kid sure loves to mug for the camera.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Nursery 2.0

We (actually, Mark and Bjorn) spent a good part of the weekend clearing out the computer room to make room upstairs for a nursery again. We now have both computers in the basement and the room is empty except for my non-maternity clothes and a massive filing cabinet. Both will have to move before too long, but the bulk of the work is done.

They also got the crib out of the attic. It all looks so small seeing it again. I need to get out and find a rug for the room though. With Andy, the room still had wall-to-wall carpeting, but it was old to start with and pretty nasty by the end of it all. So when when we switched Andy's into a bigger room, we exposed the hardwood floors. They're in good shape, but I think something warmer on my feet would be good for all the late nights and early mornings in winter.

As you can see, we still have to put the crib et al together, but at least we have the space to do it. Plus, unlike last time, the crib is in six big pieces and not 30 little ones so it should be easier to put back together.

We went to a birthday party at a place today in Manassas called Pump It Up that is a huge indoor moon bounce with slides. The kids liked it, even Andy who is afraid of moonbounces got it and jumped around a little bit. The odd thing was that they made us sign a waiver saying we wouldn't sue if we got hurt. Then as you approach the room, there are signs saying by entering, I understand they are not liable if I or my dependents get hurt. They even have a training video to watch so you understand what you're getting yourself into. I know America is litigious, but wow, this was pretty over the top, it seems.

We've been on a birthday party circuit the last few weeks. So much so that Andy is now asking about his birthday party (he has asked both me and Bjorn if we can come). This is posing a bit of a dilemma for me. We haven't really done a party for him in the past, but he'll be three and this year he knows not only how old he is, but how birthday parties work. So I feel like I really have to throw him some kind of a party, but on January 11, I'm going to be 9 months pregnant and most likely uninterested in a huge party. I've been thinking about just inviting 4-5 friends with kids Andy knows over for a small party so he can do cake and celebrate, but where do I draw the line? In January, it will be winter so inviting five families means at least one adult and one kid, possibly more. Then adding in some family it will easily get to be 20 people. So much for a small party. Thoughts? Tips? Drug suggestions?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Christmas card

Here's the top (and so far, only) contender for the Christmas card this year. The sun is a little too bright in the background, but I think everyone looks pretty good. It's too bad Andy is looking the other direction, but he's smiling at least. What do you think?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

It's been a nice day and we have lots to be thankful for, like good health, family, friends, jobs and a seemingly healthy baby girl wiggling inside my belly. Then the extras, like the Cowboys going 10-1. Granted, it was the New York Jets, but I'll take it.

We went to the house of old family friends of Bjorn's for omelettes and Bloody Mary's before coming back to get ready for dinner here. We had a thin crowd, just the three kids, my brother-in-law and us, but it was nice, friendly and low key with some amazing food.

Andy picked today to be too hyped up to nap. He's so exhausted now he can't sleep. He wore his blue blazer today as did his father and they looked quite darling. I also got all three kids to pose for some Christmas card possibilities. I like the idea of getting the whole family in the picture, not just the kids, but with my ever-expanding waistline that causes bitchy women to ask if I'm having twins, I opted out of that this year. Next year...
I'm still getting used to the new camera. I only took 70 pictures today and blew through two more batteries (at least they're AA). It's so much more powerful it requires me to actually think. What's up with that?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Things NOT to say to a pregnant lady

I'm not a delicate flower. I like to joke and have a good time. But being an enormously pregnant with the knowledge I have many more weeks to go, I am a tad cranky (Bjorn would disagree over the "tad" part). It doesn't help that people can be total morons when it comes to talking to pregnant ladies. Here's a list of things people have said to me recently that I would safely put in the "avoid" column.

  • Don't ask if I'm having twins. Hahaha. That's so NOT funny.
  • Don't tell me how big I'm getting. I know that. While I'm excited about the reason, the actual getting big part actually doesn't feel that great and comes with a host of side effects.
  • Don't tell me stillbirth stories. Bad things happen, I get it. Really. I'm also worried about it so, please, don't give me more things to worry about that I might not have thought about already.
  • Don't tell me how terrible labor and delivery is. I have done it once already and wouldn't recommend it in a Zagat guide or anything, but it's sort of unavoidable. If you've got good advice, like how it was helpful to take a class or bring a book to the delivery room, great. But don't just tell me how terrible it is. At this point, the kid is eventually going to have to come out one way or the other so why give me more to worry about?
  • Don't tell me how hard it's going to be to have two kids. I'm terrified enough of the prospect. Again, tips are useful; blanket statements that scare me are not.

There is a lot of fun stuff to talk about when having a baby. Like clothes and gear. Like stupid baby names (Apple or Pilot Inspektor anyone?) Like what crazy thing my celebrity pregnant BFF, Nicole Richie, has done recently.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

New toy!

As an awesome anniversary gift, Bjorn got me a new digital camera. To be exact, it's a Canon PowerShot SX100 IS which is tons more powerful than my Kodak EasyShare DX7630. It's so much more powerful and fancy that I still haven't figured out how to use it properly. But when I do, stand back (even Andy looks scared here of what can happen) because it's going to rock the house. I'm pretty excited about it.

I've even been reading the manual for this one because it's so much fancier than just pointing and clicking (and I know once I figure it out, I'll be able to do all sorts of neat stuff). What's funny is it uses terms I used to (almost) have a handle on, like ISO, shutter speed and aperture, but with the last few cameras I've had, they have been so simple I didn't have to bother. Now I'm finding I need to look up what they mean so I can use it right (sure, the manual has 12 blank pages for "notes" but they couldn't include a basic glossary of terms?)

Friday, November 16, 2007

The cool and not so cool

We got the word at the pediatrician's office today - Andy's long-running ear infection is refusing to clear up after three rounds of antibiotics. Based on his ears' performance refusing to clear up last spring when colds were less common and now that we're going into cold and flu season, she says it's time to get the surgery to put in ear tubes. Everyone I've talked to whose child has them raves that it has made all the difference in both their kids' temperament improving because their ears don't hurt and then the kids avoiding being sick going forward, but it's still something I was hoping to avoid. Rats.

I called the surgeon and we're booked for December 10. It sounds like a quick procedure. They said he's put under a general anesthetic delivered through a mask. Then we leave the room and about 10 minutes later, we're brought back into the recovery room where he wakes up minutes later. Our pediatrician said some kids are able to take a nap and go to daycare in the afternoon, but I don't think we'll test that. Now I've got to figure out some of the follow up stuff, like do I have to plug his ears for bath time and swimming? He refuses to put his head under water in the bath or pool at the moment (as you can see, he prefers "cooking" instead), but I imagine that won't last forever.

Meanwhile, my earlier post on men refusing to give up a seat to a pregnant lady at the OB's office got me a shout out over on DC Blogs. I feel so famous. Thanks to Chris for telling me about it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Just ignore the pregnant lady

I went to the OB's last week. It was a regular 28 week check-up, complete with glucose test (to my surprise, the orange drink didn't taste so bad.) It was a Friday so I had Andy with me. The doctor's office was unusually full. There are probably eight chairs in the waiting room and all eight chairs were occupied -- two by men. I checked in, noticed there was no seat and had to stand there with Andy for about five minutes before one of the guys had his cell phone ring and he got up and left. Apparently being great with child and with a toddler doesn't get you a seat any more.

Seriously, guys, it's an obstetrician's office! I know you're not there because you're the patient. Plus, both of you were probably 30-years-old or so. I appreciate that you're nice enough to go to the doctor with your wife/girlfriend, but being a little less self absorbed would be a good thing. I was also surprised one of the wives/girlfriends didn't nudge a guy out of his seat.

When I went back to the exam room, I mentioned to one of the nurses that they ought to get more chairs. Her reply, "Or one of the men could GET UP." That made me think about how awesome it would be for one of the big black nurses to burst through the door and make a skinny white guy get out of his seat.


Andy has been a darling this week. I don't know if his ears feel better or if he's just in a better place, but I haven't felt like smacking him once in the past few days. Well, I take that back. Monday night he decided to wake up every 15 minutes and scream for one of us. That wasn't so great. I don't think he's having night terrors since he seems more or less awake when one of us goes in, but they might be scary dreams. I think he's really starting to dream and sometimes he wakes up and in confused about what's going on. I have tried to talk to him about what dreams are and seeing things in his head/eyes when he's asleep, but I'm not sure it registers.

Despite his (and our) lack of sleep, his language continues to pick up. His new word is dangerous. Bjorn and I are both impressed since it's three syllables and he seems to use it properly. He can also spell a few words, like stop signs, "S-T-O-P means STOP!" Bjorn even taught him that T-A-R-G-E-T spells Target. I took Andy over the weekend and he spelled and then read it to me. I was most impressed that he was really reading until Bjorn said they'd practiced it. Still, he's making progress. It's pretty exciting.


Today is our nine-year wedding anniversary. How crazy is that? We looked at pictures from the wedding over the weekend. My, how young we looked.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The one where "throw-up" enters the lexicon

Andy threw up last night. It was an impressive move really, he was sitting in my lap in the dining room as I tried to get him to eat some apple sauce while he complained that his tummy hurt. Then he let loose. All over my leg, all over himself and the floor (thankfully, we'd taken the rug up in the dining room last year). Andy hasn't thrown up in a long time, probably a year, so he didn't really know what was happening.

"It came out my face!" he said, somewhat proudly after we all calmed down and cleaned up. The one shot seemed to improve him quite a bit. He was cheerful and playful almost immediately afterwards, which was good since we had reservations to go out for our anniversary (nine years!) and Mark was already lined up to babysit. Fortunately, Bjorn talked me out of immediately calling to cancel our reservation because within minutes Andy was seemingly back to normal. The cause, we decided, was that Bjorn only fed him gummi bears earlier in the day at Mark's football game and by the time they got home, Andy was tired and cranky so he just put him down for a nap without anything better to eat so when he did eat something, it didn't sit well. Lovely. The good part was he was fine the rest of the evening for Mark and we did end up getting out for our anniversary dinner.

The funny thing, though, is he keeps talking about how he threw up "yesterday last night." He also has discovered that we jump through hoops when he tells us his tummy hurts so he's been saying that a lot today whenever he wants anything. The kid's not stupid, that's for sure.

Tomorrow is Veteran's Day. I've never worked for a company that has the day off, but Andy's school is closed so I'm taking it off anyway. If I were smart, I might get a jump on Christmas shopping. Or better yet, a jump on cleaning up the computer room in preparation for the big computer move in 10 days. I have a feeling neither is going to happen.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Who says dancing in a circle while singing isn't cool?

This video cracks me up every time I watch it, partly because of how ridiculous it is and partly because being 2 3/4 means that running in a circle chanting nonsense is fun. I should point out that his hair is particularly awful though. He had picture day at school and in getting his cowlick to stay in place, they put a little product in it that apparently had a chemical reaction with the Santa hat, causing it to stand straight up.

Merry Christmas

In cleaning out Andy's closet, I came across a Santa hat that I believe was Bjorn's growing up. My mother-in-law found a box a couple of years ago when she was moving full of 40-year-old baby stuff and, being the pack rat that I am, I have been trying to salvage whatever of it I can, including this hat. Andy put it on a few nights ago and proceeded to dance around the room. I have some hi-larious video to upload later when Blogger speeds up a bit of him dancing to his own song as he prances around the room. More blackmail material it's so cute.

What I like about this picture is he's naked except for his diaper, his Santa hat and all the spaghetti sauce all over his face (it was right after dinner and just before bath time). Well, that and he's just got a great smile that makes me smile looking at it.
BGB seems to be cooking along nicely. I swear she can kick me in the hip and in the boob at the same time, making me think she's 20 inches and 10 pounds already. The movement is cool and always reassuring, but there are some times (like when I'm trying to get comfortable in bed) that I want her to pipe down in there. I'm also really started to feel like a whale, having trouble getting in and out of bed, and dropping stuff constantly. It scares me to think that I have 10-12 more weeks of this when I'll just get bigger and more uncomfortable.
At this point, it's sort of a toss up. I know having a newborn is going to be tough, especially with an active (and often cranky) three-year-old in tow. But the backaches, muscle aches, leg cramps, weird dreams, water retention, clumsiness and enormous belly are all making me anxious to get to the next phase.

Monday, November 05, 2007


In the last two days, Andy has gone from calling me "Mommy" to calling me "Mom." It's fine; I really preferred "Mama" over "Mommy" anyway. But now that he's doing it, it seems so grown up somehow. "Mom" is what teenagers call their mothers, not nearly three year olds, right?

My darling angel child has been back today. Sure, he's still clearly 2 3/4, but his mood has been lighter, the fits less frequent and generally he's a joy to be around. We spent the evening moving an old dresser from Mark's room into Andy's. The dresser Mark had needed repairs, plus the drawers are annoyingly small for a grown up. For a kid, they're great. I managed to have enough drawers to segregate the pajama tops and bottoms by sleeve and leg length and still have tons more drawers so it's actually somewhat practical with a kid this age. And for Mark, Bjorn got him a taller dresser with four really big drawers that not only works better, but is a lot more useful. There is one short dresser that we moved from Andy's room into into BGB's (Baby Girl Bennett) room. We're getting close (well, 2 1/2 months) to needing to have the room set up. Yikes!

Sunday, November 04, 2007


Andy is getting more an more persistent about things, which is surprising, charming and annoying all at once. Here's a recent dialogue:

Andy: I want to watch Thomas.
Me: After breakfast, you can watch one Thomas. Then you can help me in the yard.
Andy: NO! I want to watch Thomas NOW!
Me: Holding back a laugh. Why don't we have breakfast first?
Andy: NO! I want Thomas first!

This goes on and on until we come to some agreement or one of us wears down. Charming, eh?

To the right is a not very good picture of Andy wearing his new blue blazer. My friend Laura works for Macy's and scored us a great discount on a blazer so now he can look just like his father and brother. Plus, now I have something dressy for holiday stuff. The kicker though is just how darn cute he looks in it! It's a 4T so a bit too big still and I need to find the right shirt to wear underneath (a Child's Place sells plain white Oxfords, but I want to find one that's permanent press as ironing a shirt for a kid seems senseless).

Last year I had good luck at Wal-Mart of all places that sold a permanent press shirt complete with a tie that Velcros (Velcroes?) at the back of the neck. I looked a few weeks ago, but at the moment I think it's too early in the season for the holiday wear to be out. Then again, all the stores here have taken down their Halloween decorations and gone straight to Christmas so maybe now is the time to shop after all.

What's scary is I'm having this much fun dressing a boy. Imagine with a girl all the fun I'll have with Mary Jane's (apostrophe or not? I struggled...), tights and velvet dresses. So long as it's not pink.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Antibiotics here we come

It's official - the never-ending ear infection is back. We went to the doctor's today who confirmed that he still has an ear infection and that's probably building up infection in his sinuses, causing the eye goop. Way better than pink eye, but it does mean we're back on this treadmill again. When asked about tubes, she said that the infection may be starting in the nose and sinuses, but it can't drain through the ears properly which is why he's still sick. The plan is to try another round of antibiotics (this time amoxicillan/Augmentin) and see if we can't clear it up without surgery. But she did say that this kind of perpetual infection this early in the cold and flu season doesn't look good. Sigh. One more thing to worry about between now and the end of January.

The only good news is that apparently his ears are so red, she said they most certainly hurt. And that's good because it means my kid is not the demon he has been portraying lately, he's just uncomfortable and I can help alleviate that.

Meanwhile, check the porn shot I posted. He really wanted to wear his boots the other day as I had him undressed for his bath. He looked so funny clomping around that I took a couple of pictures. I found I actually had to delete one that showed his boy parts because it just looked so, so wrong somehow -- naked except for yellow rain boots and posing. So I made him put Jeff on his lap to at least cover the money shot. I still think this will be properly humiliating when he gets older. I see rehearsal dinner slide show written all over this one.

Happy Halloween

I rushed home from Los Angeles to celebrate Halloween to find that Andy's sinus infection (or goopy eye, running nose and cough) appear to be back, putting him somewhat in a cranky mood. We didn't tour the neighborhood, but Bjorn was able to get him into his costume and the boys sat on the porch and handed out candy. I already had a follow-up doctor's appointment scheduled for the afternoon so we'll just go to that to have his symptoms looked at again. Of course, I'm already worried that this means we'll be going through another series of ear infections that will ultimately lead to getting tubes in his ears. I know, I know, there is nothing wrong with tubes, it's just if we can avoid a surgery - however minor - I'd prefer to do that.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


I'm heading out of town (and, naturally, toward the blazing wildfires of southern California) so I'm posting this video mostly for me. He's been having a week of monster temper tantrums so it's actually quite nice to see video evidence him acting like an adorable and reasonable little boy here rather than a kid willing to throw himself down in the school parking lot screaming that he does NOT want to go home.

After this trip, I'm home for the duration. I am about to hit my third trimester (finally!) and the countdown is almost under the three-month mark. Sure, that's still many, many days left; days where I'm only going to become more and more enormous, but it's nice to see the finish line appearing ever so far off in the distance. Once I get back, I need to spend some time cleaning out the computer room in preparation for moving all the equipment down to the basement and turning this into the nursery once again. I'm rather looking forward to it. Well, right now anyway.

Meanwhile, I tried in vain last night to get Blogger to upload this successfully, but it turns out it's not good at videos over a few seconds so I had to go back to YouTube. Let me know if you have any problems.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What Would Miss Manners Do?

Recently, Andy was invited to a birthday party for a friend of his who will be turning three next month. Shortly thereafter, I got an e-mail from the hostess to the guest list telling us that the party location is relatively small and therefore other siblings (mostly youngest) are not invited. She copied all of us so that we would know who else was invited to make babysitting arrangements.

Having only one kid, it didn't really occur to me about not inviting the other siblings, but upon thinking about it, I did recall a friend complaining that her four-year-old daughter's party at the Little Gym ended up costing $200 extra because parents brought other siblings and they went over their allotment of kids at the group rate.

The whole thing was interesting and made me wonder what Miss Manners would do. I know for adults, the deal is you put on the invitation the names of who you want to invite. So if Bjorn and I are invited to a party and Andy is not, the envelope would be addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Awesome, not Mr. and Mrs. Awesome, Mr. Andy Awesome.

But for kids this age, obviously the parents have to be invited, too. Do you get that specific on the envelope? And what if you know the kid, but not the parents? I'm glad this isn't a problem we've run into, but it made me think. You're thoughts?

Monday, October 22, 2007

On the mend

Amazing how a course of antibiotics can do a body good. After Andy got his first course Saturday afternoon, by Sunday morning his eyes were goop free and even his nose had started to clear up. He was still a little ornery, but generally his symptoms were much improved. What a relief. I'm still washing my hands every 15 minutes to make sure I don't catch anything else, either from him or life.

Going into the marathon that is work for me for the next week, I know that working 16 hour days is tough enough without getting sick. And of course, being 6 months pregnant is going to make me tired enough as it is. I just can't wait for it to be November 1 and this busy season is over for me for another year.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Infection: 39, Maternal Instinct: 2

Once again, my maternal instincts have been trumped by the all-knowing infection family. Turns out Andy didn't just have a cold, he has a massive sinus infection complete with two ear infections. Although he first showed signs on Wednesday, the only thing particularly notable about this cold was the fact that his eyes seemed, for lack of a better word, goopy. At first they were really watery, but that turned into eyes full of "sleep," in fact, so full that we had to put warm compresses on his eyes to get the goop to soften and come off.

I have been so totally swamped with work (which will end, more of less in two weeks, thankfully) that I couldn't get him to the doctor yesterday. In fact, I kept looking at him, gauging his demeanor and figuring it was just a cold. By last night though, I finally got a chance to Google "mucus and eyes and cold" only to find about four dozen entries on pink eye, which apparently can be caused by a cold or other infection. "Great. Just friggin great," I told myself. "Now not only is he sick, but he's got something super contagious. Is my eye itching?" It would be just my luck with this pregnancy to end up with the stomach flu, strep throat AND pink eye.

Bjorn took him to the doctor's this morning. Apparently they have sick only walk-in hours from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturdays. The diagnosis was a sinus infection with a double ear infection with the possibility of conjunctivitis (she wasn't going to do a culture because apparently the treatment for both the sinus infection and the conjunctivitis is antibiotics). So he's now on Supramax to the tune of $50 for a 10 day supply (damn my new Aetna insurance bites if antibiotics cost that much). The doctor expected that by the third dose, he would be much, much better although we have to come back in two weeks to get the ears looked at again. I just hope this doesn't turn into another string of ear infections that we just can't cure like last spring.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Patient

Andy is still sick today. He did sleep better last night, as did I since Bjorn got up with him twice while I slept through the whole thing. Poor guy still has fever, runny nose, goopy eyes and loose stools, but generally he's in pretty good spirits. Bjorn stayed home with him most of the day until I got home about 3 p.m. so Bjorn could head to the office. Fortunately, he has a few retail clients that are open until 9 p.m. so we both ended up having a mostly full workday despite Andy illness.

Meanwhile, if you're familiar with the Thomas the Tank Engine toys and shows, you will likely get a kick out of this. More proof that to me that wine and children do mix.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


It was bound to happen. After I have had the stomach flu and strep throat and Bjorn has had a sinus infection, odds are Andy would be the next in line to get sick. Naturally this comes during the busiest season of the year for me at work so in addition to stressing about him not feeling great and waking up every half hour last night, I was worried about my schedule. Sigh. It's never easy, is it? I haven't figured out how this is going to work with two yet.

Also, my digital camera is acting weird and I'm taking that as an excuse to start looking for a new one. I have a Kodak EasyShare that I have liked, the second generation for me, but now I'm looking for a pretty small camera that I can more easily put in my purse. Heaven forbid I not have the ability to whip out the camera and take adorable kid pictures. Like the TiVo, this is required gear for a new baby, right? Anyone have a camera they can recommend?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Burke Fall Festival

We had a blind date of sorts yesterday, meeting a friend of Andy's from school and her mother at the fall festival at the Burke Nursery. The kids are BFF and play together quite nicely at school, but her mother and I don't know each other that well so it felt a little blind-date-ish, although clearly we have a lot in common. It was nice talking with her and definitely made me think more outings like that would be fun in the future. Plus, the festival was way more fun when I had an adult to talk to while he had a friend to play with.
It was a nice day to be out -- the weather was sunny, but cool. Plus the festival wasn't that crowded in the morning. It was better for us than Cox Farms this year in that it was smaller and more geared toward the younger crowd with more short slides and climbing stuff than lots of big tall slides. Not to mention the exciting hay ride that doesn't have any hay either on the tractor or the bed (why not just call it a tractor ride?) I figure Andy has another year at this festival before he's totally bored with it

Friday, October 12, 2007

Welcome Tivo 2.0

Sure, with a new kid on a way we have lots of reasonable things to be spending money on, like baby clothes and supplies. Heck, maybe some bedding and decor. Perhaps a stroller than can accommodate two. But rather than do any of that, Bjorn so kindly bought me a new Tivo. He is clearly a sweet, kind man who will be honored now and in the afterlife. Sure, he bought it partly to make up for all the hours and hours he's spending reffing youth football. And sure, it turns out my love and forgiveness can be bought (although sad that the price tag is so low).

In any event, I wanted one that we could use upstairs. Andy loves watching Thomas and Friends that we have Tivoed downstairs since it comes on during the day. Letting him watch one Thomas before bed is easy since they're only five minutes, but afterwards, he pitches a fit about having to go to bed and I'm getting too big and he's getting too heavy to carry all the way upstairs. This also means I can record the programs that Bjorn would mock me for recording on our communal Tivo (namely anything on SoapNet).

The new system installed like a charm although my cheap Trutech TV from Target won't work with the Tivo remote so I have to use two remotes, one for Tivo and another for power and volume. I was also surprised to realize that we have to pay separately (on two bills, oddly) for each Tivo in the house. The new deal is only $6.95 a month, but's irritating after already sending them $12 a month. I do love it though.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


In addition to showing more interest in potty training, Andy is showing more interest in his penis. It makes sense really. That's where pee comes from and it's got to be pretty cool for him to be figuring out how all that works. Of course, now we're getting into the awkward gender stuff.

Andy: Daddy, you have a penis?
Bjorn: Yes, just like Andy.
Andy: Like Andy...And Markie, he has a penis?
Bjorn: Yes, Markie has a penis, too.
Andy: And Mommy has a penis?
Bjorn: No, Mommy is a girl. Girls don't have penises.
Andy: Girls don't have penises?

So naturally that set up a whole list they had to go through of who had a penis and who didn't. This is all good. He's learning about his body, he's using the proper terms. The only bad part is now he feels the need to announce a random times, "Mommy, you don't have a penis?" It hasn't happened yet, but I feel sure the time is coming when he asks that during check-out at the store.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Oh my

See the picture of the playground to the left? It's a public playground in McLean called Clemyjontri and all I can really say about it is, "Wow." It's a park that is built to be handicapped accessible, but it's just so darn awesome that half of Fairfax County was there at 10 a.m. this morning even though this is virtually no shade at the park and it was nearly 90 degrees and humid, even that early.

The problem with the park though is it's, well, too big. There was so much to see that Mo and I spent most of the time trying to keep an eye on where the kids had run off to so we didn't really get a chance to visit. Course, it was hot and sunny so there really wasn't a good place to sit and visit.

We did go on the carousel in the middle of the park. Andy quite adamantly said he didn't want to go, but I did force him to sit on the seat with me. After initial protests, he did like it, but I am growing tired of being the lady forcing her kid to try the moon bounce, the slide, the pool, the carousel, etc.

This is bringing me to a bit of a dilemma. I want Andy to feel comfortable and not force him into situations that scare him. But at the same time, I find myself wanting to just make him try something before he decides it scares him. I know, he'll get there at his own pace, blah, blah, blah, but I find myself irritated as I watch all his friends just jumping right in with both feet, so to speak. I appreciate his caution; it certainly makes for fewer trips to the emergency rooms at the moment. I just hate to think he's missing out on something his peers are doing just because he doesn't want to give it a try.

On a completely different side note, Andy and I took a walk last night and ran into a neighbor that we regularly see on our walks. He's a nice enough guy, is about my age and has two kids under four, much like we will have eventually (all though not soon enough is this heat!) As we talked, I mentioned that I was 5-6 months pregnant. His answer, "I thought you had put on a lot of weight."

Seriously, I know I've gained weight, I really do, but was that necessary? Asshat.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Fall Festival

We went to the fall festival today with Andy's playgroup where, luckily, our friends Mo and Mia were going as well with Mia's school. It was unusually hot for October in Virginia (high 80s) and you can tell from how sweaty we were. Andy is proving to be a careful sort -- he didn't want to ride any of the slides "too scary" making the visit sort of a waste since a lot of the festival is riding the slides. I did force him against his will onto the hay ride, which he did like once we got moving, but it took some convincing. His favorite part was driving the tractor and climbing up hills, well, the ones that weren't "too high."

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Behold, the cutest Spidey ever. Well, on our block anyway. It took a few days of talking about the costume and touching it before Bjorn was able to convince him to finally try it on (over his pajamas, hence the bulky look). Since then, he hasn't stopped talking about it. There is a mask that goes with the polyester jumpsuit, but I don't believe he's going to be putting that on his face. I can't say I blame him though. I tried it on to get him interested and it's hard to breathe in that thing.

Also, my doctor called today to say I did have strep throat, you know, a week ago. Turns out going to your OB for a strep test isn't the right place to go since I just found out about it now, but hey, they did give me the antibiotics and I did recover so that's good. My ailment this week is back pain. I'm so far attributing it to sleeping funny as I'm in denial that I'm pregnant enough to have this already. Not that I'm not ready to go ahead and not be pregnant anymore, but I have more than 120 days left of this (hey, I was in a really, really long meeting and somehow counting back from February 2 seemed like a good idea at the time).

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Say cheese

Andy loves to get his picture taken. Although I'm not sure if he likes getting the picture taken as much as he likes to see himself on the screen of the digital camera more. Lately he's been quite obsessed with taking my camera out so he can look at the pictures saved and take more (of course, it also gives me a good reason to take more pictures, like getting out his Spider Man costume that my mom got him for Halloween last year to see if it fits and take his picture in it). Now that I've figured out how to upload video to Blogger, I wanted to take some video of him on my camera, but the little bugger can only stay for about 20 seconds in front of the camera before demanding to see the picture so not the highest quality video shoot.

We're still working on potty training. He's not waking up and asking to go, but when we remind him at night, he will sometimes go. He will go often enough in fact that I've had to switch to smaller cookies. Andy's not going at school really yet, but they do put him on the potty there as well and I think eventually it will sink in. Certainly before third grade starts, I imagine.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Potty training procrastination

This potty training business sure takes a while. The frustrating thing for me is now that he's got the idea of it, he wants to try to go all the time. But he doesn't really have to go, is the problem. He just likes the extra attention and excitement that comes with it. What's frustrating for me is telling the difference between the 40th time he has said he wants to sit on the potty only to get there and spend more time running around and doing anything but sitting on the potty and the time that he plans to sit down and get to business. I imagine this is a learning process for both of us, but could we speed up the learning curve already? I know the 20-30 minutes I spend trying to get him to be serious about this will eventually pay off, but in a hurry, I can change a diaper and get moving in five minutes without all the hassle.

In fun development news, Andy's imagination is really taking off. We now spend a lot of time handing each other make-believe food from his kitchen and other things. Whereas six months ago he would have been frustrated not to have the physical, now he seems to relish in the game of handing me green pancakes and other strange things that he thinks of.

In not so fun development news, I fear the afternoon nap is on the way out. It stinks because at this stage in my pregnancy (or heck, anytime for me really), I can really use the nap and the break. But lately, the nap is shorter if it happens and occasionally not at all. The hard part is knowing which day will be which since some days when it seems he really needs the nap, he rallies, but not so much on other days.

Note: I was trying to upload a video of Andy trying to use his potty because it's just so darn funny, but the Blogger video upload feature isn't working so you'll have to settle for this picture of a cow my sister picked up at a veterinary conference that is now a regular in our bathtub.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Pants off to Andy

After two or three days of missing out on successfully using his potty, Andy did manage to pee in the potty tonight. I asked if he wanted to go (his diaper from school was mostly dry at about 8 p.m.) and he said yes. He sat down and immediately said, "I hear it. I hear it coming," which must mean that he feels it inside. And viola, he peed in the potty. Bjorn promptly came upstairs with a cookie and we both said how proud of him we were. He was so proud of himself, though, that afterwards he really didn't want to get off the potty and dressed, even though it was clearly bedtime.

In other news, I now use the word "potty" in my daily conversation, whether it's Andy using it or when I have to explain to him where his father or brother are (he asks a lot of the same questions over and over again so naturally, I get to say, "He's in the potty" again and again). I haven't yet said that at work, but it's bound to happen. And it scares me.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Potty training

After Andy rocked the potty training world on Saturday, he hasn't been quite as successful. The good news is that he's now quite interested in sitting on the potty (those cookies sure must taste divine). The bad news is that he's never interested at a time that it could do some good, which usually makes him mad that he doesn't get a cookie for trying. He's got the interest though so I imagine sooner or later he'll get the timing down. It's going to be an adjustment for us though to leap whenever he says he's ready, but I figure we'll get it down eventually.

We're all sick here. Again. Seriously, what is up with that? After having the stomach bug just a few weeks ago, I've now developed a really painful sore throat that hurts to swallow, breathe, eat and sleep. Lovely. I have an appointment today to see if it's strep or not. I did call the doctor's last night who prescribed Tylenol 3 with Codeine to help with pain and let me sleep until I could get in today. Apparently Codeine is safe in pregnancy. Who knew? It did help me sleep a bit, but my throat still hurt pretty bad last night.

Bjorn is also still sick (poor guy) and has an appointment this afternoon to see about his sinus problems that have been bugging him for a couple weeks now. He has been quite sweet taking care of me the last day or so with my sore throat by going to the all night pharmacy to get my prescription last night and taking care of Andy while I try to rest. Hopefully, we'll both get some good antibiotics and we'll start feeling better sooner rather than later. Of course, Andy did wake up with a cough so probably we'll get well in time for him to get sick.

Update: Bjorn has a sinus infection and some killer (and expensive) antibiotics. No word on if I have strep or not until the test comes back later this week, but I have some penicillin to take for the next seven days. I'm already feeling a little better and Bjorn is well enough to still at work at 8:30 p.m. so hopefully the rest of the week will be better.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Special cookies

Breaking news - Bjorn got Andy to pee on the potty twice today, both times resulting in the special cookies for the boy. Both father and son (and mother) are delighted with the progress. This is the first time he had repeatedly gotten on the potty and the first time with any success. Those Chips Ahoy cookies are quite a draw.

Whining and crying

Andy is really starting to perfect the temper tantrum. Worst of all, he's now throwing them about totally stupid things, like when he breathlessly shouts through tears, "I...don't...want...the...monkey...cup!" Yes, folks, the thought of the monkey cup over the Sponge Bob cup is worthy of 20 minutes of tears. I'm doing my best to ignore it when possible, put him on the time out step when it seems appropriate and try to keep my wits about me when he manages to push my buttons...just right.

Course, the bugger will be obnoxious for an entire day and then it comes bedtime and he comes at me wanting more hugs and I just melt.

We've been talking to Andy a little about the new baby. The only concept that has seemed to stick is that sometime around his birthday, we'll get a new baby from the hospital that will come home to live with us. So now he keeps saying, "I'm getting a baby for my birthday." Not quite right, but he's thinking about it.

I'm still on the hunt for decent maternity clothes. I have had some luck with cute pants from Target and Gap Maternity. What I'm struggling with now is tops that are at least semi-work appropriate. I have started branching out to look in the Women's sections for some stuff. It's not quite right, but there seems to be a much larger selection of better items there sometimes than in the maternity section. At least it's getting cooler so I can start layering and wearing sweaters. Sigh. Is it February yet?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Baby Names

Now that we've narrowed the naming process down to only one sex, we need to spend some time thinking about names and doing our due diligence. And by due diligence, I mean you can't name your kid Marc Anthony and then be surprised to learn he was also a historical figure who killed himself over Cleopatra.

To help with this process, Betsy sent me a rockin' Web site located here with great ideas for what not to name your kid. It's awesomely bad. Plus, the site already gets some street cred with me for this first item. I can personally vouch that Love Seamon was a real person as I remember her going through rush at Emory. I remember hearing she was a nice girl, but dang, that's a really unfortunate name.

Monday, September 17, 2007

It's a....

girl! We went for the big sonogram (ultrasound?) today and the baby is healthy, measuring as it's supposed to and almost certainly a girl. The technology was amazing -- they were able to see the four chambers of the heart beating, the spine, the hemispheres of the brain and even fingers and toes (at one point, she was even waving to us, or flipping us off for waking her up, one or the other). They were even able to tell the direction of the fluid flowing into and out of the umbilical cord and bladder to see that things looked as they should, which was a great relief. The tech even got a fabulous crotch shot of the baby and confirmed not on the absence of male genitalia, but could even identify the labia. Rather amazing for a person that barely weighs 12 ounces.

This further confirms my suspicion that the baby has been secretly trying to poison me with all her estrogen over the past 4 1/2 months, which is the reason I've been so nauseated for so long. Now if only there were a way to let her know that if she makes the next 4 1/2 months relatively pleasant, there will be lots of treats on the other end for her. I'm not above a little bribery here.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Andy, the ripper

Normally, Andy is pretty good about not destroying things. Well, I should say normally. Until now. About 6-8 months ago, Andy ripped part of a library book. We paid our fine, he made his "I'm sorry" to the librarian, and since then I remind him when I put him in bed with a book, "Remember our deal, Andy?" "No rip the pages."

Last week, I came in after a nap to find that he had ripped the cover of a paperback Thomas book into several large pieces. To be fair, he didn't rip the pages, just the cover. We talked about how that made Mommy sad and then had to trek to the library to buy it (it was a strange bargain actually, buying the book cost $3.20, but there was a $3.00 processing fee. Whatever.) Then yesterday, I woke up early on a Saturday for us, about 7:15, to hear a strange noise. He had taken off the lamp shade by his bed and torn out the reflective inner lining, ripping it to many small pieces. What the? Bjorn and I have been going back and forth about whether we want a boy or a girl (for the record, either is great so long as it's healthy) although after this, I turned to Bjorn and said, "A girl would be fine."

I asked Andy why he had done it, but so far, he doesn't seem to understand the why question. When I ask him why he did anything, he usually says, "Yeah," or something similar over and over again until you stop asking. I'm okay with him not knowing why since I imagine we've got years of that in our future, but it's frustrating at times like this where understanding his logic would go a long way. That said, if this keeps up, he probably is set for a career as a White House press person since it's clear he doesn't mind not answering the question at hand.