Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Break-up

It's official - Andy got into his new school. The start date is March 1. I'm ready, I think he's ready, the only obstacle was breaking up with his babysitter. Nasrin has been very good to us as a family and it was painful to have to say we were leaving. I know, I know, teachers are used to it, but it really felt like a break-up, "No really, it's me, not you." I focused on how I wanted him closer to where I work and how it would be so much more convenient for us without getting into me wanting him to be in more of a pre-school environment. She took the news fine and I cried a little. Very mature.

To top off the break-up yesterday, Andy is going through a phase where he likes to yell and whine. Loudly. At me, it seems. I think he's struggling to get rid of his cold still and his molars are likely coming in, but damn, it's hard to take sometimes. It usually starts with him wanting something unreasonable (like staying outside in 20 degree weather) and then he manages to throw a fit for 15-20 minutes. If anyone has tips on handling temper tantrums without losing your mind, please hit me up.

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Girlfriend's Guide

The Bible among expecting mothers these days is not the boring "What to Expect When You're Expecting," but Vicki Iovine's awesome "Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy." It's witty, it's relevant and it is reassuring without being patronizing. That's saying something - most of the pregnancy books for new moms tend to err on the side of you being clueless. I just got all my pregnancy books back from a friend to lend to a woman in my office expecting her first. I gave her the original and I also wanted to send her a link to the updated version. During my search I was surprised to realize she was also a Playboy model. Really? Having read four of her books now, I don't think that's something I would have guessed. I don't think law school graduate either, but that seems less strange. I don't know - after reading how and why she ended up in Playboy in the first place, I think I might like her even better. She definitely bumped herself up a couple of notches on my list of famous people who are funny and interesting who I might actually want to have dinner with someday.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Child falls down stairs, mother traumatized, kid fine

When Andy was a baby, I heard stories from friends with kids his age about the horrors of their kid falling off the bed. That never happened to us and I always congratulated myself on my obviously brilliant parenting. When I heard those stories, I was was sympathetic, but smug on the inside. Of course that wouldn't happen to us. I'm got this shit down. Yeah, and then today my kid fell down the stairs and I take every single smug thought back.

I had made a playdate for the afternoon with a soccer friend whose son is exactly one year to the day younger than Andy. She was going to bring back some of the baby stuff that Henry didn't need any longer and I was going to send her home with some of the 12- to 24-month clothes that Andy has grown out of. I was in Andy's room happily sorting through the clothes while he played with one of his trucks. We were happily busy - at least I thought - when I heard the tell-tale thud. I was at the top of the stairs in an instant to hear the first sob. Bjorn was downstairs in the basement and came flying up (presuming it was both of us had fallen, actually). It was terrible. Andy was scared and I was horrified. Since I didn't see it, I'm not sure how far down on the stairs he was to know how far he'd fallen or what he hit. There were no obvious red marks or bruises, but Andy was crying and I was close. We checked him out - his eyes were fine showing no sign of concussion (although wet), he was crying (also a good sign that he was mentally okay), he had full command of his arms and legs and a couple of minutes later was angrily pointing at the stairs showing us where he'd fallen. He was back to himself and perky again not 10 minutes later, but I've had a knot in my stomach all day.

The funny thing is that for the past month we've been practicing going down the stairs with him scooting on his butt. Recently he's been insisting on sliding that way rather than holding my hand. I've been preferring it thinking it was safer. In all this time, I don't think he's had a slip that made me worry. Not until today, of course since I wasn't watching. He'd been so good that I'd gotten out of the habit of putting up the gate at the top of the stairs, partly because I didn't think he needed it any longer. I guess I was wrong.

In other less scary news, Andy started calling me "Mommy" today. Up until now, it had been "Mama." I kind of like "Mama" and was thinking I preferred it over "Mommy," but apparently this kid has other ideas. I noticed it this morning and then he stuck with it off and on all day. I can't remember now if he's been calling Bjorn "Dada" or "Daddy" until today, but he definitely was calling him "Daddy" today, too. He's also decided that Bjorn is his favorite and half the day today he called for his father and even named the book "Gumman" (the Swedish book) that he wanted him to read. That was pretty cool.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Great Playgroup Debate of 2007

Last week at playgroup when I wasn't in town, apparently things got a little heated over when and how often can moms serve their kids snacks at playgroup. The worry is some kids spend the time wandering from parent to parent getting treats and not eating what their mom wants them to eat so the suggestion was made to perhaps limit food to certain times. There was also discussion of adding in an activity since our two-year-olds aren't always content to just hang out for two hours any longer. And more importantly, it might keep the kids occupied longer letting the moms stick around a bit longer. A nine paragraph e-mail went out about this (no kidding) as apparently some folks got a little more heated and sarcastic than normal, resulting in some hurt feelings. The good news was this is a first serious dust-up in two years, impressive actually for a bunch of educated, opinionated ladies. The message was for folks to respect each others differences, and in the meantime let's try to come up with some consensus on how to handle this.

While we were on the subject, I talked to my friend who is our defacto leader who wrote the e-mail to let her know about the tension between the working and stay-at-home moms that Betsy and I have been struggling with. I explained to her that I'm perfectly capable of saying something to the main offender next time it comes up within my earshot (right now I generally just avoid her), but that I thought she should know what was going on since offline another working mom friend told me she doesn't feel welcome going anymore because she feels judged for going back to work.

I asked if she'd think about it and let me know if she had ideas on how to handle it since we certainly didn't want to build a culture of us vs. them since the women in either column is always liable to change as kids get older and.or circumstances change. She was saddenned and exasperated (and knew immediately who the main offender was) and we talked for a long time about it, especially since many of the stay-at-home moms are getting into the preschool thing for their kids (the main offender doesn't care for preschool either).

I feel better working to address it a bit. I think this is one of those things that some people feel really strongly about. I appreciate that, but can she not feel that strongly about it in front of me?

Meanwhile, apparently there is a much bigger dust-up going on nationally over the concept of cocktail playdates. I wish I had friends that lived closer to me because the idea of unwinding in the afternoon with a couple of friends, a couple of kids and a couple of glasses of wine sounds awesome.

Friday, January 26, 2007

The patient

Funny, after two days of Andy acting fine, but being sick, today he is actually acting sick as well. It is mostly strange since he's now on the path (allegedly) to wellness due to the doctor visit and antibiotics. Today he's been hacking twice as bad as yesterday and generally seems to feel achey and sad. Poor chicken. The good news is he doesn't have strep throat - the doctor's office called early this morning to tell me. I appreciated the call, but we were all still asleep at that hour.

To get us both out of the house briefly (it's too cold for much else) I took him over to A.C. Moore, a craft store similar to Michael's, because I heard they had cheap(er) Thomas stuff and I wanted to see for myself. The prices aren't significantly cheaper than anywhere else, but they do have coupons for 40-50 percent off one item on certain days so I'll need to come back and get some stuff on sale and keep it in my closet for a special occasion. I did walk away with some connector track so we can now marry up the pieces that can't come together because it ends up being two female ends (of course, as I type this, I'm imagining the hate mail I might get from the freakish conservatives in Virginia who think marrying females to each other is a bad thing. It makes me smirk just to think about it.)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The trifecta

We went to the doctor today and Andy has the trifecta - ear infection, runny nose and sore throat all with a nasty cough. The good news is it's not in his lungs so no worry about pneumonia, but he had a cold that went to his ears and throat. The weird thing is he's been an angel this week and except for the cough, I didn't seem to notice him not feeling well. And now except for the cough, he seems in good spirits and rather cheerful and funny. Go figure. He got his first prescription for antibiotics and started after lunch. I hope it doesn't tear up his stomach the way the antibiotics messed me up around Christmas.

It's cold here and getting colder. An artic mass is pushing through and it's really windy, too, and makes screeching sounds as it whips around the house. We also have a little bit of snow flurries, but nothing is sticking. It really feels like winter now.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Minivan envy

Playing at a cool playground in the upscale Silverlake neighborhood of Los Angeles. I've never seen so many $800 strollers as I did at that playground.
The resort in Rancho Mirage. It was far away and chilly, but very pretty.

Guess who also likes the heavenly bed at the Westin?

Andy, Bjorn and Erik at the Water Grill.

In California, we rented an awesome minivan (in my defense, it was the same price as a mid-size at Alamo). It was so awesome and had a DVD player and everything. I've spent my life mocking them, but since I've been back, I'm having a little bit of minivan envy. I loathe myself.
Andy has come down with a cough that is turning into a cold. Poor guy. I noticed it this morning, but Bjorn convinced me it was not bad and we sent him to school anyway. His sitter kindly told me when I picked him up that it was worse and that I should call the doctor to ensure it wasn't croup. It doesn't sound like it (according to my mother), but I called the doctor's office. They recommended Robitussin or Dysem with a healthy dose of fluids. They weren't that worried, but said to keep an eye that it didn't get worse with a plan to call tomorrow if he isn't on the mend. Based on the hacking I heard a moment ago, I have a feeling we'll be at the doctor's office tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Oh, man

Zane, Simone, Cat and Erik

Rather than say "oh no" like Andy, Zane prefers to say "oh man" when something surprises him or isn't just has he had expected. Andy loved that and now says "oh man" to everything. It's really funny to hear him say it as it seems like such a grown up expression somehow.

Monday, January 22, 2007


We have returned from what was eventually sunny California. We stopped in Los Angeles on the way out to visit Bjorn's brother and his family. Andy loved playing with Zane, who is 4, and was quite entertained by the toys for the 11-month-old Simone. Zane is a pretty energetic kid and Simone is a pretty quiet, content little girl so I think their personalities were a little more in sync. It was really funny to see the different stages just by looking at what each kid was doing.

Andy was so tired from the travels that he fell asleep on takeoff yesterday and slept for two hours. I hadn't been paying attention to the weather and was shocked to come home and find that it had snowed several inches and was icy on the roads. It took us a lot longer to get home from Dulles due to the sand and salt trucks on the Beltway - not that we minded, we were glad they were there. Andy finally got to bed around midnight and did not want to wake up this morning. About nine, I finally went in and picked him up. He was ready to stay asleep until I pointed out the window to the snow. He was so surprised. "White, white," he kept saying. He liked the snow, except for the fact that it's wet. How I ended up with a kid fastitious about being clean is beyond me.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Praise yee heavenly portable DVD player

We are out in sunny (but chilly) southern California for the next few days. We flew to LAX yesterday which which surprisingly smoothly, thanks to our trust friend the portable DVD player. Watching "babies" (his code for TV for babies as Bjorn calls it) kept him occupied off and on for the 5 hours and 30 minute flight. He took a decent, but small nap but was generally in good spirits and not overly hyper. Although he did manage to drink about four full sippies of juice requiring frequent diaper changes. Thankfully, I thought to make an extra change of clothes once he leaked through a diaper due to all the water.

Speaking of diapers, we need to figure something better out because if he really needs to go, he can easily fill a size 6 diaper full of pee yet often a diaper change three hours after is almost dry. He's not taking to potty training at all so perhaps more laundry is in order until he is ready? Any thoughts, let me know.

Monday, January 15, 2007


Andy is fascinated by numbers. Unfortunately, at this point he doesn't know one from nine. It's quite funny. On our walks, he sees street numbers on mailboxes and houses and proudly tells me that 5105 is nine-ten-four-three. I cheer and say good job and try to repeat what is really is. He's also bugging Bjorn about the digital clock and again proudly naming the numbers. He's also shocked - shocked! - when the clock advances a minute. He sits breathlessly waiting for it to change and then is thrilled when it does. We've also been practicing with colors. In the car, he's learning that red light means stop and green light means goooo (with much enthusiasm). He doesn't always get it right, but today he was more often right than not. I just need to remind myself to trust the light and not the backseat driver or I might find myself in an accident.

Bjorn, Andy and I are off to California on Wednesday. I have a work event and the boys are going to visit Bjorn's brother and his family out in Los Angeles. As awesome as it is having them with me, it's always nervewracking trying to make sure I'm doing right by everyone and getting all my work done. Fortunately, this isn't as busy as our big meeting was in November and with any luck, I might get to see some of the area.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Another milestone

We reached another milestone this weekend -- I put away the high chair. For weeks, Andy has been refusing to sit in it and I've been nearly killing myself tripping over it to get to the booster chair at the table in the dining room. It was simply time. It was not, however, time for what abandoning the high chair means.

I have been in denial for some time, but it seems clear that I have a little boy and not a baby on my hands. I'm not quite sure what to do with myself. I've grown so accustomed to handling a baby that dealing with a little boy seems so scary. Pretty soon he'll be asking me where babies come from, wanting advice on calling girls on the phone and trying to get his driver's license. I'm not much of a planner, per se, so this fills me with fear and dread. Plus, I really like Andy as a baby (well, most days) that the thought of him growing up seems so foreign. Sigh.

In other news, Bjorn's mother came over today for a belated birthday celebration. We've been celebrating for so long now (starting with Mark's birthday two weeks ago) that Andy clearly believes all cakes with candles and all presents are meant for him. Well, duh. Except we went to a birthday party yesterday and I had to restrain him from rushing over to blow out the candles on Charlotte's birthday cake. It just seemed so obvious to him that candles on a cake plus singing means he needs to be there to blow out those darn candles. He loved today's celebration as well as the awesome V-tech toy she brought him. It's aged for 3+, but he figured a lot of it out already. Clearly he's gifted. The best part was he loves it so much I took it with us to Old Navy and he happily played with it while I shopped. I imagine the other patrons didn't want to hear "The Wheels on the Bus," but given the choice of a tantrum vs. the song, I think they'd choose the song.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Andy has really taken to the book Madeline, but Ludwig Bemelmans. That's a good thing as it's one of my favorites, too. It's fun reading through it again and again as I know the story pretty well. My problem is that the despite being beautifully illustrated, it's illustrated WRONG. And by wrong, I mean, incorrect. If you don't know the story, there are 12 little girls in Paris and Madeline ends up in the hospital getting her appendix out and the other 11 girls are miserable about not getting their appendixes (appendexia?) out, too. The problem is that in some of the pages without Madeline, there are still 12 girls and other pages where they have 11. The story is also a little fishy as they talk about their Papa, but clearly the girls (who all seem the same age) are being raised by Miss Clavel. Is this some sort of home for orphans? Perhaps a boarding school? It's all very confusing. I still love the story though and now Andy gets to the page where Madeline talks to the tiger in the zoo and he says "pooh-pooh" just like her.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Two year visit

We went to see Dr. Staats today for Andy's two year visit. He weighed in at 28 pounds (on the standing scale, no less). They measured him at 34.5 inches, but he was really, really not into getting measured so I think he's a little taller than that. We initially tried the standing measurer, but the plastic thing on his head really freaked him out. I thought I saw him standing closer to 36, but whatever. Bjorn is freaking out that if the old wives' tale is true and doubling his height at age two (69 inches) means he'll only reach 5'9". Bjorn is the shortest of his brothers at 6'3", but since I'm only 5'2", the cards were stacked against him. Bjorn then consoled himself by vowing to make Andy a really good point guard for basketball.

The doctor said he seems perfect - that his motor skills and verbal ability seem right on target, which is always great to hear. The bad part was he had to get the flu shot and have blood drawn to check for anemia (apparently lots of kids this age don't eat enough iron). He didn't like the finger prick, but he really didn't like shot to his thigh. The nurse did distract him with a lollipop, which went over surprisingly well. You'd think these folks treat kids for a living. Afterwards, he'd forgiven me enough for all this that I had a hard time dragging him out of the waiting room which is filled with really awesome toys. I actually really appreciate that they have tons of great toys. The old pediatrician's office really had nothing for him to play with so it's great that there is so much to see out there. Plus, if he gets into something, I can take it back with us to keep him busy during the appointment. I also like that they have a ramp for strollers. We don't take the stroller out the way we did a few months ago, but it's so nice to have it as an option should I need it.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Happy birthday to me

Helping me cook his cupcakes.

Faux food from grandmother for his kitchen.

Singing happy birthday.

Playing with the awesome train table.
Today was the big day. It was two years ago in the evening (I would say 10:30 p.m., but at this point, I've chosen to forget what a looong day that was) Byron Andrew was born. Whenever I say anything about how cute he was as a tiny baby, Bjorn reminds me how bad labor and delivery was. I really can't believe it's been two years. In some ways, I still feel like a rookie in this business. Other days, I can't believe I didn't have him with me.
We had a busy day today. We opened a couple presents this morning then I came over at lunch and brought cupcakes for his class. There are only three of them (including Andy) right now and so it was an intimate group. I like that. His babysitter was so sweet and gave him a cash register (complete with faux money), a hat and some mittens. After school, we met Bjorn at Chipotle, our favorite, for dinner. He even picked up a balloon from Tree Top where I had to restrain myself from buying more train stuff. It may be for Andy, but man, I like it too. As a kid, we used to play with the Brio train set at Neiman Marcus. I don't remember my mother ever actually buying anything at Neiman's, but I sure remember that train set.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


It turns out Andy isn't calling stars "dots," rather he's pointing the outside saying "dark" it just happens to come out "dah-tks." He wanted me to personally let everyone know that.

I took Betsy's advice and made a visit to Tree Top Kids where we got to check out a train table set up with an awesome track and probably 15 trains. Andy loved it, which gave me some time to shop. The Ikea tracks I have are compatible with Thomas and Melissa and Doug so I bought a couple extra pieces from Melissa and Doug (some switch pieces so I, er, he can have more than one track). I also wanted to get him a few trains. Then I realized trains each cost like $12 for a little piece of wood. They did have the Byron (see right) that naturally I had to get for him. ( dad might end up with one for his birthday, too). Once we got home, he chased Bjorn around with it in the package saying "open, open" so we went ahead and let him play with it. He'll be even more delighted when he sees what it goes with.
As for Thomas, checking online it seems a lot of the trains are cheaper if I were to order from Amazon so I have a feeling that's where I'll be going in the future. As for Tree Top, totally a cool store. The folks there were very nice and when Andy made signs of never leaving, they kindly flipped the lights off and on and said they were closing so he'd get the hint. That didn't stop some loud protesting, but I think it may have muted it a bit.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Happy almost birthday

Someone turns two day after tomorrow and my mother is hard at work spoiling him from afar. What a lucky kid! He's getting an awesome train table made by Melissa and Doug. It's awesome and was easy enough to put together after a few false starts. The only downside is the size. Granted, this was my idea, but the darn thing is huge! I've been doing some rearranging in the basement to make it fit. Purple Heart is coming this week for a pickup so we took this as an opportunity to sort through some old books and games to make a pile to give away. By the end, the pile was pretty huge. We love books (and have tons of them), but getting rid of some of the old ones is a good feeling. We also found some gems in the racks, including a book of Swedish rhymes that Andy is going to love! Now I just need to keep Andy out of the basement tomorrow evening so he doesn't see his new table. I have a feeling he's really going to love getting to spread out and play with his train set.

Right now, I've got a couple of sets of the Ikea train pieces. They're similar to Brio, but more basic with just wooden tracks and trains. My goal is to include some Thomas or Brio sets to complement the plain tracks. I went to Target tonight during our bizarre, brief snowstorm only to find out they had neither. They sold Thomas stuff, but it was plastic and said in the small print "not compatable with Thomas sets." Um, what? Turns out they have a "travel" system that is different than the wooden stuff. Glad I read that or things might have gotten complicated. My mom also got him some cool Melissa and Doug food that he can cut. Should be interesting to see how that all works. He adores his kitchen so I think he'll really get a kick out of it.

Andy is getting more vocal and verbal every day. It's just amazing to listen to some of the stuff he says. He now asks for "dots" when he goes to bed, which turns out means he wants the curtains open so he can see the stars. He can say stars, but for some reason he calls them dots. Go figure. He's also starting to throw his weight around to get what he wants. Last night he insisted on going for a ride in the wagon. When we were half way on our route, he decided he wanted cookies (crackers) and HAD to get out and proceeded to wander into other yards. I finally strapped him into the wagon and he screamed at me for maybe three blocks. Then he was happy again and chirped at me the rest of the way.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Movin' on up

I've been in denial for some time now, but I think it's officially time to move up to size 6 diapers. This disturbs me because this is the final frontier for diapers - they don't make size 7 diapers. This is it. This particularly scares me because while we've had some successes with the potty, he's not ready. Take a look at this list on the signs of readiness to potty train. I don't think he can do any of these. Although we have been practicing with him pulling his pants up after a diaper change, he can't quite pull them off on cue. Not that he knows what that cue would be necessarily. The good news is that he's been in size 5s for ages now, it seems, so I'm not expecting him to blow through these they way he did size 1 diapers for example. Still, it's unnerving to know we've maxed out. It also sucks because not all companies make size 6s. I have really liked the Costco/Kirkland brand diapers, but they only go up to size 5. It seems that it's generally the more premium (therefore more expensive) diapers like Huggies Supreme that go to size 6. I think the manufacturers are trying to get him into Pull-ups, but from what I hear, they're confusing for potty training since they're not quite a diaper and not quite real underwear.

Speaking of pants, getting them onto his increasingly strong little body is turning out to be a challenge of late. The good news is that I think I've figured out that he'll wear pants, so long as they're sweats or pajama bottoms. I can't really argue with him as I'm sure they're way more comfortable than jeans. My main argument is that he has some cute pants that finally fit and that I don't have enough sweats to keep him in clean ones. I stopped by Target this weekend to get a couple birthday presents for him and stocked up on a couple pairs. They're not as cute as the Old Navy version, but their Hanes sweats were on sale for $1.88. Hard to argue with that price.

Saturday, January 06, 2007


Why do we have to do this to each other? Can't working/stay-at-home moms just agree to respect each other and leave it at that? It's not about who sacrifices the most or whose spouse makes the most money, it's about raising kids the best you can with the resources you've been given. Bridget Jones makes reference to "smug marrieds," you know, those who are married and force their superiority upon others. I believe their is another category called "smug mommies," who are women who believe they're better mothers (and better people, naturally) simply because they stay home.

That said, I think by and large most women whether they work outside the home or not respect each other. I know I respect stay-at-home moms because it's a tough job that doesn't allow many breaks and often comes with serious financial sacrifices. I also respect my working mommy friends for figuring out how to juggle the competing interests of kids, office politics and husbands. I read somewhere that motherhood is a marathon, not a sprint, and to pace yourself because it's a long journey. Seriously folks, can't we all get along?

As a gender fighting for more equality in the workplace and more flexibility to have families within the confines of a traditionally male-dominated work force, we should be supporting each other and not tearing the other down. Together is the only way we're going to successfully fight for change.

Am I wrong? What do you think?

Stepping off the soapbox slowly...

Friday, January 05, 2007

Global warming?

It's been unseasonably warm here the past few weeks. That sucks because I really love the snow, but the upshot has been that it's warm enough for Andy and I to spend some time outside, usually with me pulling him in the wagon. Everyone here seems to be freaking out that this is a sure sign of global warming and that we're all shortly going to drown this month as the ice caps melt and North America becomes under water. I do think there is some cause and effect with emissions and such, but I also believe the earth goes through periods where it is warmer and colder. Fortunately, no one is counting on me to predict these things.

The funny thing is I vividly remember nearly two years ago walking into the hospital to deliver Andy. It was a warm January morning. Granted, I was 9 1/2 months pregnant, hot and hormonal, but I walked in with just a light jacket. I don't even think a jacket was required when we checked out. That last long enough for me to get off the narcotics and driving again for the temperatures plummeted and we were stuck indoors for most of the rest of my maternity leave. Funny, I couldn't tell you what I had for lunch yesterday, but I can describe the weather patterns from those few weeks.

Meanwhile, we tried to get a family picture with Andy's grandmother when everyone was together for Mark's birthday. Guess who didn't want his picture taken. I think next year I'm going to pick the Christmas card photo where he's bawling. At least it would be funny.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Suit up

The big boys went out tonight for a steak dinner in honor of Mark's 18th birthday. Eighteen. Seriously? Mark's big present was a brand new (expensive) suit so he can now hit the important milestones this year in style. Bjorn's mom came over to wish Mark a happy birthday and see the boys dressed up. Andy - never one to miss a photo op - even insited on smiling as I tried to take their picture. I included him in a couple of frames because it was so funny. He just walked over and inserted himself into the picture because of course if the camera was out, he would need to be in front of it.

In disturbing news, guess who has figured out how to turn on the TV with the remote control? Between the DirecTV box and the TV itself, I know several adults (cough, Mom, cough) who can't turn it on successfully, but an almost two year old can. He is fascinated with "babies" which is what he calls cartoons. To lure him into the bath, I turned off the TV and put the remotes out of the way only to turn around and see that he's this close to being able to reach up and turn it on manually. I can't really fault the kid - I lurve me some TV, too.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Mean tricks to play on children

Yesterday we had a surprise birthday party for Mark, who turns 18 this week. My mother-in-law brought over her famous Swedish cake and we lit candles and sang as Mark blew out the candles. Funny thing was she had one of those re-lighting candles. They're totally annoying as an adult, but we showed Andy that it relit itself and he was shocked. "Oh no!" he cried. We encouraged him to blow it out, which he did (with our help). We praised him for a job well done and then, poof!, the candle was back on. "Oh no!" he cried once again. It went on like this for probably 6 or 7 minutes. I wished I'd had the video on because it was so funny time and time again to see his complete shock and surprise that the candle was back on. By the end of it, we were all in tears from laughing so hard.

The Christmas tree came down this weekend. I first moved it to the front yard and now it's out by the curb. Every day, several times a day, Andy races into the living room and shouts, "Gone! Christmas gone!" Then he has to peer out the window to look for it in the front yard. I started coming up with a lame story about how the tree has to go back to the North Pole and how it has to wait outside for Santa to come get it and take it home until next year. He's not old enough to get Santa, but it seemed like a better thing to say than, "Kid, Christmas is over and the tree is dead, really dead. In fact, it's so dead it's crispy and we have to get it outside before it spontaneously combusts." I have now told him the story about Santa coming to get the tree so many times that I now have a nice mental image of Santa on his sleigh riding through the neighborhoods collecting all the Christmas trees so they can relax and get bigger for next year. It just sounds better than going to the landfill to be turned into mulch.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Let the embarassment begin

Our friends invited us over for a kid-friendly New Year's Eve. It was hysterical to see the kids, most of whom go to bed at 8 or 9, start to get super hyper as the evening wore on. We didn't stick around to midnight, mostly because my stomach still hurts and I was tired of having to tame it while out. The funniest was when Andy and Mia starting hiding in a closet. She had been trying to be friendly all night, wanting to hold his hand (he had her on "ignore" as her father said) and kindly offer him snacks. During the closet game, we started joking about kissing and then they did pose for us a few pecks. Just hysterical to watch and the adult jokes did abound, as you can imagine.

Oh, and if you're wondering why the kids are wet, we'd had them on the back porch lighting sparklers in the rain. The kids loved the sparklers and were careful not to burn themselves (or us). I loved that I finally got them out of my house. I think I bought them when we moved here in 2003. I was surprised they were still sparkly.