Tuesday, February 27, 2007

My legions of fans

Susan and Ben from Dallas. Both she and Ben read faithfully.

Me and Mom in Mexico. Mom reads daily, thankfully someone does.

Laura and her sister, Bec, who are both expecting. Laura lives in St. Louis and leads the midwest contingent. She's going to be furious at me for posting a pregnant photo of her, but she's just so darn cute!

Monday, February 26, 2007


See? Photo evidence that the bangs on the right were clearly longer than on the other side. I'm not sure I made it much better, but you've got my back, right?

Meanwhile, charming face the boy is giving me. He's actually saying "cheese", but the camera delay is just enough to make it appear that he's shouting obscenities at me. You know, since toddlers do that.

Name game

Mark taught Andy how to say his name over the weekend. Now when you ask him what his name is, he will proudly say "Byron Bennett." Andrew is his middle name and he clearly knows his name is Andy, yet I can't get him to say the full thing. It's rather precious though. I did worry last night (as I like to do) that when he starts his new school, he'll confuse everyone by declaring his name as Byron Bennett, but what can you do. I swear, this first day at a new school is giving me way more stress than him.

Meanwhile, I keep attempting to change the photo in my profile. I keep trying to replace it with the URL with the photo on the left, yet when I do, it tells me the link is broken. Anyone have any hints on fixing that?

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Leaving well enough alone

I'm not really a person to leave well enough alone. I'm a meddler. It's compulsive. But damnit, when it comes to my kid's hair someone needs to stop me. Bjorn took him to get his hair cut yesterday. It looks great. They left it a little longer in the back like I asked, that way, the sprouts on the back won't stick straight up, rather, the weight of the hair keeps it down a bit. The problem was the bangs. They were uneven. So I took the initiative to even them up. Yeah, because "evening them up" works on adults, much less a kid that won't stand still. It looks better. Sort of. But I shouldn't have done it. Now I'm going to spend the next two months looking at it wondering if I should have just left it alone. Glad to know in advance I have something new and important to obsess over.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Three under three

Today we babysat the four year old twins of my neighbor. She and her husband needed to be at a meeting for a couple of hours so we volunteered to watch them. The dynamic was really fun actually. Andy really enjoyed playing with them although there is a big difference between two and four. The girls were very into drawing and we made some birthday cards for their mother for next week. They generally were interested with him, but found themselves annoyed when he wanted to scribble and not draw beautifully. One of the girls announced it was okay that he play with any of her toys so long as he didn't spit on them. I wondered what crowd she's running with where they routinely spit on her toys, but she was so earnest about it that it was hard not to consider it a valid request. By the end of the two hours, all three kids were in the tents connected by a tunnel pretending to be cats and meowing. Loudly. I was in tears from laughing so hard.

Meanwhile, we had our first announcement at playgroup today for someone expecting her third. She'll have three under three. Wow. That's just crazy talk.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Date night

A friend came over a couple of weeks ago with her two girls. Andy and Molly had a ball sitting at the small table in the living room having a tea party, where they poured imaginary tea and practiced putting pasta in different bowls and glasses. It was really a hoot to watch the interaction. Later on, we served them grilled cheese sandwiches, grapes and juice boxes at the table. I think it was his first date.
I went by Andy's new school today to drop off some more paperwork and basically give me an excuse to check in again. The teachers are more familiar now as are a few of the kids. Andy marched right in like he'd been there for ages. After a bit, the teachers suggested I leave him for a little bit so I ran to the grocery store and shopped - unencumbered, which was great - while he stayed and played. I told him I was leaving and he sort of waved without taking his eyes off the toys. I was back within about half and hour and they said he did great and was participating. I am hoping this bodes well for the big transition next Thursday.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

My son, the cat

Andy has decided he's a cat. That's right, at various times of the day he likes to drop to all four and start meowing. At that point, he's to be treated like a cat, meaning he must be petted on the head and his meowing praised. When he's acting as a cat, he likes to get down and crawl around on all fours, especially weaving in and out of the dining room chairs. It's adorable. Tonight though, he wanted to not only be a cat, but be a cat carried around like a baby. I can't explain what he was thinking, but it was really funny to be carrying him around in my arms while he meowed.

The other thing he's doing lately is specifically asking for Doris our next door neighbor. Last night he was irate with me that I wouldn't take him over. Tonight I did and I figured out his obsession - she give him lollipops. What a brilliant grandmother move - bribe children into loving you! I also am realizing I need to teach him to call her Miss Doris. I prefer the last names generally, but I think forcing him to call her Mrs. Something is going to be confusing. Well, mostly because I'm not exactly sure of her last night either.

Welcome baby Mary

My cousins had their baby, named Mary. She came in at an extremely healthy 10 pounds, 11 ounces. Fortunately for her mother's sake, she was born Ceasarean. Congratulations Frances, Ben and George!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Good night video

Bjorn sent this while I was gone, but I didn't get to listen to the audio until I got back. How sweet are they? And how badly does my kid need a haircut?

Monday, February 19, 2007

My, how fast he learns

I've been gone for four days and I'm amazed at everything Andy has picked up in my absence. He has figured out how to pee on the potty somewhat consistently (well, if twice in two days counts), he can say "No, un-uh," and he can officially call Mark's girlfriend Jamie by her first name. It's hard to be away, but it's so nice to come back and have the perspective to see what has changed. The other bonus to this trip was getting to spend time with my mother who came along. It would have been better had American Airlines not forced me to spend a night in Dallas, but otherwise it turned out well. The hotel was amazing. Seriously. Check out the link - http://www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=1298. It actually looked that beautiful in person.

Andy has now finished his second round of antibiotics for his ears and we went to the doctor for a follow up appointment only to realize he still has an ear infection. The good news is they're better than they were at the two earlier appointments, but she didn't think they would heal on their own so he's not on another antibiotic, zithr-something or other. At least it's not as nasty tasting as the earlier one and the other good thing is it's only once a day for five days. That's a little more manageable than twice a day for 10 days. We go back next Friday to see if it's improved. She said this is classic for the two-year-old age group for them to get an ear infection and have it improve only for him to get another cold and have it come back. She said the antibiotics and warmer weather coming this week should really help improve things.

While I was there, I also asked about my freak rash on my leg and she said it's entirely possible to get poison ivy in winter and possibly from firewood or some other wooded area. I always knew I was special, but the ability to catch a rash in winter isn't what I was thinking.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Snow and soccer

It dropped snow, sleet and freezing rain all over the D.C. metro area yesterday. It's beautiful. And very slippery. I leave for Mexico tomorrow so I'm hoping the airports are back to operating normally by then. I'm meeting my mom in Dallas and continuing on to Cabo together. I hope the travel gods don't conspire to missed connections.

In other news, Arlington County where I play soccer is trying to change the residency requirements and limit team sports to only Arlington County residents, which means folks like me won't be able to play any longer because our team which is made up of residents from many counties will have to break up. I get limiting reserving activities for residents when it comes to individual classes like yoga or swimming, but for team sports, it's hard to require that everyone come from the same area. It's hard enough to find good, reliable and funny players, much less mandating that they live in a certain county. If you are interested, please sign the petition telling Arlington not to do this. It's online here http://www.petitiononline.com/ACK/petition.html.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Someone needs to warn the potty chair

After Andy's success standing up with the potty, he's now fascinated by it. Of course, he's never fascinated with it at a time when he could do anything with it. Rather, he usually does his business and then later gets an interest. This morning, Bjorn took off Andy's diaper and asked him if he'd like to go to the potty. Andy sprinted over to it and continued to thrust his body at it in the hopes that some pee would come out. He was practically mounting the poor Baby Bjorn potty trying to shove his boy parts at the potty trying to get them to work. Unfortunately, all this excitement made him poop. On the floor. It was totally gross and I couldn't convince him to turn around and actually get it into the potty. Clearly, we're a ways off actual potty training since I don't think he is able to recognize when his body is telling him it's time to go. The whole thing is pretty amusing. Well, when it's not totally disgusting.

Andy is also going through a bit of a hitting phase. Over the weekend, he kept hitting me and Bjorn and didn't get that it wasn't funny. I tried to give him a time out, but he still seemed to think it was a game. I eventually put him to bed and he seemed to forget about it overnight although this morning he hit me and smiled, waiting for a game to begin. I held his arm and said, "No hitting" and after about 30 seconds, he began to sulk, which is how he usually reacts when I tell him no. I definitely need to read up on this discipline thing.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

"Mama, Broken"

Tonight Andy did something that will haunt him the rest of his life. As I undressed him in the bathroom for his bath, he started to pee on the floor. Quickly, I grabbed the plastic insert from the potty chair and put it under his stream and caught what was left. He was fascinated. Seriously. I moved it over and put it back in the potty, directed him over to it and encouraged him to keep peeing. He squatted, bent his knees, leaned forward, bounced on his toes a bit and generally hung over the potty. At one point, he was pushing his stomach out so far he couldn't see his penis, which confused him. After a bit, he turned to me and said, "Mama, broken" and pointed to his penis. The whole scene cracked me up so I had to call Bjorn en route from the George Mason game (they lost to Hofstra) just to relate the story. It was truly amusing.

The good news is he's showing an interest in the potty again. The last few weeks/months, he's really wanted nothing to do with it.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Attack of the strawberries

Attack of the dried strawberries.

This is from last weekend at our quasi Super Bowl party. Andy looks like such a kid there - not just a toddler, a full-fledged boy. When did that happen?

I tried to meet a friend for a playdate this afternoon. We planned to meet at the Hidden Oaks Nature Center in Annandale. It says very clearly on the Web site that it closes at 5 p.m. in the winter, but apparently the folks that work there don't care because they have a big sign outside that says it closes at 4 pm. So when we showed up at 4:10 p.m., there was a big "closed" sign outside. We took Andy and Madeline down to play on the playground for a bit, but it was cold - much too cold for the mothers anyway.

The backup plan was Einstein's bagels in Fairfax City, which closes at 5 p.m. although they clearly sensed the day we were having and were closed by the time we got there at 4:50 p.m. We decided to hit Trader Joe's for a bit. I didn't need anything, but wandering the aisles is always fun since it's not a regular supermarket. I found a few things, including some dried strawberries for Andy. He loved them (see picture) and nearly had a fit when I tried to pry them from his hands to pay for them. Those suckers really do stain though - good to know if I ever want to shoot a horror film in my backyard.

Earlier in the day, I went to drop off some paperwork at Andy's new school, talk to the teachers and reaquaint him with where he'll be going. He immediately felt at home and was participating in their story time. The teachers were nice and friendly and Andy was eager to play with all the toys. I liked that I felt like I could just walk in at any time. When your babysitter is at someone's house, it's not as easy to just pop into the classroom the same way. What was strange though was seeing 16 kids all in the same class with three teachers. The ratio is really good and I think he'll like all the activity, but it's still strange to see so many kids all together. It definitely felt more like a school and less like a babysitter, which is exactly what I was going for, fortunately.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Shoes, letters and tantrums

It's official - I have now spent $30 on a pair of kids' shoes. I had tried to avoid it as long as possible, but I finally broke down and did it, buying a pair of Merrell shoes from Nordstrom. In my defense, I did have $20 left on a Nordstrom gift card. He has been wearing a pair of hand-me-down Stride Rite brown saddle oxfords that I love (and Bjorn hates, naturally), but he has now outgrown the size 6 shoes. I figured he needed another somewhat nicer style shoe, you know, for all the formals and proms he goes to, or more likely the occasional event where just sneakers wouldn't be enough.

Andy continues to amaze me with his numbers and letters as well as his ability to throw a temper tantrum. He now proudly can point to A, O and Y when he sees them. Just this morning he pointed out about half the letters on my George Mason t-shirt and managed to get most of them right. He also points to things and counts them. He can usually get to four or five before he starts skipping to seven or nine. I'm quite impressed. Similarly, his ability to just throw down and have a temper tantrum is impressive. I guess I thought a tantrum was him jumping up and down demanding more ice cream, but his is different. Rather, he just starts to scream/cry hysterically often because he can't have something (like going outside when it's 20 degrees). I try to be mindful that he's like that when he's tired and hungry, but in those situations, usually he won't let me feed him or console him to calm him down. It's not his most attractive moments, nor mine for that matter.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Andy is really figuring out his numbers. He recognizes a few on site now and loudly points them out. Like when the news is on, he points to the corner of the screen and shouts "Four!" It's awesome when he's right. He also can count in order (most of the time) up to five and sometimes 10. It's really amazing to watch the learning. Somehow I thought we'd be sitting around a book one day and he would learn his numbers that way rather than just picking them up through life. Same goes with his letters. He's figured a few out and happily points them out, like the O and the A, when he sees them written somewhere. Watching this stage of development is really pretty amazing.

The new antibiotic seems to be working, at least he's less cranky today. I think the stuff tastes terrible, but he doesn't seem to mind. I am irritated though that this one says to give him three CCs when the other was teaspoons and the Tylenol is in mL. Seriously, what's up with that? I'm a fairly bright person and usually read labels. I worry that other parents are accidentally overdosing (or underdosing) their kids, which could be pretty dangerous. Why all the different measurements? My flaw with this dose was not asking for it flavored. Apparently if you ask the pharmacy, they'll throw in a bubble gum flavor (or similar nausea-inducing gunk) to make it more palatable. Good to know for next time.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The double ear infection

It turns out the ear infection from two weeks ago has decided not to go away after all. Instead, it spread to the other ear. Dr. Staats gave Bjorn a prescription for another antibiotic and suggested that his ears bugging him could be the reason for his colic-esque behavior of the past week where he comes home and manages to let little things set him off. I was blaming the antiobiotic, turns out it's his ears. Great.

In better news, a little snow is expected tonight. Not much is expected, but considering it's 12 degrees outside (seriously, it is 12 degrees-I'm not exaggerating), whatever does fall is guaranteed to stick.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Random pictures

In jeans and a cute zippered sweater, he just looks like such a boy and not a baby, especially as he refuses to divert his eye to look at me for even a second in this picture.

Andy pretending to sleep on a big bath sponge that is making its way to the "new baby pile of stuff" for friends. Right now he's pretending to sleep on just about every pillow. Note that he's got his big thing of raisins in his hand still. No sense acting too hard.

Here his is dancing naked to the iPod with attached speakers (thanks to Mary for the awesome Christmas present). Surely this picture will be blackmail material for later.

Chocolate lovers' fiasco

Liz and I took Andy to the Fairfax Chocolate Lovers' Festival yesterday. It sounded like a fun time for all of us what with chocolate as the main theme. There was a good crowd and things were generally well marked. The problem was no one had organized the inside of the buildings so there was no good flow. Every where we stood someone was bumping into us or trying to get by. I'm not typically claustrophobic, but the whole scene made me a little uneasy. They also advertised this as an event for kids, but most places wouldn't let you take a stroller in. Andy hasn't willingly gone into a stroller in months, but yesterday was cold so he happily ploppped right in only to scream bloody murder when we tried to take him out. After a little of that, we decided someone needed a nap and headed home.

Friday, February 02, 2007


Who would think I'd have a kid with lots of opinions? Crazy, right? Lately, Andy has taken to wanting to eat at the small craft table in the living room instead of in his booster seat at the dining room table. Fortunately, everything at the table and under it is wood so I can easily wipe it down afterwards.

The word of the week is "yes." Before he either said no or shook his head yes, but yesterday he started saying "yes" to questions. It's funny because it sounds so authoritative. He's really picking up words these days although I don't always know what he's saying. I do find myself listening closely and figuring it out sometimes. I remember seeing friends listening to their kids and having to translate and now I'm doing the same thing.

Big plans tomorrow, Liz is coming by and we're going to hit the Fairfax City Chocolate Festival. I have no idea if it's good or not, but it has chocolate in the name so how bad could it be?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

What a difference a year makes

Here is Andy with Henry. Both boys share the same birthday, just 365 days apart. What's fun is Henry isn't walking yet so he's at that stage where they really start to bulk up before becoming a more active toddler (and getting so busy he won't eat). In this picture, Henry looks the same size although he's four pounds lighter and easily four inches shorter.

Non-book reading book club

So I've been talking to some of my soccer friends about how we can get out to games, but set a social event and we can't figure out how to do it, usually because our spouses aren't as supportive of happy hour as they are a scheduled event. So my sister recommended we have a book club that doesn't actually read books. Rather, we'll get together and talk about how we'd like to read books over wine and snacks. Our husbands can't argue because hey, who lobbies against reading. My friends are totally down with the idea and have even suggested we pick really hard books like Ulysses so at least we'll be a very literate non-book reading book club. We will also discuss trashy magazines we would like to read if we had time. I'm rather looking forward to it.

In less fun news, my temper-tantrum throwing child is still in residence. I've decided the antibiotics must be finally taking a tool on his tummy making him uber cranky. I've half-decided to cut the dose for the weekend and see if he doesn't start to improve. He's been on it a week now so I think it's done most of it's damage and at this point, another cold would be an improvement over this misery.