Sunday, July 29, 2007

A bunch of queens

We went to check out our friends' new place yesterday for dinner. The kids had a great time and insisted that we sing happy birthday with crowns as we ate our brownies. The men looked pretty good in their crowns, surprisingly.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Hiding from monsters

The favorite game in our house is hiding from monsters. He must pick this up from the other kids in school, because we don't normally discuss monsters around here. Well, unless they come in the form of bills, the temperamental lawn edger or killer mosquitoes. Here we are hiding from the monsters under the covers, which is actually pretty darn adorable. Well, except on the 36th time in 20 minutes he screams, "Gotta hide from the monsters!" and takes apart whatever else we were working on.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Fish out of water

I woke up about 4 a.m. last night to the howls of one of the cats who had been left outside. Apparently she'd done all the whoring around that a spayed cat does at that hour and was ready for dinner and some sleep. On my way back to bed, I checked on Andy out of habit. Little guy was asleep at the foot of his bed with his head, chest and arms on the bed with his legs hanging off the side. Neither of us woke up to him crying so I can only imagine at some point he got up to get something, perhaps another Thomas book, and fell asleep on the way back. He wasn't upset, but I went ahead and moved him into his normal spot so it would feel more normal when he woke up.

Crazy little guy. The bed is completely blocked off on three sides yet he still manages to fall out somehow. I can't quite explain it, but I'm somewhat impressed by this.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Date night

At the concert on Friday, some friends came along and brought their daughter, Mia, who is apparently Andy's love interest. Check out the way he laughs at her jokes here as if it's truly the funniest thing anyone has ever said. Rather precious and perfect for later for embarrassment.

Andy is truly smitten with her (she's six months older and clearly more mature as well). He spent the evening following her around even when that involved bad ideas like running down a hill, which remarkably she can handle in flip-flops, but he could not in shoes.

My friend also brought lollipops for the kids, which was a huge hit. Andy carried his around all night even after he dropped it on the grass. Twice.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Swedish sensibilities

So my dad e-mailed us this week to ask if we'd ever heard of the band ABBA. Apparently they're Swedish, he said, so Bjorn being of Swedish descent may have heard of them. My dad is apparently helping select entertainment for the Dallas Symphony and HAIR cancelled so they're offering him ABBA. Here's a slightly exaggerated account of our conversation.

Me: Dad, you've heard of ABBA. They had a bunch of hits in the 70s.
Dad: I don't think so. What kind of music do they sing?
Me: Pop.
Dad: But is that folk? Rock?
Me: No, it's pop. It was disco music. Fun and peppy. I swear you'd recognize their songs. They now play them during baseball and hockey games at intermissions and such. Besides, and more importantly, there is no way ABBA is touring and a venue for them is the Dallas Symphony. They are huge. Think Simon and Garfunkle reunion huge.
Dad: They told me ABBA. Just like I said in my e-mail.
Me: Well, the four members -- all with names beginning with letters that spell ABBA -- were married and now they're not. That was like 25 years ago. They don't like each other and are not touring. This would be bigger than the Spice Girls reunion.
Dad: Who? Maybe it's like the Kingston Trio and only one member of the band will be there.
Me: (Now sad that I know so much about ABBA) Dad, I really don't think so. One of the women moved back to Sweden and doesn't speak English any longer. The two men went on to be famous producers, including a Broadway musical, Mamma Mia. Maybe that's what this is, the music from Mamma Mia?
Dad: No, they said ABBA.
Me: Seriously, this would be huge news if ABBA was getting back together. Besides, they have cover bands, like Bjorn Again who we like, who routinely fill 3,000 seat venues so I think the Dallas Symphony might be small even for them.
Dad: So what you're saying is I need to ask some more questions?
Me: Yes, I think that would be a good idea.

The whole dialogue was so funny, it made my day. My dad cracks me up sometimes.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Jammin to the politicos

One of the perks of living in suburbia is some of the cool stuff big countries like Fairfax have to offer. Case in point is the summer entertainment series that takes place at the park by the lake near our place. Sadly, it's on the other side of the lake from us and thus not within walking distance, but the bands are usually decent, it's infinitely convenient and kid-friendly, and free.

We went last week with some friends and Andy was so happy about the whole thing he danced for about 20 minutes of the 60 minute set with an enormous smile on his face before crashing down to sit for a minute. It was all rather impressive since he hadn't had a nap that day.

The only downsides to this are the concert is held on a strange rock incline so you really need to bring a chair because rocks in the backside are less good that you might imagine (and I imagine you thought rocks on the backside were already not good). The other negative is the local politicians love to stop by and claim credit for it.

Just about every week the organizers have to officially suck up to Sharon Bulova, our rep on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. We also routinely have Tom Davis and/or his wife Jeannemarie Devolites Davis. Of course, they're all running for reelection and the Republican Davises are especially vulnerable so they're coming around and sucking up. It would be more interesting if it was anyone BUT them or if they ever had anything to say except, "Like these concerts? You can thank me personally! Here, have a fan with my name and picture on it."

They also never stay at the concert they claim to care so much about. They glad hand for five minutes, get introduced and leave. I guess this is what local pols do, but I'm ready for something, someone, more interesting.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

All clear

After waiting several months, we finally got in to see the pediatric otolaryngologist today. Dr. McBride was very nice and had a nice clean operation with good toys in the waiting room. Sadly, no toys in the exam room (note to self - always take a toy into the exam room). The good news is he looked in both ears and they are finally free of any fluid. So for the first time in months, he's finally got the all clear. Huge relief! We talked about tubes and such. He said that a child who has recurrent ear infections will likely get them again, but him finally being clear is a good sign. We're scheduled to go back in October in the beginning of flu and cold season to see how he's doing. I also got all the surgical paperwork together so should in September he start getting bad infections again, we could just call and schedule the surgery rather than starting the wait all over again. I'm not sure we'll do it, but it's good to know.

After the exam, we went back to talk to the audiologist to check on his hearing. Unfortunately, it was about noon and therefore lunch and nearing on nap time so he was tired and overstimulated and not in the mood for her silly hearing games. So we left with an incomplete result, but from what she could tell he could hear fine (whether he wants to hear is something else). I'm relieved the appointment went so well.

Funny though, he was quizzing us on why it took so long to come see him since Andy's last ear infection was back in April (that we knew of). I said it was easier to get an audience with the Pope than to get in to see him and he apologized and blushed a little. Turns out most doctors have no idea what their front office staff is doing and saying unless a patient tells them.

My sister is still visiting and we've been having fun when we haven't been working. She leaves tomorrow. Boo. It's been nice having a roommate who also likes random sports like cycling and bad television. Once I get more time, I'll post more photos of Emma and Mary's visit. My mother is complaining she doesn't like the ones posted (too bad, I actually think the one of Mary is fun).

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Tia's here!

My sister, Mary, is visiting this week. It took "Tia" (Spanish for aunt) about five seconds for Andy to decide he prefers her over me. At least he gave me the courtesy of a few minutes before chucking me completely.

We've had a fun few days. Thursday I took off work and we went into town to rent kayaks on the Potomac River. The folks at the rental place were friendly and the kayaks were serviceable enough. I thought they were fine, but Mary is a real kayaker and was less impressed. But for $8 an hour, it was still a bargain. We paddled for a few hours up toward Great Falls and back. It was a beautiful day with sunny skies and low humidity. It was also great that we went Thursday before the article in the Washington Post on Friday saying the water is filled with fecal material and unsafe for swimming. Yum! I'm glad I did wash my hands before we settled into one of the slowest lunches ever at Tony and Joe's afterwards. Granted, it was on the waterfront on a beautiful day, but should it really take 2 hours to get soup, salad and crab cakes at a seafood restaurant during peak hours?

Friday, we went shopping at the Leesburg Outlets. We both needed new purses and the Coach outlet delivered. Good thing, too, as my friend Armando has been researching purses for me and it turns out the "stylish" ones from Louis Vuitton and others start at $2,000. Seriously? Who are the people who drop that kind of money on a purse that is so trendy it will be out of style next season?

Today Mary's vet conference started downtown, but we met for dinner and then went to the Goo Goo Dolls concert that was playing for attendees. It was a good show although it was funny to see all these really smart doctors dancing around, most of whom had probably never heard of the Goo Goo Dolls. The best part was a cute couple two-stepping to Slide. I did feel my age, though, as we only lasted about an hour before we declared it too loud and left. Granted, I think they start turning up the volume as they went along. It was fun though.

Picture is of Mary at the concert despite their instructions to not take pictures. I know, we're rebels. Anyway, that's the Goo Goo Dolls on the stage. You can see that, right?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Baby Emma

After harassing my mother for not sending any pictures with the baby's face, she sent me this one and promises to send more with her eyes open. Reports are she's doing great and when I talked to Elizabeth, she sounded great as well. Also, big news is the baby has a name - Emma. So glad to hear everyone is happy and healthy. They leave the hospital today. Now if she'd only start sleeping through the night already. Five days isn't too much to ask, is it?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Meet my new niece, baby Miller. She doesn't have a name just yet, but early reports are that she's perfect, has a head of dark hair and still has the beautiful squished baby look. Here she is with my sister Elizabeth and new big sister Megan.

P.S. Sorry for the lack of titles. Blogger is doing something weird and won't let me write in the field today.
First off, happy birthday to my new niece. She doesn't have a name yet, but she was born on cue on 7/7/07, weighing in at the healthy 7 pounds, 4 ounces. No word on a name yet, but so far, mother, baby, father and big sister seem to be doing well.

Speaking of birthdays, Andy is obsessed with birthday cake. Actually, he's obsessed with making birthday cake. If we're at the playground, he wants to go over to the house part and make birthday cake out of mulch. If we're at the pool, he wants to make birthday cake by pouring water into various cups. At home in his kitchen, he likes to use his fake food to make, what else, more birthday cake.

We were at the park yesterday and there were two older girls, probably aged 8 or 9, who were playing as well. Andy went over to them and talked to them about making birthday cake. Naturally, they thought he was cute, but crazy, and moved on. I think he's going to have to work on his pickup lines.

Photo is of Andy making birthday cake in our back yard. He takes his culinary responsibilities very seriously.

Friday, July 06, 2007


For the 4th, Bjorn ended up buying us a huge assortment from Costco. They were great, even if Mark and his girlfriend declared them lame because they weren't the kind that shot up high in the sky (course, considering all the problems with the local fireworks, there was no way we could compete with mortar rounds into the crowd, thankfully). Andy liked them although the really noisy ones scared him and he had to be reassured that no one was getting hurt. After that, he really liked the colorful ones. Especially the ones with green in them. No surprise there.

We stayed up too late shooting off the fireworks so that somehow in the night, Andy wiggled all the way to the end of the bed and fell off the side. At 3:49 a.m. I heard the thud first and my instincts popped me out of bed before the first wail, which was loud. It's the kind of wail you know immediately is the cry of injury and not wanting apple juice over orange juice. Poor guy was really sleepy and scared, and so was I until I woke up enough to realize everything was okay. Fortunately, after a bit of hugging and calming him down, we all went back to sleep.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


The summer program has started at Andy's school, meaning there were a few new kids yesterday. The new kids were scared and anxious so there were lots of tears at the morning drop off. Andy is now the big boy on campus, and proceeded to give hugs to the new kids to make them feel better. I love that he thinks hugs are the answer to life's problems. Of course, he likes to extend those hugs to tiny babies and to the cats, which is not always the best answer.

Tomorrow is the 4th of July. We all have tomorrow off, but have to work Thursday so it likely won't be a super late night for us. I've been scouting around trying to find a low-key fireworks show. I figure when Andy gets older, we can trek to Fairfax High School or the National Mall for one of the big shows, but at this age, I don't think the hassle to park, take a shuttle bus and fight with thousands of other people for 20 minutes of fireworks is worth it. The hard part is trying to find a small (i.e. not very crowded) show for us to watch. I wonder if my best alternative is to buy some fireworks to set off in the street out front. I know Bjorn is always worried I will lose a hand or finger that way, but it might be my best option.