Friday, August 31, 2007

2 1/2 year check up, one month late

Today we had Andy's 2 1/2 year check up a solid one month late. I called about a month or so ago figuring I could just get in, but with everyone going to the doctor to get physicals for school, I had trouble getting a well appointment on a Friday. He weighed in at 32 pounds and is now 36 inches tall, making him a solid 50th percentile on both height and weight, further confirming Bjorn's suspicion that Andy is not going to be that tall and Bjorn she start training him to be a point guard now.

She was pleased with his verbal skills even though he was playing shy and wouldn't talk too much for her. She also confirmed my suspicions that he's getting two new molars. That was a relief as I was worried his recent ornery behavior was related to an ear infection, but the ear check came up clean. I just wish the diagnosis would stop the constant whining and fake crying he's doing lately.

I asked about potty training. She said not to sweat it because most kids of normal development around 3ish will decide they don't want to wear diapers anymore and that it would be a waste of time to try to force him into it now if he's not interested. This kid has no interest in the potty at the moment. He sits on it occasionally at school, but rarely at home. It's good to know our approach of offering without forcing is the right one although some days after the fourth poopy diaper in a row I really think otherwise.

In other news, a reporter from CNN contacted me about an article she's writing about new mothers. How cool is that? I gave her some quotes and a picture. She asked for a picture of me and Andy and looking through the last year, it turns out I have like three pictures of just the two of us that are remotely presentable. There are lots of cute ones of him and Bjorn, but apparently I'm the one always taking the pictures. I sent her a sampling of photos for her to pick which one is best. That should be interesting. If only she's promise to photoshop me and make my teeth perfectly white and shave (at least) 10 pounds off me. The story is supposed to run Thursday on and is a column on empowered patients or something like that. And to think you knew me before all the fame and fortune.


It's been a crazy week coming off travel so I haven't had much time to devote to this, what with paying bills, doing laundry, etc. Here are a few cute pictures from the weekend. My dad reading to Andy.

Mom fixing Andy and Megan's shoes at the pool.

The obligatory bathtub pictures. As you can see, they hated it.

Monday, August 27, 2007

We've arrived

Andy and I are back after our whirlwind weekend trip to Dallas. It was a lot of time in transit and no time to contact old friends (sorry Susan!), but fortunately the weather cooperated and American Airlines treated us fine. The only thing negative really was I noticed getting off the plane in Dallas that the other passengers were courteous to the woman traveling with a small child and offered to help me get into the aisle and help with my bags. On the way back, I was practically trampled trying to get into the aisle once we landed at Dulles. In fact, I had even waited 4-5 minutes after my aisle had left waiting for a calm opportunity to launch ourselves into the fray. I put Andy in the aisle and proceeded to grab my bag to have a woman snidely say, "Excuse me" and try to get past me in the two foot aisle. Nice.

Andy had a great time seeing my family, especially his cousin Megan. He even liked seeing my new niece "baby Emma" even if he did complain that she cried occasionally. My folks have inherited some great kids toys from friends with older children and grandchildren. The hit of the weekend was a train table complete with some trains and Matchbox cars that the kids eagerly played with. We also went to the pool and Andy even swam in the "big pool" and didn't freak out (he's not especially enamored of the deep water). There was also lots of book reading by Grandmother and Pop, which both Andy and Megan adored. In between it all, we even managed to get a couple hands of bridge in.

Unfortunately, Andy and I have both come home with colds and Andy even has a light fever. Yuck. I'm looking forward to the three day Labor Day weekend to recover from my vacation!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The saga of the bed, part 3

I am loving the new bed. Sort of. I love that Andy loves it. I don't love that I haven't figured out how to not smack my head when I try to sit on the bed. I changed his sheets tonight and must have knocked myself 2-3 times before I finally figured out how not to do it. I'm obviously not very bright.

He does love it so, and that makes up for a lot. The tunnel in particular is a huge hit. The last two mornings I have come in to find him already awake and under there. This morning he'd even brought his dogs and his binky with him. I check on him at night so I don't think he's sleeping there, but I know he's thinking about it.

We're off to Dallas tomorrow for a whirlwind weekend trip mostly to see my new niece Emma. Andy is particularly excited to see my older niece Megan. It's not a vacation per se, but it will be great to catch up and it's certainly not work either.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The saga of the new bed

The new bed is turning out to be quite a dramatic element in our house. Last night I spent an hour or so showing Andy how it could be flipped upside down to put the bed on the floor or on the top bunk. He loved it, but he sorely missed the "tunnel" (space created when the bed is set up as a twin as the guard rails for the top bunk shield the space under the bed so it can only be accessed through the hole left in the ladder) so I then had to move the bed back. Fortunately, it's not heavy, just awkward to move in a small room that is fairly crowded.

Then tonight, I went in to check on him after putting him to bed only to find he had crawled out of bed. Fortunately, before I had a chance to panic, I heard him say, "Mommy, I'm sleeping in my tunnel." Otherwise, I would have freaked wondering where in the world he had gone to and probably convinced myself he'd been kidnapped or something else horrible.

Photos are stock shots from Ikea, you know, how it would look if the house was organized and color coordinated. The left one is how it would work as a bunk bed though as I could put a bed on top and then underneath as well. Unfortunately, Andy didn't like the bed like this. At least this week. Bugger. With the right photo, you can see the space left by the ladder. When it's flipped over, there is plenty of room for a 2 1/2 year old to wiggle underneath and disappear.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


So Andy slept through the night not realizing he was sleeping in his new bed so we heard him when he woke up saying, "Wow! Wow! Wow!" as he examined it, complete with starry tent. He was quite excited. I love that he loves it.

The only drawback is with the new bed we went ahead and took off the guard rail we had because the new setup makes it hard enough to get in and out of for adults without that there. Unfortunately, he did fall off the bed during his nap today and never quite got back to sleep after that. Bjorn is ready to give away the guard rail, but I thinking we should hang on to it for a few weeks just in case.

New bed

The bed Andy's been sleeping on the past six months was actually a hand-me-down from my friend Liz. I think it might have been hers growing up. We have loved it and used it off and on as either a primary bed or a guest bed. For Andy, I tried to spruce it up by painting it white, but I did a terrible job and it has been really bothering me. I had been doing some research and found a cool loft-esque bed that we finally settled on and bought today. The cool thing about it is it's a low bed or a high bed. For now, it will be a low bed with the fun tent over it. When he gets older, we can flip it over and create a little play area underneath.

Bjorn was a champ and put the whole thing together mostly by himself over what seemed like three hours. In the excitement coming home from Ikea, I suggested we install it immediately, thinking it wouldn't take longer than an hour. But about the hour and half mark, Andy actually cried, "I'm tired," so I put him to sleep in my bed where he actually went to sleep.

Afterwards, it was late so I just carried Andy into his new bed. I tried to talk to him and let him know about his new bed and not be scared, but he refused to budge. Fingers crossed the night is uneventful.

Friday, August 17, 2007


Andy has learned the word yesterday and he uses it all the time now. Sometimes he's right, yesterday he did go to school or yesterday he had gym. Other times, they're wild fantasies, "Yesterday I went on a plane to Texas with Mia." Oh? That's news to me. Because I think yesterday you went to school and then we played in the backyard.

He is really so verbal now. It's really amazing to listen to him in full sentences declare his like or dislike for something. He also now has reasons for liking and disliking things, like certain songs are "scary" and some things are "too noisy." It's amazing how he's learned to process language and even use pronouns properly.

I'm also amazed by what he remembers. As a baby, it was easy to distract and move on knowing he wouldn't remember I promised ice cream or something. Now, however, he remembers in great detail what I said about a certain subject. He also has vivid details about some of his friends, like Mia, and what they did and when they'll see each other next. It's really pretty cool.

Monday, August 13, 2007


The whole clan, inclduing Andy who is in a phase of chewing on his hands. I would guess it was teething, but I think he has all his baby teeth, according to Dr. Spock.
Chrille, Kina and Jennifer toasting. We even had good champagne and not crappy Cook's. I don't much care for champagne, but I really loathe really bad champagne, which I consider a hangover in a bottle.

All the present grandchildren (minus two in California): Jennifer, Margareta (complete with tiara that we made her wear), Nicole, Mark holding Andy, and Ryan.

Singing happy birthday (we kept having to make her put the tiara back on).

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Keyed entry

My friend Viv recommended we get a realtor-esque lockbox like they use in the business. She assured me they had them at Home Depot and she was right. For about $30, we know how a permanent combination key box. Now if only I can get an alarm that goes off with the user fails to put it back after a few minutes. It is a nice piece of mind now that Andy is increasingly getting bold putting and turning knobs and locks.

We've had an exciting weekend filled with family who came in from California and Sweden to surprise Bjorn's mother for her XXth birthday. She was thrilled with the whole thing and there are lots of good pictures to share. Unfortunately, our digital camera is currently missing is action with all the activities going on between her house and ours, but I'll upload them as soon as it materializes.

Andy has been having a great time singing happy birthday all weekend and eating birthday cake. He's somewhat obsessed with birthday cake in general (whenever he cooks in his kitchen, he's always making birthday cake and wants to sing once he's done) so this has been a great few days for him.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Opposable thumbs

Andy has figured out the locks on our doors. Sadly, he has figured out how to lock me out of the house as well. Yesterday I had started boiling some water on the stove and stepped outside for 2 minutes to turn on the water to try to revive my plants that are melting in the 100 degree days with 70 percent humidity we've been having all week. Andy said he was content playing in his kitchen although as soon as the door closed apparently he changed his mind because seconds later, I tried the kitchen door and it was locked. From the inside. Where my house keys and cell phone were. D'oh.

Fortunately, after about 30 seconds of coaching he figured out how to unlock it, but those were some pretty tense 30 seconds.

I've been saying for some time we need to find some type of permanent hide-a-key for the carport. We've tried it over the years for Mark, but he would use the key once and lose it so after a while there simply weren't any extra keys to hide. I think Andy is telling me I need to revisit this idea.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Resume writing 101

I have to hire for a position at work. It's a job that requires a lot of writing and editing so finding someone who can put together some sentences is key. What is stunning is how many people apply for a job requiring writing who can't write or proofread.

Here are tips for those applying for writing jobs to help you land the interview.

5. Pay attention to the funky symbols. and the like all can insert weird characters into your resume that you're cutting and pasting into their system. Seriously, spend the 15 minutes making sure your bullets aren't question marks. Yes, someone really does care. Yes, it really will keep you from getting a second look if it's not right.
4. Get a friend, relative, coworker, random stranger to read your resume. Typos happen, sure, but this is your five minutes of fame. Spend the time to make sure it really is perfect. I got a resume today for someone who allegedly teachers grammar at a local high school whose resume was full of typos. (This may explain something actually...)
3. Explain yourself. If you don't live in the area or have taken time off work, explain it. Don't make me guess why you're living in Denver and applying for a job in Washington. Because that's one heck of a commute.
2. Proof your cover letter. If you're going to bother personalizing it for every place you apply, remember to actually personalize it for each company and position. Half the resumes I see are actually addressed to a different company for a different position.
1. Check your e-mail. I love that folks include their personal e-mails on resumes now since it's so easy to contact people that way. What I don't understand is why you would put "sexysusie69" on a piece of business correspondence. In this day of free Yahoo! and G-mail accounts, spend the $0 to get "susiesmith2007." I can't tell you how many e-mail addresses I see that are practically porn names.

Stepping off soapbox slowly and checking the spelling as I do.

Edited to correct the typos my darling husband and mother found for me. See, I'm not immune to typos, I just have good editors helping me.

Friday, August 03, 2007

When toothpaste attacks

After school last night, Andy was a little cranky so he suggested he go to bed for a little bit. Usually 15 minutes of being quiet, chilling in his bed, flipping through Thomas books helps him settle down into being his adorable self again. Last night, I was in the basement listening to him and he was quiet, like sleeping quiet, for nearly half an hour. I took the silence to mean he really needed the break. I went up after a bit to see if he was ready for dinner only to find him covered in sticky, clear stuff on his face. He'd had a bit of a runny nose so I started to clean off his face only to realize he had taken his toothbrush and toddler toothpaste and squeezed it all over himself and his bed. It was lovely.

I gave him a bath and eventually put him to bed in new sheets. This morning, unfortunately, I discovered that he'd gotten it on a part of his bedspread and one of his dogs, too, so now I get to wash all his bedding and perhaps the new sheets as well. Curious little buggers, aren't they?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The deathy hallows

I've been really busy this week - reading the 7th Harry Potter book "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." Not to worry, no spoilers here. Overall, I liked it. It had a surprising and satisfying ending. My only complaint was that it was really long. There were probably 200-300 pages in the middle that probably could have been cut in half and still told the same story.

Funny, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get a copy, but I just walked into Borders last week and bought one on sale for 40 percent off (still $20 for a hardback, but better than $34). They seemed to have hundreds of copies. By next week, they'll probably be selling them for $10.

The good news is that I'm done with it now so I don't have to worry that someone will accidentally tell me the ending. The only problem is now that I'm done, I need to find another good book. The history of Texas book I've been reading is good, but it's hardly the same kind of page turner.