Monday, June 30, 2008

And the winner is...

Trixie is the name of the bunny. I know you were all waiting anxiously for that. Please alert the media.

Andy started in his new class last week and loves it. It's so great that he loves it, it really is, but he half the weekend asking if his school was open. He was even asking for Miss Paris by name. I think he has a little crush. Bjorn even reported that at drop off day, he didn't even give the perfunctory, "But Daddy, I'm going to miss you." Instead, he waved and said good-bye. Today I even picked up Meg first and then went to get Andy, giving him an extra 15 minutes at school. Even then he wasn't quite ready to come home.

Meg is just beyond adorable right now. She loves to smile, a lot, and kicks her legs in excitement when I walk in the room. Man, is it nice to be the prettiest, funniest and smartest person in the room for her. Unfortunately, the poor little chicken has developed a little constipation. I only mention it because when her belly hurts, man, she is unhappy. When she's normally so happy and smiley, it's such a shock when she seems inconsolable for longer than a few seconds. I did discover the hard way that a warm bath seems to, er, ease her system. I tell you, there is so much of this motherhood stuff that is just disgusting.

Meanwhile, does anyone know how to back up a Blogspot blog? It occurs to me that since this is the only baby book my kids are going to have, I should figure out how to create a back-up to ensure that I have the information for them.

This and that

Andy has developed some really awesomely annoying habits:
* He now asks, "Are we there yet?" Over and over and over again. No amount of answer seems to satisfy him.
* Andy is now pitting his parents against each other to get what he wants. "Daddy, can I watch TV? Mommy said I could." Did Mommy actually say he could? No.
* He is extremely bossy. At the point, I pointed out that the sign says, "No Diving." Now anytime another kid gets in the pool, he has to point out to them at there is NO DIVING.
* He loves to ask, "why?" about anything and everything. No amount of answers seems to satisfy him and if I ignore it, he keeps right on asking until I finally say something. The only thing that seems to work (and then only temporarily) is to ask him why he thinks Calliou is bald.

The poll on naming the bunny ends today. Trixie (Wendy's suggestion for a derivation on Beatrix Potter) is in the lead.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Moving along

Andy is moving up to the three-year-old room at school this week. Yes, he's already three, but when he started at his new school, he wasn't as confident with the toilet training so they thought it best to keep him in the two-year-old room until he was ready. I was fine with that. It's a smaller class and the teachers seem really nurturing. With potty training mostly figured out (the glorious moment last Sunday at the DC United game in the broiling heat when he decided to crap in his pants aside), he's now ready for the transition. I was nervous, but he's taking it like a champ.

I like how they do it. They bring him over for a few hours during the day for circle time and playing in the morning with the older kids and then returning back for lunch and a nap with his old class. That's how it went yesterday and he did great. Today, he did so great that he didn't even go back to his old class at all. He was having so much fun when I showed up that he cried when it was time to leave. I'd say that's a good sign.

Meg is also growing up before my eyes. I looked at her the other morning and I swear her face is somehow fuller or rounder than the day before. It was just so, so babylike somehow and less infant/newbornish that I had to stare at her for a few minutes and soak it in. She's just so beautiful and round, like the picture of the Gerber baby. I swear sometimes I look at her and think to myself, "You? You were once inside me? That's just crazy."

And while she's getting bigger, she's still not rolling over which has me slightly paranoid. On the one hand, I'm glad she's not mobile yet. Once that happens, this little blissful like of being able to put her down and know she'll be there in five minutes when I get done wiping Andy's butt will be over and I'll have to improvise ways to keep her contained. That said, isn't five months a little on the late end of rolling over? Perhaps she's just not in a hurry to get anywhere yet.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


New poll on the right on what to name the rabbit. Let your voice be heard before I do what I want to do anyway.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Flipped over

When Mark left for college, he took his bed and the rest of his furniture with him leaving an empty room. I have spent the past few weeks cleaning it out and removing a baseball wallpaper border that was there when we moved it.

Mark and Ahmed then painted last weekend and we finished up the painting yesterday. We then moved the bookshelves, put in an extra twin mattress and some toys and the result is a guest room/playroom. This is excellent as we now have a place for Mark to sleep when he comes back to visit.

While we were getting all feng shui, Bjorn flipped Andy's bed over so he now has a loft bed (see new pictures added to Flickr). Andy is absolutely thrilled about it, too. I'm a little nervous about him being up so high, but the advantage of the bed being flipped over is that the bed now has built in guard rails as the mattress is about 6 inches lower than top of the rail. The cool thing is that the bed being up higher (about four feet so not nearly as high as a bunk bed) is that he has a little "castle" underneath it now where we've put some toys. I know, it's a shame this kid doesn't have anything to play with.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Happy anniversary

My mother has posted a lovely account of her wedding, which was 42 years ago this week, over on her blog. Check it out. She tells a good story.

Name the bunny

Andy's friend Mia gave Meg an adorable bunny that Meg is quite smitten with. Mo is kindly picking up two extras from the same store (I will pay her back) so that in the event of an accident or bunny kidnapping, we will have a spare and all will not be lost.

I am no good at naming animals, stuffed or otherwise though. I had three gerbils growing up named Brownie. I know, quite original. Since Meg is not quite able to name the bunny for herself, I thought I'd open it up. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Inside joke

It all started with an innocent nursery rhyme. I heard Andy singing it under his breath a few weeks ago, "Mary had a cat throw up, cat throw up, cat throw up." He wasn't saying it to be funny, he just likes to change the words around without really thinking about it. But it cracked me up. We laughed about it and the phrase "cat throw up" became our little inside joke. Now we like to spend time working the phrase into other songs and phrases. It's actually quite adorable.
In other news, my cat Coltrane (the chubby one) has fallen in love with Andy's bath letters. I have them in a bin beside the bathtub and I find she's taking them out and carrying them around to various parts of the house. By the afternoon, there are usually two or three different letters littering my bedroom floor. I am convinced she's trying to send a threatening message as the letter K continues to be one of her go-to letters. What do you think she's trying to say?

Monday, June 16, 2008

More pictures

Here's the actual event. Note Andy in his coat and tie. I am on the other side of Bjorn so you can't see that I'm standing there at all.
Hello little Amish baby.
The best picture in the lot with her smiling.

Here she's not quite as happy.


I started Meg on rice cereal and a taste of sweet potatoes last week. She was not impressed.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Dress up party

Today was Meg's baptism and the whole day went remarkably well. She looked adorable in a while outfit my mother picked out (including a bonnet that we omitted at the service since, you know, she'd be getting water on her head and all). There was another baby girl getting baptised at the same service which took the pressure off us a little. We managed to stand up there, look mostly presentable and Meg opted against puking on me. She didn't even mind when they put the water on her head (three times actually, which was nice, but seemed like a lot. Clearly, I'm not much of a church goer).

In the beginning of the service, it was all six of us on the front row. At about 11:30, Mark and Jennifer left to go pick up the food we were serving for lunch. About 11:35, Bjorn took Meg out once she started to make noise. About 11:45, I sent Andy out with my dad as he had to go potty. That left me sitting on the front pew by myself. I would have left with Andy, but it felt wrong for all of us to leave before the service was over, "Yeah, thanks for the baptism. See you at Christmas!"

Afterwards, we had a few family and friends over for lunch. It was kind of nice having a dress up party for a change. Aside from weddings (or, gasp, work), it seems that we never go out wearing our good clothes. I actually have a theory that at work we should have dress up Mondays. We have casual Fridays, why not dress up Mondays? That way, everyone wears their nice stuff once in a while without getting accused of interviewing. Plus, everyone wears their stuff often enough to know that it still fits, rather than waiting until a event to realize the pants are two sizes too small. I think preventing guys from coming to work in a suit two sizes too small really benefits everyone.

Friday, June 13, 2008


My friend, Bob, is in the hospital. He was in a bad car accident last week driving from his home in Florida to visit Washington, D.C. The guy is 76 and has smoked for 200 years, has a seriously gruff cough and is far from thin so I'm surprised that it's something like a car that would give him a run for his money. I love the guy despite the fact that he's been giving me a hard time since I've known him. When I got married, he felt he wanted to talk to Bjorn in person to make sure "the Swede" understood what he was getting into. That said, he's also served as a reference for just about every just I have applied for and his recommendations have apparently been good enough as I always got the job. He's even given me some career advice, some of which was even worthwhile.

I found out about his accident when a friend of his sent a mass e-mail to many of the addresses in Bob's address book letting us know what had happened. The request also went out asking for folks to e-mail funny stories that a friend would then read to Bob to help cheer him up. The response has been pretty amazing with a very diverse group of folks sending around funny stories from him over the many years. The guy has lived a fantastic life as a print, television and wire reporter only to take up writing novels as a retirement hobby after his kids were grown. I can only hope to be so lucky in 40 years.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The list

I lieu of a good post, here's a list of the exciting things in our world:

  • Today is Bjorn's birthday. We're nine years apart in age again after a brief two week span of only being eight years difference. That seemed like a huge gap, but now it seems pretty normal. A factor of age, I'm sure.
  • Meg is really starting to grab things. She's starting to pull a toy toward her mouth. Beyond adorable.
  • The six-year-old son of Meg's babysitter has figured out how to make her laugh on command. Also beyond adorable, except I can't replicate it at home.
  • Andy's language is getting more complex. I can't quite put my finger on it exactly, but when I picked him up yesterday, he said, "I had a pretty good day, Mommy." It just sounded so grown up.
  • His language is so mature, but he still says some little kid things, like three comes out more "th-free" and Little Einsteins is "Little Ein-tines." It's adorable and I'm already sad that he's outgrowing so many of these cutisms.
  • Andy, sadly, has also picked up saying, "Are we there yet?" And he says it over and over again.
  • We're having a few friends and family over this weekend for Meg's baptism. I sent out real, hard copy invitations. Can I tell you how few people actually bothered to RSVP? What's up with that?
  • My parents arrive tomorrow. Yay.
  • I have discovered Facebook. God help me.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

She smiles

I'm still trying to catch a perfect smile on camera. Unfortunately, it's still a coordinated effort, trying to get her to smile with one hand while hold the camera and get the picture off before she stops. She's really a smiley little kid (Andy likes to say, "Hey Smiley!" at her, for example), but catching it on film? Yeah, not quite so easy. So I finally got her smiling and in the frame. But is it centered? Damn. You get the gist though.

It's a million degrees here and 1,000 percent humidity (okay, just 98 with a heat index of 110) in Washington right now so Andy and I have been spending time at the pool. He's still not keen on putting his head under water, but he's definitely more comfortable than last year. We are trying to get him some private lessons with some lifeguards at the pool so we can start him getting more comfortable learning to blow bubbles and that kind of stuff. He won't do any of that with me so I'm hoping a strapping young "big boy" lifeguard is able work with him better than I can. It doesn't hurt that Scott the lifeguard looks a lot like Joe from Blue's Clues. Is it bad if have a little Pacey Witter kind of crush on Joe?

Friday, June 06, 2008

Holy storms, Batman

It's been a wacky week in Washington (a lot of alliteration already). The weather gods gave us three days of thunderstorms, including some of Wednesday that produced tornadoes and tennis-ball-sized hail. Crazy. Our house was fine, but our neighbor across the street wasn't quite so lucky. There were also reports of a tornado touching down not far from my office where, sadly, one person died when a tree fell onto a car.

At Andy's school they even got all the kids into the hallway until the storm passed. Hearing about that certainly brought back memories of growing up in Texas and lining up in the hallways of the elementary school with our heads between our knees during a tornado warning.

I'd love to say the weather is the reason for the lack of posts recently, but truthfully, this working and taking care of kids thing has been kind of kicking my ass lately. We're slowly getting into a groove. The kids are doing fine at their respective places and I'm enjoying (mostly) being out of the house and doing something other than changing diapers. But at the end of the day, once everyone is snug in their beds, I'm finding I'm exhausted and ready for bed. When did I get so lame that being able to go to bed at 9:30 p.m., with the goal of sleeping until 3 a.m. is the highlight of my day?

P.S. New pictures posted to the right on Flickr.
P.P.S. I have spent the past several weeks slowly taking down a wallpaper border in Mark's room. God, do I hate wallpaper and that Dif crap that you spray to take it off. I swear I've spent the last five years taking down wallpaper in various room. When it comes to buy our next house, I'm going to demand one without wallpaper.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Boy pants

Now that Andy is mostly potty trained, I've been shopping for more boys underwear and it has seriously been a fascinating experience. What I've found is that underwear for boys only comes in packs of two or three where girl underwear seems to come in packs of five or more. Apparently boys need fewer pairs?

What's also weird is that you can't buy just white underwear. No, it all has to come with some branded thing on it. Now that he's a bigger kid, I can shop for him in the boys section at Target versus the toddler section. So instead of the toddler choices, like Diego or Thomas, it has more mature choices like Spiderman, Superman and SpongeBob Squarepants. Stranger still is that they sell little boy underpants in characters that are really not aimed at little kids. Like Ironman with Robert Downey Jr. is definitely a more adult movie (or at least elementary school) as is Speed Racer and Transformers, yet they market them in sizes for little kids who couldn't possibly see those movies. It just seems random to me.

What is also odd is that the boy underpants all come with the little flap in front. You know, because Andy is going to be unzipping his pants, reaching in, pulling his penis out through the little pocket and peeing rather than just pulling his pants and underpants down to get to business.