Thursday, July 31, 2008


Two milestones this week:
* Meg can consistently flip from stomach to back. She can also consistently sit on her own. She is going to be into everything before I know it. I guess I need to read up on babyproofing. It's been a long time since I worried about what Andy was inadvertently going to choke on.
* Andy has mastered the tricycle. We've had one for ages, but he never really had much interest in it. His new school has several on the playground so he's been watching the other kids and getting into riding the bikes there, which made him more interested in the one at home. This week, they even had "Bring Your Bike to School Day," which he loved. Today after work, I pushed Meg in the stroller while he rode his bicycle around the cul de sac. Last week, he was slow and seemed to lose his footing a lot. Today, he was so fast, I had to really push myself to keep pace with him and even then he beat me. Tomorrow I will wear better shoes. I am excited about this development as it means we can start talking walks again. Even if we just walk in circles to the end of the block and back, it's nice for all of us to get some fresh air. And nice that I don't have to either push two kids or carry Andy once he gets tired of walking.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The cleanest car ever

I am in heaven. It turns out my local car wash can shampoo my car mats and floor, thus removing the smell of dirty diaper, baby vomit and curdled chocolate milk. Well worth the $29.99 price tag. I might become addicted to this. It turns out they also have a detailing service also for $29.99 when they'll clean the inside, including wiping out the cup holders and that kind of stuff. I think I'm going to do that next time. This could become an expensive addiction.

Andy has come quite bossy lately. Well, scratch that. He's been quite bossy for a while now. What's interesting is that he's totally obsessed with being the "line leader" meaning he has to go first wherever we go, even if he's going slower than everyone else. He's learning what winning and losing means so he's always saying, "I win!" regardless of what game we're playing or if he's actually winning. Good thing the Olympic games start next week. We'll have fun watching and talking about who is winning.

Tonight I thought we had a breakthrough on him sleeping with his binky. He announced that he was a big boy and didn't need it anymore. Of course, when time came for bed, he wanted it back, but I'm hopeful this is a step in the right direction. Over the weekend, he slept both nights without it and didn't ask or even seem to need it so clearly he can do it. When we got back, I had in my head that I just wouldn't let him have it anymore, but the weekend had been long and I didn't have the stamina. Soon. Maybe.

Meg is seriously this close to pulling together the whole rolling over, rolling everywhere business. She can easily roll from her back to her side and from her stomach to her side. Those are the hard parts -- once on her side, she can easily go one way or the other, she just doesn't really seem to see a need for it. She can also sit unassisted for a little bit at a time and is putting together going from sitting to her stomach or side. I think it's just a matter of minutes before the light bulb goes off and she puts all the pieces together.

She's also making progress on eating solid foods. She didn't seem interested around 4-5 months and then with three weeks of throwing up and coughing, it didn't make sense to work on it. But now, she's had a week of apple sauce and rice cereal and this week we're moving on to sweet potatoes (of course, this has subsequently led to some stinky diapers. I had forgotten how generally unoffensive milk-only diapers are).

It's been hot and humid here. Fortunately, we've had a ton of rain in Washington so my garden is busting at the seams with squash and tomatoes. It's been a nice summer, but I'm about ready for it to cool down.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The most disgusting car ride ever

We drove down to Norfolk this weekend to visit Jennifer and Mark at ODU. It is a simple three hour drive. Just take 95 all the way to 64, through the Harbor Tunnel and you're there. Or not. Instead, it took us 5 1/2 hours down and 5 hours back due to ridiculous traffic on the way down followed by accidents and bad weather coming back. Was I prepared for that extra time in the car? No.

My new, beautiful car has now been christened a family wagon in ways I did not expect. On the way down, Andy spilled chocolate milk all over the back seat. That was bad enough, only to be followed today by his sister. We hadn't even gotten on the highway when she threw up all over herself. Outside of Richmond, Andy decided he had to pee and poop RIGHT NOW. So Bjorn pulled over and took him into the woods (most likely through poison ivy). He did one, but not the other (thankfully, and thankfully he didn't have to later).

Then about 3 1/2 hours in during a particularly bad stretch of bumper to bumper traffic, I felt her and realized needed a diaper change pretty immediately. I quickly pulled her out and laid her on the floor of the car for a quick change only to have not noticed that the diaper was completely full of poop so I managed to get it all over myself fixing it (a poor Thomas towel Andy was using as a blanket had to temporarily be sacrificed). Then because traffic was so horrible, we couldn't pull off the highway the next time Andy demanded to pee so I just took my empty Starbucks cup and let him pee in it. I'm not proud of it, but it did get the job done. I never imagined that boys really could pee in a jar or whatnot on a road trip, but it really did work.

Horrible drives aside, we had a nice visit with Jennifer (Mark was working most of the time so we didn't get to really see him much). We took nice walks through ODU and saw the mysterious monorail that was built on campus, but never used, saw the restaurant where Mark works, ate in Ghent and hung out briefly on Virginia Beach. It was a very busy weekend.

Meg, meanwhile, continues to have spurts of throwing up her whole dinner. About once a day, she coughs so hard it brings up the works. It certainly concerns me (as does her recent bout of not sleeping through the night again), but her doctor has it's not a problem so I'm trying to take a more zen approach that she's growing fine, she's healthy, she's not dehydrated, it's just that temporarily she is a laundry problem. Plus, she has her six month visit next week so I plan to bring it up again then.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Ninja Warria

Bjorn is obsessed with the Japanese game show Ninja Warrior, on the totally random channel G4. It involves contestants going through a series of obstacle courses in a fixed amount of time and if they don't, they usually fall into the water along the course. The show is on for roughly six hours a day.

Andy loves watching it with Bjorn. And while I appreciate that it's not the insipid kids' show LazyTown or the exceptionally boring Kipper, it gets old watching these folks fall into the water although I do admire the really random translations from the Japanese. Now Andy wants to run around the house to be a Ninja Warrior. What's funny is he doesn't say warrior, he says warr-ya, the way the host does.

He has so many little things right now that he doesn't pronounce quite right, like pan-papes for pancakes. He seems to lose another one every day so I'm trying to enjoy them while I can.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A plea

Dear Margaret Anne,
You are six months old now. I realize you are an individual and very different than your brothers and sister. You have your entire life to wear different clothes and have your own opinions about books and sports and clothes and flowers, but please do me a favor and not develop any illnesses that are totally unique to me.

You have been sick now for two weeks with things Andy never had and it is totally throwing me for a loop. This business of coughing so much is makes you throw up? Please stop that. And now this nonsense where you have a high fever for three days in a row, making me totally worry that you're going to overheat? I don't like that either. Please limit your illnesses only to things I have experience. That means you can have colds, ear infections, sinus infections and diaper rashes. Please leave the rest of Dr. Spock's medicine dictionary out of this house. I promise in return you can have more ice cream and television when the time is right.

I appreciate your kind attention to this matter.

Love, Your Mother

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Crimes against punctuation

Bethany sent this to me today all the way from Atlanta and it cracked me up so much it deserved a post.

In other news, Meg's strep test was negative. Now just keep your fingers crossed her new cold doesn't lead to another ear infection.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I took Meg to the doctor where she clocked in at 100.6. She has a red, sore throat, but her ears seem clear (fingers crossed). His advice was to stagger doses of ibuprofen and Tylenol every 2-3 hours whenever her fever is over 101. Before we left, she got a dose of Motrin and after a bath and a bottle, her fever was down to 98.9. I hope it stays that way. She's clearly not herself, but I'm hoping a good rest and some medicine will make her feel better.

Her being sick is all my fault for actively congratulating myself for getting through her last illness. I won't be doing that again. At least not immediately.


Just when I was congratulating myself for surviving Meg's most recent illness, guess who woke up this morning with a fever? She's also lethargic and generally not herself. Bjorn stayed home with her in the morning and then made her a doctor's appointment for this afternoon where I'm headed to shortly. Poor thing. I hate seeing her like this. I also hate that she's sick again so soon after all the anxiety and drama from last week. The good news is she's not throwing up (yet anyway), but generally not herself and not nearly as smiley and happy as she was just last night.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


New pictures have been added to Flickr. Let the mocking commence.

Friday, July 18, 2008


I burned my son's crotch this week. I know, how Mary Poppins does that sound? Last night Bjorn had a networking event in the evening so I was on my own. To mix things up, I promised Andy that after his bath and after Baby Meg went to bed, we could eat pizza and watch a movie. While they were in the bath, I had the pizza cooking in the oven so once they were done and she was in bed, the pizza was ready and our "fun" night could begin. Andy was still naked from his bath, but he was hungry so I let him come sit at the table without putting on any clothes. That's only relevant because when he bit into the pizza, the cheese was too hot so he spit it out and dropped the piece, onto his upper thigh. It was way hotter still than I had any idea and really left a mark and a little blister. Fortunately, his boy parts were unharmed in the incident. My psyche is a little scarred though.

Meg is much better, thanks for asking. She's back to being a smiley, happy kid. Unfortunately, she seems to have developed some separation anxiety during the week long illness and screeches if I leave the room. That, combined with Andy peeing on my bed during a brief nap, have made today a very long day.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Feeling rotten

My mother said to me once, "A mother is only as happy as her least happy child." That seems so depressing, but at the same time, it's so totally true.

Baby Meg has had a miserable cold and cough all week and it's really killing me. I know, I know, I'm not the one hacking so much it makes me throw up my dinner, but it's been really hard for me to watch and not be able to do anything. I practically begged the pediatrician's office for something to give her, a cough suppressant, coedine, meth, whatever, and they finally relented to let me give her a little Benadryl to help her sleep. Fingers crossed, she does seem to be improving.

I've been giving her watered down formula, basically two scoops per six ounces of water instead of three, because the doctor thought it might have a better chance of staying down. That combined with her antibiotics, Vicks Vaporub all over her body, a soothing vapo bath and a humidifier with vapo steam crap in it + time = baby who seems to seems to finally be feeling a little better. She's also a little lighter. I guess the hacking cough diet is working for her.

P.S. On a totally unrelated note, when did the mohawk turn into the new mullet/rat tail for kids? I was at McDonald's last week where Andy proudly redeemed his free ice cream for doing his reading at the library and was stunned to see at least four mohawks. Classy.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The one with all the vomit

It has been a vomitous weekend. Meg has a cold, which is no big deal except it makes her cough. And some of her coughs are so strong they not only bring up the phlegm from her throat, but her dinner as well. It only took about six wardrobe changes for me to figure out not to let her spend much time on her back and to scale back her feedings somewhat until she recovers. I know, I really am one smart cookie.

I took her to the doctor Friday morning when she'd thrown up twice in about 12 hours. The diagnosis was as I expected, a cold with mucus in her throat with instructions to water down her feedings and keep her propped up. She seemed much better and in better spirits Friday and had a pretty good night, but when she threw up again on Saturday morning (right before a playdate, natch), we went back to the doctor's. And in between 10:30 a.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday, she'd developed an ear infection. Remarkable. So we're on Omnicef with is to knock out the ear infection, but is making her tummy even more of a mess. She's been so sad that she spent the whole weekend practically in my arms. In some ways it was nice because I rarely get to hold a sleeping baby anymore and she clearly only wanted me, but I am sure tired. I'd also really like to do something else, like shower.

Today is day two of the antibiotics and I also invested in a vaporizer (my sister's idea) so hopefully between the two, she can get some rest and really kick this sucker. I think we're all ready to be on the other side of this.

Andy, meanwhile, developed diarrhea. This is only notable because it's the first time he's had that ailment since he's been potty trained. It certainly presents some logistical challenges that we haven't had before.

You know, just when I think we clear one disgusting hurdle like getting rid of diapers, motherhood throws a new challenge at me.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Jesus Loves You

I've been going to church lately and taking Andy to Sunday School. Thanks, I do feel pretty virtuous about it. What's odd though is despite that, I didn't really expect Andy to come home and ask this, "Mommy, do you love Jesus?" Crikey. The right answer, of course, is to say yes, but since I'm not particularly religious, it feels a little disingenuous. For the record, I did say yes, and that made him happy. He then started singing "Jesus Loves You."

Part of me is amazed by this. Seriously, he's gone to Sunday school maybe three or four times. He spends most of that hour looking in the aquariums in the room, doing puzzles, playing with the other kids and asking for more juice at snack time. When did he have time to learn anything? The good news is that this Christmas, when I tell him it's Jesus' birthday, he probably won't try to tell me, "No, Mommy, it's Santa's birthday."

And in bigger news this week, Meg rolled over by herself over the weekend. Jennifer witnessed her roll from tummy to her back. I'm not sure it was entirely intentional, but I don't care. She's now proven she can do it. Now she can happily not do it again until she's ready to crawl.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


I think I figured out how to back-up my blog. I used these instructions, saw up to 1,000 posts on one screen and then copied and pasted into Word. The font is huge, but it came out to 614 pages. Wow.

It's been a busy weekend, so busy I haven't had much time to up write much. Fortunately, Beth chronicled some of our festivities yesterday.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Real men

Last week, there was an article in the Washington Post about toenails accompanied by half a page above the fold of different kinds of painted toenails (see it here). Andy was fascinated and wanted to paint his toenails, green of course. He kept asked so yesterday I bought him some green nail polish. He delighted in painting his own toenails as well as his toes and part of his feet. He saw that my toenails were already painted so he begged Bjorn to paint his. Bjorn wasn't especially thrilled, both about getting his nails painted and me insisting on chronicling it with the camera (he doesn't even know about the blog post...yet.)

For Jennifer

Jennifer was in town last weekend and babysat while Bjorn and I went out to the new Wine House in Fairfax City. Meg wasn't especially photogenic that evening, but dang, that's a great picture of her and Andy.