Saturday, August 30, 2008


So once I got past saying, "He picked who?" when I heard who John McCain named Sarah Palin as his running mate, I did a little reading up. Her crazy political views aside (a creationist? Really? People in this day and age really believe evolution doesn't all?), I am amazed that a woman with five kids, the youngest of whom is four-months-old, is running for vice-president. Props to her. I have trouble enough getting to the grocery store with only two kids, but five? Wow. I totally believe that a woman who has raised five kids is probably more equipped to run a country than most people. Imagine the kind of multitasking and ability to focus on the big picture you would have to have if you had a big family.

I do find myself being a little sexist about the whole thing, which surprises me since I really support working mothers and the choices they have to make. Sure, I wouldn't think it too odd if a man with a big family and a special-needs baby at home was running for such a big position, but somehow a woman doing it feels different somehow. It just seems like this kind of politics is such a 24/7 job that I don't see how there would be time for anything else. I wasn't a fan of Hillary, but at least her kid was grown. I don't know...I need to think more on this.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

This and that

It's been over a week since operation binky removal began and I'm pleasantly surprised how well it went (knock wood, of course). Granted, the poor guy had to get strep throat and mouth ulcers last week that certainly made him not want to put anything in his mouth, thus breaking the familiarity of it, but still. He has so far only asked for it once and seemed okay with the explanation that he doesn't have a binky, he has a bike. I think if he were to get particularly tired and/or cranky, he might not take that so casually, but so far so good.

The kid's language skills continue to impress me. He's getting good at knowing that word starts with what letter so we make a game of it.

"Yogurt. Yuh-yuh-yogurt. What letter does that start with?"
"Andy, yogurt. Yuh-yuh-yogurt. What letter does that start with?"

Meg's fever has gone and she seems to be feeling better (again, knock wood.) What sucks is if her cough hits her just right, it makes her throw up like it did when she had a bad cold a couple of months ago. I was hoping that catching the ear infection and cold early would stop the cough from progressing that way, but I think she just has a hair trigger when it comes to that. I can only hope she eventually outgrows it and/or stops getting sick so often. In the meantime, I'll just have to plan to wear clothes that don't retain that fresh vomit smell.

Also notable this week, she now loves sleeping on her stomach. I put her to bed on her back and all when when I've come in after she's gone to sleep I find her on her belly. I think it helps her settle down now that she's not swaddled. I am hopeful this makes her head a little less flat, too.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Two steps forward, one step back

First, the good news. Andy is all better. His mouth was sore through Saturday so he stopped talking on purpose. I was surprised to realize just how much he talks when he wasn't doing it anymore. It was nice while it lasted. He didn't really want to eat much so we got him into yogurt "smoothies" which are yogurt milked with milk, stirred and then poured into a sippy cup with a straw. It's now Tuesday and he's gone through probably 10 things yogurts. He thinks it's like a milkshake with the bonus that it's easy to make and good for him.

Now the bad news. Meg is sick. I know, you all knew that was coming. She started off with a little cough yesterday and woke up this morning with a little fever, runny nose and glassy eyes. I called the doctor's office to ask if they were worried about strep. They said most likely not, but it wasn't unheard of so bring her in just in case. Good news is it's not strep. Bad news is it's an ear infection. She's now on antibiotics (Omnicef) for 10 days to clear that up. Poor baby.

With this being her second ear infection in two months during the SUMMER, I'm a little worried that we may be headed for ear tubes this fall/winter. Dr. Staats said not to worry about that just yet as it could be just a string of bad luck, but with Andy's history of recurrent ear infections it may be in our future. Good thing we've been through it once so I'm not as freaked out as I was, but I'd still like to avoid it if we can. Sigh.
And now for your moment of Zen, that's me trying to ride Andy's bike.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The joys of pharmacology

Andy's mouth was still bothering him yesterday so I called the doctor's office to ask if there was a good treatment for canker sores. When I explained the situation, they told me Dr. Murphy wanted me to bring him in. We had a 5:15 appointment, but with Dr. Staats out of town and it being a Friday afternoon, we didn't get seen until about 6:15. After using the tongue depressor (which Andy did NOT like), he was diagnosed with three big canker sores on the tip of his tongue. Not a big deal, but indeed quite painful. The good news is that the tongue sloughs off its skin new every two days so this is a short-lived problem, unrelated to the strep and not a reaction to the amoxicillin. He prescribed liquid Tylenol with codeine to give him every four hours in the evening as needed to help him sleep.

I wondered about giving a narcotic to a three year old, but I think we were all ready for a good night's sleep, including Dr. Murphy who has been on call by himself all week and I know that I called him a couple of evenings personally so I can attest to how little sleep he was probably getting.

The good news is the medicine did help him sleep through the night and I think the rest really helped Andy's state of mind (as it did mine, especially since Bjorn got up with the kids and let me sleep until the exceptionally late hour of 8:00 a.m.!)

The last two days, Andy hasn't been talking because it hurt his tongue to talk so we've been playing a game of talking through nods and holding up fingers. I don't think I realized how much he talks until he wasn't doing it. And the worst part is, I kind of enjoyed it.

Today Andy is going out with Bjorn to canvas the neighborhood for the Obama, now Obama/Biden, campaign. I'm glad Bjorn is getting involved and glad that Andy will see his father involved in a civic activity. I think that's pretty cool even if you don't like what his activity is.

P.S. There are grammar vigilantes out there. I love it.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Meanwhile, in all the drama associated with mouth issues, I totally forgot to mention that Meg can now officially roll over from her back to her stomach. I thought she did it last weekend in that she was back on her stomach from her back when I turned around, but Andy has been known to try to "help" her roll over and he didn't convincingly tell me he didn't do it. Then last night, I watched her do it twice. Go baby!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Life kicking my ass, 2.0

Last week I felt pretty good about things. Meg had finally started sleeping better again and both kids were healthy and happy. Flash forward to this week and it's a whole different ballgame.

Poor Andy has been sick all week. And sick to the point that he just cries and screams a lot. It's pretty awful to see and listen to. He seemed much better last night, but had a bit of a lisp. I was worried he was having an allergic reaction, but after an earlyish call to the doctor on call (second time this week) he said without a rash, it was not likely to be a reaction. Phew. Instead it turns out, I discovered late tonight after staying home with him all day, it's a miserable cold/canker sore on the tip of his tongue. I can't see it and Andy won't show me, but Bjorn says he has. Ugh. He was so awful tired and cranky this evening, he went to bed at 6:15 p.m. only to wake up crying about every half hour. Bjorn went in to console him and now they're both asleep together at 7:48 p.m. I am probably not far behind.

You know, just when I think I've got a handle on this whole motherhood of two/working mother thing, something pops up to reassure me that I don't know jack. Thanks, life! I know, this is all temporary, everyone will get healthy again. And then I see pictures of older siblings (like this blog from a woman I went to Emory with) and I smile knowing that we're not too far away from Meg and Andy being able to talk to each other and have a real relationship and that makes me incredibly happy

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Strep and the dentist

Andy started complaining Monday afternoon that his teeth hurt. I couldn't quite figure out what was wrong, but I knew that I had been meaning to take him to the dentist and so I was immediately worried that he had a cavity of some sort, naturally because I had been slack about brushing and the dental visit. He had a rough night of sleep Monday night. Bjorn remember that Andy fell on his way back from the pool Sunday and hit his knees and bonked his head so we figured he must have somehow knocked his teeth in the event.

I had actually scheduled a dental visit for October with a family dentist someone recommended in the neighborhood. I called yesterday morning and explained what we thought was going on and could we please come by to make sure he didn't have some tooth trauma. They recommended that I take him to a pediatric dentist because they don't normally see kids until age 5. I am pretty sure he was still 3 1/2 when I made the appointment two weeks ago so it was a little random that they didn't want to see him. She did give me the names of some nice pediatric dentists. I then went back to a recommendation from a friend for a pediatric dentist in Tyson's. Not ideal location-wise, but he came highly recommended and best of all, they could squeeze me in to make sure his teeth weren't knocked out or something.

The visit to the dentist was actually fairly pleasant for both of us. They obviously cater to kids so there were lots of toys and the hygienists were uber nice to Andy and engaging. They took and X-ray and good news, the teeth and mouth are fine. We could even see his permanent teeth on X-ray even though he won't get those until probably age 6. The dentist gave me information on what to do in future tooth trauma, pronounced him fine and sent us on our way with a nice lecture on getting rid of the binky and ways to do it.

Figuring all was well, I took him back to school and went back to work. Andy and I made a plan that after school, we would go home, get his binkies, throw them away and in return, he'd get a big boy bike. I wasn't ready to get him a bike necessarily since he really has just figured out the tricycle he's had for two years, but it was the one thing he really wanted and seemed motivated enough by it to give up those precious binkies. So we went to Target and picked out a lovely $36 12 inch bike with training wheels and a helmet (he's in a youth size helmet since his head is so big). We took it home and Bjorn put it together for us.

Andy was incredibly ornery and kept complaining about his mouth, but I figured he was tired from a rough night of sleep. The doctor said that he might complain about his teeth for a few days and to keep him on a soft diet for a week. I thought a good night's sleep would solve things. I was wrong.

We put him to bed sans binky and after about an hour in bed, he started to cry. He was asleep, but it was clear that he was in some kind of pain. It was pretty awful because he just couldn't be consoled. He just kept saying his mouth hurt and crying. After a few hours of this, Bjorn finally deduced that it was his THROAT that hurt, not his mouth/teeth even though that's what he was saying. Around 12:30, I called the pediatrician's office because he was just miserable and inconsolable. Dr. Murphy said to give him two teaspoons of Motrin and a teaspoon of Benadryl and see him at 9 a.m.

Andy and I ended up sleeping on the twin bed in Mark's room where he woke up about every 30 minutes to an hour, with a three hour stretch from about 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. It was pretty rough, mostly on him, but us, too (Meg, sweet angel baby, slept through the whole thing). You can bet that about an hour in I was really regretting throwing out those binkies.

Bjorn took him to the doctor's this morning and found out he has strep throat. The only thing we can think of is that the sinus pressure may have actually made his teeth and mouth hurt. Poor guy. Bjorn said the throat culture part was pretty terrible as Bjorn had to hold him down to scrape the back of his throat. They also tested him for mono, which is going around. He's now on antibiotics for 10 days and the prognosis is he should start to feel better immediately. Fingers crossed he knocks this out and no one else gets it. It is really hard to watch him be so uncomfortable and no know how to fix it. I can't quite believe the dentist didn't see the sore throat unless it wasn't red yet.

So, yesterday was a big day -- we tossed the binky, got a bike, visited the dentist and got strep throat. Happy August 19 everyone!

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Andy has trouble with Vs. Instead of saying "very," it tends to come out "wery." Naturally, it just cracks me up. "I've been a wery good boy, Mommy." It's almost as if he has a slight Indian accent the way he talks sometimes -- he says elelator with an L instead of elevator with a V. Sooner or later, his tongue will let him say exactly what he wants or else the peer pressure from his friends will make him conscious enough of the difference that he is conscious enough of it to fix it. For now, I'm just going to enjoy it.

Andy is also quite excited about the Olympics (although he pronounces it the Lym-pics). He wants to get big and run to the finish line. An admirable goal. With his excitement in sports, I also took this as a good opportunity to sign him up for gymnastics for the fall. He says he wants to learn the rings and the bars, but I have a feeling they're just going to do some tumbling. I think he's going to really love it.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Still darling angel babies

My cousins from Austin, Susie and Katherine "P.J.", are here this week touring the capital city. After having a ball last night drinking wine, we got up relatively early to tour Hillwood, Marjorie Merriweather Post's estate in Northwest D.C., before heading to the National Zoo. Both my children were angels, despite the moderate heat, a little bit of rain and a whole lot of walking. My cousins were angels, too. I believe Andy is totally in love with P.J. though. I can't say I blame him -- she is cute and totally dotes on him and keeps telling him how cute and smart he is. Who doesn't love that?

I posted pictures of their visit on Flickr. Enjoy. Oh, and the one on the right here is PJ showing Andy that her tongue is also green from the popsicle. As you can see, he is totally enamoured.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sweet darling angel babies

For two nights and a row, both my children have slept through the night. Meg slept both nights from about 7 p.m. until around 6 a.m., which is a welcome relief. Andy has been struggling with a cold this week, but even he managed to sleep uninterrupted from about midnight until 7:30. I hope I'm not jinxing anything, I just figured they need some credit where credit is due. And certainly sleeping better makes us all like each other more.

Andy's language has really been taking off. He just sounds so grown up sometimes.
"Would you like some dinner?"
"No thanks. Not just yet. I'm not hungry right now."
I know. How do you argue with that?

He's also getting closer to reading, which amazes me. We now talk about what letters words start with and he's good at most of them. Inexplicably, he confuses M and N. I say inexplicably because there is an N in his name and he knows how to spell it, he just somehow thinks the two are the same somehow (in his defense, they do look alike). They tested his letters and number comprehension at school and that was the one letter he confused out of the whole uppercase alphabet. Lowercase, he's about 60 percent. He also now knows all his numbers and can easily count to probably 25 although after about 13, he tends to drop a number here and there. "11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 19, 20."

Meg is really rolling over and it's precious and adorable. She can easily flip from her stomach to her back although it still seems to surprise her a little. She could easily get from her back to her stomach if she wanted to and she can get from her back to her side, but so far, she doesn't seem to have any need to get back to her belly. She's also sitting up pretty well on her own. Although I'm usually right there to catch her, she has figure out how to fall forward and avoid face-planting by falling on a shoulder or onto her stomach. I know the days of being able to leave her on the floor and know where she'll be when I come back is short and I can't believe I'm looking forward to it. She's also eating like a champ, and can easily chow through at least one stage-2 jar at a sitting without blinking (or, more likely, smearing it all over everything).

As for me, I'm getting better and better getting these kids up and out of the house. I am using the Hotsling my mother gave me and using it to carry her on my hip without killing my arm. It's pretty handy, but I don't always remember to use it.

Turns out with a little bit of sleep, life is pretty good.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Summer colds

We have had a bad run of summer colds this summer and I'm starting to get paranoid about fall and winter. If summer is supposed to be a time of good health, the latest batch of colds does not bode well for us. Andy started with a cold on Friday (sadly, I noticed it during the very cool Steve Songs concert at Wolf Trap). It didn't help that we had a weird schedule all weekend and stayed out and up too late Friday and Saturday. Meg has been flirting with a cough herself and each little cough fills me with dread for fear it will lead to more of the nastiness of last month where she couldn't cough without coughing up her dinner. Blech. Knock wood, cross your fingers, cross your legs -- whatever you like to cross, that these kids finally get back to a healthy place.

Oh, and they can start sleeping again, too, please. Pretty please! With this bout of not sleeping, I have been too tired to stay up and watch much of the Olympics. And I love the Olympics, even if I can't stand Bob Costas.

Meanwhile, Meg is now on solid foods and seems quite taken with them. She's at the cute stage where I can still cram pears and sweet potatoes into her mouth and she hasn't quite gotten coordinated enough to spit them out on purpose and/or grab the spoon and flail it around the room. It's coming, I'm sure. Not to be left out, Andy has taken to Dinobites. Yes, chicken nuggets in the shape of dinosaurs are better than regular chicken nuggets. He even contends that they're not chicken. He doesn't think they're dinosaurs either, "That would be silly, Mommy!" I never did figure out what he thinks they are though.

Today was Monday, which means it was Moonbounce Monday at Andy's school, which is close to being heaven for a 3 1/2 year old. It's a nice way to start the week since he's usually very excited to go. I wonder how it's going to be come September when Monday is just Monday again.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Six month check-up

I took Meg for his six month check-up with the doctor today. The official report is that she is healthy and perfect. She weighed in at a healthy 20 pounds even (95 percentile), 27 inches tall (75-90th percentile) and 17 1/2 inches head size (90-90th percentile). She's basically a big, healthy girl, something I certainly already knew, but it's always nice to get official confirmation.

I had both kids with me today and I was stressed how it would go with him there since Meg was going to get shots. I figured him watching her get upset would be upsetting for him and generally make the whole thing even worse for me (it is all about me, right?) Instead, it worked well with him playing with toys in the waiting room until the basic supervision of a nurse. What's even more remarkable is that Meg was generally great with the shots. She got four -- two in each leg -- and she actually didn't cry for the first two. Nurse Sylvia said the first two were relatively easy in comparison, but the second two were thicker serums and had to go right into the muscle. With the third, she started to cry and then really cried with the fourth, but after a few seconds once I picked her up, she was pretty much over it. Granted, she's got a lot of real estate on her thighs for the shots and she's a lot older than she was at her last visit, but overall I was pleasantly surprised. Fingers crossed that I'm not jinxing myself for a late reaction.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


At around three months, Meg started to become a good sleeper. Fairly consistently, she would sleep through the night or just waking up once. Then she got sick last month. After three weeks of coughing and vomiting and fevers, she (knock on wood, hard) is finally mostly recovered. The only problem is now she's waking up in the night. And not just once. Last night, she woke up at 11:30 p.m., 2:30 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. (not to mention Andy waking up at 5:15 a.m. and crying after a bad dream). Needless to say, we're exhausted.

I don't remember doing any sleep training per se to get her to sleep in the first place so I'm sort of at a loss about what to do now. All the books have advice on getting the kid to sleep at night, but I haven't found much on what to do when she's waking up. Any advice?

And on a completely unrelated note, Andy told me last night that when he gets big, he's going to have a big, BIG penis and it's going to stick out, all the way to HERE. And he's going to have a really big, big pocket for it, too.

Sunday, August 03, 2008