Saturday, September 27, 2008


New photos added to Flickr. Enjoy.

Darling angel babies

My kids are changing before my eyes. Andy now says all sorts of stuff that baffles me. Like yesterday we were leaving Costco and we had this exchange.
"Mommy, your cheeks are red."
"You mean my teeth? From the smoothie?"
"No, your cheeks. You are embarassed."
"My cheeks are red because I'm embarassed?"
"Yes. That's right."

I thought it was just that I have that lovely fair complexion that turns red when the wind blows. Instead, it turns out I turn red when I'm lying. That's only notable because of this later exchange.

"Mommy, where's my green pen?"
"Andy, is broke. Remember?"
"And Daddy couldn't fix it?"
"No, he couldn't."
"And you're going to send it to the pen fixing store?"
"We tried. They can't fix it either."
"Mommy, you are embarassed."

Seriously, my kid is 3 1/2 and he's already figured out my tell when I'm lying. Bjorn thinks I am totally screwed.

Meg, on the other hand, is getting better and better with the solid food thing. She can pound a stage two jar mixed with a little rice cereal and she's getting quite coordinated at picking up some finger foods and actually getting then into her mouth, like sliced grapes and puffs. Granted, the end result is rather messy, which is why she had two baths today.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The swing of things

Well, it took about 30 minutes to be back into the swing of things. After lots of hugs, it was back to the regular feeding, bathing, playing sleeping schedule. Bjorn even said that it would not take as long as I liked to be back to normal. He was right. And that's good and bad. The good part was feeling like I hadn't missed too much. The bad part was I felt exhausted from the week and didn't really get a chance to recover before I was back at work. It's all good though.
Both kids have colds right now. Meg has a pretty good cough and runny nose, but generally she seems to feel okay. Andy has a milder cough and runny nose that he likes to wipe on his shirt no matter what I say.
Meg is really moving around these days. I put her on the floor and within seconds she's somewhere else. She's not crawling per se, but she pushes herself backwards and pushes and rolls herself from side to side. My days of letting her play on the floor quietly while I work on the computer are dwindling, I can tell.
It's all very exciting and yet it's all happening so fast. Since this is my last baby, I want to savor it (well, the good parts anyway), but I love that every day she gets closer to really interacting with us. And I just melt when she beams at Andy and he pauses long enough to do a dance for her. On the other hand, I look forward to the days when they can truly play together (well, until they fight and demand intervention). There are also so many fun things to do with older kids, like zoos, hikes, parks, ponds, slides that a 20 pound baby just doesn't get and that I can't enjoy or participate in really while lugging her around.

Above is a picture of the Red Sox/Indians game I went to, as obviously taken with my cell phone camera. The fun part was the Red Sox clinched the playoffs with their win so it was an even more exciting game than usual to attend. Good thing it was exciting because I was so tired I nearly fell asleep in the 8th inning.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The conquering hero returns

Phew. It was a long week and I'm back. It feels great to be home. I went with Bjorn to pick Andy up from school who was thrilled to see me and kept saying he "miss-ed" me while I was gone. He also appreciated the gifts, although most special are the free chocolates from the Westin turn-down service, the green pen that lights up and the "special soap" that makes bubble bath, again from the hotel. I should enjoy this inexpensive gift giving. Certainly there will come a time when that's not enough and he'll instead demand a pony when I return from a trip. When I went to get Meg, it took her a few seconds to take in who I was. That was kind of cute to see her process my face and then smile big.

As expected, Bjorn did fantastic while I was gone. The house looks great (it helps that the maids came yesterday) and the kids are well fed and happy. Unfortunately, both seem to have slight colds today, but it has been nearly three weeks since our last illnesses so it was bound to happen.

The trip itself was long, but good. Our media coverage (my job) was fantastic and that makes up for a lot. I also managed to squeeze in a visit with an old college friend and a trip to Fenway Park in between working 13 hour days. It was a long hard week, both work wise and emotionally but I'm glad I went and I'm sure glad I'm home.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Breaking the rules

Between reffing football games and campaigning for Obama, Bjorn has been out a lot of nights lately. Usually I get Meg through a bath, final bottle, some quiet time together and then bedtime, then I work on Andy getting him through his bath and teeth brushing. Usually if there are "no crybabies" at bath time, I let him come to my room to watch an episode of Ninja Warrior on Tivo while he gets into his diaper for sleeping and pajamas (yes, he still sleeps in a diaper. He's 99 percent potty trained during the day with the occasional accident, but his diaper is still wet in the morning. I figure eventually he'll be ready to give that up eventually).

Anyway, after our bedtime routine, we usually read a book and then he goes to bed, but with Bjorn out so much and me being so tired, I have taken to letting him sleep in my bed until Bjorn comes home. Andy and I talk about it, how Daddy will come move him when he gets home because I don't want Andy to be scared when he wakes up in his own bed.

When Andy was a baby, he never really slept with us. There were the occasional one-off nights, but generally, he slept in his own crib for nap and nighttime. When I was pregnant last fall and Andy was starting to give up his afternoon nap, I started napping with him. Sometimes it worked better than others. If he's not tired, he gets all "kicky" and that makes me cross and neither of us gets sleep. But on a good day when we're both sleepy? Wow. It's actually rather heavenly to be cuddled up on my little guy. The time will come when he wants nothing to do with me, but right now I'm enjoying it.

I leave for Boston tomorrow. I think I have everything lined up for Bjorn while I'm gone. I'm not worried about Andy, but I do want to make sure he has Meg under control so I keep bothering him with stupid things like, "You know you can't leave her alone on the bed while you shower in the morning, right?" "You know you can't give her anything she might choke on, right?" "And don't forget to put a pillow behind her when she's sitting because she sometimes wipes out and bonks her head." "You know she really likes to watch Gilmore Girls reruns." Wait, that's me. Never mind.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

All smiles

Well, the bonus to separation anxiety is Meg's face just lights up when I smile at her now. That's been true more or less for a while, but right now, it's as if I am the most beautiful angel to grace her world. That certainly makes up for some of the hard time she's been giving me. It does frighten me a little that I'm such a pushover now for a good smile. Right now her wants are so small, you know, a highlighter to chew on or a piece of Zweiback. Imagine how it will be when she smiles at me and she's asking for that Louis Vuitton purse that's one sale, "It's only $800. I'll clean my room every day and not pick fights with my brother. Pretty please!" No matter that I've never come close to buying something that expensive.

Meanwhile, I will give Meg a pony. After a rough night last night, tonight she was smiley and happy and went down easily. I made a point to go through the full routine with a warm bath followed by that last bottle in her quiet room. She was mostly asleep when I laid her down, but after I left, she rolled around talking to herself for about 10 minutes. I forced myself not to go in and she dozed off on her own.

I have been analyzing the situation (something I like to do). I think part of it was we left the kids with our neighbors to go out Thursday night so I think that may have piqued her separation anxiety. That followed by a weird day out and about yesterday. Andy had a birthday party at
Burke Lake Park (which he loved since he got to ride the carousel and the train). Bjorn was reffing so I had Meg in a stroller and she napped weirdly in her stroller followed by more napping in the car, which is never ideal. Today, I moved her swing back into her room and that led to a 1 1/2 hour nap, her best all weekend. I don't know if her being better rested meant she was less cranky or what, but I'll take it. What do you think, overthinking much?

In other news, the ice cream truck came to our block today when I was out walking with the kids. Andy had never really noticed it before since it usually comes closer to 7 and that's bath/bed time in our house. So I spent the $1.75 on a green and orange ice concoction and he was so thrilled. It just about made my day to see him so happy from something so relatively simple.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Separation anxiety

Meg has discovered separation anxiety, and fuck, does it suck. It's bad enough that right now I can't even walk from the dining room the kitchen without a screech, but tonight I had to endure an hour of crying that turned into screaming before she would finally go to bed. I blame part of it on me. She initially went to bed happy and smiling and I went down to eat dinner. About 10-15 minutes later, she was still squawking a little so I went in to check on her. Big mistake. My checking on her seemed to just piss her off and she shrieked every time I tried to put her down or leave the room. I ended up feeding her again (apparently she was hungry so that was good). Bjorn came in to relieve me, but when I came in to give him something, Meg shrieked until I took her back. By then, she was just exhausted so I had to wait until she was all the way asleep to put her into bed. Ugh.

Clearly, there are lessons to be learned here. 1) She is now old enough to totally manipulate me. 2) I shouldn't have gone in to check. She was doing fine without me and probably would have settled down on her own. 3) She's has discovered how to go from squawking to shrieking. This development does not please me. 4) I need to read about re-Ferberizing in the era of separation anxiety. 5) I clearly need to drink more because this stuff just kills me.

Les Misbarak

Love Obama or hate him, this is just funny.

Friday, September 12, 2008


I don't travel much for work. Probably two or three times a year, I have to go away for a weekend. Then once a year, we have a big meeting and I have to go away for a week. And during that week, I turn into one of those women that I totally made fun of before I had a kid. One of those people that can't enjoy the time away, instead frets about the whole thing and arrives at the last minute and leaves as early as I can.

But it's stupid for me to do that. Bjorn is an exceptional dad and has the whole thing under control while I'm gone. We had daycare set up and he has backup in the form of his brother, mother and daughter as well as some neighbors on call to help out if necessary.

So this year, I am going to try to be different. I am going to try to have fun while I'm away. Sure, it's work, but at the end of a long day (and I mean long since they usually start at 6 a.m. and end after 5 p.m), there are parties to go to. There are cool people to see for drinks. There is also a nice hotel room that is clean and has the good premium cable TV stations. There is food that I don't have to cook or pay for available. The added bonus is I'm not pregnant this year like last. So my plan for Boston, I'm going to (try) look at this a little differently. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


It's official -- Meg has teeth. Two little clearish nubs are just poking through her bottom gums. I am excited and surprisingly melancholy that my little baby is growing up. Andy is thrilled about it though. He made a point to cheer her on, "Good baby! You're so good at growing teeth!" That just about killed me, too, it was so damn cute.

Meanwhile, I got a shout-out over from DC Blogs for my Hanna pictures. I am quite the celebrity, obviously. We went over to check out the lake yesterday after school and Andy and I were both amazed that all the water is gone now. What remains is mulch in weird places, a washed out walking path and mud everywhere. The mud line in the trees is about 15 feet high so you can see where the water went.

Andy was very happy that the water had gone down. The night before, he had a whole plan of how he would build a bulldozer to build a tunnel to get all the water to go away. He was quite serious about it. Bjorn and I were both impressed that he intended to build a bulldozer.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Tropical Storm Hanna

Did I mention it rained a lot yesterday?


It's barely September and the fall/winter illnesses are swirling through my house like it's Halloween and we've got the good candy. Last week, I got home from an event Thursday night feeling a little feverish and weird so I took two Benadryl and went to bed. Then in the morning my throat hurt a little, but by rotating Tylenol and Advil all day, I felt okay. By yesterday morning, my lymph nodes hurt like they did last year when I had strep. So I was smart, called my GP and had him call in a prescription for antibiotics. Let's hope that does the trick.

Andy had his first gymnastics class yesterday. There are two little girls in the class and they spent time jumping on the trampoline, jumping on the springboard, walking on the balance beam and doing a mini-Ninja Warrior course. It was all quite cute. He even got TWO hand stamps on the way out. He was rather pumped about that.

Not cute was the fever he spiked around lunch time. He simply fell asleep on the sofa around 12:30, unheard of for him to do that really. Bjorn carried him upstairs and Andy napped for a couple of hours. He woke up groggy and I think the only reason he did was he peed through his Pull-up and he was wet. All afternoon he just wasn't quite himself. Around 8ish, we negotiated how many more minutes he wanted to play. His answer "One hundred!" My answer, "Five." We settled on 10, but about two minutes in, he said he was tired so I took him up to bed. Also unheard of.

Meg has been a little warm off and on all weekend although Bjorn and I disagree on what constitutes warm and he's always telling me after the fact that he gave her a little Tylenol. I definitely think her teeth are coming in although I still don't feel anything.

Meanwhile, I'm pissed about this whole series of illnesses. I have really been trying hard -- I've been wiping toys and counters down with antibacterial wipes, toys are going in the dishwasher 100 percent more (i.e. I didn't do it at all before), I'm making a real effort to make sure I wash my hands every time I could some close to handling a bottle, food, a diaper or helping Andy in the bathroom. I'm also really working with Andy making sure he washes his hands more often. So explain to me why despite all this, everyone is still sick? I feel sort of like George Costanza - do I need to do the opposite of what I think is right and then everything will be fine? Any of you parenting veterans have any advice?

Oh, and to top off the weirdness of the weekend, we got 9 inches of rain in Fairfax yesterday as Tropical Storm Hanna blew threw the area, closing a number of the roads near us with low-lying creeks. I took some pictures of the creek near us. It was pretty cool.

Friday, September 05, 2008


Okay, so I've been working on keeping Meg and Andy healthy. Fingers crossed, we made it through the week. What sucks is now I'm sick. I am not sure how that happened what with operation hand sanitizer and all, but I felt crummy last night with fatigue and a sore throat only to keep waking up feeling cold with fever and chills. I swear, if it's not one thing, it's another.

I think Meg is getting her first tooth. No actual teeth yet by touch even (when she lets me rub her gums and when I make sure I've really, really washed my hands), but her bottom gums are whiter than normal and she's been a little cranky. Course, cranky could be for a host of reasons. I think she's getting a little separation anxiety when I leave the room. I think she has also discovered that crying=attention. She's no fool.

We're under a tropical storm watch this weekend with the remnants of Hurricane Hanna headed to the D.C. area. As a weather junkie, I love it. I also love that Bjorn's football games he's reffing will likely be rained out since we have a ton to do this weekend including Andy's first gymnastics class, a baptism, a community fun day (that also may get rained out) and two parties.

Monday, September 01, 2008


As you know, I'm not a particularly neat person. My desk and house both show that clutter doesn't really bother me. Things are clean, just never particularly organized. But with both kids showing a penchant for liking to get sick in the summer when supposedly kids are healthier, I am launching an all out war.

I am strategically placing hand sanitizers throughout the house and I am making an extra effort with Andy (and with Bjorn to work on him, too) to make sure we wash hands a lot. I am making an effort as well to put Meg's plastic toys in the dishwasher ever few days and wipe down her toys more often. It may not ultimately do any good, but it makes me feel better to know I'm doing something.

Meanwhile, here's a picture of both kids smiling at the same time. I then tried to zoom in and couldn't get either of them making a normal face at the same time. I will be grateful for these because I can envision that in a few short months Andy will have figured out how to pinch his sister just in time to make her cry for the camera.

After thinking about Sarah Palin being vice-president, I have decided it doesn't matter. No one ever asks a man, "But who will look after the children?" I can't personally imagine undertaking what she's undertaking, but that's her business, not mine. Now, does that make me get over her being pro-life, anti-gay and a creationist? Not so much.