Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dearth of pictures

With the new laptop, I haven't yet bothered to reattach my camera to it, what with all the checking Perez and Facebook I've been doing. That means I haven't been updating my blog when I've had my pictures handy. Thankfully, Beth sent me a picture of Meg from last Sunday that was too adorable not to post.
Her hair is starting to be a little ridiculous, but it doesn't seem right to get it cut. Any tips from you girl mommies out there about the right time to cut a girl's hair? With boys, it's so easy to just cut it off, but there seems to be more to it with girls.


In the midst of a long-winter funk where we've all been trapped in the house, sick and sick of being indoors, I'm trying to stay positive by thinking of all the fun stuff I want to do in the relatively near future (sorry, Bjorn, you might even have to come with me on some of these). These are in no particular order except how I was writing them in a staff meeting the other day. Some are obviously longer term than others.

1). Teach Andy to read and Meg to walk.
2). Visit the Newseum.
3). Get move involved in my community, like the pool and soccer for Andy.
5). Write a book. My plan -- to write a book on having a second kids. Thousands are out on the first baby, but I haven't found anything practical on handling two.
6) Start taking master's degree classes at Mason again.
7). Teach the kids to grow a vegetable garden.
8). Go to the beach, possibly even with friends (are you listening Mo and Bill?)
9). Win an award personally (I have no idea what, but it would be fun).
10) Present an award.
11). Climb the stairs of the Washington Monument.
12) Join a church.
13). Take a yoga class.
14). Publish a paper.
15). Teach a class.
16). Take and frame more photographs for around the house.
17). Get Andy involved in swimming lessons.
18). Leave the kids overnight and go somewhere just the two of us!

To be continued...constantly...What else should I want to do?

Edited to add:

19). Get tickets to Mason basketball games.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


In honor of Meg's birthday, I bought myself a laptop. It's nothing fancy, just a computer I can put on my lap so I can do important thinks, like post updates here and on Facebook, from the living room or bedroom. Bjorn rocks for making it happen and setting up the network. That guy's a sweetheart!

Someone is one!

Friday, January 23, 2009

This and that

It's been an interesting week with the holiday, inaugural and all, so I'll just share a few gems of the week.

1) Meg is pointing. AT EVERYTHING. It's adorable. Except when she insists on pointing her finger into my mouth or eye.
2) She loves climbing the stairs and getting around my gates. She always pulls the one down off the stairs in the living room so I have an eagle eye out for that. Then this morning, she tore down my makeshift gate in the basement while I was doing something important, like Facebook. I turned around and she was half way up the stairs. Yikes!
3) We are working on some sleep readjustment, with modest success (fingers crossed, knock wood, knock wood again). I have been tinkering with her bedtime, pushing it to 7:30 in the hopes that it gets us to at least 6:00 a.m. I took her to the doctor on Tuesday to confirm no ear infection before I started work. Fingers crossed things continue to improve. Mama is tired!
4) She can stand. On her own! Not for a long period of time, but I watched her do it twice today. Walking, here she comes!
5) Oh, and to totally bury the lead, Meg turns one, on Monday. I can hardly believe it. I had to be at the hospital where I delivered last week for work and it was sort of surreal thinking I was just there a year ago in that very parking lot. I have pictures of the entrance and everything.

1) He is infatuated with Diego and loves to sing the theme song. I like Diego better than Dora, but the show is still pretty stupid. There was an episode featuring chinchilla mountain and it had some small mountain with all these little rat looking things all over the top like sprinkles. Odd.
2) I have been trying to work on positive stuff about our days. Here is a classic:
"Andy, my favorite part of the day was tonight when you and Meg were playing tit-ut (peek-a-boo) together. I loved listening to you two laughing. What was your favorite part of the day?"
"...Juice. I liked getting juice."
3) Today we went over to the creek, which was still partially frozen despite it being almost 55 today. We threw rocks at the ice. We loved it!
4) He is suddenly into bagels and insists on having them for practically every meal.

1) I went to my OB's office today. It was so odd being there. Having gone practically once a week for nearly a year, it felt like going back to high school after you graduate. The facilities were more or less the same, but it all felt different. I was also very glad to not be pregnant in that waiting room.
2) With all the sleep problems, I have inexplicably misplaced my Health Sleep Habits book that I have practically dog-eared and memorized. I have been looking for it everywhere (and even cleaning some in the process. Grrr.)
3) I have to go out of town next weekend for work. It's always hard for me to leave, but I know Bjorn is exceptionally capable and always handles everything great. I will also get a chance to look up Armando. Although seeing him twice in one month after not seeing him in more than four years may be too much.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Yes we can

Here's to an exciting four years. I hope it lives up to all our expectations.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Four year check up

Andy had his four year check up on Friday. What was notable was that at four, he moves up to the "preliminary room" for his check-ups where he was given a vision test, a depth perception test, a red/green color blind test and a hearing test. His vision wasn't perfect. Apparently kids this age don't normally see 20/20 anyway, but he had trouble with some of the pictures on the exam. Dr. Staats thought that could just be to not understanding the test, which happens all the time, but that I should keep an eye out to see if I see him squinting in the future and that we'll look at it again at his next check up. He also didn't do so great on high pitched sounds on his left ear. That is the ear where he had an ear infection just last week so that is likely the culprit. She also reported that his tube has fallen out of that ear and is just sitting in the ear canal. If it doesn't fall out between now and the visit to the ENT in a few weeks, she thinks they will reach in to scoop it out.

I didn't get the piece of paper with all the measurements like in other visits, but I can report that he was 39 1/2 inches tall (not quite 40, which would make him happy since he's four and naturally, his height should match). He also weighed in at 35 pounds. I know, 35 pounds. I was looking back at my posts around his first year and he weight 24 pounds at a year. It's hard to believe he's only gained 10 pounds in three years.

They also drew blood from his finger to check for cholesterol, which he doesn't have. He also peed in a cup and they checked for diabetes, which he also doesn't have. He also was a good sport and got the chicken pox booster vaccine. It's not required at age four, but it will be required for kindergarten and apparently at age five, there are three other boosters so it just made sense to knock one of those out now. The whole appointment took about 1 1/2 hours, and we were being seen for that whole time.

In other news, I got out to see some friends this weekend. Friday night the C-spot girls got together and during the day I got to see Armando. I even left him at the Kings Park West library checking out porn on public computers while I took Andy to his appointment. I even managed to get in a beginning yoga class with Lizzie G on Sunday. It was good. I think I could get into that.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Ugh, so now I have a stomach bug. What's up with that? Meanwhile, someone told me about a rotovirus vaccine. We didn't get offered that. Did you guys?

In better news, cousin Will is in town playing the inauguration and blogging here - Check it out. He's so cool.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A bit of relief

So everyone had a better day yesterday. Meg went all day without throwing up and even had a few normal diapers in the middle of the day. She seems to have a bit of a runny nose, but I'm trying to ignore that for now. She even slept last night. Whoo-hoo!

Andy had a great day yesterday as Jennifer picked him up from school and took him to Build a Bear for his birthday. He returned home after a trip to the mall where he got a workman bunny named Bob (this kid doesn't win any awards for naming stuffed animals), a trip to Burger King followed by some ice cream.

I even got out for indoor soccer. I don't think I've made it to a game since before Christmas so I will be sore. The only person who didn't have a better day was Bjorn who had a rough day a work.

I'm hopeful this better patch lasts (although trying hard not to jinx it!) I have Andy's four year check up tomorrow and I'm meeting my friend Armando from New York for a late breakfast. Meg is going to Ayesha's so I can do all that and have some bonding time with the boy(s). It is sadly supposed to be frigid tomorrow, with highs in the 20s so I doubt we're going to be doing much tooling around Old Town, but it will be great see Armando. At least for that first five minutes before we realize we detest each other.

Please keep your fingers crossed this good spell lasts. I am ready for some normalcy! Well, until the inaugural next week which is throwing everything out of whack.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pukey baby

It's been a long three weeks/month and Casa Bennett. Apparently my home has turned into a germ factory and young Margaret Anne has been its main target. Poor chicken has had three stomach bugs and two ear infections since we before we left for Dallas on the 19th. Her poor mother (i.e. me) is very, VERY sick of this and I am willing to beg, borrow and steal whatever it takes to make her well again.

The latest bout started on Saturday night when she threw up her dinner just after I put her to bed. Since then, she's been alternating between throwing up about once a day and having diarrhea. After numerous phone consultations with the pediatrician, I went ahead and took her in yesterday afternoon. We went through several possibilities and checked that she didn't have an ear infection (thank heavens, since more antibiotics might mess her tummy up more). They do want to test for a urinary tract infection on the off chance that could be causing her trouble. But generally, they think her stomach is raw from all the upset and just needs time to heal. The game plan we came up with is to temporarily stop dairy to give her a break. That means going ahead and stopping formula, which I was going to start doing in a few weeks anyway. Then once she recovers, we can add back in cheese and start whole milk. Fingers crossed.

This whole thing has been messing with her sleep, too. And now without being able to feed her at night, she's up and not ready to go down again. Once she's healthy again, we'll have to do some tough love to get back to normal.

The whole thing has been totally stressing me out. I finally even went to my doctor yesterday because I was getting so worked up that even when I was able to sleep, I couldn't and was feeling really anxious. I expected a prescription for Prozac or something, but instead got some Valium with the instructions to let Bjorn handle more. When we were in Dallas, Meg only wanted me so since then, I've just been jumping on even though Bjorn has offered to help. So last night, I took some medicine, went to bed at 8:30 and Bjorn got up with her from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. He is quite a great guy, that Bjorn.

So, fingers crossed that this game plan works. And fingers crossed that she remembers how to sleep again! I could use some predictability back in my life. Well, until learns to walk and totally throws me for a loop again!

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Today is Andy's birthday. He is four! That all seems somewhat impossible to believe somehow. Sure, I have lived every one of those 1,200 plus days, but dang, 1,200 plus days? Really?

I am so proud of where he is. He loves to talk and listen to good stories (our new favorites, anything about the Pigeon Driving the Bus, Professor Poopypants or Knuffle Bunny). He loves to notice things, like the full moon or the color of the leaves. He loves playing with his sister (most days) and he totally adores his older brother and sister. He is learning math at a rapid pace, more so than reading actually although he knows all his letters and can even recognize a few words (like Andy, Target, Exit and Home Depot.) He loves to kick balls, do puzzles, play Ninja Warrior and watch television. He's a great kid and I'm lucky he's mine.

We threw a birthday party for him at the bowling alley. We had eight kids, aging from 16 months to 5 1/2, all the kids of my soccer friends plus family. Next year, I'm sure I have to invite his friends, but this year? I just invited our inner circle instead. We had two lanes for eight bowlers, complete with ramp and bumpers. The first game took about 45 minutes for each lane, then we had a hot dog and french fry lunch followed by ice cream and cake. Then I let him open presents, which all the kids helped with (which Andy actually loved). Then one final game and it was over. Andy had a great time, as did most of the kids. And at the end of it? The mess stayed there. Pretty good deal, I thought.

Rather than goody bags of choking hazards, I picked up mylar balloons for each of the kids. I think it went over pretty well with the kids and their parents. I did make a conscious decision to let him open presents. Most parties we go to these days they don't open the presents with the kids there and I know Andy often really wants his friends to see what he gave them (although most kids tell what the present is during opening, "Andy! It's a motorcycle inside!" Cracks me up.)

The only real damper is Meg is sick. Again. Poor thing threw up last night and now has diarrhea and generally wasn't herself all morning. Can someone please tell the well-kid Gods I will pay them whatever they need to please, please give my kids a healthy stretch for a while? Please? I hate to be such a whiner, but it's really killing me.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


By the way, my cousin Will is going to be playing the trumpet during the inauguration. Check out his post about it. Go Team Dean! Moving stuff.


Bjorn's been out of town since Wednesday and I am so glad he's coming back today. It's stressful being home by myself, you know, with my own children. All two of them. I know. That's not that hard, right? For the most part, they were well-behaved and slept decently. Bjorn's mom was nice enough to bring us dinner Thursday and last night a friend invited us over for dinner at their house so it's not like I've been trapped on an island or anything. Still, I'm glad he's coming home today.

The kids continue to change, it's pretty amazing to watch them start to interact more with each other. Yesterday we had a moment that made me well up with price. Meg woke up early from her nap (frown) and Andy was taking a rare nap at the same time. After doing a bunch of stuff, I had her in my room while I folded laundry. She must have gotten bored with me because she crawled out of my room, went to Andy's door and pushed it open. Then she proceeded to climb up to the side of his bed and start jabbering with her. Andy woke up and started talking back. It was beyond adorable (and it was okay because it was already 3:40 p.m. and we had to be somewhere at 4 p.m.) I think they did that for about 15 minutes, just long enough for me to watch the end of Brothers and Sisters from Sunday.

Oh, and to totally bury the lead, Andy turns four tomorrow. WOW. I'm hosting Andy's first real birthday party tomorrow as well. It's only with six or seven friends and they're all kids of my soccer team friends. I figure this is the last year I can get away with mostly inviting my friends. Next year he'll want to invite his school buddies or other buddies, whereas this year he was just happy to have a party. I'm doing it at the local bowling alley, which should be interesting. I'll post pictures -- if we survive.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

If it's not one thing, it's another

So now Andy has an ear infection. He woke up in the night Tuesday to complain that his teeth hurt. Then in the morning, he said his ear hurt. It's hard to tell if he's telling the truth or what so we sent him to school after giving him a little Tylenol, which is either necessary or just medicinal for the brain. I didn't get a call in the morning, but I went ahead and made a visit at the pediatrician's (my BFF) just in case. Sure enough, around nap time when things got quiet, they called to say he was complaining of an ear ache. I took him to the doctor's where it was revealed that he was indeed just getting an ear infection and had a sore throat. He's now on Omnicef with a good prognosis for catching the infection early. The good part is this is only his second infection since he got tubes a year ago. That's much better than all the infections he had the year before.

Do you know what's great about all this? He said his ear hurt, I listened and now he's getting treated. How novel a concept to have a kid actually tell me something was wrong and me be able to fix it. This sure beats him being cranky and me trying to figure out if he was just being a jerk or really had something wrong.

Bjorn is out of town until Saturday. He's just in Baltimore, only an hour away, and I am really contemplating going up there tomorrow night and coming back Saturday in time for gymnastics. What's holding me back is we are *just* now settling back into a sleep routine after being away so I'm hesitant to mess with what's not broken. Plus, it's not like Bjorn will be able to play with us when we're there. It's going to have to be a game-time decision.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Balancing act

I am an idiot, it turns out. I knew for a long time that I was having a baby. A whole nine 1/2 months. And during my pregnancy, I kept imagining having a baby and how that was going to be tough with a newborn and juggling sleep and feeding and all that stuff. Somehow in my head, though, I kind of imagined that after a while, she and Andy would just be the same age and be able to do the same stuff. I somehow didn't factor in, strangely, that she would always be three years and two weeks younger. Does that seem weird somehow?

With Andy, by the time he was one year old I was just in awe of the whole thing. I had MADE it. I had survived the long nights and we were finally getting to where it was good. He could smile and play and I was just enraptured with the whole thing. With Meg, she has come so, so far. Every day she does something new and interesting, like her recently figuring out how to open cabinets and climb stairs. But while I cheer that success, he who is louder and more dexterous demands my attention to complete a puzzle, wipe his bottom, get something else out of the refrigerator or pour more milk -- something. So I find myself sometimes looking at her thinking, "What, you're not three already?"

On the one hand, I have really had a chance to savor some of the baby moments because I'm more confident than I was with Andy (or at least I knew what to look for). But on the other hand, I worry I'm short-changing her. And to complete the cycle of neuroses, I wonder if I'm missing some of his cool moments because I've got her to attend to. And this is before I get to the other people in my life I care about, like Bjorn and my family, not to mention obligations like work.

Those of you with older kids, how do you balance it all? And is this what creates all that sibling rivalry?

Friday, January 02, 2009


I took (dragged) Andy to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum today. His favorite part? Was it the big whale? The dinosaurs (which were the reason we went)? The volcanoes? Heck, the cafeteria? "The stairs. I liked the stairs." Just like our trip to Dallas, he proclaimed his favorite part was riding on the airplane. Figures.

The trip was interesting. I took Meg to her sitter's today (she had offered) and it was going to be an Andy/Mommy day. As I dropped her off, my sitter's two kids who are 7 and 13 were there so I offered to take them. They were thrilled to get out of the house so the came with us. It was nice. The 7-year-old is a boy and he and Andy played nicely together and the girl and I talked music and iPods. It was clearly a sign of what's to come and was pretty cool. And after two solid weeks with an off and on sick baby, it was nice to get out to do something with people who could tell me what they wanted.

Afterwards, I dropped the big kids off and Meg was sleeping so Andy and I spent the next few hours together running errands. It was very nice to get some one on one time with him and my shoulders appreciated not lugging a baby around, but I think we both missed Meg.

I go back to work on Monday after a two-week holiday. I'm looking forward to getting a little more routine back, talking to adults and thinking about something other than which kid puked last, but it has been nice not to really think about work for a while.