Thursday, February 26, 2009


Andy's best friend at school is Christopher. Lately, the two boys have turned into 12 year old girls with the way they fight. While they are BFF, apparently they fight constantly. Andy has been coming home with stories lately about Christopher throwing rocks, mulch, insert toy here. other he tells me that Christopher is not his friend or buddy anymore. I know, how dramatic.

We have talked to his teachers about it a few times and apparently the two go through periods throughout the day of loving each other until one shuns the other for a while. Things have been getting more intense lately for no apparent reason. I talked to Ms. Paris today about it and she agrees it seems to be escalating for no apparent reason. Since Andy is four and academically ready, the decision is to start transitioning him over to the next room.

Several kids in his class just moved up this week so the timing is probably right. I think he's ready and talking to some of the parents with kids in the next class, they like the teacher and the curriculum is a little more advanced, well, he is four so that means there is a little more emphasis on reading and writing. I have met the lead teacher and like her, my only concern is that she works an earlier shift, like 7 to 3, meaning she won't be there when I pick up. That means I've have to try harder to get information on how he's doing. Hrmph.

And in totally unrelated news, my mother is coming to visit for a long weekend tomorrow. YAY!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My little mimic

Meg is really a mimic right now. I have been saying things and I swear I hear her repeat them. The unfortunate thing is apparently I'm the only one that can make it out. Or else I'm imagining things.

"Did you hear that, Jennifer? I think she said yogurt!"
"Ah, um, what?"

Yeah, well, I heard it.

The little girl is also really starting to show her toddler strides. She groans and screeches when I take a toy away or try to redirect. That part is annoying, but then she comes around with this big lovely grin. How can I refuse? If only she were cuddly. She doesn't really want to be held any more (unless Bjorn is working his magic on a nap). I would love it if I could just get her to nestle up to me in bed one morning, but instead she wants to play. Silly girl!

A friend called me yesterday to say she'd been shut in all week with her sick toddler and could we get out for a drink. Bjorn was working late so I offered her to just come over for wine and at least not have to listen to her own kids whine for a bit. She stays home with the kids and I think was somewhat horrified by the life of a working mother, what with me throwing taquitos on the table for dinner and the evening rush of pick-up, dinner, bath, play and bedtime. Bjorn's been working a lot of late nights (i.e. home after bath time) though so it was lovely to have the company.

Speaking of company, Jennifer (or Gemminer as Andy calls her) is threatening to move in with us for a few weeks in the spring until she and her friends can move into their own place. She's so fun to be around these days and helpful with the kids that I've been trying to lure her into staying longer. Wisely, perhaps, she keeps kindly declining.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Clearly gifted

As I was getting lunch ready today, I handed Meg one of Andy's books to keep her busy. She looked at the book for a few minutes, then handed it up to me and said, "read." Seriously. Now, does she know what she said? No, probably not. But I do think she's imitating the other kids at school that are often holding books to Miss Ayesha asking her to read to them. How adorable is that? I love that she's on the path to communication.

She's not walking yet, but she's really wanting to pull up and walk holding on to my hands. I can see why, too, and she actually has worn the skin on her knees down so much that they're rough to the touch. I now see why people buy weird little knee pads for their kids. I can't see buying them myself (at least not today), but I do get it.

Andy continues to amaze me with what he says, too. He'll say random things like, "Actually, Mom, I think I want juice." Actually? And the other day he told me, "I apologize, but I'm not very hungry right now."

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Here are some nuggets from the week:

* I could swear Meg said both "ball" and "nigh-nigh" tonight. Clearly the kid is a genius.
* She's discovered how to be ornery. She now gets annoyed if I try to redirect her from something she wants. Uh oh.
* I suspect her bottom two molars are coming in. I fear this means several weeks of disrupted sleep. Sure, its' obviously uncomfortable for her, but it's all about me, right?
* Yesterday I was packing up some baby bottles to give to a mother in Meg's daycare who is due in April with her second. Andy asked if we were going to have another baby. I said no and he burst into tears. I know, what?
* Later, he told me he, too, would have a baby in his tummy when he grew up. When I said only girls have babies in their tummies as boys are daddies, he burst into tears again. I clearly think he was tired, but the whole exchange was rather amusing.
* I randomly got a package from Pampers yesterday along with a size N diaper. I know! Size N! It was like the size of my hand and not the big tortilla size she has now. I get so caught up in the day-to-day work/life balance that I sometimes forget how far we've come. Size N! So tiny! And they come in packs of like 3,000 to a box.

Speaking of how far we've come, my cousin Frances sent me some info on a little boy in Austin named Ike who is having a rough go of it (as is his mommy). Take a look and say a prayer, drink a beer or whatever it is you do. They could use it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

More firsts

Clear as a whistle, Meg said the word "duck" this morning. Referring to an actual duck. Well, a yellow, plastic duck, but it was indeed a duck-like thing. How adorable!

Last night, she was playing with the myriad of ducks in the bathtub. I have been trying to keep her away from the cups and other containers like that since she likes to drink the water and, frankly, I have no idea what's in that water after they get it it. So we were playing a little game where I hold the duck, say it, make a quack noise, watch her smile and then have it kiss her cheek. Then she takes it and puts it in her mouth. It was a good game. After her bath, we played with a plastic duck for a little longer then she became interested in a duck slipper that her Cousin PJ gave her for Christmas. With that, too, she would smile and it and promptly stick it in her mouth.

I let her sleep with the slipper, figuring it was safe enough. Then this morning when I went in (at a record 7:40 a.m. although let's say that quietly to not jinx it), we went through the duck bit again and then she said it. My girl!

It's not her first word, per se. She's been saying Mama for probably 4-5 months and then Dada on command. But this is a real sign that we're headed down the communication path. I can't wait! (Although ask me again in a year, I may look fondly on these days where she can't tell me I'm not her friend and that she only wants red juice and toast).

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

One small step

Meg took her first step last night. It was more of a lunge as she moved from Andy's bed to Bjorn's waiting hands, but after she did it, we both looked at each other, smiled and agreed we would consider it her first. We practiced for a little while afterwards, but she was only saving her steps for Daddy. Bugger. She continues to put more sounds together and Ayesha swears she is saying a couple of her Urdu words.

Andy has gone from being a terror that deserved to be under psychiatric observation last night to a lovely little guy this evening who was happy after school, wanted to help with dinner, play nicely and dance with his sister and put his head on my shoulder while I type this and he watches Diego.

To get him back for being so ornery last night, I will have to record a particular gem. He was naked before his bath and I called his penis, his privates. He asked what that was and I took that as a chance to work in my ,anti-molestation speech about how he's not to show his penis to anyone except Mommy, Daddy or the doctor. Oh, and his teachers when they're helping him in the bathroom at school. He was horrified even though I have said all this before. "I can't show it to anyone? Waaaahhhh! But I want to show my penis!" Needless to say the speech stopped then.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lather, rinse, repeat

After a rough couple of days, I am starting to believe that I won't die. By Friday evening, I was starting to feel better. Saturday I was better with the help of Dayquil and Advil and today I haven't needed anything except the tea with honey Bjorn made me earlier. My voice, however, sounds like I smoke four packs of cigarettes and then ate gravel. I would think it would be sexy like Phoebe Buffet ala Friends, but apparently not as I think my voice makes Bjorn think I'm mad about everything.

In the midst of all this, Andy came to our bed at 7 a.m. yesterday morning, before Meg was even awake, naturally, to tell us that his ear hurt. Our pediatrician's office has walk-in hours Saturday morning so at 8:30 we traipsed ourselves over there to find out he was indeed in the early stages of an ear infection. I must say this thing where he can tell me where it hurts so I can fix it is so remarkable, I can't even believe it. This is almost bigger than him not crapping in his pants any longer. Almost. He's now on Augmentin for 10 days. The strep test, fortunately, came back negative.

Everyone was feeling well enough though that we braved the illnesses to hit the George Mason University basketball game Saturday afternoon. I've been meaning to go, well, for years and had finally psyched myself up for it. Lizzie G was even coming in from Alexandria to go with us. I drove by in the morning to buy tickets around 10:45 for a noon game and fans were already lining up. It was their homecoming, but still, it was pretty exciting to see. They also managed to win. The tickets for three adults and one kid were very reasonable -- $52. Four hot dogs and four drinks were a less reasonable $40, but that just speaks to bad planning on our part. We'll do better next time.

Meg was actually much less wiggly than Andy during the game, despite the fact that she was missing her normal nap at that time. But both kids were generally well behaved. The game was close, but Mason pulled out a win at the end. And we even got to watch a proposal on the court (it was Valentine's Day, right?) It was a combination of "aw" and "ew." The worst part was that sitting in front of us was a woman I play indoor against and her totally annoying husband. I recognize them because he comes to our games and sits on their bench and yells out instructions and criticisms during the game. I find it totally annoying and I don't even have to see him every week. I can only imagine what the other women think.

Friday, February 13, 2009


So now I have a cold. It was bound to happen, what with all the snotty nose wiping I've been doing lately. Today I did the unthinkable -- I sent both kids to school and stayed home in bed all day. It was necessary and yet felt totally decadent in a weird way, even though I was sucking on expired cough drops all day and alternating between being sweaty and cold.

I had already intended to send Andy to school since today was their Valentine's Day party. This year, I understood why they send home a list with all the kid's names on it. Last year, I thought the list was just a nice thing to have and was then totally surprised when he came home with dozens of valentine's cards. Duh. This year, I remembered. Bjorn bought the cards and I addressed them. Then Jennifer and Andy picked out which color lollipops to attach to each card. It was pretty adorable.

Speaking of Jennifer, she picked Andy up early from school yesterday and took him bowling. He loved it and acted like a totally adorable kid. Then he came home and was his typical whiney self. I love it when they save their most awesome behavior for me!

Meg is getting closer to walking every day. She can now walk holding on to one hand and can stand unassisted for probably 20 seconds at a time.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Both my kids have colds. Again. Meg has had something off and on for a week or so now, but just last night she started coughing at nighttime. Andy developed a cough on Sunday morning and spiked a fever that even. During the day, they generally seem to feel okay, but listening to the coughing at night breaks my heart. And totally stresses me out that I can't do anything to fix it really.

I try not to be all dramatic. It's a cold, it's not typhoid. I have the luxury of not having to worry that it will be smallpox (and having just watched John Adams Part I on DVD, that looks pretty brutal). I also need to realize it's not about ME at all. Sure it's inconvenient. Sure, it's stressful, but eventually it will pass and their immune systems will be better for it.

Anyone have tips on being more zen about this? Obviously, more wine is one good suggestion.

Monday, February 09, 2009


We had appointment for both kids with the pediatriac ear, nose and throat doctor today. It seemed like a good idea to have Andy with the nurse practitioner at 9:40 followed by an appointment with the physician at 10:00, but it was a long-ish morning in their office.

Note to doctors everywhere -- you have good toys in the waiting rooms. Would it kill you to put some of those in the waiting rooms, too? Not a sermon, just a thought.

Andy went first. One tube was out and lodged in some ear wax (doesn't that sound disgusting). The other was also out, but still touching the ear drum. She took long tweezers, laid him out and pulled the left one out. The right one is no longer functional, but she said it would H-U-R-T to take it out so we've got an appointment in May to come take another look unless it falls out between now and then.

Meg then moved on to meet with the doctor. Based on her SIX ear infections in the past six months and her family history, my girl is a candidate for the surgery. We could schedule it today and have it done in March sometime. While I'm sold on tubes, the question now is when. They clearly changed Andy's life for the better, but she is just so young that I hesitate. Plus, we're coming on spring/summer when things are generally pretty clear up until the next fall and winter. So we could wait until the summer to get it done, she'd be 18 months then and since the tubes last a year, that would put her at 2 1/2 after that and hopefully ready to outgrow the problem (although Andy did get his first set at nearly 3).

All that said, if we could do the surgery now (well, March) and go ahead and knock it out, wouldn't that be all the better? Then if she does need another set after that, well, we'll just cross that bridge when we get there?

I think I need to sleep on it.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Bizarre but true

We had a nice day yesterday. After the doctor's visit, we met friends at the Hidden Pond Nature Center in Burke/Springfield and had lunch at Einstein's bagels. I took the kids home for a nap. Andy doesn't really nap regularly anymore, but depending on his mood and what else is going on, I usually try to let him have some quiet time. Meg went to sleep relatively easily (a first for a nap lately, I think) and I went to my room to do important things, like this, John Adams on DVD and Facebook with a work e-mail or two mixed in.

I had told Andy he didn't have to sleep, but he did have to rest. He wanted to rest in his cave which is the space underneath is bed. I heard him talking to himself being quiet-ish. At a break during John Adams, I noticed he was indeed quiet so I peeked in to see if he'd decided to nap after all. And he had. Under his bed. I took a picture (naturally) and left him. I think he would have stayed asleep except he woke up after about an hour crying because he "had an accident." We cleaned up and then I had to move the bed up (it's a loft) to see if I needed to clean the carpet, too. Fortunately, the damage was contained to his underpants and jeans.

The weather here is above 50 for the first time in 200 years (or two months probably) and I'm loving it! Yesterday it was only 45 and we went to the park twice. Today we worked in the front where I washed my car in an attempt to get the salt and grime off. In the process, it somehow looks dirtier than before. Go figure. It is supposed to be nearly 50 every day next week. I even noticed a few daffodils starting to poke through. I know winter isn't over yet, but welcome back, spring. We've missed you!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Well check

I took Meg for her one year check up today. She was deemed perfect and growing perfectly, just what every mother wants to hear. Here are the stats:

Weight: 24 pounds, 12 ounces (95th percentile)
Height: 30 1/2 inches (75-90th percentile)

I guess at this age they don't measure head size any longer. With her height and size, I have a theory that Andy will end up being about 5' 10" and she will be right behind him at 5'9". I'll certainly take it.

She got one shot, the first of the chickenpox series. While we had to wait 15 minutes for it, I was holding her while she tried to go upside down and didn't even notice the stick. Fortunately, Nurse Sylvia does a nice job.

I also got a list of her ear infections and treatments to give to the ENT on Monday. It's a new doctor as the one that did Andy's has somewhat mysteriously retired from practice. (The story from a friend was he'd been forced out, the story from my pediatrician through the NICU nurses whose kids she sees is that he'd developed an eye condition and was stepping back. I agree though that a surgeon with an eye condition probably shouldn't be trying to put little pin sized tubes into kids' ears.)

Meg does have a little bit of a cold and fingers crossed it doesn't turn into another ear infection. Good thing she'll get her ears looked at Monday, just in case.

In other news, I resubscribed to NetFlix. Bjorn has been dying to watch the Dark Knight since before it came out and I have wanted to watch John Adams. Jubilee!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Meg keeps checking off the milestones and I'm loving it! Just this week, she's been starting to stand for moments at time, completely unassisted. She seems pretty proud of herself for it, too.

My girl is also getting all four of her molars right now. She was up several times Monday night and only settled down for the night after I gave her some Tylenol and antihistamine so I took her by Dr. Staats on my way to work Tuesday just for a quick look to make sure she didn't have an ear infection (it was worth $10 to know that). Fortunately, no ear infection, that moment anyway. But she does have all four molars coming in right now. The top two have broken through the gums and the other two are close. So now I loading her with a dose of Tylenol before bedtime to try to ease her discomfort.

We go back on Friday for her one year well visit. We also have an appointment on Monday with the pediatric ear-nose-throat doctor. Andy is going for a check-up and to likely have his tubes scooped out if they have fallen out already. Meg is getting an examination to set up for if we need to schedule the surgery eventually.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Andy has recently come upon some classic phrases of childhood that I am sure to hear for the next, oh, 20 years.

"Aw, that's not FAIR."
"I never get to do ANYTHING."

I have to laugh because the the notion is so ridiculous, but also because I can totally hear myself in 1977 saying the same thing. Sorry, Mom!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Breaking the rules

We worked really hard over the first 3 1/2 years to help Andy sleep on a regular schedule. I preserved nap times at all cost and ensured he was home in time for a good bedtime, even if that meant we didn't stay out as late as we could. So now I've gone and messed it up and started letting Andy sleep with us.

It started innocently enough. When I was pregnant and through last spring and summer, Andy was on the verge of dropping his afternoon nap. He still needed it, both for his mental health and mine. So I took to taking naps with him. I liked it, both the napping with him part and the getting a nap myself.

Then in the fall, Bjorn was reffing a lot of football games. I am generally so tired by the end of the day that I took to letting Andy sleep with me until Bjorn came home. The deal always was that Bjorn would move him when he came to bed. Andy always knew he wouldn't get to sleep there all night (just as well, too, that kid kicks).

I was out of town for work in New York this weekend (shout out to my Japanese karaoke peeps Armando and Jeremy) and Bjorn let Andy sleep with him all night both nights. Now it's Sunday night and Andy just popped in, carrying all three dogs, saying "I can't sleep." Drats.

The problem with all this is that when I'm sleepy, it's so nice once in a while to curl up with my boy and rub his back (he is just four, not fourteen so it's not so creepy, right). The downside, of course, is the he has come to expect it and that makes bedtime more challenging.

Oh, and yes, everyone survived the weekend. I always feel all dramatic that the world will end while I'm gone, and it never does. More evidence I can and should get out more.