Sunday, March 29, 2009

Pictures, finally

The weather is slowly improving and there have been a few really nice days mixed in with some days of cold, clouds and rain. Today Bjorn even loaded us up to go check out the cherry blossoms down by the tidal basin in downtown Washington, D.C. The traffic, no surprise on such a gorgeous day hours before the peak of the blooms, was hideous. We planned to drive near Bjorn's office and take the metro, but instead, we just walked over near the White House. It was spontaneous and beautiful as we spent time at a park we have never really visited before. Quite cool.

Here are pictures from the last several weeks.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

New and disgusting tricks (caution TMI alert)

So what's the polite thing to do when you find your child eating her own poop during a dinner party?

We were having friends over for tonight and the adults were finishing dinner and drinking wine while the kids, aged 5, 4, 3, and 1 played when I noticed Meg had something in her mouth. That alone isn't so unusual, after all rocks, bits of mulch and boxes must be tasted. But what was unusual was the fact that something green and brown was smeared on her face. We swooped in and swept her mouth and examined what was on the floor. At first I assumed it was cat vomit, but further inspection proved it was her own poop. Her diaper had exploded up her back, and I mean really exploded, and she obviously had to taste it.

I was freaking out. I was relieved somewhat to realize it was her own poop (I'll admit that's a phrase I never thought I'd say) vs. cat vomit, I mean, no telling what the cat/human interaction thing could be. I couldn't decide whether to make her throw up or what. My friend graciously was appropriately alarmed, but not too alarmed. In the end, we just cleaned her up and brushed her teeth. Good.

This parenting thing is really beyond disgusting much of the time, isn't it?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Thoughts on Lost

No, I don't mean Lost the television show, although I do watch it. I mean tips for when kids get lost. My mom sent me this and I need to work with Andy on it. Right now, when I bring it up, he closes his eyes and pretends to be sleeping. I know, he's not even a teenager yet.

* Stand still the minute he realizes I'm not there.
* Shout my first name, not mommy since everyone is named mommy.
* That I will call for him loudly once I realize he's gone.
* That he's not to go with anyone, even if they say that person will help me find me.

That's pretty basic. What else?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

My little climber, part 2

Seriously, this kid is a climber. I took the kids to the library yesterday to look for some books on stranger danger/what to do if you get lost in the store kind of stuff. I had been having a hard time finding anything good and was talking to the librarian about it. I put Meg on the floor and she proceeded to then find every bench, chair and stool, climb on it and then STAND on it. I had to eventually hold her and when that didn't work, let Andy practically sit on her for the 10 minutes I talked to the library staff. And after all that, I never did find anything really age appropriate. Any suggestions?

Meg was up three times last night, at 10, 2 and 5 before waking up screaming at 7:15. It was a long night. I first thought this morning that it was constipation, easily helped by some prune juice. But after a trip to the park and the swing, I got a good look in her mouth and realized her upper right molar is only half way through. Well, no wonder she's cranky. She's got two pieces of tooth pressing through some flesh. I plan to give her a good dose of Motrin before bed tonight and hope that was it.

She's still not walking, but standing on her own more confidently ever hour it seems. It's been amazing to watch.

Oh, and I'm almost done with Breaking Dawn. I am somewhat ashamed I have read all four books because the characters irritate me so. Then again, I'm not a 12 year old girl so what do I know.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My little climber

Meg isn't walking yet, but that doesn't stop her from throwing her leg over everything and standing on it. I was getting dressed the other morning while she played in Mark/Jennifer's room. I came in a few minutes later to find her standing on one of the kid chairs with a big grin on her face. If she can get her leg over it, she'll climb on it and likely stand. It's thrilling and scares me all the same.

She continues to make baby steps toward walking. It's so amazing to see her standing alone and scootching a step or so. Even Andy gets in on the cheering which just warms my heart. He has also taken to calling her Meggie. I have reservations about the nickname based on my own personal biases, but coming from him, how can I not love it?

Her language is picking up, too. It's clear she understands a lot of what we say now and can follow basic commands, like "Let's climb the stairs," or "Do you want a bath?" She also can say a few things now, like ball and car. I even heard her say "bye bye" to Andy this morning.

Monday, March 16, 2009

3 1/2 minutes of terror

I lost Andy at the store yesterday. It was a seriously terrifying 3 1/2 minutes.

Let me explain. I took the kids to Bed, Bath and Beyond yesterday afternoon to return a tablecloth I had bought earlier. Despite measuring my table first, I still walked away with the wrong one and I wanted one of those awesome new microfiber ones that seriously repel moisture, including milk, juice and probably vomit. Because Bjorn was home "working" and it was rainy, I decided to head next door to DSW Shoe Warehouse to try to fnd a new pair of black loafers that I have been on the hunt for for months.

I was carrying Meg and Andy was walking along with me. The set-up in the shoe store is probably 20 aisles of waist high display tables, just high enough to conceal a four year old. I didn't think it would be so hard to go in there -- Meg isn't walking so I figured I could just plop her down and have Andy entertain her while I tried a few pairs of shoes. Wrong, on so many levels.

First off, the set-up in the store was like a huge obstacle course to Andy. He wanted to climb on all the benches in between the aisles and generally be four. Meg -- while not walking -- wanted to stand and pull the shoes out. She also wanted to crawl everywhere and pull down the floor mirrors. All that combined with not being able to find anything (seriously, black loafers with real heels, how hard is that?) was frustrating.

We'd been there about 10 minutes, slowly going row to row when I realized Andy wasn't behind me talking all of a sudden. I waited about 30 seconds, figuring he was right there, then when I called his name and he was gone. I started to retrace my steps, even with the Squirmy One. I started calling his name, nothing....Panic.

I went to the back of the store, the clearance section where I nice lady said she'd seen a little boy. "Little boy? Blue hat? He was right here...Wait, he was just right here..." I looked in the bathrooms (right there) and didn't see him. Then came back and another lady and clerk dragged him to me. Finally. I think the whole scene took about 3 1/2 minutes, but damn was I scared. I was already going to John Walsh and seeing how all that could happen.

As I sit him down to catch my breath and calm him down, I thank the ladies and start to talk to about what to do if that even happens again. Then as if my own terror and panic and guilt wasn't enough, a lady comes over and tells me I need a stroller. "I'm not getting in your business, but..." Ugh.

I thought about it later and 1) I usually don't go to these kinds of stores without a stroller, 2) most stores without a stroller I have a shopping cart where I can corral both of them, 3) I need to work on our lost management/how to not talk to strangers strategy. Ideas?

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Andy was playing with one of his old toys, a dog that when you touch it, talks back and sings song.

"Ding-a-ling. I see you," says the bear."
"No you don't," says Andy.

Where did this kid get his sarcasm?

Both kids are (fingers crossed) doing better on the new antibiotic. Meg's sinus infection (i.e. goopy eyes) appears better as does her super thick and chunky runny nose. What's left now is a dry cough. It's unclear if that's part of the sinus infection working its way through or something else new and fun.

Andy was a total pill yesterday morning. We met the famous Lizzie G. at the Gap Outlet in Old Town where he proceeded to whine and complain for the entire 1 1/2 hours we were together, even with mint chocolate chip ice cream. He then came home and took a four hour nap so I suppose the kid wasn't quite right after all.

We had a dinner to celebrate Mark being in town where Bjorn made his local favorite sausage risotto for everyone. It was nice to all be together. What's funny is Jennifer is now hinting that her month stay with us may turn into a longer stay and Mark is saying he might be home for the summer. It would be sort of fun having everyone all together although I might have to invest in bunk beds or something for the big kids to share a room. I don't think I could stand one of them sleeping on the couch in the basement as it would make that room off limits until noon most mornings and a mess if we had guests over. The logistics are easy enough though.

I'm in the middle of the fourth Twilight book. Sure, it's crap, but at this point, it's familiar crap. I just wish Bella wasn't such a victim. I haven't quite figured out why everyone in the book loves her so much as it's not like she's out sewing scarves for the homeless or anything. And Jacob -- dang, he seems a whole lot more fun than Edward. Am I alone here?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ear infections part MXCII

I took Andy in for his post-ear infection check. Even Meg's sinus infection, i.e. goopy eye problem, was looking better so I mostly had a couple of questions about nose bleeds, adding dairy back in, and teething. I was not expecting to hear that both kids have ear infections. Apparently they're not super red and nasty (meaning really painful) but they are definitely not well and need some more medicine to clear them up. Apparently Andy's ear infection just never really cleared and Meg's sinus infection just worked its way over to the ears. The prescription was Suprax (at the bargain price of $50 per). Poor guys.

I explained that Meg was up somewhat inconsolable for about an hour or so the other night. Dr. Staats predicted that was more likely due to teething than her ears and encouraged good use of Motrin and Tylenol. While all four molars are through the gums, she predicts it will be several more weeks before they are all done moving.

I asked about tubes again for Andy. She predicted we'd get through March, the last month of cold and flu season and likely not have problems again. But if this infection refuses to clear up, then we'll talk about it again. She said it's pretty common to have to do them again, even at this age, and now that he's four, they'd likely take the adenoids out as well. I explained our theory of getting the tubes for Meg in late summer in time for the season. She thought that made a lot of sense, unless of course, the latest infection refuses to die. So now we're on antibiotics for another couple of weeks and seeing where this takes us.

So it as 70 last weekend only to snow this morning. March is turning out to be pretty wacky.

Monday, March 09, 2009

My budding teenager

Andy is just four, but I see glimpses of the living hell that will be his teenage years.

"Andy, how was school today? Was it picture day?"
"No. Nothing. I'm not telling."
"...Did you play with Christopher?"
"Christopher wasn't there today."
"Who did you play with? Eli? Kiki? Evan?"
"Nobody. I don't want to play with anyone."

To be fair, he is sooo tired and cranky this evening. He took a really long, weird nap yesterday after staying up too late with Mark and Jennifer the night before. That combined with the time change meant that he didn't get a really good night's sleep and then didn't nap at school today. Oh, and with the nice weather, he spent a lot of time on the playground at school and then I took the kids to the park on our way home. So he was T-I-R-E-D as I often spell to Bjorn.

Oh, and Meg's sinus infection initially seemed better only for me to pick her up from school and see her all goopy again. I tried to call the doctor's office and got the weird 16 year old high school afternoon receptionist who was useless at either getting me to a nurse or making an appointment for the morning so I called my friend who I'd run into at the doctor's office the week before where her daughter was also getting treated for a sinus infection. After a minute, she said, "You know to stay away from milk, right." Um, well, I was after the initially barfing, but once that had passed, I introduced dairy again on Friday and then milk yesterday. No wonder! I now need to go back to clear liquids for a few more days and see if that doesn't clear things up. I swear, this kids need instruction manuals.

In completely unrelated news, it is my favorite time of the year -- college basketball time! Right now is Championship Week with all the conference tournaments. Local college George Mason is playing VCU tonight on ESPN 2 for the CAA tournament and there are tournament finals on television all week. I am pscyhed! That also means the NCAA tournament is just in a few weeks. I am trying to convince Bjorn (and anyone else interested) to get together at a bar during the day on that first Friday to watch the games. That will be while I'm still in the pool at the office. Usually by Sunday, I'm mathmatically eliminated.

Sunday, March 08, 2009


We got a taste of spring this weekend and it was sure lovely. We spent a lot of time outdoors including putting together a new patio tent for the backyard. The box lied that it only took an hour to put together. After the first two hours, our marriage nearly collapsed. Then he figured out how to finish it and Mark and Jennifer helped us carry it into it's annointed spot. In the meantime, I had some great parenting while I tried to distract the kids to help out.

Here I let Meg play on the patio in her pajamas. She loves this car and eventually managed to climb on it enough that she lost her balance and skinned her forehead.
My first-born proudly urinating in my garden. Sure, I could have stopped him rather than taking a picture.

Bjorn working on the patio tent. This is at about hour three. Andy took the picture as evidenced by the smudge that he personally put on the lens from the macaroni and cheese he refused to eat for lunch.

This wasn't from this weekend, but it was on the camera and so damn cute I had to share it. She's such a smiley, happy girl, especially when her teething problem is properly medicated.


Here are some pictures from the snowstorm that was, geez, just on Monday. It's hard to remember that now as it's Sunday and was 75 this weekend.

Mom and Andy kicking the snow. I think we had about 8-9 inches.

Mom pulling the sled down the street. We were in the snow for about 15 minutes, which was plenty. It was cold and windy. Andy did like wearing his snowsuit though.


Saturday, March 07, 2009

Oh heavens

From the boy's mouth today:

"Juice comes out my penis. It starts in my mouth and then goes into the machine in my tummy and then that turns it into pee that comes out my penis. Did you know that, Mom?"

Friday, March 06, 2009

Diagnosis: Teething

Meg had a rough night last night. She woke up wailing around 9:45 (naturally as I had just settled into watching 30 Rock with Bjorn). Nothing would soothe her, it was really weird. After a bit, I walked her outside for a few minutes and then fed her some cheerios. She seemed hungry, which would make sense. The chicken hadn't eaten much in the past couple of days. So I fed her a steady supply of carbs. At about 10:45, she was clearly tired, but not showing signs of settling on her own so I finally had to put her in bed and let her scream for about 10-15 minutes. That is always hard, but since it was clear that nothing was working to settle her, it wasn't as bad as it could be (also since it worked and she went to sleep). I finally nodded off about midnight for her to wake up around 5 a.m. and do the same thing to Bjorn for two hours.

I packed her off to the pediatrician's in the morning, convinced that she had an ear infection now. His diagnosis -- teething. Sure enough, I knew that last molar was coming in, but he thinks the combination of cold and sore throat probably combined to make her pretty unhappy. He also thinks it can be kind of scary for them when it hurts. He told me I was likely underdosing the Tylenol and Motrin and suggested going up from a 1/2 teaspoon to a full teaspoon and to give one or the other every two hours, as needed. For good measure, he also checked Andy's ears which are showing signs of improvement. Now the pus in his ear is gone, but the fluid is still there for the moment.

Mark is due home this week for Spring Break and Andy is delighted. He's been asking to make hummus for Markie for about three days.

And check out the adorable pictures of us as kids? That's me and my sisters and a family friend on the left. Aren't we just adorable?

Thursday, March 05, 2009


I stayed home yesterday and got both kids to the doctor yesterday. Meg's vomitus interuptus from the evening before had subsided, but she woke up with a goopy eyes. Andy woke up Wednesday morning with a fever of 103. I forget that Wednesdays only one doctor is working so we couldn't get in until noon. Fortunately, after sleeping from 6:00 p.m. to 5:45 a.m., Meg was tired and took a good morning nap.

Anyhoo, the diagnosis -- ear infection for him and sinus infection for her. Prescription -- omnicef for both. Dr. Murphy said that the vomiting was due to the congestion dripping into her tummy and irritating her stomach. He recommended staying away from dairy for a few days since it can lead to increased mucus and also irritate the stomach. It's strange to stay away from milk products. I forget how much dairy she eats, from cheese to yogurt to milk.

With the kids being sick and thus turning my world upside down, I haven't had a chance to talk about how great it was having my mom here last week. A running joke with my sister has been that she taught Megan (as a joke) to say:

"Megan, what does grandmother like?"
"Grandmother loves malt liquor!"

It worked so great that we taught Andy to do that as well with phenomenal results. Jennifer loves asking Andy in front of friends what grandmother likes. When Mom was visiting, we braved going out to dinner with two little kids. Andy wanted hummus, which wasn't on the menu so he asked Mom to read him the menu to see if it was on there. She was kindly complying when he turned to her out of nowhere:

"Grandmother, is malt liquor your favorite?"

We nearly fell out of our chairs. Then we called Elizabeth.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

In need of a shaman to kill the demon germs in the hosue

So now both kids are sick and with seemingly different things. Both had a fever Sunday. Andy had one yesterday, but Meg didn't. Andy took a nap, which was unusual and unusually long yesterday only to be up and down in the night and bouncing off the walls this morning. I sent him to school this morning and got a somewhat expected call in the afternoon that his fever returned so I went to get him. I took him home, medicated with Tylenol to restore his spirit somewhat (it worked) and gave him a bath.

As I'm giving him a bath, Ayesha calls to say Meg threw up after her nap. No big deal, she was sort of coughing some mucus from sleeping (normal for her). I explained what I was doing and would be there shortly. In that half hour, she called back to say Meg threw up two more times and had two diarrhea diapers. My poor baby.

I got her home and she gave some good dry heaves with bile on me and cried. I got her a bath and into her pajamas. I had every intention of spooning some Pedialyte into her slowly, but she was so thirsty and sad when I refused that I gave in and gave her about five ounces. Bjorn was able to get her to fall asleep on his shoulder about 6 p.m. and now we're working to get Andy off to bed early. I think I might turn in early myself.

If you have any home remedies or suggestions, please post. I can't find some of my baby health books. I seem to be losing books. Or my mind. Hard to say.

Meanwhile, I still don't have my camera hooked up to this computer. BUT I did get the scanner/printer installed and have been amusing myself by scanning in some old pictures and posting on Facebook, including this gem from Galveston circa 1991. Aren't we hot!

Monday, March 02, 2009


Is it spring yet? Seriously. It was warmish last week only to get cold on Friday as my mother arrived, rain and then snow a little Saturday. Then Sunday into Monday, it snowed a lot, like seven inches here in Fairfax. Fortunately, Mom leaves tomorrow and not today or travel might have bee a little messy. Plus, she got to see all the snow which we don't have in Dallas. So with the sub-freezing temps, we're expected to be in the sixties this weekend. I already have some buds on my daffodils. It's just been sort of wacky.

It's been great fun having Mom here. We have been doing a lot of shopping, eating, drinking, playing and entertaining. Oh, and more shopping. She even babysat for a bit last night before the storm hit so Bjorn and I could get out alone.

We've been trying to get Meg to take a few steps and she's this close and just don't doing it. She does smile big when you engage her. Andy, meanwhile, is in this weird stage right now where he cries about random things, like how the toilet paper is going to go away forever and how sad he is that the water goes down the drain. It is sort of like he's grappling with the concepts of life and death and just doesn't know how to process it so he fixates (and cries) over seemingly benign stuff.

Both kids had a bit of a fever yesterday. She seems better today (well, although she started some loose stools in the afternoon), but he took a three hour nap and still feels warm. We'll see about tomorrow. I took today off with the intention of getting out with my mother (we did manage for a few hours) so I always hate to call in after a vacation day, but you do what you got to do.