Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Holy sh*t. I have a toddler on my hands. I mean that in the sense that I now have a small person who is no longer content to play happily with toys or eat her dinner of whatever was on the menu. No, now she points, grunts and whines about seemingly everything, insists on eating my dinner even if it's what was already on her plate, arches her back to avoid getting in the carseat and generally demands attention only to reject it once I give it to her. It's going to be a long few years ahead, I can feel it.

On the other hand, with this new found independence and intellect comes an increasing awareness of what she does want. Like she likes to hand me a book and sit in my lap while we "read"/flip the pages. She likes to play in the bath water. She likes to sit in chairs of all shapes and sizes to turn around and smugly see what the view is like.

Andy is so desperate to play with Meg and she largely ignores him a lot of the time, much like he will do to her in a few years. It's nice to see what comes around, goes around.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Block party

I have vivid memories of the block parties growing up. We had a big block with lots of kids and it seemed the yearly block party was the highlight of the social season when we were in elementary school. They seemed to peter out as we got older, but the memories lingered. That's one of the reasons I wanted to organize a block party here in Fairfax.

I talked to my next door neighbors who were down with the idea. I then made a flyer with both our names on it. Since they're in there 70s and know everyone, I thought it would be a good mix of us (younger, newer to the block) and them (older, longer residents). I put out the flyers like six weeks ago asking for RSVPs. Doris and Ernie were out of town until this week so I was nervous that only a few people had said yes or no. We started talking it up more and it helped that a new family with four kids under the age of 7 moved in last week. In total, we had about 35 people show up, with maybe 15 kids of all ages. I was happy with the turnout and happy to get to know some of my neighbors better, especially since a lot of them have young kids in between my kids' ages.
It's been a long an exciting Memorial Day weekend. Other nuggets:
1) I bought Meg her first pair of real shoes. I love that there are like 10 pairs of cute girl shoes for everyone one pair of boy shoes.
2) Andy, Meg and I volunteered at the church Friday helping sort clothes for their first food and clothing distribution. Andy and I went back Saturday and helped in the kids' area letting kids color et al while their parents registered and were helped. It was really cool to be a part of that and I liked being able to volunteer with Andy.
3) I booked a flight for me and Andy to visit my Dallas family next weekend for a few days. Bjorn is going to stay here with Meg. Initially I thought about just bringing Meg, but Andy is old enough to really enjoy the trip and she's young enough that it wouldn't be a relaxing visit at all with me having to chase her everywhere. Next time.
4) Mark is home from college and has brought more clothes than I even thought he had. They are now strewn about his room and all over the laundry room. Bjorn said he wasn't going to wash them and I think Mark is trying to wait out his reserve.
5) The pool opened and we all went for a little while. Andy really loves it, but still refuses to put his head under water. I think I'm going to get him lessons this year.
6) I watched the Sex and the City movie via Netflix. And cried. Three times. I am a total sap.
7) Meg has another ear infection. I took her in on Friday to get her on and off goopy eyes looked at and sure enough, another ear infection. I didn't ask about tubes. This time.
8) Oh, and Frances, the duct cleaning went well. They were here about three hours with industrial vacuum cleaners. They said it was pretty bad in there. You're apparently supposed to get it done every three years. They also sucked out the dryer vent, which is good. Let's hope it also helps with Andy and Mark's allergies.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Parent/teacher conference

I had a parent/teacher conference at Andy's school this week. I know, sort of ridiculous as he's FOUR. It was the second one he's had there, I think, but the first with this new teacher in the class he's been in maybe six weeks or so. Generally he's doing well. He knows all his upper case letters and all but two of his lowercase letters as well as all his numbers. I could have told them that.

What I didn't know is that he's apparently quiet(ish) at school. I find this remarkable since he's soooo talkative at home. Since he broke up with his BFF/frenemy by moving up to the next class, it's taken him a little time to find his niche. Right now he's good friends with a little boy whose parents we know (score) and another little girl that the boy is friends with. I know them from birthday parties and they seem like nice kids so that's a plus. He also likes to tell me though, "I'm every body's friend." I love that. And I love that he seems to be progressing well.

I don't love right now is his pattern (like last night) of coming to my room at 5-ish claiming bad dream. I have been having a devil of a time sleeping lately. Either I have trouble falling asleep or else I wake up too early and can't go back to sleep so this early morning wake-up does not please me. This morning he came to our bed, insisted on getting in. Then between his wiggling and Bjorn's snoring, I finally left for Andy's bed for half an hour for some general peace and quiet. Needless to say I'm tired today. What is my obsession with sleep, theirs and mine? Seriously.

Tomorrow I'm getting the ducts cleaned in the house to hopefully alleviate some of Andy's allergies. Heaven knows when those were last cleaned. Certainly not by us.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


We drove to Cape May, New Jersey, yesterday for a 20 hour visit to surprise our friend who turns 40 next month. It was so great to see them after they abandoned us for New Jersey last year so it was great fun when her mother invited us and some other friends up during their family vacation to surprise her. We had a blast catching up with friends, but Andy had the most fun riding bikes with Mia and Liam, playing emergency and jumping on the air mattresses. It was so great to see them playing together like no time had past. Meg was also lapping up all the extra attention of all the additional family ready to hold her, play ball and tell her she was so beautiful and perfect.

Meg had a hard time settling into sleep in the pack and play and probably wailed for about 45 minutes before finally going to see. Andy finally conked out on the air mattress around 9:30. The big kids were exhausted. After an exhaustive reading of Texts from Last Night over many glasses of beer and wine and lots and lots of laughs, I finally turned in around midnight. Just in time for the town air raid noise to go off for the town's volunteer fire department. Meg then woke up and refused to go back to sleep for anything. I tried to hold her in bed, I gave her water, I tried putting her back down, I tried feeding her, I tried a bottle of milk, I tried driving her around. Nothing. With a house full of 15 other people, I couldn't really just let her cry like I might have at home. Instead, Bjorn took her into the car and she finally conked out and so did Bjorn. What a hero, seriously, sleeping in the car. We were all exhausted today.

We are planning another trip to the beach with friends later this summer and I'm a little worried that she hates the pack and play so much that we're doomed. I have thought about letting her sleep in it in her room a few nights to get her used to it. Any other ideas?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pajama party

It's warm and humid here, most likely in anticipation of rain again, so I've been trying to put Meg is some cooler clothes for night. I have gone shopping for short sleeved shirts and shorts recently, but I thought I was okay on pajamas. Turns out much of what I have is fleece and therefore probably too warm. I dug into the closet and found a few pairs of Andy's old 18-24 month and 2T pajamas. Some of them I remember so fondly of him at that age that it warms my heart to see her wearing them. I imagine she'd be thrilled to realize they were Andy's, too. Now I'm wishing I hadn't given away so much of his clothes as about now, she'd look just adorable in blue pajamas wish fishies on them. Precious darling angel baby.

Andy is getting smarter by the minute. We have started playing "memory" and that kid is amazing at it. He also just loves it, which I love. I also like that we can play while I have TMZ on in the background.

We're going to visit some friends for the weekend at the beach. I think the weather is going to suck, but who cares! I am in desperate need of a change of scenery. I realized I haven't taken the kids (or myself) really anywhere interesting since the Christmas debacle in Dallas where Meg was sick and up all night practically the entire time we were gone.

I have decided I am in a funk and, in my natural fashion, I'm driving Bjorn practically batsh*t with my continued stream of things I want to do. Like helping the poor in our neighborhood through the church, taking a vacation to somewhere anywhere, taking classes at Mason (turns out since it's been six years since my last graduate class, I have to reapply), taking tennis lessons. He smiles and tries not to roll his eyes, but I need some ideas of fun stuff to do, places to go, people to see. What you got?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Back in business

I bought a new laptop back in January probably, but in typical Bennett family fashion, I have yet to dismantle my old computer and was keeping it standing (and on most of the time) mostly to pay bills and upload pictures. Of course, now that I have a new fancy FAST laptop, the old one has lost appeal to me. It doesn't help that it's in a corner of the basement vs. the laptop where I can watch Diego and post at the same time. That's the reason there haven't been many pictures lately and also why I have missed a few bills. And if you know me, I love to pay bills on time. Seriously.
So I have finally gotten the software to upload pictures here. Sure, it took me about an hour to figure out where on my hard drive they were stored, but I did it! Next up, getting a better routine for bill pay.
Meanwhile, we're still planning a beach vacay this summer. We've settled on Long Beach Island, New Jersey, to meet our friends. I can't wait. I really need the time away and as you can see, the kids love sand. Any recommendations from you out there?

Saturday, May 09, 2009


Andy's new word is "awesome." He says it all the time right now, some of it when it's actually appropriate. It's adorable yet totally annoying all the same.

Me: Andy, let's go to the library and get a new DVD. Would you like that?
Andy: Awe-some!

Me: Andy, can you change out of your pull-up from last night, please? I think it smells like pee.
Andy: Awe-some!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Fat deposit or hernia: you be the judge

So Meg's had this little spot on her tummy for weeks now. It's a little spot under the skin above her belly button about the size of a dime. I mentioned it to her doctor a few weeks/months ago. She thought it was likely just a fat deposit, but we'd keep an eye on it. On Friday, the doctor pressed on it a little more (to the extent Meg would let her) and she thinks it might be a mild hernia instead since it seems to only show up when she's standing and flexing her stomach muscles.

My only real exposure to hernias is the kid on my block growing up who had one when he was in elementary school. The doctor explained that in kids that age, the problem ends up more in their testicles, turning them blue and painful, therefore needing surgical intervention. In Meg's case, she likely just has a little piece of intestine sticking through her stomach muscle. We will hope that it goes away on its own as it likely isn't causing any problems. If it ever did cause a problem, the remedy is surgery. According to the Toddler 411 book, umbilical hernias like this rarely require any treatment, but we'll certainly keep an eye on it.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

15 months

Meg went for her 15 month check up on Friday. The little darling is 26 pounds and 32 inches tall -- a healthy, growing girl most certainly. Bjorn is excited for her height. He figures if the old wives' tale of double their height at two is correct, then she's at least going to be 5'4" and that's a solid two inches taller than me and makes her the tallest on my side of the family, next to Aunt Tia. She showed off her jabbering sounds and a few steps. Then she had to get three shots. She cried and I nearly did. Poor chicken.

It's been a weird few weeks for me though. I've been having trouble sleeping for some reason. I don't feel stressed necessarily although Bjorn working out of town so much hasn't been so great. Now I find myself stressed about not being able to sleep. How refreshing is that? So I lie in bed mad at myself for not being able to sleep or else I wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and have the same thing. It makes no sense.

My doctor had prescribed Ambien some time ago and I've been taking that a little. Of course, now I'm paranoid about getting an addiction to sleeping pills so I lie awake at night and try to go to sleep, then worry about that and then take something. Rather ridiculous. And the catch is that to take Ambien, you have to have an eight hour window to take it so if I don't take it early enough, I'm screwed. So now I'm totally in my head about this. It's so bizarre. Anybody else go through this?

It's so funny to be worried about my own sleep. I swear I have spent the better part of four years worried about my kids sleeping habits so I think my own have been all over the map for so long that I don't know what to do with myself.