Thursday, October 29, 2009


Meg is obsessed with babies. Really. Her favorite thing to do is to scream out wherever we are to point out any babies in the room, even if said baby is actually older than her. In her mind, anyone smaller than her and/or under the age of three is a baby.

She has a series of toy dolls of various shapes and sizes that she carries with her practically everywhere. A few were gifts from my mom and a couple we stole from her babysitter's house. I am amazed how stereotypical it is -- Andy loved trains and she loves babies. Believe me, we tried to make her love Thomas as much. It sure would have been cheaper and easier since we already own the stuff. No, she loves her some babies. It really does make you think there is some genetic component at work here beyond the gender roles assigned by parents and friends.

I am leaving for a week for work today so I bought the kids toys as a parting gift. Andy selected some Hot Wheels parts and I got her a baby. Heavens, some of the choices out there -- babies that pee and poop (gross! I already have one that does that, why do I want a toy to do more of that?) and others that cry and make noise (again, I already have one of those) or crawl. I settled on a baby that can go in the bath and doesn't make noise. Hurrah! Also, since all her others are light-skinned, blue-eyed babies, I picked one that has dark hair and dark eyes, you know, for diversity's sake (note -- in the picture it links to the white version). Adorableness. The only downside is she wants to take her babies with her everywhere, which can get quite cumbersome. Now I need to find a bag for her to carry them all in. Perhaps I'll find one in Chicago.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Breaking the baby

Meg fell down the stairs today. I'm not sure what happened. Normally the basement door is closed (usually she's the one who closes it) but this morning Bjorn was in the basement doing laundry and she must have decided to follow him downstairs. I didn't hear anything except the thuds. That's right, thuds PLURAL.

We both rushed to her and she was naturally screaming crying. And bleeding. She'd landed on her face just right and busted her lip. It was heartbreaking to see her so upset and awful to think this could have been prevented.

We attended to her quickly. We assessed that she didn't have a brain injury -- she was responsive, crying and all that. But I did worry a little about stitches inside her mouth. It was early enough on Sunday that we could just make doctor's office walk-in hours. I was glad I did. Dr. Murphy looked in her eyes and ears. He said with a real brain injury, she'd have bleeding inside the ears. That was good to hear. The nurse also taught me a trick to assess pupils -- turn off and on the light quickly and see if they dilate. That's the kind of test I can do.

He looked in her mouth and surprisingly, she wasn't that pissed off about it. There was some blood inside her mouth and all over her teeth, which was icky. He diagnosed her with a busted frendulum, which is that thing connecting the gums to the lip. No stitches necessary, which was good. He said to give her salt drops for her minor nose bleed and not to worry about cleaning her mouth -- the saliva would do that. Good thing, she'd be pissed to have me fishing around in there. I was really glad I took her to the doctor's. I think I would have stressed that she was really hurt and I didn't take her. Plus he swabbed her sore throat for strep. Bonus!

She came home and took a nap while the lovely Jennifer came to take Andy to the Halloween party at the lake. He was a champ while we were at the doctor's so it was nice he could get some special time with "Gemminer" rather than waiting for Meg to wake up. Once she did, we hiked down to the park and met up with a bunch of neighbors.

It was nice seeing friendly faces after a rough morning. Especially nice because as I showed off my girlie with her busted lip, they all expressed sympathy and had a similar story of their own to share. I love other honest parents. This parenting thing is quite an adventure that can get pretty competitive. I love finding other folks who are happy to share a bottle of wine, pat you on the shoulder, laugh and move on.

Friday, October 23, 2009


My kids are, gasp, actually playing with each other a little these days. It's sort of amazing. It's been 21 months getting here (well, 30 if you count the whole pregnancy thing), but them having each other to play with and entertain each other is pretty damn awesome. And awesome to watch. Granted, now that they can play together they can fight together. There is lots of, "Mine! Mine!" shouted out around our house. Usually from her. Sometimes because he stole something from her. Used to, he could take what he wanted and she didn't mind. Not so much these days. Now she shouts "Mine!" when he's holding something she'd like to play with.
Unrelated, I have been totally obsessed with Mad Men. I discovered it on Netflix first. Now my sister told me about FiOS on demand so I've been watching episodes there, too. Sure, I have work to do, in fact, a lot since this time next week I'll be out of town for work and have a lot to do professionally and personally before then, but damn, that Don Draper is pretty addictive.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Construction results

This is just a gratuitously cute picture of both kids in diaper boxes saying, "cheese." Those diaper boxes somehow hold a special appeal to these guys.

The finished kids' bath. I love theirs almost more than ours. So pretty! Bjorn bought some eggshell white paint and went ahead and put it on the walls behind the toilets after I got the wallpaper remnants off. He'll get the rest of the walls eventually.

Our bath mid-grout. See the cool tiles we have as a border. Love it!

New tiles in our bathroom pre-grout. Also pretty! We had them put them in diagonally, which is very nice. And far nicer than we could have done ourselves.

New tiles before grout. So pretty!
Our bathroom floor after the tiles and subfloor were up (and toilet removed). They then put down backer board before putting down the new tiles. Note the awesome wallpaper that was behind the toilet. That used to be on all the walls. I got it all off a few years ago, but couldn't get behind the toilet. I got it this time.

What we've been living with in the hallway. They did a great job keeping everything clean, but it's still been a mess.

The kids' bathroom floor before. They have already taken off the border tiles and covered it with something to help get the tiles up. Note, this pattern isn't a tile, rather it's lots of little bitty tiles that make up the pattern and thus, lots of grout lines to get dirty.

The leak that started it all. The workers cut out some drywall above the sink in the kitchen to access the pipes under the shower upstairs.

Friday, October 16, 2009


We are replacing the tiles in our two upstairs bathrooms. We had a random leak the precipitated the replacement in our bathroom. And while we had the guy in, it was just another few hundred to replace the tiles in the kids' bathroom. All fine, right?

Well, it never occurred to either of us that they would remove the toilets to put the tiles down. Or that it would take more than one day. So we're down to only the half-bath off the kitchen. Not great for me with my small bladder and a kid that often needs to be walked to the toilet at 3 a.m. As Mary would say, this is suboptimal.

As the work began, they naturally discovered that the problem with our bathroom tile is not the source of the leak, but something in our shower. So we're spending $1,000+ to replace something that wasn't broken. Oh sure, the tile was old and yucky and in definite need of replacement, but we didn't have to do it. We still would have had to cut open the ceiling in the kitchen, but that would have been a far cheaper project at a time where it appears we're hemorrhaging money. Personal property taxes are due, yearly insurance rates are here, Mark needs a lot more money for college and Jennifer has decided life on the outside is too expensive and is moving in. Bjorn's got a few deals in the works that, if they work out, would ease our pain quite a bit. Fingers and toes [or legs, as Armando prefers to say] crossed.

Monday, October 12, 2009


It's exciting -- Meg is putting words together and almost meaning some of what she says. We were at Ikea and she was trying to climb into a baby crib. After a few minutes, I pulled her off and started toward where we were going. She protested harder than usual, crying out, "Sho! Shew!" Something like that. I walked faster and tried to distract her. When I caught up with Bjorn, turns out, she was missing a shoe. It had gotten wedged on the crib rail and I'd pulled it off when I picked her up. I know! She's brilliant!

Of course, as I type this she is busy taking her dinner, noodles, and dropping them on the floor. Then she's examining them and eating some. Tasty.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

iPhone Pictures

Margaret's first hair cut.

This girl has manners. She likes to eat at restaurants with her bare foot on the table.

Andy getting his sticker on the wall for finishing his summer reading list. It was pajama day at school that day, hence the classy outfit.

My dad and Meg in Dallas. How adorable.

Meggie and her babies, Callie and Daisy. The iPhone camera is convenient, but it can be messy. Plus, as you can tell, I'm not so good about remembering to download them.

Sick ward

We've had illnesses this week, and boy has it been fun! Meggie Meg spiked a fever Saturday afternoon. We'd had a nice day, a birthday party (Meg's first as a guest!) and then went with some neighbors to see George Mason women's volleyball play William and Mary. Not my normal outing, but they invited us and it was fun and different. Meg was lethargic and warm, but I somehow had my eyes on the game and totally ignored all the warning signs. Serves me right because she threw up all over the car and on me as soon as we got home. Poor chicken.

She slept well that night and was perky and a bit warm the next day. I deduced a sore throat as she wasn't eating or drinking much. Then she had a hideous night where she was up every 45 minutes practically whether she was in our bed, hers or what. I thought it must have been strep, instead it was the virus hand, foot and mouth. It basically put a bunch of mouth sores over her tongue and back of her throat. She was one pissed off and tired kid all Monday who also refused to take a nap. Mommy was also quite exhausted. Monday night, I drugged her up with Motrin and antihistamine, took and Ambien and went to bed.

Naturally, she slept fine, but Andy came to our bed twice. The second time we noticed he was warm. Then in the morning he started screaming, "Why is there no air conditioning in my room!" Turns out the kid was burning up with 102 fever, but no symptoms. Miss Ayesha watched him for a bit and Bjorn stayed home with him the rest of yesterday. This morning he woke up saying his mouth and ear hurt. I schlepped back to the doctor today.

Fortunately no strep, HFM (not to be confused with High School Musical, HSM) or an ear infection, but Dr. Murphy looked in his right ear and pulled out a hunk of ear wax the size of my pinky fingernail. He thought that the sinus pressure of a cold and slight sore throat put pressure on the wax that was making his ear hurt. He was in a better mood the rest of the day with a low fever.

I took the opportunity to ask about the H1N1. I'm fascinated because all the health agencies are saying it's safe, but all the doctors I talk to at work and personally are not recommending it for themselves or their patients. Dr. Murphy said in the late 1970s when he was in medical school, they had a vaccine that wasn't tested enough that sent lots of people to the hospital with Guillane-Barre. I asked about the mercury, which is what I'm hearing is a problem from other mommies, but he said that's not it. He's totally advocating the seasonal flu and with folks (fingers crossed!) on the mend, we'll get that this weekend.

Sunday, October 04, 2009


Turns out lots of us are unsure about the H1N1 vaccine as evidenced by this article in the Post today. The article, sadly, doesn't address any of the facts vs. myths in the whole thing, it just addresses that a lot of us are uneasy. It did bring up an interesting point that just as many parents are freaking out that their kids aren't going to get is as are freaking out that it's a bad idea for their kids to get it.

Ah, parenting. No shortage of neuroses here.