Sunday, November 29, 2009


We have just gotten back from a weekend trip to the ranch down near Brownwood and it was great! The kids had a truly marvelous time. I think they could have happily thrown rocks, built fires and collected fresh water shells for another week. Andy shot his first gun, Dad's little pump action 22-caliber rifle. Andy was excited, but I don't think he is quite ready for it. Next year. Meg loved playing with 2 1/2 year old Emma and Andy and five-year-old Megan were truly inseparable. It was nice that they each had a buddy. Except for the close quarters and the fact that Meg woke up before six for the DAY both mornings, it was really great. I need to figure out how to get back there again. I'm thinking my birthday 2010.

It was a full house -- five Egans, two Miller babies, the four of us plus Mark Bennett (Jennifer stayed home this trip) and my Uncle Bobby. Pretty close quarters for a four bedroom, but we managed and didn't fight over the bathroom. Too much anyway. At night, I got both my sisters to drive around with me with the big spotlight looking for animals. The first night we took the big kids, but they quickly got bored. I loved it though. We even managed to get in a few bridge games before we all sacked out. No stars, sadly. It was cloudy both evenings. At least the weather was fantastic -- mostly sunny and highs in the 60s. It was a good trade.

In fact, this trip made me love Texas again. I'd never really not loved it per se, but I have lots of fantastic memories of summers down at my dad's place in Kerrville and at the Y.O. Ranch Adventure Camp and it was really great to get out of the city. We weren't roughing it by any stretch, but I did enjoy it. I am sure my parents are exhausted from hosting, but it really has been a marvelous time.

Picture above is Meg with her Pop. The rest of the pictures will come later from my camera. This I managed to upload from my iPhone to Mom's Macintosh. Cool!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

There is so much to be thankful for, especially my awesome family that never fails to make me laugh, even when I really want to throttle them.

We're off to Dallas in 36 hours. Andy wanted to start packing yesterday. Fortunately we're going to be down at the ranch so I'll really just needs lots of casual clothes. Well, that presumes I have formal clothes.

Meg is *just* on the cusp of talking. She says things sometimes that are so clear and crisp I think they must be from Andy and then they're not. I'm hoping time with the family, especially her cousins, will help her pick up a few new phrases. I hope they're clean phrases at least.

Andy and I have been talking a lot about the stars so I'm excited to him out of the city where we can look at the stars and see the Milky Way and Orion. When I got back from Chicago, I put some glow in the dark stars on his wall in the shape of the Big Dipper and Orion (Orion was much more complicated than I remember). It will be fun to get away from the city lights and see the sky. We've also been doing lots of "hikes" around the neighborhood. I have a nice backpack for Meg and then the three of us start tromping. I love that they like it half as much as I do. I find Andy's not so whiny on a mission. I'm not sure how we're all going to fit at the ranch house. It should be an adventure for everyone.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Andy's school celebrated Thanksgiving this week. They invited parents so Bjorn went. Andy was thrilled to show off his school and his daddy.
Edited to add his headband says Andy is "Chief Danger Ranger," in honor of one of his favorite DVDs.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Oh no

Meg can say, "Oh no." She can also close the toilet seat cover so she can stand on it and poke around in the medicine cabinet. Oh no, indeed.

Monday, November 16, 2009

No good deed goes unpunished

Jennifer (with the help of Mark and Margareta) babysat the kids overnight Saturday night so we could go out and enjoy our 11th wedding anniversary. It was the first time we'd left both kids and gone out. It was a really decadent 20 hours and it was great to get some time alone with Bjorn when someone wasn't demanding more juice or Magic School Bus on television.

The kids had a great time. Andy even cried when he saw us because he was having so much fun and didn't want it to end. To pay Jennifer back for her hospitality, Andy snuck into bed with her this morning about 4 a.m. complaining of a bad dream. She thought it was really cute, I mean, the kid did walk past our bedroom, past Mark in his bedroom who was home for the weekend, past Meg's room and down two flights of stairs to the dark basement to find her. Jennifer wasn't quite prepared for the kicking and fidgeting from the almost five year old though. Later she woke up at 7 a.m. to start getting ready for work and he laid there sprawled all over his bed until nearly 8:30 a.m. I took a picture with my cell phone that I need to upload.

It was a great anniversary. We trekked out to Strasburg, Virginia, a place we used to visit in our younger, less encumbered days. The best was this place called the Strasburg Theater with the best performers at an open mic night that I've ever seen. We had planned to tour some antique/junk stores, but ran out of time. Next time, but hopefully it won't take us 11 years to get back.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


During the parent teacher conference at Andy's school last week, his teacher told me Andy can count to 41, which is pretty good for his age. That night I asked him how high he could count in the bath and he counted to 59. At 60, apparently, the numbers start over at 20.

It's amazing to see how different he is in a very similar situation just three years ago.

Sunday, November 08, 2009


Stupid Kodak EasyShare is impossible so use these days which is part of the reason I haven't uploaded pictures recently. I just started using the Windows picture import thing which is better in that it works, but something about it just not intuitive to me. Anyway, I did manage to get some pictures and videos uploaded. I forget how much Andy delights in seeing himself. After we got these up, we went back and watched some of his earlier videos on here. I have personally watched him age every day and yet I'm still amazed at how far he's come.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Report card

Andy got a report card of sorts this week. It's an interesting preview of what's to come, that's for sure. The good news is he seems to be right with his peers in terms of language development, speech, interaction, socialization, math, motor skills, etc. He's even above average in his counting, being able to count solidly up to 41 was apparently impressive. Bjorn is thrilled about this part. It cracks me up to see his delight in his kids excelling at something, anything.

I was worried about the socialization part. He's new to this school, well, a few months now, and when I ask him about who he played with, he won't tell me much. But his teacher said he's got a core group of buddies -- Leonard mostly, followed by Elliot and sometimes Matthew. That was good to hear.

Things have been chaotic here otherwise. I was out of town for a week for work, which was both good and exhausting. I'm always glad when it's over as I don't have to do it again for a year, but I've been working toward this for at least six months so it's always nice to see the fruits of my labors.

Jennifer also moved in last weekend. Right now the house is still brimming with too much stuff so we're still sorting out what furniture to keep, what to put in the attic and what to get rid of all together. She's taking over the basement and it's been interesting to see all her stuff mixed with ours and trying to find the best way to give her privacy and space while keeping the TV and Wii station and access to the laundry room. Right now I am bumping into furniture in the wrong places still, but we're slowly getting it all situated. The bonus? She makes coffee every morning and occasionally folds laundry and does the dishes. I can get used to that.