Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Adorable precious angel...and a black eye

Today is Margaret's second birthday. It's hard to believe what started this small has now turned this (sorry for the lack of today's pictures, but my damn computer is still a mess. Back to the office it goes tomorrow to beg for more help. Grrrr.)

We celebrated with a family party on Sunday complete with cupcakes (and a special Dalahest cupcake for the birthday girl). We made waffles for everyone, cheered the birthday girl, opened some of the most adorable clothes, including an Elmo shirt from Fafa and a bathing suit from Grandmother. It was pretty great.

Then the New York Times went and wrote an article making my work life incredibly busy and I went to indoor soccer and managed to get a black eye. Hey, at least the morning was perfect!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


"I need my own phone so I can listen to my Phineas and Ferb music wherever I go," Andy said.

My mom gave Andy the Phineas and Ferb CD for his birthday and we are all loving it. Seriously great music, especially for kids' music. Catchy, clever with a good beat and short. Plus, it's a great chance to work in phrases like "I have squirrels in my pants."

My computer is still on the fritz. So far, Acer has not been impressive. Fortunately, the folks are work kindly installed a new hard drive over the weekend, but it still is acting weird, which is partly why I haven't uploaded any birthday pictures. Soon. I hope.

Meg's second birthday is next week. How did that happen? I keep calling her my baby and it's clear she's anything but that right now.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Anybody smoke?

We had Andy's birthday party yesterday and it all went swimmingly except that I forgot the matches. And in this day and age, no one smokes so there were no candles lit to blow out. I think I was most disappointed.

We did it at the gymnastics place where he takes lessons. We invited the boys from his class and a few other boys he knows outside of school, making it an all sausage fest. There were 12 kids total. It's so hard trying to keep the numbers for these somewhat manageable. Between 20 kids in his class and all his (well, my friends' kids), I easily could have invited 50 kids. As it was, we kept it to just boys and then just boys aged four to six. If I'd gone any younger, they wouldn't have gotten to do all the fun stuff.

Overall it went well. They did gymnastics stuff for an hour on the trampoline, on an obstacle course and in the pit. They even let them do a little on the rings. Andy got to the the line leader for the whole party. I think that may have been just as thrilling. He actually loved it. He can get a little shy in these situations, but not this time. He was even pretty gracious, well, except where he lorded his line-leader status to the other kids. Otherwise, he was a great sport.

The whole thing lasted about and hour and a half. Pretty good. To remember for next year 1) parents always show up early to these things. Even though we got there about 10 minutes early (they had said no more than 15), two sets of parents were pulling up as we were unloading, 2) bring matches.

A cool side note, he got several sets of legos. I personally love legos. I played with them as a kid and I'm thrilled Andy's old enough for the real ones. The downside? Damnit if it doesn't take 45 minutes to put together a car what with 200 pieces, 100 of which are the size of an earring back.

Friday, January 15, 2010

On thin ice

It's amazing how 45 degrees can feel like 85 after a month of 20 degrees with 50 mile an hour winds. Today was nearly 50 and sunny so I took the kids down to the park and we all relished being outside. Andy wanted to go look at the lake since it had a pretty layer of ice on it. The lake is in desperate need of being dredged right now. Fairfax County is pretty broke at the moment though so I don't think it will happen soon. In the meantime, Royal Lake is about two feet deep in most areas. That made it pretty easy for it to freeze seemingly solid.

Andy was fascinated and we walked around the edges and talked about it. At the edge, I ran into a lady from church and we were talking about six feet from the edge. Meg decided that would be a grand time to step on the ice. I ran over to her and reach out, but the sly little vixen just smiled and walked in her Stride Rite sneakers about 15 feet from the edge. I kept calling her name and she just looked at me and kept moving. I knew it wasn't deep, but I also knew there was no way the ice was thick enough, especially in the warmer weather, to hold me. In desperation, I called out, "Meggie, come back. Let's go home and get some candy." Yup, that did the trick. She calmly walked back to the edge and we went home.

My computer is mostly better now, after a new $85 hard drive, 10 days without it and all my pictures and documents gone from my hard drive. I am very disappointed with Best Buy and Acer. It's a scam that they say the warranty on the computer starts when Acer ships it to the store. So even though I bought it in February 2009, Acer shipped it to Best Buy in December so the warranty expired last month even though I actually only owned it a year. Bastards.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Ugh, part 2

My computer is still broken. The latest word is that my hard drive is corrupt and I might need a new one. I am very displeased with my Acer. I bought it less than a year ago. Now I have to get into Best Buy and see if it's under warranty.

Good news, however, is that I can post the link to the pictures we took at the Picture People last week. So adorable! They were super nice. I can't believe I haven't done this like 100 times already.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Trying to update via iPhone

So my computer imploded last week. I
don't think I realized how much I used it both for this and other fun things like Facebook but also for important stuff like bill pay. I even bounced a check last week which I haven't done since, oh, never. I had money but in a different account and wasn't checking the way I normally do. Ugh. A colleague has been trying to fix it and it seems she going to have to reformat my hard drive and eat some pictures that I had not backed up. Bugger.

This is also bad timing since I am trying to plan a birthday party for 15 four and five year old boys. I invited all the boys in his class. Irritatingly only one family has Rsvped. Fortunately it's his school bff Leonard.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Old pictures

he kids were both off school last week. With the cold weather, we've been inside organizing a lot, like rearranging rooms for the kids, moving a lot of stuff up into my new attic (thanks, Bjorn!) and throwing away a lot of stuff. I've also rediscovered my scanner and have been posting a lot of old Y.O. Ranch camp pictures on Facebook. It's been a blast reconnecting with a lot of old campers and counselors.

Meanwhile, here are some of my favorite family photos from when I was a kid.

I'm on the right with my sisters and Elizabeth's friend Catherine (far left). I love the yellow tile that practically matches my yellow hair. Like my soap goatee?

Here's one of my favorite soccer pictures, with my friends Susan and Sara and our coach. I played soccer with these girls all through high school and still keep in touch. How cool is that? The name of our team is the Armadillos. I feel like I'm in second or third grade here.

This is at my baptism at Highland Park Presbyterian. I graduated high school with the two other baby girls in the picture. I think it's really cool that we were in the same place and neighborhood all growing up. We lived in a big city, but in many ways, our neighborhood was a small town where you really knew everyone your age.

This was at Mrs. Felder's house across the street from ours growing up. She had these beautiful pink flowers, but really didn't like kids. Her green Mustang isn't in the driveway. Mary looks about one or two which makes me five and Elizabeth eight. The girl in a t-shirt on the left lived up the street. I think she made it into several of our family pictures.

This is one of my camp pictures. I think I'm like 18 or 19. I remember my cousin Kathy wanted to take her son (who is now in college) to see the animals so we took a tour around the exotic pastures. The giraffes were always my favorite. So big and unique, but relatively friendly and graceful. With the other animals like the ostriches, you never knew what they were going to do which made them interesting and scary as hell.

This is at Enchanted Rock. I'm on the far left. Now that I'm an adult with kids in school, I see this picture of 10 counselors with 10 campers and it's easy to see why the camp went out of business. The other is one of the portraits we took. I think I'm around four here.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

At least she comes by it honestly

The above picture is from last month. Meg climbed up to start attacking the gingerbread house/hovel the kids put together. The second is a picture of me on November 8, 1974, my older sister's birthday. Elizabeth must have received a barbie, some shampoo/lotion and I return, I sat on the kitchen table enjoying her loot. The expressions are not the same, but I certainly recognize her expessions in this old(er?) picture of myself.

Today was a big day. We moved Andy into Mark's room, Meg into Andy's and Mark into Meg's. Mark actually has far less stuff and spends a lot less time in his room so it made sense to make the move. I always intended to do this year, just not necessarily now. But with Mark coming home, it made sense to make the switch before he started back here full-time. Meg is still in her crib. I intend to move her into a crib in the somewhat near future, but now that her crib is happily assembled in her new room, I am not in such a huge hurry.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Here's to a Pull-up free 2010

Andy's now gone two nights without a Pull-up or an accident. He might get a pony for this. I have been going in before I go to bed walk him to the bathroom to pee. It's sort of hilarious walking his sleep-drunk self to the toilet to perform.

Last night was New Year's and we went to celebrate with friends who have kids the same age. We talked about putting the kids to bed in their house, celebrating until midnight and then going home, but we decided instead to have dinner, wine and celebrate early and then each put our kids to bed in their own beds. I did make it to midnight though. That alone in a bit of a miracle.

Someday I would like to go to Times Square to celebrate -- but later when we're older and can get a good spot without having to stand outside from noon to midnight. In the meantime, I'm content not to be hungover on New Year's Day. I can't say I miss that.