Monday, April 25, 2011

Egg drop soup

Andy's school had a really neat project last week. They were to take a raw egg and somehow make a 7 inch by 7 inch by 7 inch container to house it safely. The container would then be dropped off a ladder by a teacher to see if the egg survived. Bjorn and he worked on it and had several different cool designs. The one they finally settled on was a square box filled with fruit loops. They practiced by dropped it out the game room window into the driveway (downside, now he knows the game room windows can be opened).

I am happy to report that his egg survived. It was all pretty adorable. You could tell the girl containers because most of them were heavily decorated with colors and other appliques. Some designs were quite clever. The most common container was Tupperware followed by a box. Many kids violated the size rule, but hey, it's kindergarten and not a science project so no eliminations. Many of those didn't do any better.

Bjorn wanted to know how many survived and you really couldn't tell except some kids were crying (I presume their eggs broke) and on some, you could really hear the smack when they hit the ground so you just knew it didn't survive.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Before Bjorn and I had been married a year, we got two adorable kittens that came to live with us in our rental townhouse in Alexandria. They were small and hyper. They made a ton of noise and climbed on all the curtains. But they were ours, an earlier decision in our marriage and we loved them. They were my babies before I had babies. Sadly for them, they became somewhat second class citizens when the kids arrived, but they still loved us and now there were more of us to love them.

I am sad to report that one of them, Coltrane, died last weekend. The whole thing is sort of surreal. She's just gone. She had been ill with a bladder infection a few weeks earlier, but since then, she'd put on weight and was becoming more adventurous again. Then she had an attack of some kind and died on the way to the emergency veterinary hospital. My sister Mary, the vet, says it's almost certainly unrelated. I will miss her.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

When in Roam

When we moved it, I put a gate on Meg's door to keep her from getting up in the night falling down the stairs trying to come to our room. Eventually, we started opening the gate at night so she could wake up and go to the bathroom, or more likely, come to our room. So when I steam cleaned the carpets a few weeks ago, I took the gate off and put it in the attic. Now she is free to roam the house after I think I've put her to bed. I find I miss that gate, but she's going to have to grow up some time, I suppose.

This is her asleep in our bed. She'll sneak past us and I'll find her asleep there.
Lately, I find she's sneaking out after I tuck her in and I'll find her asleep in random spots. It almost looks like a crime scene.

Here she is asleep in between the kitchen and breakfast room.
Asleep in her room but on her chair wearing a leotard.

Shocker - asleep in her own bed.

Asleep next to Bjorn. So cute.

Here is a tease - she was faking being asleep which I didn't know until I took the picture. She then gleefully jumped up to see herself in my phone.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Coffee and other hazards

Last Monday after spending the weekend in Washington, D.C., for work, I eagerly began a conference call with a guy in Boston when I spilled coffee on my laptop computer. I didn't freak, it WAS an important call, so I just slowly dabbed up what I could and kept going. Afterward, I called my IT person who is the nicest, most nonjudgmental IT person I've ever met and explained what I had done. "Oh. Oh, my." That's how I knew I was screwed.

Per her advice, I unplugged the battery and all the keys, dried the board and waited. In the meantime, I went to Best Buy and bought a new computer.

I needed one anyway. My little Acer laptop wasn't really appropriate for every day work. I had bought it as a personal computer a couple of years ago, but converted it to full-time business use last year when we moved and I started consulting. Now that I've gotten a permanent gig working from home, I needed to upgrade to something bigger and better. The new computer is beautiful and gorgeous -- mostly the monitor, of course. It's huge. Bjorn convinced me to spend the extra $59 for the super big HD monitor which makes a difference. At first, it was almost too bright, but now I've sort of gotten used to it and I really love it!

So to bury the lead, I now have a permanent gig, working from home, traveling occasionally. It's a totally awesome set up doing a project I really like. The only downside of working from home is getting disconnected when I'm on my own all day so I've asked to be included in staff meetings and I'm making a point to stay in touch via phone instead of e-mail. The perk is I have no commute, except to take the kids to and from school really, which gives me a lot more time for the rest of my life. It's also incredibly flexible in terms of the kids. I am super excited that Andy can actually do swim club this summer. In prior years, I was always working so he could never really go. I do miss the energy that comes with an office though so I'm going to find some interesting coffee shops where people congregate just for the social aspect of getting out once in a while. I also found out a neighbor just took a job working from home three days a week so I will have a buddy on the block to become my work water cooler.

Fortunately, I've been able to get about 4/5 of the keyboard keys back on. Typing is a mess still as putting these keys back on is like rebuilding an antique clock -- lots of small pieces that have to be painstakingly put back together.

Monday, April 04, 2011


Meg is no longer a baby. That's been true for some time now, but the signs are all over right now. Recently we moved her out of her Britax Roundabout car seat for a booster seat. I wasn't in any hurry particularly, but after she threw up last time due to strep, the smell was sort of imbedded in the straps and I realized I was just done. She loves her new seat. It's a Graco booster with a little pink. It's adorable.

There are other signs, too. The changing table and crib sheets are in the garage to give away. She is mostly only in diapers at night now so her diaper trash can is mostly unused. Her sippy cup to regular cup usage is about 80 percent. When properly motivated, she can pick out her own clothes and get dressed, often wearing the shoes on the right feet.

Now don't get me wrong, I am thrilled with her progress and that she's getting more interactive and interesting (and opinionated) by the day. I am thrilled that I will not be pregnant again or have another baby. But my baby is growing up and I'm not exactly sure how I feel about that.