Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Christmas with the snow

So it snowed. In Texas. On Christmas. This has happened all of never in my lifetime so it's super exciting. I live for snow. And I live to wear my cute rain boots so it all works out.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Holiday party

Margaret's school had its holiday party last night. It was hilariously adorable. I know some people get upset that we can't call it a Christmas party, but considering the kids in her class are Christian, Hindu and Jewish, it seems find to be generic with these things. It was, however, held at a local church that let us use their stage.

The kids are getting very excited about Christmas in two weeks. Bjorn, too, who seemingly can not stop shopping. As long as the presents are all for me, that seems just right. The kids keep repeatedly asking Santa for a kitten or kittens. I have explained that it might be tough for Santa to put them in his sleigh and/or their stockings, but they seem to think Santa makes things happen. Any ideas on how Santa could make that happen? I have a few that I might suggest but I'm welcome to input.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


End of soccer season! Meg did well and seemed to enjoy it although I think she needs more practice. By the end of the season she was much more interested in smiling for the camera the running for the goal.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Binders full of women

I wish I had something more witty to say on this matter except, well, wow.

Instead I leave you with some pictures that are more fun.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Kung fu fighting


Andy is really getting better at juijitsu. It's really fun to see the improvement. He totally wigged last night because he thought he was testing for his orange belt and he didn't think he was ready. Plus our neighbor who helped him last time is out of town so that totally added to the stress.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Thanks, folks

Andy ran/walked a 5k yesterday to raise money for kids with hemophilia. I am so proud of him! He (we) raised more than $1,000. Granted I did most of the haranguing of family and friends, he still practiced and ran the race. Plus he got a lot of props for his efforts so I think he's motivated to do it next year. Meg even wants in on the action but she wants to ride her bike so she can win.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Your kid in singing what exactly?

My taught went to pre-school yesterday singing, "Balls in Your Mouth." I know, it sounds pretty awful, even though it's really about the BP oil spill and tar balls. As I dropped her off, I explained quietly to her teacher that she had been singing a Jimmy Fallon song and while it sounded really awful, it wasn't as bad as all that. She snickered and nodded, but I'm not sure how she felt when Margaret started singing in later.

In my defense, Bjorn got the CD for father's day. That's right, in June. But somehow, Andy started singing it over the weekend and Meg got in on the action. The refrain stuck and before we knew it, they were singing it together. As we tried to shut it down, we, naturally, made the whole thing more interesting. As a result, I have two kids singing about Balls in their Mouth.

We try to stay classy here.

Friday, September 21, 2012


This new school year is in full swing. The kids are adjusting to their new routines. Andy is finding second grade is harder. He has a weekly packet due on Fridays. Naturally he procrastinated until last night when he cried for three hours about having to do it. It was my fault of course that I didn't make him do it sooner. See photo below of his moaning at doing school work.

Monday, August 27, 2012

First day of school

Today is the first day of second grade and the beginning of Meg's last year at preschool. We clearly took a lot of pictures this morning.
I thought this was so funny. He often looks very skeptical.
Now he's happy again!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Yellow belt

Andy's been taking jiujitsu through the city. It's been a good fit of practicing wrestling-type moves (not the official term, certainly) which is helping with his confidence. He has expressed worries before that other kids would pick on him. None have really, but this is helping him feel he could hold his own.

After 12 weeks, he tested for his "yellow belt", the next step up from a "white belt." He had to demonstrate five moves against an older kid and then he sparred with one of the two girls in his class also up for a yellow belt. I videotaped the sparring.

It was actually kind of awesome watching them wrestle. I was really impressed with how well he held his own and how well he stayed in it. After this, he sparred with this same girl one more time. Then they practiced one kid vs two kids. Andy did that as both the double-team and the singleton. His sensei's point of the double-team is to help the kids handle themselves in case of an unfair fight. I like that the class focuses on self-defense. I think that's such a useful thing for a child to know.

He was so proud of himself afterward that he actually told me he was happy. That's a rarity. It's like Simon Cowell saying he liked your performance.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Visit to the (old) homeland

Last week the kids and I flew back to DC (well, Virginia really) for the week. I had a big meeting to run and needed to go in the office and the kids came with me to see family. It was just awesome, even though it was 99 and 90 percent humidity most of the time. The kids loved seeing their grandmother, sister, uncle and cousins. I had really good work stuff and it was fun to see old friends.
Andy, Margaret, Fafa and Jennifer playing Old Maid.Fafa wouldn't let them watch TV or play on the iPad (sacrilege according to them!), but they played other games and had a grand time.
The kids with our old neighbors Ernie and Doris. Meg looks like a demon zombie here. I think it's the candy coma she was in. The kids didn't remember our old house or neighbors, but they remembered that Ernie and Doris had candy and that recollection was rewarded with, well, lots of candy.
Our old house in Fairfax, which looks exactly the same. We talked to the new owners (who didn't invite us in, which was just as well) who said they love the house. Yay!
Our house before that in Alexandria. The whole Del Ray/Arlandria area looked good overall - lots of new construction and additional retail, etc., but the Warwick Village area looked like it had seen better days. Our old house in particular looked a little rough.
I just had to take a picture of the Wafle Shop, which clearly has a new sign since we moved in 2003, I think. I am amazed the new sign is still misspelled which makes it even funnier.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Cousin Camp

This week Andy and his cousin Megan have been in day camp together so my sister and nieces have been staying with us. It has been so fun to see all the kids together. I think we have all stayed up too late and gotten up too early but we can sleep later. Tonight Bjorn read to all the little ones who were so tired but so interested in his storytelling of Swedish fairy tales.

I have a whole trip to Ireland to blog about but it's so big I haven't been able to tackle it yet.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Of beautiful clothes and things

My cousin got married a few weeks ago. They are a beautiful young couple and graciously offered to let all four little cousins be in the wedding. Thus began a Bataan Death March trying to figure out what they would wear. It was stressful, y'all. Partly because I thought my sister who has way more fashion sense and attention to detail about this stuff than me had ordered the dresses back in February when we first talked about it. As such, we all realized about two weeks out that we didn't have anything planned. Fortunately, she came through and found something perfect. Dressing for weddings is always a challenge, and dressing for the Unitarian wedding of an atheist religion professor to a minister made it that much more interesting.
Seriously, folks should get married every weekend just to make little kids look this damn cute.
The wedding party. The wedding was in the morning, the most formal time of the day. I suspect it was actually to cut down on the drinking and swearing the comes with weddings though. A few still managed to knock back a dozen drinks at a formal luncheon, but imagine how much worse it would have been at 7 p.m.?
Let the record reflect even the adults dressed for the occasion. I like that dress - I just got it. An added bonus was that it looks like Julia Roberts' dress in Pretty Woman when she goes to the polo match and Jason Alexander calls her out for being a hooker. Fortunately, no one called me a hooker this time. Unfortunately, no one accused me of looking like Julia Roberts either.
The whole family. Bjorn is standing on a step lower than everyone else and he still looks taller than everyone.
All four grandchildren. I loved how the outfits turned out. Andy is wearing a hand-me-down suit. There was some debate as to whether he needed something black but I think this worked out. I did call around everywhere (naturally on the Thursday before a Saturday morning wedding in another state) trying to find a bow tie. I finally found a Christmas tie on sale at Janie and Jack. It's too big so my dad stole a paper clip from some flowers in the church to fix it. He's MacGyver for wedding outfits.
Andy's job was to hand out programs and he was quite proud of himself for having such an important job. All sixty guests needed those programs. Bjorn was there to make sure he did it because while he recognized the importance, he was a little shy to just shove them into people's hands.
He knew how cute he was and was posing. That kid ain't always shy.
So Nashville (randomly if you ask me) has the world's only life-size replica of the Parthenon in Greece. Despite our mocking, it was actually kind of cool and impressive. Loads of people were there taking wedding pictures that day. There were also a lot of men wandering around with their shirts off and jean shorts.  Bjorn and I agreed that straight men, even in the south, don't wear jorts and no shirt.
Andy was dancing for us. That kid has white guy moves, but he can really move it.

Monday, June 25, 2012

That's right

We are the Sunday coed champions. In addition to a "free" T-shirt that I have paid for 100 times over, we also got our picture taken with the longhorn. We have a great team of some former college players. It's great fun. Next season we move up a division. Should be interesting to see how we do. Either way, champs today! Meg and Andy both thought we should have gold medals though. Next time.

I leave for a week on Tuesday on VACATION. Without the family. For a week. I am so excited and also nervous. I have not left the kids except for a few work trips. I hope I remember how to relax and travel without a change of clothing and snacks for everyone. Then again, that might make me most popular. Only with this group, Instead of capri suns, I will pack a bag Of wine.

Also Meg is sleeping around. Again.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


My cousin got married today and was nice enough to include my kids in the wedding. There was all sorts of angst about what they would ultimately wear and I think they turned out great. Course with kids in dressy clothes, you can almost never go wrong.

Also my dad was so wiped out last night that he napped while the party went on. So I repaid him by putting random objects on him and taking his picture.

And last chronically is Bjorn on his birthday. He's really even more super handsome these days.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Last day, new beginnings

Here is Margaret on her last day of school last week. We are officially of for summer break.

Now it is on to our dance recital and Juijitsu. I might even figure out how to spell Juijitsu by the end of the summer.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Today was the last day of first grade. Hard to believe how much he's grown since August. I also can't believe how much he needs a haircut. Big changes this year - two new front teeth and two loose ones at the moment, longer hair, taller. He now reads incredibly fluently, can do basic square roots (don't ask, it certainly didn't come from me) and is an excellent swimmer. Along the way, he has tried skiing, completed two seasons of soccer and did some gymnastics. Phew! It was so long as fast all at the same time.

To mark the occasion, they had an ice cream party. When I arrived he was finished a bowl of vanilla with marshmallows and gummy bears. We he announced his stomach hurt, no one was surprised.

This summer, we'll have two babysitters trading off. One who worked for us last summer is back (yay!) and one who had been working for us after school during the year is staying on for longer (yay!). He's doing swim team again and he's going to be doing some martial arts in the evenings twice a week. Later on, he's got some camps sprinkled throughout and a visit to California in August. I am hoping we can get to Austin for a weekend again this summer, too.