Sunday, December 30, 2007
We’ve been busy preparing for a big birthday party for Brad’s mother. In the many years that I’ve known her, she has barely let us acknowledge that she even *has* a birthday, much less have a party. But this year she is letting us throw a New Year’s Eve / Birthday Bash in her honor.
I had hoped to tie up some loose ends this evening, but my friggin’ child is still awake. Seems while I was out shopping for a dress for tomorrow night’s festivities, Z went down for a nap a little late (about 2:00pm) and slept until 5:00pm. We knew he wouldn’t be tired enough to go to bed at 8:00pm, so we pushed it a later and here he is – still awake at 10:45pm! Never again I tell you. Never again.
Much like this post, but slightly more sophisticated, here are the myriad of reasons that Zander “can’t” go to sleep:
“I have 100 energy.”
“It’s too dark.”
“My clock is waking me up. It’s too light.”
“I have to go poo-poo and the poo-poo might take a long time to come out.”
“I need you mama.”
“If I sleep now, I’ll have to stay awake all tomorrow because I’ll have so much energy.”
“Bedrooms aren’t good places for me to sleep. I have to sleep in playrooms.”
Thursday, December 27, 2007
I must have been 12 years old (or just turning 13) because I remember that my super-cool cousin from Los Angeles was coming to Florida for my Bat Mitzvah and there she is in the photo being super-cool talking to her friends back in L.A. (Today, that very same super-cool cousin lives in San Francisco, has a six-month old, and hair that is only one color. She and I talk almost every day.) And yes, that's me and my hair is naturally that curly.
I'm not sure what's worse in this first photo -- what I'm wearing or what I was making (presumably to wear)! Anyone else remember "puffy paint?"
For some reason, in these next photos, we put my hamster (named Aliwishes) down my shirt and THAT is what we are looking at. Not quite sure why we would put a rodent down my shirt, but that's another matter. In the years that followed, my cousin and I did a lot of things that are questionable.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
It's taken me, oh, maybe three-and-a-half years to be 100% comfortable leaving Zander -- okay, maybe 95% comfortable. The night before last, Z was in good hands with Grandma Paula and Pap-Pap, so Brad and I went to see a movie. On a last minute decision, we chose I am Legend starring Will Smith (and a beautiful German Shepherd).
Now, I'm no movie critic. But this was a darn good movie. Maybe it's because I had no expectations going in. Hadn't read a review, seen a preview, etc. Either way, I was on the edge of my seat the entire time and that's saying a lot considering how my mind can wander these days.
The movie definitely had shades of 28 Days Later, Outbreak, and maybe even a tad I, Robot, what with Will Smith being all moral and everything. Either way, it was gripping. I even involuntarily shouted the "f-word" a few times.
When the movie was over and the lights came up, Brad looked at me and said, "It was a little slow." Guess you had to be there.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
My parents took us on a lot of cool trips while we were growing up. At the time, I had no real idea of the value of these trips -- either from a family-bonding perspective or a material perspective. Saying "thank you" now seems silly, but it's that time of year and I'm feeling both grateful and nostalgic. (Also, we are currently in the throes of a short trip to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and I keep thinking, "How did my parents do this with THREE children?!")
Here are some photos of one of the whitewater rafting trips we took. Pretty sure the river is the Nantahala in North Carolina. No idea how old I was and not sure why my sister isn't in these, but you get the point.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Earlier that same day Brad and I were in our bedroom and called to Z who was in his room. He responded, "What guys?" Three or 13?
And here's my personal favorite -- this exchange occurred at dinner the other night, after Z intentionally dropped a piece of food on the floor. (Seems that if he doesn't want a particular food, he feels strongly that said food should NOT be on his plate at all.)
Zander: "Pick it up mom."
Me: "You dropped it. Your job is to pick it up."
Zander: "My job is to look at it [pause]...with a magnifying glass. Your job is to pick it up for me."
Three, 13, or maybe just a wise ass? (He did eventually pick it up himself. I'm not a total pushover).
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Come to think of it, I'm not even sure what "Faster You Foot" is intended to mean. But it makes me laugh imagining someone running, looking down, and yelling at their foot, "Faster, you foot!"
Monday, December 17, 2007
While I was busy getting my eyes lasik-ed, Brad took Zander to the Pediatric ENT for an evaluation of the ear tube that is still in his ear. (The ENT just so happened to be in the same building as the Lasik, so they were able to come see the procedure in progress when they were done.)
As I've mentioned before, Z had the tubes put in when he was 11 months old. They were supposed to fall out by themselves somewhere between six months and two years after insertion. Shortly after the surgery (like minutes), I remember thinking to myself, "Please, please don't let them fall out after only six months," since this would mean he would likely need another set.
Well, as the old saying goes, be careful what you wish for. Indeed, one of the tubes has *not* fallen out on its own and Z is now scheduled for surgery (with general anesthesia!) in mid January.
In most cases, surgery to remove a tympanostomy tube is not necessary. The tube usually falls out on its own, pushed out as the eardrum heals....If the tube remains in the eardrum beyond 2 to 3 years, however, it will likely be removed surgically to prevent a perforation in the eardrum or accumulation of debris around the tube. [The bolding is my emphasis.]
When he was 11 months old and had the surgery to put the tubes in, I kept thinking that I wished he was older because at least then I could better explain the scary circumstances. Now, I keep thinking that I wish he were 11 months old so I don't have to explain the scary circumstances!
Sunday, December 16, 2007
One night Brad, Z, and my folks were all singing "Found a Peanut." Here's how it was going:
This is when Brad interjected:
Found a peanut. Found a peanut. Found a peanut last night.
Last night I found a peanut...
It was rotten. It was rotten. It was rotten last night...
Ate it anyway. Ate it anyway. Ate it anyway last night...
Got a tummy ache. Got a tummy ache. Got a tummy ache last night...
Called the doctor. Called the doctor. Called the doctor last night...
Paid the co-pay. Paid the co-pay. Paid the co-pay last night...Everyone laughed. That was enough to hook Zander on those particular lyrics. Now, there is no more "Found a Peanut." Just "Paid the co-pay. Paid the co-pay. Paid the co-pay last night."
In looking for a link to the song, I found a few other versions. All start off pretty much the same (about finding a peanut and it being rotten), but it goes downhill from there. Who knew? And what I found on YouTube was just plain disturbing. Kids today.
Had surgery -> Died anyway -> Went to Heaven -> Didn’t want me -> Went to hell -> Didn’t want me -> Came to Life Again
Had surgery -> Died anyway -> Went to Heaven -> Forgot my teddy bear -> Went after it -> Back in Heaven -> Kicked an angel -> Went the other way
Saturday, December 15, 2007
That being said, just got back from a Sesame Street Live show called, "When Elmo Grows Up." Who knew that Oscar had a woman-friend? And while I'm at it, am I the only one who wonders what's inside Oscar's trash can? Don't answer that.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
He pretty much figured all of the basics out on his own by clicking around. [Note to self: Time to remove nefarious bookmarks.] One day a few months ago, Brad and I were in the kitchen talking and we heard Z giggling. Went in to see what was going on. Let's just say we now have a "one-page-a-day" printing rule so we don't have to replace the toner cartridges every week.
And more recently, Brad was having some trouble finding the CD that contained a particular game that Z likes to play. Z pointed out that it was in the bottom drive. Um, right. And next thing I know he'll be asking for an Xbox, just like his dad.
And tangentially related...
The other night night while checking my work e-mail, Z was waiting patiently (that's a lie) for his turn on the computer. He was actually opening and closing all the desk drawers, playing with paper clips, highlighters, post-it notes, and a calculator, when this came out:
Zander: "Calculators you have to use later, so I'm going to put this away."
And he did.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
The biggest issue for me came after I went through all of the pre-op procedures (except for taking the Valium they provide) but before the surgery. I'm sitting there holding the little blue surgical cap that I'm supposed to use to cover my hair and they called me up to "finish the paperwork." This means pay the remainder of the fee. (We had put down a deposit.) So far so good. But then, the woman said something cheery about their current special promotion of $1,000 off if I donate $100 to a local charity.
Now, I'm all for donating to charities, but the deal I *thought* we were getting was $1,200 off. I reminded her of this. She said that the deal had expired. I told her that the person I spoke with said as long as I was scheduling it in the month of November, the rate would still be applicable. She frowned and "looked it up" on the computer. She agreed that I had made the appointment within the allotted time period. But, oh, what do you know?! Their rates have gone up exactly $100 an eye since then. How convenient!
The good karma news is that a man sitting nearby overheard and offered me his extra $1,200 off coupon. I tried to use it and the woman did her best not to laugh in my face. She said I couldn't use two offers at once (expected and reasonable), but that the coupon had expired anyway and she grabbed it from me faster than she grabbed my American Express.
Don't get me wrong. So far the outcome is fantastic. I can see without contacts or glasses -- something I haven't been able to do since high school. The ten minutes (maximum) that I overlapped with the surgeon went really well. He seemed like a great guy. Did a heck of a job with the laser too.
It's just that the whole thing felt more like buying a car than than a medical procedure.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I’m all for rewarding a job well-done, but for some reason this feels both a little tacky and like a trap to me. If we don’t give him (or her) a holiday gift, is our newspaper going to be farther down the driveway each day? Or maybe if we *are* particularly generous, I won’t have to run barefoot as fast as I can while pulling down my ratty t-shirt so as to not offend the neighbors.
Since we are new to the neighborhood, I really do feel compelled to give something. (On a related note, we recently bought a $17.00 (!) box of kettle corn from a neighborhood boy doing a fundraiser for his school. Anyone want any kettle corn?)
Hmmm. That gives me an idea. Wonder if we could give the Washington Post delivery person the kettle corn? If not, think he or she would be offended by Hanukkah gelt? We’ve got a lot left over…
P.S. I realize that these folks are probably underpaid and that delivering newspapers is not the most glamorous job in the universe. But, it’s my blog and I’ll kvetch if I want to.
Monday, December 10, 2007
It feels like it did when I was growing up and my parents would visit me at camp and then leave - a combination of something missing and some missed opportunity. I miss her and wish she lived closer and could see every little Zander meltdown (see here and here) for herself (although I'm pretty sure that's not what she would want to witness).
I realize that, in reality, I am lucky that my folks visit as much as they do and that we visit them, as well as go on trips with them. But there's a part of me that still wants to say "I WANT MY MOMMY!"
(And you thought this would be a post about Zander, didn't you?)
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
My mom is visiting for Hanukkah. Prior to her arrival, she asked that we make some room in the refrigerator so there is a place to put things that she cooks when she is here.
Me [opening the fridge]: "Mom, we made room for you in the refrigerator, see?"
Zander: "Grandma is going in the refrigerator?!!"
After dinner we proceed to light the menorah for the 3rd night of Hanukkah (which Zander had been begging to do all evening). Actually, let me back up....
Some months ago my mom expressed interest in getting Z a globe. She found one online that seemed appropriate and ordered it. It arrived here a few weeks ago. I unboxed and and wrapped it so it was ready to go for Hanukkah.
As I was saying, after dinner tonight, we light the menorah. I bring down the biggest gift (the globe) and Grandma Susan presents it. Zander quickly tears off the paper, takes one look and starts to cry. And I mean a full-blown, full-scale meltdown. "That's not the present that I want!" "I just want a toy!" "I don't want that globe!" "I already have one." (This is true, but the one he has happens to be a mini-globe that I got at the Target "Dollar Spot." The one my folks gave him is a standard-size, very nice globe.) It continued, "I want another present!" He even kind of pushed the globe away and back at my mom!
To Grandma Susan's credit, she said something about having a feeling this might happen and said we should go ahead and give him another gift. Both Brad and I felt strongly that giving him another present was not something we were going to do at that point in time.
But when The Eye Center called to me today to remind me (as if I would forget) and asked that I make sure to bring my signed "informed consent form," I started thinking of last-minute reasons why maybe this whole laser-in-the-eye thing is not such a great idea. At this point, I expect to be contact lens and glasses free this time tomorrow afternoon.
So, If anyone needs any AcuVue, daily, disposable contact lenses (-6.50 both eyes), let me know and I'll send 'em to you (assuming everything goes well, of course).
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
I'm not sure who liked the toy that Zander got on this first night better -- Brad or Zander.
Again, must give credit where credit is due: We saw a similar toy (a plane instead of a truck) at our friends house a few months back. A quick Google search proved that, at that time, the toy was available mostly in Great Britain. But, wouldn't you know -- this weekend, they were giving it away at Marshalls! Not really giving it away, but pretty close.
Monday, December 3, 2007
Now, do feel free to watch this short clip. The Sippy Cups were about to sing a song about bicycles and had asked for volunteers to say something about his or her own bike. Brilliant, I tell you. He's brilliant! (Kidding.)
P.S. I need to give credit to cousins Lisa and Laura out in California, who introduced us to the Sippy Cups (a San Francisco-based band) a few years ago.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
I feel old because over Thanksgiving weekend a 16-year-old had to show me around Facebook. (I recently signed up out of both personal curiosity and for professional reasons to see what all the fuss is about .) I feel old because she demonstrated how to do all these cool things with Facebook but I was still thinking, "What's all the fuss about?"
I feel old because I don't know how to receive a text message on my phone and because I don't own an Ipod. If I heard music was burning on something, I'd call the fire department. (Kidding on that one.) I feel old because I just figured out that Hannah Montana is a person not a state.
Don't get me wrong....It's not a bad feeling, just an adult one. For years and years I didn't see myself as a "real" adult and then all of a sudden I turned around and I am just that -- an adult taking my kid to the dentist and reminding him to floss.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Anyway, it couldn't have gone much better. There was no wait in the office (a pet peeve of mine). The staff was warm and professional. The pediatric dentist (who was referred by Zander's teacher) was fantastic. She had Z believing that the chair was actually a ride, his teeth were getting tickled and then having a bubble bath, etc. Most of my questions were answered before I could even ask them. (This is quite rare. My husband often says that I "pepper" people with questions. This experience with the dentist just shows that I wouldn't have to bombard people with questions if they offered up the right information in the first place.) But, I digress.
Z is a big-time thumb sucker. This was great when he was an infant since we never had to reinsert a pacifier late at night or panic if we didn't have one with us. However, not so great at 3.5 years old. The dentist said not to worry...yet. There is no change in his jaw structure or mouth due to the thumb sucking and it really doesn't become an issue unless it continues when permanent teeth come in.
Scene 1: The first kite is one that I hung onto for years and moved from home to home (much to Jill's chagrin). The sticks were long since lost and had been replaced using tape and some clever whittling. In any case, a strong wind and some Zander magic got it up and away.
Scene 2: Zander playing with the tail after I pulled the downed kite from the ocean. (Homemade sticks and gusty wind are NOT the right recipe). Determined to actually fly for awhile, I switched over to a more modern and healthy kite which...
Scene 3: ...as you can see, flew remarkably well.
What this video doesn't show you is Scene 4, which was the 1/2 hour that it took for us to reel the kite back in. Who knew how hard it is to pull on kite string that has that much tension on it?
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Zander [while in Brad's bathroom]: You can't come in here Mommy. This is the boys room. That's why I love daddy sooooooo much -- because he's a boy and I'm a boy.
And from Sunday...
Me [to Zander]: Want anything from the grocery store?
Zander: Um, cat food.
Me: But we don't have a cat.
Zander: We could get one.
Me: Mommy is allergic to cats. They make me sneeze and itch.
Zander: You could go away and the cats could come.
(I said that I wasn't going to go away so he asked for grapes instead.)
Monday, November 26, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Watching it brought back memories of how much I really, really didn't care for musical chairs. What is the point? To encourage kids to push each other out of the way? To be sure all but one feels like an idiot for a least a few seconds? And even better -- let's do it in front of a large crowd at an arena!? Seriously, I just don't get it. Someone tell me why this game is fun and/or good for children. I'm happy to listen.
Don't even get me started on how I ended up in years of intensive therapy because of "Duck-Duck-Goose."
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
So, for our recent five-year wedding anniversary, I thought it would be nice to surprise him with a set of tickets to a Wizards game. We went to that game on Saturday night.
Grandma Susan, who is visiting for Thanksgiving from Florida, babysat Zander. Brad and I went out for a yummy sushi dinner at a restaurant right near the Verizon Center (where the Wizards play). At the start of the game, we were a bit disappointed because Gilbert Arenas, the Wizards star player, was surprisingly not playing. Turns out he had a last-minute knee injury or something. Then they announced that it was "Family Fun Night," which explained why there were children everywhere. (I had thought I was just noticing them more because I was missing Zander already.)
Anyway, every now and then Brad would say something in basketball-ease like, “he really blocked that pick” or “they're going offense/defense" or something about being “in the paint." And although I enjoyed the game very much, my mind kept wandering...
“Wonder if that couple sitting next to us is married or just dating? [Turns out they were father and daughter!] and...why isn’t the couple to our right saying anything about the game or even talking to each other and...if all of the seats in the section cost $150 then why does everyone knock each other down to get a free t-shirt and...wow, that’s quite a rock on the woman in the row in front of us and... Boy do I have to pee and ...should I go now because there might be too long of a line if I wait until halftime and...oh, look, the folks at the end of the aisle are eating pizza and that would be tough if they had to stand up and let me out and...how was my mom doing at home with Zander anyway and...I wonder if he pooped and... it’s just amazing how everything is commercialized these days and...why do they allow you the entire bottle of water AND the cap at the Verizon center, but they insist on taking away the cap at Nationals games and...did I really just pay $4.00 for a bottle of water that I could have gotten at Costco for less than a quarter?
Not sure if the difference is due to parenthood, getting old, both, or just a few too many lattes yesterday.
P.S. One of the funniest/most interesting things to me was that when a member of the opposing team (the Portland Trailblazers) was shooting a free-throw and the announcers wanted to get the crowd to boo loudly, a large Dallas Cowboys logo would flash on the big screen. (For the non-beltway types out there, this is because the Dallas Cowboys are the big Redskins rival.)
Sunday, November 18, 2007
My sister ran in the Philadelphia Marathon today. I know what you might be thinking: "Didn't she just run a marathon a few weeks ago?" Yes and I wrote about it here and here. So what's another 26.2 miles, right? The good news is that the November weather was more conducive to running to Timbuktu and back and her time (3:50:37) qualified her to run in the Boston Marathon (again) in 2008.
There's not a lot of things that I would do for almost four hours straight (other than sleep). Congratulations Janet.
Friday, November 16, 2007
What's a Woot-Off? If you don't know, I'm not telling. If you DO know, it just ended so don't bother going to check it out. ;)
Thursday, November 15, 2007
How do trees stand up?
Does anything eat clouds?
The former apparently had Brad launch into a discussion of gravity and the latter into a discussion of liquids, solids, and gases. I'm better at answering the questions about poop, so I'm going to let Brad handle the scientific responses from now on.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Here's a photo from the game:
Monday, November 12, 2007
My still photos from the event really stunk mostly because it was so dark. This short video is equally dark, but hopefully it will give you a flavor of the concert. The song that is starting is called, "Go Wild." Zander is on the left. Elizabeth is on the right and they are both wearing Milkshake t-shirts.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
As I referenced briefly in this post, Zander currently has an ear infection. This is his first one in a looooooong time. (He had typmpanostomy tubes put it when he was about 11 months old due to successive ear infections. I realize that the insertion of "ear tubes" is controversial. Some of the pros and cons are listed here if you are interested.)
Anyway, last week his teacher called me give me a heads-up that he had woken up from his nap a few times complaining that his ear hurt. She also said he was holding Lamby up to his ear to make it feel better. I rushed to his school to make an assessment. When I arrived, I noticed disgusting smelling fluid oozing from his ear. Sorry about the TMI, but it is what happened.
That night, we trekked to the doctor's office (our first "sick" visit at a new pediatrician due to the move) and waited there about an hour to see the doctor. This would normally have been torture, but they had a TV in the waiting room and the movie Cars just happened to be playing, so Z was happy as a clam.
The doctor could barely see in the ear in question, but she said it looked like a small rupture in the ear drum, also known as a perforated eardrum. Although that sounds major, she quickly assured me that it is nothing to be alarmed about and should heal without any lasting damage to his hearing. I really liked this doctor. She was warm, patient, and personable with both me and Zander -- no small feat for a pediatrician at 7:00pm in the evening.
All this time Z was pretty much a trooper. He's a bit clingier when he is sick, which is rather nice since he's not super-clingy in the first place. As you can see from the photos below, he was hamming it up in the waiting room even before they gave him some Motrin.
But wait! You thought that would be the end, right? We did too. Fast forward to Friday morning when, after a week of antibiotics, more fluid was draining from his ear. We ended up back at the doctor's office and found out that one of the tubes is still in his ear. Who knew? Certainly not his former pediatrician who told us they were both out! Anyway, the tube is in, but the ear is still infected.
We left the doctor's office armed with stronger prescriptions and headed down to my office for an hour or two until Brad could come pick Z up, get the new prescriptions filled, and take him home to nap. And here, just to round out the story and for your viewing pleasure, is a photo of the ear:
Friday, November 9, 2007
Or rather, I thought about them differently.
- Recalls. I just never noticed them in any real sense. Now it seems that they are everywhere all the time. Seriously, I get an e-alert from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission about recalls of children's products and since November 1st, 14 items have been recalled. We didn't own any of those fourteen, but we have dealt with recalls on a Graco stroller, an Evenflo carseat, a Radio Flyer wagon, and a few Thomas the Tank Engine items. Jeez! Wrekehavoc says it best in her open letter to Mattel here.
- Time changes. Sure I considered whether or not I would get an extra hour of sleep or lose an hour, but big deal. Then Zander came along. I recall the first time change about five months after he was born. I couldn't believe that after all the trouble trying to figure out when he should eat, sleep, and poop, the universe was throwing me another curve ball and changing the time. It felt like a cruel joke. Certainly things are easier now that Z is three, but we've still had a few painfully early mornings this week at our house.
- Federal holidays. Pre-Zander, they were just days off. And actually, Zander’s first “school” (really a daycare) was open rain or shine. This meant that if my office was closed for a federal holiday, it was a total bonus. Now when my office is closed on holidays so is Zander’s school. Hmmm. Changes things a bit, especially since Brad doesn't necessarily get all the federal holidays off. It's not that I don't enjoy the extra time with Z, just that I really enjoyed the extra time to myself [to sleep]. This Monday (Veteran's Day) I'll probably be at a playground freezing my you-know-what off.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
- Said his ear hurt. (Possibly legit due to ear infection and possible ear drum rupture last week.) Not as bad as it sounds -- more on that soon. I gave him some Motrin, per doctor's suggestion.
- Said the medicine went to his eyes instead of his ear and he needed more. Huh?
- Said the medicine was the wrong kind and he needed the other kind (probably referring the the antibiotics).
- Said the pictures in his room were waking him up.
- Said he needed ice or the "frosty paw" for a bonk. After some discussion, it was concluded that there was no said bonk.
- Said he needed the "frosty paw" for his ailing ear.
- Said he wanted the sound machine on.
- Said he needed a different room because he was scared in his room.
- Said he lost the "frosty paw" and could I help him find it?
- Found the "frosty paw" but it was no longer cold and it needed to go back and get colder.
- Said there were bees in his room so he needed to go into a different room.
As I e-mailed to Brad (who just so happens to be away for the night), I'm going to have a nervous breakdown. Not really. Just need to kvetch.
In light of Brad's recent posts and this post, I think we need some kind of glossary. And since it seems that blogspot cannot handle static pages, I am making this post our official "Glossary" page and will add to it as needed. Feel free to send me suggestions.
B: Brad (father of Zander, husband of Jill).
Blog: A website where entries are written in chronological order and commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries (as this one does). A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. (Thanks Wikipedia.)
IGNoB: It Gets No Better.
Flickr: A photo sharing website, widely used by bloggers as a photo repository. Thanks Wikipedia.
JCB: Jill (mother of Zander, wife of Brad).
meme: (rhymes either with dream or with the letter "m," depending on who you ask):
An idea that is shared and passed from blog to blog, such as a question posted in one blog and answered in many other blogs.
NaBloPoMo: National Blog Posting Month.
NASI: National Academy of Social Insurance;
O.P.T. (pronounced oh-pee-tee): "Other People's Toys.
TMI: Too Much Information.
TMTOMH: Too Much Time On My Hands.
Z: Zander (son of BCK and JCB).
Several Google refinements later we had found the song, learned about doing research, and were listening to Uncle Rock sing. What followed was Zander restarting the song each time it ended and the two of us dancing around the office (only one of us wondered what any neighbors might have seen if out on an evening walk).
Somehow, we started trading dance moves like some pre-teens who were not quite ready to really talk to the opposite sex. He would spin, jump squat, and then cheer delightedly when I matched his steps. I would give him parts of the “Cabbage Patch” or the “pony” or the “lawn sprinkler” and he would try to follow along.
Monday, November 5, 2007
The other night the three of us were sitting on our bed with Zander in the middle for the nightly pre-bedtime reading. One of us reads a couple books first, then the other, and we usually end with his latest self-reader. While Jill was reading, she paused and looked over at me with the all-too-familiar wrinkled nose and the what could possibly smell so horrible look also known as the did-that-come-out-of-you look. Only, this time, I had a genuine “What?” expression instead of the guilty look I usually have. This lead to a momentary pause in the reading, which Zander noticed. He filled the silence by stating, “I farted.”
Therefore, we each had our momentary confusion, mine while being falsely accused, Jill’s while trying to figure out why I looked genuinely innocent, and Zander’s while getting a high five from his Dad in the middle of a book. Ever since Samson (our miniature long-haired dachshund) died, I have had no one with whom to share the blame for any odd smells...now I do!
In case any of our loyal readers were concerned about Lamby as a result of this post, we're happy to report that she is back from 'rehab,' aka the washing machine. So, there will (hopefully) be less of this going 0n:
P.S. If you or anyone you know actually has a Lamby (a TY Pluffy also known as Shearly the Lamb), we will purchase it for a small fee. See, somewhere between Florida, Delaware, and Pennsylvania we lost Zander's back-up Lamby. The company that makes Lamby has "retired" her. Note that this is not an emergency because he still has original Lamby, I am just super-neurotic about having back-ups.
P.P.S. Brad says to Zander, "Lamby wants a bath. Is it okay if I wash her?" It's no wonder Zander thinks his poo poo talks.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Zander: "Who builds the sky?"
Me: (a few seconds of silence while I wished I had a different understanding of my personal beliefs and could unequivocally answer, "God.")
Zander: "Who builds the trees?"
Me: (a few more seconds of silence while I formulate an answer involving seeds.)
Zander: "Who builds planes?"
Me: (as quickly as I can answer): "Well, a team of people build planes. Engineers and mechanics all work together to..."
Friday, November 2, 2007
I heard on the radio that 90% of parents steal from their kid's Halloween candy. What a relief. I was feeling so alone.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
They were/are just my kind of thing -- easy to do, no mess, just run 'em through the dishwasher when you're done, and pack 'em up in a bin labeled "Halloween" for next year. I'm almost sad to see them go...
As I mentioned in this post, I can, um,
Shortly thereafter I did some research and found out that Magenta is actually a girl dog and is pink. So I suggested Zander be Periwinkle (another Blues Clues character), who is a male cat. And that is how we ended up here:
The good news is that both Zander and Elizabeth had a great time and that's what really matters. After every single house Zander would say, "Are we going to go to another house and get more CANDY?"
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Warning: This post fits under two new categories: TMI (Too Much Information) and TMTOMH (Too Much Time On My Hands).
At the grocery store, I tried to purchase some deodorant. Sounds simple enough. But, I kid you not, there were that at least 27 different types of the same brand:
Secret Platinum (in Unscented, Glacier Ridge, and Ocean Breeze). Total=3.
Secret Platinum with Conditioners (in Botanical Silk, Velvet Powder, Shower Fresh, Mystic Rain, and Ocean Breeze). Total=5
Secrete Platinum Expressions (in Tropical Tango, Vanilla Chai (wtf?), Afrikan Violet, Southern Peach, Asian Pear, Spanish Rose, Jasmine Orient, Arctic Apple, Eastern Lily, Passion Flower, Brazilian Cherry, Kuku Cocoa Butter, and English Bloom). Total=13
Then there were the basics:
Secret Roll-On, Secret Solid, Secret Invisible Solid, Secret Clinical (comes in a box looking very serious), and Secret Clear Gel . Total= 5.
And, my very favorite:
Secret Ultra Clear (just in case the regular clear is not clear enough).
Alas, there was no Secret Regular, which was really all I wanted. So that's why I smell.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Me: "It was so cold last night that there is frost on some of the cars."
After a few minutes of silence:
Zander: "I don't see any frosting on the cars."
This reminded me of a few other misunderstandings. This one is from last week, also while driving to school:
Zander: "Alaska is in the sky, isn't it?"
Me: "Um, no honey, it's not in the sky."
Zander: "But Grandma Paula said Alaska is UP, not down."
It then dawns on me that on Zander's puzzle of the states, Alaska is at the bottom. So, I try to explain how most states are attached to another, except for Hawaii and Alaska. (I knew I shouldn't have skipped Geography class and went to the mall. I'm kidding Mom. I never skipped any classes.)
And finally, this one from pre-blog times:
Often when we would see a fly, we would say, "Shoo fly don't bother me." I think it's from a song or book or something. I don't recall how old Z was at the time, but one day we were sitting outside and he said, "Look mommy! A shoo fly!"
Sunday, October 28, 2007
And then there is the Annual Marriott Headquarters Family Picnic. We drove out to the Marriott Ranch yesterday to attend our first. It was a day of free food, rides (hayride, etc.), moon bounces, a rock-climbing wall, a petting zoo, pony rides for kids and horseback riding for adults, a laser tag tent, carnival-type amusement games, live music, face painting, clowns making balloons for kids, at least eight caricature artists, and a pumpkin-painting hut. It was pretty incredible. Here are some photos:
Friday, October 26, 2007
Zander: "Mom, you have to carry me."
Me (annoyed that he says I have to carry him and a tiny bit sad that he's starting to call me "mom" instead of "mama" or "mommy"): "No I don't. My hands are full."
Zander (whining): "But, I have a rule that my sneakers can't get wet!"
What I'm thinking: [Oh ya, buddy? Who made that rule? I'm not aware of it and I make most of the rules around here.]
What I say (thinking he'll never go for this): "Well, if I carry you, YOU will have to carry all of this stuff."
Zander: "Okay. Pick me up mom."
So, I end up carrying him and all of the stuff wedged between us. I'm definitely losing this battle.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Zander: The Nationals got a shame.
Jill: What do you mean "shame?"
Zander: The Phillies won so that means the Nationals got a shame.
Hmmm, "If they don't win it's a shame." He's right (in a way).
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
"What is poo poo?"
"What makes poo poo yucky?"
"What makes poo poo brown?"
[Are you noticing a theme?]
There was also this one:
"How do we make sand?" For this one, since Brad did not know the answer, he instead started to explain how glass is made from sand. I'm thinking, "It is? Who knew?!"
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Here's a short video clip from before we entered the Pumpkin Playground. They have some motion-activated animated things at the entrance. (I'm sure there is a technical term other than "things" but I can't come up with it.) Initially, Z was scared to get near any of them, but as you can see from the the clip, he warmed up to the skeleton in just a few minutes and started to boogie.
Monday, October 22, 2007
I left my house at about 7:35am. I did not get to my office until 10:00am. That’s almost two and half hours. (For the record, this also included dropping Z off at preschool.)
Traffic is always worse in September and October apparently. It has something to do with both Congress and school being back in session. However, another semi-annual event that screws up traffic around here is the IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings. Streets are closed and protesters are lying down in the middle of intersections. Unfortunately, the only person I can take it out on is Brad. Poor husband got back to his desk to two separate and very grumpy messages complete with foul language and new things that he needs to do to fix my traffic. Sorry honey.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
He is trying hard to learn the art of manipulation. Last night I told him that it wasn't time to play with X, it was time for Y. Without hesitating, he said, "Mama, my poo-poo says I have to play with that right now!" Oh, right! How could I have forgotten about the talking poo-poo?! I said, "What Mama says overrides what the poo-poo says," and he instantly broke into tears. Real tears. If it wasn't so funny, I might have cried some real tears too.
P.S. Earlier in the evening, Brad said to me, "My poo-poo says..." I'm kidding. What he really said was (as Zander was running around like a chicken-with-his-head-cut-off and interrupting any and every conversation we were tyring to have),"Has he always been like this and we just didn't notice it or has it gotten worse?"
Friday, October 19, 2007
This photo was taken earlier in the week at Z's (not a gang name) preschool while "splatter painting" (not a early form of graffiti). Lest anyone think that we're actually encouraging the 'Gangsta' look a little early, do not be alarmed. His pants are below his hips because he is a tallish, skinny kid and sometimes we forget to tighten the "adjustable" waistband, Beeotch.
The place I go to check these things out is Snopes.com, but I'm sure there are other sites as well. Here's the link at Snopes related to the cell-phone-do-not-call-registry, fyi:
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Lately I’ve been surfing radio stations while driving alone in the car (instead of listening to our growing collection of children’s music mentioned in this post). The first 'flashback' happened on Sunday when I thought I heard Casey Kasem doing a top ten of sorts. I didn't think he could still be alive. But, indeed, it WAS Casey Kasem! Turns out he wasn’t so old back then, I just thought that all adults were old. His voice took me back, remembering how I would listen impatiently to see which song was #1 that particular week.
Then, as I’m driving to work early this morning, I hear a few chords of “Family Man,” by Daryll Hall and John Oats. I instantly (and maybe embarrassingly?) knew what song it was and could remember running to my boombox (which was even less high tech than this one and full of D batteries) to simultaneously press two buttons so the song would record to a cassette tape. And how I would play, rewind, play, rewind, and play those songs. Oh to be young again.
P.S. Who knew that Hall and Oats have their own website and a new CD?! And what was “Family Man” really about anyway? You can see it on YouTube here.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Zander: Chocolate comes from chocolate cows, doesn't it?
Brad launched into a detailed explanation of how chocolate comes from nuts and then it becomes powder and eventually becomes the chocolate we can eat. All I heard was "chocolate yada yada yada yada yada chocolate we can eat."
The two photos above are from a Baltimore Ravens football game that Brad and Zander attended this past Sunday. We billed it as Zander's first football game, but it was really the first one that he can remember. According to our photo archive, we took him to a game in late August of 2004, before he was three months old. (I find this interesting, since I don't much recall leaving the house the first three months after he was born.) Regardless, here is the photo I took to prove it:
Monday, October 15, 2007
Last year, our neighbors in Burke (hi Mary & Marcia if you're out there), put out a few decorations including a tame looking witch. Zander named her Mabel and quickly became attached. At that point, I went out and bought some fake cobwebs and put them in our bushes. (No jokes please.)
Friday, October 12, 2007
Jillie (pictured the day after our wedding on the balcony of The Watergate), my wife of five wonderful years, may be too young to remember the Enjoli woman but the rest of us probably can. You know the jingle-based perfume commercial that set the bar so high that all women felt at least a bit inadequate. Well, I realized today that I actually married her – a successful, sexy, spirited, bright, beautiful woman who is a terrific companion and a co-parent without compare.
Ok, so Jews are not really touted for bringing home bacon (kinda rubs against the kosher thing) and Jill is not one for frying much up in the pan, she still possesses a wonderful balance between work and home and she “…never lets me forget I’m a man…” even though sometimes this means me taking out the trash or lifting heavy items.
All said, I would not exchange these past five years or my wife for anything no matter what it smells like….
"How does hair get on eyebrows?"
"Why is 'apple' at the end of pineapple?"
"When do numbers end?" (This one was asked in the bath after singing the ABC's and then counting for awhile...)
If you want to take a stab at answers to any of these, feel free.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Her “chip time” was 4:06:39, with which she was very pleased. Her next run, the Philadelphia Marathon, is in six weeks.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
After we moved (about five months ago) we kept Zander at his old school for a few weeks to help ease the transition. But it was a loooong drive for me from McLean to Burke to Dupont Circle to Burke to McLean and for Brad to go from McLean to Burke to Gaithersburg (passing McLean on the way) and back to Burke. We would kill the time with Zander by listening to music and talking about different vehicles. For example, if we saw a big truck with photos of produce on it, we'd talk about what was probably in the truck, where it was going, where it came from, etc. One day, we saw truck with a large 24/7 on both sides. Z says: "That truck has numbers in it!"
Another truck story:
Zander: "What does it say on that truck?"
Zander: "That truck feeds X!"
Zander talking out loud to himself:
"Eighty-nine. Eighty-nine. Eight-TEE-Nine. That number has a letter in it!"
During pre-bedtime reading of a book with jellyfish in it:
Zander (pointing to the jellyfish): They're sticky.
Me (thinking whatever works for you, kid): Uh huh.
Zander: They eat jelly.
Me (finally realizing that he thinks they are sticky because they eat jelly, but blanking on how to respond since I have no idea what jellyfish DO eat.): [silence]
After telling him that we were going to drive to Delaware to visit Grandma Paula and Pap-Pap, we started talking about other states.
Zander: "Minnesota. Maybe that is where soda is from."
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
If I was a plane, I'd be a JET plane.
And if I was a truck, I'd be a MONSTER truck.
But, if I was a train, I'd be a BULLET train.
The song ends and Zander says: "Monster trucks are NOT allowed on the road with other cars."
I ask: "Why not?"
He says (quite assuredly): "Because the other cars will get scared."
Makes perfect sense to me. I get scared whenever I see a monster truck.
Monday, October 8, 2007
Next, I call my friend Laura to see if Champe would be interested in joining too. So, Zander and I go to pick up Champe and Tine (the Mitchell's Au Pair) and head down to the museum. I’m using our new GPS thingamabob mentioned in this post and I am still making wrong turns. Regardless, after what seemed like a long ride, we arrive at our destination and get a parking spot right in front of the building. We head in, go over to the “Building Zone” for kids and there is a sign saying the room has reached it’s capacity and we needed to wait on line. Fine. But, there were two guys standing at the entrance who said it’s actually closed for renovation so they can build a new playhut and it would be open at 12:00pm. Fine. I tell Tine and the boys and then the guy corrects me – apparently I misheard and it will be open again on the 12th of October. Bummer. I bitch and moan about that information not being on the website and the young guy is somewhat apologetic but not really. Here’s how it goes from there:
Me: “Who can I complain to?” [Tine occupies the boys with toys from the diaper bag in the big room and they are fine.]
Guy: “I guess someone at the Information Desk.” [I walk over the information desk.]
Me: "It’s really a bummer that we headed all the way here and the kid’s room is closed."
Nice Information Desk Lady: "It’s closed???!! I’ve been sending people over there all morning!"[Nice Information Desk Lady walks over to confirm that it is, indeed, closed. She returns.]
Nice Information Desk Lady: "You’re right. It’s closed." [At this point, I notice a little sign on the information desk about being able to rent some kind of family activity kit.]
Me: "Where can I get the family activity kit?"
Nice Information Desk Lady: "Back at the entrance to the Building Zone."
‘I was Flustered’
At this point, I walk back over to the entrance of the Building Zone and ask about renting the kit, ready to push for a free one. But, then I think, hey, this is a museum and it's only $5.00. I do say to the guy, “Were you going to tell me about the activity kits?” He says, “I was flustered.” Now I just feel bad. But wait. It gets better.
They are out of kits for the younger crowd, so I leave with one for seven year olds and up, complete with a hammer, nails, safety goggles, measuring tape, compass, etc. I know that both boys have worked with hammers and nails at school, so I figure we’ll try it out.
The boys are busy with the kit so I take the opportunity to scout out options for the rest of the museum. I pass the museum store and was pulled in by a force greater than myself (probably the immensely powerful shopping gene that runs on the maternal side of my family). Anyway, I found something I thought would be a good toy for the boys to kill some time. I talk to the man who works there, telling him my sad story. He says, “The Building Zone is closed?” And then tells his associate that it is closed and not to send anyone else there. Sheesh. But, he’s a nice guy and also tells his associate to give me 20% off anything for my trouble.
Fast Food and the Football-Jersey-Stick-Up Thing
The boys play quite happily and then run around the huge hall having a blast. The Nice Information Desk Lady gave some suggestions for lunch places. We soon head out to one and cannot find the place she directed us to. After carrying two whining three year olds (okay, just Zander was whining), we cut our losses and go to Burger King. The boys both wanted kid’s meals with a cheeseburger, french fries, and chocolate milk. (Sorry Laura.) I notice there is a Little Tykes logo on the menu and it says that alternative toddler toys are available for the younger crowd. I request those since I didn’t think the boys would be that interested in the football- jersey-car-stick-up thing that comes with the regular kids I notice
I look in the bags and what’s there but a football-jersey-stick-up thing. I ask about the toddler toys and the manager looks at me and says, “I have no idea what you are talking about.” I point to the Little Tykes logo. “There! Up on your menu.” He disappears into the back and we all sit and have lunch. About half way through, he comes over with some type of mini plastic piñata thing that has a flip book inside. Both boys promptly forget about their lunches and become engrossed with the toys. (Regardless, it was nice of him to dig something up for them. And, bonus, we left with both toys. Ha, ha, Burger King, we got two toys.
looooooove the silly football-jersey-stick-up thing. Who knew? We zip down I395 making good time (which is usually impossible) trying to get the boys home for their naps. Oops, traffic is crawling on I495 in the MIDDLE OF THE DAY ON A MONDAY. Finally, we drop Champe and Tine off and head home. Zander is asleep before we get to our exit. He wakes up as I carry him up to his room and has not been asleep a wink since.
I decide to check the National Building Museum website and there is, in fact, a message about the “Building Zone” being closed. I could insist that it wasn’t there this morning, but I’m just not sure about that. So, instead I will just say that it’s not prominent enough. It's all their fault, of course.