Thursday, November 29, 2007

I'm 37!

It's my birthday today and I feel old, but not because I'm 37.

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

A Proud Moment

Zander had his first-ever dentist appointment earlier this week. I know, I know, 3.5 years old is late for a first visit. But really, I've read all sorts of conflicting things on the right age to take children to a dentist.

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.

The dentist said that his teeth had excellent "spacing." I was especially proud at that moment because I know he got the spacing from me.

"Let's Go Fly A Kite"

Another video from Thanksgiving weekend in Rehoboth...

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: 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

Glad I don't take things personally

From last night...

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...

[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

From the archives...

This photo is from when Zander was three days old. We kept asking ourselves, "Where in the world did he get such beautiful olive skin?" Turns out he was jaundice.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Running on the Beach

Thanksgiving day (before others* arrived and the big meal) on the beach in Rehoboth, Delaware (near the home of Grandma Paula and "Pap-Pap".)

* Not referring to the others as in mysterious bad guys from the TV show Lost. I meant other family and friends. But that reminds me, when oh when will Lost start again?!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Musical Chairs: Why?!

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, Brad and I went to a Washington Wizards Basketball game on Saturday night. Turns out it was "Family Fun Night." So, as entertainment between one of the quarters there was a game of musical chairs with four children and the Wizards bizarre mascot G-whiz.

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

A few too many lattes?

Back when I first met Brad and we were both young, single (or dating), and childless, he had season tickets to the Washington Wizards (and the Redskins and the Orioles but that's a story for another day). We would go to Wizards games all the time – sometimes even once or twice a week. I had never been to a professional basketball game before I met Brad and came to really concentrate on and enjoy the games, especially during the Michael Jordan years. Alas, some point after we moved out to the suburbs but before Zander was born, Brad gave up his season tickets.

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, 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 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


That's three hours, fifty minutes, and thirty seven seconds.

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

I'm Not Telling

Not much time to post -- between the never-ending Woot Off and this, there just isn't time! (Oh ya, work and the kid keep me busy too).

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?

Brad was the lucky recipient of these recent Zander questions:

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

Go Wild-er or My "Ha Ha Ha" Girl

What Jill failed to mention in this post was that she was looking foward to the Milkshake show just as much -- if not more -- than Zander was. She was so excited in fact, that when they asked for volunteers she was on the stage first. See video clip below of JCB holding the "Ha Ha Ha" card.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Those Raisins Lose Again

Brad and Zander went to another Baltimore Ravens football game this past Sunday. When they got home, Zander came running in the house and said, "Mommy, the Raisins lost." He quickly corrected himself, but it was too cute not to post.

Here's a photo from the game:

Monday, November 12, 2007

Go Wild!

Despite the continuing ear saga, we were able to go to a long-awaited Milkshake concert this weekend with Zander's friend Elizabeth. It was our 2nd Milkshake concert and Elizabeth's 6th. You can see a photo of them holding hands at an earlier concert in this post (scroll down toward the end).

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

How could I have forgotten about ear infections?!

I knew I was forgetting something when I posted "Things I didn't think much about before becoming parent." Ear infections, of course.

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

Some things I didn’t think about before becoming a parent

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

A delicious and refreshing treat for...dogs?

After re-reading last night's post (and fixing the typos), I realize that I confused "Frosty Paws" (which are frozen treats for dogs) with "Frosty Bears" which are hot and cold boo boo packs. Freudian? I'm not sure. But, next time I'll try a Frosty Paw and see if it does the trick.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Please, please let him be sleeping now

The nineteen thousand reasons that my three-and-a-half-year-old called for us between about 8:15pm and 10:05pm tonight:

- 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.

A GlosFroJi or "A Glossary from Jill"

I'M KIDDING! Well, at least I'm kidding about "GlosFroJi."

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; non-profit that supports this blog; non-profit that employs JCB.

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).

Another IGNoB from Brad

After Zander had asked about the rest of the lyrics to a song that he had heard part of via satellite radio in my car, I decided to teach him about doing "research." So, we set off on an Internet quest to find a song that we only knew from the lyrics, "It's hot. Don't touch it." His job was to hit the "enter" key.

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

It Gets No Better (IGNoB)

It’s my turn to start up a recurring theme that has its own catchy acronym. This one is IGNoB for It Gets No Better.

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 I do!

Just Say No!

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:

Granted she doesn't look brand-spankin' new either:

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

Who builds the sky?

Last week, while driving to Elizabeth's house for the big event...

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

90% of Parents

As I sorted through Z's Halloween candy for my cut of the loot any health and safety issues, I was surprised to see so many new variations on old favorites. Butterfinger Crisp? Huh? Did Butterfingers need to be any more crisp? Don't they just fall apart when you bite into them? MilkyWay Caramels Minis? Wasn't there always caramel in a MilkyWay? Did they add more (or take out the nougat -- god forbid)? Tootsie Roll Pops, short fat Tootsie Rolls, long skinny Tootsie Rolls, midget Tootsie Rolls, and Tootsie Fruit Rolls?!

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

Decorations of our very own (Part II) OR Mr. Potato Head for Pumpkins!

In addition to the lovely deccorations that I posted about here, I found some cool doo-dads at the grocery store (while marveling over the many deoderant choices), that are just like Mr. Potato Head pieces but for pumpkins!

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...

Halloween 2007

"Halloween is such a strange tradition." That's what I was thinking as we were walking around in the dark and going to strangers houses who were giving my three-year-old candy. Under normal circumstances, we would be doing none of those things. Maybe that is what makes it fun.

As I mentioned in this post, I can, um, try to control, meddle a bit too much now and then. We had planned to go trick-or-treating with the family of Zander's good friend Elizabeth. Elizabeth wanted to be Blue of Blues Clues. So, I told this to Zander and suggested that he could be Magenta (also of Blues Clues). Keep in mind that the show also has characters named Slippery (a soap), Tickety (a clock), and Sidetable (a side table).

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:

I got the costume from e-bay and let me tell you, things don't get much cheaper feeling than this costume. If the photo above didn't scare you, here's another of Z attempting a smile:

(He's in that awkward phase where he tries to smile but instead ends up looking a little constipated.)

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?"