Sunday, December 30, 2007

100 Energy

Apologies for the drought in posting recently.

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.”

“I’m scared.”

“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

What were we thinking?

These photos were also found when I started the project that I will probably never finish, mentioned here.

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.


Good photo

Taken by Brad on December 24, 2007.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

I'm no movie critic

As a childless couple, Brad and I were moviegoers -- a lot. However, since Z was born I could probably count on one hand -- maybe two -- the number of movies that we have seen in actual theatres. We use Neflix, but are even falling behind on those.

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

Thanks Mom and Dad

Better late than never, right?

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

A Good Day

Z's school was closed yesterday so he went over to Champe's house to play (under the supervision of their beyond-amazing Au Pair, Tine.) Apparently, it was a good day.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Mini-Me?

I'm going through some photos for a project I will probably never finish and came across these of Brad when he was just a wee lad. ;) Pretty darn cute if you ask me. Although, I don't see much resemblance to Z, despite the fact that many people say Z is a "Mini-Me" of Brad.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Three years old or 13 years old?

A week or so ago before Z went to bed and before "book" time, he said something about wanting to be in his room alone and went in there and closed the door! Brad and I were suspicious. Brad peeked in and he was sitting by his closet with a mischievous look on his face. Still not sure what he was doing. Three or 13?

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

Faster You Foot

At first glance, he's your average (if a bit buff) firefighter...

At second glance he is your average (if a bit buff), grammatically-challenged firefighter.

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

In Other News OR Be Careful What You Wish For

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.

From kidshealth.org:

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

Found a Peanut

When Grandma Susan and Grandpa were up visiting for Thanksgiving, Grandma Susan introduced Zander to the song, "Found a Peanut" (sung to the turn of "Oh My Darling, Clementine." But, thinking ahead, Grandma Susan changed the lyrics from where it was supposed to say "died anyway" to "got all better."

One night Brad, Z, and my folks were all singing "Found a Peanut." Here's how it was going:

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...

This is when Brad interjected:

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.

http://julianmorgan.tripod.com/mysite/id38.html
Had surgery -> Died anyway -> Went to Heaven -> Didn’t want me -> Went to hell -> Didn’t want me -> Came to Life Again

http://www.boyscouttrail.com/content/song/song-1262.asp
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

What's Inside Oscar's Trash Can?

It might seem like our weekends are filled up by kid's shows and other child-focused activities and, well, that would probably be right. More often than not our theory is this: the more 'activities' we do -> the more tired Zander gets -> the better Zander sleeps -> the more sleep WE get.

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

We have a critter of some sort...

...and he likes English Muffins.

P.S. This reminds me of something funny that Zander's good friend Champe said. Or, rather, sang. You can read about it here.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Of Computers and Calculators

On most days, when we arrive home from picking Zander up at school, I literally have to run to the chair in front of the computer to get there before Z. The child knows how to insert CDs, start and close programs, print, and buy things from Woot. (Obviously, kidding about that last one.)

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 Big Business of Lasik (OR More Kvetching)

I knew going into the Lasik thing that Laser surgery is big business. In fact, I had a recommendation from a close friend for a perfectly respectable single practitioner instead of a larger, more business-like "eye center" that I probably should have taken. But, I chose the more convenient route and went with one of those places whose ads you can almost recite from memory because you've heard them on the radio so many times.

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!

I bitched complained a bit about how it would have been nice to know about the price increase before the day of the surgery, but by that time I *really* wanted the Valium. KIDDING. By that time, I had already gone so far down the road I wasn't about to turn back and I'm sure that's exactly what they wanted.

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

Kvetch

On Sunday, Brad brought in our daily Washington Post and out fell a card from the delivery person. It’s not the card that bothered me. It had a cute penguin on the front (so it was somewhat non-denominational). But it was ‘signed’ with a generic stamp and included a self-addressed envelope (without postage). Might as well have said, “Give me money FOR DOING MY JOB.”

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

"I want my mommy!"

As mentioned in an earlier post, my mom was in town visiting for Hanukkah. (Mom came up from Florida; Dad stayed home .) Anyway, she just left. I *always* get sad when she leaves. It's so predictable that Brad said to me this morning as we pulled out of the garage, "Don't be sad" and then called early in the day to say the same thing.

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

I can see!

All went well with the Lasik surgery I mentioned in this post. I can now see 20/30 in my right eye and 20/25 in my left. The optometrist who saw me at the follow-up visit said the results were great, considering I was around a 20/1200 before. One eye still feels a little scratchy and has a small, rather gross (but temporary) red spot. I'm putting in various drops around the clock. But other than that -- I can see!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Two Stories: The Refrigerator and The Globe

The Refrigerator:

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?!!"

******
The Globe:

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.

Laser-in-the-Eye

I'm scheduled for Laser Vision Correction (LVC) tomorrow morning. I didn't *think* I was nervous about it. After all, a few of my close friends have had the procedure done and they rave about it. In fact, I don't know anyone personally who has had a negative experience.

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

Happy Hanukkah 2007

Happy Hanukkah or Chanukah (or however you spell it).

I'm not sure who liked the toy that Zander got on this first night better -- Brad or Zander.

video

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

Another weekend, another concert

Don't watch the first video unless you are a blood relative. Seriously, it is a rather long mix of Z dancing at a Sippy Cups concert yesterday. Let's just say I was going to title this post, "White boys can dance...sort of."

video

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.)

video

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

More from the archives

This earlier 'archive' post got me thinking about how we didn't have a blog to chronicle the events leading up to Z's birth. So, I'm posting this photo here as proof that I was indeed pregnant. Ironic that I 'allowed' very few photos to be taken of me during that time yet here I post one of my bare belly for all the world to see. Granted I'm not including my face, feet, arms, butt, or thighs. This was in month eight. Yes, I got bigger.