Friday, August 29, 2008

Overheard at a maternity clothing store in Rehoboth, Delaware...

"Hi. I'm Brad. I heard this is a great place to meet pregnant women!"

Those of you who know Brad are probably not at all surprised that it was he who made this joke at decibels loud enough for an entire store full of customers to turn and look.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

More from New York

A lot of blog posts for less that 48 hours in one city, heh? Well, this one isn't exactly about NYC. It's about something that happened on the drive up as well as what didn't happen during the trip.

After an hour or so on the road, Zander yelled, "We forgot Taggies!" (Taggies is Zander's lovey, mentioned all over this blog. See here, here, and here.) Trying not to panic, I grabbed his little backpack/suitcase (which I had let him pack himself) and looked. Indeed, no Taggies. Adding to the drama -- I did not bring the back-up Taggies on the trip. My mind quickly went to sleepless nights in a cramped hotel room and I seriously considered finding a children's store and purchasing a temporary stand-in.

But that was it. Taggies never came up again. Not once. I don't think this necessarily means he is ready to give it up yet and we're not in any rush either.

And, he still had his thumb, which he shows no signs of giving up any time soon.

Here's a photo of Zander with Taggies (and thumb and Lamby) in August 2005 (at 14 months old):

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rotten Tires?

During our quick trip to NYC last weekend, Zander was looking for something to read while he was, um, using the bathroom. We didn't bring any of his magazines, so instead grabbed one of those high-end magazines often found in hotel rooms. Zander seemed happy enough with it and went about his business.

A few minutes later I was surprised to hear Z say, "Come look at these rotten tires, mom!" I was even more surprised to see this advertisement, which he thought was for "rotten tires:"

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Big Apple

We're just back from a weekend trip to NYC to visit some old friends. Let me clarify though -- the drive up was not so quick (more than six hours) -- but Z was surprisingly patient.

The highlight for Zander seemed to be the abundance of taxicabs, which he felt the need to point out every time he saw one. Got a little old for the grown-ups as you might imagine.

Anyway, below are some photos. The first few are of Z climbing on the Alice in Wonderland statue in Central Park. The third is of Zander and our friend Tom (of Gitterman Gallery) on the statue of Balto also in Central Park. As you can see, by the time we walked to Balto, Zander was close to meltdown.

Friday, August 22, 2008

On 'Carrying' Big

I think it's cute and kind of funny, really. At least right now I think so. Ask me in a few more weeks and I'll probably NOT think it's so funny. See conversations below, both of which took place yesterday.

The "chef" in the cafeteria across from my office where I sometimes get lunch: "Early November, right?"
Me: "Nope. Mid-December."
Chef: "Darn. I'm usually spot-on."


The friendly attendant at the parking lot in my office building: "Baby come soon, yes?"
Me: "No. December. I just carry big."
Parking Attendant: [Silence. And a little red.]


For the record, I am almost six months pregnant. Yes, yes, depending on what book you read this differs a bit, but whatever.

I hope to get the nerve up to take, be able to look at, and post a belly picture at some point before this baby arrives -- if only because I've promised a photo to my dear cousin Lisa in California. Until then, I give you the cool photo below, which I've always loved. Unfortunately, I did a little research and it appears to be a fake -- perfected in Photoshop. Repeat: this photo is NOT of me and is likely not legitimate (but still cool IMO).

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Berry Picking and More

After the impromptu night of camping, Brad, Zander, and friends went berry picking. And then after that they came by the house, picked me up, and we all went to a Washington Nationals game. And then after that (as almost any preschooler would do), Zander went home and passed out. Unfortunately for us, when Z naps at all (much less at at 5:00pm), it means he doesn't sleep well at night. Which, in turn, means we don't sleep well. Overall, a small price to pay though.

Blackberry and raspberry picking (and eating):

From the Nationals (vs. the Colorado Rockies) game:

Passed out on the office couch with his beloved Taggies blanket:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

While I was home, barefoot and pregnant...

...Brad and Zander went on a spontaneous camping trip with friends to Little Bennett Park in Maryland this past weekend.

And try as I might to come up with some clever captions for these photos, I cannot. I was initially thinking something about how they should be in the back seat of the car instead of the trunk, but couldn't get it to come out sounding anything other than perverted. So see pictures -- sans inappropriate captions -- of Zander and his friend Macy below.

Just so you don't get the wrong idea, *Brad and Zander* went camping with Macy's family. *I* stayed home and cleaned the house the entire time. Also might have had some sushi. And not really cleaned at all.

P.S. Don't worry Mom. My husband assures me that the car did not move an inch while the children were in the trunk.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Tonight we let Zander pick a restaurant for dinner (instead of being chosen solely by the random cravings of a pregnant woman). He said he wanted Chinese and would have "those ribs, the yummy things, and some chicken."

"The yummy things" are actually salt-and-pepper calamari (from P.F. Changs), which Z just devours. I keep thinking that, if he knew it was squid he wouldn't be interested. But, who's tellin'? Not me for sure.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Ali Baba and the 40 TICKS

On Wednesday night, after an uneventful bath, I noticed some small specks of dirt on Zander’s back. Assuming we just missed washing that area, I tried to wipe the spots away with a towel, but they did not budge. Odd. So, I gently tried to pick one off with my nail. Again, that did not work. Hmmm. Looked like some kind of rash. I noticed more of them and then called for Brad to take a look.

Brad went to get his reading glasses because the spots were so tiny they were hard to see. He soon asked me to grab some tweezers. I brought them over while he was examining Zander under our brightest light and noticed a lot more little spots – all over Z’s body.

That’s how we came to start removing somewhere between forty and fifty deer ticks from our little boy. We found them on his scalp, in his outer ear, on his eyelid, armpits, penis, legs…you get the point.

Brad certainly gets a medal for gently and thoroughly removing them all. Zander gets a medal for being so patient while we combed his body for the little "black spots." (We did not reveal at the time that they were ticks.) And I get a medal for not running out of the room screaming and heading straight for a scalding, hot shower. Okay, so maybe I don’t deserve a medal for that, but remember this post about how ticks and me just don’t get along?

So, there you have it. The good news is there’s not much to genuinely worry about. Even though deer ticks do transfer lyme disease, the ones that we found on Zander were most certainly at the larvae stage, which are unlikely to be carriers. Plus, now we know just as much (if not more than) our pediatrician's office about deer ticks! Whoo hoo.

The ones we found on Zander were the third from left and the fourth from left in this photo:

And this lovely photo shows the difference betwen dog ticks (A, B, and C) and deer ticks (D, E, F, G, and H). Again, the ones we found on Zander were mostly of the D and E variety.

Admit it, you want to shower now, right?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Maybe we're being too thorough

We've been talking about and reading lots of books about pregnancy and new babies in an effort to prepare Zander as much as possible for the shock he soon to experience. However, maybe we've been a little too thorough. See these recent reports from his school:

Story #1: The Uterus, the Womb, and the Seed

Zander's teacher: “Where do baby humans come from?”

Zander: “They are in a special place called the uterus and the womb. The daddy plants the seed. The question is…is there different kinds of seeds? I mean one seed that’s not the kind that can plant for the girl and different for a boy. That’s my question."
And he continued...
"I have another question. Why do mommies have the part in their tummy but daddy’s don’t? I have the answer. The daddies have the special seed, but not the special place for the babies. The cord goes to the mommies mouth. It’s to help the baby get food. The baby eats only the kind of food that they like. ”
Story #2: The Sperm in the Fox Den

This one is my favorite. (It is the 2nd of two stories mentioned in this post.) Apparently, the children were playing and pretending that they lived in a fox den. Zander's teacher overheard him say this:

"We're the daddy foxes and we have to give you our sperm so that you can have kits." [Kits are baby foxes in case you didn't know. I did not.]

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Great Day at Glen Echo Park

As I mentioned yesterday, I had a 'day-off ' from parenting on Saturday to help celebrate an old friend's upcoming wedding. On Sunday, Brad had a 'day-off' in the mosh pit of the Virgin Mobile Music Festival with an old friend of his own. (Yes, my forty-something husband still goes into mosh pits.)

So, while Brad was moshing, Zander and I went to Glen Echo Park for the first time. I say "for the first time," because it's not even ten minutes from our house and we've been meaning to go there for awhile now.

We had a picnic, saw a puppet show (Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood), played on the playground, watched a Spanish dance class, rode the carousel, went to the children's museum, and explored a yurt full of local pottery. It was a great day. Below is a not-so-good picture of the Z-man with the wolf puppet.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Canoeing with Dad...

...during a trip to the Water mine and Lake Fairfax Park on Saturday.

(I could not join. I was *forced* to take a day away at Chesapeake Beach Resport and Spa for a bridal shower. Poor, poor me.)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

For the record

Since we use this blog as a modern day baby book of sorts, I wanted to note two incidents for the record.

The first is when Brad and I told Zander the gender of his sibling to-be.

Me: "You're going to have a baby sister."
Zander: "YAY!" [followed by short pause.]
Zander: "Can I go back to the computer now?"

The second is from 8/7/08 when Zander first felt his baby sister kick.
Zander [surprised]: "Something is poking you mommy!"

Like I said, not all that exciting, but seemed important to note.

Friday, August 8, 2008

And thus, a euphemism is born...

We received two funny stories via e-mail from Zander's teacher. The first is below. Keep in mind that he attends a very small school which is run out of the director's home. I've added some context here and there in brackets for understanding.

On Friday, Andrew [an adult] comes in the door at 4pm and Zander is in the bathroom having a poop with the door cracked open. Zander sees him and says, "Hi Andrew! I'm making chocolate m&m's in my chocolate factory!"

Andrew says, "Oh! that's great!" and comes in and looks at me with a questioning look..." I explained that Zander meant that's what he was doing at the studio table BEFORE he started pooping in the toilet. (He was using jewels and cups and making "candies.)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Loud (as in noisy) tires

A few months ago, Brad bought some new tires (via Craig's List I think) for his car and although they might feel perfectly fine in terms of traction, they are quite loud (as in noisy, not tacky). I mean, you can barely have a conversation with someone sitting in the passenger seat without yelling.

So, in an effort to find out the problem, Brad has been doing some fancy tire switching each night. The other evening, he involved Zander in the jacking-up and the lug nuts and the grease and what not. It was way past bath time when I finally got off my *ss and I found them both in the garage, smiling from ear-to-ear. Later on, Brad showed me the photo below (which he took with his phone) and said he was in "heaven." Alrighty then. Whatever floats your boat I guess.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Our All-Knowing GPS

Zander was full of questions this weekend -- everything from "how does the GPS know where to go" to "how does water get in the faucet" to "how *did* the baby get in your tummy?"

I thought we were doing pretty well keeping up with him. Re, the GPS question, we explained that we enter in the address and the GPS links to a satellite with maps that then tells it how to get there.

A day or so later, while using the GPS to find our way home from the Loudon County Fair (mentioned yesterday), Z asked if he could one day go to Texas to visit his friend's grandmother, who happens to live there. I said maybe, but first we would have to ask his friend's parents where the grandmother lived -- to which Zander replied something along the lines of, "No, we'll just ask the GPS!"

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I could have used a weekend to recover from our weekend

On Saturday, Zander and I attended his first fire station birthday party for a friend from school turning five, followed by a trip to the Loudoun County (Virginia) Fair. On Sunday, we went to a colleague's house for brunch and then Brad and Zander went to a Washington Nationals game. Whew -- I could have used a weekend to recover from our weekend. Below are some pictures.

Monday, August 4, 2008

To be posted on Craig's List in the near future

Ridiculously large lot of baby boy clothes (0-3 years old). Everything you need to outfit your male offspring from birth through toddlerhood. (We won't be needing them; see obvious female hand below.)

Friday, August 1, 2008

When Light-Hearted Blogs Get Serious

We've had a scary few days here.

On Monday, during a routine 2nd trimester ultrasound, the sonogapher found choroid plexus cysts on the baby's brain. It sounds much worse than it really is. Rapid googling will allay most fears. See this link for example.

The vast majority of cysts like these go away on their own before the baby is born and have no ill effects. However, the cysts are considered a marker for some chromosomal abnormalities such as Trisome 18 and Down's Syndrome. See this link for example.

Although the cysts were the only abnormal marker on the ultrasound, there were more than one and they were on both sides of the brain, so we decided to go ahead with an amniocentesis, which would provide certainty for us (at least in terms of certain birth 'defects'). Not an hour later, my OB was inserting a large needle into my abdomen and withdrawing precious amniotic fluid.

The good news -- no the FANTASTIC news -- is that we just got initial results from the amnio (something called a FISH Fluorescent in situ hybridization test), which showed everything is a-okay. Relief? Um, yeah that's part of what I'm feeling. Gratitude? That's another. Like nothing else really matters but the health and well-being of family and friends.

So, for this weekend at least, I am going to just enjoy being pregnant and wait until Monday to start worrying about the next potential problem. (It's in my nature to worry, what can I say?)