Friday, June 26, 2009

You Guessed It... I Have to Mention Jacko

I loved Michael Jackson from approximately 1985 through 1992. I can't tell you how many of my girlfriends had his posters plastered all over their bedroom walls, and I've already coerced a dear high school friend to post Facebook photos of her fourth grade Jacko outfit (a matching pink skirt and top with a sparkly glove splayed across the front). Even after his period of being REALLY HUGE, I remained interested in his music for a long time. I think he was easily one of the greatest entertainers the world will ever know.

Yet, it's pretty clear that he was genuinely loony. And on a more serious note, I am also deeply suspicious of what he did with many of the young children he took under his wing. The fact that he settled out of court for millions of dollars with that young boy whose family sued him is unsettling at best.

Regardless, I think the world lost a huge cultural icon yesterday. During the inevitable media feeding frenzy in the days to come, hopefully we will be able to focus on the positive ways he affected the world.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sort of Cartoonish, But Still Traumatic

We have this beautiful cherry wood dining room table that my mother in law passed down to us. We haven't gotten our acts together enough to find the right set of "grown up" chairs to go with the table, so we've been getting by with those cheap but relatively attractive folding wooden chairs that you get at places like World Market, Target, etc.

Well, today I sat down on one of them, holding Kibi in my lap (he was being soooooo fussy about eating lunch today I decided to take matters into my own hands and spoon feed him from my own chair) ... and IT BROKE. We went crashing to the floor, and amazingly in the split second in which I realized it was happening I was able to cushion K's head with my arm to prevent it from falling back, SMACK, on our hardwood floor. We were both fine but he was a little spooked. (Poor little guy... he was quiet at first, and then, when I got up and hauled the chair out to the garbage can outside, I heard him inside bursting into tears.)

I read the bottom of the chair and it said: MAXIMUM WEIGHT ALLOWED: 160 LBS. Well, NOW you tell us!

My only consolation: thank goodness it took two of us (and not me alone) to break the dang thing.

I guess we're going chair shopping this weekend....

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

More for the Worry File

I don't enjoy sharing distressing news, I really don't. Still, the latest issue of Newsweek provides yet another troubling take on the chemical BPA.

GROSS: "In a study.... monkeys fed 400 times the amount of BPA that the government assumes people ingest had lower levels in their blood than the average American."

Now, I believe in the power of positive thinking as much as the next person, but to read that -- ? Well, I think we're pretty much screwed.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Nothing spells S-U-M-M-E-R like the community swimming pool. This year, rather than wait years (no, that's not an exaggeration - I literally mean YEARS) on a list to join one of the many local pools in our area, we decided to join the local Knights of Columbus pool, which welcomes members and non-members alike. We've so far been there twice this summer, and I've gotta say, it's a riot!

Really, it's a lot of fun. You get a real slice of life every time you go. There's no pretension whatsoever, which is refreshing. Little kids, big kids, parents, high schoolers (the swim team is called the "Holy Mackerels" - dontcha just love it?), grandparents -- they're all there. There are two Olympic sized pools and a kiddie pool (K. calls it the "cat pool"). In my opinion, the kiddie pool-goers benefit the most, because we get to enjoy a fenced off area complete with picnic tables for snacking or picnicking, and it's never really crowded. In addition, there are picnic areas, grills, and even a "lounge" where Mom or Dad can enjoy a cocktail while the kids play. (I did a double-take as I spotted a couple of fathers carrying pitchers of beer out to the picnic tables yesterday afternoon - enjoying the perfect Father's Day, no doubt!)

The entire thing is sort of a throwback to the 1950's in a way. They make it all so easy for you to come, hang, eat dinner, dump your kid in the car, go home and call it a night. It's going to be one of my favorite parts of summer, I'm quite sure of it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Great Midwest

AN UPDATE: A couple of days in to Bottle-Free Life and "Kevin" (you clever readers, out there!) appears to be taking to it alright, for the most part -- but the odd thing is that he seems to be taking it out on the milk. He's asking for everything BUT milk now: juice, water, etc. Fortunately, most times I -- oops, I mean "Betsy" -- can talk him into milk with some crafty cajoling. ("Let's see how fast we can drink this milk out of the cup with the crazy straw!" "When you drink the milk down to the bottom of this mug, it turns blue! How about that?!" and so on...) I suppose you couldn't have expected any of this to be easy. Oh, well.

In less frustrating news, I thought I'd post some photos of our recent trip to my parents'.

I love it there because they have an acre of land (unheard of here in these urban parts!) and when we're there in the summertime, K. gets to scoot around to his heart's content.

We had fun checking out bugs on the trees, building a sandbox from scratch - yes, that's right (thanks Dad!), and eating our meals out on the deck almost every day.

Ah, summer in the great Midwest!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Bottle Fairy

I have a friend (I'll call her Betsy) who has a son (I'll call him Kevin). Although Kevin is over 2 years old, he hasn't quite kicked the bottle habit. This has embarrassed Betsy for a long, long time. For a while, Betsy rationalized it away by saying 1) he never sucked his thumb or took a pacifier, and 2) it's the best way to get him to drink 6-8 oz of milk at a time, since he often has to be reminded to eat and drink. But Betsy's mother, and her own internal guilt, had been pestering her to get Kevin off the habit once and for all.

I'm pleased to report that Betsy came up with a gimmick that (fingers crossed) seems to have done the trick. While visiting her parents last weekend, she decided to announce to Kevin that "The bottle fairy has come and taken all of your bottles." When this was met with the expected cries of protest from Kevin, Betsy had a ready answer: "The bottle fairy had to take the bottles to the poor babies." (Kevin had once asked why Betsy was packing away his old clothes into a big box and she told him it was "for the poor kids.")

This morning was the first time, away from grandma and grandpa's house, in which the "bottle fairy" theory was put to the test. Kevin protested a little more than usual - despite being visibly impressed with the new construction truck sippy cup the Bottle Fairy left him as a consolation prize.

I don't think Betsy is out of the woods yet - she senses that Kevin will have more questions about the Bottle Fairy, if this morning's queries are any indication ("Bottle fairy took bib?" "Bottle fairy comes in a car?") But, I feel more confident than ever that she will emerge victorious. And I share this story - with her permission - if any of you moms and dads out there are like her: ashamed to admit your kid's "dirty secret" and desperately looking for a way to kick the habit once and for all.

Then again, I do think there are far worse maladies than a 2 year old drinking milk from a bottle once a day. So there. (That was for you, Betsy.)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Happy Weekend

Kibi and I are off to Ohio this afternoon to visit my family for the weekend.  (And yes, he seems almost totally recovered - thank goodness!)

Here's another fun read for your Thursday, once again from my favorite parenting blog.

Have a good one, and I'll check back in next week.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Emerging from Croupville

The good (and most important) news: Kibi appears to be on the mend.  We've had no more scary middle-of-the-night attacks, and although he still seems a bit out of it, I can tell he's getting much healthier and stronger every day.  This is good because he and I are going to Ohio for a family baby shower this weekend.  

The bad news: I have virtually no time between now and Thursday, when we leave, to get done all the things I need to get done.  Surprise, surprise...

So, that's my lame attempt to apologize for this bland blog post.  But, to make it up to you, dear readers, I'll leave you with some entertaining reading from my favorite NYT blog. Apologies in advance to the fathers out there... I realize this is a little unfair, but I post it mainly because I can: my husband never reads my blog.  Ha!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Creeping Crud... or, the Croup

Ack!  Kibi has croup!  

He woke us up in the middle of the night Saturday with a cough that sounded, unmistakeably, like a seal barking.  He was almost gasping for breath - it was very scary.  It gave me a flashback of childhood when my younger brother used to have croup attacks often.  Fortunately that was the way I knew what to look up on the web at 3 in the morning while my husband gave him a nebulizer treatment.  

Once it seemed he was stablized, we paged our doctor and she gave us instructions (one more breathing treatment, then every four hours or as needed, warm steamy showers if necessary - anything to stop the gasping, or what they call "stridor").  She said if we failed to get the coughing under control with this regimen then she would call him in some steroids, but we haven't needed to do that.  

Today he seems to be doing better but he is still pretty lethargic.  Sorry this post is rather boring, but I'm trying to stay on top of caring for a sick little boy, plus finishing a couple of other projects for work - fun, fun!  

I'll keep you all posted...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Potty Milestone

Guess what ... (drumroll please) K. did both #1 AND #2 on the potty tonight!  

Although he occasionally sat on the little Thomas the Tank Engine potty chair that I placed in our bathroom a couple of months ago, he never gave it much thought.  Tonight, for some reason, it was different.  He was bound and determined to see the RESULTS of his efforts - and it paid off!  Those of you who aren't parents won't truly appreciate the satisfaction of this moment, I fear, but I am absolutely beside myself.

Nothing, however, was better than the huge smile on K.'s own face when I yelled for Daddy - who was in the other room - to come see the little brown lima bean sized thing.  (Sorry if too graphic, but I have to convey the cute-ness of it all.)  And then again when Daddy and I started yelling and jumping up and down to congratulate him.  The expression was pure, unadulterated pride - and it was a joy to witness.

Now, who knows how close we are to actual completion of potty training, but that's okay by me. I just feel happy about this very healthy start.

Now I'm off to kick up my heels and raise a glass of wine ... To the potty!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Infant Diplomacy?

Sometimes Kibi really amuses me with the declarations he makes.  

Early this morning, for instance, as we eased into our day. we were watching the news in my bedroom.  President Obama was speaking live at the University of Cairo about U.S./Muslim relations.  

Kibi watched quietly while drinking his milk, finished it, then injected: "He's talking to the babies."  I said, "President Obama is talking to babies? Babies in the audience?" He said, "Yeah. Babies are clapping."

From what I could tell, it was scholars and diplomat types in the audience -- no babies -- who were indeed clapping.  Still, it was funny to try and picture a room full of them, listening intently to the President's speech about the future of our diplomatic efforts with the Muslim world.

About Me

Arlington, VA, United States
Maestro and mom to a wee virtuoso

I'm #1804