Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Back to Work

We had a great Christmas. Too bad it had to end!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Having family around is always a great learning opportunity for Megan.

Last summer Auntie Kendall taught Megan what a llama says. Now if you ask my daughter that, she'll spit at you!

Grandpa taught Megan about the best use for a newspaper:

This was especially exciting when Baby Brooke got a hat, too.

And Auntie Sarah took some time to teach Megan a few things while they were doing Megan's new farm animal puzzle together. After they both got bored with the "what sound does a ... make?" they moved on. Now Megan not only knows what sound the animals make, but also what product each animal makes:

What does a cow make?

What does a chicken make?

What does a pig make?

What does a horse make?

What will she learn next?

Monday, December 25, 2006

The Haul

Megan got a lot of great gifts, though she couldn't quite grasp the whole Santa concept. Maybe next year she'll be old enough to fully comprehend flying reindeer.

The Bogardi got her a sit-n-spin. I've been singing "Dora, Dora, Dora, the Explorer" ever since.

"Look at me, Mommy. I'm *pinning" (yes, Megan still drops most of the s's in words that begin s-consonant)

Meg really enjoys her new Aquadoodle - it draws with just water!

Look at that concentration (and that really attractive tongue)!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas '06

Because I was on call, we had to stay at home for Christmas. Or should I say, we got to stay home for Christmas. My whole family came up and stayed with us and we had a great time cooking big meals, watching movies and just hanging out. And it was so nice not to travel, especially with Megan. Now if only we could convince Mac's family to join us (hint, hint!).

The kids: the original and the extended version.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

A Merry (Jane) Christmas

Around mid-December baked goods become ubiquitous. They are exchanged by friends, they are delivered by neighbors, they get brought to work by the plateful. We all know these holiday treats aren't any good for us. But now, in addition to the high fat content and empty calories, you've got something else to worry about:

Last Tuesday, Santiam Hospital, a very small community hospital, notified Salem Hospital that there was an "external disaster" of a scope too large for their hospital to handle. About a half dozen employees of a local business all got sick at work within a short period. The symptoms were pretty non-specific and included feeling bad, nausea, vomiting, and light-headedness, to the point that one person even passed out. The three patients with the worst symptoms got transferred to Salem.

The going assumption was that these people had been exposed to some toxin, particularly as they worked at a varnish and urathane company. Perhaps there had been a leak or faulty ventilation. As such, the three Salem patients all had blood samples sent off for toxicology analysis, and indeed, they all had whopping high blood levels of the same chemical: tetrahydrocannabinol (aka THC, marijuana, pot, Mary Jane, weed, the wacky tobaccy - you get the idea).

All three denied smoking a doobie or taking a hit off a bong any time recently. They did, however, confess that they had eaten a lot of cookies at the company holiday party. Turns out these were no ordinary cookies - these were pot cookies, a very clever variation on the more traditional brownie.

The source (aka chef) of the cookies is still being investigated.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

New Hair Do

Yesterday Mac took Megan to get a haircut. Apparently, Megan thought her new cut warranted some new hair products - like blackeberry yogurt.

Now isn't she lovely?

Megan has been eating by herself for several months now. She often abandons her utensils halfway through a meal in favor of her fingers and she is not exactly a neat eater, but up until now she has never intentionally tried to put food someplace other than her mouth. This was a very purposeful fingerpaint-your-face session. Kids - they lull you into complacency and then spring on you (or their yogurt) when your back is turned! And it wasn't even bath night!
Sadly, neither Mac or I could put on a straight face to tell Megan "No!" - all we could do was laugh.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Lights On!

We just got the official word that our house was NOT responsible for the power outtage. Good thing because we were just thinking we need a few more lights out there.

On the not so bright side, old Christmas lights don't always turn out to be such a good thing.

We also had a minor carpet melting incident that caused us to send another string of lights to the electrical graveyard.

Monday, December 18, 2006


Just five hours shy of three complete days without electricity (that's 67 hours for those who need the math explained!) - poof - the power was back on!

The first night was a minor inconvenience, the second night an adventure, but the third night was downright annoying! We were just making plans to spend the fourth night somewhere else, when our plans became unnecessary.

It was quite a cold weekend to spend without heat. When we woke up Sunday morning our house was down to 52 degrees! Still a lot better than the 25 degrees outside. On the bright side, we just threw all our food from the fridge out on the porch (some in an ice chest) and it all stayed quite cool.

Sure we flushed the toilet a bit less than we'd like, but overall, I think we managed quite well, thanks in part to friends. Friday night we had dinner with friends that we were supposed to be hosting - we even got showers out of the deal. Saturday we spent some time at the neighbors across the street with a generator, took a long nap, and then spend the evening at the Salem mall (my first visit!) and Papa's Pizza with it's indoor playpark. And Sunday, we turned a brunch invitation into an all day affair (again with showers!). Thanks a bunch to Sarah and Andrew, who invited us for breakfast, but who were still quite gracious when we were still lingering at dinnertime!

On the downside, the ice machine melted all over the homemade pumpkin ravioli I had in the freezer for Christmas. I was so proud of myself for having a fairly nice meal not only planned, but mostly prepared as well! Not sure if they are still servable. Oh, well, guess there is still time before Christmas to make more.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Black Out!

Oh Mr. Franklin, while other colonists were content to keep their keys in their pockets, you were using yours to unlock a prominent place for yourself in Americana folklore. Your proposition to make the turkey our national emblem never took flight, perhaps because of the bird's poorly devoloped breast muscles, but with your lofty kite ideas, you discovered the power of electricity in a storm. I like to image you celebrated this success with a scrumptious meal of roast bald eagle.

But now it is the absence of electricity caused by the storm on which we focus.

Last night we were reading Megan bedtime stories when our lights began to flicker as if possessed and then all went dark. We got out our flashlights and candles, habitually flicking the light switches as we flitted from room to room. The blackout was actually quite illuminating as to how dependent we are on electricity - sure there are the lights, but without power we are also without phone and without water.

We got ourselves situated and finished putting Megan to bed and then realized we had nothing to do. It was 8:15.
Going to bed seemed about the only thing to do.

"Hey, I know! We could address the rest of our Christmas cards!" And so, in Abe Lincoln-like fashion, we set to work with only the meager flames of candles to light our task.

An hour later we were done and so we blew out the candles and went to bed.

This morning we were still without power or water. I scrunched my hair with my fingers, put on an extra spray of perfume and headed off to work, but only after I got Mac to go out and manually raise the garage door.

The car, of course, was immune from the effects of the blackout and so I once again had light, and a clock and a radio. The hospital power is back on (but reportedly out for a few hours last night). Our house, on the other hand, has been without power all day. I can't imagine that box of fudgecicles in our freezer is doing too well. And we're either going to have to consume or toss a few seafood products in the next day or two.

We know where the power lines went down, but at 3:00 today there was still no crew out there to work on it. Us country folk are low priority and we have already been told that tonight would be the earliest the power would be back on. But with little daylight left Mac and I both think we won't have any current in our house at least until tomorrow. One power company report stated that power wouldn't be restored to all customers until Sunday night. That could be us...

So we've been making alternative plans. The friends we were supposed to have for dinner tonight offered to host us instead. Better yet, they offered their shower! Mac hauled water up from the pond so that we can flush our toilets. And he was babbling on about getting a generator for the future (Aha, an opportunity to talk about a new machine!), that is, until the neighbor cut his finger off setting up his generator (seriously). Now if only some iMac would maul one of his friends!

So those of you with power, Enjoy, and don't be surprised if we come around looking scummy and begging for a shower!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The End of the Year

Mac and Megan maintain a pretty busy schedule for the week: On Mondays it's off to playpark, Tuesdays and Thursday mornings are filled with swim-class (Megan has become quite a fish!) followed by play-park, Wednesdays is preschool, and Friday has library story time and lunch with another Dad-daughter duo. But this week it all comes to an end. The last preschool class was today, swim class ends tomorrow and the playpark closes for two weeks. What's a stay at home dad supposed to do for the holidays?

Friday, December 8, 2006

The Gift of Life

About a month ago, I sent a mass e-mail to family announcing that we were having a boy. Though the sex was different than that our first child, I urged people to go donate blood rather than buy us a gift. Actually, I asked people to celebrate this new life by giving the "gift of life." I figured blood donation would do more good for the world than a cute new onsie for my son. Besides, after Megan, we are more than adequately prepared with general baby items and I know plenty moms willing to pass on hand-me-downs for the more sex-specific items.

But the importance of blood donation became personal this week: one of Mac's very close relatives was diagnosed with leukemia. The treatment for leukemia is a long and intensive course of very toxic agents more politely known as chemotherapy. The chemotherapy functions to poison the leukemic cells in the bone marrow. Unfortunately, the chemotherapy is not discriminating and so it wreaks havoc on all of the normal marrow cells as well (and many other cells in the body too, the most familiar of course being the hair follicles). Without the normal bone marrow cells the body cannot make red blood cells, white blood cells or platelets. People require blood transfusions, often many, to survive this toxic assault. In effect, the patient relies on others to make blood for him until his own marrow can recover.

The season also makes the need for blood donation salient. Blood banks have a perennial problem with blood supply during the month of December. There is chronic short supply during the holidays, to the point that I have frequently seen the blood bank on "Red Alert" during this period, a status that requires blood rationing because the supply is not enough to meet the demand. Even regular blood donors may skip the holidays - people are busy and weather condititons are bad. But bad weather can increase auto accidents, as can those booze laden holiday parties, and leukemia certainly doesn't care about Christmas.

So if you have some extra time this winter, make a trip to your local Red Cross. For those concerned about feeling tired after blood donation or if you happen to weigh less than the necessary 110 pounds, consider donating platelets. Platelet donation takes longer, but essentially has no after effects (I have done this several times). The gift of life may be the best gift you can give this holiday season.

12/11 follow-up: Figuring it would be hypocritical to urge others to donate without donating myself, I just tried to make an appointment. I have always shied away from blood donation and have instead done platelet donations, but that's only available in Portland. I didn't really care to drive that far. So I thought I'd suck it up and donate blood, but the Red Cross doesn't want us preggo's (probably a wise call). So instead I'll direct my donation enthusiasm toward nagging Mac to give.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Purr-fect Boots

Auntie Kendall got Megan some boots, so that she can be stylin' all the time, even in her pajamas

These days I am wishing my shoes had handles, too, so I wouldn't have to bend over so far!

A Very Scary Christmas

The Marion-Polk Medical Society had its annual family Holiday Party on Sunday at the Salem Riverfront Carousel. There were all the makings for the kids to have a good time - lots of sweets, hot chocolate and as many free rides on the carousel as the parents would allow. There was just one problem: the presence of a particularly menacing man, a guy that was striking fear into the hearts of youngsters far and near - Santa Claus!

We were with two other families; their 4 year old and 2 year old daughters wouldn't get within 50 ft. of Santa and they kept a watchful eye on him at all times, lest he should lunge out and start grabbing random children to sit on his lap.

But we had been prepping Megan for a week. We got out Santa books and let her run around with a Santa napkin holder. We've been telling Megan (in exaggerated enthusiastic tones) that she was going to get to sit on Santa's on lap, to which Megan would respond "and read a book," - that obviously being the only reason one would sit on someone's lap. And we talked about Santa's toys to the point that Megan was informing us that "Meggy play with Santa's toys."

When we walked in, Megan quickly spotted the guy in the red suit (with a real beard even) and announced,"There's Santa!" But that was the end of the excitement. Megan clung tightly to us at the very suggestion of sitting on his lap and tried top keep herself as far from him as possible when Mac took her over. But on the bright side, Mac got an opportunity to tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas, too.

Santa tries to bribe Megan with a bell.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Literacy test

Without permission, I am stealing this from my cousin (who is not actually named Charlie McDanger, much to his chagrin). It is one of the funniest things I have read in a while (albeit read with some difficulty, of course, as I am the "illiterate" physician below):

As I mentioned at Thanksgiving, the Wall Street Journal enjoys running articles that let you know whether you're literate or not. Here's [an] easy way to test yourself:

WSJ 11/21/06:
"Even the most reasonably literate American may find it difficult to name more than three of the past chief justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. But of those three, one of them will almost certainly be Roger Brooke Taney..."

I sent this to the author of the Roger Taney article...

Prof. Guelzo,

I can say I have new eyes after reading your book review in the Nov. 21 edition of the Wall Street Journal. May I recall here your opening: "Even the most reasonably literate American may find it difficult to name more than three of the past chief justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. But of those three, one of them will almost certainly be Roger Brooke Taney..."

What a marvelous measure of literacy! I ran right off and tried your ingenious little test on my unsuspecting family at our Thanksgiving gathering--a group that included a physician, an attorney, a technical author, a CFA/MBA, a retired professor of chemistry, and several others whom I had, in earlier days, mistaken for literate.

Imagine my dismay when, during the general jubilation, my simple query of, "Who was Roger Taney?" met a stone wall of squinty eyes and silence. Mind you, this is not a family of polite Japanese folk; in fact they are neither Asian nor particularly polite.

Oddly, almost all could name at least four past chief justices; this I will attribute to dumb luck. In any case, I thank you, sir, for letting us know what rubes we are. I think we can all rest more soundly, knowing there are sages such as yourself guarding the doors to the Literacy Club. Keep up the good work.

Charlie McDanger

P.S. One of my cousins, an impertinent youth, suggested that the phrasing, "most reasonably literate," was itself questionable with respect to literacy. Only "the most moderately imbecilic halfwit" would compose such a thing, he said. Not to worry; I will punch him in the face.

Friday, December 1, 2006

An Odyssey of Change

Change is inevitable; I hate it nonetheless. I also hate car dealerships (no offense, Jerm), which made last night's car-buying excursion a particularly distasteful event in my mind.

I have been to purchase three previous cars:

1. At the start of my third year of medical school, I began the quest for My First Car. Newspaper ads left a lot to be desired, so one Saturday I headed down to a used car lot. The cheapest car on the lot (that lacked a flame paint job) was a 1995 Hyundai Accent. The car still cost more than I thought I could spend as a debt-laden student. But the salesman quoted me a price that was significantly lower than the sticker price and I thought it would be a good deal. So I left to get car insurance and buy a license plate (In PA you buy a plate for yourself. When you sell the car, you keep your plate and put it on your next car. The new owner is responsible for replacing the license plate). When I came back after purchasing said items, the salesman informed me that he made an error saying that he could sell the car for so low a price and his manager wouldn't approve of the sale. But I had just bought a plate and insurance! I am sure I could have used these for a different car, but I didn't know when or where I would even find another car to buy. I ended up paying almost a thousand dollars more than I thought I was going to get the car for. The salesman seemed genuinely contrite and did throw in about two hundred dollars worth of "extras" (free service coupons and speaker upgrades). Still I felt like I had gotten screwed on the price.

(sidenote: the Hyundai had a brewing malady that led to its ultimate demise, namely faulty welding that caused the body to mostly disconnect from the chassis. Hyundai refunded me all but $900 of the purchase price after two years of ownership. I felt a little less screwed about the price after that, despite the fact that the car was a total lemon).

2. I spent my first few months of residency carless, commuting to work mostly on bike, but I sometimes walked or ran and Mac would pick me up from work a couple of times a week. But as soon as the rainy weather hit, I knew I needed a new car. I decided on a Toyota Corrolla because of its top rated reliability, something I valued highly after the Hyundai incident. I collected newspaper ads for a week and I knew the prices cold, in fact, I knew them better than the Toyota manager. I held my ground and think I got a pretty good price. Both the finance guy and an independent insurance agent seemed to think so, too. Not having a lot of cash in my recent graduate status, I financed about half of the car with a four year loan through the dealership. They had a special 5% loan, but it seems I didn't qualify for it despite a credit score around 720 - I didn't have any history of loan repayment (my med school loans were still in the grace period). Didn't it show financial responsibility that I had never before been in debt and that I had never even once carried a balance on my credit card? Apparently not. They wanted someone who had been in debt and had proved they could make the payments on time. I got an 8% loan for four years. I thought I would pay extra each month and therefore save myself a lot of the interest charges, but I later found out all four years of interest were calculated up front and immediately added to the amount I owed. Paying early wouldn't save me money at all! It never occured to me that this was something I needed to watch out for. I felt like I had gotten screwed on the financing.

3. When Mac needed a new truck we bought it through an acquaintance who had some incentive not to screw us over entirely. I think he gave us a fair price. We paid cash and avoided financing altogether. I don't feel like we got screwed at all, but we had an insider on our side.

With these experiences in mind, my cinicism was at its peak and I had a bit of a perma-glare plastered on my face as we walked into the Honda dealership in Eugene. Fortunately, Mac had done a ton of internet research and was working with four different area dealerships on-line and on the phone. Pitting the dealerships against one another and using the information he had gathered, Mac had pre-negotiated a great price for the car (one dealership even told Mac Eugene was stupid for selling us the car for that low a price). And we had a pre-approved non-dealership loan in hand. But things were going our way and the dealership had financing for even lower (3.9%!- and trust me I asked plenty of questions before signing on the dotted line). The wildcard, though, was our trade-in. That trusty little Corrolla had served me well for the past seven years and if it could have fit two car seats, I would have kept it for another 7 years. The car had a Kelly bluebook value around $4900. It had a few scratches, but no major damge and only 58,000 miles. Two Salem dealerships said they'd give us $4700 for it; Eugene's first offer was $2200. My glare escalated to a dagger-shooting grimace. We told them they were way off and they came back with an offer of $4300, which we accepted. In retrospect, we might have been better off telling them we expected $4700 for the car or refusing their $4300 to see if they'd come up a bit higher, but by that point I don't think either of us cared about the 400 bucks. I don't feel all that screwed, but I wouldn't really mind if a meteor fell on the dealership either.

Bye bye little Corrolla, Hello Odyssey.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Smiths

On Sunday night we had one last family dinner with the Smiths to cap off our stay in Southern California.

We had a great trip but it is nice to be home. Megan slept terribly the entire time, which meant we slept terribly much of the time. I don't think Megan has ever slept a whole night in our bed, but during this trip we often found ourselves sharing a bed with this little wiggle worm. Naptime was also a huge struggle and usually required one of us to nap with her. It kind of makes us glad that we won't be travelling much in the next year, as we all got home from our vacation exhausted. Megan showed us she was glad to be home, too. The first night she went to bed in her crib (alone!) without so much as a peep and slept for 13 hours!

And while it was nice to bask in the sun for a week, it just doesn't seem right to have 90 degree days in November. Of course, we weren't really expecting to come home to snow, either.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


We spent the last part of the week at my aunt and uncle's house up in Lake Arrowhead. They graciously hosted the circus that is my family, which on Friday night consisted of a total of 19 people crashing at their place. Arrowhead was always the place for us to get together with my cousins when we were growing up and it seems nothing has changed for the new generation.

Three of us had girls in 2005: Megan in January, Kate was born in June and Caroline was born in September. By birth order Megan was all set up to be the leader of this posse, but it doesn't look like leadership is in the cards for her. Caroline the youngest quickly took control of this group and even Kate was more aggressive than our extremely timid Megan.

The one place Megan did shine was in the bath tub. My aunt and uncle have a humongous master tub, great for a communal cousin washing. Megan showed off everything she's learned in all of those swimming lessons that she's been taking with Dad. The rest of the kids just sat there while Megan blew bubbles, went underwater, laid on her back and kicked her feet, with enough splashing to let everyone know that at least they can't bully her in the bath tub.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The "Arburrito"

We took an extended Thanksgiving trip down to Southern California since we may not be getting down there again for over a year. We spent lots of time visiting everyone that we are even remotely related to, but on Monday we had some time for a family outting. So we decided to head to the Arboretum, or as Megan called it, the "arburrito."

We had a relaxing day strolling around the grounds that I realized I probably hadn't visited in more than ten years. I am not sure the day was so relaxing for the birds, though. Megan had fun chasing the peacocks and Mac sent a whole flock of geese into flight amidst a lot of honking protests.

Despite the more exotic birds, Megan still liked the ducks best. And she had us in stitches when the little coots started their nasally honks. "Duckie tooted," Megan informed us. Those kids say the darndest things!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Baby Brooke

This weekend we drove to Tacoma to meet Megan's new cousin, "Baby Brooke" and to visit Brooke's exhausted parents, "Auntie Sarah" and "Uncle Bryan."

Megan liked holding and watching Baby Brooke, but do you think she looks ready to be an older sister??

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Nursemaid's Elbow

Yesterday I got a call at work from Mac. Nothing out of the ordinary, except his somber tone. Mac was pretty convinced Megan had dislocated her shoulder.

"I bet it is her elbow," I told him and he agreed to call the doctor. Megan got an emergency appointment. A 3 second relocation procedure transformed a screaming Megan with a lifeless arm to a once again happy girl who waved her arm freely. And as an added bonus Megan got the once over just to make sure she wasn't being abused at home!

Megan came home completely awestruck by the whole event. Coincidentally, we had checked out Cordoroy Goes to the Doctor at the library that week so Megan was already mostly brain washed about the wonders of the doctor's office. Megan spent the entire evening repeating "Doctor fix it. Doctor fix your arm."

I tried to take the opportunity to teach Megan about mommy's work. "Megan, Mommy is a doctor, too." I tried to explain. But how could that be? I wasn't an arm miracle worker. Megan let me know immediately what she thought of my explaination: "Mommy funny." Where is the love for the pathologists??

On the bright side, Megan seriously made an instant recovery and her arm is perfect. We won't be swinging, lifting or pulling her by the arms anytime soon, though.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

20 weeks

I hit 20 weeks today. Those with a rudimentary knowledge of math and pregnancy could be easily duped into thinking I was halfway through the pregnancy. But that's where math would fail you.

One must keep in mind that pregnancy actually starts at week 2 and so I have only been gestating for 18 weeks with 20 more to go.

But I prefer to look at it from a marathoner's perspective, as pregnancy is a lot like a marathon in that the physical and mental demands increase as one gets closer to the finish. And any good harrier will tell you that the marathon has two halves: the first 20 miles and the last 10k. The two halves of pregnancy seem more like the first 34 weeks and the last six weeks. In other words, it is still a long way to the finish line.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Early X-mas

With Halloween over, it was time to dismantle the front porch and move on to the next season: Christmas!

"Oh, my God," you are thinking, "not you too!" Yes, it seems Americans spend plenty on travel for Thanksgiving, but relatively little on decorations and gifts, and so the retail stores all but skip over Turkey day. Last night when I mentioned to Mac that we should put up our lights this weekend, he had a conniption. "We are NOT putting up our lights before Thanksgiving! That is just wrong!"

Actually, I do agree with him on this, but as I reasoned, we will be gone the next three weekends and then once we get back, it'll be after TG. I reassured him that I had no intentions of turning the lights on before Thanksgiving. But putting up the lights is going to be a big task this year so we should get started early.

The reason this is going to be a huge undertaking: sheer quantity. Somehow I have inherited enough lights to at least double our electric bill this December. My mom's parents sold their beach house; I got the Christmas lights. My dad's mom passed away; I got the Christmas lights. At age 90, my mom's dad decided he wouldn't be decorating for Christmas anymore; I got the Christmas lights. Plus I already had at least 600 little white lights of my own.

I am not sure why I got all the Christmas lights. I think I made an offhand reference that I hoped my house would one day look like the Chevy Chase Christmas vacation house at the holidays, and in my family a single casual remark will get you branded for life. I spent my junior high years drowning in parrot items because I said they were my favorite animal. And my sister, she has three boxes of snowman Christmas decorations because she once mentioned she liked snowmen better than Santa.

But truth be told, I still would like my house to to have a gaudy, blinding glare of Christmas lights for the holidays. By conservative estimate, I have at least 3,000 lights and I have every intention of putting them all up.

And so Megan and I got out all the lights on this blustery pre-Thanksgiving day while Mac traveled down to The U of O game with a friend. Thus we avoided Mac's certain disapproval for the time being (such a party pooper - he wasn't into the Halloween decorations either!).

Megan quickly learned how to plug and unplug the lights, which made me a little nervous, but she didn't seem to have any desire to put her fingers in the socket.

The only decorating we actually did was to put seven strings of lights all throughout the bannister in the living room. Not only was it too cold and wet for outside decorating, but I figured that by starting inside, we'd be able to hide our crazy from the neighbors a bit longer!

Friday, November 3, 2006


Even with our best efforts, Megan still has hair in her face, but at least we are on the right track!

Monday, October 30, 2006

A Little Less Girlie

Yep, it is time to get a little less girlie here at Babe Watch. No, Megan is still as girlie as ever, but we are getting ready to welcome her new baby BROTHER! That's right, Mr. Stork will be bringing us a baby boy come March (check out the second stork with a blue bundle above - huh? pretty clever, eh? No need to tell me that the green and purple is still lame - Mac is doing a good job of covering that all by himself).

Some of you may have heard me mention that I was hoping this one would be a girl, too, but that was just the pregnancy hormones making me delusional. We are very excited to be expecting a boy and most of all just very happy that by all indications this is a very healthy baby.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

For today's preschool session, the parents were encouraged to dress their children up in their Halloween costumes. You all know Pam, she jumped at the chance to put someone in a costume! Out of the 11 kids in class today, only 2 wore full-fledged costumes. Meg was the clown pictured above, and Keaton was a race car driver. Other kids wore orange shirts and such, but none were in costume. I was a little surprised.

The clown costume that Meg is wearing has a long history. The story is very similar to the one about the outfit that Megan, and Pam, and Pam's siblings all wore home from the hospital. When I was two years old, I wore this clown costume for Halloween--as did my two sisters when they were two, and probably some of my cousins when they were two. My mom still displays the pictures of her three kids wearing this costume for their 2-year-old Halloween. Megan isn't 2 yet, but we thought that this Halloween was the right one for her to wear the costume--she still has room to grow into it, maybe we'll get two years out of it.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Empress' New Clothes

We decided that megan couldn't wait for Christmas. She needed some new clothes badly. Her Nana brought her one outfit when she visited last weekend, but that wasn't nearly enough. So on Saturday morning, we loaded the fam into the Corolla and headed up to Woodburn. We stopped by Hank and Scout's soccer game first; we watched them kick the ball around and chatted with Jenn and Jeremy and his parents. Then we headed over to the outlet mall. All three of us needed clothes, but Megan was definitely the big winner. Here she is modelling one of her new outfits.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Last night we watched Click. We hadn't ever intended to see this movie, but savvy-shopper Mac noticed that this "guaranteed-in-stock" movie wasn't in stock at Blockbuster last week. He was immediately struck with the urge to see this movie, and his request garnered a free coupon for a later rental.

Like Spanglish, Click is an Adam Sandler movie that doesn't fit his stereotype. In fact, both Mac and I said we'd classify this movie as a drama rather than a comedy. Too bad, since I really wanted a light-hearted movie after viewing four hours of kick-ass women in Kill Bill the previous two nights.

Click wasn't a great movie and I certainly wouldn't recommend it, but it had a theme that I have found myself milling over for the past twelve hours or so. The not so subtle message of Click is to enjoy the present, to live for the moment, to stop chasing the pot of gold and instead just enjoy the rainbow.

After the movie was over, I tried to explain to Mac that this was the exact reason I like to go look at Megan sleeping - every night. But in reality, I have always been a look-ahead kind of person. I find myself counting down to big events and even small ones, like Friday. I didn't care for pregnancy, but partly I think that was because I was more focused on what was to come. I eagerly anticipated the end of high school, of college, of med school, of residency. My school life was broken up into little well-defined chunks of time and it was easy to set my sights on the finish line.

But I think the reason I haven't yet forgotten this forgettable movie, is that I have come to see the next big chapter in my life as retirement and this seems a little too far in the future to start counting down. Certainly, there are many things between now and retirement to look forward to: vacations, holidays, having another child, our children starting school - but what I seem to really want to focus on is getting to the end of something. In Click, Adam Sandler wants to get on to the next big thing so badly, that his life fast-forwards to his deathbed.

So, don't go out and rent the movie, but rather go out and play with your kids, (or admire them in their sleep), walk in the garden, or be happy just sitting where you are, and I'll try to do the same.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Megan helped daddy make a spider hat at preschool today--but it wouldn't fit on daddy's head so she gets to keep it.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

New Game

Megan's new favorite game is "Seek." She really means "Hide and Seek," but she can't really say the whole name yet. Here she is hiding in the sideboard in the dining room. This is by far her favorite hiding spot and I frequently find her in there even when we're not playing the game.

I've been meaning to write an entry about being a male in a predominantly female world, but I haven't quite figured out how to conquer such a ground breaking story. Stay tuned.

Quick Visit

This past weekend, my mom and sister came up from L.A. to visit us (mostly Megan though). They arrived on Friday morning and left on Sunday afternoon so it was a really short visit. We spent most of Friday afternoon lounging around waiting for the cable guy to show up, but Saturday we headed off to Bauman Farms to play around in the pumpkin patch and work our way through the hay maze. We went last year too, but Megan was too young to enjoy it. This year, however she loved it. She went down lots of tube slides, climbed through many hay tunnels, and enjoyed a ride down the zip line swing with mom.

Megan didn't really want to put her head through the sheep hole though.

She finally did it after a little bit of coaxing and a demonstration by mom

Fall means Fun in School

This fall, Meg and I are busy, busy, busy. We've got something planned at least three days a week from now until Christmas. On Tuesday and Thursday mornings, we've enrolled in Megan's favorite YMCA Parent/Child swim class. We follow that up with a jaunt over to the South Salem TIP (Tot Indoor Playpark). But the highlight of Meg's week is Wednesday morning. We spend 2 hours at a cooperative preschool where we sing and dance (two of my FAVORITE activities), learn to share, and generally get our hands dirty with glue, paint, playdough and a host of other artsy things. Here's a picture of megan showing off her first glitter and glue project.

Sunday, October 8, 2006


Up until now the only complete sentence Megan has used is "I loves you." But that all changed today when she burst out with two new sentences: "I like shovel" (we were in the sandbox) and "I need it." The latter sentence has quickly found it's way onto Megan's list of frequent phrases.

Monday, October 2, 2006

Sunny Sunday

Sunday we made up for the frivolous Saturday with a lot of hard work outside.

I cut back all the irises and a few other plants (4 wheelbarrows to the burn pile!), winterized the greenhouse, planted 50 daffodil bulbs, put in the steps to Megan's slide (minus the one step I used in the greenhouse), got Mac to build a coldframe (thanks M!) and planted it up with lettuce seeds. Megan did lots of "helping" too.

As you can see, using the "barrow" is very serious work.

In other exciting news, Megan's hair is just about ponytail length - Hurray! The pony tail will hopefully be the answer to her mophead, if we can only stop her from pulling those rubberbands out.

Is that little girl my baby??

Sunday, October 1, 2006


This weekend I was on call. Because of that, I had nothing scheduled other than a couple of hours in the hospital Saturday morning. This had the potential to be the most productive weekend in a long time and the weather couldn't be better either. So what pressing jobs did I get done on Saturday? I decorated the porch for Halloween, of course.

Mac laughed at me all day long. "I can't believe this is what you are doing today! I never thought you'd do this for Halloween."

"Oh, you just wait till Christmas!" I warned him.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Happy 60th, Mom!

Today is a milestone birthday for my mom. Here's how she sums up turning sixty:

"At 20, you don't feel old; you feel like 40 is old.

At 40, you don't feel old; you feel like 50 is old.

At 50, you realize you still don't feel old; you must not be old till you hit sixty.

At 60, you think, 'wow, I'm old.'

But (my mom continued), I did hike 15 miles on Thursday, so I am not completely over the Hill!"

Happy Birthday Mom!

Friday, September 29, 2006


Somedays you just want to gloat that your 20 month old knows her colors, can name 12 shapes (including trapezoid, pentagon and octagon!), and can count to five all by herself (without skipping from four straight to six anymore!). But somedays you are just happy your child is alive...

Tonight at dinner Mac sits down. He has an immediate dinner topic: "So... does the Heimlich manuever expel food from your airway or just from your esophagus?" I answer; Mac proceeds. "And for a twenty month old should you use the baby Heimlich or the adult Heimlich?"

I am instantly freaking. "Oh my god, why?"

Mac tells me how today Megan was eating a bagel and starts making grunting sounds. When he looked over at her, her eyes were bulging out and she wouldn't answer questions. On the third try, she let out a little gasp. Mac picked her up and held her over his arm with pressure on her stomach, although no actual manuever was performed. That apparently was enough. Out popped a airway-conforming cylinder of bread. Mac was pretty scared, and Megan, well, she just wanted more bagel. She got what she wanted but only after Mac tore the thing up into tiny little bites.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Those Pesky Pronouns

Given that adults have such difficulty with pronoun usage (also see below), it is no wonder that this has been a stumbling block for Megan, too.

About two months ago, I decided it was time to give up on the whole baby-talk-refer-to-yourself-in-the-third-person thing and just start talking to Megan like an adult. I am sure those who had to listen to me are thankful; how annoying is it to hear somebody sing-songing,"Mommy loves you. Mommy is going to do it. Give it to mommy."??

Megan has certainly noticed that I have started calling myself "me" and she has taken the cue: she now calls me "Me" also. And to refer to herself? Well, I always says "you" when talking about her and so Megan has followed suit. Should she want someone to lift her up, she'll say "hold you" or "carry you." And if her clumsy hands can't spoon the food into her own mouth fast enough, she'll request "feed you" as she hands over her utensil.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


When your child is learning to eat with a fork and spoon, don't feed
themher beans, or deal with the mess...Today, I did both!

***Post comment edit***
Today, me did both just doesn't sound right :)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

An eggo for Meg-go

Just when one has enough co-ordination to run and jump and bend and grab things at will, that pesky coffee table has to ruin all the fun.

(sorry for the blurry pic, but I think you can kind of see the big purple goose-egg sitting over Megan's eye).

Megan has plenty of time each day where we aren't watching her every move. Ironically this happened with both Mac and I staring right at her. She ran to pick up a toy and seriously misjudged the amount of clearance that big noggin needed. Ouch!