Friday, February 29, 2008


What does the bottom of your shoe look like? Apparently, Megan's looks like a penguin. This picture started as a tracing of Megan's shoe. Our understanding is that the kids had direction, but not actual assistance on this project. ("Sophie put the eyes on the tummy. She's silly!").

While we've cherished many of Megan's previous projects this is the first one I found frame-worthy.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Potty time

Yes, we have a kid's potty seat, with a stool, but somehow, from Megan's perspective, this is just so much better! Don't fall in, Meggo!


This week we took Megan and Liam for their annual check-ups.

Earlier in the week Megan had a collision with my elbow, so the first few minutes of the appointment were spent explaining why Megan had a black eye. (For the curious: Megan has to do everything herself, and our little accident occurred when she jumped up on her stool to get something from her dresser that I was already in the process of getting with my elbow jutting out dangerously behind me from opening the top drawer). After those pleasantries, things proceeded smoothly, especially since Megan didn't need any shots.
Height: 37.25 inches (75%); weight: 32.2 pounds (70%).

Then it was Liam's turn, and things got a little awkward once again. Does he point? No. Does he say 'mama' and 'dada'? No, at least not with a purpose. Does he say any words? Again, no. Nothing to worry about we were assured, but typically kids can do those things at a year.

Ok, moving on. Height: 30 inches (55%), Weight: 20.0 pounds (10%) Great, my son is a little weakling!
Head circumference: 47.75 cm (85%) Oh, even better: my son is a little weakling with an abnormally large head! Fortunately, Mac's mom was there to alleviate any concerns. It turns out both Mac and his Dad underwent extra testing as kids for their large craniums. Oh joy, the whole family is a bunch of mutants with ginormous heads!

Oh, and by the way, now that we've got all of his clothes off, doesn't Liam seem kind of yellow? "Ummm, Italian ancestry?" we offered. The doc didn't buy it. So Liam got extra testing to make sure his liver was working ok (the blood test was normal; he gets an ultrasound tomorrow).

Later Mac and I read the one year old summary page the doc gave us. Here's what is says about nutrition:"Table foods are best now. Baby food is usually not needed any more." Mac and I laughed hysterically. Liam eats exactly two "solid" foods: Cheerios and baby star-puff snacks. He refuses anything else. He doesn't even like the #3 baby foods, because they have little soggy chunks in them. Perhaps his 10th percentile weight is becoming a bit less mysterious.

And then to top off the day, Liam got FIVE immunizations.

But other than that, my lemon-colored, bobble-headed, stick bodied, developmentally delayed little boy is doing just great!

(Kidding aside - the doctor assures us everything is just fine, the extra testing is just precautionary, and his "delays" aren't significant or abnormal. And though things were a bit more fun with Megan because we could brag about how far ahead she was, we know Liam really is doing just great!)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Number 500!

This entry is listed as number 500 in the entry index!! I know this is not exactly correct for you readers (I have at least two unpublished entries: one that is totally outdated and one that just started rambling and I got sick of before I finished), but it seemed monumental nonetheless.

So to mark the occasion, I give you some pictures of Liam enjoying the glorious weather that we have had lately.

I'd give you a few pictures of Megan, too, but she refused to look at the camera that day.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Birthday Boy

Liam was born on Chinese New Year. This year we got to celebrate his birthday on President's day.

We had a nice evening at home with Mac's mom and Aunt Minnie.

Even with the hat, everything was going just fine...until we tried to feed Liam some of his birthday cake. Liam DOES NOT do solid foods and it seems that he makes no exceptions for sugary junk food.

We soon gave up, put Liam to bed and ate the cake ourselves!

Happy Birthday, Mr. Liam!

Sunday, February 17, 2008


As a second year resident on cytology rotation, there were ocassional days when things were fairly slow in the afternoon. On one particular day, four of us sat around chatting. Somehow the conversation came around to our accomplishments and things of which we were proud.

The group mentioned going to medical school, completing a marathon, climbing Mt. Hood. One guy was proud of paying off his college debt and buying a house. Another person joked about the accolades he earned picking corn one summer. Nothing mentioned was earth-shattering, but they were important to us; they helped to make us who were and so we were proud of them.

And then, the lone parent among us chimed in (I was childless at the time): "The thing I am the most proud of is having my son."

"What! You can't be proud of that yet! He's only 18 months old - you don't even know how he is going to turn out or if he is going to be a good person! What if he turns out to be a serial killer. You can't be proud of just having him until he is at least 18!" one of our group retorted.

"Yeah," someone else interjected, "Any teenage girl with a horny boyfriend can have a kid."

This Mom held firm even though she couldn't really get us non-parents so see her way and eventually the conversation moved on.

Flash forward: Now, as the mother of two, I get it, as I am sure all the rest of moms (and dads, too) out there do. Kids are amazing and you love them like nothing else. They make it ok to be silly and childish again and they see the world like no adult could. With Megan it just seems right to sing "Happy Birthday, Dear Chair." It doesn't seem crazy at all that she pretends Dante is a mountain lion - Dante, the fattest, laziest and friendliest cat there is. And while practically everyone can write their name, I am still immensely impressed by my daughter's clumsy letters that more or less spell M-E-G-A-N. My kids make me happy and I am so glad to have them.It is a sentiment echoed by parents everywhere: We love our kids more than anything.

And yet, the one thing we want more than anything in the world is to have some time without them! Mom's don't want to celebrate Mother's Day by mothering their brood. No, they want Dad to take the kids so they can enjoy a childless afternoon. Parents don't want a bunch of gee-gaws for their birthday and Christmas; they just want some "adult time." Yes, we love our kids to death, but only if we can get away from them every now and then!

So you can imagine our delight this weekend as Mac and I cashed in on his parent's Christmas gift to us: a night in a hotel WITHOUT the kids!

Our location was nothing special - downtown Salem - and yet the trip was wonderful. Mac and I went up to the outlets and shopped together. Mac is a much better "shopper" than me, mostly because he is a die-hard consumer with a "just buy it" attitude. I always end up buying more when I shop with Mac and I almost end up happy that he persuaded me to get these things. This time it was a turquoise running jacket that Mac convinced me to get - I think it is going to work out nicely, even though I was initially skeptical.

In the afternoon, we took a NAP! That may have been the highlight of the weekend for me, as I love a good nap but I have gotten to take less than a handful of them in the last three years. Then it was off to the gym. Running next to Mac on the treadmill reminded us of our Philly days when we routinely worked out together. Saturday night, we had a great meal at the Joel Palmer House in Dayton. Being childless allowed us to scowl at the crying baby in a place that was otherwise filled with adults only. And there was no "mommy guilt" when I went for a long run Sunday morning (7.5 miles!).

We came home rested and refreshed and proud to be parents once again!

***Thank you Mamaw and Minnie for taking care of Megan and Liam***

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


About a month ago we took the railing off Megan's bed. We told her it was because she was a Big Girl, but really it was becasue the railing had broken for the third time and screws didn't seem to hold it together properly any more.

We put a soft pad alongside her bed as a precautionary measure, but soon after that Megan decided she'd rather sleep in this new "squishy bed" than in her actual bed. It was particularly nice for jumping on and hanging out with friends.

We indulged this whim for a few weeks and then convinced Megan it was time to sleep in her real bed. Actually, we compromised: the pad (one of those space foam things) is now on top of Megan's mattress; she still gets to sleep on the pad but we don't have the mess on the floor.

A bit to my surprise, Megan hasn't fallen out of bed yet, but on a few night things have gotten a little precarious.

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Great Weekend

Three weeks ago I went to the Salem Women's health forum. This one featured "Dr. Mom" Marianne Neifert addressing the issue of balance in you life and how she finally found it. Well, since Dr. Mom had her first kid at age 20 and then proceeded to have four more in the next seven years all while going through medical school and residency, I thought I had a pretty good grasp as to why this lady's life was so chaotic and where exactly she went wrong. Besides, I am not one to go to these kind of touchy feely chick-comoraderie events. But my co-worker mom friend thought maybe we could get something out of the lecture and registration was free. And if nothing else, it was a good excuse for us to go out without the kids.

The lecture was quite good and very funny. Dr. Neifert is an experienced motivational speaker, who had a very polished speech about balance and how to acheive it. It certainly wasn't Earth shattering news, but it certainly got me thinking about the kinds of things I want to do, the things I don't want to do, and how to work toward those goals.

This weekend seemed to me the perfect example of balance. Friday we socialized; we even got out the house for greasy burgers and tomato bisque (I had a shrimp appetizer and a beer, too, for all of you calorie counters!). Afterwards, Mac and I spent some time together.

Saturday the weather was quite cooperative for a balanced day. I was up early and had a 6.5 mile run done by 7:45. I was rewarded with what I believe was my first ever sighting of a live mephitis mephitis (that's a skunk for the less nerdy readers) and a bald eagle that flew right overhead on my last mile. We had a family breakfast (pancakes!) and then I watched the kids while Mac went to hit a bucket of golf balls. I got the kids ready to go while he was out and then we were off to the park - an outside park! - where we were joined by two other friends and their kids. That afternoon, I took advantage of the sun and pruned all the roses and tied up all the berry canes. And then we were off to socialize again - this time dinner at our friends' house.

Sunday things were a bit more leisurely. We had a nice breakfast again and then Megan and I went out to garden together. I got the herb garden all cleaned up (it still needs weeding) while she "helped" me prune, dig and move dirt to totally random places in the garden. During nap time, I did more work around the pond. Then there was time to hang with the kids, eat a family dinner, and have a Iron Chef marathon after the kids were in bed!

I told Mac that I thought the weekend was a great example of balance. Now if I could only do that every weekend!

Aside: Before proofreading, I left out a word and this entry read "Then there was time a family and have an Iron Chef marathon." Now that would have been completely unbalanced!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Total Mom Transformation

I like to kid myself that I have an advantage over the stay-at-home Moms, as if by going to work I have a better balance in my life, am better in touch with "reality" and that my own identity hasn't taken a backseat to my kids. I am well aware that this is just a little mind game that I use to make it easier to go to work each day. To be certain, I know many stay-at-homes that have excellent balance in their lives and there are plenty of working moms who are completely unbalanced. But what harm is there if I keep trying to believe this little self-deception if that's what helps to get me through?

Of course, then there art days like today which completely shatter this ruse that I have going. Today I was driving in to work when "Octopus's Garden" by the Beatles came on the radio. About one line into the song I had a shocking realization: Oh my God! I like Raffi's version better!

So much for maintaining a non-mom identity!