Monday, November 30, 2009


So I hear that some of you are not able to view my Thanksgiving photos on Flickr. I thought I'd post a few photos of, of course, "da baby" here.

Dressed up as a pilgrim, with Aunt Alex, Maddie and Mommy:

With Great-grandma:

 With Mom and Grandma:

With Grandma Kogler:

 It was quite the trip. We went to a cat show, and we went bowling, and Annie got to see everyone! We got back last night after a 9-hour drive through heavy traffic in the normal spots. My mom came back to Boston with me, as Jim is in Florida this week at a conference.

Then, last night, I came down with a stomach bug and stayed home from work today. I'm just exhausted. We had a great time, but it's good to be home too.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, from Annika!

 (More photos and a video on Flickr)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Weekend in New York

We just got back from a fun weekend in NYC. We got to meet Olivia, a sweet little baby. Here she is with Jess and a penguin named Abraham:

We got to visit with Jess and Dameion, who we haven't seen since last year. And it was cool seeing Olivia, who is two months old. We drove down yesterday morning and came back this afternoon. Now we're watching the Pats game while Annika bounces in her jumpster. She is resisting a nap and soon it will be time for her to go to bed for the night.

We leave for Buffalo on Wednesday.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Just because I think this is cool:

I've visited 35 U.S. states:

Create your own visited map of The United States

It's interesting how there's a large gap right in the middle of the U.S. Another cross-country drive would fix that. hmm...

And I've been to 21 countries (or sort-of countries. Puerto Rico is listed separately here, for some reason):

Create your own visited map of The World

And I'm itching for more travel.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Busy week

Busy week! Tomorrow Annika gets her 2nd seasonal flu shot and her 1st H1N1 vaccine. Our pediatrician finally got the H1N1 vaccine in. There is a big shortage of both shots in this area. Neither Jim nor I have been able to get the shot yet. My doctor currently has this stupid rule where you can only get the H1N1 shot if you have a child under the age of 6 months in your household. Of course, if your child can't get the vaccine, then what does it matter if they're under 6 months or not? But I guess they have to come up with limits somehow. It's just all so arbitrary.

On Thursday we're going to a "multicultural" Thanksgiving dinner at Annika's daycare. We're supposed to bring a salad. I may make tabouleh since have so much parsley in my garden. We'll see how much time I have to make it tomorrow.

Then we are going to visit friends in Queens, NY this weekend! Our friends Jess and Dameion had a baby girl, Olivia, in September. So we get to see them and meet little Olivia! We will drive in on Saturday and then return home on Sunday.

Then, a week from tonight, we'll be packing and getting ready for our trip to Buffalo for Thanksgiving. Phew. I'm tired just thinking about all of it.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Just for comparison's sake (and because it's pretty amazing!), take a look at these two photos.

Annika in her car seat when she left the hospital, age 2 weeks:

Annika in her car seat today, age 7 months:

Living with her everyday, we don't see how quickly she is growing. But these photos sure show it!

7 months!

Happy birthday to Annika, who is a big 7 months today!

(Also, for those of you on Flickr, I just uploaded two new, very cute videos! Check it out - they're saved in the "Annie's Videos" set).

We went out to breakfast at the Early American, then went shopping for a convertible car seat. Good times.  I think we know which one we're going to get, but we're holding off at the moment, to wait for a sale, etc. If anyone has opinions about what to look for in a car seat, or what brand is good, please e-mail me. Our criteria include reasonable price, a harness that is not a complete pain in the butt to attach, a machine-washable cushion, a seat that will fit in our cars without completely taking over the back seat, and a seat that actually looks like something we would want to ride in for the 8 hour trip to Buffalo. The Evenflo Symphony seems to meet those criteria, but we're still open to ideas. It's an imposing decision - this seat will be in our car for maybe 4 years!

It is pouring rain here today - thanks to the remnants of Hurricane Ida. I think this afternoon we're going to stay in and cook Lebanese food. Jim has had a hankering for some m'judra, and I have a ton of parsley in my garden that I should use before it snows.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Shopping trip

Today I was home with Annika for an extended day - Jim had a "guys' night out" in the form of a poker game with some work buddies after work. My days off are usually a little daunting anyway, particularly if I have nothing planned, because I don't always know what to do with the time. But today we went shopping! For baby clothes! And other things.

Prior to having a baby, I never would've guessed at how addicting shopping for baby clothes is. It's really hard to stop finding things that would look cute on Annika. In fact, everything in the store would look cute on her. :) A couple of weeks ago, I bought some clothes for her at Target, but they're too big for her. I thought it would be a good idea to buy a size larger so that she would get more wear out of the clothes. But when I'm rolling up her pants, and it looks like half the pant leg has been rolled up, it's time to just acknowledge that these clothes just do not fit yet.

(I also suspect that she has inherited the Kain short legs ... Laurie will know what I mean).

In addition to the clothes, I treated myself to a new book. I finally finished David McCullough's 1776, which was good but a little dense. My next book is Ted Kennedy's memoir, True Compass. I know that a few of my readers may gag when they hear the name Ted Kennedy, but I personally admire many of the things he did later on in his career, when he finally got his head on straight. I'm also interested in reading about his family. So I am in the middle of chapter one so far. Unfortunately, like many memoirs about famous people, it wasn't actually written by him. He had a ghost writer do the writing, based on his notes and interviews and things. This brings it down a peg in my eyes, but I think the book will still be worth reading. It's pretty good so far.

Other news from the week? Not much, except we started Annika on yogurt this week and she loves, loves it. And I tried squash again tonight, and she still hates, hates it. I think we're going to try green beans, mixed with brown rice, next.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Today was packed. We woke up at 6, as usual, to feed Annika. By 8 I was outside, putting the yard to bed for the winter. I pulled out all the plants in the flower bed next to the fence because we are going to plant a ginkgo tree there in the spring! Actually I wanted to plant the gingko tree this fall, but now it's November and we haven't gotten to it. So we'll plant it next spring, around Annie's 1st birthday.

We chose a gingko tree because it is a symbol of strength and longevity. The legend is that gingko trees even survived the nuclear bombs in Japan. I like the idea of planting something that will hopefully live much longer than us or Annika. I see it as our choice to have hope and faith in the future.

By 10:30 Jim, Annie and I were packing a picnic lunch for the Arboretum, and then off we went. It was a beautiful fall day, in the mid-60's, with all the leaves in full color. We had our picnic and went for a walk. Lots of oak and birch trees, but we didn't see ginkgo trees this time.

By 1, we were home to watch the Pats game. They beat Miami. Annika was acting like she needed a nap or a bottle, but resisted the nap. Later, we went grocery shopping and then stayed in for the night. Annie had applesauce, carrots and pears all today, in addition to the usual cereal.

I can't believe the weekend is already over. I wish it lasted longer.

The Accent

Here's a cute segment on the Boston accent from the Boston Globe:

I still have my Buffalo accent. Jim's sort of on the fence. Some people were joking at our party last week that Jim and I were the only ones who didn't have the Boston accent. Very true.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

It's fall!

A couple of very seasonal photos in front of our Scarlet Oak tree. (Notice that even though it's in the 40's outside, Jim is still in short sleeves).


It's a cool, sunny fall day, with golden sunshine and colors everywhere.

Banana Supreme

We opened up a jar of Beech Nut "Banana Supreme" last night for Annika. Prior to this jar, I was just pureeing bananas and feeding them to her. (I would eat the leftovers, particularly if they were mixed with oatmeal, and I thought it tasted quite good!) But we had this jar of bananas that someone gave us, so I figured we should try it. Now I understand why people say that baby food bananas are nasty. Banana Supreme was really gross. It didn't look or taste like bananas. It was this odd orange color and sort of tasted like someone had mixed in some pork with vanilla pudding and then added an artificial banana flavor to the whole mess. Neither Jim nor I could even stand the smell of it. Annika didn't think much of them either, although she doesn't like real bananas either.

So here's our tally so far:

Foods that Annie loves:
Any sort of baby cereal (rice, oatmeal, barley)

Foods that Annie feels ambivalent about:
Apple sauce
Maybe peas

Foods that Annie hates:
Bananas, but not as much as she hates squash.

For squash, if you put it in her mouth, she will keep her mouth open, with the squash stuck to the top, so that it doesn't touch her tongue. Then she'll slowly work it out of her mouth with her tongue. Last time I fed her squash, she kept her mouth open and started crying. I guess she really hates it! She doesn't do this with any other food.

Jim gloats that Annie has the same palate as he does ... he doesn't like bananas or avocados (unless mixed with something else, like in guacamole). He hates, hates, hates squash - can't even stand the smell of it. He loves carrots. He loves pea soup (which is basically what baby food peas is), and all forms of apples. He loves oatmeal and has it for breakfast frequently. I guess the true test is when we puree up some asparagus, which Jim absolutely hates more than any other food, except maybe turkey stuffing.

As you can see, the food thing is sort of slow-going. We've been waiting 3-4 days in between each food to watch for food allergies. All the moms at my play date yesterday have stopped doing this, without any problems. One of my friend's pediatricians told her that you don't have to do the waiting thing unless your family has a history of food allergies. But our pediatrician has recommended waiting in between each food. It's OK. She has tried enough foods now that it's not hard to find things for her to eat while we're trying new things.

Today we're going to a birthday party for the little boy next door, who is turning four. We realized last night that the party was today. (Something about time creeping up on us). So we have to go to the mall at 10 to pick up a gift. Now that we get up at the crack of dawn, we seem to do a lot of waiting for things to open. Doesn't it seem like stores should be open earlier than 10?

Friday, November 6, 2009

On blogs, Cape Cod, and play dates.

Of late, I've been wondering the point of this blog. Sure, it's a great place to post photos, but you all can look at all my photos on Flickr. I post photos usually once a week at least. You need to sign up for a free account and "friend" me in order to view them.  I think most of the people who read this blog already have a Flickr account. 

A blog is a great place to keep everyone updated about happenings in our life, but a) we don't really have anything all that important to report and b) I'm still in the dark about the happenings in everyone else's life. I think that the point of e-mails and letters is that it's a two-way thing. You give a little, you get a little. This blog is very much a one-way street.  I guess in the end, the main reason to have a blog is to force myself to record things, so that I can look back and remember them. I'm not so good at keeping a journal, and for some reason, blogging is a little more fun than a journal. And it takes up less space.

This week, I went to a training in Barnstable County, which is in Cape Cod, on the part of the cape that is closest to Boston. I drove down with my new boss and observed her doing the training since I will be doing these trainings quite soon. Later, she took me out to dinner. It was a pretty good day; it was nice to get out of the office and see the fall colors.

Today I'm home and this afternoon I'm going to a "play date" at the home of one of the moms that I met through one of the moms' groups I did this summer. Her son is 3 days younger than Annie and the other babies attending are all within about 2 weeks of Annie's age.  It's funny because when I had Annie, I heard of other mothers doing play dates, and I wondered how they would even get involved in such things. How do you get invited to a play date? And did I even want to go to something like a play date? I was certain that I would never figure it out. But lo and behold, I'm going to one, and I've actually been looking forward to it all week. It is really fun, and very reassuring, to hang out with moms who have babies that are the same age as Annie. It is also really fun to see all the babies get bigger and learn new things. Annie is wearing a new pink dress and brown leggings for the occasion. :)