This past weekend was Halloween in Athens, so I decided to pack up Max and go to my parents house. It’s usually loud and crazy in town, and we live in town, so I thought it was a good opportunity to leave. It’s always nice to go visit my parents because while I’m there, they pretty much take care of me and it’s a nice change. I don’t have to worry about cleaning the house. I don’t have to worry about what to make for dinner. I can sleep in and my parents are always willing to help entertain Max, so I get time to myself. And if I’m lucky, my mom and I do a little shopping. This weekend I decided it would be a good idea to clean out the inside of my car. And my dad decided he would do the same to his cars. It’s funny. I have fond memories of washing cars with my dad. For some reason, it’s a good way for us to spend time together. Just as I was about done wiping down all the dust from the inside surfaces, my dad asked me when was the last time I rotated my tires. I had no idea. He said that it was about time for him to rotate his tires, and thought maybe we could do mine too. That made me happy. It was good to have a chance to do some work on the car with my dad. So we both worked on rotating the tires on the cars. I helped him do his car and he helped me do mine. It was kind of fun. I even felt cpmpelled to drink a beer in the middle of the afternoon, since we were working on that cars and all. So this story really isn’t about Max, but in a way it is. It’s about me doing something that I would never have been able to get done if I had stayed home for Halloween with Max and Todd.
OK. Here we are. I love the fall. The weather has been wonderful the past few weeks; bright and sunny with a bit of breeze. We’ve been able to go outside everyday and do something. Now that Max is walking, he loves to go outside and walk up and down the sidewalk in front of our house and explore the trees, rocks, leaves and whatever else is around. His vocabulary is also taking off. I was looking at a list of things that babies should be able to do by the time they are 15 months old (Max is a bit over 16 months) and it said that they should know 4-6 words. Well Max’s list is longer than that. He saya doggie, bird, bubble, kitty, cheese, bread, grapes, mommy, daddy, flower, star, car, truck, nose, eye, beer, help, more, rock, baby, block, ball and book. There’s more I just can’t remember right now. Oh yeah, he can’t say grandma, so he’s been saying manga instead.
He has also decided that milk is bickie. I have no idea where he got this, but whenever he wants milk, he makes the ASL sign for milk, and says bickie. At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to encourage this nickname, but now I’ve been calling it bickie too. It’s kind of our own little code word.
It’s Halloween. Since Max is only 5 months old, he’s not really old enough to participate in Halloween activities yet, so anything special we planned to do with him would have been for our benefit, not his. We could have taken him trick or treating, but he doesn’t eat candy, so we would just be using him to get the candy for ourselves. I wasn’t even planning on getting him a costume, until my friend Val brought out her daughter’s costume from last year and said we could borrow it. I thought, great, we can just dress him in it and take him out to dinner or something. Everyone loves a cute baby in a cute little dinosaur costume, right?
Well, a few days before Halloween I tried the costume on him and it was way too small! No big deal right, because I wasn’t even going to dress him in a costume in the first place. But, I was kind of liking the idea of having a little family Halloween outing, so I began thinking of an alternative to the way-too-small purple dinosaur.
I didn’t want to go out and buy a costume just for him to wear once, so I looked on-line to get some ideas. I found some cute ideas and decided on a skunk. All I needed was a black hooded sweatshirt, black sweat pants and some white faux fur. The fur wouldn’t be permanent, so he could wear the sweatshirt and sweat pants throughout the winter.
I found a black turtleneck bodysuit and black sweatpants, but no white fur. No biggie, I would just use some white felt instead, which I already had. And I also needed some kind of black hat, because the top didn’t have a hood. This is as far as I got. As it grew closer and closer to October 31st, I was running out of time getting the skunk costume together. I thought to myself, maybe he could just be a cat burglar. That way all I would have to do is find a black hat. I didn’t even get that far.
This morning I woke up and dressed him in the black sweatpants and turtleneck, fastened the Halloween bib that Grandma Jacops got him around his neck and we were off. And just for fun, I dressed myself the same way, without the bib of course. I had aspirations of making him a cute costume, but couldn’t quite get it done. And this is totally OK with me. Surprisingly, I let it go without making myself feel bad. Everyone who saw him in his black outfit commented on how cute he was, and it didn’t really matter if he wasn’t dressed up in some cutesy animal costume.
The black outfit and Halloween bib only lasted until lunchtime. Because he drools so much, the bib was totally soaked and his turtleneck fell victim to a leaky diaper. Such is life with Max. And it’s just fine.
Even though we didn’t have a Halloween costume, Todd still took us out to dinner at Casa. And because this is Athens and Casa is the place to be, we got to have a lovely family outing, see some friends and have a little walk on a brisk fall evening. Not a bad way to spend a Wednesday.
I saw a cookbook the other day called “The One-Armed Cook“. Now that I have Max, I find myself dividing things on my to do list into two categories. The things I can do with one hand and the things I can’t.
Amy took Max for his 4-month well baby check on Monday. He weighed in at 16 pounds; he’s in the 75th percentile, which means that he weighs more than 75% of babies his age. He’s also 26 1/4 inches tall, 90th percentile. There’s a new set of photos posted on flickr.com
He also had his second series of immunizations. He took it pretty well considering he got poked in the leg 3 times. That night he was not himself; he would get really mad all of a sudden with no apparent reason. I got really worried and did some searching on-line about the side effects of immunizations, which made me even more worried. There’s a lot of heartbreaking stories out there from parents who have written stories and are convinced that the immunizations caused their babies to become very sick and in some cases caused death.
I couldn’t really find any scientific evidence, but saw that Max’s symptoms seemed mild compared to the descriptions of some of the more serious side effects. He didn’t even have a fever, it was mostly just his behavior. He just seemed unsettled, which is unusual for him. This behavior lasted for several days and he got really fussy at night. Tylenol seemed to help, but I still had reservations about giving my baby medication and only gave it to him twice.
I know that doctors do this to protect our babies against some nasty diseases, but it’s hard for a mother to witness. Our babies are so young and I can’t help but wonder why doctors inject them with this stuff when they are so little. I’m not against immunization, but I do question why we are pressured to start immunizations at only 2 months of age, which is when he had his first round of immunizations.
Grandma and Grandpa Jacops visited this weekend and by the time they got here on Friday, Max seemed pretty much back to normal. I’m not so worried anymore.