February 2006

Oh, man, what a wonderful 24 hours! We dropped the boy off, headed immediately to FG and had a good meal, stopped at Publix for ice cream and After 8’s, watched Hitchhiker’s guide to the Galaxy, went to bed, lazed around this morning, had drive through for lunch, went to the chocolate exhibition at the museum of natural history in Atl, saw an Imax African safari movie, picked up the boy/talked to our friends, went out to eat at Chili’s and are home again. I love this life!

Also, Angel asked me to host a scrapbooking party tomorrow, but she called a few hours ago and asked if we could cancel…fine with me. Just last month I decided that I need to stop feeling guilty about not scrapbooking, I’ve recently printed and framed a lot of photos both of Max and Tj. That’s my equivalent of scrapbooking. But then I had the idea that if I could go to sb’ing parties where you complete a mini-scrapbook that would be great. Angel asked me about a party soon after and that sounded like a great idea. The same day she told me that she’s pregnant! She was shocked…she has a six-month-old! Poor girl! She needed to cancel tomorrow because Torri’s going through something now (teething?) and she’s got a bad case of morning sickness. I didn’t mind at all, plus now I don’t have to clean this wreck of a house!

Well, we just got back from Fogao Gaucho. We had reservations there for 8pm and planned on going to a late movie afterwards in downtown Atlanta, but being the old people we are we opted for coming back home (stopping for a half-gallon of ice cream on the way) and watching a movie in our pj’s. FG was good, but for the money not as good as the fondue place.

Katie and Craig came over last night (with Maddy, of course) and we had a great time. I tried out two new recipes, skillet chicken and micro risotto…they both turned out great! I was so excited! Katie made me a birthday cake, chocolate on chocolate, yum! We’d just about finished feeding Max when they got there so then they fed Maddy; we ate and talked and then watched Survivor…stopping every few minutes to critique everyone’s actions. What great friends! What a great time. I’ve never had a better birthday.

Tonight around 5pm we’re dropping Max off at their house for 24 hours!!! Yipee!

I started thinking a few weeks ago about how I haven’t really read any books since Max was born, but I sure have time for my TV shows…and that’s just not right! So I’ve cut back to three shows (from Lost, Survivor, The Apprentice, The Amazing Race and Desperate Housewives to only the reality shows) and have finished ‘Tis by Frank McCourt. It’s a very easy read and I finished it in under a week, I think. It’s more vulgar than I thought it would be, but I enjoyed reading this memoir. I don’t know why but blogs/journals/memoirs really interest me. Now I need to go back and read the prequel, Angela’s Ashes.

I also need to remember how to properly identify books and shows, but whatever.

Max is a year and a month old today so I figured I’d write a big journal entry about all of his doings of late and send it out.

At his 1-yr checkup he was 28.5″ tall (the 25th percentile), 24 pounds even (70th percentile) and had a head circumference of 19.25″ (97th percentile). I think we’re raising a shorty!

This boy still calls me ‘dada’. I’ve heard him say ‘mama’ plenty of times to know he knows it’s a word, and in the last week and a half whenever he’s really distressed or tired he calls me ‘mama’, but then when I’m close enough to pick him up he changes to ‘dada’! And if he’s feeling fine and calls me ‘dada’ and I say ‘say mama’ he looks me right in the eye and laughs and says ‘dada’! Little stinkpot!

He’s learning sign-language now. He can sign ‘hungry’, ‘down’ (from the highchair, or out of the bath) and ‘more’. He’s consistent with ‘hungry’ and ‘down’, though he does them incorrectly…the ‘down’ sign looks like he’s conducting music…but it’s obvious what he means. His ‘more’ sign has a couple of forms, but he’s getting there. He’s just beginning to pick up ‘bed’ which we, of course, pronounce ‘night night’…he used the sign for the first time last Friday night. The crazy thing is that ‘hungry’ and ‘drink’ were the first words we signed to him. We’ve been signing those two words since he was about six months old and are just starting to see results. But he never signs ‘drink’…he just keeps signing ‘hungry’ until we finally offer him something to drink. But if we say/sign ‘drink’ he looks around until he sees his drink. Of course, I keep reminding myself that it’s sometimes hard to realize he’s signing because he doesn’t have the dexterity yet to do the signs exactly as we do them.

He’s been saying ‘hungry’ for a while now. I used to ask him if he was hungry and then repeat ‘hungry, mama’ several times to him while I was buckling him into his highchair. He’s morphed that into ‘ah-dada’ which he says anytime we say the word ‘hungry’. He also says ‘un-oh’ anytime he throws something down or drops something…or when he’s just dangling something over the edge of the highchair. He really seems to have picked that one up on his own…we never worked on teaching him that word or how to use it. He can also say ‘ouch’; but usually only repeats it after me and definitely doesn’t know when to use it. He’s said a word for ‘heart’ a few times, but doesn’t ever say that one on his own.

He’s been going to our Church nursery since he was about 2 months old and goes pretty easily still. Around Christmastime he started fussing, but never fusses for even 10 whole seconds, except for that one time when they told me he cried for 15 minutes! Still, a pretty good track-record.

He’s learned to wave ‘bye-bye’ recently…although he usually waits until the person who’s leaving is out of sight…he’s into playing shy lately. He’s been doing ‘patty-cake’ for a while…though that really only means that when you start the rhyme he starts clapping his hands, but then usually stops and just watches you for a while. When Katie was here I made pancakes and found out that he loves them. A week ago I offered him one and he started doing ‘patty-cake’. He also immediately stops whatever he’s doing and claps whenever he hears ‘yea’ from anyone.

A week ago when he was in the tub Tj started playing with him and his little rubber duck. He said ‘duck’ to Max a few times, and then asked Max where his duck was and Max got it! He had 2 or 3 other toys in the tub at the time so I was surprised that he recognized the word. The next night when Max was in the tub again with 3 or 4 toys Tj came into the bathroom and asked Max where his duck was and he picked it out again! Those were the only two times we’ve ever done that to him…and he hasn’t even had that duck in his bath up until now…so it seems that he’s picked up that word pretty quickly. Makes me think I should be doing that more often.

He learned ‘so big’ a while back…when you ask him how big he is he raises both arms while you say ‘so big’. He got confused for a while because he learned ‘patty-cake’ and ‘where’s Max’ around the same time…so if you asked him any one of those three things you were as likely to get one answer as another. And on ‘where’s Max’ he’s as likely to cover his ear or nose as his eyes…we’re working on it. :-)

I’ve started saying ‘arms up’ when I put the tray on his highchair…he gets it most times.

He sucks his thumb, but only at nap/bedtimes. He has a big callus and a cut on his thumb…I guess the cut is from his teeth. He has four teeth on top and two on the bottom and it doesn’t look like he’s cutting any more yet.

He feeds himself whatever we put on his tray…as long as it’s not wet or slimy…like bananas, etc. When we eat a meal at the same time as he eats (which isn’t often) he really only wants to eat our food. I enjoy giving him little bits of what I have…I want him to eat a variety of foods and for now he doesn’t turn any food down. The only problem is that he eats faster than I can feed myself and tear/cut up food for him! Whenever I’m getting his meal ready I put him in the highchair and give him dry cereal or animal crackers to much on. About a week ago Tj was feeding Max and was playing with him…asking him for a drink or a snack and Max actually gave him a sip from his sippy cup! Max giving away food is not a sight seen often…he likes to eat too much.

Since shortly after his birthday I’ve started working with him on our stairs. I only showed him once that he must crawl to the edge of the staircase and then turn around and go down the stairs backwards. He’s always done it right until half a week ago when he started to go down face-forward. A week ago he was sitting on the second step from the bottom and I was about 10 paces away. We never let him go up or down by himself, so I told him to come. That day he’d come two or three times when I called him so I told him a second time to come, and then took a step towards him. Somehow he’s gotten it into his head that when I say ‘come’ and start towards him that I’m gonna chase him, so he got all excited and turned around to race away and fell right onto his head! I thought he hit his forehead and so went to the freezer to get some ice to put on the bump. When I put it on his head I saw out of the corner of my eye that my shoulder was covered with blood! He must’ve hit his front two teeth…he tore that little fin of skin that connects your top lip with your gums and it bled so much. I guess it’s about time to get a gate for that stair.

Since I taught him to crawl down the stairs backwards there have been several times I’ve noticed him crawling backwards in the kitchen…I have yet to catch him on tape. It took me several times to realize that he treats the change from carpet to linoleum as a step and turns around to cross from one to the other…but he doesn’t stop there, he just keeps crawling backwards until he runs into something! Silly boy!

And speaking of crawling…he crawls on his fists…makes him look like a bulldog. :-) When he reaches a hard surface he changes to open palms, but goes back to fists on the carpet.

I’ve noticed that he has a rectangular birthmark on his right side above his navel level. He has another small birthmark on his left ankle. He has a freckle on his left arm below his elbow. I don’t think he had any of these marks when he was born…he’s gotten them within the last four months or so. The birthmark he did have when he was born, called a ‘stork bite’, has almost faded completely now.

He used to have a regular bellybutton but sometime after his 6-month birthday he developed a hernia. I thought for a while that he just had an ‘outie’…it’s not huge for a hernia, I guess, but it’s pretty big for a bellybutton! It used to be that his belly button looked normal in the morning, and the more he ate the more it would stick out! But it’s gotten to where it’s just out there all the time. I think it’s getting smaller now, but it’s taking longer to go down than it did to come up.

His skin is becoming more like a kid’s skin than a baby’s. I never notice big kid’s skin, but several months ago while babysitting a friend’s kid who’s only two months older than Max I noticed that that kid’s skin was rough compared to Max’s. Less than a week ago I noticed that Max’s legs are no longer baby-soft. The rest of him seems as soft as ever, but I guess it won’t be long. We have started to bathe him a little more often lately. I’ve never been one to give him a nightly bath…he just doesn’t get that dirty so I don’t see the reason to bathe him that often. Now that he’s passed the year-mark he’s getting at least two baths per week…that may be part of why his skin is losing its softness…who knows?

This is just a snapshot of what Max is like right this moment. The fact that he changes so much so quickly has really became clear to me while writing this email…I started it two weeks ago and had to update and change several parts when I finished it today!