What's New at the Pålssons'

 

What's New at the Pålssons'
Self-absorbed rambling, useless trivia and shameless bragging

December 30, 2000—Max Pålsson, one year old!

Today we celebrated Max's first birthday by offering him not one but two cakes after dinner. Well, one cream cake (princesstårta—a Pålsson tradition) and a pumpkin pie (his cousin Ben's suggestion). We lit one candle in each, and Mama blew out the candles after Papa made wishes for Max (first wish: to grow taller; second wish: to quit pooping his pants!). Max liked digging his hands into the cream cake, but for taste he definitely preferred the pumpkin. That's my boy! We tried to put a party hat on Max, but he ripped it off every time.

Obviously Max is too young to appreciate his birthday, but his father and I certainly aren't. This birthday is much more important to me than my own birthday has been for a long time. We're so proud of our little boy and all he can do and communicate. We're so thankful that we've gotten Max to his first birthday with no major mishaps or serious illnesses. It's been a year of joy and delight on many levels.

In addition, I celebrate the fact that Max seems happy and well-adjusted, because in all honesty, this year has tested the limits of my patience, my capacity for tedious household chores, and my ability to take care of an almost helpless human being. So in that sense I personally celebrate one year of a challenging job well done (even if I say so myself). It feels good to see Max turn one year old. Happy birthday, Max!!!


December 29—Christmas report

Christmas in Perstorp was a delight. It was very relaxing, and we all slept surprisingly well. The food was great, thanks to Anna-Brita, and there were also plenty of presents delivered by Santa (aka Sven) on Christmas Eve. Max was fascinated by the man in the red suit and mask, and he was a bit tentative but not afraid. Max took a present from him and then sat in his lap and tweaked Santa's nose. We got pictures! (And by the way, there are now also other pictures from daycare and so on.)

Bengt and I got a new camera as a Christmas present to each other. My old point-and-shoot suddenly stopped working (the mechanism is probably jammed with sand from our beach vacation last summer), and with Max around of course we need a good camera. We'd been talking about getting an APS camera, so we researched it and ended up getting a Canon which you can set to point & shoot but it also has other programs and manual settings. The first roll of film we got developed from that camera wasn't so hot, but then we got the hang of it and our Christmas pictures are awesome!!! Hope we can get them up on our website soon. (That's Bengt's department.) The new camera is such a pleasure to use and the pictures are really great.

On Christmas day my cough came back with a vengence. I had a fever, and Bengt got sicker, as well. By the time we left on the 27th, it was apparent that Anna-Brita and Anders had also been infected. I feel really bad about that.

Today I called the clinic to get one of their "emergency" appointments that I know they keep available, and I got one for me but they wouldn't give me one for Bengt since they only had a couple left. So I got in there and the doc listened to my lungs and said, "Oh my goodness, you poor thing, I'm not letting you leave here without antibiotics—and why don't you call home and have your husband come in, too, and I'll squeeze him in." So Bengt brought Max in and he got antibiotics, too. Max is still doing ok without them. His nose is still running, but he's coughing less each day.

I asked the doc if we needed to treat Max just so Bengt and I wouldn't be infected again, and she said this bacteria is everywhere, so it's no use. It gets you when your resistance is down, and if we really get better and get our rest, we won't necessarily get it again, even if Max is still carrying it. So, that's fine with me. As much as I hate taking antibiotics, I'd rather take five courses of them than have Max take them unnecessarily.

At any rate, I guess Bengt and I will be feeling better soon. With the holidays over and us going back to work and Max off to daycare, we'll be less cooped up together, as well, and hopefully we won't get sick again. Cross your fingers.

We were sorry to hear that my mom slipped on the ice and broke her ankle on Christmas Day! She had to have an operation on the 27th and was in the hospital overnight. She seemed in pretty good spirits when I talked to her today, even though she's pretty immobile. We wish her a speedy recovery!


December 21

Max loves animals so much. He goes nuts every time he sees a dog outside. When people are out walking their dogs and see Max pointing so eagerly, they sometimes ask me if Max wants to pet the dog, who they hasten to point out is very friendly. I always say that Max would LOVE to pet their dog. So the dog comes up to the stroller and licks Max's face and often puts his paws up on Max. (I'm kind of grossed out by dogs licking Max, but I guess it won't make him sick so I let Max enjoy it.) He loves it!

Yesterday we were walking home from daycare and there seemed to be dogs everywhere. One big beautiful lab retriever was running around in her yard behing a chain-link fence, and I took the stroller close so Max and dog could check each other out. It was a nice dog (we've met her before). When Max stuck his hand up to the fence, the dog grabbed Max's mitten and started running in circles with it! Max burst out laughing but, not wanting to spend another $8 on mittens, I started trying to lure that dog back to the fence. Eventually the dog came back to tease me with the mitten, and I got ahold of it, but that dog wouldn't let go. It just "grinned" a doggy grin at me. "Let go! Let go!" I commanded, but in vain. Then, "Släpp!" in Swedish, and voila, the dog obeyed! Ha! Never assume a dog understands English.

Then we saw two other little dogs we know—yap yap yap yap yap!—and Max dissolved in giggles at the sight of them. I bet he's going to ask for a dog as soon he can talk! Sigh. I'll be outnumbered.

But Max also loves Maja. He chases her, pets and pokes her, and pulls her tail. He tries to chew her tail, too, but that's where I draw the line.

We're off to Perstorp tomorrow. Wish us luck with sleeping all in the same room! Here at home, the three of us usually sleep in separate rooms! We find we all get a lot more sleep that way.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


December 19—Our first snow

The world has definitely opened up for Max, and he wants to explore it all right now! He is very demanding and wants my help every minute to do things that he can't do by himself. He's getting into everything.

His latest thing is going up and down the stairs. And up and down and up and down... He can climb the stairs very well (and very fast), but then he wants to walk down, holding on to both of my hands. I've tried to get him to crawl down backwards, but that's apparently not as much fun, even if it means he can do it by himself.

Yesterday we were eating lunch and I told Max his face was messy. He took a dishtowel from the counter and tried to rub his mouth clean on it.

Last night we finally got our first dusting of snow, and temperatures are below freezing. Before our walk to daycare, I bundled Max up in the usual outerwear, plus shoes and mittens, neither of which it has been cold enough to insist upon before now. Max detests wearing shoes and won't stand up if there are shoes on his feet. He cried when I put mittens on him, but he didn't try to take them off once we were outside. He was stunned into silence at the sight of the snow.

At daycare, Max was pushing a toy truck around in the kitchen and slipped and bonked his head on the floor. One little four- year-old girl came and got me, and when we got to the kitchen another little girl was patting Max, trying to comfort him. Max soon stopped crying, and I felt so tender towards those little girls for helping Max.

This is our last week of this open daycare, because I'm going to start work on January 2. We've been going almost every day, so it will feel strange to stop. I took a few pictures there yesterday, to document it. I'm glad Max will get to go sometimes without me starting in February, when he'll be with Birgitta.


December 14—Max's midnight revelation

Max was awake from 12:30 to 3:10 a.m. this morning. Argh!! He was tired but determined to explore and play rather than sleep. He cried in frustration whenever we put him back in his crib.

Then today he was noticeably "different". He behaved differently, suddenly challenging me in new ways. For example, he suddenly wants to know what happens when he disobeys a "no". I think today he tried everything that I've ever told him not to do. He's also being much more purposeful and adamant about the desires/needs he expresses. It's almost as if he has realized consciously that what he expresses has an effect, so now he insists that it does and becomes very impatient if I don't (or can't) respond immediately.

Whatever it is, I can see that during the night he made come kind of conceptual leap.

So today he bounced back and forth between intricate, excited interaction with me and rage when I wouldn't immediately give him something he indicated he wanted. He went for all the no-no's in the house (not that there are so many), usually looking me right in the eye while he did so. He sure kept me hopping!

I know this is a huge step forward for Max. But today certainly was trying. Just when you think you've got them figured out... Bengt is also noticing the difference, and reminded me that Max was particularly lucid yesterday. I guess his little synapses were working overtime.

New item today: When I ask Max, "Where are your ears?", he grabs one in each hand and pulls them out from his head to show me. It's so cute! I didn't actually teach him this on purpose. He was feeling his ears, so I said "ears" a few times. Later when I asked him where his ears were, he showed me. He does it every time. Maybe I'll try adding one body part per day. I'm pretty sure he already knows feet, knees, hands, mouth, and fingers.

Actually, now that I think about it, the new item is that Max is answering my question—communicating with me more pointedly than before. Whereas before today he simply associated certain words with certain body parts, now he seems to understand that when I ask a question, he can answer. It's not just trained behavior, like raising his arms in response to "How big is Max?" or some of the other responses he's been making to what I say. He's answering my question. I mean, he's been extraordinarily communicative as far as babies go, but what I think I saw today was much more pointed than before.

Wow, this conscious communication, if that's what's happening, really is a huge leap forward. What a delight, and what a responsibility!

Writing this has really helped me figure out what's going on with Max. If I weren't working on this website, I wouldn't have spent this much time mulling it over. So I'm glad!

I remember that when I took care of Samuel Baetzel when he was a year old, he had a revelation and refused to sleep. I can see how exciting realizations can make sleep seem out of the question.

We got Max's lab results back today, and of course he has the same bacterial infection that I do. However, the nurse told me that the adults who catch it from their kids usually get a lot sicker than the kids. Often the children don't require antibiotics, and since Max is so young it would be best not to give them to him. She said to keep an eye on him and call for a prescription if he gets worse instead of continuing to get better (as he has).

By the way, have a look at this little Christmas message! So true!


December 13

Max and I went to the doctor two days ago, at Bengt's insistence. We each had a nose swab (to see if it's bacterial and we should be on antibiotics)—NOT fun. Max screamed bloody murder. I felt like such a traitor, holding him in an iron grip so the nurse could jam a stick way up his nose and hold it there. But he got over it within a couple of minutes and hasn't seemed any worse for the betrayal. In fact, today he was in such a good mood that we had the most wonderful afternoon, in spite of the fact that we're both still sick. He was laughing all afternoon! Little twerp.

My lab results came back today and I need penicillin. I've gotten steadily worse, and today I think I have the worst cough I've ever had in my life. My chest feels heavy and tight, I cough until I choke, and I feel like I can't get enough air. So I hope the penicillin helps quickly!!

I was reading on the Internet about the bacteria that was found, Moraxella catarrhalis. One site said that this bacteria often infects otherwise healthy individuals, especially children under the age of two! (I've been coughing a lot longer than Max, so maybe I got it from one of the other kids at open daycare and then passed it on to Max.) On another site it said that this bacteria can result in pneumonia. Yikes! All the sites I found recommended that it be treated with penicillin.

For some reason, Max's lab results didn't come today with mine. He is still coughing but actually seems to be getting better without antibiotics. He is sleeping well again, and the doctor did not think it was necessary to prescribe antibiotics for him, especially without seeing the lab result. Perhaps he can fight this off without them, even if it is the same bacterial infection I have. As long as we keep an eye on him and get him antibiotics if he takes a turn for the worse.

I have asked myself why, if we have the same infection, Max can fight it off and I can't. You'd think I would have a stronger immune system than Max! On the other hand, he gets to rest as much as he wants, but I don't have that luxury. I feel like if I'd gotten to rest for a couple of days, I might have gotten better, too. I've been resting as much as I can, but there is a certain minimum of laundry, grocery shopping, running around with Max, and cleaning that has to be done.

Today is Lucia, a pre-Christmas holiday, and the kids at Max's daycare had a little Lucia parade/play and sang. Bengt and I took Max so see it, and I managed to control my coughing long enough to accompany the kids on my flute. (Most of them are so little that they can't carry a tune.) It turned out really nice! The place was packed. I hope I didn't give anybody the crud. This was before I found out the lab result.


December 10

Max has become pretty interested in his board books lately. These past months he's been interested enough to sit through one reading of certain books if I take the initiative. But now he fetches books and brings them to me, or sits and pages through them by himself. He will sit through two or three readings in a row of the same book, turning the book back to the beginning as soon as I'm finished with it. One of his favorites is a book of baby faces showing different expressions, and he pretends to wipe the mouth of the "messy" baby.

Another favorite thing to do with books is clear them off the bookshelf to the floor, then pick each one up and place it back on the bookshelf...

Lately Max has been putting things into containers. This is nice when I want his Duplo blocks back in their tub; Max will do that for me. However, I've also found the books from my nightstand in the wastebasket. I've caught him just about to drop a cup into the toilet. I didn't manage to catch him before he slung his pants into the bathtub of running water. And I found his favorite ball in the clothes hamper. The remote control for the livingroom stereo has been missing for weeks. I bet Max threw it in the trash or something, and we didn't notice! :-(

Today the new thing Max did was guide my hand to a toy he wanted me to manipulate for him. He did this twice, in two different situations.

Max still likes to be chased and to chase me. If I say, "Should I get you?" then he usually smiles and takes off. Sometimes on his feet now, rather than crawling.

Max is very interested in the stairs. When we go upstairs, he usually wants to climb them himself. He also loves to go down the stairs—either crawling backwards by himself (though he can't do this dependably yet) or walking down the stairs while holding on to both of my hands. I say, "You did it!" and he repeats, "Deed it!" It's sooooo cute!

Max and I still have terrible colds, and Max is back to taking two short naps each day. But he still goes to bed fairly early in the evening.


December 6

Max is the most amazing, happy, growing creature! He has been cruising around here like there's no tommorow. He practices walking by very pointedly doing laps in a room or hall. He still walks rather stiff-legged with his arms held out like Frankenstein's monster, but he's pretty steady. He can carry things, turn around without hanging on to anything, stop and pick something up off the floor, and step over the raised thresholds that are all over our house. He can sit down gracefully, and he always catches himself handily when he does fall. He doesn't usually crawl from one place to another anymore, but walks. However, he can't run yet, so we still crawl when we chase each other.

Max has also had a huge leap in comprehension lately. I can see that Max understands a lot of what I say. I couldn't even begin to list everything he understands, but it's really surprising. And he is more and more able to make himself understood by pointing, trying to say words, using an expressive tone of voice, waving bye-bye if he wants to leave a place, shaking his head, calling "Mama!", etc. It's really exciting!

Max understood the concept of "no" long ago, and now he's constantly testing Bengt and me. Sometimes he gets angry or frustrated if he isn't allowed to do something. Other times it's obvious he's just trying to get a rise out of us. It's a game, for example, to crawl over to Bengt's DVDs and start yanking them off the shelf. He looks over his shoulder at us and laughs as he does it, because he knows we'll come and pull him away from there and say no. As soon as we release him, he goes back for more.

This morning I caught him throwing pancakes down on the floor just to watch Maja eat them.

I still have my cough, but Max is getting used to me coughing and clearing my throat. He still doesn't like it, but he doesn't whimper every time anymore—possibly because he's coughing himself! His nose is runny, too. Yesterday he barely ate anything. He just wanted välling and fruit juice.

As for sleeping, Max has gotten much better at falling asleep by himself and falling back asleep if he happens to wake up too early. I often hear him awake at 6 or 7 a.m. but then he doses off again and doesn't get up until 8 or even (one time) 9! Woa! And lately he's been taking a 2- to 3-hour nap around noon and then staying up for the rest of the day, until 7:30 or 8 p.m. I love not having to accommodate a second nap, and I appreciate that he goes to bed earlier in the evening when he doesn't have a second nap. Things are definitely looking up on the sleep front!

Unfortunately, he's still insisting on a small bottle of välling sometime during the night. I guess he can't go twelve hours without eating. Well, you can't have everything.

Max's one lonely tooth sticks up pretty far now. It looks funny when he smiles—like a carved pumpkin with only one tooth! Still no sign of additional teeth. His hair is getting long. We're starting to talk about getting him a proper haircut. It's not actually too long, but it's still patchy so we want to trim the long hair to give the bald patches time to fill in.

Grandma and Grandpa got Max a Little Tykes tricycle (for 18-36 months) for Christmas. I can hardly wait to let him open it! I think he'll love it! It will be really fun to watch him figure out how to ride it. Must take lots of video footage.


November 30

Thank heavens Max slept through the night last night, after our terrible day. Twelve hours! Yee-ha! And today was a lot better than yesterday. He had watery stools, probably a result of his refusal to eat anything but välling (thin cereal from a bottle) and kiwis yesterday. Doh! He usually eats whatever I offer him, but yesterday was a very strange day.

Lately I've noticed that Max lets me know when he's ready to leave open daycare. He looks around for me, climbs up into my arms, and starts waving bye-bye to the others. His message couldn't be clearer: We're outa here.

When Max wants me to chase him, he says, "Dee-do! Dee-do!" and slaps his hand on the floor. That's "Get you!", as near as I can figure. I always spur him on by calling, "I'm gonna git you!" This is the latest "word" I've noticed him using.

Today Max is 11 months old. Almost a year! What a big boy.


November 29—One of Max's worst days

Today was one of the worst days Max and I have had. He whined and carried on all day. He wanted me to carry him around all the time, but I was too exhausted myself. I have a cold and a cough. When I cough, it startles him. When I clear my throat, he buries his face in my chest or against my legs and whimpers. I can see he's disturbed by it, but there's not much I can do besides try to muffle it.

Max wouldn't go down for his morning nap. When he finally did, he slept for only 45 minutes and then woke up cranky. And he absolutely would not go down for an afternoon nap, though he was obviously tired. Believe me, I tried everything. Several times. Finally Bengt came home around 6 p.m. and I escaped to the bedroom to read and recover my composure. Bengt gave Max a bath, and we got him to sleep by 7:15. WHEW! I just hope he sleeps through the night! Or at least doesn't wake up more than once. (He usually wakes up once.)

I stopped breastfeeding Max weeks ago, but I'm still swollen and leaky. This doesn't contribute positively to my frame of mind.

To Max's credit, I should say that most days are fine. Some, like yesterday, are exceptionally good. Max had two naps and did great with the sitter while I went swimming.


November 22—Max turbo

Max is walking a lot now. He loves to practice. He can usually toddle several meters (yards) without falling. When he falls, he always lands on his hands or bottom, so he doesn't complain.

He has also become pretty consistent (and insistent) when he shakes his head "no". For awhile there, he would, for instance, say "no" to food but then open his mouth anyway. Now he says "no" and really means it, and he points to what he wants. He likes to mix his food now. Rather than eat all of his vegetables and then his fruit and then have a drink, he likes to alternate them, and he is very clear about what he wants. It's kinda neat.

Max has been throwing things. He can throw balls pretty far.

His favorite toy at the moment is one of those battery-operated closet lights that you press to turn off and on. I took it down from our bathroom wall, and he loves to turn it off and on.


November 18

Yesterday I took Max to the bird and butterfly house in Solna. Max enjoyed watching the butterflies and especially the birds, but more interesting was eating in the café and watching what was going on around him.

I wasn't able to keep him awake in the car on the way home, so he slept for 5 minutes and then woke up when I stopped the engine. Unfortunately, he couldn't get back to sleep. By the time he could have gotten to sleep again, hours later, it was too late in the day for a nap. He was fragile and difficult for the rest of the evening, and we put him to bed early.

Max has been waking up around 6:00 every morning. Never did get used to the switch to daylight savings time, I guess.

Max has been purposefully practicing walking. He will walk short distances to us if we hold out our arms, and he often wants to hold our fingers and walk around the house.

He is also speaking more clearly. For example, nowadays he calls "Mama! Mama!" instead of "Mamamamama". I also heard him say "pappa" for the first time yesterday. And his babblings are definitely more enunciated than just last week.

It's so funny when Max points to something he wants to see closer or touch. He points with his whole body! His arm shoots out, his back arches, he looks intently at what he wants, and if he could talk he would yell, "Over there!" He's so enthusiastic, even when pointing. Sometimes I sit back and laugh incredulously at his unrelenting energy.


November 16

Just a note: We were at daycare today and Max climbed into a doll's bed and laid down to sleep! I guess he was a little more tired than I thought...

Also, Max discovered his penis yesterday evening in the bathtub. Which is surprising since it is almost entirely hidden from view by his sturdy round tummy!


November 15—Max is beginning to walk!

I haven't written for awhile, primarily because my parents were here. We had a really good visit. The grandparents spent gobs of time with their youngest grandson, which of course was the point. We also had fun talking and playing some games that we bought at Ikea. We didn't visit many of the tourist attractions this time, but did make a short trip to Gamla Stan (the old town) and the National Museum.

The grandparents were very amused by the way Max crawls, using his right knee and left leg extended. He does look a little like a crab.

Last week I jotted a note to myself that I should mention here that Max had been standing unassisted and using his walker to practice walking. But that's already out of date! Max took his first tentative steps a few days ago, and yesterday we saw him take 2-4 unassisted steps several times within a half hour. We even got two of those sets of steps on video! Today I've noticed that when Max wants to get from one place to another, he usually stops to check how far it is and if he can possibly get there by walking. If it's too far, he drops down on his bottom and crawls.

Another new thing in the last 10 days is pointing. Max points to things he wants to touch or have, and he points in directions he wants to be carried.

One evening when I was rinsing Max's hair in the bathtub, I noticed a little smile on his lips. So I kept him leaned back with his head supported in my hand, pouring warm water over his head and tummy. Max closed his eyes and was clearly enjoying the feeling. He moved around gently in the water. The next night, I put less water in the tub so that he could lie down in the tub without his head going under water. He really enjoyed that, until he rolled over on his side (as if to go to sleep) and got his nose under water. He did the same thing with Bengt the following evening. He can really relax and enjoy his bath!

A small worry for me is that Max gets upset when Bengt tells him "no" in a stern voice. He occasionally even cries and needs a comforting hug. I think Bengt will need to save the stern voice and facial expression for the serious (read dangerous) transgressions rather than when he simply wants Max to stop grabbing the newspaper out of his hand.


November 4—Argh, these headaches are driving me mad!

Once again I had a headache all day. I woke up with it and threw up before breakfast, and I had to take Tylenol #3 all day to keep it down to a dull throb. I can't figure out what's causing these headaches. Hope the doctor can find something easily fixable. My appointment is this coming Wednesday.

My head felt best around lunchtime, and I had a hankering for Indian food. Bengt was napping so I popped Max in the car and off we went to an Indian restaurant about 15 minutes away. It was the first time I depended on being able to feed Max from my plate, and we didn't take any baby food along.

Max looked pretty surprised when he tasted the spicy vegetable dish I ordered, but he ate it right up, as I knew he would. That kid will eat anything!

It was a fun outing for us. There was Indian music playing and there were lots of interesting people to watch, including several children and one man with a wild head of hair and an amazing beard. Max thoroughly enjoyed himself, and I enjoyed watching Max enjoy himself. I'm not the most spontaneous person, as you know, so I patted myself on the back for seizing the moment and doing something different.

Later on I had a rest, and when I got up Bengt told me that he'd changed a poopy diaper from hell. It was huge and leaky, but Max didn't seem to be in any distress, so I guess it's ok. Glad it was Bengt and not me, though! Ha ha!

Today was the third or fourth time (not in a row) that Max has skipped his afternoon nap. Just didn't get tired and wouldn't go down. We had to put him to bed earlier this evening, but that doesn't seem to cause him to wake up any earlier. So I like this trend. I'm just as happy to have him skip that afternoon nap, which is often awkward to plan around. Another hour of sleep at night is better than an hour or more in the middle of the afternoon.

Max has also slept all the way through some nights, though generally he still wakes up once. We give him a little bottle and he goes back to sleep. I don't blame him for waking up. I usually wake up to get a drink at night, too. It's just too bad we can't put a bottle within reach and teach Max to help himself without waking us.


November 2, 2000

Today I'm here updating our website courtesy of our new babysitter, Sara!! She is 16 or 17 years old and I found her note on the bulletin board in our little neighborhood grocery store. She's upstairs playing with Max right now. I figured I'd stay home the first time or two she comes, just in case. I wish the weather were nicer—then they could have gone outside.

Sara speaks both English and Swedish at home, so she will speak English with us. What Max actually needs is more Swedish—but he'll get that soon enough at daycare.

Speaking of daycare, we got out of the contract with the big daycare place with no problem and accepted the spot with Birgitta. I'm glad it worked out. We'll have to scrape together daycare the first few weeks after I return to work, but it'll be worth the trouble in the long run.

Max had his 10-month check-up at the clinic yesterday. A doctor performed this particular examination, rather than just the midwife. Everything was fine, of course. Max's weight and height are right on track (both near the top of the curve), as well as other developmental milestones such as grabbing blocks and banging them together, catching himself on his hands if he falls forward, pulling himself up to a standing position, waving bye-bye, etc. In addition, Max surprised them by cheerfully doing his imitation of a bear growling. The doctor commented that he seemed very happy. Yep! He's a cheerful boy!

He's also very curious, and he is constantly in Explorer mode. These last couple of days he's insisted on exploring things that he normally can't reach. He stretches his little hand toward whatever he wants to touch. This morning when I walked into his room to get him out of his crib, he was already reaching for "his" hanging plant. It has several pink buds on it that we've been monitoring and discussing, and now he wants to check them every hour or so to see if they've bloomed!

It's understandable, but it sure is tiring, carrying him around so much and supervising him while he fingers curtains, pictures, hanging plants, lamps, and everything else that's out of reach and that you can't just put on the floor and let him explore. And I used to be able to drink my coffee in the livingroom every morning while he played with his toys—forget that! He's tugging on my sweats and reaching up toward the shelves and getting seriously annoyed if I don't help him explore immediately! ARGH! I guess I just have to insist on being able to sit down for a few minutes, and just let him complain, after I explain why he'll have to wait. Right??

Another new thing is that Max chases me. I crawl to another room, looking back over my shoulder occasionally, and he chases me. He likes when I get out of sight and then he "finds" me. The other day I accidentally scared the crap out of him, yelling "boo!" as he came around the corner into the kitchen. He screamed! But he recovered quickly and didn't cry or anything. I felt bad about it, but it sure was funny when he screamed with surprise!

We didn't have a single trick-or-treater! Rats. The stores had costumes and stuff for the kids, but I guess trick-or-treating hasn't become popular yet. Or else there's some signal (such as a pumpkin on the porch) that means trick-or-treaters are welcome, that we didn't know about. Now I have all this candy to eat...

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