Don't let this nice picture fool you. Xander is out of control. OUT OF CONTROL I tell you!
Consider what happened moments before this shot was snapped...
Yes. He's got his brother by the ear. And, I believe, me by the juglar.
Xander is at the phase where he grabs everything. Totally normal behavior for a five month-old. The thing is, he can also GET to everything he wants.
He's not crawling, but he can rotate all the way around AND scootch. He gets his knees up under him and then digs in with his feet and propells forward. The other day I tried to get some dinner ready. When I looked over at him, he was gone. Nothing like that feeling of WHERE DID HE GO??!?
He'd simply traveled off his playmat and was practically off the carpet and onto the floor - a distance of about four feet.
He also enjoys flipping over during poopy diaper changes. And screams his head off the whole time.
This kid. Right here.
I have no idea where he gets it from...
I am not AT ALL ready for a mobile baby. We are not child-proofed yet. I have tried to get the bigger kids to pick up all the tiny Toys of Choking Death they like to leave around. And their fruit snack wrappers that they try to hide under the couch.
They are kind of getting it. But then today I heard some crunching. There was Xander, chewing on a newspaper. Hey, it's fiber, right?
He also is back to wanting to be carried. And since I'm genetically programmed to follow his every command, I comply. I'd say he looks pretty pleased with himself.
He's also not sleeping at night. Again. I put an old aquarium thing-y in his crib and it took him about 2 seconds to figure out how to turn it on. So at random times at night, I'll hear the sound of the ocean before the inevitable shrieking. Makes me long for the beach...not so much.
He will be six months old in a few weeks. I can't wait to see what he has in store for me.
The call didn't come in the middle of the night. This one arrived just after 11 in the morning.
I saw it was David. I figured he was calling to tell me he and the kids were on the way home from his mother's. I was blissfully enjoying a couple rare child-free hours. I was folding laundry. After taking a shower. I was thinking maybe I'd even have time to straighten my hair.
But his words stopped me. Sent my heart racing.
"Sawyer just threw up. And his nose is runny."
Which is when I shrieked "WHAT DID HE EAT?!?!"
The thing with peanut allergy is it's always there, lying in wait like a cold-blooded killer. You can hate it all you want. It's not going away, as much as you really, really wish it would.
Apparently, David's mother gave Sawyer a rice ball that she'd bought. Sawyer took a bite but didn't like it. THANK THE LORD. After Sawyer got sick, she said she had no idea what was in it. Which is not something you can do when you have a kid with a severe nut allergy.
David and I talked on the phone several times on their drive home, just under 40 minutes. Should we just meet at a hospital? Should he pull over and administer the epi pen?
Finally, finally they arrived. I took one look at Sawyer - covered in hives, his face swollen, his voice funny - and yelled to David to stab him with the epi pen.
We then called 911.
I have to say my little rock star was calm when questioned by firemen and paramedics. He actually looked excited when he got into the ambulance, waving to one of the high school girls on our street who'd gathered with a bunch of our neighbors on the yard next door to us. David climbed in with Sawyer and off they went.
At last, my tears came.
Some might say I'm over-the-top cautious about Sawyer's allergy. I will not let him eat anything that I didn't personally make or doesn't come in a wrapper that I can read. I am very lucky that I have a group of friends who take his allergy very seriously and check all labels and even call me to make sure what they're serving or bringing on a playdate is okay for Sawyer.
There are times when it's tough to be the food police. He's had to pass on birthday cake, treats from Starbucks, baked goods at school functions, on trips to ice cream parlors for fear of cross-contamination.
He has always been incredibly understanding when I tell him it's not safe for him. But it still sucks.
Turns out, David's mother made some calls and discovered the rice balls contained crushed peanuts. I keep thinking about what would have happened if he loved them and had eaten a ton. Terrifying.
Episodes like this serve as a stark reminder of why I have to be so protective. My mother-in-law of course feels terrible. But it didn't occur to her that there is, without being overly dramatic, potential danger lurking in every food. You never, ever give him food if you're not 100 percent positive what's in it.
It is a tough lesson to learn.
I am extremely grateful that, by 3 in the afternoon, he was discharged from the hospital. He'd had a shot of benadryl and another IV drug - "I didn't even cry, Mommy!" - and acted completely normal. You would never guess his body had revolted so violently.
Need proof? This was recorded late yesterday afternoon. For your viewing pleasure, please enjoy Sawyer's creative dance to Thriller ("that song by young Michael Jackson. He's dead now."). And pay no attention to the disaster of a garage behind him.
I was browsing my blog list this morning because I'm alone in the house. That's right, internets. I'm alone. Other than my two dogs. I won't even tell you what I'm wearing right now.
So I went over to see what was going on over at one of my faves, Mom-101. And she posted about this group called Straight No Chaser, an a capella group which apparently grabbed a huge audience - we're talking well over a gazillion hits - last year for their unique rendition of the 12 Nights of Christmas.
Of course, I never heard of them. So I figured, as long as I'm home alone and naked except for a pink tutu, why not check it out, even though it's August and 163 degrees out. I'm SO glad I did.
They also do non-holiday stuff. I went on their website and listened to their new song sampler. Definitely worth it. And Mom-101 also has a live performance of another holiday song.
Take a few minutes and listen. You might just find yourself humming along!
When you have your third kid, and you put on more weight than, shall we say, is recommended, and then your ligaments are so loose that it's impossible to walk at times, never mind run, the LAST thing you want to do is get into a bathing suit. If you had one that actually fit. Which you don't.
Then your friend starts pointing out that you're missing out on a lot of the summer by not going in the water with your kids (despite the fact you're always holding your baby and you're not a fan of him being out in the sun that long).
So you start thinking about what it would take to get you in the water. A burquini, you think. Something that would cover EVERYTHING.
Your neighbor tells you that such a thing exists. In fact, she ordered a pair of swim pants - yes, full-length pants - in a fun Hawaiian floral pattern.
You then come across this news story about a woman who was banned from wearing HER burquini in a public pool in France (shocker) because it was deemed unsanitary.
I mean, if I wore one, perhaps I wouldn't shave quite so carefully, but that's hardly unsanitary, just unappealing.
This is not at ALL to mock women who wear modest swimsuits because of their religious beliefs. The burquini also is definitely of interest to women who are not Muslim, but who would like some extra coverage for myriad reasons: weight, scars, burns, the elderly, etc..
And frankly, there are many men who I wish would just cover it up a little more, know what I'm saying? Two words: back hair.
Probably I should just get over myself and buy a cheap suit at Kohls. Thankfully, the summer's over soon. Let's hope this time next year there's less of me to cover.
How many baby dolls did you get as a child - or buy for your own children - that came with a bottle so you could "feed" it?
Now a toy maker in Spain has put out the Bebé Glotón, an infant doll that is made to promote breastfeeding as a natural act. Your daughter (or son?) can strap on a halter top that has little flower pasties at the nipple area. The doll makes sucking motions and sounds when it is brought up to the flowers.
It's kind of an interesting idea. I mean, I'm not a fan of ANY toy that makes noises (notice is always either the childless friends or the ones with bigger kids who give you those) and I'm not about to give my kid a top with fake "nipples," but it is cool that a toy maker would create a product like this.
Because in the U.S.? It would never fly. When you talk about anything that contains the word "breast" it automatically becomes sexualized. How many of you breastfeeding moms have ever gotten the hairy eyeball from someone - often an older woman - for nursing your child in public? It's so odd to me. I mean, you're FEEDING YOUR BABY, not engaging in some sort of twisted sex act.
Actually, the only problem I have with the doll is that it's not necessary, in the same way I didn't buy my kids a play kitchen with a stove that makes a sizzling noise. I'm about imagination, and my kids did just fine "nursing" Anakin and Padme.
As expected, the doll has generated outrage from those fine, morally upstanding citizens of this great nation. Some of these comments on this blog make me laugh, especially one of the first ones where someone thinks a five year-old is too young to know what a breast is (WHA? Makes you wonder what she tells her child to call that hole where that yellow liquid comes out!) or when nursing is equated with pooping on a restaurant table.
This just goes to show - once again - that as much as we're beaten over the head that "breast is best" and our baby is going to grow up to be sickly, dumb and maladjusted if we DON'T breastfeed, the reality is nursing is not fully supported in our culture.
Not by employers, businesses, public places, law enforcement or, perhaps saddest of all, other women.
I'm generalizing, of course, but really, we all have stories about being made to feel that our need to feed our baby - which, I believe is one of if not THE most important job description that we have as mothers - is somehow inconvenient at best and disgusting at worst.
How else to explain why a bunch of women, in conjunction with The Breastfeeding Promotion Leadership Committee in New York City felt it necessary to have an annual nursing caravan on the subway last week. Their purpose? To raise awareness and pushing for a breastfeeding "bill of rights."
I try to be respectful in public. I have my nursing cover, but if I forgot it, like I did at the county fair yesterday, well, I just tried to be discreet as possible. The idea that women "whip it out" it just hilarious to me. Trust me, we don't want our boobs flapping in the breeze, but we do need to get it into position for our baby to feed.
At home with my family, then, well, yes, the kids see my breasts every day. They've seen their brother scream and cry and then, suddenly, become calm once he latches on. They've seen him drift peacefully off to sleep while engaged in his favorite activity. They know it's how he eats, how he is comforted.
The lessons? Our body is not something to be ashamed of. Babies grow bigger and stronger from the food a woman's body can provide. It's completely natural.
They don't need a doll to teach them that. Their mom is enough of a role model.
The thing about being the youngest of three (and I speak from experience, people) is that you are always surrounded by really cool stuff to look at - especially your older siblings.
Xander is totally fascinated. I'm guessing when he gazes at Sawyer he knows that he's going to look just like his big bro in five years. And he's completely in love with Sage. Thinks she's hilarious.
He's also in a very big hurry to catch up. This explains why Xander is already mobile. He's not crawling, per se, but he can roll, spin around 180 degrees, and he but he puts his feet up under his but and somehow propels himself forward.
I found out just how far he can travel yesterday afternoon. David took the kids to karate and I put Xander on his play mat. I then sat down and decided to read the paper (I KNOW! Shocking!). I couldn't quite see him because there's an exersaucer in the way (yes, our house is currently decorated in Early Baby).
But I could tell he was content (as in, not squawking). I could hear him playing and it was so nice and quiet. I read the Local section. Glanced at Sports. Started reading the comics.
Then it occurred to me that it was just a little TOO quiet. So I stand up, and what is my intrepid little boy doing? He'd scootched off the mat and was happily chewing on the bottom of my shoe! GAH!! He was like a happy puppy. I, on the other hand, was completely freaked out.
I mean, I know where that shoe's been! EVERYWHERE! I literally wear it every day. The icky factor is just beYOND!
Thankfully he's still alive.
Then again, I pretty much say that after all three are finally peacefully sleeping. After dealing with screaming, squabbling, rambunctious kids, some days, that they're still all breathing is the most I can hope for.