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One of my easiest decisions as a parent so far was the choice to vaccinate my baby. I feel 100 percent confident that protecting him from potentially deadly diseases is my responsibility as a mother and vaccines are a safe, effective way to do that. I’ve done my research (although the internet is a hard hard place to do vaccine research, especially if you’re actually in favor of vaccinating) and I’ve talked to my doctor and I choose my choice. It’s chosen. My blogger friend Brigid posted a video from the CDC a while back addressing some of the concerns and facts about vaccinations in a non-terrifying way. My feelings can basically be boiled down to even though I doubt my baby will ever be exposed to measles or rubella or hepatitis, it’s the herd immunity that prevents epidemics and I’m doing my part. And for the record, I don’t really want to hear about your cousin’s sister-in-law’s best friend’s baby who totally got autism right after his shots. For every anecdote you’ve heard there’s a child who never had a single shot and was still diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. So, like I said, I am on the vaccination train.
Until this H1N1 thing came along. Suddenly I’m not so confident. I don’t know if I want to add another shot to my baby’s 6 month appointment. For myself, no problem. I will probably get both a regular seasonal flu shot and the H1N1 shot. E’s going to get both flu shots as well (the Navy actually requires him to get them). I haven’t had the flu since I was a kid (I get strep every year instead, so if they start vaccinating against THAT sign me up!) and I don’t spend a lot of time in crowded disease-filled places like malls or day care centers, but again, herd immunity! As parents, we’re doing our part. But my baby doesn’t hang out in those places either. And the info out there on the Swine Flu vaccine is too scary to just dismiss. Younger children need to get two shots instead of one, and Baby Evan is just barely old enough to fall in the 6 months – 24 year suggested age group. Some states are lifting the restrictions on how much mercury can be in the vaccines (I can’t find info for my state but I know California and Washington have). The last time a Swine Flu vaccine was distributed in the 70’s the side effects were terrible and much more widespread than I am comfortable with. I just don’t know what the right choice is this time.
I’m not the only mom who feels this way. One of the mommy bloggers I follow, All & Sundry, just posted something about choosing to get the vaccine (or not). She got almost two hundred comments and every single one made me think “Oh good point!” on both sides. I hope I don’t have to make a decision right away since the vaccine may not be available in time for our 6 month appointment and I’ll get a couple more weeks to think about it. Are you – and/or your children – getting the H1N1 vaccine?
While I was looking for Father’s Day gifts back in June I came across a lot of fancy handprint kits.* I really liked them but couldn’t justify spending $40+ on what’s basically a picture frame. So I made one myself.
The frame was $12.99 at Target (I just looked for one with a large white mat – there were several choices). The paint is Crayola non-toxic craft paint, also from Target and about $6 total. And I printed the picture out using our home printer (I’m going to replace it with a nicer one IF I CAN EVER GET E TO DRESS UP AND POSE FOR ONE FRICKIN MINUTE).
If you notice, my hand is yellow and E’s is blue. And yellow and blue make green, so the baby’s print is green. Aw how disgustingly cute. Also, I suspect they use midgets and not babies for the product pictures of baby handprints, since the somewhat smudgy one we got was after three practice tries. Babies are more interested in rubbing the paint on their face than making beautiful treasured keepsakes. Selfish babies. Can’t they see the big picture? Anyways, if you’re somehow related to me expect your own version of this at Christmas. Try to act surprised.
*Actual Father’s Day gift: Tool belt and tool caddy I picked out in Home Depot while E was buying lumber and presented to him at the checkout so he could pay for it.
What the hell is wrong with the people who make baby clothes? Have they never seen an actual baby? You thought women’s clothing was bad, what with vanity sizing and no two brands having the same inseams and the total lack of pockets and “mediums” that really mean “nothing bigger than a B cup you fat fatty!” That’s nothing compared with trying to buy infant clothing.
The worst offender is Gerber. At my baby shower my BFF Erin had everyone decorate these adorable plain white onesies. Some of them were super duper cute. My mom’s had as arrow pointing at the neck that said “This End Up”. One of Evan’s cousins wrote “You think I’m cute, your right!” and my copy editor friend Sara had an aneurysm. My sister did every animal in Noah’s Ark PLUS an amazing black and white drawing of Moishe, the Wild Thing with horns. Baby Evan fit in those 0-3 month onesies for exactly 2 months. So my sister bought some 3-6 month Gerber onesies and decorated some more. Which Baby Evan outgrew in five minutes. What the hell Gerber? Are you trying to give the baby on your food jars an eating disorder?
Target’s selection for 6-12 months is abysmal – unless your baby is a girl. Gymboree lumps 6-12 months into ONE SIZE so my giant baby has been wearing most of it for a month already and is going to need a larger size before the winter is over. Carter’s does single month sizing, so Baby Evan has been in “6 months” stuff for two months and is now in the “9 month” stuff. Even the fancy-pants high end baby stuff has lousy sizing – the 12 month sweater my aunt sent that cost at least $35 fits now. This totally random sizing makes buying baby clothes second hand or on Craigslist almost impossible. If someone’s selling a lot of “12 month” clothing about half of it is suitable for my almost 6 month old and half of it would fit a two year old.
I know babies vary in size (there’s a mom at my mom’s group whose 3 month old is 8 lbs – and then that woman in Indonesia gave birth to a 19 lb baby) so sizing clothing for them can be hard. But here’s an idea: label them with WEIGHTS, like diapers. TA-DA. I AM A GENIUS. Actually, some of the old Carter’s stuff my mom gave me from 20 years ago does have weights so I wasn’t the first person to think of this. I just don’t know why they stopped.
Presented without comment, the pictures we took at the Farmer’s Market on Friday night.
The good parts.
How in the world has the human race survived this long? I mean, you barely recover from giving birth soon enough to deal with sleep deprivation and sore nipples and just when the baby starts getting all cute and mobile and human-like, TEETHING STARTS. You want to prevent teen pregnancy? SEND ‘EM THIS WAY. I guarantee an hour with my baby and any teen’s knees with slam together so hard they’ll be limping for a month. I have no job, no pressing responsibilities (beyond keeping my child alive), no other kids to care for, no neighbors close enough to disturb if the baby screams and I am almost at the end of my rope. I cannot imagine what dealing with a teething baby would be like in a mud hut or a covered wagon or an 800 square foot apartment. If you have teeth, go kiss your mama right now.
By the time E got home from work yesterday I was lying on the floor of the nursery begging the baby to take a nap. I know E was secretly thinking “Geez woman pull yourself together, he’s not that bad” – until Baby started screaming his head off because someone smiled at him the wrong way or said his mama was funny looking. I wouldn’t blame E if he suddenly had to start “working late” so he would miss the afternoon meltdown. I would totally kill him, but I wouldn’t BLAME him.
The real problem is the child cannot make up his mind. Cutting just one tiny tooth has thrown any semblance of a schedule out the window. Two nights ago I was totally ready to throw in the co-sleeping towel because Baby Evan thrashed and tossed and nursed ALL NIGHT and I can’t deal with a cranky baby during the day without at least five hours of sleep. But then last night he slept from 9pm – 2am, nursed, and then went back to sleep until 5:30 am, still and quiet as a mouse. Unfortunately, GETTING him to sleep was a nightmare. I don’t think it counts as cry-it-out if E is holding him and rocking him and shushing him in the nursery…but the baby cried himself to sleep anyway. During the day he’s just as unpredictable. One minute Baby Evan wants to nurse non-stop and the next he thrashed and screams if I put him anywhere near a boob. I was not expecting engorgement to be a problem anymore but yeah, it is, AGAIN. One second he’s playing in his exersaucer happily and the next he’s screaming bloody murder. One minute the teether toy is his favorite thing ever until he sees me holding the remote and then he wants THAT RIGHT NOW INHISMOUTH GUMGUMGUMDROOOOOOOOL.
I wish there was a definitive answer as to how long teething lasts. It would really help me deal with this if I knew “OK, he’s horrible now but I only have two more weeks (or months) to go”. But the internet has very little to say on the subject, except that he has 20 teeth to get through and that the molars can be worse. WORSE. My heart actually stopped beating for a second.
So that crazy hippie baby store I CANNOT SHUT UP ABOUT was used as the site for a local tv bit about a new totally unnecessary parenting advice service. This woman had a baby and read a bunch of baby books and somehow managed to turn that into a money making business where people pay her to summarize those books and watch Harvey Karp’s video with them. Because your life is so incredibly busy that you can’t just order the books on Amazon or YouTube the Happiest Baby on the Block clip. OR maybe YOU CAN JUST READ MY BLOG. I’m just saying. I’ll even let you pay me if it makes you feel like I’m more qualified. I have very reasonable rates.
Anyways, you can see the inside of the store I CANNOT SHUT UP ABOUT in the video clip. Oh, and also, MY BEBEH. And me. Plus my friend Merin and her baby too. (We’re in the last 15 seconds.) Merin was there for a real reason (a tummy time class with her adorable daughter) but I was just trying to whore my baby out for the camera. And it totally worked.
The clip is on the local news station’s website and won’t post here so you’ll have to use this link. Hopefully they don’t take it down in a couple hours!
P.S. They cut the part of the video out where you saw the male host wearing pants covered in sailboats. They also cut the conversation he had with his co-host earlier in the show where she said “If I bought my husband those pants, I don’t think he would wear them” and the male host said “That’s because HE’S STRAIGHT”.
My friend Sara just sent me a link to the absolute most awesome thing you have ever seen.
My new goal in life is to teach my child to do this. I know Kanye would approve.
At Baby Evan’s 2 month check-up, the pediatrician made a passing comment that all the baby drool is the first sign of teething. I think he may have confused my stunned expression with a death threat (or maybe it was when I said “take it back or I’ll kill you” – I see now how that may be confusing) because he quickly amended his statement to “although it may still be months before it really starts!” Ever since then I’ve been on constant tooth watch. Every time Baby Evan was the least bit cranky or squirmy or his sleeping pattern changed or he wanted to nurse more or he wanted to nurse less or he stuck stuff in his mouth I thought “Oh here we go, teething.” And every single time his gums remained unbroken. UNTIL NOW. Dum-dum-duuuuum.
Yesterday morning at breastfeeding support group I was commenting on Baby Evan’s sudden desire to nurse ALL NIGHT* and my sudden desire to move to Ouagadougou (wow, my spellchecker knew that one!) – alone – when he suddenly clamped down on my finger and I found his first tooth. Subsequent attempts to SEE the tooth have resulted in the kind of bloody murder screaming usually only found in bad horror movies right before the girl in her underwear remembers running UPSTAIRS is always the wrong decision. So there will be no pictures of the tiny, sharp little monster that has turned my sweet baby boy into a hell demon. If you want to come hold him for a minute though, I’m sure he’ll be happy to gnaw on you so you can feel it for yourself.
We have a tube of generic baby orajel which seems to dull his pain enough that he can be distracted with toys or the dog, but I’m going to need a lot more. Like, gallons and gallons more. If I’m looking for a remedy more in the “crazy pants hippie” direction, wearing Baltic amber close to the skin is supposed to help dull teething pain and my favorite maternity store sells amber baby necklaces. I already have my share of teething type toys but poor Baby Evan’s tiny mouth isn’t quite big enough for most of them and we’re still not quite ready for solid food so teething biscuits are out. So it looks like I’m going to need some teething tablets. Do you think they still sell this kind?
*Last night I was trying to put myself back to sleep after YET ANOTHER nursing session by reciting all the poetry I know in my head. I was pretty proud of myself for getting half way through Longfellow’s Hiawatha until I got to the part where he kills the Jabberwocky. My sleep deprivation, let me show you it.