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August 2, 2001
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Six Month Birthday

10:08 pm: A really busy six-month birthday, today, for Jet. It was pretty much filled with stuff both in the morning and the evening.

Both John and I took the morning off to bring Jet into Dr. Turner's for his six month checkup. He was happy and playing and burbling away at his silk and flannel blanket that Regis had given him. He really loves cuddling into its softness, sucking on the bright rainbow colors, and using it for playing peekaboo with the world. We got to the clinic in plenty of time, and while we were in the waiting room another mother arrived with a little girl who was probably a bit more than a year old.

The girl was sitting in her mom's lap giving small shrieks of joy now and again. Jet watched her intently from under his blanket, and grinned at her now and again, but she was oblivious. I finally pulled Jet out from this car seat and tucked him into my lap and he waved both hands and wiggled happily at the little girl. Her momma saw us and waved back and with her smile, Jet did his dance of joy. Luckily, I had him sideways on my lap, and I had a good, tight hold of him. That was pretty cool. The momma laughed and that got the attention of her little girl and she peered intently at Jet. Little kids seem to like seeing other little kids, and she and Jet were no exception.

Eventually we got called into the examination room, and we pulled Jet's clothing off. He got his head measured, his length, and his weight all measured again. His head is now 60th percentile, his body weight at exactly 50th, and his length is down at the 10th percentile! It amazes me that Jet yo-yo's along all three axis. It's kind of cool to know that he's exactly average for a six-month-old boy so far as weight goes. He's caught up with the herd. He is a rather stout little guy, though, so maybe he just looks bigger that way.

I'm also now glad of all that sushi and fish I ate while nursing and while pregnant, all good baby brains making his skull grow bigger to hold them all! Yay!

While we were discussing all this John had Jet sitting on the examination table, with a careful hand on either side of Jet. No falling off or over or into the walls or whatever. Instead, Jet was very happy sitting on the crinkly paper and playing with his links on their black and white holder and whacking the paper with the links and everything. Dr. Turner was very pleased with Jet's ability to sit up steady and hold things and pass them from hand to hand. He's a bit ahead of schedule on all of that.

Jet also started talking to the toy and then to the people around him and while his attention strayed, he flung the ring of links, let go and they landed *plunk* in the garbage can. Right in the middle of it. We had to fish it out, there are no biohazards in the normal trash can, so Dr. Turner took the whole ring and rinsed it all off well and then dried it with paper towels. She was laughing at the great aim Jet had.

While she was washing the ring, Jet discovered that he could reach down and grab the crinkly stuff. He reached down and grabbed two handfuls of the paper and pulled with all his might and got about two feet of paper to come off the roll under the table! Dr. Turner noted Jet's strength at that and was very pleased by the fact that he could not only pull that hard, but keep his balance as well.

That's when Jet started talking up a storm. His usual babble, aimed at the paper, and then at us when we tried to get him to let go. We talked back, as usual, and Dr. Turner said that was very cool, that he was doing the conversation thing with us. We also told her that Haley talked with him, and she noted that it was even better for babies to learn language from other babies. So, cool, it really is an advantage.

Jet, meantime, had gathered a whole armful of the paper and was enthusiastically smashing it, holding it tight and wiggling to hear the whole thing snap and rattle, and then he put a bunch of it in his mouth to drool all over it. I was giggling a lot.

We talked over the two shots this time, all the progress with food and solids, and where we were to go from here with the solids Jet was eating. She also recommended that we give him bottles of water at night rather than full-strength formula because he might not wake up if he knew that he wasn't going to get extra calories at night. The water might help with any thirstiness and even I wake up thirsty at night.

We also had a good, long talk with all the questions John and I had. The peach rash was a real reaction to a food allergy, but at this age, it would probably go away in a month or so. She said to just try it again in a month, but to avoid it in the meantime. So that was very clear instructions on what to do and how long.

We talked about the head banging of the last month, and she said we did just fine. Two specific things to watch for with head injuries were if his personality changed immediately after and if he vomited any time afterwards. It was perfectly normal for him to be really upset over the fall and then to be tired because of the upset. So we did good. She said that there would likely be more head bumps between learning how to sit, crawl, stand, and walk and that we now had the basics of what to watch out for when they happened. Yay!

The other thing was car seats. Turns out there's a web site for the American Academy of Pediatrics that has information about the latest and greatest car seats. There is information on the newest stuff and the best seats that have all that stuff as well as ratings of all the seats and what they can do for you and what their limitations are. Kinda cool. They also had a pamphlet that we could take home and read through.

So we had lots of questions and the best thing was that Dr. Turner was very patient with the questions and was very thorough with the answers. I'm really glad we picked her, and given that she has a healthy checkup appointment schedule that's a few months in advance, it seems that a lot of people think a lot of her.

The nurse then came in to give Jet his shots. He had been playing merrily with John and the paper until the nurse came in and started preparing the shot. Jet got all solemn and just watched her quietly. She turned around and laughed, "Nothing gets by you, does it?" I guess nothing does. He certainly was watching her very closely.

Jet was calm and quiet until she actually stuck the needles into him. He squalled then, and she was good and quick, as usual. John soon had Jet in his arms and cuddled thoroughly. Jet gradually stopped crying, but the minute he was put in his car seat, he started crying again. Finally, we resorted to rocking and bouncing the car seat with him in it until he stopped crying so hard. He calmed with the motion and finally just fell asleep.

We made his 9 month appointment. No shots then, thank goodness. And then we headed right for the cheese shop. We got a few things, including frozen bags of tamales. I like them so much, I wanted some extras for home. We've been good about emptying the freezer a bit more each day, so we have some room for tamales. I also got a low-fat cheddar to just try it and some ricotta for a pasta dish sometime.

Home again, home again. Jet slept all the way home. He then nursed pretty quietly, subdued a bit by all the goings on. John went off to work, and I eventually got put together enough to tuck Jet back into his car seat and took him over to Joan's in a fairly good mood. He was pretty happy to see Joan, as she was happy to see him. So I left them to their own devices while I went back home and worked cheerfully at all the stuff I could work on.

That was pretty clearing.

When I went to get Jet, he was sitting and wiggling with Haley and Alex. He seemed pretty happy and then, suddenly, his face crumpled and he started crying. Joan said that he'd been like that the last fifteen minutes, alternating fussing with happiness. I picked him up and he cuddled up against me and got calmer. He was probably hungry, and I was pretty full. Joan had given him some apple juice, but no formula.

I think that the juice might have filled him up or confused him a little or something, because he didn't nurse worth a darn. He also didn't go to sleep at all, and was cranky, tired, and up and down for the rest of the afternoon. I finally put him on the floor amid a pile of toys and he cranked and laughed and played with them with as much confusion as he'd had with me.

I decided to just make dinner as there didn't really seem to be anything I could do about him. I grated one of the larger red potatoes and slivered some onion. I cooked both in a pan until they were mostly cooked through, with very little oil. Then I grated a zucchini (with a bit of my skin, sad to say) and mixed that with some parmesan, pepper, and lots of dried parsley in a bowl. I also pulled some pieces of bread off the last half of my whole wheat baguette, put them in my little Oscar and processed them with a teaspoon of butter.

By then Jet was fussing a bit harder. I was able to wash all the spinach we'd gotten from the farmer's market. I pulled all the leaves off as well for use in a quick stir fry with the fresh shitake mushrooms, when I heard John arrive and Jet's complaints getting louder and louder.

This time, Jet ate off me just fine. John, in the meantime, made dinner from my instructions. The zucchini mix got an egg put into it, then he heated a frying pan and sprinkled the bread crumbs in the bottom of it before pouring some of that batter on top. He flattened it well and let it cook. When the one side was done he sprinkled more bread crumbs on top before turning it and letting it cook on the second side.

The bread crumbs kept the mixture from sticking to the pan, and crisped in the heat, lending it all some crunch as well as flavor and anti-sticking abilities. That was pretty cool.

John also cut all the stems off the shitake, sliced them in half and sauteed them in a little butter as well, until they gave their juices up. He then added the spinach and let them cook in the water off their leaves. Yum.

Together, they made a very interesting meal. The meatiness of the shitake and spinach was a really good textural contrast to the starch of the zucchini pancakes. I haven't made all that many vegetarian meals and didn't really know how to do the combination so that they would taste like a whole meal, but this really did it. Basically a very strange take on meat and potatoes without a vegetable that was all made from vegetables, a little cheese and an egg. It was unexpectedly good, too.

When we were done, my parents called. I talked with them for a very pleasant while and then the three of us headed up to Longmont and Linda's beauty shop to get me a few hairs cut. My hair has gotten very long, and was really getting into my eyes and making me really irritable for the last couple of weeks. So I wanted a style that was even shorter than before.

So we settled on a really short version of a wedge, with the weight of my hair now above my ears, rather than below. I really like it. While I was having that done, John was taking care of Jet, including feeding him from a jar of carrots. They were getting carrots everywhere, including an orange blot on the carpet that was covered with other kinds of stains as well. Linda didn't mind, and Jet was looking none too hungry anymore.

John got a Bruce Willis style hair cut, which was basically a #1 cut all over. It's totally buzzed off.

We decided not to do Jet's hair because we didn't have any cameras with us today. We'll have to do it another day.

Jet was perfectly happy for much of the haircutting. He was sitting on the couch, smiling at people and waving his arms around. He was grabbing the pillows, playing with his toys, and flirting with one of the other stylists when she stopped by to say hi to him. He was giving everyone his big grin, and enjoying them making much of him. Jet's so social, it's amazing to me every time I watch him with others.

On the way home, we stopped by the Safeway for some milk and other thins we'd run out of. They also had a special on chuck and I couldn't resist, I bought a roast, and I'm going to try the pot roast again. This time without the green olives, with cumin and having all the vegetables. I'll probably put the packet on top of the flames, this time. Low flames is a lot like low on the stove, under a pot roast.

I actually think that my experiment with the zucchini, onions and pepper proved that it works a lot like a low heat under a pot. So I'm willing to try it with the meat, this time. And the veggies cooked very evenly, so this should work. Besides, the leftover pot roast was a lot better a day, two, and even five days later, and microwaving it is a lot quicker and cooler than any oven or pot.

Jet did just fine in the grocery store, watching us as we shopped. I'd grated myself when I was grating the zucchini, so I needed to buy some anti-bacterial cream as well as a bunch of other odds and ends that could well show up in subsequent entries.

Home again, home again...

And the carrots made Jet pretty fussy while he was eating off me. So he didn't do all that good a job of it. John took him and played with him for a while, and then fed him most of his bottle. It took John nearly half an hour to get Jet to sleep. Oof. Jet was just too wound up from all the stuff that had happened today. He woke up when John was still upstairs, and John only laid his hand on Jet's chest, whispered that he was a good boy and Jet went back to sleep.

I hope he does better than it looks right now. I don't know if I can take another night when he gets up six or seven times. Then again, last night he only ate twice. We're figuring it was the combination of peaches with the bath, and the rash he got might have gotten his guts unhappy. He had three solid, good-sized bowel movements today, I'm hoping that cleared out whatever was bothering him last night. I can always hope.

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