Friday, April 5, 2013

4 Months

See how they grow.

My how time flies! It's hard to believe that a short 4 months later we have a sweet, happy little guy. What was once a little bundle of joy is now a bundle of cuddles and smiles.

He is content to be loved, simple as that. He is happy singing songs, being bounced, straightening his legs and standing up, getting kisses on the cheeks (and they are oh-so kissable), sucking on his hands, being naked (he gets upset when the diaper goes back on), and grabbing his feet.

He still hates tummy time, and is sad when negative emotions are expressed around him.

At our 4-month checkup, Everett was 12 pounds 2 ounces (5-10%) and 25 inches tall (75%).

He was a little grumpy yesterday after getting his second round of shots. He wanted so badly to be happy! He kept smiling and cooing, then would stick out his bottom lip and hyperventilate. I think his little legs were sore from the injections. 

Please ignore the dog hair and baby vomit.

Why We Chose to Vaccinate

There are passionate opinions surrounding the vaccination of infants. I was on the fence about doing so with Everett until a couple months before he was born. But you see, unlike breastfeeding and circumcision, not vaccinating your children affects people other than yourself.

Anyone who has seen the movie Balto knows just how important vaccines are when children become afflicted with a preventable disease. I picture the same sense of urgency and dread when we hit the rewind button on life and go back in time.

Scene: 1955 Chicago, Illinois.
My uncle contracted polio at the age of 10. His sisters (my mother included) were quarantined as he recovered in the hospital. His life was saved, but before his parents' prayers were answered, the disease left its permanent mark; part of his throat was paralyzed. He was lucky, because many others were left without the ability to walk or talk, or they simply lost their lives. To this day, my uncle suffers the effects of this terrible disease, and it is necessary for him to cough frequently to compensate. A stranger might think him a smoker, but his family and close friends know he was just lucky. His three uncles who died years before were not so lucky, for they lived during a time when there was no vaccine for diphtheria.

I often wonder what life would be like without my uncle. He is a good man, always ready to give love and support. His sense of humor is inspiring, and it is fun to see him make my mom laugh so hard that she pees her pants.

If he hadn't survived, I realize I would not know the difference, having been born almost 30 years later. But it is nice to know I have his hospitality, loving arms, and that whiskery kiss when I visit him in Chicago.

And then I think of the middle school across the street from where I grew up, and which Everett drives by every day when going to his babysitter's house. It is called Salk Middle School, named after Jonas E. Salk; that saint whose work saved the life of thousands of children. We do ourselves few favors when we ignore history and let the past repeat itself.

Scene: 2012 Spokane, Washington.
Last fall our office received a troubling email. A worker in our building was diagnosed with whooping cough, and he introduced this virus to the college campus on which we work. Being pregnant at the time, I was incredibly worried. Then, with the help of gossip, we discovered who the individual was. I was even more horrified to discover that the individual in question worked with a friend of mine who was also pregnant at the time. She had to take special antibiotics, and was put under incredible stress during an already complicated pregnancy. This all happened because someone did not want to vaccinate himself or his children, and therefore exposed thousands of people to a serious disease which could have been prevented otherwise.

This sealed it for me. Believe me, I have nothing against people who do not vaccinate their children. Like I said before, I was on the fence about the issue. I just know I could not live with myself if my decisions and agenda harmed others around me. All the hooplah and worry about vaccines causing asthma, autism, and SIDS is something every mother should consider and research. But please make sure you are reading accurate and up-to-date articles when making this decision.

Scene: 2013 Spokane, Washington.
You remember all that media hype a few months ago about nurses refusing to get flu shots?  Well guess what. My mom is a nurse and she refused to get a flu shot. I kept giving her a hard time about it (because she was totally participating in the nursing Zeitgeist), and she stubbornly argued that you can still catch the flu even with a flu shot.

A few weeks later, she of course caught the flu. After being bedridden for four days she said to me in a croaking voice, "Next year, when I tell you I'm not going to get a flu shot, remind me how terrible I feel right now."

And here's where I inundate you with more photos!

I'm a pro at grabbing now...

I especially love grabbing my feet.

I'm teething and chew on my hands a lot.
But for the most part, I am a happy boy.

I am a fan of baths.

And I love, love, LOVE to sleep....
A lot...
And Mom's a creep because she stares at me when I sleep.

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