Can you believe it - Mark is 4 months old already?! On Friday we went for a regular check-up and a second round of shots. The boy is growing - he's 13lbs 15oz and 24.5in long. His head grew bigger as well - 41.5cm. And he was such a happy and curious boy all through the visit. But then he had to get the shots. He liked the first shot, which was administered orally, because he could chew on the dispencer. But the other three he really hated and made it known to all around him. Finally, after the nurse withdrew, our Band-Aided little bug quieted down. But for the next could of days he didn't feel all that great and even had a bit of a fever going. Happy freaking birthday, Mom and Dad! (Note to ourselves - do not schedule shots before important dates)
Last week Mark learned a lot of new and useful things. He learned to put everything he can grab right into his mouth. Some, like a teether or Dad's hand, turn out to be pretty good; others, like giraffe's foot or a soft red cube, are not at all tasty or chewable. When Mark sees himself in the mirror, he now smiles wide and tries to get close. If we hold him, then he just stretches his hands towards the mirror and squirms and makes little needy sounds. If he happens to be laying on his tummy, he lifts his butt up, pulls his knees under, grabs a blanket with his little hands, and tries to crawl towards the mirror. Of course, he can't yet. But what he can do is to leapfrog. At first he could only do it when laying on his back. He would dig his heels into the floor, lift his butt and lower back, and push through heels and shoulders. It was amazing to see how quickly he could move and turn this way. And then it all got a bit funnier when he learned to leapfrog on his tummy. With his knees bent under the tummy and hands grabbing the blanket, Mark presses his little nogging to the floor, huffs and puffs and wiggles and leaps forward a couple of inches at a time. It must be really frustrating for him, since he always ends up crying. Then we pick him up and carry him around for a little bit and try to calm him down a bit which is a lot more difficult than it sounds.
It is extremely hot outside during the day. The temps reach lower 90ies by noon. So unless we walk with him early in the morning, we have to wait until late in the evening. This throws Mark's schedule out of the window. A couple of times we tried to go to different malls so we can walk around at regular time. There are a lot of big malls here, but oddly, all of them are exactly the same. I mean, the layouts are a bit different and most malls are the newer ones and very attractively built. But the stores are all the same. So it gets annoying and boring. Plus it's so crowded there since everyone has the same idea about escaping the heat. I'm telling you, stroller traffic is very heavy.
Yesterday we got fed up with the mall crowd and instead waited until it cooled down some and went to Pullen Park. Pullen is a nice park and, as so many other cool places, is just minutes away from our house. It's a great park for kids - has a carousel, a lake with paddle boats, a big playground, and a toy train. There are also a dozen or so picnic shelters and gazebos. Can it get any better than that? And today we all went to the Farmers' Market (also only minutes away from us) and got some great stuff for a little picnic. We had to do the indoors picnic (read - lunch), but next year, when the deck is done and there's some landscaping and all, we'll do it outside.