This is Max’s first Halloween for trick-or-treating. Last year he was too little (and couldn’t eat candy yet). This year…look out! We had a devil costume for him, but he really wouldn’t keep it on. So instead we went with some overalls and his favorite (as in he wears it ALL the time) fireman hat. And his vampire binky, just because. So he was a vampire fireman for Halloween.

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The Max really is changing every day. New words are popping up all the time. Current favorites are pumpkin (punkin’) and football (said with a lot of emphasis), hit (yelled at the TV screen when football is on), mess (as in, oh, look at the mess I made), and pool ball (referring to the pool table). Sounds like fall.

His favorite foods right now are peaches, bacon, sometimes grapes, ramen noodles, rice, egg rolls, popcorn, any kind of food on a stick (i.e. popsicles and corn dogs) and yogurt. He really only wants to feed himself now too–doesn’t want any help from Mommy. Of course, that makes meal time very messy and loooonnnng.

Lunchtime Max

Lunchtime Max

So, this past weekend we had a Thai-inspired dinner party with the Dains and Bob Stotts. To prepare for it we went on a trek of epic proportions to find the proper ingredients (galangal, etc. etc.). We tried Mitsuma Market first, which is a really cool place out in the ‘burbs, but it’s really primarily a Japanese store. So Tony thought we should try Argyle Street, which he’d heard was like new Chinatown (the regular Chinatown being over by Cermak). We drove in and checked it out.

Smaller in scale, but definitely the right kind of stores. New Chinatown is really a combo Vietnamese / Chinese area. We found almost everything we needed there (and I saw “we” loosely, as Tony did all the cooking). And we ate at a little restaurant called Pho Xe Lua at 1021 W. Argyle Street, Chicago, IL 60640 (773) 275-7512.

Definitely authentic! And pretty yummy too. It’s been so long since we had decent Asian food that it was really great. Max really liked the Thai spring rolls, but he ignored the Baby Pho (sigh). Tony had his classic Vietnamese dish — some kind of “everything” soup with unidentifiable (and some all-too-identifiable) pieces of pig and cow. And I had my favorite, cafe sua da. Love that!

There were a lot of places to try, so we’ll definitely have to go again. Nothing fancy, but most good Vietnamese places I’ve been to are that way.

We have a little itty bitty peanut. He’s still weighing in at a whopping 20 lbs, 10 ounces. Not even 21 lbs. yet! He has gotten taller, though. He’s up to 32 inches now.

He’s adding new words every day and is a little monkey boy — in more ways than one. The other day he was playing with his blocks (i.e. scattering them around the room) and I said to him “Max, you’re a one boy wrecking crew.” and he yells back: “I know! I know!” as he goes careening around the room.

(Yeah, I know I have lots of other catching up to do, but here’s a start…)

The Max has been picking up words left and right lately. As of today’s count, I think he’s got 40. Here they are, in all their glory:

  1. keys
  2. Mom (otherwise known as “Mom mom mom mom mom”
  3. Daddy
  4. shoe
  5. balloon (boon)
  6. ball
  7. car
  8. kitty
  9. doggy
  10. hot
  11. hat
  12. bubble
  13. bottle
  14. cup
  15. cracker
  16. cool (usually “Coooooool”)
  17. dude
  18. sweet (as in, “Dude! Sweeet!”)
  19. hi
  20. bye
  21. pop
  22. straw
  23. no
  24. yeah
  25. draw
  26. nose
  27. ow
  28. honk (he likes to honk unsuspecting noses)
  29. help (if he’s going “hep! hep!” it means he needs a hand with something)
  30. cookie
  31. uh oh
  32. thank you (dee doo, but it means thank you)
  33. clock (sadly, he often leaves off the “l”)
  34. sock
  35. sit (He tells Penny to sit all the time, though sadly he adds an extra “h”)
  36. walk
  37. poop
  38. wow
  39. tree
  40. whoa (said with Keanu-like reverence)

He did attempt to say blueberry today, but it wasn’t altogether successful and came out sounding kind of like “boobee” so I’m not counting that yet…

Max meets a water fountain

Max meets a water fountain

Things have been both crazy and busy, happy and sad since I last wrote here. We lost Tony’s sister Rikki in a tragic car accident Easter morning. Please keep her family in your thoughts. Tony has been working on putting together a charity organization in her honor (more on that later, once all the paperwork is done). We’ve taken two road trips (one for the funeral and one for Tony’s grandmother’s 80th birthday). Max keeps getting bigger and bigger and more and more into things. I’m working on my book and expect to be done this week (that being one reason why this blog has sufferred along with no updates).

We had a good Memorial Day, spending lots of time with neighbors and together as a family. We even went to the McHenry Drive In for a doubleheader (Star Trek and Angels & Demons), which was a lot of fun, though I think I’m still tired. Max’s first movie out, as a matter of fact.

I’ve got other Max-ish stuff to update on but first I need to get the book done! Then I can breathe again. If you’re on Facebook, friend me there…I’ve posted a bunch of pictures there. Need to take some more too!

So…the latest…the weather is slowly turning better (with brief forays into snow! in April!). Max wants to be outside every chance he gets. He absolutely LOVES the outdoors. He has a knack for finding the nearest mud puddle and falling right smack into the center of it too…

We’ve tried him on some artistic ventures — fingerpainting and sidewalk chalk. The hard part is getting him to NOT eat his implements of destruction. He’s slowly learning that it goes on the paper, not in the mouth.

In other news, I finally broke down and sold my car. *Sigh*. I’ll miss it. Max got to ride in it just once, as I took it to the Car Spa in Libertyville today to get it washed before we sold it. Incidentally, Max did NOT want to leave the guy who bought the car — I had him hold him for a minute as I took a last picture (sigh again) and Max didn’t want to come back to me! The little stinker! Or maybe he just wanted to go with the car, I dunno.