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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

In case you've missed Henry...

... I'm sure he's missed you, too. Here are a few new photos with the hopes that they help you enjoy the holidays just a little bit more. They may not make your yule logs burn any brighter, or your eggnog any tastier, but if they bring a smile to your face ... well, that's the same thrill we get bringing a smile to Henry's face. Enjoy!

Grandma Mary Ann (Nana) caught Henry smiling so widely he closed his eyes, but it's a great toothless smile!

Henry in a more serious and reflective moment, so interested in his surroundings ...

Grandma Mary Ann sitting by the window with a sleepy Henry Jay. He's an equal opportunity chest sleeper -- seriously, does this pose look familiar yet?

A little *smirking* time with Daddy

And finally, on his first Christmas, after we'd opened all the presents and ate all the cookies, Henry caught a little shut eye, burrito style.

Monday, December 24, 2007

If ever there were a year to believe in miracles...

Merry Christmas, dear friends and family. We hope you enjoy a peaceful, relaxing day with your loved ones. And don't forget to give thanks for the miracles in your life. We certainly are.

Ali, Chris & Henry

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Pictures, of course

Sorry we've been so delayed in posting new pictures of Henry Jay, the Chieftain of Chunk, but he's a handful! Henry has been even more smiley, and responding much more to us when we talk to him -- cooing back at us in his own sweet-sounding language. These moments make up for the nightly "Fussy Fussenstein" routine he's gotten into. We're hoping we get much more of the latter and much less of the former as he gets past the newborn stage.

In other news, Henry made a triumphant return to the NICU this week -- two months to the day he was discharged -- to wish a "Merry Christmas" to all those nurses who cared for him during his five-and-a-half week stay there. The joke upon his arrival was, "Who's the baby who ate Henry?" They couldn't believe how big he's gotten!

Henry also had a doctor appointment this week, during which he endured four shots in his increasingly chubby thighs (poor guy!). We also learned that he's up to 13 pounds and 1 ounce now. If I don't start eating more soon, he's going to catch up to my weight by March!

We'll be sure to post again later this week with pictures of Henry's first Christmas. In the meantime, we hope you're all enjoying the holidays.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Henry and his mobile friends

Everyone should have a "happy place" -- a spot you can go to feel instantly calmer and more collected. For me, it's Target; particularly if it's a clean, well-stocked Target during a non-busy time. Something about that cheery, familiar red-and-white bullseye inexplicably puts me in a better mood. (Don't laugh -- I know I'm not the only woman who feels this way about Target.)

Henry's happy place, we have discovered, is in his crib with his mobile. It's your standard-issue, wind-up mobile with brightly colored stuffed animals rotating to a tinny lullaby -- nothing special, really. But to Henry, it is pure magic. (In fact, he just made a mad face at me as I wrote that his beloved mobile was "nothing special.")

A typical scene in our house lately goes like this:


Ali: Henry, do you need to spend some time with your mobile friends? Should we go see what they're up to?


[Ali lays Henry in crib so the mobile is in view. She winds it up. The animals begin to rotate to the beat of "Cradle Will Rock."]

Henry: [Freezes suddenly at the sight of the animals.] Ooooh! Ahhhhhhh! [Smiles broadly.]

This scene is repeated anytime Henry is really worked up, or when Mommy needs to take a shower or cook over an open flame. We cannot overstate the mobile's dramatic calming effect. If only it worked to lull him to sleep. He'll literally lie there for an hour watching the mobile -- long after it's stopped spinning, even -- but has never once fallen asleep in its presence. We're pretty sure it's because he doesn't want to miss a moment of the fascinating show.


Here are a few more recent pictures of HJ. You'll note that he's started a chin collection, and we've put out an APB for his neck -- it was last seen about a month ago. We're up to 12 pounds, 23 inches now, and are finally on the growth charts for his "actual" age of three months -- around the 25th percentile. If you factor in the prematurity and adjust his age to his due date, he's in the upper 90s for both height and weight. We have a feeling this sweet little baby is going to be a hell of a bruiser some day.

Getting ready for a winter outing.

Smiling at Mommy.

Bath time ... just before the water turned a mysterious brown-green and we had to start all over again. Needless to say, Mommy and Daddy will never again linger over cute bath photos.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Smiley baby!

Well, it's not all fun and games now that Henry is, but moments like the following make it all worth it. (Hey, no making fun of my antics -- as long as HJ thinks I'm funny, that's all that matters!) :-)


Saturday, December 1, 2007

Henry the Marksman

I wanted to relay a funny story from earlier this week. (Don't worry, I've also posted new pictures, too, from Aunt Jessica's visit this weekend.)

Most mornings I get the early shift after Ali has dealt with Henry during the night. After Ali has fed him, changed him and gotten him back to sleep at least twice, she finally cries for mercy and I step in sometime around 5 or 6 a.m. My job is basically just to change him and stave him off from his next feeding so Ali can get a little more shut eye.

Now regarding Henry and diaper changings: As a general rule, Henry does not enjoy having his diaper changed. He usually fusses and often screams throughout the ordeal. This further complicates my attempts at keeping him quiet while Ali is sleeping in the other room, but with practice, my technique is improving. I try to change him as gently and soothingly as possible so as to not really wake him. When this goes according to plan, I can get him changed quickly and then we lay down on the couch for an hour while Mommy sleeps and before I have to get ready for work.

Well, one morning this week I whisked him out of the bedroom for his changing and brought him into the nursery. So, I'm half asleep, the lights are low, and I'm just starting to peel back his diaper when *BAM* -- Henry scores a direct hit to my chest with his little fire hose. I'm soaked, his clothes are now too, and instead of just a quick diaper change in low light, he now requires a complete body wipe down and outfit switch with the lights on. Needless to say, he enjoyed none of this -- but I take solace in the fact that he's obviously an expert marksman.

And now, some pictures:

Hmm, kind of reminds us of how Henry spent last weekend...

And here's that smile we've been telling you about. Video to come soon.

And check out the cheeks. We think he must be storing up for winter.