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Friday, May 30, 2008

Commence with the babyproofing!

Henry has acquired a new skill in the past few days: he can now scoot himself across the room! Granted, he's highly inefficient at this point, but can you imagine how exciting this discovery must be for him? And how much work Chris and I have to do around our house before we let him loose?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Laundry Day


I realize it's a long way off, but if Henry is as excited about the laundry basket when he's in college, as he is now, he's going to love laundry day. He'll never bring home massive amounts of dirty laundry to complete while visiting home. In fact, it's more likely that he'll return home just so he can tackle our laundry for us.

"Welcome home Henry, how's classes?"
"No time to talk Dad, I'm going to go do your laundry."

As this picture demonstrates, Henry is as happy and at ease in the confines of his laundry basket as he is in any other vehicle. Now I just need to see if we need to get him a license for it.

When Henry's friend Jackson who is a little older visits, Henry sits in the laundry basket and Jackson pushes him around in it. It's as if Henry was the Homecoming King during the parade through town. All that's missing is a crown, a scepter and the adoring fans lining the parade route.

Just as exciting to Henry as laundry baskets, possibly even more so, is the high five which we discovered last night. Though he won't give a high-five on command, if you slap Henry's hand as though you were high-fiving him he cracks up. He was in hysterics - on par with his reaction to the snapping blue paper video from the other week, as Ali grabbed his hand and gave it a slap. He LOVED it. And these are just some of the reasons why we love him so much.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Henry at 8 months

Henry is more than eight months old now -- where is the time going? It's been a little while since we did a proper update, so here goes.

Size

For months, Henry's claim to fame was that he was HUGE -- the scrawny four-pound preemie turned Jabba the Hut. Well, in the past month, he started to thin out quite a bit. Granted, he's still rocking the chipmunk cheeks, but less so now. And he has a neck! I look at him from behind and am startled by the emerging little boy. Who is this muscular kid and what did he do with my chubby baby?

He weighs 20 pounds and is 27.5 inches long. That puts him right around average for his actual age of eight months and at the 95th percentile for his adjusted age of six months.

Developmental milestones
We had another NICU follow-up appointment this week, and I'm thrilled to report Henry is still developing right on track for his adjusted age. In fact, the therapist said that "if all kids looked this good, I wouldn't have a job."

* He can now sit up unassisted.

* He's attempting to crawl -- he can't yet get his body off the ground, but he's starting to grasp the concept that movement is possible. He pivots in all directions when placed on the floor and sometimes even drags his body a little ways by pushing down onto his hands.

* He's babbling like crazy, having mastered the "m" and "b" sounds -- "mamama...babababa...mamababa?" I like to pretend he's saying "mama" on purpose. Or maybe he's a big Obama fan? ;)

Eating
Henry is still nursing every 2-4 hours, and yes, that includes the during the night. In addition, we have two "solid" meals a day now. So far, he's had rice, oatmeal, pears, apples, bananas, sweet potatoes, peas and carrots, all without a problem. He's really not a fan of the cereals, though -- he much prefers the fruits and veggies on their own.

Sleeping

Better in the sense that we've stopped worrying about it so much and are taking the attitude of, "He'll sleep through the night when he's ready."

Since last month, he falls asleep WAY more easily and we no longer live in fear of the swaddle bursting open -- hallelujah! (He has been unswaddled and sleeping on his tummy for more than a month now.) He goes down for bed at 7 p.m. every night, but then wakes up like clockwork between 10-11. Sometimes he just stirs and gets himself back to sleep, but most of the time he wants to eat again. Attempts to deny him this pleasure usually result in an hour or more of crying, so most nights we don't bother.

To his credit, he's pretty much down to two feedings per night. So he *is* doing better -- two is not five!

He's still a decent napper. Lately he's been sleeping for two- or three-hour stretches at a time. He's usually down from 9ish - 11ish and again from 1ish to 3ish. And then he typically falls asleep in the car or stroller for a little while in the late afternoon.

Personality
It's so much fun now to see glimmers of the person he will eventually become. I get the feeling he's going to have a great sense of humor, because when this kid starts laughing he cannot stop. I also predict he'll be a pretty outgoing and genial person, as he usually has a wide gummy smile for anyone who engages him. And, I can pretty much cure any fussiness by taking him somewhere he can people watch -- he is a little social butterfly!

***

In spite of the fact that I haven't slept a whole night through since September, in spite of the fact that I usually smell like spit-up, in spite of the fact that my body is irreparably more lumpy, I still treasure every joy-filled day with my baby boy. The best part about being a parent is that you actually do love your child a little more each day. With that said, I can't wait for tomorrow. :)

And now...pictures!

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

He's a swinger


Ali took this photo yesterday of Henry on the swings at one of the many local playgrounds they frequent. It almost looks fake to me, how blue the sky is and what a perfect day it is.

I love his expression -- like he's not quite in love with the experience, but he's tolerating it. We get that same face for lots of things, most notably when we feed him solids (with the exception of pears and sweet potatoes, which he really enjoys). I also love it when he's in just a white T-shirt -- he's like a light-haired mini-Fonzie, or a '50s greaser minus the grease. With that outfit on, I almost expect him to break out into "when you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way."

All is well here. We had a wonderful first Mother's Day, despite the weather here in Chicago, sharing it with Katy and Liam, Mommom and Aunt Linda.

Henry has also begun babbling in earnest, and we're trying to catch it on video to make that the next post. "Ba ba ba ba ba," and "ma ma ma ma ma," are all part of his quickly expanding repertoire now. "Can I borrow the keys, Dad?" can't be too far behind.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Henry's Favorite Toy

Well, I think we've determined Henry's favorite toy. His little blue piece of cellophane paper had him in hysterics today as we snapped it. We hope you find him just as funny as he finds his crinkly paper.