6 Months, 14 Days

Henry's first Halloween left a lot of room for future years of improvement. He was an aviator and i made him a set of biplane wings to turn his stroller into his own airplane. I'll hold onto them for when he's older and can appreciate them a bit more. Clearly this year was all about me enjoying making his get-up, but the weather, traffic, and timechange all conspired to make Henry's trick-or-treating experience incredibly short-- read one house. I decided things weren't going to get any better so we went ahead and packed it in and came on home. He lit up when he saw JT so we had a bit longer to enjoy him before he had his milk and i just laid him down. I have a feeling it might be another difficult night though so i think i'm off to take a shower and get an early start on bed.

I did manage to take some pre-Halloween pictures yesterday-- thankfully because i didn't get any taken today!

Remember, if you're reading Henry's blog and haven't already-- post a comment to let us know who you are and how you know us!


28 Weeks

Henry enjoyed a nice quiet day at home after all the excitement yesterday. After eating this morning at around 6:30 he went back to sleep until about 8:30. We both appreciated the late morning and the nice quiet long naps later in the day. I put the finishing touches on Henry's Halloween get-up and we laid in for another week's worth of baby meals.

Henry finished the sweet potatoes today and i believe they are a bit um... binding for his own good. So, from now on i think i'll mix them with something a bit less dense. For this reason we're going back to yellow squash for a few days and then will either try yellow bell peppers or eggplant.

I'm going to poach an idea i read on another parenting blog. Many of our friends and family have shared with us that they enjoy reading about Henry's day and seeing new pictures. I print these entries (including comments) out to save in Henry's baby book. If you could use this week to post a comment about how you know us, why you read all the petty details of Henry's life, and anything else you'd like to share, we'd love to print it for posterity. Not that you have to be profound-- i certainly am not.


6 Months, 12 Days

Today was a big outing day for little Mr. Henry. After a bit of a fuss (and not too wonderful of a night) he took a short nap and then we were off to the pumpkin festivities. As today was a gorgeous day, and the last Saturday before Halloween, the park was mobbed. We walked around and took several pictures in the "pumpkin patch," watched a gaggle of baby goats, sheep, a llama, donkey, baby pig, chickens and a rabbit co-exist in a pen way too small for all of them, not to mention the 50 parents and children running around in it as well. It looked like a lawsuit waiting to happen, but everyone seemed to be having a wonderful time. We just watched from the outside and Henry had his eyebrows up the whole time.

After re-grouping at home with a nap we headed out to Oak Park, did some shopping and browsing, and met friends for dinner at our favorite Indian restaurant in the area-- Khyber Pass. We hadn't been there since before Henry was born and it was definitely nice to be back. The three couples of us have been going there since we first moved to Chicago and were all childless. Tonight we needed three high-chairs and none of them were for me!


6 Months, 11 Days

The sleep demon's little brother visited last night. Henry went to sleep pretty easily but woke up crying around 2:30. It wasn't nearly as severe as the night before but it still took quite a bit of doing to get him back to sleep. Tonight he went to sleep without a peep so i'm hopeful he'll get back to his good sleep patterns.

Tonight we went to our second neighborhood playgroup. There were seven moms and their babies that all live in just a few blocks of us. Henry was actually the oldest baby and one of only two boys. There was one other little girl that was just a few days shy of six months and the rest were between 3 and 4 months. Of course Henry wasn't the biggest, but he was sitting up the best, so we'll take it. It was fun to see so many moms that might turn into prospective winter buddies. The woman i talked with the most (with almost 6-month old daughter Patricia) lives just down the block and works from home as an attorney with her own practice. She was really interested in my experiences with making my own babyfood and was psyched to start making some of it herself.

We got a few pictures of Henry in his "baby's first Halloween" outfit next to the pumpkin we carved last night. Tomorrow morning we're going to a Chicago Park District Pumpkin Patch. There will be hayrides and face painting and pumpkin decorating-- all kinds of fun stuff for Tabitha and I (i mean the kiddos!) I promise to tote my camera along.


6 Months, 10 Days

Something possessed Henry last night and i just hope it doesn't come back tonight. He woke up and cried for a few minutes about 8:30 pm and then around 10:30 he woke up again screaming. He was basically inconsolable for about an hour. I tried giving him tylenol, oragel, his zantac, holding, walking, nursing, laying in the crib, and NOTHING worked. Finally he did nurse and eventually went to sleep. This was exactly at the time that the sox WON THE WORLD SERIES, so my enjoyment of it was somewhat distracted. Unfortunately the waking repeated again at 3:30 this morning. He was a little fussy this morning but Brenda said he was just fine and chipper and took three good naps today. He fussed a bit going to sleep but i'm keeping my fingers crossed that he stays asleep and the evil sleep demon doesn't come back.

Tonight he had sweet potatoes and it was hysterical to watch. You'd think i had given him salt water taffy to chew on based on the amount of mouth action he had going on. I carved our pumpkin tonight with friends so hopefully we'll have some pre-Halloween pictures tomorrow.


6 Months, 9 Days

Henry slept quite a bit today and got in 3 full naps. I'm assuming he was sleepy from all the shots he had yesterday. He had fun with Brenda and we had a good time playing when we got home. He is just too funny with his dinner. He doesn't try to put his hands in his mouth or grab at the spoon he just strains with the essence of his soul to get that food in there faster, faster, faster. He ate 2 cubes of zucchini and 2 cubes of peaches and i think he was full. JT got home just in time to take a bath with Henry and they both enjoyed playing around in the warm water.

Here's a picture of Henry in his carseat that i took yesterday. You can see Ralph the stuffed monkey in the picture too. I'm trying to get Henry to attach to Ralph or his stuffed doggy. Personally i'm attached to both of them and love to cuddle with them. I've been sending Ralph to daycare each day for his naps and he sleeps with his doggy. I'm not sure Henry would miss them but he did have his arm around the doggy while he slept last night.


6 Months, 8 Days

This afternoon Henry had his 6 month appointment and was a real trooper during his shots. This nurse was very quick and let me hold Henry while she gave him his shots so he barely whimpered. He's grown another inch to 26" but just gained about a quarter pound. The Dr. said he's just not a fast gainer but he looks fabulous developmental wise.

Here's a shot of Henry and Brenda-- i thought you'd like to see them together instead of just hearing about her!


6 Months, 7 Days

This morning when i was dropping Henry off at Brenda's one of the older little boys started telling everyone, "Henry's here, hey Henry's here." Henry just starts smiling and kicking his arms and legs and all the little kiddos start talking to him. It's funny how he's got his own little cheering section. Now we think he's completely adorable, but he seems to have won over his own share of fans.

We tried his Halloween costume on tonight and it's a little big, but we're going to make do. I'm not revealing what the costume is yet, but i've been working on the accessories that will go along with his outfit. He's got his 6 month appointment and shots tomorrow afternoon which i'm really not looking forward to. Hopefully the evening won't be too rough.


27 Weeks

Last night we enjoyed dinner with friends sans kids, this morning we went out to our favorite brunch spot with a friend of JT's from work, his wife and their 18-month old son. I think it might have been the last day that we could reasonably walk to brunch as it was quite cold on the way home. We had a really fun time and both boys did wonderfully at the restaurant. Although we had tried to get Henry up early so that he would take a nap before brunch; Henry disagreed with this plan. Still, sleep or no, he was as happy as a clam looking around, taking in all the other people and enjoying his bottle. He didn't eat while we were out but he did try peaches for the first time this evening.

I expected him to take right to them since they are sweeter than what he's already had, but he seemed a little perplexed by them at first. By the end he seemed to have come around. Tonight after he went to bed i had a baby-food making fest and have eggplant, more squash, sweet potato, avocado and bananas ready to introduce over the next few weeks. Also on my list to have him try eventually are pears, various berries, and peas.


6 Months, 5 Days

Henry got his "professional" pictures taken this morning at JC Penny's and it was a much more enjoyable experience than our last attempt at portraits. When Henry was 3 months old and i was in DC with my mom and grandmother, we went to get a 4 generation shot done. We actually managed to get a great one of all of us but after two shots Henry was done-- in dramatic fashion.

This time they were running about an hour behind but Henry was just having a grand old time watching and laughing at all the other babies. He then smiled like crazy at the photographer and obliged me with two different rounds of pictures (and an outfit change!) He fell asleep in the car on the way home but was as close to the idea of a baby being an angel as possible.

He enjoyed a nice long nap at home and then we practiced some more sitting and horsing around with Dad before eating squash (his latest vegetable), having a bath and going to bed just as the babysitter arrived. We headed out to Korean BBQ with three other couples and really enjoyed getting back to one of our favorite restaurants-- what with the open coal braziers, it's not particularly child-friendly, so the two of us with kiddos left them at home. Now we're home watching the sox game on TiVo delay.


6 Months, 4 Days

If you read last night's post you witnessed JT's sneaky editing without my notice. Hint, we're not giving Henry any alcoholic beverages, i promise.

We're struggling with how to keep Henry warm up here in the North. It's not even that cold already and his hands and feet are like ice blocks. I know they say that babies have bad circulation and what's important is that their trunk stay warm, but last night Henry's feet looked almost blue! I found some baby mittens today and now i have to try to find some kind of warm booties for him. Any suggestions from our Northern friends and neighbors would be appreciated.

We went out to dinner at our local Mexican restaurant where they now have our "usual" table. Henry had his squash and has officially moved up to 2 cubes 2 x day. He was exhausted by the time we got home and went straight to bed after his milk. Tomorrow we've got his 6 month pictures scheduled-- hopefully things will work out so he can actually take them this time!


6 Months, 3 Days

Henry went beserk at dinner tonight. He had already progressed from 2 tsp of zucchini to 4 (an entire ice cube worth of vodka!)for lunch, but at dinner after he finished his portion he started to freak out and didn't calm down until i thawed another one and fed it to him. It's quite a sight and reminds me unsettlingly of someone jonesing for their addictive substance.

After the second portion he seemed satisfied and then enjoyed a nice long bath with me, had some milk and was off to bed. He's got a bit of a cough which i'm going to mention to the Dr. when we go in for his 6 month shots on Tuesday.

I forgot to mention yesterday that the picture of Henry with the fireman's hat was taken over the weekend at the fire station open house. The fire station is just at the end of my parents' street so we had a nice stroll down there and lots of good photo ops. Henry wasn't phased by any of it-- even the loud noises.

Tonight's picture shows off Henry's obsession of the day-- blowing bubbles. He's been doing this for weeks but today he literally did it all day non-stop. His shirt had gigantic alternating rings of dried and fresh drool from his bubble-making efforts. Funny thing is he didn't make any while eating-- won't that day be fun though!


6 Months, 2 Days

The elusive third nap happened today and that enabled us to go and meet JT and a friend of ours at a neighborhood restaurant for an early dinner. By the time we got home at 7 pm Henry was so tired he could barely stay awake to eat, but he had fun at the restaurant eating out (he actually got to eat for once!) and looking at all the other patrons.

As i mentioned yesterday, Henry seems to really be making strides in understanding and remembering his environment. For a little while now, he's been very interested in the cats. I've been using a few signs with him since he was 4 months old but i'm positive he knows the one for "cat." When i sign "where's the kitty" he immediately looks around until his gaze rests on the cat-- even if he didn't know he was in the room already. Supposedly around 6-7 months is a really good time for them and sign language because their memory picks up. I lent the video my parents gave me to Brenda so that hopefully she can incorporate some of the basics signs into Henry's everyday life as well.

You've got to settle for a picture of JT and I tonight. We rarely if ever get pictures of just the two of us so i had to show this one off (here's a shoutout to Colin!)


6 Months, 1 Day

In the past few days Henry's personality has started to emerge in robust fashion. He is clearly trying to communicate more, wants to engage with objects desperately, and gets frustrated at his limitations. I know it's nothing like we'll face but all of a sudden i feel like we have the makings of a little toddler on our hands. Before when he fussed it was generally because he was tired or sometimes hungry. Now what he does is closer to pitching a fit. He wants what he sees and he wants it now.

Every morning i take his milk to Brenda's in a large ziploc bag. Henry helps me carry it down to the car and has become obsessed with the plastic bag. Used to he would hold it while we got to the car, and then be just as content with the straps on the carseat while we went to Brenda. Now he'll really cry (i almost want to say screech) until i give him the plastic bag back.

When he was laying on his stomach tonight looking at toys, he was the most interested in movement i've ever seen him. Until recently he seemed really content just to mostly look around, but it's like his muscles and brain connections exploded and now he wants to physically engage with his environment-- STAT!

He didn't care for the zucchini at Brenda's tonight, but i mixed it with a little bit of breastmilk for dinner and he went nuts. I only wish i had a picture sequence of tonight. He doesn't try to grab the spoon, but while he's sitting in his booster seat, his arms and legs are sticking straight out like a zombie and his mouth is open and just straining towards the spoon. Just about the time i was running out he seemed to lose interest so portions seem to be about right.


6 Months!

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What better way to mark Henry's 6 month milestone than by giving him his first taste of zucchini? Of course Henry's palate isn't as virgin as some exclusively breast-fed six month olds. At 2 days he had mint-flavored gaviscon, around 2 weeks he started on tropical punch-flavored prevacid, and by six weeks he had settled into mint-flavored zantac. At 8 weeks he subsisted entirely on sugar-water for 24 hours as he was prepped and recovering from abdominal surgery. Still, zucchini should be a bit of a change.

It was interesting to feed it to him. Henry has been completely obsessed with grabbing things and putting them in his mouth for the month or so. His first reaction was complete and utter happiness that he was allowed to actually eat what i had on the end of the spoon. He felt this way for about 3-4 bites and then began to exhibit the reaction in the photo sequence. I know i've read that it can take babies (and children) an inordinate amount of time to like a taste (something like 25 exposures!) so we won't give up on the zucchini yet. We need to stick with it for about 4 days before trying anything new so that we know he doesn't have any reaction to it.


26 Weeks

5 trips in 6 months-- not too shabby... We returned this afternoon from our visit to DC. Unfortunately the trip got mixed reviews. It was good to be back in DC surrounded by friends and family (and our favorite restaurants). Our friends' wedding was completely heartfelt and funky. The downside to the trip was the stomach bug i awoke with early Saturday morning. Our Saturday afternoon plans with friends and the Bane kids was nixed and i barely managed to drag myself to the wedding that night. After more dry toast than i wish to enumerate, and a few naps i'm starting to feel better.

Henry fared pretty well on the trip. He always has a bit of a rough time when we're not at home on our normal routine, but then again he has some rough days when we are here. Gran and Nonna and Oma and Opa loved spending time with him and i think he enjoyed showing off his burgeoning personality and new abilities. He did great on the flights to and fro, and has settled down for the night after not too much crying.

I'll try to feature highlights of our visit as the week progresses!


5 Months, 25 Days

Yesterday when i went to pick Henry up Brenda told me that her niece, who absolutely adores Henry, wasn't helping out on Monday, but she decided to come by just because she missed Henry. As Monday was a holiday for me, Henry was home and she was so sad she missed him. I love stories like this-- he's just surrounded by good vibes at Ms. Brenda's.

Henry seemed to be doing a little better in the fussy department today. Still no tooth so who knows. His cold seems better and mine is getting worse-- yuck! We're leaving tomorrow for our trip to DC so you're on notice that there won't be updates until we're back on Sunday. Of course most of our audience will be seeing Henry in person which should help.

I started making baby food for Henry yesterday. Next week he'll be 6 months and we're going to venture into the world of solids. We're planning on starting with veggies next week and skipping cereals entirely. The research i've read shows no advantages to cereals and in fact they can easily cause constipation which i really don't want to inflict on my little guy. I bought veggies at the grocery store this week and then just boiled them, ground them in the cuisinart, and froze them. Now they're ready to go! So, pictures next week should be interesting.


5 Months, 24 Days

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Today when i dropped Henry off at Brenda's he cried for the first time since his first day at daycare. I called during afternoon naptime and she said that he was doing fine, just a bit fussy. That pretty much sums up how he's been the past few days. I really think there is teething going on because i've, ahem, felt something sharp. His cold seemed to be a little better so hopefully it will continue to clear up.

Otherwise not much to report today. Here's a moving picture of Henry and his pie plate from just a few days ago.


5 Months, 23 Days

We made full-use of the new bundle-mes that i bought on craigslist over the weekend. Today was a beautiful fall day but there was some amount of chill involved. Henry enjoyed snuggling into his bundleme while in his carseat on the way to the grocery stores and also in his stroller when we went for a late afternoon walk.

Unfortunately i have Henry's cold now too so today was a pretty low-key day for both of us. I managed to get some work done during his first nap, and then took a nap myself during his second nap. We went grocery shopping during his awake time and other than spitting up all over everything several times while we were out, he did just fine. He sat up in the cart (or at least leaned up) and seemed to really dig checking out all the foods. We had nice long conversations about what to look for when picking fruits and vegetables so i think you could count it as an educational outing.

Later in the day when Henry was making it clear he wasn't going to take a third nap, we went on a nice long walk in the stroller and met dad who walked home with us. Henry seems to really dig walking around looking at things now that he sits up in the stroller. He doesn't sleep but he does enter this kind of quiet dazed period which i figure we can count as his "quiet time in lieu of a nap."


25 Weeks

Not sure what it is about the weekends that Henry doesn't like but there was a lot of fussing and crying today. He only took one proper nap and cried lots during other sleep times. His cold is back so the poor thing is all congested again and i swear he's cutting a tooth. I can't really see anything still, but i can feel the faintest sharp point in the middle of his upper gum. Hopefully we'll see soon if i'm hallucinating or not.

We are looking forward to our visit to DC next weekend. We're heading there to attend our friends' relocated New Orleans wedding. While there, we're trying to fit in visits to friends, favorite restaurants, and family. Luckily i think Henry will mostly be able to stay put and hopefully more or less on his schedule.

Henry is getting really into the cats. Even at his fussiest today he would just grin whenever he saw them. He's gotten a few fistfuls of fur and they've both been good sports about it which is encouraging.


5 Months, 20 Days

Beware the eyebrow!

I can't start off each post with "Brr, it's cold," because that would sound like bellyaching, but i'm putting you on notice that i'm thinking it. Today i had to bust out my fuzzy socks, and i considered donning the Lisa suit, but remembered the rule that i can only wear it when it's below 30 degrees. Henry did wear a long-sleeve fleece blanket sleeper on top of his cotton pajamas for the first time tonight. We haven't turned on the heat yet and his room gets chilly.

In case you haven't gathered from context, i was cold today so since i was cold, i decided to get in the bath with Henry instead of relying on his bath seat. He used to take a bath with either JT or I every night, but at some point it just became easier to only have to dry one of us off and wrestle us into pajamas. He was clearly telling me that he really will be ready for swim classes this winter because he was absolutely kicking up a storm. I could hold him sitting up and he was completely enthralled with his toys.

Few site details-- i'm posting new pictures for weeks 21-24 on Yahoo (got a bit behind) and there is a new link directly below the yahoo link called "signatures." Check it out when you get a chance for some beautiful Henry art.


5 Months, 19 Days

Although it was very chilly, i walked to pick up Henry (which is only mildly embarrassing to trek up there with the empty stroller) and bundled Henry up for the walk home. He was absolutely too cute in his fall outfit and personalized hat (thank you Katrena!) so i took pictures with the hat on when we got home.

Tomorrow i finish work at 3 pm so i'll be able to get Henry early and enjoy the three-day weekend with him. Today the hanger won out over the pie plate but we'll see what new household item grabs Henry's fancy tomorrow.


5 Months, 18 Days

Go Sox! Unfortunately Henry went to sleep before we started watching the game (thanks to tivo) but we enjoyed our second victory nonetheless!

Henry is on another third nap strike and therefore was extremely tired by 6 this evening. After eating he went to sleep promptly at 6:30. He has gotten to be quite a pro at dropping his toys when he's sitting in his booster seat. I made a cover to use when we go out to restaurants so that he can sit in the highchair and have his toys on ribbons. That way when he drops them they don't actually touch the floor and they're easier to retrieve. Hopefully i'll get some action shots next time we go out to dinner with him.

While he continued to enjoy the pie pan he's also quite enamored with his child-size hanger. He loves to reach out towards all his clothes and grab the hangers as i take outfits out of his closet. The hook is the perfect size for him to suck on and he even enjoyed playing with it in the bath tonight.


5 Months, 17 Days

Henry enjoyed talking with his friend today at daycare. They sit in their bouncy seats and just jabber away at each other. Or she talks and he just laughs and laughs. He also kicks so high in the bouncer and just thinks it's hysterical. We had some continuing laughs with the pie pan and then began our evening routine.

Tomorrow is supposed to be the last day of this crazy summer-like weather. I've just about packed away all of Henry's summer clothes-- it's crazy to think he won't be able to fit any of them when it's warm again in the spring. After he went to bed i started work on my newest project-- organizing the garage. We have one space out of our 3-car garage but i decided to hang the bikes and put up shelves. I managed to get up about half the shelf brackets. I figure about 2 more hours of work and we'll be in business!


5 Months, 16 Days

Although little man was very, very sleepy when i picked him up from Brenda's, he refused to take a nap when he got home, so we played contentedly with the pie pan, and climbed all over dad, and then hit the bath and bed-- tonight with no crying. I'm definitely out of practice as regards the loud crying, so i'll be very happy if this phase has passed.

I think his cold is just about over which is a really nice thing. He has an absolute hatred for the blue sucking bulb and manages to make it very difficult to stick that pointy device into his tiny nostrils, so no more congestion is something i'm celebrating.

My Chicago friends and i made plans to start taking advantage of the city more-- ya know cultural events and stuff. I made a list of both adult and child-friendly events that we can start to schedule (you know i love to schedule) and i have to say that i'm excited for the winter! Of course Henry is much to little for most of the events but we've got cover from my friend's older daughter. Of course i went on a hayride completely childless last year so i'm not sure i wouldn't just venture into the face painting booth with or without the little ones around.


24 Weeks

Trying to be flexible and hold to your guns at the same time seems contradictory and yet a key to parenthood. For some reason Henry is emroiled in a rough patch of sleep issues. For the past three nights he's been crying for 30 minutes to an hour before finally falling asleep. On Saturday he cried for a hour before finally sleeping for two hours for his morning nap. Consequently we missed our portrait appointment-- hence the flexability.

Amongst all the sleep angst, we still managed to wring enjoyment out of the ridiculously beautiful weekend-- hot but beautiful. We went to the park on Saturday and Henry got a big kick of the swing. You could put his other three quadruplet siblings in the swing with him and there'd be room for aplenty, but he didn't notice.

We enjoyed kicking back and making dinner at a friends' house last night and stayed out as late as possible, because our upstairs neighbor was having a big party. Although we got home by 12:30, things were still going strong. I got Henry to bed, but JT and i had a much harder time falling asleep (hmm, could it have been the people on the deck above our bedroom and the thumping music?) after a quick visit upstairs things quieted down a bit but it was still around 2 am before we got to sleep.

We capped the weekend with extensive playtime involving an aluminum pie pan. I introduced it to Henry awhile back, but the pieplate moved up to his favorite toy today. He enjoys scritching his fingers on it, trying to lick the rim, and most of all, pounding his feet on it.