First Christmas

Henry's first Christmas has been a resounding success. We arrived in to town late Friday night. This was Henry's 7th airplane trip and although it was probably his fussiest (he no longer just falls asleep in my arms) at least we can keep distracting him from his tiredness through props and funny faces and noises. Once we got off the plane we sailed into Gran's waiting car (and new NOVA-based carseat) and off to granparents house we went! He went to sleep easily that night and has slept all night so far waking at the respectable hour of 8 each day.

Oma, Opa and Uncle Eric came over on Christmas Eve for an extended family buffet and Henry got to open several gifts. He had lots of fun with the paper and ribbons (as predicted) and was pretty in to his new books and the festivities. Then suddenly he was done and off to bed. Christmas morning he did so well. We took turns opening gifts for him (he even managed to pull some open himself) and he just couldn't be happier with the parade of gifts and clothes for himself and others. He made it all the way through post-gift stocking opening and then headed down for a nap. He's been napping like a champ while we're here-- Christmas is really taking it out of him.

This morning we got to meet a friend of mine and her 9 month old son Iain. She lives out by my folks so we conveniently met at the Starbucks close to both of us. It was fun to see the two babies that are so close in age, but very different in temperament and size. Iain is a really active, 21 lb baby. Very physical and into interacting physically with his environment. Henry was pretty content to just take everythig and everyone in for the first 10 minutes and then proceeded to coo, flirt and charm anyone within spying distance.


8 Months, 5 Days

He gained weight! Yes, the news was good from the Dr's office today. Henry gained 10 oz in 14 days-- just ahead of the average rate of 1/2 oz per day (after 6 mos). The Ped. was pleased and said we averted the next level of medical concern which would have included extensive blood-work to figure out why he wasn't gaining weight. We're supposed to keep up the 8 oz. bottles and try to incorporate an additional 4th bottle during the day as he's often very tired by the time he takes his last nursing session just before bed.

As far as solids, he's moving right along. He had mozzarella cheese for the first time today and not only did he enjoy it, but he did pretty well picking up the small pieces and feeding himself. We're supposed to mix 2-3 tsp of oil into his food a day and go heavy on things like egg yolks, ricotta cheese, and other sources of protein. We don't go back until his 9 month check-up in a month.


8 Months, 4 Days

When JT was getting ready to feed Henry tonight he was walking over to his booster seat with the bowl of bananas and raspberries (yum, sounds like dessert to me)and as JT was approaching, steps away, Henry had his mouth open and arms and legs really going. It's so much fun to watch how he interacts differently with JT and I. Not that all he does is cuddle with me and rough-house with JT, but we certainly have our different styles and Henry responds to that.

We're off to the Pediatrician tomorrow. Here's hoping Henry has put on some weight in the last two weeks. I'll let you know.


8 Months, 3 Days

Henry really hates his snowsuit/carseat combo. He fusses most days as i'm getting him situated (which it's hard to do with frozen hands and thick gloves). Today he flat-out cried almost the whole way to Ms. Brenda's. He seemed pretty tired and out of it when i dropped him off too. Brenda said he took his first nap right away, but overall did just fine.

He was playful as usual this evening. We're still working with him on laying on his stomach. I can't say he likes it any better and he's still not showing any interest in trying to crawl or get from point A to B. We'll mention it to the Ped. at Thursday's weight check, otherwise we'll just try to enjoy his non-mobile days while they last.

I posted all the 7 month pictures on yahoo. I'm out of new pictures so here's a signature i use on my message board!


8 Months, 2 Days Old

Either Henry is sleeping off a long night of partying or he's on some kind of growth spurt. After his monumental naps over the weekend, he took three full naps with Brenda today and was so exhausted when i went to pick him up that we skipped the bath and he went to bed as soon as possible after eating dinner.

He tried hummus for the first time tonight and seemed to like it; although it was a bit difficult to tell since he was spacing-out tired after just a few bites. We're trying to move him up to table food so the that he can enjoy some Dim Sum and Vietnamese Soup outings in DC while we're there.


8 Months, Belated

Yesterday i heard Henry making noises signaling that he was waking up from his nap. When i went in to get him i found him flipped over on his back, turned around 90 degrees, and kicking his chirping birds with his foot. He seemed pretty proud of him.

Today he acted like he was catching up on some zzz's, but we didn't realize he was deficient. He took a 2 hour and 3 hour nap which worked out well because i was out most of the day running errands and seeing a movie with friends and JT was trying to get some work done at home.

When i picked Henry up from Ms. Brenda's on Friday i asked how old they are when they learn to hold their legs around you. Henry has a habit of just going slack and sliding down your body as you try to keep him on your hip. He doesn't seem to be using it as a nonviolent approach to escape-- he's just not much on helping you hold him. She said that he does a similar thing in his bouncy chair at daycare. There's a toybar in front of him and every time he sits in it he extends his leg over the toybar so it looks like he's kicking back-- fully relaxed. His Dad had a particular way of draping himself over furniture in high school, so perhaps it's genetic.


7 Months, 29 Days

Ella's mom usually picks her daughter up from Ms. Brenda's about the time i get Henry. Henry is generally smiley when i go to pick him up and today was no exception. When Ella's mom walked up she said "It's Happy Henry!" Seems he's taken on a nickname that we weren't aware of but that generally fits.

I was talking to Brenda about other things (namely that at daycare he actually moves around) and forgot to ask about his naps, but i'm guessing they were good because he was a barrel of monkeys this evening. He played contentedly on his stomach for about half and hour until it was time for dinner. I made him pasta with peas and a little lemon juice and he smiled and ate and smiled and ate and seemed to definitely dig the meal. I used a package of orzo that we've had kicking around for awhile. The "grains" are too small for self-feeding but they were the perfect size for him to eat off a spoon and not have any gagging issues with.

Normally his bath is a happy calm time but tonight he had all 4 limbs going, he was squirming in an excited way and was very into really checking everything out-- including what was behind him. Tonight was the first night i implemented my plan to read to him during bathtime as a way for us to get in stories during the weekdays.

In one short week we'll be traveling to see friends and family to celebrate Henry's first Christmas!


7 Months, 28 Days

What a fun evening we had! Henry had a good, normal day at Brenda's and then we came home and played in his room for awhile. He even lasted awhile on his stomach in his crib. He can stand on his own for a bit but only when leaning on something. I had him leaning on his toy table but his feet kept slipping out from beneath him. Later i sat him in front of the table and he was reaching up for things but didn't really seem interested in trying to pull himself up or anything.

He tried yogurt for the first time tonight and it was a big hit! I mixed it in with eggplant (Khyber Pass restaurant here we come!) and peaches and he really loved both. In a few more days i'm going to try pasta and see how that goes.

When we were visiting my paternal grandparents at Thanksgiving, my grandmother gave me a few of my father's baby items. Henry is sporting his cap in this picture.



Just a quick post to say that i'm home and can't wait to see Henry in the flesh tomorrow morning. I've missed him so much but i'd say our first time apart has gone fine. After Monday he's taken two normal naps each day and has slept through the night without any commentary. I'm just sorry i have to work tomorrow and don't have all day to breathe him in. I promise to have new pictures tomorrow.



This is my first post from the road. I'm taking a quick break from meetings and just wanted to let everyone know that Henry's having a mixed time of it while i'm away. He slept just fine last night, but only after not napping again at all with Brenda on Monday.

I had sent her an email going though all the information our pediatrician gave us and some of the new things she needed to be doing with him, i.e. more time on his stomach. I also told her that his naps are not negotiable. I went through what we do at home and sent a lovey that he can use at daycare. Unfortunately this didn't seem to do the trick.

Today JT re-iterated that he needs to nap and that she can let him cry until he falls asleep. She seemed a little surprised by this so i'm thinking somehow we weren't clear in the past about this. Please keep your fingers crossed that he's sleeping there as i write this-- as it's naptime. I'm hoping JT has good news to report when i check in tonight.

Being away is odd and bad because i miss him intensely, but getting an uninterrupted nights sleep with no worry about being awoken by the cats or Henry was not too shabby. I'm hoping to make it to the gym after work today and then off to bed early again so that i can knock this cold out for good.


7 Months, 24 Days

We've come to like our weekends fairly quiet, with enough visits with friends to keep us connected to those we care about. This weekend was one of those perfect balances of not being stuck inside, not going out too much.

Our very good friends came over this morning and we cooked breakfast together. We had quite the spread and Henry's sleep coincided nicely so he was awake and eating along with us (bananas and raspberries) and then played for awhile (on his stomach) before heading for a nap just as they were getting ready to leave.

Errands had to be run of course and i had to get packing for my trip. That's right, don't be offended if this is the first you've heard of it. I'm traveling for work and will return Wed night. I've been so focused on getting everyone scheduled to see over Christmas that i hadn't even given this trip another thought. I considered telling you all that i had decided just to be spontaneous and not plan but i wasn't sure i could get that by you.

It is momentous however, because it's the first time i've been away from Henry overnight since he was in the hospital for his stomach surgery when he was just shy of 2 months old. JT's been primed with information and i know he's looking forward to spending all the time with Henry. I won't have pictures for a few days but hopefully will have enough info to tell you something. I'm thinking that between feeling better and the hotel fitness center, i might actually start to workout again.


33 Weeks

First let me start by saying that i think Henry got through his little sleep blip. He slept for 13 hours last night with just one peep (and he talked himself back to sleep in just a few minutes) and today he took a 3 hour nap in the morning which had me poking him just to make sure he was okay.

Tabitha and her kids came over to catch up for a few hours this morning and although Henry was asleep basically the entire visit, we managed to squeeze in just a few pictures of the three of them together at the very end.

After marveling at how well Helen plays on her stomach, i'm redoubling my efforts around Henry. The one limitation we still have is that if he's just eaten (even after we make sure to burp him) he pretty much spits up a decent amount. This didn't affect Helen but Henry is still a spitter so his stomach time is somewhat limited by this. Of course he doesn't really care but our washing machine occasionally protests.

I did discover that he kept himself entertained quite well when i put him down with a mirror he has. He talked and laughed at himself for quite awhile and then when he knocked the mirror over on himself he proceeded to explore the smooth surface of the mirror with his mouth.

By the way, we're in the middle of quite a snow experience. We got about 8 inches yesterday and then it flurried again this morning and has been snowing pretty steadily since late this afternoon. The weather said accumulations of an inch this evening but we went out to dinner tonight and drove and there was at least an inch on our car just in the time we were inside the restaurant.


7 Months, 22 Days

I'm open to theories. Henry is all discombobulated and in an attempt to reassure other parents and expose a sliver of the experience of parenting young children, we're going to treat this like a case.

Overall his sleeping has been pretty good this week. Last weekend we made the transition to 2 naps a day and things went pretty smoothly. Wednesday night he slept great-- not a peep until about 7:30 in the morning. Yesterday he had his ped appointment at 11. I picked him up around 10:30 and at that point he hadn't taken his morning nap. After his shots*1 he came home and took a solid 2 hour nap. By about 4:30 i decided to try for a second short late nap because he was clearly getting sleepy/fussy. I swayed a bit with him in his darkened room and turned on his chirping birds. When i laid him down in his crib he arched his back, held his head up, reached and talked to his birdies. I left his bedroom thinking the nap wouldn't happen and when i walked back by a few minutes later he was out cold. He slept a solid 45 minutes and woke at 5:30*2.

Typically our evening routine consists of dinner around 6, then a bath, then nursing and bed by 7. Most nights he's asleep or very drowsy by the time he settles into nursing. Last night he was yukking it up in between drinks-- smiling and laughing at JT, trying to get his attention, talking, just carrying on; no sign of drowsiness. I let him sit with JT for a few minutes and then took him back to his room to try to get him soothed for bed. We were already stretching things at 7:45. I put him down and he clearly expressed his displeasure. He cried, and protested and babbled and carried on until 9 pm when he finally fell asleep. He woke up a few times briefly during the night but was awake fully by 5:15 this morning which makes for one of his shortest overnight stretches since the bad old days*3.

Now here i am trying to sort out what is causing this. Add in the cold medicine*4 i'm on (approved by my doc for nursing moms) that i'm supposed to take at least 4 hours before bed so it doesn't keep me up, and i've got at least 4 theories.

To make matters worse he didn't nap AT ALL today. Not one nap, nothing. Brenda said she tried everything, letting him cry, rocking him, etc. He wasn't fussy though, just wouldn't sleep and kept babbling and talking and laughing.

My money is on a combo effect: the cold medicine affecting H combined with him reaching this new milestone where he talks all the time--literally, he doesn't really coo or fuss much anymore, he just babbles either happily, unhappily, or irately. It's as if in the course of 2 days he reached the protestation milestone. They say milestones can affect sleep (and while i think they're generally physical in nature), that's my story and i'm sticking to it until i collect more evidence.

Feel free to chime in?


Lazy, Long Cool Drink of Water

Henry had a pediatrician appointment this morning. We saw a new pediatrician which i'll tell you about in another night's post. We had quite awhile to just get to know the new Dr. and get her up-to-date on Henry and his sordid past. The good news is that now he's in the 75% percentile for length, the bad news is that he basically hasn't gained any weight since 6 months. Or, as the Dr. said, he's a "long cool drink of water."

Now Henry is a Bloch, and if you've met many of the Blochs you'll know that they tend to the long and skinny side of things. That said, the Dr. wants us to up Henry's milk supply and introduce a number of other calorie dense foods into his diet. We're supposed to go back in two weeks to check his weight. The Dr. wasn't alarming and had several helpful concrete solutions which was essential for me feeling okay about the situation. The biggest thing is that i'm supposed to increase his bottles from 5-6 oz to 8 oz. Also, after he finishes breast feeding i'm supposed to offer him a small bottle to see if he'll take anymore. I tried that twice today and he took a bit but was pretty quickly disinterested. I'll most likely need to supplement with formula since i haven't been pumping anywhere near 24 oz a day. I was hoping to make it to the year mark without formula, but as the Doc said, what's most important now is that he get additional calories. So, we've got some formula samples to try with Henry over the weekend. I've heard a lot of breast-fed babies don't really like formula because it tastes different, here's hoping Henry's open-embrace of all food continues.

The Doc also said that we need to put Henry on his stomach and back more. She said that for some babies, as they get really good at sitting, they get lazy and don't have much motivation to try out new positions or get moving. So, even if he protests we're supposed to build tummy-time back in. I did two sessions today and we made some progress. The first only lasted about 5 minutes, but the second went up to over 10-- in part because i bribed the cat to stay just out of Henry's reach; there was also a lot of clapping involved.

So we've got marching orders and as soon as i can get a little better (and the snow storm abates) i'll head to the store to stock up on all of Henry's new food and feeding implements.


7 Months, 20 Days

Thankfully JT is well now because he was able to come home and get Henry from Brenda's today, entertain him for awhile, and now make dinner. I'm just camped out on the couch until i go to bed around 8:30. I have a Dr. appt tomorrorw morning-- was the earliest i could get so hopefully it will be productive instead of just being told i have a virus, drink lots of fluids and get some rest.

Blessedly Henry is oblivious to all the sickness that has gone on around him. We've got a pediatrician appointment on Thursday for his second flu shot and hopefully to have tons of general questions answered about how Henry's developing and what he should/shouldn't be eating.

Here's another shot with the house-- we're running low on pictures so hopefully you enjoy this photo series.

7 Months, 19 Days

I tried to post last night and i believe the blogspot server was down because i never could access it. Of course i only tried up until about 7:45 when i took nighttime cold medicine and hit the sack. I'm concerned my cold (yes, still beating about) has worsened and turned into a sinus infection. I'm going to call my Dr. today to see if i can get an appt or an antibiotic prescription. I'm cautious not to overdue the antibiotics but all signs are pointing to an infection instead of just a cold.

After a day and night full of sleep, JT seems to have rebounded and JT's parents are on their way back home after a trip we all just want to put behind us. Luckily we'll see them again in a few short weeks and we'll keep our fingers crossed that they get to spend more quality time with Henry.

So Henry, he's just doing ducky. So far he's been spared the pox and just has his stuffy daycare nose. We've discovered he really hates his snowsuit but loves his little people house. Actually he's been pretty much obsessed with this house for a few weeks but i keep forgetting to tell you about it and post pictures. To be honest it's a dollhouse-- it's got a huge pink roof. I bought it on cragislist.org when Henry was really little without really thinking. It came with a million little people and some cars and other miscellaneous pieces. I had them up in his closet and figured it was something for when he's much older.

A few weeks ago, i got them out for the playgroup i hosted where i knew older kids would be around. Before i put it away i decided to see if Henry was interested. Bam! He's been playing with it since. Of course he's not making the little figures walk around and talk or anything but he scritches on the upper level, picks up the figures and eats them, beats them on the house, presses the buttons in the house that make noise (bringg, telephone for Henry!), etc. In short he loves this thing. In fact we've temporarily abandoned all his other toys because if he's done playing with the house, he's done playing.


32 Weeks

A pox has been visited upon our house. Unfortunately a virulent stomach bug seems to have claimed JT's dad and JT. I'm feeling a bit queasy but can't tell if it's sympathy stomach or the real thing. I'm trying to get to sleep but as i was able to sleep-in nice and late today the sandman hasn't arrived yet.

I think Henry is transitioning to two naps and that is partially to blame for some of his slightly strange behavior lately. Both Saturday and Sunday he took 2 naps that were longer than usual but went without his 3rd nap. Saturday he had about a 45 minute "quiet time" in his crib during his usual third nap timeframe. He didn't sleep but seemed pretty content. I tried the same thing today and it only lasted about 15 minutes, 10 of which i wouldn't describe as content. We'll see how he does with Brenda tomorrow. I'd be happy for the switch to 2 naps because i think it will lead to his naps being a bit more scheduled-- a boon to my planning needs.

Here's a wish that everyone reading this stays healthy and avoids all those nasties out there right now. Keep washing those hands!


7 Months, 15 Days

Another bonus to visiting family is that JT and i got to make use of some built-in babysitting. We attended something called "dollar store" which happens at an out of the way little bar the first friday of every month. The hosts pick out the wackiest items they can find at a dollar store, give them to local writers and comedians and then turn them loose on an audience. It's not improv really-- most things were pre- written, but it was cool to hear some local writers' work and to have a perspective different from the one we view from our couch.

Henry continued to be a bit off. Brenda said he was really miserable all day-- just gnawing away on everything and would only sleep for 30 minutes-- total. When he got home though he was just as social and happy as usual. He got fussy and tired a bit earlier and sacked out about 6:30 but so far he's had a solid night. He's running a low-grade temp like last night that i'm treating with tylenol but it's hard to think something is really wrong when he's so happy. We'll keep an eye on him tomorrow and hopefully he'll be able to make it to Thursday next week when we have a follow-up Dr. appt.


7 Months, 14 Days

Henry had a strange evening. JT's parents (Oma and Opa) are visiting for a long weekend and we all piled in the car, picked up Henry, met JT and headed out to dinner. Henry was okay, but seemed lethargic and acted a little drugged-- definitely sleepy. After trading off holding him he managed to fall asleep on my shoulder with nary a peep. Henry doesn't do that. We were wracking our brains to figure out what might be causing this strange behavior on his part. He slept until we put him in the carseat when he woke up and fussed a bit and then quietly looked out the window on the ride home. He had a light fever when we checked it at home but by then he was awake and as smiley as his usual self.

I went ahead and got him ready for bed and he went to sleep easily. We're hoping to keep our record of sleep-filled nights intact.

Here's a picture from our post-turkey walk that was cut short by Texas-sized mosquitoes on Henry's face.