20 Months, 1 Week, 5 Days

We're semi-back into our normal routine. Henry went to daycare on Wednesday, stayed home with JT Thursday, and is back there today until i pick him up early about 3:30. He's loved being at home and exploring all of his new toys. He seems to particularly be enamoured of all his new train stuff (thanks to so many people!) and his kitchen. I was worried that after a full-house and always someone to play with, he might have a hard time adjusting to independent play again. I think all the new toys certainly made the transition easier because we'll find ourselves busily putting away dishes or doing other chores and suddenly thinking-- where's Henry? Only to find him happily and quietly playing away in his playroom.

We're looking forward to the second round of our holiday-hosting today. When friends from law school come to visit and stay the night. We're having a dinner party for 8 adults and 4 kids in their honor so JT is home and cooking all day. I'm getting some last bits of work done so that i can enjoy the 3-day weekend and be in good shape for the new year.

Speaking of the new year, starting next week we need to start getting some things ready for the little baby, who we plan to name Silas.

You might remember that we were tight-lipped about Henry's name, and didn't reveal it to anyone until he was born. We settled on Silas pretty early and decided this time around we weren't so worried about whether people liked it or not, so it wasn't a big deal to go ahead and reveal the name. It's been interesting going this route. On the one hand when we constantly refer to the baby by his name, he seems like more of a real person, and it just augments the clearer understanding i have this time that a real-life human baby is growing in my belly and will soon emerge as Henry's little brother with his own personality and temperament. I think those are all good things.

On the other hand, even though i think we're pretty certain about the name-- telling everyone makes it feel locked in, and sometimes i want to feel like we're still debating, still not sure who this little one will be.

But there you have it Silas Bloch will be making his debut in March-- hopefully nearer the end than the beginning of the month!



I know it's been quite a hiatus and i don't have pictures downloaded from the camera yet, but i wanted to post and let everyone know what a nice Christmas we had. We thoroughly enjoyed hosting both my family and JT's and i think everyone enjoyed Henry's antics very much.

We took advantage of the mild Chicago weather to head down to the Christkindlmarket on Christmas Eve. Henry liked looking at the extensive train set, huge Christmas tree, and decorated windows at Marshall Fields. He made out with a few pre-Christmas gifts and had quite the giggle fest on the drive home while his new squirrel finger-puppet pretended to eat his crackers.

JT did quite the cooking bonanza on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and we had enough baked goods and sweets to more than cover everyone's dessert needs. We discovered that Henry loves muffins which is nice because at least we have one more food item we think he'll eat, but not as good as if we had discovered he loved asparagus or protein shakes.

The one thing that wasn't so great was Henry's health. It's not that he's particularly sick (although today his little cough was sounding pretty horrible) but he's had lower GI upset for over a week now. The nurse told me to expect this-- that it can take 2 weeks to totally go away. But untold diapers and wipes later, we're still bracing for particularly gross diaper changes, and now he's got a horrible diaper rash to boot. I've rounded up some rash treatments from fellow moms and hopefully some of them will start to work. Henry's new bath toys aren't getting quite the workout we thought they would because the bath just hurts his irritated skin.

I will mention that Henry went back to physical therapy for the first time in a month (he was out because of the surgery and guests) and it was a particularly horrible session. He cried and cried hysterically when we tried to get him to walk up the stairs and when he wasn't crying he was just completely dead-set against whatever we wanted him to do. We're back to once a week sessions until he can get back to where he was and JT and i have redoubled our efforts to work with him so that hopefully he can make some progress.

One thing that he started doing while everyone was visiting was saying a few more words. He had the bare-minimum of words at his 18 month ped. appointment to be counted in the "normal" range. The words he had however, were "spontaneous" in the sense that he didn't pick them up mimicking us-- he just started saying them one day. In the past when you tried to get him to say a word he would just stare at you or say "yeah." This week he started trying to repeat words after people and he picked a funny one to start with-- Yellow. He loves this word and now says it all the time. He seems to really like making his mouth contort because he says it really exageratedly. He also says red and blue and tried to repeat blueberries and a few other things after me. Hopefully this will be a trend and he'll also make the "normal" cut at his 2 year appointment.

Pictures coming soon i promise...


20 Months, 3 Days


Hmm, we're not quite sure what to make of Henry. Unfortunately he seems to have some kind of stomach bug that is lonely affecting his lower GI. We kept him home from daycare today but i talked to the nurse at his office and she gave me some suggestions for things to feed him and to switch to soy milk because it could last up to 2 weeks. I would say that otherwise he seems fine except for a few aberrations.

We were worried yesterday that maybe his netherregions were infected. Things were looking kinda gross down there and he has been really complaining about the bath the past two nights-- read screaming and crying about taking a bath. We had his post op appointment today and she said that things actually looked really good-- except for the mad case of diaper rash he has from all the GI stuff. She said what we thought was infection is actually "fibrous tissue" which develops before the real skin grows back. We're supposed to go back in 3 weeks, to make sure things are continuing to progress, but for now he looks just fine. She said that the bath really shouldn't be hurting him but maybe it's his diaper rash that's bothering him. I'm sure the rash is a contributing factor, but he was really upset about a bath before the rash appeared so we're a bit stumped and wonder if part of it isn't psychosomatic.

Today after Henry woke up from his nap he was in a strange irritable mood. He would send himself into absolute tantrums over the slightest thing-- and i do mean send himself into them. Normal irritated state means that if we move his crackers or try to take the Christmas card away that he was looking at he'll get really upset and start throwing a proper fit. Tonight he would move his crackers HIMSELF and similarly just melt down. He took a long nap (but it was late because of the Dr. appt) so we're not sure if he was just a) having a bad evening, b) feeling a little yucky still or c) has rabies.

Here's to an uneventful and quiet night and hopefully a better day tomorrow!


20 Months, 1 Day

I should have captioned yesterday's picture. That was us with the Pendleton's and their girls a few weeks ago. Henry was absolutely beside himself over a jack-n-the-box they had and kept demanding we turn the crank for him over and over and over. I think his laughter was infectious and the girls were giggling as well.

Tonight's picture is the same group all dancing at our Christmas get-together. This was right before Henry decided that he needed to steal some of the attention Carys' was commanding with her big girl dancing. He threw himself on the floor and just started rolling around and shrieking and laughing. I'm not sure he's going to be a shoo-in for the "early movement" class, but it's cool that he feels comfortable enough with them to ham it up.

Tonight i made a last shopping foray into the world of retail. It wasn't pretty, but i got what i needed and was home by 9 pm which wasn't too bad. I did feel bad for all the little kiddos that were accompanying parents on these shopping ventures. I left after Henry went to bed at 7:30 and there were some tired looking boys and girls by the time i was leaving Target at 8:45. Thank goodness for a two-parent household, and for one in which we BOTH parent.


20 Months!

I was just about to pull out my calendar when i realized today was the 17th which makes Henry officially 20 months! Wow, i can't believe how soon he's going to be two!

We had a really wonderful Christmas weekend. We went to JT's holiday party on Friday night and Henry didn't have any problems at all with me leaving. JT went straight from work, so it was just me that was going to have to say goodbye to Henry as i left him with his sitter Dawn. We have three sitters we use and we don't go out particularly frequently so i think each time we do use a sitter he's pretty much forgotten who that person is. Anyway, this time he was happily hunkered down on the couch with Dawn reading his books as i was getting my coat on. I hadn't even said goodbye yet and he started waving to me and just going back to his books like it was no big deal. She said he happily played with her and went to bed promptly at 7:30 with no fuss. We're hoping that once the dust settles after the little baby arrives, we'll be able to institute a scheduled date-night. That way we get out of the house a little more, Henry hopefully builds a relationship with his sitter and we get to eat later than 5:30 at a restaurant.

We spent Saturday with good friends having our Christmas get-together. It was so fun to watch all the kids open their presents and to watch how they play more and more together (even if it's not exactly playing nicely all the time). Tabitha gave me a cd with all the pictures she's taken over the years that includes someone from my family. I'm still making my way through all 300+ pictures, but it's amazing to have this boon of unseen pictures that document our families' friendship together and the birth and growth of all 3(+) kids we have between us.

We've been busily preparing for our families' arrival next weekend, and think we stand a fighting chance of getting our to-do list accomplished!


Trying to get back in the groove...

I apologize for not keeping you all up to date, but you could say that things have been anything but routine around here lately.

To recap-- a week ago Thursday Henry had surgery and he continues to recover quite well. Things are looking not so gruesome down there and aside from baths, he doesn't seem to be bothered by any discomfort. He goes back in another week for his post-op appointment and hopefully we'll learn that it's healing well.

We bought a new car and through a lot of Jt's effort, managed to get the financing from our credit union in DC squared away with the Carmax here in greater Chicagoland (and i say greater because it's one of the suburbs that we try to avoid unless there's an urgent need to visit Ikea.)

Then i was in DC for 3.5 days of meetings. When i returned home i launched full-force into the holiday party circuit. I did make it to my quilting pot-luck last night but after JT's bike tire blew, i had to go pick he and his bike up last night after work-- which put a crimp in our already tight plans.

Today is JT's firm Christmas party, so Henry will be staying with a babysitter. He's had mixed experiences when we leave but hopefully tonight he won't stay upset very long. Otherwise he's doing really well. Brenda told me that he said the word "black" when they were doing their colors yesterday (secretly i wonder if he just wasn't saying "snack") He now demands to be picked up whenever you are cooking something in the kitchen. He loves nothing more than to stand on the step-stool and watch you but he's still not entirely clear on the concept of staying on the step so that only works when you're going to be staying in one spot indefinitely.

I think Henry is going to have quite a good time at Christmas, because our house is almost filled to the brim with packages from family!

In "little baby" news, i had another midwife appointment yesterday, and everything looked good. I go back in 3 weeks and after that start having my appointments every 2 weeks. I can hardly believe we're moving so quickly through this pregnancy.


Surgery Update

I just thought i'd post a quick update to let everyone know that Henry did extremely well with his surgery. Henry was such a little trooper and the staff at Children's Hospital really made it as easy as possible. I was able to go back with Henry (carrying him and Ralph his monkey) the whole way and sit him on the operating bed. The anesthesiologist held the mask over his nose and i just kept talking to him and stroking him. He was trying to get away and you could tell that it was making him feel strange, but he didn't cry out or even really struggle much-- just tried to turn his head from side to side. I was really dreading that part so it was nice that he went to sleep pretty peacefully.

The surgery and getting him to recovery took about 2 hours and we got back to see him just a minute or two after he had woken up. The little girl next to him was really, really crying, and he had just started to cry when we walked in the room. I was able to pick him up and hold him right away and calm him down. He was quiet and mostly content and drank some apple juice. The rest of the hospital stuff was really non-eventful.

We got home and he took some real short cat-naps but nothing like everyone else experienced with their kids that have been through surgery. He was mostly content to just lay on the couch with JT and i drinking and eating some crackers and yogurt and stuff. As the afternoon wore on and the caudal block they used in the surgery (like an epidural) wore off, he was fussing and crying more and that was the most heart-breaking part. You could tell he was in pain and just trying to soldier through.

We called the Dr. after he seemed to be in pain even after getting his dose of Tylenol with codeine. The Dr. told us to double the dose, that they start them off with 1/2 the recommended dose (which is fine, but it would have been nice to KNOW that, grr). Anyway, we put Henry to bed about 6:30 and he slept until 8 this morning. He woke up as if nothing had happened, had a happy day playing around and throwing some normal toddler tantrums and went to bed a little on the early side at 7. Other than a dose of regular tylenol at bedtime he didn't have any pain medication at all and didn't complain all day. So hopefully we're through the worst of it, and now we just have to make sure he takes all his antibiotics and other medications to help everything heal. He'll have his dressing removed on Monday and then have a follow-up in two weeks.

Just to keep everything interesting, we're heading to Carmax to hopefully buy the new (used) car we had shipped from Nashville and then on Sunday i'm traveling for work.


19 Months, 2 Weeks, 6 Days

Well tomorrow is s-day, Surgery. I mentioned that Henry was having urologic surgery and the time has come for it. It's scheduled, so it's not emergency surgery or anything, but it's still scary because he has to have anesthesia. We just got a call that we need to be at the hospital at 6 am tomorrow morning. Although getting up at the crack of dawn isn't going to be great for anyone, the fact that he can't eat after midnight means that the earlier he has surgery the earlier he'll wake up from the anesthesia and be able to eat.

Luckily i've met more than a few moms (through my message board) that had surgery with their children so people have been able to give me some tips on what to expect with the anesthesia and the best way to help Henry through this ordeal. At least he doesn't know that all of this is coming so he doesn't have time to get worried about it until it's time for the actual procedure.

I'm not sure i'll be able to post tomorrow depending on how long we're at the hospital and how Henry is doing after we get home, but i'll make sure to update you when i can. Any positive thoughts you could spare for Henry (and us!) would be greatly appreciated!


19 Months, 2 Weeks, 5 Days

Sorry for the posting lapse. We had quite a busy and fun weekend and it took us awhile to recuperate. Highlights included seeing a lot of friends, shopping for a new car, and cooking up a storm.

There is a woman on the message board i check who's son has been really crying when she drops him off at daycare. He's fine a few minutes later and happily plays all day and doesn't want to leave when she comes to get him-- but in the meantime she can't help but imagine him crying all day without her. We may yet come to this phase, but for now i really love that he can't even be bothered to wave "bye" to me when i drop him off because he's too busy checking out what everyone is playing with.

When i came to pick him up yesterday i thought maybe he didn't recognize me all bundled up because he smiled pleasantly at me but then went on playing with his telephone as if i was a lovely stranger. I know some Mom's get a little sad at this kind of stuff, and of course i love the days he gives me a big hug when he sees me, but mostly this makes me so happy that daycare has worked out so well. It also makes me proud that he's making steps towards independence that don't yet involve slamming the door in my face.

We have two friends that are due with their first babies right around the time of my due date. I saw both of them over the weekend and we did our fair share of talking through the nuts and bolts of "baby prep." It's made me so excited for our new arrival, even though Henry tempered the happy memories by waking up three times screaming (on the hour for 3 hours!) in one night. Luckily it was a fluke (i still don't know what the problem was) and i get to focus on the fun baby stuff rather than the "crying all the time/not sleeping" baby stuff that we'll deal with if we are so blessed a second time!


19 Months, 2 Weeks

I think today might be our last "Thanksgiving recap" entry because i'm starting to lose track of what happened that i haven't filled you in on. Although Henry is likely to shout "no" when you initially ask him, he actually loves to be a little helper. On Thanksgiving morning he was eager to help with the cranberries and making pies and loves nothing more than to be allowed to stand on the step-stool and play with things while you're cooking at the counter. This activity requires pretty undivided supervision so we keep the step-stool hidden a decent amount of time, but with the abundance of watchful adults at Thanksgiving Henry got lots of step time.

One thing that Henry has been doing for awhile but i think i've forgotten to mention, is make connections. If he reads a book with a picture of a fish, he'll start pointing out all the other fish he can find and if none are readily apparent he'll sign "more" over and over to you-- wanting to find more fish. We have a figure of Santa up in our living room and once i explained who he was Henry was eager to find him on his stocking, a music box in his room, and just yesterday an ornament on the tree. Each time he points out one Santa, he'll babble and point out all the others to you as well just so you are sure he knows where all the identified Santas are.


19 Months, 1 Week, 6 Days

We're supposed to get some real snow here tonight so we may have pictures of Henry making snow angels tomorrow! While we were in DC it was pretty warm after the deluge ended on Thanksgiving so we were able to get down to the boardwalk for a stroll. Storms have washed away most of the beach, and the tide was high and fairly angry so it was a bit freaky for Henry. As you're walking on the beach the waves are crashing under the boardwalk below you. JT did a good job of helping him take it step by step and after awhile he was having a ball walking right along the side of the boardwalk. Eventually we headed for mainstreet because i was afraid he'd drop Ralph into the surf and we'd really be out of luck.

We went into a store that had some toys and Henry dominated the train table they had set up. There were no other kids around and tons of toys so Henry very contentedly played with the trains the whole time we browsed. He also managed to score a new train and a really cool set of wooden stacking/emergency vehicles. They're hard to explain but he got a big kick out of playing with both of them. He picked up a few of the "Thomas" trains on our trip and enjoyed driving them over his head and face the whole trip back!


19 Months, 1 Week, 5 Days

While we were on our trip Henry added to his overall expressiveness. Although he's been saying yes and no for awhile, he's definitely favoring no right now. He'll get on a roll and drag the n out for a long time: "nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnno!" Of course he thinks it's hysterical. Sometimes you'll ask him something that he would normally say yes to and he'll say yes and then "correct" himself, with no! just to make sure that you know you didn't trick him.

He also started making the "home alone" face without the hands slapped to the cheeks. He'll make the face when he's surprised about something, when something drops, when he drops something on purpose, when he hears a loud noise (accompanied by his hand to his ear), etc. It's a pretty cute face and helps temper the "no" annoyance.

We're headed to the Pediatrician today for his pre-op appointment. Hopefully i'll get a few questions answered and we'll be more ready for his surgery next week.


Back from Thanksgiving

We all got home today from our Thanksgiving week and had such a wonderful trip. We got to see both sets of Grandparents, JT's brother, and friends, so we certainly made the trip worthwhile. On the flight there we lucked out because it was only half full and Henry got his own seat. Coming home we actually volunteered to give up our seats and take the flight that left an hour later. We wound up getting 2 free tickets which we're been "spending" several times over in various trips.

Henry did enjoy looking at the planes and all the trucks and activity at the airport. It was a lot easier to keep him entertained on the plane as well, because he was interested in looking out the window and his attention span is slightly longer than 1 minute per toy like in the old days.

I'll try to catch you up on the developments of the week over the next several posts. One low point of the week was when Henry had his first real accident. He was trying to climb the stairs in his footed pajamas and i think he slipped. He bonked his nose and i think fell on it and it turned red right away. It's down low around the nostrils and didn't seem to be broken or crooked or anything more serious. He was hard to calm down for awhile and it clearly hurt but then he was touching it within the hour and running his train down in the next day, so i think we're okay. Actually by today it's looking much better, but for awhile he looked a bit like Rudolph.


19 Months, 3 Days

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We're getting set to go on our Thanksgiving vacation and we're eager to see how Henry does at the airport and on the plane. We made the decision not to buy him a seat since JT and i both will be traveling and have at least 2 laps to offer. We'll see if that was a bad decision or not.

I did most of our Christmas decorating over the weekend so that i could take some pictures of Henry for our Christmas cards. I did two sessions and got a very good picture out of it, so i'm pleased. I managed to get decorated, get his picture taken, create and order our Christmas cards all this weekend. The leaves didn't get raked again, but i've caught a bit of JT's cold so i think it's better we just put that off a little while longer.

Henry loves the decorations and had a lot of fun playing with the ornaments. He especially likes a little airplane i bought this year. He was holding it up and making it fly while spinning around and around. He seemed perplexed when he get falling down after that-- we'll have to work on the concept of dizziness.

I probably won't post much if at all for the next week or so but i hope you all enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday and have some deserved vacation days to savor.

Here's one of the pictures that didn't quite make the cut but is extremely cute nonetheless...


18 Months, 4 Weeks, 1 Day

JT went back to work today for the first time in ages and hopefully we continue to get better. I had my 21-week prenatal appointment and everything looked really good. I'm gaining weight at a steady but slow rate and all my labs were just fine. My midwife did give me the information i need to set up a Medical Genetics appointment to find out if stomach condition Henry had (pyloric stenosis) is more likely to pop-up in his brother since he had it, and if so what ways of quickly identifying it they have.

In other health news, Henry had a follow-up with a Pediatric Urologist yesterday. He has an issue with his netherregions that they've been watching since he was about 6 months old. They decided that while things have improved they haven't improved enough and that he would likely need corrective surgery at some point. It's a bit of a gamble because 5 years from now they might decide everything had worked out fine and he didn't need the surgery after all, or they could decide that he definitely did need it. The Dr. felt the likelihood was that he would ultimately need surgery and there are some advantages to doing it now while they still heal more quickly, and before he's completely aware of what's going on. Of course we're not looking forward to more surgery at any point, but right now we're tentatively scheduled for the procedure in early December.

I think (future) Henry would appreciate me keeping the details discreet so if you have other questions feel free to follow up with me directly.


18 Months, 3 Weeks, 5 Days

We're looking forward to the holidays and to seeing all of our family for Christmas and Thanksgiving. I'm thinking about starting to decorate for Christmas pretty soon and justify my earlybirdness by how excited Henry has been when he's poked through the bags of Christmas decorations i've brought home after shopping. There is one restaurant we pass on the way home from daycare that has lights in the their trees and now that it's pitch black by 5, they're easy to spot. Henry loves to point them out and gets pretty excited about them.

Another thing he gets extremely excited about is airplanes. He loves to make the sign for them when he sees pictures of them, when he hears them, or when he sees them in his signing video. Lately he's taken to exclaiming "oh no!" (an all purpose exclamatory remark for him) when he sees them so we're worried he might go into airplane overload at the airport next week!

JT has been sick for the past two weeks-- off an on but mostly on. At first he just had a bad chest cold that seemed to get better after laying in bed the majority of the week. Then after a few days back at work whatever he had seemed to come back with a vengeance and just not get any better even though he was spending almost every waking moment in bed. He went to the Doctor yesterday and she said he most likely had bronchitis and prescribed him some antibiotics and cough medicine with codeine that helps him get some good rest. He's home again today but is planning on getting back to work tomorrow so that he can get some things done before we leave for Thanksgiving next week.


18 Months, 3 Weeks, 4 Days

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Henry seems to be really coming into his own as far as socializing and enjoying other children. Typically they tell you that kids this age engage in "parallel play" where children are playing in close proximity to each other but not really interacting. Henry does some of this but mostly does what i call "observational play." He loves to watch what other kids (especially more active ones or older ones are doing) and then react or imitate them.

Friday a friend of mine and her 21 month old son came over for a playdate. Henry had so much fun watching Thomas hop up and down and explore all of our new toys that he couldn't take his eyes off him and tried to copy everything Thomas did. Henry can't hop yet but he did get down a pretty fun running in place motion that seemed to make him happy. Henry has been having some real sharing difficulties but he was wonderful at sharing his toys with Thomas.

Then last night we had a girls night out that Henry tagged along with to celebrate our friend Tiffany's birthday. After dinner we went back to Tabitha's house for dessert and Henry got to play with 16-month old Helen. Helen is more physically outgoing than Henry and when she was trying to offer him a toy she accidentally bonked Henry on the head. Henry reacted the rest of the evening by guarding his "personal space bubble" with outstretched hands. But as long as Helen isn't too close Henry is grinning from ear to ear at her antics and so excited to explore her toys and play blocks or look at books together. It was a fun night to watch them and after the kiddos went to bed we had a great time catching up until way too late.


20 Weeks

I had the big 20-week ultrasound this morning and confirmed a sneaking suspicion that we're going to wind up the family that just keeps having kids hoping for a girl. By that i mean of course that we're thrilled we're having a little boy and truly i wasn't surprised, but we did hold out a little hope that a girl was in the cards.

Of course the important thing is that he looks great, everything was the right size and in the right place. Also, now we can essentially use everything for the new baby that we bought for Henry as they're both going to be spring babies, so even the clothes should work out right. There are just a few things that we need for the new one, so i've updated the "registry" link on the right-hand side of the page if you're interested.

Now we just have to get Henry to clue into the fact that he's going to be a big brother. The Ped. recommended getting some books and babies and being a big brother and just trying to talk it up. She said he wouldn't ever really get it (until it's too late) but that you can get him excited and comfortable with the words, even if he doesn't really grasp their meaning.


18 Months, 3 Weeks

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Yesterday was a pretty quiet day so i don't have much to report. I think i fixed the problem with the pictures, so today you have 2 of 3 in a series of so-so professional portraits.

We're looking forward to our three day weekend (we both have Friday off for Veteran's Day) and hopefully this weekend we'll begin looking at new (used) cars. Our 2-door Tercel has served us well for the last 10 years but it's already a bit of a pain to get Henry in and out of his carseat with only 2 doors and with another one coming we just think the time has come to add 2 more doors to our life. We're currently considering Outbacks, Camrys and Altima's, so if you have comments on any of these vehicles let us know.


18 Months, 2 Weeks, 6 Days

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I think i mentioned that when we had Henry's latest professional photos taken they didn't turn out quite as well as the others. At his previous sittings he was a happy guy and easily smiled for the camera-- thus lots of great pictures to choose from. This time he was scared to death of being up on the platform alone which means i'm in most of the pictures with him and he has a faint smile at best.

On the one-hand it's too bad the pictures aren't great, on the other hand i think i'll be able to look at his 18 month pictures when he's 18 and know what he was struggling with-- namely a fear of heights. He's not completely crazy about walking up stairs still, but he's definitely afraid of going down them. As my Mom said, it's too bad we don't live in a split-level house where he could tackle just a few steps at a time. Instead we have the steepest set of steps that could never make code with nary a handrail to hold onto. I don't even try to get him to walk down those, instead focusing on the outdoor steps and the steps down to Brenda's house.

I forgot to mention that Henry had his 18 month Ped. appointment last week. I really, really love the Pediatrician we finally seem to have clicked with. She's proactive enough to feel like she's alive (as opposed to our first) but not so proactive/reactionary that not meeting every single guideline sends you into panicked worrying.

First of all Henry is up to 23 lbs 12 oz which is around the 33rd percentile. He's no strapping football player, and we won't be moving up to a booster seat anytime soon, but at least he's not considered underweight anymore. He has grown taller though. He's now up to 33 inches which is around the 80% percentile for height. So, what we have here is a mini-JT, tall and skinny-- who would have guessed!

I did talk to the Ped. about our concerns around Henry's language development. I came prepared with his list of words and signs and she said that even without the signing he made it to the range of "normal" for spoken words at his age (5-15). She also said that with signing she considered that a second language so you had to take into account a blended amount of communication. She did say that there is generally an explosion in language between 18-24 months and that if we didn't seen any signs of this by our next appointment, we could explore some assessment options. For now though it's nice to be re-assured that our gut feelings were right and that Henry is just developing at his own pace thank you very much.



As i've mentioned before, we're expecting our second at the end of March. I have two other friends in Chicago that are also pregnant and due just a few weeks before and after me. We also live in roughly the same neighborhood and i'm very much looking forward to having other new moms around while i'm off on maternity leave. I saw both of them this weekend and we did some initial talking about baby showers i'll be helping plan for each of them. The baby is moving around all over the place now and this Thursday we have the 20-week anatomical ultrasound, although the primary purpose of the ultrasound is to make sure that things are progressing anatomically correctly, we hopefully get to find out the sex of this little one. I had a dream last night that we were at the ultrasound and it was a boy but as the stats predict, it feels like a toss-up to me.

Henry and i made our first outing to the library on Saturday. We went to pick out some new books for him and then headed to the book store for story hour. Unfortunately they don't have story hour at the library on weekends, thus the two-stop outing. Henry was so cute sitting on the little bench looking at the book (and really everything else all around) and then had a great time wandering around the store and looking at the truck/tractor/airplane books (and one "my secret diary book all done up in pinks and purples with included stamps-- he was transfixed by that one.)

We went out for walks a couple times today and he's getting pretty quick walking on the sidewalk in front of our house. Everytime we come home now he wants to walk outside rather than go inside. Once i coax him to our steps he'll hold my hand while he walks up a few and then insists on holding onto the handrail while he does the rest. This was something the therapist identified as a weakness last week so we're glad to see some progress.

We also saw "progress" in going down the stairs but that wasn't quite as pretty. For the past few weeks if Henry is near the back of the hours and sees or hears me going down the steps into the basement he'll wait at the top of the basement stairs and occasionally yell down to me until i come back up. Tonight i ran down to take some of his outgrown clothes to their respective boxes, and before i got back to the stairs i heard him crying. He had plenty of crying jags/tantrums this weekend so i figured he was just upset i wasn't back up there. Once i rounded the landing though i saw that he had taken one step down and he was terrified. He was basically stuck and afraid. He cried for a little while even after i picked him up, and for the rest of the night would say "no, no, no" when he looked at the basement stairs. At least he tried them, but now we have to close the basement door when we go down there and continue to work on his descending skills.


Conversation Partner

Henry has been cracking me up lately. Until recently, once he got settled into his carseat he would hold his monkey Ralph, suck his thumb and happily zone out. I kept wondering about these other parents with babies Henry's age that were playing all manner of kids music, while i was free to listen to NPR. Then gradually Henry started to notice things out the windows and now he chatters literally the entire car ride. He's extremely interested in large moving objects, i.e. buses, trucks, firetrucks, etc. and in churches. He can point out a church blocks away and as soon as he spies one (or a truck et al.) he immediately starts signing more.

This is where his conversation skills come in. I find myself having to keep up a running commentary of interesting things to point out to Henry-- as if i'm guiding a double-decker bus tour. I do a lot of big pointing and tapping on the windows to help him figure out right from left and he dutifully says "yep" (or his version of it) to everything i say. Sometimes it's unnerving but at others i feel like i'm talking to a friend with a big capacity to listen. I only hope that my patter will forestall any Raffi tapes for the near future...



Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Henry was quite a trooper last night at the Halloween festivities. We headed over to our friends' who throw a Halloween get-together and trick-or-treat outing each year. The Mars candy company plant is in their neighborhood, so it's a major trick-or-treat destination.

Each year the gathering gets a little crazier because the older kids get older and there are new ones coming up from the rear as well. Henry was a bit freaked out by the dogs at Tiffany's house, especially each time the doorbell rang and they barked, but once we got outside and started trick-or-treating he did great. I mostly carried him in between the houses so we could stay up with the big kids. Henry held his own pumpkin basket though and got the hang of holding it out for people to put candy in it. He rode in the stroller during the longer stretches and wouldn't relinquish his hold on his bucket. He frequently signed more during the night as well-- more pumpkins, more candy, more! I was so proud of him and excited because last year Henry made it to about one house before it was time to turn around.



I had planned to post last night, really i did but our friends came over to carve pumpkins and when they left at 10 i went to the basement before heading upstairs. Unfortunately there was water dripping at a pretty furious pace down from the guest bathroom.

While Jt's parents were here, we noticed that the shower handle wasn't working correctly-- you had to really work to get it to turn off. By the time they left and JT took a bath on Monday the water wouldn't shut off at all-- it just ran in a continuous trickle down from the handle. Our contractors came back and looked at it and were going to come this morning at 7 to figure out what the problem was. Instead Chris ran over at 10:30 last night and fixed it. Luckily he doesn't live very far but i figure we really have the contractors we'll use for the rest of our time in Chicago considering they made a housecall at 10:30 at night and fixed the problem in about 20 minutes, no charge. There was a problem with the way the valve was assembled and he got it all back together. Now we're just getting everything dried out. Most of the water had dripped straight down the wall into the (unfinished) basement. They used durock on the walls and floors which supposedly doesn't break down the way drywall or other backer-boards do, so now we just have to get everything dry and we should be back in business.

Henry had a lot of fun while Marc and Jessica were over carving the pumpkins. He didn't really get in on the act but he's very, very interested in the pumpkins. This morning i dressed him in a pumpkin t-shirt and he was non-stop pointing out the pumpkins on his shirt and the pumpkins in our kitchen. Last night with the candles in them, the pumpkins freaked Henry out a bit. I have a feeling i'll be holding him a lot during trick-or-treating tonight. Here's a picture of Henry's bear costume from when he was testing it out a few weeks ago. (it's not letting me post pictures right now so i'll add one later...)


18 Months, 1 Week, 4 Days

Henry had a full weekend. He has enjoyed the visit with his grandparents immensely and invented his own little games and interactions with each of them. We made use of a really beautiful fall day today by heading to the park where Henry did really, really well. Just a few of his accomplishments include going down the slide on his own, and getting much more confident walking up the ramp and up and over the bridge. By the last time on the bridge he walked without holding on to either my hand or the railing and did a wonderful cautious job. The easy part of his park "therapy" is getting him to walk around on the grass and to transition from grass to sidewalk. We're supposed to get him used to walking and transitioning among different surfaces but he just loves all the leaves covering the grass so much that it's not work at all to get him to cooperate. I know come therapy Wednesday our big issue is going to be going down stairs which he still absolutely hates and will protest against with all his might.

Henry did seem a bit off his game today however. He had some kind of stomach bug yesterday which affected his digestive tract but not really his mood. Today his teeth really seemed to be bothering him and he was really congested. He was just cranky and not very cooperative and there were quite a few full-blown tantrums. We're hoping a good night's sleep helps so that he'll be back to normal on Monday.

JT and i did get to enjoy a really wonderful dinner out while Henry's Grandparents babysat. Unfortunately Henry has gotten to the age when he's really aware we aren't there and from all accounts he had a pretty rough night until bedtime. Tonight JT wasn't feeling well and went up to bed before Henry. You could tell Henry was confused and worried about where JT had gone and really wanted to make sure that i was staying put.


18 Months, 1 Week, X days...

I'll get the exact count in my next post but the calendar where i keep track is all the way over there in my drawer right now...

I returned from my trip last night and although i got home earlier than i would have if it wasn't for flying standby on an earlier flight, the earlier flight had to circle Chicago relentlessly and it still felt like a very long trip. Being short on an airplane is not great (of course you could probably make a stronger argument that being tall or fat or with really long legs is not great either) because the molding of the seat doesn't correspond one iota to my actual body. My legs do reach the floor, but the part that is supposed to be lumbar support actually hits me in my middle back-- forcing me to pitch forward. It's not such a big deal on short flights and when i'm not pregnant-- throw a delay, a pregnant belly, and some persistent back-ache in and the seats feel like torture. What makes it worse of course is that Sky Mall has at least 23 products designed to ease your airplane travel. Of course i wouldn't really pay $200 for the shiatsu seat pad, but it looked tempting while we were passing the Sears Tower for the nth time.

Henry was great while i was gone. He has figured out how to get seated at his own table and chairs set by himself. He was loving his chair before but he needed help getting up into it. Then one day he just figured it out. He gets up by putting one knee and then the other on the seat and the trying to get his feet out from under him so he can sit down normally. Unfortunately for the first few days he would wind up with a leg stuck into the back of the seat or he'd slide off the side of the chair or something that left him stranded. While i was gone he appears to have mastered the whole shebang which is exciting.

We're looking forward to a visit by his grandparents this weekend and need to refresh the picture supply. Speaking of which, Henry's 17 month pictures are up (follow the current photos link to the right).


18 Months, 6 Days

The first item to relate is a proud parenting moment i had on Friday. I picked Henry up from daycare and Brenda said something along the lines of "everyone loves Henry he's so sweet." I made a comment that it's true, except when he's throwing tantrums. She told me that "yes, but he's so good!" and then proceeded to tell me how he got upset today and threw himself down on the floor and burst into tears. She went right to him and said "Henry, no we don't do that" or something similar and he just stopped. She said that she could tell we say no to him at home and set boundaries. Of course we do and we don't always get such a stunning reaction at home, but it was still nice to have the "right thing to do" noticed.

Henry then proceeded to show us that he might be taking after his mother's sleep habits just a little bit. On Saturday morning (after going to sleep at 7:30 the night before) he slept until just after 8:30 am. When he did wake up and i went in to him he immediately starting signing that he wanted to EAT! He hasn't slept quite so late the past few days but he's also not awakened before 7:30/7:45. Oh, if only this would continue and the new baby would one day be a late sleeper as well...

Speaking of which. The pregnancy is going along swimmingly. I'm 18 weeks tomorrow and in just a few more weeks (November 9th) we're supposed to have the big ultrasound in which we find out if we finally get to purchase tons of cute girl clothes or not. I've been feeling the baby move the past week or two and this one seems a lot more active than i remember Henry at this point (i'll have to check the archives!). When i went for my midwife appointment last week she put the doppler on my belly to hear the baby's heartbeat and thump, there it was, and then there it wasn't. She kept moving the doppler all around and as soon as she would pick the heartbeat up again (on the other side of my stomach) the baby would have been off and swimming. So, needless to say they weren't concerned with the baby's activity level.

I'll be away on a short business trip for the new few days so you'll have to excuse my mid-week hiatus.


18 Months, 2 Days

Henry has been reveling in his baths again lately and besides just sitting and playing, he's taken to laying on his stomach and "swimming." He got some new bath toys today and we pretended he was swimming alongside his dolphins. I think he's experimenting with the sensation of putting his ear in the water, but it looks like he's actually doing freestyle and turning his head to breathe.

Henry's just been getting in to dress-up lately. Here he is playing peek-a-boo with JT's gloves.


18 Months

I'm on a modified posting schedule for a bit. Between the baseball playoffs and trying to get to bed at a reasonable time, there hasn't been any time for posting in the evenings.

I didn't want to miss this post though, because Henry turned 18 months old yesterday. We've been saying he's 18 months for awhile now so in a way it's not a big adjustment, on the other hand it makes me keenly aware of how much he's grown and changed and morphed into this small child rather than a baby. I talked to his therapist yesterday and after this week (our appointment was moved to Friday) we're going to go to every two weeks and depending on how he does, to once a month check-ins. His therapist concurs that the progress he's made in the last few weeks is really quite miraculous.

We've been having so much fun with Henry lately because he "invents" these little games to play with us that have him laughing hysterically. With me, i asks me again and again to look away-- up, down, below the table, etc and then quickly look back at him and say "uh!" He thinks this is amazingly funny and will say his version of again over and over (it doesn't sound anything like again, but it clearly means more which sometimes he'll also sign if i'm not complying). With JT, Henry will pretend to touch something and JT will say "cold!" while vigorously bringing his shoulder to his ears as if he was shivering. Oh the giggles with that one.

Here is Henry wearing JT's hat which he also found a hoot...


17 Months, 4 Weeks, 2 Days

Henry seemed to be feeling more like himself yesterday. He was chipper in the morning and Brenda said he had a good day but a restless nap. He seemed tired when i picked him up in the afternoon, but once he got home he was extremely animated. I however, was a lump on the couch as the winter germs have caught up with me again.

Henry was eagerly walking from the kitchen where he was eating his snack while JT cooked back and forth to me in the living room. He was chattering away and just really happy and being silly. It was pretty easy to tell when he got tired because he just started whining out of nowhere so he was off to bed a touch early.

When i dropped Henry off Brenda had a stack of books in her hands and all the other kids had their chairs arranged in a circle with books. Henry was zeroed in on the kids and scanning the room at their books. Brenda told me he has a favorite book that is some kind of "pop-up" that she holds back for him because he goes crazy if someone else is looking at it. I'm hoping we can move out of this intense non-sharing phase before the new baby arrives. Considering he gets bent out of sorts when the cats walk near his toys, i'm not sure how much he's going to love the new baby laying on "his" stuff.



We had a super-quiet weekend at home, venturing out just a few times to the park and to run errands, and yet by tonight i'm completely wiped out. Henry was uncharacteristically clingy all day today. He had a freak out whenever he didn't get something his way-- regardless of how crazy it was, and he just seemed kind of tired and out of sorts all day. He's still up but he's heading to bed at 7 prompt tonight, as soon as his lovely Ralph gets out of the dryer.

I'm eating some dinner taking a bath and just trying to recuperate before the busy week starts...


17 Months, 3 Weeks, 3 Days

Bummer. I posted last night and for some reason it never published. Then i had to re-start my computer this morning and i lost my post.

To encapsulate, yesterday was therapy day. Henry did okay, but was a little bit whiny. There was some kind of mix-up and his normal therapist wasn't expecting him. So, he saw another therapist. It's unclear that he's really "bonded" with his usual therapist, but i'm sure it helps to have a familiar face, and he didn't yesterday. He was doing well walking up the stairs but he balks at going down them. We're supposed to work with him on walking on different textured surfaces, up and down inclines and on "balance beams."

It seems the toddler walk is wide-stanced and in order not to get stuck with that gait, we're supposed to encourage him to walk on something that is 12" wide, narrowing to 8". I haven't figured out how to do that at home yet, so any ideas are appreciated.

The therapist also asked Jt if we were planning on having Henry evaluated for speech therapy since he's not really talking yet. I'll talk more about this tomorrow, but for now we've decided to wait and ask his Ped her opinion when we see her in a few weeks for Henry's 18 month appointment.


17 Weeks, 3 Days

Henry's cold seems to have come back. We noticed his nose was really running over the weekend and by Monday he also seemed more tired and run-down. He went to bed right at 7 pm last night (an hour early) and slept until about 7 this morning. He seemed to be doing okay tonight, but still a little on the tired side, so we put him to bed early tonight as well.

Otherwise we had a quiet evening. I feel like i've heard him trying to imitate words recently but they sound so similar to his other "jabberish" that i can't tell if i'm hallucinating or not.

Henry babbles all the time, but we rarely understand any words in his jabbering. He does however have a pretty keen sense of hearing and has gotten to where he not only understands what's said directly to him, but he picks up on when we're talking about him or something related to him in conversation.

This weekend my folks were visiting and i was telling them that we hadn't played with crayons much lately because last time i left him coloring i came back and he was munching on the crayons. He hardly ever puts stuff in his mouth so afterwards i emphasized the page from his "Yummy Yucky" book about "Mommy's cookies are yummy, crayon's are YUCKY." This used to be one of his favorite books, but he hadn't read it in at least a couple weeks. He was playing in the kitchen with us while we were talking.

He toddled off to his room and from his entire shelf of books picked "Yummy Yucky" out and brought it right to us to read!

16 month pictures are up on yahoo...

17 Months, 3 Weeks

(first let me apologize. I thought this posted Sunday night, and now that i'm here settling in to my work week, i see i got an error that it never posted. Sorry about that!)

Sorry for the posting lapse. We had a busy end of week, but have just enjoyed a really wonderful fall weekend. Saturday the weather was beautiful-- sunny and warm, so we took advantage and headed over to the zoo. Henry had his first carousel ride (even if it was on the boring bench) and seemed to enjoy the monkeys the most. Many of the animals he either displayed mild interest or some fear of, but the monkeys really held his interest. He kept asking to see more after we moved on to another exhibit.

Today he had a good time playing around the house and going for a few short walks outside. He was quite the helper while we cooked and baked, and sharpened his laundry skills by putting clothes in the dryer.

I bought him a little kitchen set for Christmas and it came with a washer/dryer/ironing board unit. I decided to give him the laundry center now and he seemed excited for it (especially when he first spied it), but he didn't quite "get" it. I realized that he hadn't probably seen me using the washer and dryer since his cognitive skills started to sharpen because they're in the basement and that is not a place for little kiddos to play. We brought him down there today while we were pow-wowing around the washer we're going to have to replace, he helped us transfer water-logged clothes to the dryer. Now he understands his washer and dryer, and i've been finding all kinds of goodies in them.


17 Months, 2 Weeks, 2 Days

Henry is firmly over his phobia of the bath. He's back to his normal routine and has gotten to where he doesn't want to get out even though he's been in there quite a long time. He wants to get into the water as soon as you start running it, and tries to hike his leg up even when is clothes are still on. He's never as cooperative at pulling his arms out and stepping out of his pant legs as when he's next to the bathtub.

Otherwise just a fun, uneventful day and, we hope, a peaceful night.


17 Months, 2 Weeks, 1 Day

A pretty normal day back to routine for everyone. Normal except for the weather which has included hail and severe thunderstorms off and on throughout the day. At a little after 10 they've come back furiously, so i'm just hoping they don't wake Henry or keep him up.

The highlight of Henry's day (that i'm aware of) came this evening when Henry was helping JT unpack his new knife sharpener. Henry was extremely excited for the sheet of bubble wrap and was eagerly carrying it back and forth between rooms. I've mentioned before that it's amazingly cute to see him walking around carrying things. I think i love it so much because he's now independent enough to pick up things that interest him and animate them in ways that appeal to him. He'll hold a cloth napkin around his neck like a bib or try to pull a diaper over his head like a shirt. Sometimes he's all seriousness and others he just giggles at how he's being silly. It's really a cool part to see him making sense of his world.


17 Months, 2 Weeks

I think we may have actually banked some pictures this weekend. Saturday involved preparation for dinner party for 9 which featured JT's delicious Italian efforts (meatball dumpling soup, pork loin stuffed with some kind of sauteed pork, butternut squash risotto and broiled asparagus!) We had a nice time catching up with good friends, and we signed on two additional participants in our apple-picking expedition, which we had planned for today.

Unseasonably warm weather made it a great day to pick apples, but also a great day to be taking advantage of this Indian Summer we're having. It's supposed to be 80 degrees tomorrow, which is a little crazy, but we're trying to enjoy all the warmth while we've still got it.

Henry warmed up to the apple-picking and pretty quickly figured out that the real fun of apple-picking is tasting your wares. He just bit right into the apple and proceeded to have a little snack. We also got to pick out pumpkins, mums, and apple cider donuts. We bookended our day of touring the Chicago suburbs by heading S. to some really far suburb to pick up a meat-grinder and sausage stuffer that JT bought off of cragislist. It's quite dangerous to have both of us combing the craigslist ads. At least we're bargain shopping right?


17 Months, 1 Week, 4 Days

When i went to pick Henry up at Ms. Brenda's today Henry and the other kiddos were all sitting on the floor individually working on puzzles. Henry was right in the center and working on matching up farm animals with the spaces they came out of. He couldn't necessarily get them back in the puzzle, but he did great and putting the cow piece at least on top of the cow slot. Brenda and i cheered him on and he finished the whole puzzle. He wasn't very happy though when the other kids took it over as we were leaving. We really have to work on this sharing thing.

He took a bath without incident tonight, so now we're just waiting to see what normal daily occurrence becomes terrifying next. My bet is on brushing his teeth, but he already dislikes that so it will probably be something like his books.

Speaking of teeth. Henry has at least one new tooth on the bottom and maybe more that are farther back. He really won't let me look in there or even get my fingers in so i really can't tell.


17 Months, 1 Week, 3 Days

I accompanied Henry to therapy this morning and after a slow warm-up he did quite well. He's definitely more cooperative when i try to get him to do something than his therapist so we practiced walking up the stairs and down them like an adult (holding the railing and my hand to start). He was using the very tiny baby therapy steps, but did a great job after he got over his initial anxiety. Unfortunately our stairs are about 3 times as big and as steep, but we'll work with him on it.

He also practiced climbing from one item to another until he had climbed up onto a table about 4 feet off the floor. He did this very anxiously last week and this week couldn't wait to get up there, get back down and repeat the whole thing several times.

We're all still a little congested but i think we're starting to feel better. We're hosting a dinner party at our house this weekend so it's a good thing the health gods are smiling on us. I have some front steps to bleach this Saturday!


17 Months, 1 Week, 1 Day

A weekend of first for the season. I enjoyed my first bath in our new bathroom this beautiful fall weekend and Henry and I came down with our first colds. So, some good and bad.

I was able to entice Henry into the bath with me after a very multi-pronged strategy. He was happy and content as long as we sitting on my lap. We may have to take a few baths with him over the next few days and hopefully he'll be able to ease back into enjoying the bath on his own.

He's walking more than crawling now and if he falls down he gets back up and finishes walking to his destination rather than crawling. He's getting steadier and a bit quicker, and he clearly takes pride in standing on his own. He'll often be right next to something he could pull up on, but he'll stand up on his own and just beam.

All this mobility means that you're likely to find a pretend piece of toast under the couch and the top of a sippee cup next to his crib. We do our best to keep things picked up and when you ask Henry he's generally obliging about putting things back where they came from.

Jt stayed home with him today because he just seemed a little out of sorts this morning. He got better as the day was wearing on, and after his 4 hour nap this afternoon (!) he had a grand time playing tonight. Mostly his nose is runny and he has a cough. I think he'll be fine to go to Ms. Brenda's tomorrow.


Construction Complete!

Henry news is pretty light today. He had a good day at Brenda's and was ready to give me a big hug when i picked him up. We all went out for a quick bite to eat tonight before i headed out to quilting. JT said Henry enjoyed playing with all of his toys for awhile after they got home. We skipped the bath again tonight so we'll see if he fares any better in our new bathtub tomorrow night!

Here are all the pictures. It turns out i didn't have any before pictures so i'll have to convince you of the Wow! of the after shots. First picture cracked black and white floor tiles with all the grout flaking out, the toilet in the narrow entry-way, black rubber (!) moldings, an old (not so nice) cast iron claw foot with a scraggly shower-curtain surround, and a rusted large medicine cabinet with fluorescent non-working bulbs on each side of the mirror.



17 Months, 3 Days

Henry has us stumped. We skipped the bath last night but tonight he gave me a repeat performance of the torture screams during bathtime. I asked him if he wanted to go upstairs and take a bath. He signed bath back to me, said "yes" (or what sounds like yes) and started heading for the stairs. I figured this was a good sign.

I carried him upstairs and put him down in the bathroom while i started to turn the water on. He walked right up to the tub and was about to put his hand under the water like he normally does and he started getting whiny and then very clingy. I reassured him it was fine and started to take his clothes off and then the full-on crying and screaming started. He hadn't even touched the water, so i know it wasn't too hot or anything. I asked him if he wanted me to take a bath with him, and he just kept crying and pointing outside the bathroom.

I told him he had to take a bath and that i would take it with him. I was inconsolable so i just tried to make it as short as i could. The only time he wasn't freaking out was when i was brushing his teeth-- which he normally doesn't tolerate well. So go figure!

Tomorrow night JT's going to try giving him a bath and we'll try in the new tub downstairs to see if that makes a difference. In the meantime i'll ask Brenda if anything happened involving the bathtub that i don't know about...

17 Months, 2 Days

Sorry for the late-posting. Last night i had to make a trip to Home-Depot for (hopefully) some of the last supplies for our bathroom remodel. It's supposed to be completed tomorrow, and today they got the room painted, the toilet and sink installed and all shower stuff in as well. The color is a tad bright, but i'm hoping that with a big white shower curtain it will look cheery. If not we can always re-paint. I'll take some pictures when they're all done tomorrow.

Henry went with JT to physical therapy today and supposedly had a great session. He was walking all over, squatting all the way to the ground and coming back to standing, standing on his own, etc. JT said they were in the bigger room today and she was trying to work with him on new things like climbing and sliding. I think JT may take over PT for a little while now that his work schedule allows. He's going to ask about Henry's long-term timetable next week.

Sorry for the lack of pictures. I know i've fallen down on my photojournalist's job. Hopefully we'll build up a reserve soon.

17 Months, 2 Days

Sorry for the late-posting. Last night i had to make a trip to Home-Depot for (hopefully) some of the last supplies for our bathroom remodel. It's supposed to be completed tomorrow, and today they got the room painted, the toilet and sink installed and all shower stuff in as well. The color is a tad bright, but i'm hoping that with a big white shower curtain it will look cheery. If not we can always re-paint. I'll take some pictures when they're all done tomorrow.

Henry went with JT to physical therapy today and supposedly had a great session. He was walking all over, squatting all the way to the ground and coming back to standing, standing on his own, etc. JT said they were in the bigger room today and she was trying to work with him on new things like climbing and sliding. I think JT may take over PT for a little while now that his work schedule allows. He's going to ask about Henry's long-term timetable next week.

Sorry for the lack of pictures. I know i've fallen down on my photojournalist's job. Hopefully we'll build up a reserve soon.


17 Months, 1 Day

We had an uneventful day back to work and daycare. Henry practiced standing on his own quite a bit this evening and continued to walk around a good deal.

We had a slight bit of drama during his bath. Normally he loves to take a bath and enjoys splashing around in the bubbles from his soap. Tonight he saw a few bubbles and started to get really whiny and seemed upset. I added some more soap to show him those flat bubbles were really the same as the bigger ones he loves. He completely freaked out and demanded to get out. None of his toys would assuage him and he just kept pointing at the bathroom floor.

The water was definitely no hotter than normal, but it's like there was something bothering him in the water. It was curious. He seemed tired after he got out so after wrangling him into pajamas we read a couple stories and he was off to bed. Hopefully he doesn't have a newfound fright of the bathtub.


17 Months!

Henry has been quite the little walker this weekend. He also started climbing a bit, which is the first we've seen. Jt snapped some pictures of this feat while i was downstairs cleaning. He hasn't attempted to climb on furniture yet, but i'm sure we'll have a little monkey on our hands before too much longer.

Friday afternoon we met up with Henry's playgroup at the park. We've been mostly on hiatus over the summer, so it was so fun to see how big everyone has gotten and catch up with people. Henry is generally more interested in putting leaves in his pockets than playing on the playground equipment, but by the end he seemed pretty content and adjusted to all the new people.

We checked out the baby stuff sale my old church was having as a fundraiser this morning and came away with some good bargains. We picked up a second pack-n-play for the new baby and several really nice toys for Henry including a huge bin of wood blocks. He's been pretty contentedly playing all day with his new finds and his favorite drawer of plastic bowls and utensils. His nap was slightly short today, so we're off to an early bedtime.



I got back home last night and was happy to catch a flight early enough to see Henry before he went to bed. The house is disgusting again with dirt and grit while they work on the bathroom, but it's coming along and hopefully will be done by the end of next week.

Henry had a great couple of days with JT and seems to have started walking more after a few days of a slump. He's also been squatting and picking things up unassisted which is one of his "skills" we're supposed to work on.

Unfortunately he has ringworm. We thought it was an excema outbreak, but the steroids prescribed for his excema weren't making the thing better so we got him in to the Dr. today. You just use an over-the-counter cream, but supposedly it takes quite awhile to clear up. Poor thing has his a big patch on his forehead, so he looks a little crazy. I'm hoping it's gone in a month when i was planning on getting his 18 month pictures taken.

My first-trimester screen came back completely normal. For all three tests i had the lowest results possible 1 in 10,000 which was encouraging news. Unfortunately i've been extremely nauseas the past several days. The only thing that eases it is sleep so i'm off to bed early again...


16 Months, 3 Weeks...

I'll be on temporary hiatus for a few days while i'm traveling on business.

Henry and i visited the zoo with two other moms i've (gasp) met through the internet that have babies Henry's age. I've actually met both of them before and this was a chance for us all three to get together. The boys had a good time at the zoo. They're actually old enough that as long as the animals are sufficiently large or not a million miles away, they actually SAW the animals and seemed to enjoy watching them. It was hard getting them to cooperate for a group picture, but i have several in which at least one looks pretty cute.

Also, Friday saw Henry's first haircut. I decided to just trim him myself, after reading about several children's specialty hairdressers that are employed mostly by teenagers. Henry was so interested in the process that he sat almost completely still. I certainly couldn't do this forever, but for a first haircut we think it turned out quite nicely. I left it a little long on the top but it's trimmed up and not so scraggly in the back. If it's possible, we actually think he looks cuter.

Today was a day to just hang around the house and get some chores done. Unfortunately Henry only took an hour nap so he was fairly cranky much of the afternoon and went into hysterics at bedtime as he was WAY overtired. Thankfully JT got him to calm down and then he just sadly cried a minute or two before i think falling into slumber. I've got to leave for the airport pretty early tomorrow, so hopefully it's a deep sleep he's got planned.


16 Months, 3 Weeks, 1 Day

JT has been out of town, which is part of why the posting has been a little sparse this week. Being a (temporary) single-parent is no easy feat, i especially have a hard time with the mornings which is designated Dad-time.

Henry got some new shoes this week, as his old soft-soled ones just weren't cutting it when he needed to be on the ground outside. He seems so excited for his shoes and appears to have figured out how to help me put them on instead of looking puzzled while i tried to cram his heel down into the shoe. He was very cooperative this morning and even posed for a few pictures.

He's sitting on one of the new carpet tiles that we're going to be installing in his playroom (the sunporch) after all the renovation is done. He managed to get one tile out of the box and he's very excited about his own personal rug!


11 Weeks, 2 Days!

I guess the squeaky wheel gets the karmic oil, or something like that. Henry's therapy appointment went quite well yesterday. He was shy for a few minutes when we first got there, but he warmed up pretty quickly and started taking steps and standing and just being himself. His therapist was really impressed because he was actually doing the things she asked him to. I think she's getting better at reading him and he's more comfortable with the stuff she wants him to do. Whatever the reason it was a much more pleasant session for me as well.

But, of course the big news-- the date at the top isn't a mistake-- it's how old our new babykins is! We've obviously known for a little while, but today i had an ultrasound and we had a chance to confirm the little guy is in there and has a beating heart and is growing like he should. I even had my favorite ultrasound tech from my last pregnancy and she remembered me which was really nice. This ultrasound was actually part of a first-trimester test to screen for down-syndrome and 2 other chromosomal abnormalities.

We'll have to wait until next week for the full results, but the ultrasound showed that everything looks normal which is obviously nice to hear. I even got a few pictures, so you can re-join me in trying to decode these dark pictures.



16 Months, 2 Weeks, 5 Days

Well we're off to therapy tomorrow. I have to admit i've come to dread it. Henry winds up doing many of things the therapist wants him to do throughout the week, but he's been pretty much just flat-out refusing when we're actually at the appointment. I've just come to look on Wednesday mornings with dread. I can only hope that Henry will continue to make progress and at one point we'll be released!

Brenda said that Henry didn't eat his lunch today-- at first. She told him he needed to eat or he wouldn't get any crackers and then he proceeded to clean his plate-- every last morsel. Brenda said she and her sister were just laughing because they couldn't believe he understood but he seemed pretty clear about getting his crackers.

I tried the same thing with his dinner (which he was eating pretty well to start with). He did eat a few more bites, but when he was done he was done. Then he has a massive diaper blow-out, the likes of which we haven't seen in many, many months. I'm hoping his belly was just temporarily upset and it's nothing lasting.


Losing track of dates...

Not sure how old Henry is-- my calendar is upstairs. But, i thought i would take a few minutes to get back in the habit of posting after this nice long weekend.

We had one last chance to get to the pool on Saturday. We went out to spend the afternoon with friends and it was actually warm enough to go swimming. We all had such a great time and Henry in particular just couldn't be happier. He borrowed Helen's little baby float and had so much fun just paddling along wherever he felt like going. He was even brave enough to get really close to the waterfalls.

This was the first weekend Henry switched to one nap and it seemed to go pretty well. He's definitely tired by the evening, but not unbearably so. I think the transition will take a little longer, but has mostly gone smoothly.

We enjoyed cooking out this afternoon as well, but the rain and cooler weather moved in today so JT grilled and we all ate inside. Henry had a blast this weekend after warming up to everyone and has just gotten to where he walks either more and further each day. Now we're preparing for the busy week ahead.

New 15 Month pictures are up-- access them through the "13 Months- Current" link to the right...


17 Months, 2 Weeks

I had high hopes for yesterday evening. I've been really wanting to squeeze in one last trip to the pool before they all close for the season on Labor Day. I thought yesterday was the day-- with a high of 75 and sunny i thought it just might work. And at noon, it might have, but by 5 o'clock when i picked Henry up it was mighty cool in the shade and not exactly blistering in the sun. We have plans to try on Saturday when we spend the day at the Pendleton's, but i have a feeling with a forecast high of 72 that outdoor swimming season has drawn to a close for us!

We do have a fun weekend planned with an attempt at a new nap schedule, toilet shopping, and thankfully multiple cook-outs with friends.

Henry has been taking only one afternoon nap at daycare for awhile. On the weekends with us he's gotten to where he'll take a long morning nap-- 2 hours or so, but then will zero to little in the afternoon. So, we've decided to see if he seems ready for one nap. The trick is to keep him busy and occupied in the morning when he starts to get tired. We'll keep you updated.


16 Months, 1 Week, 6 Days

Thankfully Henry's therapy appointment went better this week. His therapist seemed to give him a little more time to warm up, and Henry was at least not in meltdown the entire time. That's not to stay he's cooperative. He threw his fair share of temper tantrums when she asked him to do certain things.

She said it was great he's standing and walking, and in some ways it's amazing because his "form" isn't at all normal and he's pretty amazingly cheated his way into making something work. He doesn't stick his butt out like he's supposed to-- i guess this helps build his quad muscles. Somehow he's managing to both stand and walk completely upright which isn't good for long-term development of more advanced skills like running and jumping.

Sigh. So no mention of a quitting time at this point-- we havehttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.spell.gif
Check Spelling new exercises we're supposed to work on with Henry that he of course hates. He really just likes to play with his toys by himself and occasionally talk to you about them or ask you for help. Having to stand with him and try to get him to interact in a specific way isn't easy.

I did get some pictures of Henry walking tonight. He was just learning the sign for hat and was really excited to wear a hat of his own-- thus the fisherman look!


16 Months, 1 Week, 4 Days

We just had the most wonderfully relaxed evening i think i could ever hope for. It was such a Norman Rockwell picture that i can't help wondering what upheavals tomorrow will bring.

It rained all day, so i picked JT and Henry up after work and we all came home together. In the last few days, Henry has developed more of an independent streak. Not in a willful-way, just in the sense that he's happy going from one room to another playing with his toys (actual or re-purposed).

Soon after we got home JT started working on getting the pizza dough made. I needed to get the laundry put away and things picked up, etc. Henry was incredibly happy to just play in the kitchen or his playroom and occasionally check in with one of us. He ate dinner and although his appetite seems to have waned a bit, was just in the best mood.

Brenda told me when i picked Henry up that he "was walking all over the place" today. I had a million questions, but she confirmed that he was walking unassisted-- primarily to move Mia from HIS kitchen. I was so excited to hear it but when i tried to get him to walk at home he seemed less than interested.

After dinner though, he was in his room holding on to his rocking chair and i could tell he wanted to go over to his bookshelf. I was about midway between the two and i asked Henry if he wanted to walk to his books. He just started out on his own and i was no closer than 2-3 feet. He walked about halfway and stood for a second and then made it the rest of the way without any help from me! I couldn't believe it. This has to go down as Henry's first true steps.

He played some more and then we started his nighttime routine which now includes a lot of books-- he's gotten really into them lately. He went to sleep without a peep and JT and i were left to enjoy our dinner. Truly i couldn't ask for more from family life.

16 Months, 1 Week, 3 Days

I've been really working with Henry on signing since he turned 15 months old, because it seemed like he hit a phase where he was frustrated because he couldn't communicate what he wanted. I decided to make a concerted effort starting with consistently using a few signs-- more, milk, and eat and by showing him a very short video segment every day or so. It really didn't take long for him to catch on to those first few signs. Since then (a few weeks) he's had this mini-explosion.

Yesterday he heard an airplane and did the sign for it-- which is one i do but didn't expect him to really pick up on. He also finally started signing please. He added these to his signs for dog, bird, diaper, water, and all-finished. It's so exciting to really be communicating with him and we hope to keep expanding his vocabulary.


Finished! At least the kitchen...

They've completed the work on the kitchen, effective this pm. I kept thinking i would post the pictures i took last night-- but JT was fully using the kitchen (he made traditional vietnamese soup (Pho) and lime granita last night) and things looked a bit cluttered. They are just about done loading all their tools in the van so i decided to wait and show you the gleaming kitchen shots.

Although we've had a functional kitchen for a week now, it's going to be really nice not to have grit as our secret ingredient for all dishes. They're off on another job for a week and then they'll be back to work on the bathroom. I think it turned out absolutely beautiful!

We have houseguests coming into town tomorrow. Our friends Matt and Marisa who we vacationed with last summer in CO. We haven't seen them since and we're really looking forward to catching up with them and introducing them to the much happier Young Master Bloch. When they spent time with him last summer he was at his peak of crying, crying and a little bit of sleeping. Thankfully he does a LOT more now and there's very little crying (although some whining which we're trying to address).