We discovered that Henry likes macaroni and cheese (a guilty indulgence that i only allow myself very infrequently). JT took it upon himself to make it himself rather than from a box along with lots of good veggies for dinner. I was quite impressed with his version and we have plenty of leftovers for us and Henry. Although Henry can use all the calories he can get at this point, we distinctly do not, so i doled out the leftovers into a million different containers.
Henry was up and down last night a couple times and took only one one-hour nap again at Brenda's. He went to sleep easily enough tonight, so hopefully it was a small blip on our sleep map.
Speaking of which, many of you might remember that i've been tracking Henry's sleeping habits from just about day one. I've missed some days here and there but on the whole, have an accountingof how he's slept (or not) over these past 10 months.
When i started that post about breast-feeding the other night, i actually didn't mean to wax poetic. My original idea was to describe the craziness involved in expressing breast milk while traveling and then managing to get it home without spillage or spoilage. So, here's the encapsulated version:
When i went to Atlanta for work last week i brought my pump. Not only did i need to keep my milk supply up for the am/pm feedings i'm continuing with Henry, but i hadn't quite phased out all daytime sessions. The first hurdle was realizing my hotel room didn't have a mini-fridge like the website had said. Rather than order one brought to my room at 9 at night, i decided to stash my milk bottles in the ice bucket. In the morning i put the bottles in a plastic bag, filled it with fresh ice, and put it in my suitcase.
Our training was from 8:30-3:30. Before hopping in the cab to the airport i added some fresh ice from the snack spread to my bag o'milk. I was planning to be home by 8 pm that evening and was just going to hold out until i got home before pumping again. However, my flight was seriously delayed and i was looking at not getting home until midnight. There was no way i could be that uncomfortable that long so i began the hunt for an outlet in a secluded area-- no simple feat since scores of flights were delayed. Aside from everyone looking to plug their phones or laptops in, the trash cans in the airport are electric and compact the trash periodically. I did manage to find an area at the end of a row of seats and used my coat as a shield. By the time i got home the ice had obviously melted and made most of my clothing damp, but the milk was cold and i managed to not waste any!
I checked in with Brenda today to see how Henry was doing on his sippy cup use. She said that it was a funny thing i asked today because he had been doing quite well but twice today he just threw the sippy cup as soon as it was given to him. After that they switched back to the bottle. She said other days she would have reported that he was using it no problem, but today seemed to be a blip.
She said that Henry and the other baby Maya were absolutely too cute today. They sit there and talk back and forth to each other. They were also holding hands and laughing away. Brenda said it's clear they have an understanding; they greet each other like old friends and never tire of chattering away in imitation of a perfect conversation.
All 9 month pictures are up on yahoo!
Generally weekends are quiet time on the blog-- time for me to catch up with other chores and projects and marvel at how quickly the two days flies. I have a "story idea" backlog though, so i thought i would go ahead and post this evening.
For me, a big part of mothering has been breast feeding Henry. Even back in the dark days when i was suffering horribly from depression, feeding him helped me stay close to him. When Henry was about 8 months old we started supplementing with formula, but i continued to nurse morning and night and pump multiple times a day to provide milk for his feedings at daycare. I've been very slowly phasing the pumping sessions out. It's been slow, because making the transition is so fraught with self-imposed meaning and guilt.
Full-time pumping involved 3 sessions during the day and then one at night before i went to bed. By pumping this often i was able to get enough milk to keep up with Henry's increased demand. But, if you've ever known a pumping mom, pumping that much (especially during work) is tough. It's tiring, and to be honest, it's annoying. I think the fact that i work at home made it possible for me to keep it up as long as i did. Even still, when you're busy at work, wrapped up in a project or deadline or on the phone, it's not always easy to stop what you're doing to gather all your supplies and pump.
Awhile ago i cut back to pumping twice during the day and then more recently started thinking about phasing it out all-together. I'd go back and forth though, skip pumping all-together when i had a busy day and then get back into my routine the next day, because i felt like i didn't have a good enough reason not to be pumping. I know that 10 months is a long time to keep breast-feeding, and i also know that supplementing with formula is fine, actually necessary in Henry's case. As we've been providing one bottle of formula for months now, rationally i feel like it's not a big deal to provide all three bottles of formula and keep up nursing night and day.
But i had to struggle through feeling like if i can do more for him i should and this is why i would go back to pumping the next day. It took a few weeks, but i think i've made peace with our new routine: nurse day and night and bottles of formula during the day. I haven't packed the pump away yet but i have sorted out all the accoutrement that goes along with pumped milk and am starting to think about storing it in the burgeoning "Henry's outgrown" closet.
Brenda said that Henry hardly slept today because he was too busy exploring. She said he's gotten quite quick at getting around and found some books and other things to be pulling down and getting into. At one point he fell asleep on the floor for a couple minutes but resisted all other naps. We did some of Henry's exercises tonight and JT said that he was actually much more relaxed about them then on Wed. Of course he wasn't really enjoying most of them-- especially the neck stretch. He did do pretty well in the wheelbarrow position and did okay when we help him on his knees. But you can see how tiring it is for him to maintain the position and how his back muscles just aren't nearly strong enough right now. We worked for awhile and then focused on trying to stand-up and playing at the coffee table.
I'm happy to be home and am looking forward to the weekend!
Well, i'm still in Atlanta, although i was hoping i would be home by now. My training went well and finished on time so i made it to the airport about 3 hours prior to my original flight. I tried to get on an earlier flight but everything is basically two hours delayed either into Chicago or out of Atlanta-- i gave up trying to figure it out. Hopefully my 9:20 flight actually will take off then which would put me home around 11:30-midnight.
I talked to JT and he said that the PT appointment went well. The PT seemed very good and started right to work with Henry. The sessions last about an hour with some breaks built in for Henry. JT said she started by doing some stretches with Henry which he really hated but that we get to do with him once a day. Then they moved into games that force him to get on his knees, get in the crawling area, stretch out his arms, turn his head to the right, use his right hand, and probably some other skills. JT said he would fuss through them and the fussing would escalate until he was really crying at which point JT got to comfort him and help him calm down. The therapist said that this was very typical for babies going through therapy. JT said that with one exercise in particular Henry really got more comfortable just in the timeframe of the appointment. He described it as a wheelbarrow position which forces Henry to bear weight on his hands.
JT was working on feeding him early so that he could get to bed definitely by bedtime and maybe sooner. He seemed to think the session took a lot out of him.
Hopefully i'll get to spend a nice morning with him.
I'm in Atlanta for work, but my Henry correspondent said that he had a good day and quiet evening at home tonight. He looked just peachy through his bath but became extremely tired and went to bed pretty much right away.
Although it's only 2 days away, i'm really missing Henry this trip. The older he's getting, the more his personality develops and the more there is to miss when i'm away from him. He'll be asleep by the time i get home tomorrow but we'll have to have a fun Thursday morning to make up for it.
We got a call from the physical therapist and Henry is set to start his weekly sessions this Wednesday afternoon. Unfortunately i'll be out of town for work Tuesday afternoon-Wednesday night, but i'm counting on JT to provide a full report. We finished up a wonderful visit with my folks and after taking it easy all day today i at least feel back to where i was with my cold.
Henry has been doing more with pulling up today. He started pulling up on the coffee table when you really encourage him by putting toys up there and beating on the table like a drum-- that draws his attention and gets him to put his hands up there. Once he's up he's quite stable. He was reaching for the papers, banging toys on the desk, etc. all while (mostly) staying upright. I will be really curious to hear what the PT says after her first visit with Henry.
Henry has been enjoying time with his Gran and Nonna and we've all been bracing the super-cold Chicago winter weekend. We've had a nice full weekend of playing on the floor, eating out, cooking in, long naps, and a bit of an upset stomach-- at least we think. Henry didn't eat very much yesterday and spit up a little more than usual. Today he ate a little bit better but spit up a lot and in general seemed to have some G/I discomfort. You could often hear his stomach churning. He took so-so naps today but was in amazing spirits otherwise. He just went down for the night and will hopefully sleep well.
He's moving all over the rug now. I'm not entirely sure how he does it because he still doesn't move forward at all but it seems to rely on the stomach pivot action he's pretty much got down. Regardless, he covers some real ground and has a ball with all his toys. This weekend he's gotten to where he'll kind of "ask" to pull up using your hands. He mostly does this with JT but as soon as he grabs your hands he's all stiff legs and back-board straight. It's a pretty funny sight!
My cold actually seems to have come back some so we decided to stay in for dinner tonight. I'm hoping to rest up tomorrow as i'll be traveling for work on Tuesday and Wednesday and would like to be feeling better...
Sorry for the posting lapse. I'm battling this cold and went to bed very early on Wednesday night. Last night i tried to post but i think the blogspot server might have been down because i couldn't access my account.
Regardless, today Henry is 10 months old! It's amazing that we're heading close to that 1 year mark. To think about the accomplishments he's already achieved and all the things we have left to look forward to is overwhelming. He has a short day with Brenda today as my office closes at 3 because of the Monday President's day holiday.
My folks are taking advantage of the three-day weekend to come for a short visit. Lucky them, a super cold-snap has hit Chicago. I believe the high tomorrow is supposed to be 13; Yowzers!
Henry is continuing to babble more and more like he's talking. I wouldn't be surprised if there's some "words" in there and we just aren't sharp enough to pick them out. He at least seems to use the thing that sounds remarkably like "no" to mean "no" quite a bit of the time. JT thinks he heard something like "milk" at one point and i'd say he uses an approximation of "mama" in context about 70% of the time.
This will be short. The cold that Jt's had twice in the last month and Henry has had on and off finally caught up with me. I took the day off and spent it sleeping or laying on the couch so hopefully laying low will help it run its course quicker.
Henry had a good day at Brenda's although he only took one mid-day nap. Even still he wasn't just falling asleep right away this evening. I just put him to bed at 7:30 and hopefully tonight he'll stay asleep. Last night as soon as i finished my post Henry woke up and was up about 45 minutes before finally going to sleep at 8. During this time he cried, i tried to soothe him, he cried, i tried to give him medicine for his stuffy nose, he cried, i tried to nurse him, he cried and finally he just went to sleep. Since i'm hoping to get to bed really early tonight i'm hoping we don't go through that again tonight.
I had to tutor Brenda in the new cloth diapering approach (luckily we don't use diaper pins anymore) but other than that she seems ready to go. She even offered to keep the diapers there and wash them. I told her she could see how it went but that i just wanted to do what was easiest for her.
When i went to pick Henry up i was standing outside the door and i heard her announce that it was circle time. I could hear the older kids assembling and one of them said, "we don't have enough, we need Henry too." When i went in Henry was in his own little area on his stomach just playing around. He wasn't quite joining circle time but was quite content and working on pushing forward. We still haven't seen this phenomenon, but Brenda said he was really working on digging his toes in and moving forward to get toys.
I forgot to ask about naps, but i'm guessing they weren't particularly long because he got tired early and went to sleep easily* right at 7.
The picture today isn't H at his most photogenic, but you can see his front two bottom teeth if you look closely. His teeth are coming in enough that now we actually catch glimpses of them-- it's a strange sight that i am not used to yet!
Hope many of you have made good progress digging out from all the snow. Here in Chicago we've had flurries for a few days but nothing accumulated so it looks like a school day for us tomorrow.
Here is a picture of Henry striking his favorite pose. He makes this face which we call "fish lips" all the time now along with a noise that sounds exactly like "no, no, no." After about a day of repeating that back to him (because i swear it sounds pretty clear) we've started repeating any number of other words when he makes the noise, "go, go, go" or "whoah, whoah, whoah." We figure we shouldn't go out of our way to reinforce "no." maybe i'll be able to get a recording of it in the next few days...
Henry had a good pretty non-eventful weekend. He did sleep quite a bit and it seems to have knocked his bedtime back from 7 to closer to 8. In general he fights taking a nap again. Of course as long as we're trying to pay attention to his sleep routine it's nothing like "fighting" it used to be. Now it usually means putting him down and having him fuss and then cry out when he sees you exiting his room. Within 3 minutes, and sometimes closer to 45 seconds he's quiet and then asleep. It took some trial and error though last night because we proceeded as usual with his 7 pm bedtime and after much crying, some additional nursing, and finally an additional play periods, Henry went to sleep just before 9. We'll see what happens when he goes back to daycare tomorrow-- he tends to sleep less then so we might need to recur to 7 pm.
Also, I talked to Brenda and she used cloth diapers on her kids and was completely open to using them on Henry. So i'm bringing supplies and we'll see how it goes there.
Thanks to Tabitha's comment, i signed up for the free add-on feature to Blogger that allows you to phone in audio and have it posted on the site. You'll see i tried this with Henry tonight so that you could hear him. The problem is that you dial the number, put in your code, and then after the tone it just starts recording. Henry doesn't exactly comply with the tone so tonight after a few false starts we at least got Henry laughing. I'll try again a little later, but hopefully this will tide you over.
Henry did something else for the first time today-- he pushed himself forward. Brenda said he had backed himself into a wall and was really upset. She left him to sort himself out and he managed to push against the wall and propel himself forward. Then he got excited and dug his toes in and managed to do it again. He didn't repeat it there later or at home but hopefully these things will start accumulating and he'll find a way to crawl forward! We can't wait to cheer him on.
Today's picture is what he looks like now when he gets excited-- he just kicks his legs and shakes his arms!
We didn't see any evidence of it, but Brenda said that Henry got up on his hands and knees today. He did use an inchworm-type motion again to move towards his toys, but we didn't catch any knee rocking action.
He was babbling basically non-stop today from the time i picked him up until he started nursing right before bed. As i've mentioned, it sounds more and more like talking. I think this is due to the mix of vowels and consonants that he's exploring.
Otherwise we had an non-eventful evening and hopefully a quiet night ahead.
We went to the Dr. today and verified that indeed Henry is still gaining weight, albeit a bit more slowly than he was. We talked about some different foods to be trying with him and how important it is to get him to eat protein at every meal. Dr. K said that as he gets sick or gets more teeth he'll be pickier with food and we can't stress out. We need to maximize his good days which i believe we've been doing recently.
Tonight while i was nursing Henry before bed he was playing with my braces. As soon as i would close my mouth he would pry it back open to play with my teeth some more. He got some new toys and had a ball with them-- picture above!
Henry had a good day with Brenda and came home talking up a storm. I can’t really describe the sounds he’s making but today they suddenly sounded more conversational than they had in the past. He was also clearly experimenting with his volume control—quite a few squeals in there.
Once we all got home we had a little birthday celebration for JT. Henry got in on the action and enjoyed the tissue paper and wrapping very much. We had to watch him really closely because instead of just sticking the paper in his mouth and gumming it he sticks it in there and then rips it with his teeth like he’s tearing into a juicy steak. He wasn’t very interested in being our pawn tonight so we let him have a few veggie puffs without too much work.
I wanted to mention that yesterday’s picture of Henry on his back did show off one of his new cloth diapers. It’s one of the “AIOs” or all-in-ones. I did experiment with the actual cloth diapers and the wool covers that I made him over the weekend but I’m still waiting on the bulk of my diaper order and in particular the snappi fastener that holds the cloth diapers together. Once we really start using them I promise to have more pictures.
We found something new to entice H into movement-- his veggie puffs. Tonight he needed a snack before dinner and he was already down playing on the rug on his stomach. I put the puffs canister just out of reach and then held my hands against his feet. Not only did he push against my feel to propel himself forward, he pulled himself a bit with his arms too. We've also noticed a little bit of 'butt in the air' inching in recent days. The developmental progress around here is about like watching grass grow-- but we'd stare at all day long if we could.
He's also taken to making almost leaps to standing for his play table. When he realizes you're really encouraging him to stand though he essentially balks and whines-- which we give into quite a bit. If however, you just sit him down for the first time in front of the table he'll just put his hands up and pull straight up. I'm planning to call our therapy coordinator tomorrow to see how quickly we can get his physical therapy appointments set up.
We had a nice weekend with a good balance of time spent at home and some outings-- including one for JT and i to Korean BBQ with 5 other couples. Henry did just fine with a new babysitter. This is helpful because we're starting to expand our babysitter rotation.
Henry's evaluation went well this morning. He did qualify to receive services through the early intervention program, and they recommended that he meet weekly with a physical therapist. His meeting consisted of a lot of questions from the nutritionist, and many "tests" disguised as games from the developmental and physical therapist.
Their consensus was that he has a scattered level of development. In some areas he's quite strong (like small motor, stationary, and congnitive related development). In movement, especially related to his shoulders he's behind. They pointed out how he holds his arms stiff against his side unless he really needs to use them (especially his right arm) and seems to have a hard time interacting with objects. They noted that his particular area of weakness seems to be his shoulders and that he seems downright uncomfortable trying to really extend and raise his arms. He does do these things but he appears to really think about his motions before executing them and he comes back to a braced stiff position afterwards.
They said that because he is quite motivated to engage with his world, toys and people, and manages to do so fairly effectively, they think he'll really benefit from physical therapy to strengthen his shoulder and arm muscles. They also recommended developmental therapy once a month which will be focused on teaching us infant massage and then checking back with him to see if he's any more able to tolerate us manipulating his body. We'll be checking in with the nutritionist once a month as well, to get new ideas for getting his weight up and to make sure that he continues to gain well.
It was a lot of information all at once and Henry seemed pretty overwhelmed at first (as i'm sure i did). He settled in by the end of the visit though and i think gave a pretty good idea of his real "skill level" by the end of the visit. I'm sure it will take a few weeks to get everything set up and running, but we were pleased with the visit and look forward to seeing the individual therapists work with him.
Here's a picture i took this evening of Henry getting ready to eat a snack JT has (Trader Joe's Fig Bars, Henry's new fave!) Henry is holding his arm braced at his side in the picture like the therapists noticed right off the bat.
I know Henry looks like the little match boy in the picture but he was just helping mom with a sewing project. I'm in the process of making some wool diaper covers out of wool sweater sleeves (you just had to ask) and i have all these sleeve tops that i'm not using-- Henry was helping me measure and was happy to model my sewing cast-offs.
After our upside down evening last night Henry slept just fine and then TOOK NO NAPS today. Umhmm, that's right not one. When i picked Henry up i asked Brenda what happens when she puts him down. She said that he'll just talk to himself and babble for an hour or so but won't go to sleep. He seemed just fine at home and went to bed at his usual 7 o'clock. We even got a bath in. I wouldn't have known he didn't take a nap if she hadn't told me, so maybe he's been storing his naps up like a chipmunk.
Tomorrow he'll be home with me as we have his developmental assessment in the morning. One of the therapists called to confirm today and i talked to her for a few minutes. She said that they would give me feedback as the assessment was taking place and that i could ask questions or ask for more information at any point. I was really glad to hear that because i figured i would just get scraps of information tomorrow and would have to wait for a full report before really getting details.
So, we'll just have to see what tomorrow brings. Oh, i have a 10 am conference call scheduled which i kept based on his usual nap schedule. We'll see how that works out!