11 Months, 1 week, 5 days

Henry had quite a language-filled day. He's been saying "mamamamama" for awhile when he's referring to me, but this morning when he got into bed with us he said "mama" while pointing at me. When i picked him up this afternoon Brenda said she thought he was saying "yeah!" When the kids get something right they all say "yeah!" and throw their hands up in the air. They were positive Henry was following along. When they tried to test him he just smiled at them but a few beats later he said "yeah!" again. We'll have to keep an eye for that one...

I didn't post last night because i went out with friends and then when i got home we had an offer submitted on our place. It was fairly low and when we countered the couple decided to just revisit it when one of them gets back from a trip in a few days. We're hoping that was the right decision to make but we have another showing tomorrow and 2 on Saturday (including one that's a repeat showing) so it seems like there's still some interest.

Things are moving forward with the house we're buying. The contract was finalized today and our final mortgage approval also came through.

Here's Henry working on his 4-point position.


11 Months, 1 week, 3 days

We had another showing tonight and things seem to be heating up. We'll see if anything comes of it, but i guess several people have been talking about submitting an offer. Keep your fingers crossed.

Henry had a great day at Brenda's and enjoyed the walk this evening while we got of the house for the prospective buyer. He's still enjoying waving and has taken to waving backwards-- palm facing himself. It's very, very cute. He also points at everything now and makes sounds like he's naming things or asking what things are called. Of course we tell him the name of everything and he then he gets really serious and says "do-ah" or something equivalent regardless of what we just said.

He looks a little stronger to me when he's on all fours but we need to make sure and get in his physical therapy tomorrow evening before we have another showing.


11 Months, 1 week, 1 day

Henry had his massage therapy session with the developmental therapist this morning. It actually went better than i expected. Henry was a wriggly worm but the therapist brought a doll so that i could practice when Henry didn't really want to participate anymore. However, much of the time Henry did not want to relinquish the doll. He couldn't get enough of pounding on it's head, gouging out it's eyes and trying to eat it's nose. I'm definitely buying him a baby for his birthday. He really did love having something that seemed about his size that he could manhandle.

We had another showing of our place this evening. I had planned to take H out on a walk but it was raining so i put him in the car and drove about a block. He was making it clear he didn't want to be in the car so i parked and let him play in the back-seat while we waited for them to finish looking at it. Our Realtor said that it was a great showing and the person was really interested and is planning to come back for a second showing this weekend. I didn't get many details on why she was waiting that long but she supposedly seemed very excited about the space, which was encouraging.


11 months, 1 week, 1 day

We've had a busy but good weekend. 2 showings on Saturday and two more tomorrow. Hopefully there will be more activity this week and some real progress after some additional people see our place (at least we think it's amazing!) I believe Henry and JT are both better. JT's stomach has been a little touch and go, but today he ate more than toast and seems to be holding his own.

Henry had a mild crying jag last night but then took very good naps today and went to bed easily. Hopefully it will be a quiet night and we'll be off to a good start this week. He was quite amenable to being on his knees so we encouraged his 'crawling' every chance we got. He babbles frequently now, it really sounds like his own language, because the cadence is up and down with different intonations. It's especially cute when he gets a hold of a book because sometimes he'll sit there and turn the pages and "read" out loud. That gets me every time.

Otherwise we spent a lot of time planning for the new house-- what we want to plant in the garden, what improvements we want to make and what we think we need to buy. We're really excited about the place and looking forward to getting settled in about a month.


11 Months, 6 days

I think we might finally be getting back to normal. JT was still home sick but he made it out to the couch and is planning on going back to work tomorrow. Henry had another good day at Brenda's and is more than making up for his light-appetite. For dinner tonight he ate a 6-oz jar of baby lasagne, a 4-oz container of pear puree, 1/4 banana,6 oz. of pasta and red sauce and a handful of veggie puffs. This is good because we need to rebuilt the weight we know he lost while he was sick.

Tonight's picture is of Henry's new favorite bath toy-- his toothbrush. My orthodontist has a two-year old and she told me that what's important now is just to get him used to me getting in his mouth with something, a soft brush, a pieces of gauze, etc. Henry is crazy for this kind of soft plastic and he loves to chew on the bristles. I usually do a quick pass over his upper and lower gums and then he keeps himself entertained with the toothbrush for the rest of the bath.

I have noticed that along with stranger anxiety H has started to develop a sense of fright. We have a soft bath toy that's an octopus. You can use it's undersides like a wash cloth or hold it under the water and squeeze it and water comes out of a spout at the top of it's head. It was in a drawer for a long time and tonight i brought it in to the bath with the rest of Henry's toys. He just watched me make the water spout a few times and then actively looked scared and upset-- beginnings of the bottom lip curling. I let the octopus go in the water and proceeded to wash Henry. A few minutes later the octopus came floating towards Henry and he looked at it like he would climb out of the tub if he could. I picked it up and set it on the rim of the tub and he just kept craning his neck around the fixate on the octopus. He wasn't back to happily enjoying his bath until i hid the octopus behind the shower curtain. Once he dries out i think that toy will have to go back to the bath for awhile.


11 Months, 5 Days

Brenda and the rest of the crew rejoiced to see Henry today. Brenda said that her sister was begging her to call over and find out how Henry was doing and when he'd be back. I think sending him was the best decision. She said he had a great day, took two good naps, and was all fine in the stomach department-- even took his soy formula. I'm hoping that it helped wear him out and he'll sleep well tonight.

Since he's been sick he's been waking up more at night and we've been tending to him. He's sick afterall and you can't let a sick baby cry. Well as Brenda said "room service!" now he's hooked. Of course it could be that, or hunger pains (he's just gotten back on his eating game), or the separation anxiety he seems to have developed while he was sick. Whatever the cause he's back to protesting again when we put him down and last night he was up off and on for almost two hours crying, screaming, sobbing, before finally going back to sleep. The fury unleashed last night at 10 so we're T-minus 10 minutes right now.

As Henry is better, JT is now sick. He spent the day firmly in bed. We just hope he makes quicker progress than Henry. At least it's easier to understand what he needs.

The photographer and layout sketcher came to our place today. Our Realtor thinks he'll have all the marketing materials ready to send out to folks by the end of the week. He can track how many times the listing is emailed out to folks through the MLS system Realtors use and how many times someone marked the property as "interested" since yesterday afternoon our property has been emailed 268 times and marked as "interested" 17 times. It would be amazing if some of those turned into the right buyer.


11 Months, 4 Days

Today was much less of a three-ring circus than we imagined, which was a good thing after how exhausting yesterday was. Henry was home with me again yesterday and actually seemed worse in a way. He didn't throw-up or anything but he was clearly upset and irritable all day. He slept a lot in the morning but then was awake but exhausted and fighting sleep all afternoon. I had called the Dr. and wound up switching his appointment from this afternoon to yesterday evening. I was concerned because although Henry's appetite was better yesterday he pretty much refused liquids.

The Dr. said he looked fine-- totally hydrated and re-iterated that this stomach flu is really bad and takes 7-10 days before it's really gone. Unfortunately my day was crammed with house-buying/selling business as well a live webcast. Luckily in the non-profit sphere the majority of people you work with are women, and therefore understanding of the challenges of "home/work-life balance."

Today, Henry seems to really be doing better. He's kept things down and we've been able to progress from the gruel he's been living on for awhile. He still won't drink his soy formula and isn't even too excited by the pedialtye so i've been trying to nurse very frequently.

I'm not sure about tomorrow, but it would be nice if he was able to be back at daycare. The cleaning ladies come at 8 and then the photographer and layout sketcher come at 9:30. Luckily no conference calls tomorrow, just work to be slotted around Henry's naps.

He has physical therapy tomorrow and i'm afraid he hasn't made much progress this week. With all the stomach upset he hasn't been on his stomach much and totally intolerant of his exercises. I know someday (probably not too far away) he'll actually be moving around and exploring, but it's impossible to imagine right now. Even as a total optimist, it's so hard not to worry about your baby...


11 Months, 2 Days

Image hosting by Photobucket

The sickness is spreading... Henry has been up and down over the past several days but just isn't really "better, better" yet. He's in this pattern where he's able to keep everything down but then once within a 24-hour period he suddenly lets loose. Things in his GI tract aren't quite "normal" yet either. He had a bit of up and down last night but has been keeping the pedialtye and formula down since the big eruption right before bed last night. It's just that we spend about 24 hours re-building, small frequent drinks of pedialtye, followed by soy formula, followed by rice cereal, and then perhaps some jello or applesauce. Then somewhere along the way he loses it and we have to start over again. We'll see how today goes. We're watching really closely for signs of dehydration and if we think we see any we'll call the on-call Dr. today. Otherwise i think i might just call the Dr's office on Monday and see what they think. I believe he has an 11-month check-up on so if nothing else he'll see the Dr. then.

Unfortunately our house guest seems to have a touch of Henry's ailment. So everyone is just laying low today trying to recuperate before the week starts again.

There's been a special request to see the enclosed porch on the back of the house, so i'm posting a bonus picture of it. The porch is insulated (from below) and has the same high quality new windows as in the rest of the house, so temperatue wise it feels about like the "main house."


10 Months, 3 Weeks, 6 Days

Henry stayed home with me today and he was definitely sick. He managed to keep liquids and then some solids down as the day progressed. He slept a ton (he was only awake 5 hours 25 mins) but had his moments of perking up.

Hopefully he'll sleep well tonight and be able to go back to Brenda's tomorrow, but we'll see what happens. We're meeting a contractor tomorrow morning at the new house to get an assessment on the work that has to be done. From that we'll go to the seller asking for a credit. From what the realtor says, the sellers are amenable, so we'll see how it works out.


10 Months, 3 Weeks, 5 Days

Poor little Henry is sick. Brenda called us to come get him from daycare today because he threw up there. He came home and seemed just fine so we went ahead with his PT appointment. He actually had a really good appointment, and the therapist was impressed with the progress he had made. His neck is stretched out now so we don't have to do the dreaded neck stretch anymore.

He was pretty tolerant of getting on all fours and even managed to rock back and forth which the therapist said was definitely a precursor to crawling. He started pointing at things yesterday and was exercising that skill fully during his therapy appointment. Near the end of the appointment he was getting really tired and clearly decided he was done by waving "bye-bye" at the therapist.

Our friend Phil is visiting from DC so we went out to dinner with other friends. Henry was really excited to eat but then shortly afterwards threw up all over my black sweater. We got cleaned up as best as possible, finished dinner, and headed home. Henry took some more pedialyte and then went straight to bed. Hopefully he'll sleep all night and feel better in the morning. We're planning to call the Pediatrician in the morning to make sure we don't need to bring him in.


10 Months, 3 Weeks 4 Days

Henry was a trooper today. He spent a little longer at Brenda's than usual because we had to drop him off early in order to get to the home inspection by 8. It was fun winding around our new neighborhood and seeing just how much new development is going on there. Everyone we've talked to has said that just the land alone made the house a good deal.

This being an old house there were things that the inspector found but only 2 main issues that we will need to take care of quickly and that aren't "minor." Our realtor was going back to the sellers to see about a credit for these things. I guess they could completely balk, but we're hopeful they'll be willing to work with us at least a little bit.

One more thing about me and then I'll give you some Henry news. I went to see the Chinese acupuncture/Herbalist guy today and there's quite a few things he identified that i can do to try to help keep my immune system strong. One of them is to eat red meat. I never thought it would take going to an Eastern Practitioner to get a red meat prescription, but he surmised that my iron stores are low (which based on the history i was giving actually lines up with past medical experiences) and we talked about how difficult it is to get enough iron from non-meat sources. He also mentioned how after being pregnant and extended nursing, my iron stores were potentially low. So, we'll see. I didn't rush out for a roast-beef sandwich. But i did say that i was willing to try some different things to bolster my healthy/sick days ratio.

Henry was in a super-good mood tonight and for at least a little while was totally fine with me keeping him on his knees while he played with his toys. He was even rocking back and forth on his knees as well (only while i held him though, if left to his own devices he'll flatten out on his stomach). I also wanted to mention that he's developing a little tiny freckle on his left thigh. Other than the birthmark at the top of his leg this is the first mark on his lily-white skin!

Thanks to Tabitha i found out that there are extensive pictures and a "virtualtour" of our place online. I believe you can access it here if then you click on the "virtual tour" link.

If that direct link doesn't work you can always visit the Realtor site and enter MLS#06063297


10 Months, 3 Weeks, 3 Days

Tomorrow at 8 am we have the house inspection so keep your fingers crossed. When a house was originally built in 1880 you can't help but find things, but hopefully there won't be any deal-breakers-- like it's built on a sink-hole or the roof cave-in is imminent.

Henry is taking everything in stride. Of course largely that's because he doesn't know what's coming. Our house goes on the market tomorrow. Our realtor already had someone potentially interested in our place so hopefully that's a portent of good things to come.

Brenda said Henry took two good naps today and had fun playing with his buddies-- especially his favorite friend Maya. He and Maya sit and talk and hold hands. Brenda said that when Maya gets there Henry does his happy dance by kicking his feet and wiggling all over.

Here are pictures of the two rooms downstairs-- one of which will be for Henry. I'm trying to keep a lid on already planning where everything will go in our new house (!), but it's so fun to be dreaming about this (and of course building spreadsheets of our storage needs.)

Image hosting by Photobucket
Image hosting by Photobucket


10 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days

We've had a pretty eventful weekend. For once we're all well (i'm sure i'll pay for that soon enough) and the weather was quite warm. I hadn't mentioned it, but we started looking around at single-family homes last week and had the good fortune to find a couple that we liked-- one we liked well enough to put an offer in on. The people selling are a young couple and it seems they were partial to a young couple buying the house from them. It's an old house with "vintage" charm on the bottom floor and a completely re-done upstairs master suite. It's on a an oversized Chicago lot which means it's a bit wider than the normal places. We've heard verbally that our offer has been accepted but nothing is in writing, so who knows for sure what will happen.

Of course that this means we're throw into a tizzy of activity because our house is going to have to be listed for sale tomorrow or the day after. Luckily we don't have much to do to get ready, but simply getting everything picked up and put away after the busy weekend is going to take some doing tonight.

I think Henry helped seal the (pending) deal. He absolutely charmed everyone that met him, especially the realtor for the house we'd like to buy. He went out with us on two house shopping occasions and surprised even his parents with his amazing good nature. Generally he hates getting in and out of the carseat, but over the past few days he was still cheery when even i was getting antsy.

The warm weather allowed us to get to the park for the first time since the fall and Henry continued to enjoy the swing. He even made some new friends while we were there. He also kept us company when we decided to go out to dinner last night (just the three of us). We went to a middle eastern place and Henry shocked us by eating everything on his own that we put in front of him. This morning we sealed the deal with a trip to JT's favorite Chicago dim sum restaurant.

I was trying to find a good picture of Henry in the new house (!) but those stars didn't align. So, here's a picture of the dining and living room. I'll show you some more soon. Got to go take the plastic off our windows and fold laundry!


10 Months, 2 Weeks, 5 Days

I think Henry is working on becoming a little fish. Now when we lay him down on his back in the bathwater (at the end to wash out the shampoo) he immediately flips over and knows to keep his head out of the water. Tonight he was experiencing with putting just his mouth in the water and kinda flicking his tongue around in it. That was lots of fun until he accidentally took a swallow. It freaked him out a bit but after he was sitting back up he was as happy as a clam-- until it was time to get out. That always begins a monumental battle to get him diapered and dressed for bed. He's tired, he's fussy, he doesn't like being on his back, and he's not happy to give up his bathtime. So far the winners for most distracting "toy" are my slippers, the aquaphor tub cap and a small travel package of tissues.

He continued to wave today and i decided that the thing he does with his hand on his forehead must be related to waving. He holds his hand up and shakes it and then just rests it on his forehead like some kind of sci-fi greeting. Trust me, we did not teach him this.

After about a month of serious picky-eater-itis i think things are starting to look up and Henry's appetite is starting to return. He ate 6 oz of the protein baby food du jour, cottage cheese and bananas, peas, and little pieces of cheddar. He actually seemed to enjoy feeding himself the cheddar and tolerated the peas. I got re-inspired in terms of stuff to offer him so hopefully he'll indulge me for awhile.


10 Months, 2 Weeks, 4 Days

Brenda definitely missed Henry and she said he had a wonderful day today. She almost cried when he waved bye-bye to her this afternoon. He's not 100% consistent with the waving-- for some reason he won't wave to JT- but he does it more often than not if you ask him or wave at him yourself.

He's also doing this hand-thing a lot where he puts his hand on his forehead. I can't really figure out what it means so i just say "Dad" and do the somewhat similar sign for father back to him.

We had a reasonable day today-- highs in the low 40s, so i walked up to Brenda's and Henry and i walked home in the stroller. As you know i've been sick for a half-life and now that i think i'm finally feeling better, i decided i should ease back into exercising. Walking up there was just the right thing-- some fresh air and lots of traffic for Henry to get excited about.


10 Months, 2 Weeks 3 Days

I did keep Henry home with me and i think his health is back to normal. It seems like his personality has changed a bit during the ordeal though. He's definitely more demanding and doesn't hesitate to tell you when he wants something and can't get it or isn't liking the way things are going. Of course what makes it difficult is that he can't really tell you what he does want so it's just a bit frustrating.

He took three naps today and although he woke up at 4 from the last one, he was having no part of going to bed tonight. We let him get up for a bit but then it was clear he just didn't want to go to sleep even though he was clearly tired. So, we all had to endure some very angry crying for a bit. He's asleep now though and hopefully will stay that way.

He did start using his hands in new ways today. He waved purposefully at me and the kitties today. When i would wave at him he would wave back. He did this pretty consistently all day. He made the sign for milk (by squeezing his fingers like milking a cow) and for Dad although i don't think he did either one intentionally. He hasn't used his hands that way before though so i just tried to reinforce what he was doing and that i thought he was communicating with me. It was cool with the waving though, because everytime i would wave back he would get this huge smile on his face.


10 Months, 2 Weeks, 2 Days

Henry and Helen absorbed in their toys and Henry demonstrating his "strong" pointer finger...

Lots to catch everyone up on. The first thing is that Henry is sick-- actually sick with a fever. He's had basically one long cold since about October but other than being stuffy and having a cough that sounds terrible to us, you wouldn't really have known he was sick. He never acted any different. Starting on Friday though he just seemed a little off.

He was really, really fussy during the occupational therapist assessment. She was asking me all these questions about his temperament and then Henry would directly contradict me. I'd say he was really laid back and didn't object much when things were taken away from me. She'd try to transition him from one toy to another and he'd have a total-body freak out. I could tell he wasn't just irritated with the therapist though because when i picked him up to comfort him he was still fussy and didn't immediately smile and perk up like he does when he's well.

The OT said that he was right at the 9/10 month mark for using his hands and that in terms of his sensitivities to environment it was hard to tell since it seemed like he was having a bad day. From what we described though she thought he sounded right in the range of normal and just recommended that she re-assess him in 6 months. I was grateful for this. Not only because Henry is where he should be, but also because we don't have another medical appointment to schedule!

Saturday he slept a ton-- about 5 hours worth of naps. JT shopped and cooked all day for a surprise birthday party for our good friend Cullen. He thought he was going to friends' house for a regular dinner. Instead, 3 couples descended on his house for a surprise birthday dinner. We had the works from JT's new Mexican cookbook: 2 kinds of homemade salsa, soup with zucchini, mushrooms and chicken, lamb stew with tomatillas, beans and rice, swiss chard tacos with goat cheese, and some kind of chipotle meatballs. Everyone raved about the food.

Henry continued his general clinginess and fussiness. He was running a temp over there-- 100.3 so we gave him so motrin and got him to bed early. He seems to still be running a slight fever today so we cancelled plans to meet up with another mom and her baby, and are hoping that Henry will take some mondo naps again and start to feel better. The motrin definitely seems to help bring his fever down which helps him feel better, but he's just not his usual self.

Depending on how he feels, i may keep him home tomorrow.

One thing i keep forgetting to mention: the other night when Henry was playing in the bathtub with JT, he was lying on his back (which we do at the end of the bath to wash all the shampoo out of his hair without worrying about getting it into his eyes). He decided to roll over (there's just a scant amount of water in the tub) and happily played on his stomach with his bath toys while keeping his face out of the water.

I checked the swim class schedule and decided to hold off until April. The current one lasts from Feb to April and i just thing it's still too cold. Henry wasn't crazy about the pool the one time we went and i wonder if part of it is that it was cold out and a little uncomfortable for him. So, we'll plan on April when he'll be one!


10 Months, 1 Weeks, 6 Days

Sorry, no new photos. I hadn't mentioned but after just about getting over my cold last week i found myself re-infected on Sunday and as the week went on i was getting worse not better. This morning in particular was bad so i managed to get in to see my Doc at lunch. I've been given antibiotics for bronchitis so i spent the evening on the couch trying to rest up. Work is crazy right now so i can't easily take time off and i was completely beat by the end of the day. I took my first antibiotic dose in early afternoon so hopefully it will work it's magic.

I'm also seriously considering seeing a Chinese herbalist to see if there is anything that can be done to help my immune system out-- beyond washing my hands and eating well. I'll let you know what happens.

Henry seems to be a little under the weather too. Nothing terrible but he's re-congested and still has his terrible cough. He hasn't been sleeping wonderfully at night so i think he's probably not feeling at the top of his game. Hopefully we'll be able to make it through tomorrow and then have the weekend to really rest and recuperate.

Henry has his Occupational Therapy assessment tomorrow afternoon so i'll make sure to let you know how that goes.


10 Months, 1 Week, 5 Days

Henry had his second physical therapy appointment today. Amy said that he did really well-- made it about 45 minutes until he pretty much reached the melt-down point. She said he was loads more calm this time than last time. To be expected though, he became increasingly frustrated as the session went on.

I had a really good impression of Amy as did JT. She was really good about explaining everything she was doing with Henry and was also very willing to answer questions i had about either specific moves or just development in general related to Henry. She has a conflict next week so we won't see her until the 22nd. Lest we rest on our laurels, the Developmental Therapist called during his appointment and scheduled her visit next week on Tuesday. Keeping up with his schedule is getting tough, but i'm sure all of this support will be paying off. I don't think Henry's just going to cast off his crutches and crawl, but you can see incremental strength gains which is great.

I'm sorry to say that i'm out of photos to post. You could probably tell i was was running low when i dug back in and posted a Valentine's Day picture yesterday. Hopefully i'll get more pictures for tomorrow's post!