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?