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...



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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.