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!
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...
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.