Thursday, January 26, 2012

For Maggie: Old Man Henry and his walker

video

On our last Skype call Maggie was very fascinated with the fact that Henry was using walker to get around.  I'm sure she was thinking that he had a miniature version of a old man walker, complete with the tennis balls on the legs.  As per request, here is the video she asked for...Henry in his walker, dressed as an old man.   He wasn't too pleased about the hat and mustache so I think Auntie Maggie owes him one

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bye Bye Baby

So my baby has all but abandoned babyhood*. He still has formula from a bottle 3-4 times a day, but sometimes it’s in a cup. I still change his diapers on a crazy regular schedule but instead of laying quiet he squirms and wants to pull out all the sheets from the baby wipes container. I still curse in front of him but now I’m starting to think he knows what I’m saying. He’s quickly becoming a little boy and as exhausting as it has been, it’s also been a lot of fun.

I started taking Henry to a Story and Rhyme session when he was barely 3 months old. At the time, he was one of the youngest there and it’s hard to say what he all got out of it. He’d just sit on my lap and look around. I figured he liked it because it was a rare moment in his life then that he would stay quiet for an entire hour. I kept going. The session is for 0-12 month olds. Back then, while Henry was safe and snug on my lap, there were older babies crawling around stealing toys, making gestures, doing cute things to make everyone laugh. Back then it was hard to imagine that this little creature, all doe eyed on my lap, would ever be that old. This past Wednesday I finally realized that my baby had become one of those little boys.

In the session on Wednesday, he never once sat on my lap. From the moment I set him down, he was off. During the story part, he sat there wiggling a maraca, holding up his arms and letting off an “I’m playing” yell. Once the singing began, he crawled to the middle of circle – directly in front of the two ladies who host the session – to get his own private show. When they brought out the drums, one of the ladies gave him a drum stick and he beat along. All of the mothers with their tiny little doe eyed babies in their arms looked at me. I could just hear their thoughts, “My baby will never be that old.”

Touchdown!

Today I took Henry to the park to feed the ducks. We’ve gone many times before but in the past, either he’d just sit in his stroller looking at me wanting his bottle or he’s fallen asleep before the first bread crumb is thrown. Today was different. Today he watched the ducks (and geese, and pigeons, and sea gulls) with real interest. Today he laughed when the ducks started quacking. Today he demanded some of the bread I was feeding the ducks (thank god I brought a non-moldy loaf). After the ducks we went over to the playground and I pushed him in the swing for a bit. He giggled and giggled and giggled and was really put off when I decided to go because it looked like his hands were going to catch frostbite from the metal chains (no gloves – bad mommy!).

Henry has also started to become a picky eater. Well, I can’t say that. He will still eat almost everything we give to him but he’s very insistent that what he eats he feeds to himself. This is fine if it’s finger food. It’s not so fine when the food requires a spoon. I gave him spaghetti tonight – pureed. I know he likes it. As I’m bringing the spoon to his mouth he whines at me, shuts his mouth and grabs at the spoon. This brings the pureed spaghetti all over his hands and the tray – which he starts to play with. He’s tired because it’s an hour until his bedtime so when he rubs his eyes, the spaghetti that he plays with gets in his eyes. He starts to cry. I try to wipe off his face and eyes but he doesn’t like that either. More crying. I finally manage to clean off his face and give him some dried pineapple to get him to a happy place so I can try the spaghetti again. I got the spaghetti down but it takes over a half hour and some distraction in the way of the Octonauts playing on the laptop. I know, I let my kid watch cartoons while he’s eating. Bad mommy.

We have a VTech walker that we got off of GumTree (aka: Craigslist). When we first got it, he would play with the activity board but he really didn’t get the hang of the walker part. With a few weeks practice, he now cruises across the room with this air of confidence. You can just see his desire to be talking on the phone while he’s walking along. It’s a weird feeling seeing your baby, your tiny little baby, upright and walking with his tiny, chubby, shaky little legs and knowing that soon enough the walker will no longer be needed. When he makes it across the room, Henry looks at me and smiles. He knows he’s growing too.

I think the very best thing about this age is that Henry is always happy to see me. Whether it’s in the morning when he first gets up, or when we pick him up from his nana’s, or if I leave the room for a moment and come back – it’s always a big smile for mommy (and daddy!). I don’t mean to be cheesy, but it honestly melts my heart each and every time. If I’m sad about his loss of babyhood, it’s only because it went so fast. He’s much cooler now than he was. Sure, I can’t leave him on the couch and still expect him to be there when I get back from the bathroom but at least now we can share a piece of cheese.

The shoe, however, he can have all to himself.

******

*I might have teared up a bit writing this.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Hello Sleep

I would like to say that Andy and I had a very thoughtful plan in regards to getting Henry sleep trained. I imagined long conversations over vanilla lattes (me) and flow charts and graphs and the all important spreadsheet (him). I figured we would start on a night where we both had gotten a bit of sleep. I thought we’d get Henry in a stable schedule during the day before hand. And somewhere in there, I had guessed that we’d be too scared shitless to bother at all and he’d finally get a proper night sleep when he was a teenager.

As it happened, Henry was sleep trained on the night before we left for vacation and he was sleep trained out of pure frustration on my part.

That fateful night we put Henry down to sleep at 6:30 PM as normal. He woke again at 8 PM, where we picked him up and rocked him until he fell asleep again. He then woke at 11 PM and as it was my night, I decided just to sleep with him on the couch. For two hours Henry and I tried as we might to get comfortable without any success. He was exhausted, I was exhausted, I finally lost it and said, “Fuck it, I’m sleep training. Like, right now.”

For two hours it was a battle of wills. I did the whole rubbing the back and saying “shhhh” for two minutes, and then went away as he screamed his head off. I increased the time before I went back gradually. Henry cried and sobbed and screamed and kept pulling himself up in the crib (had to put him back down on his belly when this happened) and I played Sudoku in between crib visits. As I said, it took two hours before he finally feel asleep. By the first half hour, Andy had woken up (who can sleep with a screaming baby?), and I’m sure we kept our neighbors up as well. He was a stubborn little man, which he gets from me, but sometimes the only way to combat stubbornness is with more mature and skilled stubbornness.

Because we went on vacation the next day, I was convinced that Henry would revert back to his old sleeping habits while at his nan’s house. But for the three nights he was there, he slept like a dream. Had I broken the proverbial stallion?

When we got Henry back on Thursday night, I again was terrified what our night was going to be like. But he slept through. Last night he had a little backtrack and we had to do the same sleep training at 11 PM – but instead of two hours, it only took a half hour. So you know, progress.

As I was saying to Andy, besides the constant crying, sleep training is much more preferable to rocking a baby for an unknown period of time hoping to hope that when you put him down he’ll actually stay asleep. At least with sleep training, you can become a master at Sudoku.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Mornings

Even when the nights are still rough, it's pretty awesome to wake up to a happy baby like this one:

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I'm so teeth to see you

So I realized in my last post when I announced that Henry finally got his teeth that I failed to provide pictorial evidence.  This is not really an oversight as it is a practical impossibility to get a proper picture of a 9 month old.  Couple that with trying to get a proper picture at a certain angle where you can actually see the teeth...well, I hadn't managed it at the time when I wrote the last post.  I gathered my patience and tried tonight.  Success!
Teeth!  I see the teeth!

And another...



Here is a small sampling of the pictures I suffered through in an attempt to get the above pictures:


This last one just screams, "I'm so not letting you near my mouth, mother."

I hope you appreciate the lengths I go for this blog for your entertainment.  Ha.

In other news, guess who's standing?