Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Henry, how do I love thee?

Let me count the ways...

I love that you smile when I sing made up songs to you, and that you coo at us every morning. I love that you stick out your bottom lip to let me know you have had enough time in your bouncy chair. I love watching you in your little bathtub because you have so much fun. I love that you seem so big screaming your head off at home, but seem so tiny when we bring you out in the world. I love your chubby cheeks and legs, and that you kick of your socks within five minutes of putting them on. I love that you pee on the doctor's scale every visit, and poop just as I finish changing your diaper. I love that you protest a little bit when I let someone else hold you. I love that you refuse to be swaddled and sleep with your arms over your head. I love the sound you make when you are pretending to cry. It sounds like mwahhhh.

I love everything about you. If I ever doubted for one minute my mother's love for me, having you has made me realize what a silly thought that was. (Although love and driving her crazy are two different things.)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Henry Weighs In...

I belong to a group online that consists of about 150 women who were due in October and now have babies Henry's age. There are lots of posts on different topics, but a recent one regarding "Your baby's routine" got me thinking. I asked Henry to weigh in with his thoughts. Of course, thanks to Oprah, I had no problems interpreting his version. Here it is...

Well, I guess you could call it a routine...

Wake around 7:30am, eat in bed. Coo and smile at Daddy until he leaves for work. Grunt, groan and cry and then finally poop. Wait until Mom has closed diaper tabs and maybe zipped pajamas back up and then poop again.

Fuss until Mom paces the entire apartment with me her shoulder. Pass out. Mom lays me in my Amby hammock and turns on the monitor. Wait with my eyes shut until I sense that she has just put the conditioner in her hair, but not yet washed her body. Once it is in her hair, start screaming. Forget about waiting for her to shave her legs. That might make Daddy pay more attention to her and less to me. She comes out dripping wet and flash her a cute smile...

Let her lay me on the bed and pretend to look at the pretty watercolors of Bermuda while she tries to get dressed. As soon as she gets her bathrobe off, cry until she picks me up again. It is fun to watch her get dressed REALLY fast and have to comb her hair and brush her teeth while holding me. Sometimes, I just stick out my lower lip and let it quiver while tears pool in my eyes. My pediatrician says I am very advanced because I have real tears already!

Fall asleep on her shoulder again while she tries to make breakfast with one hand. Silly mom will then try to put me in my bouncy seat while she eats breakfast. If I am feeling nice, I will let her eat a little before waking up again. But, it is a lot more fun to sleep on her lap while she eats. Lots of my PJs have food stains on them but it is worth it!

Finally she gives up and puts me in my stroller. Make her push me around the neighborhood for an hour while I sleep like a king. Once we get home, I rest a little longer in my stroller. No sense sleeping in my nice comfy hammock or crib when I have this stroller! Sometimes, I will sleep long enough for her to eat a slice of pizza or something while we are out. But, just to keep her on her toes I crack open one eye periodically. This forces her to rock my carriage back and forth with her foot while she tries to read her book. She needs the exercise anyway!

Repeat this routine of eating, sleeping, smiling and crying whenever she puts me down all day. I will play for a while and do my tummy time so that she has sometime to report to the pediatrician. Once Dad gets home, let him take one quick walk down the hallway with me before he puts me to sleep in my bed. Stay in there for 2 hours napping peacefully so he can show Mommy how EASY it is...

Right at 10pm when Daddy goes to bed get very alert so that Mom has to stay up really late with me! Finally, go to sleep about two hours later but insist on sleeping next to her in bed with my arms spread wide so that she is very squished in the middle. Get up every 2-3 hours all night long (peeing through my diaper onto my pajamas once for good measure) so that she doesn't forget about me. Start it all again the next day!

Special ways to mix the routine up...If she decides to get really brave and take me shopping in the baby bjorn, I pant and swing my head back and forth in her cleavage so that she gets really embarrassed. I like to make sure strangers know how I get my food! Or, if she decides to take me on the subway (carrying my stroller down three flights of stairs) I wait until we are 10 minutes from home and then scream at the top of my lungs. Strangers start to ask if she has a "bottle of milk for me or something." Wait until some nice old lady gives up her seat to my mom and she has to take me out of the stroller on a crowded, moving train. Stop crying immediately!


Henry R. Schnell

Goodbye Grandma Marlene

Sorry that I have been away. Adam's Mom passed away unexpectedly two weeks ago. As you can imagine, it has been a sad time for our family. It is tragic when someone so young dies (she was 61), but our sadness is compounded by the fact that she died so soon after Henry's birth. Marlene wanted to be a Grandmother forever. Unfortunately we were not able to give her a grandchild sooner, but we are happy that she at least got to realize this dream and spend time with him before she passed.

She was a devoted mother to Adam and Barry, and would have done just about anything for them. She and Joe were as close as a married couple could be, and did almost everything together. My heart just breaks for them, she was the glue that kept their family together.

I had the pleasure of knowing her for almost 17 years. She readily accepted me as part of her family and included me in everything. She always expressed interest in my friends, and family and during every phone call or visit always inquired about what they were doing and their well-being. Although we were two very different people from different generations, we always had a lot of fun together. She would say lots of crazy things that always gave us a good laugh.

She will be missed.