Monday, December 31, 2007

Four Hundred and Forty Two Days

When I first came home from the hospital, I didn't think that I would be able to nurse for four more hours, let alone four hundred and thirty eight more days. It was so painful that I would literally clench my toes in anticipatory pain when Henry needed to eat.

I walked around smelling like cabbage from a home remedy to soothe the engorgement and had cuts and blisters in a place that in my wildest imagination I never thought possible. I would call my sister at night in tears because I wanted to nurse but every fiber of my being was begging me to stop. I am sad to say I hated it that much.

She of course gave me permission to throw in the towel, telling me "I was not a bad mother if I didn't nurse my baby, I was just a bad mother if I didn't feed him something!" Leave it to me to phrase my question in such a dramatic fashion and leave it to my sister to bring me back to earth.

Just as I was getting ready to send Adam to the store to buy some formula, I read a tip from someone in my October '06 Babies group online that I thought may solve my problem. Luckily it did, and I will be forever grateful to this person in cyberspace. Adam urged me to pump until my wounds could heal and take a break from our son who I had nicknamed "Chopper."

I set an original goal of sticking it out for three months. Three months came and went and I shot for six months. Six months came and went and I thought that nursing had become too easy and too convenient for me to stop there. Not to mention how much money we were saving and more importantly that it allowed me to scarf down five hundred extra calories a day in sweets.

My new goal was nine months and I really, really thought I would stop there. Two things happened by nine months. Henry became very aware of his surroundings and became much more vocal of his desire to nurse and also his dislike of formula that I tried to give him. My competitive nature also kicked in. I realized I was thisclose to hitting the ultimate goal of one year and I decided to go for it.

I have been trying to slowly wean Henry since he turned a year, and suffice it to say he was not a willing participant in the weaning process. I am sure the knowledge of this will mortify him some day! I just decided to bite the bullet and make December 31st, 2007 our absolute end date.

Despite the rough start, it has been a wonderful experience. Not only did it allow me to drop some weight, it has also been an extraordinary way to bond with Henry. It forced me to slow down every day and have a little cuddle with my baby. I loved taking him to the doctor to see how much weight he had gained, knowing that every ounce was due to nursing.

I am so grateful that my body cooperated so long, I know of many people who were not so lucky. I am grateful to Adam for being so supportive, even though it meant I would have a bond with Henry that he would not be able to share.

It is very bittersweet to stop. I am glad to gain some freedom and my body back, but I will certainly miss that time with Henry. It also shows me that he is not a little baby anymore, but is growing more into a little boy every day.

On to new adventures!

And will there be anything else Mr. Hefner?

Henry has started bringing me his slippers to be put on while we are at home.

He loves them so much that he was furious the other day when I made him wear shoes to the grocery store. I felt terrible this morning when I plopped him on the floor barefoot and he came trotting back a minute later with a pair of socks! How bad of a mother am I that my poor baby has to tell me that his feet are cold?

Other funny Henry happenings:

He took a page from the playbook of his cousin Jack with this one. I was racing around looking for the phone this morning and I heard ringing coming from his room. I searched and searched until I realized that the ringing was coming from the tube of his Busy Ball Popper. He had jammed the phone down into the toy and now it is stuck there.

The phone was ringing last week and I was ignoring it because I was in the middle of something. Henry disappeared for a minute and came trotting after me with the ringing phone that he had gotten for me. It drives him crazy if I don't answer the phone, he just NEEDS to know who is calling.

He walked into the bedroom last week and put his changing pad on the bed. Think he was trying to tell me something?

He has taken to hiding his sippy cup in the play refrigerator and taking the wooden play bottles and storing them in the real refrigerator. I think our cleaning lady thinks I have lost my marbles.

He can now perfectly imitate coughing, sneezing and nose blowing. He also breaks out his raspberry for something else that I won't mention.

I was making his breakfast and he was rooting around in the refrigerator. He took out a container of cottage cheese and left the kitchen. He returned shortly with one of his play spoons. Another proud mothering moment, my poor baby is so hungry that he needs to fetch his own breakfast.

As is very common, Henry can refuse to eat at the table but be perfectly happy to eat food off the floor right after. He is so sweet that he brought two grape halves that he had salvaged, one for me and one for him. Ick!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Henry gets more cousins!

Barry's wife Tara gave birth to their twins last night (12/27) at 2:54am via caesarean section.

Mason Connor
19 inches
5lbs, 9oz

Maya Rose
18 inches
5 lbs, 1oz

We saw them this morning and they are absolutely gorgeous. The attached pictures don't nearly do them justice, I will add more when I get them.

Mom, Dad and babies are doing well. Great job Tara!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

We had a wonderful Christmas. Christmas has never really been my favorite holiday in the past, but I never realized how much I was missing until we had Henry. It was so fun to think of new family traditions that we can carry from year to year and continue old ones with him.
The first thing that I did was make most of the ornaments for our tree, which I normally do anyway. I didn't want to have to gate the tree and I didn't want to be constantly worrying if Henry touched it. My mom bought me a bunch of craft supplies and I made them out of felt and foam. They came out really cute and I will probably use them until we have less of a need for "Henry proofing." We also continued the tradition of buying and decorating our tree on December 16th, which was my Dad's birthday. We make a big Italian feast for dinner; I was pleased that Henry liked Insalate Caprese and lasagna as much as we do!

The second thing that we did (much to Adam's dismay) was order matching holiday pajamas for the three of us. They were goofy looking but it was a fun thing to do and Henry definitely had a confused look on his face when he looked at us this morning! I am going to order different ones every year.

The next tradition that we started was to make cinnamon buns to eat while opening our presents before breakfast. I have to admit, this one is mostly for me. Grandma was nice enough to get up early and finish the preparations so we woke to the smell of hot buns and coffee this morning. My idea of heaven! For her efforts she was awarded the honor of having her breakfast on the special red plate that we bought for our family.

Henry just loved his new play kitchen and food. Adam and I had such a ball putting it together after he went to sleep last night. It was quite the sight to see us carefully arranging the playfood and seeing Adam actually contemplate whether the toy steak belonged in the fridge or the freezer. He also received a new ball, a baby stroller, some musical instruments, some clothing and books and a few other great toys. We were so excited for him to wake up this morning. We had the camera and the video camera charged to document his first view of his kitchen. Poor boy was probably wondering why his parents had turned into the paparazzi!

After breakfast, we stopped to visit Grandpa Joe and then headed out for dinner at Uncle Kevin and Aunt Julie's house. It was so great to see Henry playing with his cousins, he is finally able to participate in some of the things that they do and they were so sweet to him.

All in all, it was a wonderful day. Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Yes Henry, There is a Santa Claus

He is also known as the UPS Man. We have been waiting and waiting (well actually not that long, I placed the order late OOPS!) for Henry's big Christmas gift. We got him a deluxe wooden play kitchen that he is going to flip over. The rest of his gifts relate to the kitchen, so they would no be that fun to play with without it.

The package was lost in Dallas and Costco had to put a trace on it. The whole process was a real nailbiter. Just when I had given up all hope the doorbell rang around noon today. Woo Hoo! Now we just need to put the damn thing together. It may be next Christmas by then but we'll get it done.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Ooops! Faceplant.

Henry had his first bloody incident today. We were walking on the sidewalk near the grocery store and I was letting him burn some fuel before I put him in the carriage. He has not perfected walking in his winter coat and fell, bashing his nose onto the pavement. He proved that he is my son by the fact that he did not drop his cookie that the bakery lady gave him when he fell.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My Little Teenager

Hey Ma. Ma. Maaaaaa. That is all I hear these days.

My Little Attention Junkie

Up to this point, Henry was satisfied to have my undivided attention, but he didn't care much for adoration from the rest of the world. As he is getting older and more sure of himself, he is branching out more.

He is always performing little tricks to get Adam to look at him. If we aren't paying enough attention to him (according to Henry, not us) he will run off and do something forbidden. I will find him in the living room with one finger on the computer and a big smile on his face, just waiting for me to come in and scold him. Or, he will have his pacifier poised over the open garbage can or something equally mischievous.

More amusing than this however is his desire to get the outside world to notice him. He started with my friend Jill a few weeks back. She is the mom of his little friend Kaden and we see her a lot. She is very fun and animated and Henry is drawn to her. The last time Kaden came over to play, Henry would keep bringing her books to read to him. At first I was feeling a little hurt I must admit because I would be sitting right there. I was thinking, "Does he prefer her to read to him because she makes better animal noises?", or something equally paranoid and crazy. Then I noticed it was only when her son was sitting in her lap. As soon as he plopped down, Henry would make a bee-line over to her, hopping up and down for her attention.

On Tuesday, he set his sight on Shawn, Miles's mom. She is very sweet and was playing some sort of hide and seek game with him. While I was feeding him in the kitchen later, he kept doing all of this crazy yelling from his booster seat. I couldn't figure out what he was going on about and then I realized that he could see her and was trying to get her attention in the other room! He was not satisfied unless she looked up and acknowledged him.

Today I was getting the car from the garage. The guys that work there are all very nice and talk with Henry while I am waiting. Henry plays coy, but usually will crack a few smiles for him. The car came and I got him all strapped in, but he was doing his little shouting routine in the back. I had to roll down the window and ask the attendant to open the door to say goodbye to Henry so that he would simmer down.

We also had the super over this afternoon to do some painting. I could not keep Henry away from him, he kept finding reasons to run down the hall and perform his little tricks.

Now that he has a little taste of the limelight I don't think there is anything stopping him! I think I have a little ham on my hands.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hooray! He found his head!

As I have commented before, Henry generally doesn't notice the finer details in life. He is opposed to sitting for puzzles and frankly doesn't give a crap where his nose is. I tried not to worry as his little friends would page through books on their own and point to all of their body parts. Or, play with a shape sorter without hurling the pieces across the room.

However, I am happy to report that he has made huge strides the past two weeks. He now loves books and brings them to me to read to him. They are still the action packed kind where there is shouting involved, but it is a start. He learned how to open the front door knob at his great grandparents' house and race down the driveway so I guess his fine motor skills are there! He can now use a spoon and fork completely on his own, and drink from a regular cup with just a little assistance. He can also put the lid on a coffee cup, so who the heck needs the shape sorter!

He finally claps on cue when we sing "If You're Happy and You Know It" and tries to say "Row" when singing "Row your Boat." But, the most exciting thing that filled me with pride was when I told him to put his pacifer on his head and he did it! He then put it on his foot when requested to as well. He capped it off during a rousing version of "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" by touching his head at exactly the right moment!

I think he MAY be gifted.

Finally, our bad parenting pays off!

We just got back from Florida tonight. Adam had a work trip to Orlando, so Henry and I tagged along. We also extended the trip and drove down to Boca Raton to visit with Adam's Grandparents.

The verdict is in, Henry is a phenomenal traveler. His routine was completely out of whack, I am embarrassed to admit that he went to bed at 11pm last night! He slept better than expected in the portable cribs, loved playing in the hotel rooms, ate like a champ from the breakfast buffet, charmed the pants off of all of the relatives, and was an angel in the car and on both flights.

He was so flexible and good natured. I think our lack of discipline and routine at home has finally paid off, the poor boy didn't notice anything different!

Hey...Who is in charge here?

I have heard lots of parenting advice since having Henry. Although most of it makes sense, I find some of it hard to practice when we are out of the house. One of the big ones is that you have to ignore tantrums. While technically I agree with this, I find it hard to do when we are in a restaurant. I know how much it always annoyed me to be sitting next to a bratty kid in a restaurant.

In the case of restaurant behavior, I think you have three options. 1) Leave 2) Give in 3) Break out a can of whoop-ass. That third one really isn't an option, I just like saying it!

Henry has become obsessed with soda, to the point that I am considering not drinking it anymore. He calls all drinks "BaBa," but now that he has worked pointing and gesturing into his repetoire, it is getting harder to pretend that I don't know what he is talking about. He clearly understands that there is a difference between water or milk and soda. I feel like we have tried all the tricks in the book to distract him: Giving him a real cup, giving him a straw, doing the bait and switch..

While we were in Florida, Henry was doing his little BaBa routine, trying to get soda. Adam decided to trick him and take the straw from the soda and put it in his milk carton. Henry gave him such a look of condesension as he took the straw out and pointed it at the soda. This kid is officially reaching the level where he is smarter than both of us.

Of course I am not going to give him soda. I don't even really like to give him juice which we have been forced to do recently to avoid a public melt down. Any suggestions other than me giving up my beloved Diet Coke?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


I was in the store this week getting Henry fitted for his THIRD pair of shoes in three months. He is now a whopping size five! Forget a college fund, I should have started a Stride Rite fund. Damn those shoes are expensive. Anyway, he started screaming his head off as soon as he saw the saleslady, I think he thought she was going to cut his hair, give him a shot or babysit him.

In walks this little girl about 2 1/2 years old with her mom and grandma. She was strapped in her stroller, bundled in her snow suit like an Eskimo. Snow boot shopping was not high on her list of fun things to do. She was whining and crying, and generally being a pill. The mother asked her a question and she whined in response. The mother said "Use your words Katia!" The little girl looks right at her and shouts "NO NO NO!" I was cracking up. The mother looked at me and I said, "Well, you asked her to use her words!"

Anyway, I know this story was not about Henry, but it amused me. It also brings me to Henry's next milestone. He has been shaking his finger at me for a few weeks and saying "Ne Ne Ne" for No. Now he has added shaking his head to the mix. It is so funny, because he thinks he is a comedian when he does it. He smiles his big toothy grin and shakes his head really fast. I know he knows what it means, because he does it to tell me when he doesn't want something I am feeding him. But, he also does it to just be funny. Like when I ask for a sip of his bottle (don't ask why he is drinking a bottle please!) He shakes his little head and then practically throws the bottle at me, he is laughing so hard.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Motherhood, It should be an Olympic Sport

It was 9:30am today and I was already exhausted. Henry woke up at 7:15am which is super duper early for him (lucky, I know!) It seemed as if he had drank a Red Bull during the night. He was speeding from one end of the apartment to the other.

In between chasing him, keeping him out of the bathroom garbage, the kitchen garbage, preventing him from falling into the tub... I was getting our 6 loads of laundry ready to bring to the basement. I got his shoes on and pushed the cart out of the door. Before the elevator came I had to catch him running down the hallway two or three times. I got three loads in, and in between had to catch him from running away in the basement (filled with recycling bins, mouse traps, bikes and lots of other baby friendly things). We waited for the elevator and I chased him some more. I now know the answer to why the elevator stops on floors and no one is there. It is a mother chasing her runaway toddler down the hallway.

On the way back up he was playing with my keys. He dropped them right as the door opened and they were thisclose to falling down the elevator shaft. I almost had a heart attack. Once we got back up, I fed him breakfast, emptied the dishwasher with his assistance , dodged him grabbing knives, glass bowls and the like and put the laundry in the dryer. He ran around some more and I had to chase him to wipe his snotty nose a hundred times (he is getting two molars).

We went back to the basement for a third time to get the dried laundry, and I put him down for a nap. I took a quick shower and then had to clean the apartment for our playgroup that was starting at 11am...The Decathalon? Please. Let's see Bruce Jenner chase Henry around for a few hours!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Host with the Most (plus a little extra)

My friend that lives in the building next door asked us if we could watch her daughter for an hour this morning. Holly is a few months older than Henry, and just as pretty as her mom.

As soon as her mom left, Henry pounced. She looked little nervous to be here at first, and Henry came to the rescue. First he gave her "Do" to play with, and then he laid his prized guitar gently in her lap to play with. Later on, I was offering her the sippy cup her mother had left. Henry tried to force feed her with his cup of milk. According to Henry, the lady prefers milk.

He also chattered incessantly and followed her everywhere. If she sat down, he was bent over at the waist looking right into her face. He tried to hug her more times than I could count and even tried to lay a few smooches on her. I had to draw the line when he tried to pull her shirt over her head.

What can I say, he is very hospitable!