Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Chore Boy

I have recently started giving Henry some "chores" which he LOVES. They consist of wiping up spills, picking up his toys and putting them in a basket, helping me load clothing into the washer, pushing elevator buttons, pushing in the dishwasher rack and closing the door, finding the phone when it rings, stirring things and his all time favorite, taking out the garbage. That one kills me because he knows just what to do. I call him and say "Henry, it is time for you to take out the garbage!" He drops whatever he is doing and runs into the kitchen. I hand him the tied up grocery bag and he goes to the door. I let him out and he runs right to the garbage chute. I give him a little lift and he drops it down the chute. Most of the time he even tells the garbage "bye-bye" which is a nice touch.

I will charge the camera batteries tomorrow and give you an action shot since it is so adorable.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Fun Times...

I had a doctor's appointment this afternoon and had to bring Henry with me. I won't say where I went, but I will leave it to your imagination to figure out it is the appointment that you would least like to bring your child.

As I have mentioned, Henry is TERRIFIED of the doctor. I knew that no matter how much I prepped him, he would not understand that he was not going to the doctor. As I predicted, as soon as he saw the nurse he started crying. Here I am, trying to calm him down and get undressed and get into that stupid gown. The doctor came in with lightning speed (he probably heard the shreiking and wanted to get me out of there) and I was barely ready.

Henry could not be consoled, so I had to pick him up and hold him during my exam. The doctor was nice about it and very accomodating, but at one point Henry was actually sitting on my chest while I was laying down. Near the end of my exam my cell phone started ringing. Henry stopped crying and starts gesturing to get down. I plop him on the floor and he runs over to my open purse grabs the phone opens it and hands it to me while I am lying on the table.

At least he has his priorities.

Later, I was feeding him dinner. Toward the end, he started getting wild and throwing his food. I looked at him and said, "Henry, don't act like a monkey." He starts laughing and doing the gestures from the song about the monkeys jumping on the bed. I couldn't believe he took what I said, understood it and was shaking his finger at me like he was singing the song. I just can't get over how much he is learning these days.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Dirty Looks

Henry has developed quite the little temper recently. He loves to puff out his cheeks and glare at you or give other very funny dirty looks. My friend Shawn (Mom to Henry's friend Miles) scolded him the other day and he gave her a look that could melt glass. Embarrassingly enough is that she said it is one of my facial expressions! Oops!

One of his main obsessions is coffee. I probably drink two cups a day and he is just dying to have some. I have to get him an empty cup and lid at Dunkin' Donuts just to get some peace. When I have it at home, I have to give him an empty mug with a spoon or else he will not stop screaming. I know dear readers, who is in charge here? We established long ago that it is not me so quit your clucking.

The empty mug usually is not enough to satisfy him of course. He is not happy until I splash a little in his cup. Or, he follows me around trying to dip his spoon in my cup so he can lick it. What kind of crazy kid likes coffee?

This morning, I was sitting on the kitchen floor playing with Henry while Adam was cooking. I was holding my coffee and he was trying to dip his spoon. I was swerving away from him and he got so angry that he started swinging his teaspoon at me! Quite the sight. I was lying almost on my back clutching my mug with my 15 month old hovering over me and trying to hit me with a spoon. Living up to his name from long ago : The Tiny Tyrant

Friday, January 25, 2008

Scaredy Cat

Henry is terrified of a few things. The first is the vacuum cleaner, the second is Tickle Me Elmo and the third is the hair dryer. He cowers in fear when he sees or hears them.

For the past few months, he has also been afraid of going to the pediatrician. He used to just scream as soon as he saw the doctor, but now he screams as soon as we get into the exam room. As I mentioned, he screamed during his entire 15 month well baby visit this week.

Today I had the pleasure of bringing him to the pediatric dentist for his chipped teeth. As soon as he saw the waiting room, he started to cry. I calmed him down and offered him the toys that they had. Not interested. He sat on my lap the entire time. As soon as he saw the first nurse, he started to cry again. I go him calmed down again and then the worst part happened. I was filling out the paperwork (with him clinging to me) and his little bottom lip curled out and he just started to weep. Not screaming, just big fat tears rolling down his cheeks. The poor baby was truly terrified. I felt like such a jerk putting him through this, but I really felt like he needed to be examined. I dug out his pacifier and he was able to pull himself together. Until we hit the exam room of course! The doctor heard him screaming with the nurse and hot-footed it right in there for his exam! I guess that is one benefit to all of the screaming, quick service!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Mother of the Year

I don't think I will be winning any awards today. First, I was looking in Henry's mouth today and I noticed that one of his front teeth is chipped. Not sure when that happened, he has taken quite a few blows to the head recently. He thinks he is Evil Kneivel.

Second, I was letting him walk at Rite Aid today and he pulled the stroller over. A bag containing a bottle of vinegar broke and spilled all over the diaper bag, his coat and of course the aisle at the store.

Third, I was feeding him dinner. He likes Indian food so I was feeding him some chicken tikka masala, basmati rice and chick peas. I had something called a dosa which was stuffed with spinach and cheese that I thought he might like. I gave him a little and then he got a funny look on his face. He got a little red and then started grabbing his tongue. Oops, I guess it was a little too spicy!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Our apartment overflows...

Most people complain that their baby is overtaking their house. Henry has more toys than the average NYC baby from what I have seen. His room is filled with little ride on toys and suburban sized things. Our dining room has his two strollers and the tunnel that I bought him from Ikea. The foyer has his play kitchen and musical instruments. The real kitchen has his little red table and chairs that he picked out himself. The living room is teeming with books spilling off the shelves and the bathroom has buckets for bathtime and foam letters that float. Our bedroom always has his little slippers and shoes floating around and Adam finds things that he hides in his closet. Even our hallway has paper unrolled down it where Henry and his little friend were coloring today.

For some reason, it doesn't bother me one bit (or Adam either). I just love coming home and seeing all of his "stuff." It just serves to remind us that he is here for good!

Henry's 15 Month Stats

Henry had his 15 month appointment today:

He is 31 1/2 inches tall and weighs 21 lbs, 12 ounces. Tall and skinny. Of course he had some weight loss with his horrible stomach virus after New Year's so I was pleased with the gain. I also loaded him with a smoothie in the waiting room but that is another story!

He had three shots. He screamed from the second the nurse said hello to him until I got his coat on by the front door. I think the doctor said he was doing great, I couldn't hear her over the shreiking. Great times. He really LOVES going to the doctor.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Animal noise of a city boy

Henry has just started to repeat animal noises when we are reading books, but won't do it on demand. In his defense, what animals does he really see? We see a few dogs but I am petrified of him getting bitten in the stroller so I run the other way. He doesn't have much exposure to cats. Forget about farm animals. The only other animals he might see are pigeons and who knows what sound they make.

One thing that he does hear often is the sounds of the coffee grinder and the immersion blender when I make him smoothies. We were walking through the kitchen yesterday and he started pointing at the blender. We stopped and I let him hold the stick portion. He started making the same whirring noise that the blender makes. Do you think the doctor will count this at his checkup?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Nap Transition Hell

Until recently, Henry took two blissful (for me at least) naps per day. He would wake around 8am and eat breakfast. He would go back down around 10:30am, sleep until noon and eat lunch. We would go about our day and he would nap again around 3:30 pm for an hour or so. Wake for dinner, more playing and then off to bed around 8pm. Very predictable and nice.

He got his little stomach flu on New Year's Eve and then things were even better. He was so tired that he was taking two, TWO hour naps per day and going to bed at 7pm. I would even throw in a little nap for myself in the morning (I was sick too).

We went to visit my sister last week and all hell broke loose. He had gotten used to me coddling him again when he was sick and flat out refused to sleep alone. Add in a pack and play and a room that he didn't recognize and it was a sleeping disaster.

We got home and found that Henry had made the executive decision to give up napping. I would put him down and he would scream and scream. While we are trying to suss out his new schedule of what time to put him down the only way to get him to sleep is in the stroller. I have tried all different nap times and there is no pattern. I am running around like a crazy person trying to get food in him and re-arrange his little baby life to get him back on a schedule.

He is sleeping for about 45 minutes at nap time once per day and wants to go to bed at 6pm. Not a good schedule for anyone. Adam doesn't see him, I am a crazed, unshowered lunatic by the end of the day, Henry is a crabby mess and he wants to get up and play at 3am for an hour.

I am hoping we are through this little rough patch soon!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Talking Update

For posterity, I want to list Henry's current vocabulary at a few days shy of 15 months:

Bath Time
Baba for any and all drinks
Wawa for water
Bye Bye
Hi Dad

He also sings the first part of "Row Your Boat." When we read Polar Bear Polar Bear What Do You Hear? he repeats the animal noises but won't do them on command.

He also now knows his head, nose, feet, mouth. He can also follow two step commands such as "Get your slippers, they are in the kitchen." His receptive language is excellent, I feel like he understands almost everything we say now.

Who Stole My Baby, Part II

Henry attended the 3rd Birthday party today for Dylan, who is the son of our friends, Chuck and Natalie. It was held at this fun place in CT where there was a water table room, a big climbing structure/indoor playroom, an art room, a dancing room with bubbles and a big gym area with tunnels to crawl through and balls to throw etc.

Henry jumped into all of the activities with gusto and wasn't nervous around the bigger kids at all. He was running around like he too was three years old. My favorite part was at the end when all of the kids filed into the room where the pizza and cake were being served. The pizza was already set out on the little kid sized tables and each of the kids just grabbed a seat. Henry made some sort of involuntary growling sound when he saw the pizza and sat down with all of the kids. I guess we can add pizza to the list of things that he recognizes and likes! He ate almost an entire slice, washed down with this little paper cup of apple juice and chased all of that with a slice of birthday cake. I couldn't believe what a little boy he looked like sitting at that table.

He was a little kooky on the way home, giggling and squirming in his car seat. I guess I can attribute it to the hefty dose of sugar he just ingested. He has such a great time, and it was so fun seeing him enjoy himself.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Don't you wish he was your neighbor?

One of the kids (11 years old) that lives in our building posted the most adorable, hand-written sign on the bulletin board in our basement. It was written in pencil and detailed services he was willing to provide. The services were "anything," his rates "it depends," his weekday hours were after school and on the weekends "it depends." No job is too small.

I love industrious kids and I have been trying to think of something he could do for me. Adam works late and we often have plans on the weekend so there are lots of little things that always need to be done. Adam has been away all week on a business trip and I have been watching our Christmas tree dry up like the Sahara Desert. Although I took down the ornaments, there really was no way I was going to get it out of the stand, stuff it in the elevator, ride five flights to the basement and drag it out to the courtyard with Henry on my back. Also add in the unpleasantness of sweeping up the pine needles from the apartment, hallway and elevator. I think I finally had my project for Andrew!

I called this afternoon and cleared the project with his mom. She sent him right up after school and he set to work. He dragged it to the basement with lightning speed, vacuumed, and was crawling around on his hands and knees sweeping pine needles. All while Henry followed him around like a puppy and tried to shove cheddar goldfish in his mouth. He played with Henry, carried him around the apartment and chattered a mile a minute while doing his work. He told me that he didn't care if it took him all night, he wanted a satisfied customer. Apparently I am the first person to call him, so I tried to give him tips on getting more business.

After all of his hard work, I asked him how much he was going to charge for the job. He thought a minute and then told me TWO DOLLARS. I told him that was too little and that he should re-think his pricing structure. He then raised it to four dollars and told me that was his final quote. I gave him ten dollars and he about had a heart attack. I told him it was a bonus to help him get his business started and not to waste it on video games. He looked at me very sincerely and told me that he was going to save it.

How sweet is that? At those rates I don't plan on ever lifting a finger again!

Please send checks to Henry's "Grape Fund"

Before Henry, we did not do much grocery shopping. We ate breakfast and lunch at work, and ordered dinner or went out most nights. We are not big snackers, so we didn't keep much food in the house.

Now that I am home and we have Henry, we are forced to shop like normal people. Frankly I am horrified at the cost of certain products. Henry drinks whole milk now and he is supposed to get 16 oz per day. We buy him organic, antibiotic free milk since it is such a large part of his diet. We don't want him glowing in the dark one day or mooing like a cow on steroids from all of the junk that cows are shot up with. A half gallon in our store is $4.99! We could shop around a bit and save a little money, but not much. Conceivably we could go through a carton every two days. Luckily he doesn't like it that much so it is more like every three days.

More shocking is the price of grapes. Henry adores grapes. I had to move the fruit bowl out of his sight while he is eating otherwise that is all he wants. The boy can seriously put down a half a pound of grapes in one day. I fill his little bowl and he is constantly campaigning for more. He walks into the kitchen and holds his bowl up and points at the grapes. Now that they are out of season, they are $4.99 per pound at our local market. I almost killed Adam once when he paid $5.99 a pound! Even the storekeeper stopped him to make sure he knew how much they were. Once he heard they were "for the baby" he understood!

So, in lieu of gifts toward his college fund, Henry would appreciate donations to support his grape eating obsession before his mother cuts him off.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Sweet as sugar

Henry is an unbelievably sweet little boy. Who knows if it is the age or his real personality, but it is great to watch. For example:

*There are very few toys that he won't share with his friends. I know kids this age don't understanding "sharing" as a concept, but if another baby wants something he readily hands it over. The one exception is a baby stroller, he will knock people over to get at one of those!

* We went to visit his cousins Madeleine, Kate and Charley this week. He would try to hug the girls and made sure not to leave Charley (4 1/2 months) out of the action. He would go over to his bouncy seat and "talk" to him, squeeze his feet, lean down by his face etc. He was even letting him play with his cell phone this morning. He would say a few things and then lay it in Charley's lap. He would give Charley a minute and then take it back. He did this over and over and I was amazed watching it.

*He loves to share his food. He is always offering me bites from his food and sips from his drink. Even when he was in the worst throes of his Noro virus and we had to ration his drinking to stop his vomiting he was still offering me his drink. Of course he then shared his virus, but that comes with the territory!

*When he came into our bed the other night he had one pacifier in his hand and one in his mouth. I shut my eyes and he was trying to jam his spare into my mouth. I took it between my lips so not to insult him but then dropped it after a second. He sat up and gently placed it back in my mouth again like we do to him. I almost died from the sweetness!

Isn't he helpful?

Despite going to bed easily and sleeping much longer, Henry consistently wakes at 4am every night. I know, I can eliminate this waking by ignoring him for a few nights, but frankly I don't have the energy to listen to him scream at that hour. I just go grab him, his adult sized pillow that he now sleeps with and plop him in our bed. Works like a charm, he smiles and goes right back to sleep.

On Sunday, I went to grab him and he practically squealed with delight when he saw me. Acted like 4am is a perfect time for a social call. Just a I got closer, he reached down and picked up his own pillow. All packed and ready to go!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

City Boy

As I mentioned in my last post, Henry is really starting to pick up on certain routines. He has picked up some funny habits that I think are unique to his city upbringing. For example

*He always wants my keys when we hit the front door of our building. I give them to him and let him out of the stroller. He runs through the lobby and heads straight for the bank of mailboxes. He stops right in front of our box and holds the key in the air waiting to open the lock.

*As soon as we hit the elevator, he holds up his arm to press the button to call the elevator. Once inside, he wants to hit the number for the floor. He then looks up at the numbers to watch what floor we are on, and when we get there wants to push the door open. He also likes to look into the window on the door of the elevator and watch Adam "disappear" in the morning.

*This morning we were doing some laundry. We were headed out to switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer. On the way out the apartment I handed Henry a small grocery bag of garbage to hold just to keep him occupied. As soon as I opened the door he ran down the hallway and stopped in front of the garbage chute. I was amazed that he knew what he was holding and where to put it.

* As soon as we hit the basement, he takes off towards the laundry room. He has a little routine. First he helps me load the washers, putting in the clothes and then trying to slam the door on my fingers. Then he pushes the wheeled baskets around. Then he stands in front of the dryers, mesmerized by the swirling clothes.

* I let him run around the hallway sometimes. Despite the fact that all of the doors are black, he always knows which one is ours. Once he was running and fell into our neighbors door. The door popped open and he landed in their foyer! I quickly grabbed him, shut the door and beat a hasty retreat!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Doing my dirty work for me!

Fourteen months is such a fun age. Henry is used to certain things and routines and gives very predictable responses. For example, whenever we say "It's Bath Time!" he runs to the bathroom and waits for us to turn on the water.

When Adam is home, baths are his domain. Sometimes, he might be caught up in something else and want me to do the bath. I tell Henry it's bath time, and he shouts out "DaDa" which of course prods Adam into giving him the bath. Who knows what he is really saying, but it is quite effective so I don't dispel the notion.

Tonight, it was getting late and I wanted Adam to give Henry his bath sooner rather than later to avoid a melt down. He was engrossed in a work project and asked for "10 more minutes" once or twice. Finally, I just went to get the tub water started and get Henry undressed. Henry heard the water and ran toward the bathroom. He reached into the tub, grabbed his little wash rag and ran out of the room. A minute later Adam followed him into the bathroom. Apparently Henry had delivered it to him in a not so subtle hint that bath time was his job!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

Instead of tossing confetti at midnight, we watch Henry tossing his cookies. Poor baby woke up and was coughing so hard he threw up his dinner. He was burning up so I gave him a little water and some Motrin. He fell back asleep and woke soon after because he had thrown up all over his crib.

We changed him and my pajamas, and in fifteen minutes he had thrown up all over our bed. We basically repeated this process all night long. All told we changed our sheets 5 times, my pajamas 6 times and Henry's pajamas 5 times. I felt terrible because he couldn't even hold down water but was so thirsty. We followed Heather's advice and just gave him small sips every few minutes so that he would stop vomiting. Of course Henry didn't understand this and was literally crying for water. It was really heartbreaking and we spent most of the night pacing the floor with him.

We finally got to bed around 3 am and woke to Henry throwing up again at 7am. The good news is that he is still his normal, playful self and has not stopped tearing up the apartment. The bad news is that we are totally wiped out and sick ourselves and were hoping for a little sleepiness on his part!