Friday, February 29, 2008

"Water"-Gate Update

Henry is still trying his darndest to get at the water cooler. A few days ago I was giving him small sips in his cup from the cooler and couldn't figure out how he was drinking it so quickly. I followed him into the dining room and saw him dumping his cup into the plants!

Then, he was jamming his hands in between the wall and cooler (I have it turned around) and trying to catch drops out of the tap. He alternated between pretending to wash his hands and rubbing it in my hair like he was washing my hair.

I finally turned it around this morning because it was getting inconvenient for me. I thought I could control him by just not giving him a cup. I came into the kitchen and he was sipping from an empty Play-Dough container. I have to give him an A+ for ingenuity and perserverance.

An Embarrassment of Riches

Today was very cold again, too cold to play outside. I decided it would be a good day to hit the Manhattan Children's Museum since it is too mobbed on the weekends. I really was just looking for a place for Henry to burn of some energy without destroying our apartment.

While on the subway, I was mapping our best route to get there. Should we get off at this particular stop and switch trains or another stop and walk...I decided to get off at the 81st Street stop and walk, which happens to be the station for the Museum of Natural History. Eureka, change in plans. We could just go there. I hadn't brought him there since his birthday and he is a much better walker now.

We headed straight to the fourth floor to see the Dinosaur exhibits which are my favorites. We practiced roaring at the T-Rex and the Stegosauras and Henry ran up and down the ramps and stairs. He also pretended to read all of the signs beneath each exhibit. He would run his finger along the board and then say some words like he was reading.

After that we made a beeline to the Gems and Minerals exhibit to look at all of the fancy rocks. That part was fun, there was a big section where he could crawl and everything was at his eye level. He would go back and forth between each mineral like he was really comparing them.

By that point we were wiped and ready to go home. It struck me how unbelievably lucky we are to live where we do. Certainly there are some sacrifices made to live in a major city with a small child. But what a luxury to make a split second decision and hit one of the world's premier museums. For just a few hours. Not to have to plan ahead, make a huge production out of it, follow some boring tour guide after being jammed on a hot, lurching schoolbus for two hours. We could just buzz here and there, knowing that it would all be there again tomorrow if we wanted to go back.

I think we will really be able to make learning come alive for him, if that is not too hokey to say. Instead of looking at famous art work on slides we can see it in person. Instead of listening to a recording of Handel's Messiah at Christmas we can hear an orchestra perform it live. Instead of eating some tasteless rendition of Indian food that I make at home we can hop the subway to Jackson Heights and eat food made by an actual person from India. Thinking of all of the fun things we will be able to do with Henry makes me love New York City more than ever.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Chef Henry

Henry loves to cook and help in the kitchen. He loves his play kitchen at home and the play kitchen at school. It is a little bizarre that such a young child could have such an intense interest in one thing.

It was cold out today and we were bored so I decided to bake with him for the first time (Cousin Brenda, you inspired me with your apple pie!) It worked out even better than I could have hoped.

First I took him to the grocery store to get the ingredients. I let him walk and take the items off the shelf and then put them in the stroller. When we got home I moved our stainless table near a wall so I could plug in the mixer. Henry's seat hooks onto that table.

There was a lot more for him to do than I realized. He was able to help scoop and measure, dump things into the bowl, help crack eggs, help scoop the batter, take them off the cookie sheet, and do "quality control." We even wrapped a few up and he delivered them to the neighbors.

Here are some pictures, excuse the poor quality because they are action shots.

Monday, February 25, 2008


Adam often hints around wondering why I might not have dinner ready when he gets home. Nothing obnoxious, but I can tell he wonders. The reason why is often so absurd that it is almost like the "dog ate my homework" excuse.

Today as I tried to peel and chop potatoes for the umteenth time, I reached down to grab a cutting board. Realizing that all of our cabinets are locked I looked to the refrigerator where we keep the kitchen magnet. I couldn't find it amidst the alphabet magnets, so I went to the living room to get that one.

I passed Henry trying to color on his chair or dump real food into his sink, I don't quite remember. I smelled something off that might indicate he needed his thirty-second change that day. I chased him for a few minutes and finally carried him screaming into the bedroom. I wrestled with him on the bed for another few minutes and tried to distract him with forbidden objects.

I then remembered that he needed his eye drops and tried to think why I didn't do them earlier. Oh yes, I remember. On his last diaper change he grabbed them and threw them behind the headboard. With his pacifier and his hand puppet. I leaned over and tried to grab them from the bed with Henry smacking me in the back. I then moved to either side of the bed and still couldn't find them.

I finally got a new shirt and onesie on him (his fourth outfit change of the day) because he was soaked in milk. I didn't manage to button it or get his pants on before he ran away. I just put his slippers on his bare feet and gave up.

I went back to the kitchen to wash my hands and saw the potatoes. I remembered the magnet and found it in the living room. Henry was running it along the cabinets trying to jimmy the locks. I retrieved it and went back to the kitchen. He followed me and proceeded to dig things out of the garbage can. After that he was screaming for drinks he didn't want, trying to shove his push toy through his tunnel, rumaging in the recycling bin, standing on his chair, digging change out of the diaper bag, throwing things in the bathtub, screaming for me to let him talk on the intercom phone...I have blocked out the rest of it, but you catch my drift. Sometimes I feel like I might be going crazy or be on Candid Camera.

Evil Genius

Henry has a little bit of the devil in him. He already knows how to push my buttons. On the advice of my sister, we don't have a lot of firm rules (and I am a pushover too which doesn't help). But my two rules are: No hitting and no banging (toys on the coffee table, it dents)

When Henry wants my attention the first thing he does is grab a toy and start banging on the nearest surface. When he doesn't get his way, he swings at me. If I am not close enough he will grab me and then hit me. Quite the little temper he has.

I have recently had to add a rule about the water cooler after one too many floods. Henry is no longer allowed to get his own drinks. I have even had to turn the water cooler around facing the wall. He was filling the sink of his play kitchen, filling his little cups, flooding the kitchen so he could mop etc etc. He now tries to get around this by trying to wrench the lid off of a sippy cup, stealing my glass or refusing cups with lids. Yesterday he wanted more water (for evil purposes) and I told him he still had some in his cup. He promptly dumped the cup onto my pants and then walked to the cooler.

I cannot believe he is only sixteen months old.

P.S. I also had to remove one of the stove knobs because he broke the safety cover on it. Today I found him with a package of outlet covers. He was carefully trying to shove it into the hole to replace the knob. Unbelievable.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Snow Day!

We took Henry sledding today for the first time. As you can tell by the pictures he had a blast. The sled was a gift from on of Henry's best friends, Jose, who is the superintendent of our building. He found out we were looking for one and delivered it as a surprise last night. How sweet is that?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Surgery Update

The good news is that Henry's surgery is over. He is fine.

The actual day itself, not so fun. Luckily he woke a few times the night before and I shoved a bottle of milk in his mouth so I felt a little better. He did cry when he saw me packing a banana for him and I wouldn't give it to him. So sad.

I brought him to the Children's Hospital near our house at 10am. They checked us in and he had to change into their little clown pajamas. I hated that part because it made him look sick. He played nicely and did OK with the no eating part. Unfortunately the surgery was delayed TWO hours so we were stuck just sitting there. I was beginning to regret my not eating that morning (in support of my Henry). They finally took him around 2pm and he was exhausted. They mistook his exhaustion with him not being afraid of the doctor so they didn't give him the little drink to calm him down. Big mistake.

They let us suit up and bring him to the OR. The team was so nice, they all sang Row Your Boat to Henry to cheer him up. No go. We had to wait a few minutes for the anesthesiolgist and Henry was very nervous. He flipped his noodle when they put the mask on his face and I could barely hold him. That part was so sad, he was so terrified. They should have given me the little drink too, I was very teary eyed at that part. Adam was just impressed by Henry's raw strength at trying to break away from the mask. Henry is definitely freakishly strong.

The actual procedure took about 45 minutes which was really nerve wracking. They told us that it would be very short so you could imagine the terrible thoughts going through my head. We both were pacing and then we heard an unmistakable sound. Henry coming down the hallway shreiking. The doctor was trying to hold him and the resident was trailing his IV pole. Apparently they had him awake for about 15 minutes without coming to get us. Dumb move. He was hysterical and trying to rip out his IV. They described him as "very spirited."

We got him home and he ate a little and calmed down. He had some swelling near his eyes and some bloody discharge from his eyes and mouth. He looks much better today.

I am so glad that is over. I hope we never have to step foot into that hospital again.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tear Duct Surgery

Tomorrow is Henry's surgery to clear his blocked tear ducts. They diagnosed him at birth, but they wait until after the child turns one to do anything because 90% of the cases clear up by then. We went to the pediatric ophtamologist in September, but for various reasons it has been put off until now.

The big worry is that he has to be put under anesthesia for a short period. Although the risks are slight in a healthy child, of course I worry about this. He also can't eat more less than eight hours before surgery or have apple juice more than four hours before. Since his surgery is scheduled for noon this is a complete disaster. Someone is not going to be happy tomorrow when they wake up and there are no scrambled eggs. I honestly don't know how I am going to handle this, he is going to be very upset.

Since I am a Virgo, of course I have tried to come up with an action plan. I fed him all of his favorite foods today to make sure he would eat. I have been stuffing his little belly all day long. He had eggs, milk, and a banana for breakfast. He had some yogurt and a clementine as a snack. Annie's Mac and Cheese with peas for lunch, graham crackers, grapes, milk, cottage cheese and cantelope over the course of the afternoon. For dinner he had pasta and meatballs and I gave him an eight ounce bottle of milk before bed. I am going to wake him up at 4am to give him another bottle and then apple juice at 8am. Other than that I don't know what to do.

I will probably bring him to the park in the morning to distract him and then he has to be at the hospital at 10am. I also bought him a new toy that looks like a laptop to use while we are waiting. I have a feeling that motherhood guilt will wind of being very lucrative to Henry over the course of his life.

Wish us luck, I am a nervous wreck. If you are religious feel free to call in a favor from The Big Guy.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

We are in such trouble.

As I have mentioned, Henry has been refusing a lid for his sippy cup over the past week or so. He screams and tries to tear it off. If I don't get it off fast enough he throws the cup and refuses to drink anything. Quite the little male diva, don't you think?

Today Grandpa Joe came over and brought lunch. He bought this fancy carbonated iced-tea for us to try and I thought it would be more festive to drink it from wine glasses. Of course as soon as Henry saw it he wanted some too. Since I had no idea what was in it, I decided to trick him and put apple juice in a wine glass. I got away with holding the glass for him for the first few sips but then he wanted to do it himself. I moved him to Adam's lap so he could supervise the practice drinking from a wine glass. He sat there and held the wine glass perfectly with ONE HAND and taking little sips. He then grabbed the phone with the other hand and sat chatting away with the phone in one hand and his wine glass in the other. I could swear he has been hitting the pub while we are sleeping.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

So this is how the other half lives

Henry has finally started sleeping through the night. I thought I would never see the day. He doesn't do it every night but he does it often enough that I am starting to feel semi-human again. He has also started taking normal baby length naps. He can sleep for two hours in the morning, sometimes longer. He takes an afternoon nap still most days as well for about an hour. I have actually started having dreams again. I hadn't had any in over a year because I hadn't reached that stage of sleep. Wowza this is nice.

Funny Funny Henry

  • We get our groceries delivered after I order them on line. They came late Thursday night so the non-perishables were still in boxes on Friday morning. After a breakfast of scrambled eggs, strawberries and milk I heard Henry rooting around in the boxes. He found the individual servings of applesauce, removed it from the cardboard and found his spoon that he had thrown on the floor earlier. He very proudly brought the container and the spoon to me in the living room. I was very proud of his industriousness.
  • He loves his play kitchen more than you can imagine. I had to break it to him recently that it is not a real kitchen. He asked for an apple in the afternoon and it struck me the next morning that I didn't see it afterward and I didn't see him eating it either. Lo and behold he had it stored in his refrigerator.
  • Take two on the kitchen. I left a glass of water on his play table. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him take it and start pouring the water into his play pots and pans. He was having fun so I turned a blind eye. Then he started dumping the water into the play sink. This was pretty funny so I called his grandma to report his antics. While I was on the phone, he took it upon himself to start ferrying water from the water cooler in the kitchen and try to fill his sink. I have to give him credit for ingenuity. After he flooded the kitchen I confiscated his glass. He kept feigning thirst and whenever I gave him the cup back he was off to his tricks again.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Pack Mule

Living in the city with a baby has its plusses and minuses.

On the plus side, there are lots of parent and babies within a close vicinity. We have many places we can walk to, three parks within 1/2 mile, entertaining things to look at and I love not having stairs in the house.

One huge minus is getting around. Despite the fact that we have a car, Henry and I either walk, take the subway or the bus everywhere. Not too complicated, right? I don't mind walking, but the bus and subway have their own challenges. Shockingly, most of the NYC subway system does not have elevators. If I want to take Henry's stroller on the subway I carry it one or possible two flights to the mezzanine and then another one or two flights to the platform. With him in it.

Henry weighs 23 lbs, so figure 25 with his clothing and coat. I have a very lightweight stroller, but I'd bet it is still at least 15 lbs. Add in his diaper bag, which is probably another 5 pounds and then anything we might be toting like a shopping or grocery bag. Most of the time I just skip the stroller and carry him on my back, but if we will be out of for a while and he needs to nap I am out of luck.

Take today for instance. I had a doctor's appointment and wanted to do some shopping after I took him to his little school. I took him to school on the subway, and afterward we went to the post office. Stairs there of course. Subway to 59th street and carried his stroller on my hip up the stairs. Luckily there is an elevator to the street. Dragged him to the doctor and then to the diner for lunch. We went shopping and picked up a toaster for his dad and two heavy grocery bags of food. How the heck was I going to get all of this home?

OK, like a boyscout I need to be prepared. Put the subway card in the back pocket. Put my coat on despite the fact that I would be sweating. Coat on Henry and zip him into the bundle me. Shove the grocery bags into the very tiny basket under the stroller. The toaster will just have to hang off the back. Put the diaper bag on messenger style and flip it to my back. Hoist the stroller onto my hip and schlepp all of this down the stairs! I was totally out of breath when I was done! Whew, it makes me not want to leave the house anymore.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


We have this red, silicone oven mitt that Henry loves to play with. Whenever I take it out, he squeals until I let him wear it. It kind of looks like a lobster claw.

He was standing in the hallway next to the oven this evening wearing the claw. I opened the oven door to get out the dinner and he took the glove off and handed it to me. I can't believe that he knew I needed it right then. Is that weird that he knows what it does and that I was taking something hot from the oven?

I guess he just needed a place to sit!

Uncle Barry and Aunt Tara gave Henry an adorable monogrammed armchair for Christmas. I set up a little bench next to it like an end table and I set some of his books and snacks there. He sits there to drink from his sippy cup and read his books. He reads out loud to himself now which I find hilarious.
Last night I was in the kitchen making his dinner and I looked out to see what he was doing. He was slumped into his chair staring at the TV watching "The King of Queens." I never have the TV on during the day so he doesn't have any shows that he watches. Until now I don't even think he understood the concept. Obviously he is a fast learner on how to be a couch potato! We had some of his friends over on Monday (8 of them!) and they all wanted to sit in his chair. He was very gracious about it, but hovered nearby. As soon as one of them showed signs of getting up he would slip right in behind them!

Here are some photos from this morning for your enjoyment

Monday, February 11, 2008

Thanks Grandma!


Thank you for the Valentine's Day card. My mom took some pictures of me reading the card and saving your gift for something special to show you. It was very nice of you to think of me!



Saturday, February 09, 2008

More Photo Catch-up

The check-in board at school. I practically tear up every time he walks over to put his name in the slot it is so damn cute

Doing his chores

Our new niece and nephew, Mason and Maya

Goofing around at breakfest during visit to see Kate, Madeleine and Charley

Photo Update

I haven't posted many photos lately because it is impossible to get a good shot. Poor combination of a slow camera and Henry's lightning speed. He also wants to hold the camera so every shot has him screaming with one arm jutting out. Here are some recent ones:

At the park with Mom and Dad

Preparing to throw his art project on the floor at "school"

Play in his favorite station at school

Waiting for his tambourine. That is his teacher Kelly. The blond closest to the teacher is his girlfriend Arielle. The little boy is one of his best buddies named Jackson

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Out Little Mimic

Henry does lots of cute things lately where he mimics us. He fake sneezes, coughs and pretends to blow his nose. He also has perfected my snort when I think something is funny. He brings me my socks and slippers when he wants me to get out of bed. He shouts out "four" when we count "one, two, three....!" He has done two very funny other ones recently.

He steps on the scale every morning to "weigh" himself. Hmm, wonder who does that? Before his bath tonight he saw Adam's jar of hair stuff (like a wax.) He was asking for it and when I gave it to him tried to open it. I took off the lid and he dug his little fingers in there and then started frantically rubbing his hands through his hair! I almost died laughing!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Invisible Man

Adam and I were relaxing on the couch this morning, drinking our coffee. After Henry dumped mine over twice, he ran off to cause mischief elsewhere. He was being a little too quiet, so I went to look for him. As I got further down the hallway I heard giggling coming from our room.

I turned into our room and found Henry standing face first into Adam's closet. He was hiding and wanted us to come find him. As soon as he saw me, he burst into a fit of giggling. I went to leave and he went back into his same spot. I sent Adam in for his turn, with the same results. He played this game over and over, but never changed his hiding spot. Apparently if he can't see us, we can't see him.

P.S. I have been attempting to get some new pictures of Henry recently to post. I have been mostly unsuccessful because as soon as Henry sees the camera he wants to hold it. When I don't give it to him, he throws a massive fit. Last night I was trying to get a picture of him playing Garbage Man and he was in the hallway punching his little bag of garbage in a fit of rage. My pictures would look like Sean Penn being followed by the paparazzi.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Taking matters into his own hands

I often let Henry do things that I later regret. Sometimes I come to that stage on my own, sometimes when Adam comes home and sees him doing it.

We have one of those Poland Spring water coolers smack in the middle of our kitchen. I discovered early on that it would be IMPOSSIBLE to keep Henry away from it. I never managed to get any sort of locking device so I figured the best way to make it less tempting would be to let Henry use it.

We play all sorts of games with it, but suffice it to say Henry drinks more water than is probably normal. His most favorite game is to walk up to it and I fill his cup with just a little bit and he drinks it. Mind you this is a cup with no lid (bad idea #147). He can do this ten or fifteen times before he gets bored or soaks his clothing.

Recently, he has discovered a very efficient way to get my attention. If I am doing anything other than carrying him around and covering him with kisses he is unsatisfied. Either he bangs on our coffee table with a hard object like the phone, thereby denting it or he marches into the kitchen and holds the water tap down. I am first alerted by the fact that he is being to quiet and then by the sound of water hitting the floor. Even though we don't live in a big place he usually manages to create quite the spill by the time I get there.

I recently discovered that now possesses the dexterity to hold his cup (he now screams if I put a lid on his cup) and activate the water tap at the same time. I was cleaning the pantry today and had lots of stuff out in the kitchen. Adam inadvertently left Henry's box of plastic cups on a chair right next to the cooler.

Out of the corner of my eye I see Henry march over to the box of cups, grab one and very casually fill it himself like he does this every day. Adam of course is shocked and lets him do it until he dumps it on the floor three or four times. Game over. He confiscates the cup and goes about his business. Henry didn't cry, he just walked over and just grabbed another cup.

Hmmm, I wonder what happened here?

Flashback to yesterday. I was standing at the kitchen sink and my little angel Henry walks over to the open dishwasher and puts a toy knife in the silverware compartment. I was beaming. So smart, so sweet, so helpful. What a gooooood boy I have.

Flashforward to this morning. I open the dishwasher to unload it and I see a strange green liquid dried all over the inside. I look at my new rubbermaid and it is covered with this strange army green residue. I pick one of the pieces up and I can scrape at it with my fingernail.

I call Adam over to investigate and he looks down into the silverware tray. What does he find? A shredded crayon wrapper. My little angel put a green crayon in the silverware section and I missed it. It melted into the water and sprayed all over the dishes. The rubbermaid is now permanently tinted green.