Saturday, September 26, 2009

Henry's Fall Activities

Since Henry is not three until mid-October, his activities for the fall were somewhat limited. He was too old for certain programs and too young for others. The preschool options in NYC are really terrible. If you want to go part time, there are only 5 day per week, half day options. There really were no 2 or 3 day a week, 3 hour programs. It is surprising that part time doesn't really exist, but I guess the demand really isn't there since most people work.

I also had Molly's schedule to consider. For the shorter programs, I would have to walk him there, walk home and then turn around and do the same thing an hour or so later. This would have screwed with her naps more than necessary and would have been a total pain come wintertime.

So, after much drama, here is what I have drummed up to keep him busy:

On Mondays and Tuesdays, I am doing a co-op homeschool preschool with 4 of his little friends and their moms. We alternate planning each session and whose house we are at. Each class is two hours. It really has been a lot of fun so far. During my first week, I baked blueberry scones with the kids, forced them to do lots of cleaning (thanks Maria Montessori for making that acceptable!), had them set the table, pour drinks, we read and acted out a book and had a dance party to some fun music from around the world. My next class is going to be a pretend post office and grocery store. For our snack we are making yogurt parfaits. This is what happens when you take 5 type A type women and have them quit their paying jobs. They need to direct their boundless energy into something! The good part about this school is that there are two other babies Molly's age for her to play with as well.

On Wednesdays, Henry is going to gymnastics class. His first class was last week and he LOVED it. I was so proud of him, he was very brave. It was his first ever class that he has attended where I am not able to participate. After a rocky start, he stayed with the class, participated and listened to the coach. He even went up afterward to say goodbye alone and said it in a voice that was loud enough to hear. That part got me a little choked up a bit! They have a toddler play space off to the side so Molly has something to do during class. One of her little friends is there as well so she is not lacking playmates.

On Thursdays, we go to a local church for a playgroup.

Fridays are a free day.

On Saturday, Henry goes to soccer with Adam. It is so adorable seeing him with his jersey and two of his best friends are in the class. Seeing him follow/not follow directions is always hilarious. He seems to add a little tweak to everything he does which cracks us up. Molly and I have been tagging along as well, we like to hit the post-practice party at the local coffee shop and the farmer's market that is nearby.

As you can see, he is not really lacking things to do. We also have memberships to the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, NY Aquarium and Museum of Natural History. It should be enough to keep him out of trouble I think!

Molly Update

Molly had her nine month well baby appointment at the pediatrician last week. She is 27.5 inches long and a whopping 16 pounds, 4 ounces. This puts her about the 50-60% percentile for height and the 11% percentile for weight. Her weight is really hilarious to me because she still nurses about seven times per day, AND puts away three huge meals and two snacks. Tonight, she ate a cake sized plate full of pasta bolognese. It is really shocking to us how much she eats. And when she likes it she says "mmmmm mmmm" in between shoveling handfuls of food into her mouth.

I forgot to add a few weeks ago that in addition to her waving she also claps. Had to get that into the blog for posterity.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Third Annual Schnell Family Beach Vacation

This year, we stayed at a new place on Eastern Long Island. We previously stayed at the Surf Club in Montauk, but this year we moved to The Hermitage in Napeague. It is 5 miles from Amagansett and Montauk. We liked the property much better and will definitely stay there again. We had a great time. The weather was perfect and I ate my required number of lobster rolls.

Henry flying a kite for the first time. It was really fun until he started to let go of it whenever we were not paying enough attention to him.

It's a's a's ELMO!

Molly hitching a ride on Daddy's chest in the Ergo Henry racing to the beach. On the first day, he made a pronouncement. "Vacation is very good!" It is indeed Henry!

At the Montauk lighthouse, an annual rainy day tradition

Molly enjoying her favorite toy, the cable box. She would yank the card just as Henry was getting really involved in a program, sending him into a tizzy. And they say babies don't really know what they are doing. Hehe.

Molly having some fun with playsilks

Me, pinning Henry down and forcing him to pose with me. Molly taking a break from sand eating

Henry and Adam getting their sand castle operation set up

Henry busting a move at the concert on the Montauk Village Green

Henry taking Molly for a whirl around his dance floor

Henry playing his favorite vacation game, "Super Henry!"


Leaving the Central Park Zoo in the pedicab after a tantrum filled visit. Note the cars barreling down on us, I thought he would drive us through the park. Note the sourpuss face on Henry

Molly trying to steal Henry's 11am bribe ice-pop right before he let her roll head first off the back of the bench


Henry taking pictures in Central Park before we went to the zoo Molly practicing her standing on the Henry bench. Poor thing doesn't even have a bench with her own name

Henry making crafts with leaves that we gathered the day I decided he should watch less TV. My resolve lasted exactly one day.

Henry and one his best pals (Elliot) pretending to be sleeping

Dutch Wonderland



How I found Henry one recent morning. We now sit together at his little table, drink our "coffee" and read the paper together. I'm not sure who enjoys that little break more!

Best Friends!

One of the last days in captivity. My champion crawler will not be fenced in any longer

Mr. I Don't Need A Nap Anymore

See what I am working with?

Sometimes I feel like a slacker regarding things like Halloween, Birthdays, Christmas etc. For example, Henry does not want a birthday party. He wants cupcakes and his best friend to come over, but that is about it. If we do a party, it would only to repay social obligations and do what I "think" I am supposed to be doing.

I asked him about Halloween yesterday. He knows what it is. He knows you wear a costume. What does Henry want to dress up as? "I want to wear my pants, shirt and underwear Mommy."

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman

Henry and Molly are trying to give me a heart attack recently. Here is a quick summary of their recent maladies. This does not include the head injuries or bloody knees that Henry incurs almost daily.

Henry spiked a high fever and blurted out that his neck hurt. Since I have my Google-MD I of course know that is a big sign of meningitis. I called the pediatrician and she gave me a few quick tests to do with him. Of course he failed them and I had to whisk him to her office, possibly to be admitted to the hospital. He was fine but he shaved at least a year off my life.

Molly spiked a high fever in the middle of the night and had what they think was a febrile seizure. She too is fine, just a bout of Roseola

Fast forward two weeks later and now she has Hand, Foot and Mouth virus. Henry has a mild case too.

Fun times.

Henry Funnies

Henry says something funny every single day, I just forget to write them down. Here is a sampling:

He calls cotton candy "Hot candy" and thinks the Amusement park is "The Music Park." He calls Cheerios "cheech-o's" and ketchup "chep-a".

He was cooking in his play kitchen recently and told me he was making something in his crock pot.

We were talking about when "Molly was in my tummy." I was asking him if he knew that he was in there and he said he was "hiding from Daddy."

He had his own bathroom on our recent trip. Every single time Adam went in there to help him he would say "Daddy, do you like my new bathroom?" Poor kid must have been a little disappointed when he got home to his normal accomodations.

Whenever he makes a joke and starts laughing, he insists on saying "I'm laughing" sending himself into further giggles.

Nine Months Old!

Our Molly is nine months old today. If there is a happier, sweeter baby out there I have not met her. She is quick and generous with her smiles to both friends and strangers alike. She giggles even when the joke is not that funny. She absolutely adores her brother and follows him around constantly. She keeps him in line by protesting every once in a while, landing him in time out.

She has eight tiny chicklet-shaped teeth and she is not shy about using them. Her hair is coming in thick and brown, in the cutest little pixie cut shape. People always ask me if I have cut her hair, it is growing in so neatly. Her eyes are definitely going to be brown, they have gotten much darker over the past few months.

She eats more than any baby I have ever seen, despite her petite size. We joke that she eats more than Henry but it is quite possibly true. She outright refuses baby food and there is no mistaking her glare when you try to feed her with a spoon. The little lady wants to do it herself. And she have what you are having, thank you very much! I am embarrassed at the things I have let her eat already, I should be ashamed. I just can't resist her charms. Let's just say she really enjoyed her first cannoli.

She crawls at the speed of light and is into absolutely everything. She has never met a baby toy that she will actually play with; big kid toys covered with small pieces and lead paint are more her speed. She will play by herself for a surprising amount of time, but you'd better not have the nerve to leave the room. She will let you drag her to and fro, but don't make her suffer the indignity of actually sitting in a baby stroller. That is fine with Henry, it is impossible to evict him from that thing anyway. I am the one who pays the price, having her strapped to my body in some contraption all day while pushing Henry. I don't really mind, I take my payment in affection. She tilts her head back in the carrier and lets me absolutely smother her with kisses.

She has recently learned how to wave and does it constantly. She loves music and bounces her little body to the beat. She even tries to turn on the CD player in our bedroom because she knows that she likes the CD in there (Free to Be). If she sees Henry in the bathtub she practically swan dives out of your arms to get in there with him. She still refuses to sleep in her crib past two in the morning. I think she knows that she has us over a barrel on that issue. If we ignore her, she screams and wakes Henry up. And then all four of us are crammed into our bed. So, we grab her and plop her in the middle. After she demands to be fed (believe me, there is no ignoring her without risking bodily injury) she curls up against Adam like a little cat and goes to sleep.

I can't rave enough about her, we love her so much. She is that quintessential baby that makes you wish you could have a hundred more like her!