Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Forgot some photos...

Here are some pics of recent Henri adventures - most recent first:

My little cowboy! First time sitting on a pony - Calvin at Triple Rise. Henri loved it. He leaned forward and grabbed two little handfuls of mane like he was saying "let's get a move on folks!"

Speaking of horses, here he is with his first toy horse (non-stuffed, that is) that HE picked out at Coastal. We named him "Engine" because Henri preferred that the horse went "vrooooom!" instead of "neigh!"

First snow! He wasn't too sure about it at first, but he had to admit that it was neat to be able to completely fall over backward and not hurt his little noggin.

Trying Grandpa Hank's hat on for size in early January. How can you resist that face??

Miracles do happen!

It's been less than two months since I posted last - how can so much have happened in that time?! I just reread my January 18th post and the things I wrote about seem almost arcane. This must be what people mean when they say "the first year goes by too fast."
On Monday, Henri turned nine months old. He had his well-baby check-up and measured 20 pounds, 6.3 ounces (50 percentile) and 28.8" (70 percentile) - in the words of Dr. Unger, he is "lanky." Doc is very pleased with how well Henri is doing and says to keep up the good work.

And I'm finally starting to feel like I *am* doing good work. As of this week, Henri has undergone a remarkable sleeping change. Last night was the best night's sleep I've had since before the little guy was born! He fell asleep at a little after 11:00 pm and snoozed until 6:00 am! At that point, he woke, nursed, required a diaper change and promptly fell back to sleep until 10:00 am! I'm sure my blissful sigh can be heard 'round the world. We have a humidifier and a wardrobe change to thank for this miracle. Nathan suggested a humidifier a couple of months ago but I didn't really see any evidence to indicate that one would do any good. It wasn't until Henri came down with a cough and an eye infection - and both were in part cured by hanging out in a steamy bathroom - that I started to clue in. With the cold we have had this winter, our heat has been on a lot and it has made for some very dry air in our house. The humidifier has taken the edge off and doubles as a kind of white noise machine. Perfection!
The second part of the change was a little harder to figure at the time, but now, looking back, I'm kicking myself for not seeing it sooner. Turns out Henri is done with footed sleepers. He just can't stand them anymore (this after I scoured the whole of the Carter's outlet store for the only two 100% cotton ones in his size, of course). On Saturday night, during a particularly noisy and angry night waking, I noticed that, as I tried to rock him and comfort him, he was doing more than just restlessly tossing - he was arching his back away from me and kicking violently. I felt like I'd been hit over the head with a 2x4 labeled "DUH! Earth to Mom!" I could almost hear the words roaring through my sleep-deprived brain: "take off the damned sleeper!" I promptly undid the thing and tossed it to the floor. After some skin-to-skin contact and a round of Grandma Shaw's magic hippie sleeping oils, Nathan took the Bear for a diaper change and I asked him to dress him in a pair of lightweight flannel bottoms and a short-sleeved onesie. And no socks. It was like night and day. The rest of that night was peaceful. Sunday night was peaceful, with only one waking. Monday night was closer to what had become "normal" - wakings every three hourse - but without the frustration and discomfort. And then last night, the magic night. Aaaaahhhhhh!

Let's see what else is new? Ah yes - Henri has one tooth ("Old Chomper") and is a crawling machine! That's right, mobility has come. One day he was stationary on hands and knees, the next he managed to piece together a kind of shuffle-drag - and after that there has been no looking back. He's got an engine on him for sure. He's also pulling himself up to standing like a pro - on the coffee table, on the entertainment unit, the couch, in his name it, he uses it to become Standing Bear. It means I cannot leave him alone for more than a nanosecond, but honestly I really don't mind. Boo-hoo for me, I have to spend hours at a time playing with my adorable son. Waaaaahhhhh! It's tough sometimes to not be able to get much done - but that's what nap time is for! I've also learned that I can maybe cash in on a couple 20 minute sessions per day of "high chair time" - where I plop Lil H in his chair with a mountain of toys (that, one by one and with much deliberation, end up on the floor) and get some frantic chores done. It's become a pretty comfortable routine around here.

That's the first time I've said that in months. Here's hoping it continues!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Holidays and Hurricanes...

They both start with an 'H,' so I'm assuming they're synonyms, right? It's amazing just how much is involved with preparing for - and cleaning up after! - the holidays when you have a little one. I'm sitting here on the couch in our living room, looking at the front window and thinking "was there really a tree there only two weeks ago?" When I was younger (*cough, before I was a parent, cough*), I wished we could leave the tree and decorations up forever. A part of me still wishes for that, but honestly, it was so nice to get my house back under control! Well, "under control" is a relative term, I suppose, when you have the world's neediest baby - and most destructive cats. Most days I feel less like a mom than a circus ringleader - and this is still with a PRE-crawling baby! Can you imagine my life once Henri is mobile?! *shudder* On the other hand, he'll tire quicker and will be less frustrated so crawling might be just what the doctor ordered! He sure is getting close! He lunges forward from a sitting position onto his hands and one knee - but just can't quite figure out how to get the other leg untucked and utilized. Once he puts two and two together, he'll be off in no time.
He's also getting close to having some teeth push through. I feel his gums every day and even though I don't feel any yet, those gums have all sorts of bumps. I sure hope we are close on the teeth - hopefully that can account for the fussiness and lack of sleep we seem to be getting.
That's the big thing going on right now that is making life a bit more on the difficult side. I know Henri is a high-need baby and that contributes to his need to wake in the night and according to my Grandma (and even Henri's pediatrician), I'm just making life harder on myself by having him sleep in bed with me. But that is where he is happiest and after all, co-sleeping sprung from the need to have him sleep close to me so I could monitor his head position (while we were dealing with his flat spot). He outgrew the bassinet, he outgrew the co-sleeper. What else was I supposed to do? In any case, the little guy is still waking up every two hours or so. If it wasn't starting to wear on me, I wouldn't care. According to (outdated) literature and (lucky/bragging) fellow parents, infants "should" be sleeping through the night at around 4 months. Well, Henri marches to his own beat, I guess. I'm okay with waking up once or twice, but five times seems...excessive. I finally opened a book my cousin loaned me called "The No-Cry Sleep Solution." She used it with her first baby, apparently with great results. I'm in the "keep a log of your current routine/bedtime activity and how baby responds" phase. We're on day three, night four. So far, it's pretty clear Henri is not quiet getting enough sleep at night - but he is getting in decent naps during the day. Here's hoping the "now that you know what you're dealing with, here's how to fix it" phase of the book holds some answers for us.
Speaking of napping, I think I hear the little one stirring now. Stay tuned for some holiday - and first snow! - photos, coming up later today!