S: Henry Robert Wheeler January 4, 2010
FC: It's a Boy! | Hank R Wheeler | January 4, 2010 | The First Year
1: This book was | Lovingly Made | just for | Henry Robert Wheeler | January 4, 2010
2: all about my Mommy... | Mommy's full name is Her birthday is Mommy has many interests Some people say that I inherited some of Mommy's traits | Brooke Carol Wheeler (Crosby) | February 16, 1982 | She was born in and grew up in She went to school at | Portland, OR | Estacada High School | Estacada, OR | After school she decided to | go to college at Linfield College in McMinnville, OR | Gardening, reading, snowmobiling, fishing, hunting, camping, traveling | Eye shape, nose and chubby thighs. Most people think that you look like your Grandpa Steve.
3: all about my Daddy... | Daddy's full name is His birthday is He was born in and grew up in He went to school at After School he decided to Daddy has many interests Some people say that I inherited some of Daddy's traits | Benjamin Robert Wheeler | January 16, 1982 | Estacada, OR | Estacada High School | Portland, OR | go to college at Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR | Welding, carpentry, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, brewing beer, fire fighting | Shape and size of head, feet, hands and hair.
4: Our Tree | Hank Wheeler | Jan McComb | Virginia Price | Thelma Hansen | Robert McComb | Robert "Paul" Wheeler | Hank Wheeler | Ben Wheeler | Brooke Crosby | Duane Day | Anna Swiggum | Marvin Crosby | Steve Crosby | Brenda Day | Caroline "June" Harbert
6: Mommy and Daddy are having a BABY! | The day they discovered Mommy was pregnant: Saturday, May 16, 2009. My due date was: January 9, 2010. | Mommy and Daddy's first reaction was: Pure joy. We were very excited and couldn't wait to share our news. The first people that the told the news to were: Steve & Brenda Crosby, Jan & Hank Wheeler, Stacy Trubachik, Chad & Terri Wheeler and Scott Crosby & Erin Cunningham
7: Mommy's doctor's name was: Dr. Rachel Algenio Mommy and Daddy first heard my heartbeat: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 Mommy first felt me move: August, 2009 Mommy had many favorite foods that she enjoyed: Cheese, Fuji apples, water, Mexican food and sweets (which she didn't like before she was pregnant) Mommy and Daddy read many books and took special classes to help prepare for my arrival: 'What to Expect When Expecting' and Childbirth Preparation Course ant Legacy Mt. Hood Medical Center
8: Mommy, Daddy and I were given two special parties to celebrate my soon-to-come birthday! Host/Hostess: Stacy Trubachik, Julie Youngberg, Diane Platt, Stephanie Elrod Date: Sunday, November 15 & Sunday, December 20 Location: Gordon Day's house & Stephanie Elrod's home Guests: Brenda Crosby, Jan & Terri Wheeler, Erin Cunningham, June Day, Stephanie Elrod, Stacy Trubachik, Jessica & Mackenzie Day, Letamae & Dee Conrey, Jenny Durand, Trina Brockway, Heather Randall, Dani Bitz, Rachel Bunyard, Jill & Julie Greenup, Brett Barber, Katie Slayden, Adrianne Randall, Stacy Stubblefield, Trisha Smith, Jenny Fulton, Angie Martinec, Jill Shaffer, Betsy Bennet, Kelly Dynes, Satie Showerman, Cody Lewis, Tanya & Mandy Stone, Cindy and Trisha Campbell, Julie Youngberg, Mary Youngberg, Diane Platt, Carol Mills, Kacey Klaetsch, Kathy Randall, Pam Randall, Joyce Randall, Barbara Randall, Debbie Kling, Janet Cavett, Laurel Brown, Josette Swan, Rhonda Showerman, Missy Melhus & Carly Benschoter. | Showers of good wishes...
9: Photos & Memories from the Parties...
10: "Twinkle twinkle little star; do you know how loved you are?"
11: The big day is finally here! | Prepping for the C-Section (breech position).
12: "A Baby's Love Is Best Of All" | Henry Robert Wheeler
13: PLACE: Kaiser Permanente; Clackamas, OR WHEN: January 4, 2010, 11:02 am WEIGHT: 8 lbs, 1 oz. LENGTH: 20.25" long HEAD: 15" circumference EYES/HAIR: Blue/Brown
15: Letters wrote from Mommy to Daddy and from Daddy to Mommy during Prenatal Class. | Birth Announcement
16: The year you were born... | President: Barack Obama Domestic & World News: Earthquake in Haiti, Chilean Mine Rescue of 33 miners, Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill, Gov't passed health care bill against the will of the people. Popular Films: The Hangover, Avatar, Twilight, The Blind Side Popular Books: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, by Stieg Larson; The Twilight Saga, by Stephanie Meyer; Fall of Giants, by Ken Follett Famous Athletes: Drew Brees, Payton Manning, Shawn White, Kelly Clark, Lindsey Vonn, LeBron James Technological Advances: iPad, motion control video games (no remote), Commercial Jet Packs, 3D Movies & TV
17: Price of gasoline: $2.97 (Portland, OR) Price of gallon of milk: $2.49 (2% milk) Price of loaf of bread: $3.59 (Franz white bread) Price of dozen eggs: $2.59 (large grade A eggs) Price of candy bar: $.79 (Snickers bar) US Dollar to Euro: 1 (Dollar) to .76 (Euros) Average household income: OR - $48,457 (ranked 24 in US) Average price of home: OR - $152,100 (owner occupied) Population of Oregon: 3,825,657 Population of USA: 307,006,550 | 2010
18: The first month was a bittersweet experience. While we were so excited to be parents and loved Hank tremendously, the sleepless nights, problems nursing and colic were pretty difficult. Nursing proved to be real challenging and as a result, Hank wasn't gaining weight at the rate the doctor's would have liked to have seen. This meant that we had to go to the doctors office every three to four days for about four weeks. Eventually, we had to start supplementing breast milk with formula and after a while we switched to formula entirely. Once we got the right formula (lactose-free) and proper amount, Hank was much happier and gaining wait like a champ. | Sleeping was also not a real strong suit of ours. Between the colic and the problems nursing, sleep came in 1.5 to 2 hour spurts. We also had our days and night mixed up (very common) so evenings were especially bad. We tried everything we could think of from warms baths to middle-of-the-night drives. Ben especially liked wearing his shooting ear muffs (we kept those in Hank's room next to the rocking chair). The only way to catch some shut eye was to hold Hank close to our chest and nap on the couch. | 1 Month
19: Our sleep habits were still inconsistent. Hank woke around 3 times in the middle of the night. Hank's eating was better by the second month and he was taking 4 oz bottles every 3 hrs. Some new discoveries that Hank made were bright colored toys, mirrors, and fingers in his mouth and nose. Hank's big accomplishments for the month were that he rolled over from his tummy to his back, he started smiling and he could stand while leaning against someone. | As far as favorite people go, Hank really loved his Daddy. Ben could sooth and swaddle Hank better than anyone. Hank also really liked his Grandpa Stave. Grandpa Steve could make him smile more than anyone else. Hank was also very interested in his dog, Gretta. She wasn't a huge fan in the beginning, but she warmed up. Her favorite place to sleep is under Hank's crib. Over all, our 2nd month had some really great moments, but the colic was still around and in full force. There were nights when Hank cried for 6 or 7 hours strait. We weren't sure if we were ever going to get to sleep again. | 2 Months
20: Yah...we slept through the night! It was Hank's first day at Day Care and Mom's first day back to work. A real dream come true!! Hank really started to chow down during month 3. He ate 6 oz every 3 hours (still lactose free formula) and cried when the bottle went dry. | This was a big month for Hank. Not only did he sleep through the night, but he battled constipation (thank you apple juice), started cooing & laughing, went to his first movie (Mommy Matinee at McMinnamins) and went on a trip to Mesquite, NV to visit Grandpa Steve and Mimi. We also met Grandpa Bob and Aunt Wendi while we were there. The flight down to Vegas was great and Hank did well. The flight home was a different story. We were glad to be home and see Dad again. | 3 Months | Our big accomplishments for the month were cooing, laugHing, holding our head up well and SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT. | We discovered our voice this month. Hank loves cooing and laughing. Mirrors are really great too.
21: 4 Months | We found out that Hank had Torticollis at his 4 Month check up. Torticollis is a muscular disorder in the neck that children are born with. Its usually present in larger babies and occurs because of cramped conditions in the womb. When the baby is born, his neck muscles are shorter on one side than the other. This | By 4 months, Hank was sleeping through the night and only waking up on the rare occasion. He started eating rice cereal, but really only liked it when it was mixed with mashed fruit. Hank started sucking his thumb at 4 months. He also discovered his feet and loved to put them in his mouth. | causes a kink in the neck and can lead to a long list of other side effects. The most common cure is exercise and stretching. This is exactly what we did. We went and got an infant physical therapist who specialized in Torticollis and started working at it. We met with | her once every few weeks to measure progress and learn more stretches. By 8 months, there were no signs that the disease was ever there.
22: 5 months was so great! Hank was sleeping well, eating baby food and loving it (favs are sweet potatoes, squash, pears and bananas) and a very happy boy. He laughs a lot and really enjoys putting his feet in his mouth. Hank also is sitting on his own for short periods at a time and very close to crawling. While on his belly, he spins in circles and pushes himself forward using his toes. This month we went to Germany for Uncle Scottie and Auntie Erin's wedding. It was a 27 hour trip from Portland to Munich and Hank did AWESOME. We had a lot of people comment on what a good baby he was on the flights. Once in Germany, he did pretty well considering it was a 9 hour time difference. It took a few days, but we all got acclimated. The wedding was beautiful and one that none of us will ever forget. Hank had his first sip of real German beer, thanks to Uncle Scottie. He was also introduced to a back pack, which turned out to be a life saver. Some of our favorite times in Germany were when Uncled Scottie carried Hank in the front pack while he and Ben drank beer and walked through town. I'm sure the Germans thought to the two gay men with the baby were crazy. After Germany, Mimi, Grandpa Steve and us went to Italy. We had a wonderful time and the Italians loved Hank. Not sure if it was the blue eyes and fair skin or the drooly smile with dimples, but the Italian people (oddly enough, especially men) were gaga for Hank. Bello, bello!! Perfect strangers would ask to hold him everywhere we went and then they would hug and kiss him all over. Nothing but VIP treatment for us! | 5 Months
23: 6 Months | Hank sits up great and is still pretty close to crawling. We discovered that he loves to swim. He would hang out in the infant floaty in the pool for hours if you let him. Day Care is one of our favorites. Hank loves the other children and is learning a lot from them. April, the child care provider is awesome too. | This month, Hank has gotten really vocal. He babbles and blows bubbles like crazy. And he has a belly laugh that makes all people crazy. When anyone smiles, laughs or shakes their head in front of Hank, he just laughs and laughs like it's the best thing ever. | Grandpa Steve continues to be one of Hank's favorite people. He does this "ringidy-ding-ding-dingy-doo" bit that just melts Hank. Other people have tried to mimic the song to get that laugh, but it's never the same. Hank also really likes Grandpa Steve's beard and the way he pretends to swallow Hank's fingers when Hank plays with his facial hair. | Sleeping from 9:00 pm to 7:00 am!! Go Hank! Hank still loves all food and has started eating poultry and beef. He's a good eater and doesn't seem picky yet.
24: Hank is officially crawling. He is much happier now that he's able to sit up and be mobile. He also loves being outside. More than once, I've caught him eating grass and various other things found on the ground outside. I've also found remnants of grass and leaves in his diapers after the fact. Sneaky little guy. | Hank continue to loves food and has started to eat little bits of real food. He still doesn't have any teeth, but doesn't let this slow him down when it comes to food. He also has learned how to make noise from his mouth while moving his fingers up and down on his lips. It's not quite as fast as when Gigi does it, but it's fun for him trying to copy her. | 7 Months
25: Hank eats just about anything you put in front of him now. He loves everything that Mimi makes especially. Speaking of Mimi, he really loves her. She's helped him to become a fast little crawler by chasing him all over. He loves it. | We moved into our new house this month, which was wonderful. It had been a lot of work but was very much worth it. Hank has started pulling himself up to a standing position and his favorite place to do this is at the sliding glass door. Once up, he bangs and licks the glass. | Ben and I found out that we're pregnant again at the end of this month. We were both happy, shocked and scared. Hank is plenty to keep us busy, how could we possibly add another one to the mix?! | Hank finally started to get teeth. We could just barely see and feel two little guys in his bottom gums. The teething wasn't so bad; there were only a couple of nights when he didn't make it through and woke up. | 8 Months
26: This was a pretty fun month for the family. We had a really great day trip where we went hiking on Larch Mtn, checked out Multnomah Falls and visited Harvest Shops in Hood River. Hank loved the hiking and sight seeing, but it was way too much car time. The other fun adventure was Halloween. Hank dressed up as a Lobster and was oogled over everywhere we went. He had an especially great time at the Halloween party at Day Care where he had his first real taste of sweets. Later that same night, Hank took three steps at our book club get-together. This was the most consecutive steps he'd taken. After this, Hank was determined to conquer the task of walking. Look out Mom and Dad! Hank also got teeth this month. Two little guys sprouted from the middle of his lower gum. By the end of the month, his two pearly whites were visible everytime he smiled...which was a lot. Hank is a very happy baby with a determined and wonderful temperament. | 9 Months
27: 10 Months | Babbling is in full force this month. Hank is making tons of new sounds and he loves to sing to himself (especially when he's sleepy). Hank really enjoys singing and playing patty-cake and waving bye bye. Patty-cake and waving bye bye get him pretty excited and he tends to get the giggles when doing either. | It's amazing how much and how quickly babies learn. Hank is very responsive to 'no' and 'un un' (meaning 'no'). He also listens when told to sit down in the bath tub. Hank has learned too that if he's doing something that he shouldn't and gets caught, he just needs to flash his adorable smile and most people around him melt. Only 10 months and already working it! | At ten months, Hank is walking all over and getting into everything. We've had to baby-proof every cupboard and drawer in the kitchen (except two tubberware drawers left for Hank to play in). We've also learned to open and close the refrigerator quickly since Hank loves climbing in the fridge. He's not quite able to run yet, but it won't be long.
28: 11 Months
29: At 11 months, Hank has been an absolute blast. He's walking, running, babbling, laughing, throwing fits, getting into everything, giving kisses and more. It didn't take long for his walking to turn into running and his running to turn into climbing. His new obsession this month is climbing stairs. He conquered going up the stairs with a fair amount of ease, but going down them was another story. It took a couple of weeks before he got the hang of it, but now that he does, sliding down a flight of stairs is no big deal. Hank has started to say 'bye bye' with his waving. It's definitely his first word that we are able to understand. He continues to be as noisy as ever, but doesn't appear to be anywhere close to saying 'Dada' or 'Mama' for us. We've been told not to worry and that based on how noisy he is, it won't be long before he's talking up a storm. I think we're all pretty excited to hear what he has to say. With his constant babble and increased mobility has come mild fit-throwing. When he is isn't allowed something that he really wants, Hank will yell, shake, arch his back and lay on the floor. He's pretty stubborn and very persistent. It's a lot of fun (sarcastic) and makes us pretty excited for the terrible two's. A few of Hanks obsessions this month are telephones, hammers, paper towels (in his mouth), opening and closing doors, crawling up and down stairs, dog water dishes (splashing and dumping out the water is the best), climbing on things and dogs in general (he loves to bury his face in their fur, tug on their ears and tails and chase them all over). If any one of these items is in sight, you can bet that Hank is moving quickly towards it. During his eleventh month, Hank celebrated his first Christmas. We had high hopes that he would show interest in at least the wrapping paper, but this was not the case. Not only did he just not care about any of it, but he also had a terrible cold and sinus infection that peaked on Christmas Eve. Hank was a trooper though and graced us all with plenty of smiles and giggles throughout the holiday season.
32: 12 Months | I cannot believe that Hank is 1 year old!!! The time has truly flown by. We celebrated Hank's 1st birthday with family. All of his Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and Cousin were present. Hank had a special cake made for him by Katie Trubachik (friend of ours and my best friend's little sister). The cake was in the shape of a green tank (Hank the Tank) and made of red velvet cake filling. We all loved it (especially Hank)! During this month, Hank has added a new word to his vocabulary. He now says 'hello.' He only says this when the phone rings or if he's playing with a phone and holds it to his ear. He definitely loves telephones! We still really haven't found many foods that Hank won't eat. The only thing that is a for sure 'no' is cottage cheese. We've introduced a number of new foods to his diet this month: milk, tuna, crab, cauliflower, pork ribs, etc. His favorites are peanut butter, bananas, chicken, pineapple, toast and any sweets that he can get his hands on. Hank has learned to appreciate riding on things this month. He has a John Deer 4-Wheeler that he loves to ride and be pushed by Dad. He also had a great time in the snow on his new sled. We've got a speed racer on our hends.
34: Date Age Height (%) Weight (%) Head (%) 01/04/10 1 Day 20" 8 lbs, 1 oz 15.5" 02/11/10 1 Mo 21" 9 lbs, 11 oz (41%) 03/05/10 2 Mo 22" (17%) 12 lbs, 1 oz (59%) 16.25" (81%) 04/04/10 3 Mo 23" 15 lbs, 14 oz 05/05/10 4 Mo 24" (26%) 17 lbs, 2 oz (89%) 17.5" (95%) 06/23/10 5 Mo 26" 18 lbs, 6 oz (85%) 07/22/10 6 Mo 26.5" (39%) 18 lbs, 14 oz (64%) 18.25" (96%) 09/05/10 8 Mo 27" 19 lbs, 12 oz 10/08/10 9 Mo 28" (39%) 21 lbs, 11 oz (68%) 18.75" (96%) 12/03/10 11 Mo 28.5" 22 lbs, 8 oz (50%) 01/13/11 12 Mo 30.5" (70%) 23 lbs, 3 oz (54%) 19.25" (97%) | Here I go... watch me grow
36: I Love my Grandparents!!!
38: So Many Firsts... | First Bath Sometime in January. Hank's first bath wasn't that great. He didn't really care for being naked and cold. It didn't take long though before he learned to love it. For a while his favorite was having his face and head washed. | First Smile 2/4/10. Our first real smile was at Mommy. I was talking to Hank and he gave me the best little grin. It was two days before we saw it again but once he started, he never went back. The person who made him smile the most was Grandpa Steve. | First Tooth Hank started teething at two and half months, but never actually got any teeth until he was nine and a half months. His first teeth to appear were his two middle, bottom teeth on 10/21/10. Teething wasn't too bad. Just a lot of drool and the occasional sleepless night.
39: First Friend Hank's first friend was his dog, Gretta. Gretta was never good with babies or children until Hank arrived. Once he was here, she slept under his crib every night and followed him everywhere. She was very protective of who went into Hank's room and who held him. One afternoon, during Hank's nap time, Gretta started lightly barking while in his room. I went in to see what was going on and Gretta was standing at the base of Hank's crib barking because Hank had managed to wedge both of his legs through the crib bars and between his mattress and bumper pad. Hank was fine and actually sleeping that way, but apparently it worried Gretta. As soon as I pulled his legs back through the bars, Gretta crawled back under his crib and they both finished their naps. By the time Hank was one, Gretta was eating from Hank's hands and constantly being mauled by him. Hank loved to give Gretta big bear hugs and snuggle with her on her dog bed. This didn't appear to be one of Gretta's favorites, but she tolerated it, which was a big step for her. It won't be long and they'll be playing fetch together and we're sure that Gretta and Hank will both love it! | First Steps Hank's first consecutive steps were on 10/27/10. He was nine months and itching to go. Hank was always a little busy-body so we figured he might be quick to move, but we had no idea was coming our way. By 11 months, Hank was running and climbing stairs. You couldn't keep him off the stairs. At 12 months, he was climbing on and through everything! Some of his favorites to climb were on top of boxes, through chairs and tables, into clothes baskets and the bath tub (this was a scary one) and in the fridge. He was our little monkey!
40: Slept through the night: The first time Hank slept through the night was 4/1/10. He was three months old and it was the night after his first day at day care. It was a glorious event and coincided perfectly with me going back to work. Since that day, he has slept very well and rarely wakes in the middle of the night. Found hands and feet: Hank was sucking on his fingers when he was only a couple of weeks old. By three months he was a full blown thumb sucker! Laughed out loud: We first heard Hank 'laugh' at three months after his first day of day care. The night he came home, he was full of smiles and 'laughs'. Clapped hands: Hank started clapping his hands at six months. When you clapped, he clapped and loved it. Rolled over: The first time Hank rolled from his tummy to back was on 2/15/10 at Grandpa Steve and Mimi's house. | So Many More First...
41: Sat up alone: Hank was able to sit up alone at six months. This was a big deal because it meant that he was subjected to 'belly-time' as often. He was also free to start grabbing at everything in arms reach. We quickly stared referring to Hank as our octopus. Crawled: The first time Hank crawled was at seven months. He was much happier once he was mobile. He also started getting into things. Ate solid food: We introduced rice cereal to Hank's diet at four months. Two weeks later he was getting baby food. By six months he was eating regular food that was mashed up and at seven months we started giving him very small bites of solid food. Stood alone: Hank was standing alone at nine months. Three weeks later, he walked. Spoke first word: The first word (that we understood) from Hank's mouth was 'bye bye' at 11 months. The next word that we heard was 'hello' when the phone rang. He then started saying 'Gus' (Grandpa Steve and Mimi's dog) and 'Gretta'. These were his first words and all occurred between 11 and 13 months. Not sure what happened to 'Dada' and 'Mama'! Was able to sing along: Hank started singing along to the ABC song at 12 months. Obviously we couldn't understand what he was saying, but every time we sang that song he would smile and start jabbering away.
42: Mesquite, Nevada | Our trip to Mesquite was at the end of March, 2010. Hank was almost 3 months old. It was a great time and a much needed break from being cooped up at home. We were ready to see Grandpa Steve and Mimi and enjoy some sunshine. Unfortunately, Ben had to work and wasn't able to go with us, but our good friend Stacy came along for our first traveling adventure. The flight down to Las Vegas was great. Hank was an angel and we received a lot of compliments from the other passengers. The flight home was a very different story. Stacy had already flown home for work, so it was just the two of us. There was a lot of screaming, crying and stress involved. | Once in Mesquite we did a lot of very fun things. We hiked in the Valley of Fire, went swimming and shopping, met Grandpa Bob and Aunt Wendie and spent a lot of really great time with Grandpa Steve and Mimi. The family time was definitely the highlight of our trip! | Aren't the shades that Aunt Stacy bought cool?! | Grandpa Steve and Mimi were very sad to see us go, although I'm sure they didn't miss the 2:00 am and 5:00 am feedings.
43: Fort Stevens, Oregon | In April, 2010 we went on our first trip to the coast. Ben, Hank, Uncle Scotty and I, along with about thirty other people went to Fort Stevens clam digging. We stayed in a camp trailer for three days and had a pretty good time. The day we left, Hank came down with his first real cold and was snotty and congested the entire trip. The fact that it was cold and rainy while we were there didn't help much. But we made the best of it. We went clam digging in the mornings and socialized in the afternoon and evenings. I'm sure our next clam digging adventure will be a blast as Hank will most likely be over 1 year old and will get a kick out of all the | discoveries to be made at the coast. I imagine he'll love the beach and sand and play ground and bike trails.
44: Germany In June, 2010 our family along with Auntie E's family went to Germany to for Uncle Scotty and Auntie E's wedding. We were in Europe for a total of two weeks and in Germany for about 3 days. Our trip abroad began with 26 hours of traveling. Hank (aka Carlos or Hans) was a real champ and hardly fussed at all until the last couple hours of the trek. He proved to be a great traveler and adapted well the entire trip. Uncle Scotty and Auntie E’s wedding was held in the Memmingon Court house and performed by a German Official and Translator. The building and ceremony were beautiful and something that we will never forget. Memmingon was the town that Auntie E’s Grandfather and Grandmother met and were married during WWII. It was also where Auntie E’s parents were married.
45: Venice After a wonderful time in Germany, Grandpa Steve, Mimi, Hank, Ben and I headed to Italy where we spent 9 days site-seeing. Our first stop was Venice. Venice was great! The city is such a beautiful place and full of history. The colorful buildings along all of the canals were gorgeous. One of the most spectacular sights was St. Mark's Basilica. This church has the most amazing mosaics that cover over 24,000 square feet and a long, rich history. Besides being beautiful, Venice was hot! We did a ton of walking and sweating during our visit. Hank handled the heat and exploring very well. We made it through the churches and palaces without any major melt downs. In fact, the only real hysteria occurred after I tripped down the | stairs while Hank was in the backpack and I smacked his head into the corner of a marble wall. The screaming was well deserved! We were sad to say 'goodbye' to Venice, but excited for the next leg of our adventure: Tuscany!
46: Tuscany Our first site-seeing in Tuscany began in Florence. Florence hosts some of the world's most famous pieces of artwork. Among them are Michelangelo's 'David', and Botticelli's 'Birth of Venus'. Florence is also the home of Brunelleschi's Dome, the Ponte Vecchio and the Boboli Gardens. After spending a day roaming the streets of Florence, we made our way to the country side of Tuscany visiting small villages and vineyards. This was definitely a highlight of the entire trip. We had a blast! It was in Tuscany where we truley experienced the Italian people's love for babies. Everywhere we went, Italians stopped us to oogle over Hank. 'Bello, bello,' was exclaimed constantly. Strangers would kiss Hank and want to hold him. This was a little frightening at first, but we got used to it and actually learned to love it. One day we were eating lunch at a small trattoria and Hank was being fussy. Ben and I were taking turns tending to him and trying to eat quickly, when this elderly Italian woman (who owned the restaurant) came to us and held out her arms for Hank. She didn't speak English and we didn't speak Italian. Ben handed him over to her and she sang to Hank and walked with him for the rest of our lunch. We later learned from her husband that they have many grandchildren and she loves babies. It was a great lunch!
47: Reflecting on the entire trip, Hank was the perfect age for traveling as far as young children are concerned. He adapted well to all situations and relished the attention received. He was too young to crawl or talk so we | Rome Rome was our favorite Italian city. There are no words to describe the Coliseum, St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican, the Pantheon and all of the other monuments. A person could spend weeks in Rome and still not see everything. This is definitely a place that we want to go back to. Even though we were ready to come home, it was hard to say goodbye to Italy. We made so many great memories on our trip and hope to repeat them again someday when Hank is a little older and can remember. | didn't have to worry about him wondering off or back-talking. His clothing was also small enough that it was easy to pack and wash in the sink. And he was still young enough that he was able to sleep anywhere, anytime. Of course it didn't hurt that we had four pairs of adult hands helping with Hank at all times. Hank is the luckiest little boy in the world to have the loving family that he has. I only hope that one day Ben and I are able to show as much love and devotion to Hank's children as he has received.