FC: Henry Jack
1: Waiting for baby Henry
2: "Twinkle twinkle little star; do you know how loved you are?" | Henry Jack born on October 31, 2011 at 8:54pm 7 pounds, 7 ounces; 20 inches
3: "A Baby's Love Is Best Of All"
4: A Baby Is A Bit Of Stardust Blown From Heaven | Our first day home as a family of four!
5: "Babies Are Life's Most Precious Gift"
7: Two weeks old
9: Henry - One Month November 2010 (as of 12/1/10 one month checkup: 10lbs. 2oz., 22 inches) It is hard to believe that a month has flown by already! Even more surprising is that Henry is now over 10lbs! He has gained almost four pounds since birth and is two inches longer, tipping the scales at 10lbs. 2oz. and 22 inches. He is just beginning to hit four hours between bottles, sometimes 5 hours, but of course, rarely does that occur during the night. ;-) Although I am not complaining, he has been very nice to me only getting up once during the wee hours. We are still working on getting him on a "schedule”, but he does have more awake time during the days now with his most alert time in the afternoons. (Of course, this is also when his older bro is napping so no break for Mommy. haha.) So far, he has been very content and generally a happy baby, only crying for his bottle or if he is a bit gassy, and even at that, he has to work up to a full-fledged cry. He is definitely a cuddler and LOVES to be held, and although Mommy LOVES cuddling with him as well, we have been trying to break him of this a little or at least at dinner when he sits in his swing. And though it may still be gas at this stage, I am convinced that he is trying to smile, as he often gives me that gummy smirk while I am talking to him. Grayson has been a great big bro and loves holding him and checking on him if he needs his binkie, etc. Henry has been listening intently to Grayson’s lessons on construction vehicles and loves when Grayson sings to him (Grayson’s rendition of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” calms him). We were overjoyed to find out that the results of his VCUG test were normal, but we will still be meeting with the pediatric urologist this week to find out more about what may be causing his renal dilation as well as what course of action he may prescribe. Other than that, we are still waiting on his belly button stump to fall off! According to the pediatrician, this is quite normal, but we are getting a little impatient and are hoping that it drops off soon! We are all loving getting to know our new addition to the family and cannot think of life before him. Some photos from Henry’s first month follow, as well as this shot of him with his special monkey buddy – a present from his big bro – which will serve as a "for scale” item each month to mark how he has grown during this first year.
10: Month One
13: Henry - Two Months December 2010 (as of 1/5/11 two-month check up: 12lbs. 9oz.; 23 1/2 inches) Happy 2 month birthday, Henry! As you could see from a previous post, Henry is smiling! He is my regular little "Guy Smiley” – a genuinely happy baby, always ready with that gummy grin. He also likes to hold conversations, or tell "stories” as Grayson and I like to pretend. Henry usually likes to regale his adventures from the previous night during his morning’s diaper change, which have included escapes to the zoo for a late night visit with the polar bears or helping firefighters battle huge blazes (I will leave you to guess who "interprets” most of Henry’s coos.) Henry is beginning to fall into a loose schedule with about an hour or two of awake time between feedings and naps, but it has been hard since he gets schlepped around to many of his big bro’s activities. Poor second child. :-) Luckily, he really loves his cozy carseat carrier and usually falls asleep once he is settled into it. It has been fun to see how different the two brothers are already, besides skin-tones. ;-) We have found that Henry LOVES to be swaddled (not surprising since he also LOVES to be held and snuggle), and he sleeps best while in a tight swaddle. Grayson, on the other hand, was breaking out of his swaddles from day 1 and preferred to sleep with his arms over his head. We met with the CHOP urologist as a follow-up after Henry’s VCUG, who said that any problems with reflux to his kidneys from his bladder can be ruled out; however, he recommended that we have another study completed that will look at how his kidneys drain specifically and allow the Dr. to better determine any next steps. We go for his renal scan on Jan. 4 and follow-up with the urologist again on Jan. 14 – say a prayer for him! We had a little Christmas miracle here on Christmas day as well – Henry’s belly button fell off (sorta). The large portion of his umbilical cord came off, but we are still waiting for a smaller piece to dry up and fall off. We are hoping Mother Nature will prevail and no additional visits to a CHOP specialist will be needed to address this stubborn belly button.
15: Month Two
16: Henry - Three Months January 2011 Happy 3-month birthday, Henry! Our lil pumpkin’s personality is beginning to emerge more every day. He loves to smile and has just started to laugh! Henry also prefers to be in with the crowd, and so, has taken to sitting with us at dinner either in his highchair or on Mommy’s lap (even though he typically gets his "dinner” bottle before our meal). Although he likes to be interacting with us for most of the day (mimicking our facial expressions and trying out some new ones of his own or just chillin’ and cuddling), he also enjoys time on his activity mat where he has discovered that he can hit the low-hanging animals with his flailing fists. He has "found” his hands and has been successful in getting them, and more importantly his fingers, in his mouth. We have been VERY happy that Henry is beginning to sleep through the night. After a full bottle with a "hint” of cereal at around 8/8:30pm, he has been sleeping through until almost 8am with just an occasional wake up for binkie adjustments or a quick snuggle with Mommy. After many questions to seasoned mommies of babes with sensitive skin and some trial and errors of my own, Henry’s sensitive and extremely dry skin seems to be improving through a nightly "greasing” of Aquaphor, several applications of the ointment to his face throughout the day, and nothing but Dove soap for bathtime. Our little trooper did great with his renal scan, and we were thrilled to find out that the findings were normal! After another follow-up with the CHOP urologist, we were told that what may have occurred (and seems the most likely scenario at this stage) was that Henry had an obstruction or kink in the tube off his kidney while in utero that corrected itself. However, while the obstruction/kink was there, the kidneys were backed up, causing them to expand. Similar to a water balloon after it has been filled, his kidneys are still expanded, but should begin to compress back down. We have to take him back for a follow-up ultrasound in 6 months to check the progress, but no more tests or additional follow-up is needed!!! Thank you all so much for your prayers and good vibes!! As you can imagine, we were beyond thrilled to find out that all is well.
18: Month Three
21: Henry - Four Months February 2011 (as of 2/28/11 4-month check-up: 15lbs., 6oz.; 25 inches) Henry is almost rolling over! He has done the belly to back flip a handful of times, primarily as a result of accidentally leaning too much to one side. And he contorts his body almost in half while on his back, where if he would only kick that back leg he would roll over! But Mommy is in no rush to have the lil guy achieve this first mobility milestone and is still enjoying the momentary sanity of knowing that he will stay where he is put for now. No polyester suits for Henry – we found out that he is allergic to polyester! Over the last months, we have been trying to combat Henry’s dry, sensitive skin and were perplexed by his sometimes sudden outbreaks. Well, during a visit to the pediatrician for his 4-month check-up, Mommy and the Dr noticed that a rash appeared on Henry’s previously happy skin minutes after being wrapped in a 100% polyester blanket. After checking some labels, Mommy was able to figure out that each time he had had a reaction, he had been in 100% polyester! Bathtime is a favorite of Henry’s. Even if he is getting a bit fussy because he is getting tired for bedtime, put him in that warm bath, and he instantly calms down and smiles. He also has been enjoying his new Bumbo seat (a great infant seat borrowed from one of Mommy’s friends). Henry likes to watch a bit of the morning news with Mommy from his Bumbo seat before his breakfast. Henry is still Mommy’s lil cuddle bug and LOVES to be in the kangaroo pouch (infant carrier/backpack). It has become almost routine that he joins Mommy during housecleaning, giving Mommy quite the workout since he one chunky lil monkey. One of the cutest things that Henry does at the moment is hold on to Mommy as he gets rocked to sleep at night, and once he is down in his crib, his little hands instantly go up to cover his eyes and face just like when he was in utero. (One reason that we never got any good profile shots of him during the multitude of ultrasounds!!)
22: "It's The Little Things In Life That Matter Most"
23: Month Four
24: Henry - Five Months March 2011 Couple of highlights from this past month: * Rolling over! Henry is now rolling over! Step one to solo mobility – check! He is also starting to sit up with the assistance of a boppy pillow, as he is still very weeble-wobbly, but getting there! * Mmm cereal – After a few days of practice with eating from a spoon, Henry is loving his new dinner-time serving of cereal. Next up, baby food! It will be fun to see his preferences! * Part kangaroo? – In addition to his affinity to being totted around in the kangaroo pouch baby carrier, Henry is also showing his "Joey”-ness by bouncing like a madman in his new Jumperoo! He LOVES it, sometimes to the point of wearing himself out and falling asleep in it! * Like Father, like son – Unlike his big bro (and Mommy), Henry does not wake up bright-eyed and raring to go. Instead, he seems to be more like Daddy and prefers to ease into his mornings and afternoons post-nap with some storytime with Mommy. * Mahna Mahna – Henry LOVES the Muppets’ song "Mahna Mahna” If he is getting grumpy (which is RARE!), just start humming this little tune and he instantly smiles! * Brotherly love – It is amazing how much the two have bonded. Whenever Henry hears Grayson’s voice, he instantly smiles and looks for him. Grayson continues to be a great big bro, always excited to see Henry after school and at the ready to make Henry laugh, read to him, get him toys, etc. The two can make each other laugh now as well, which is really hilarious.
27: Month Five
29: Henry - Six Months April 2011 (as of 5/2/11 6-month check-up: 17lbs., 3oz.; 26 inches) Happy 6 month birthday to our little Pumpkin!! It is hard to believe that he is already half a year old! This past month has been pretty busy for our little guy. Here are some new things that he has tried and things that we have learned about him! * He had his first tastes of food. Some of the likes so far have been: green beans, carrots, and squash. Not his fav’s include: peas and peaches. * Henry is SOOOO close to sitting up on his own. He still has a bit of a weeble wooble to it, but can hold steady if he is really engaged in a toy. * He LOVES laughing with Grayson. It is actually really cute how the two can make each other giggle. They also enjoy time watching the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse together in the mornings, which we have discovered is one of Henry’s favorites. He goes crazy when Mickey comes on the TV, usually bouncing and laughing from his Jumperoo. * He has very ticklish toes, which is usually followed by, what we lovingly refer to as, his pterodactyl laugh. * He seems to be allergic to peanuts. After a typical lunch of PB&J sandwiches, Grayson and I were blowing raspberries on Henry’s tummy when I noticed he was breaking out in hives and a rash. I washed off his belly with soap and water, and the reaction diminished. Later that day, Jeremy and I did our own "spot test” with straight PB with the same reaction. After telling the pediatrician of this, she concurred that this most likely is indicative of a peanut allergy. For now, we just need to be careful to not touch him with any peanut products, or be sure to wash our hands before touching him if we have. We are also giving soy formula a shot this week to see if his eczema clears up due to a milk sensitivity, which after only a day, it does seem to be helping.
30: Month Six
32: Henry - Seven Months May 2011 (as of 5/31/11 18lbs., 5oz.) Happy 7 month birthday, Henry!! Here are some highlights of the past month: * Henry can sit up by himself!! Although he is still figuring out that flinging himself backward from a sitting position may not be the best idea, Henry is pretty steady while sitting and loves the new perspective for grabbing and playing with his toys. * He is desperate to crawl. Henry has his own method to mobility at this point, which may not be efficient, but gets him where he wants to go. It is a combo of a backward inchworm crawl (just like his big brother!) and rolling maneuver. In the last week or so, he has also started rocking on all fours, but has only succeeded in pushing himself backward. No FORWARD crawling at the moment. * Henry’s Parent/Child Church Dedication was on May 22, 2011. We were thrilled to have so many family and friends join us in Henry’s special day at both the church service and celebration at our home. * His first plunge in the kiddie pool! With the summer weather in full swing, Henry joined Grayson for a "swim” in the kiddie pool, and he loved it! Despite lots of splashes from his big bro, Henry was not phased. Good practice for those summer days at the community pool! * Where is your manual? Is the thought on Mommy’s mind many days in regards to Henry’s eczema. It has been a never ending battle that just when we think that we have it figured out (i.e., the trigger), the nasty rash raises its red little lumps again. Although it would be so much easier to have it written out in black and white, it seems that we will continue the guessing game with Henry and his sensitivities for now (Mommy is hoping to see an allergist in the next month or so to get some additional advice and/or answers). At least we have figured out some methods to provide relief to the little guy and quell his itching for a time. * A cute Henry-ism a the moment is that he likes to pant like a little puppy when he gets excited.
35: Month Seven
36: Baby of Mine
37: Henry - Eight Months June 2011 Happy 8 month birthday, Henry!! Here are some highlights of the past month: * Henry is crawling! About a day or two after his 8-month birthday, Henry mastered the coordination for crawling. And he hasn’t looked back since! Each day, he seems to get quicker and quicker. * He has a tooth! Yes, one lone, little tooth has poked out of Henry’s tender gums. No signs of any others yet, but we know they must be close, as the poor little guy’s gums are super tender. * Henry is loving the community pool, where he excitedly watches all the big kids (including his big bro) jump, splash and swim like little fish. He spends his afternoons with Mommy, lounging in his float, splashing in the kiddie pool, or fighting the fountains as he tries to grab the water. * We have started introducing finger foods, but so far, Henry just enjoys throwing them on the floor. Oh well, at least he is practicing his fine motor skills. Haha. He has also been practicing with the sippy cup, but only with juice flavored water. He still prefers his milk from the bottle. * We met with the allergist this month, and it is official – Henry is allergic to peanuts, dogs and almonds. So our house has become peanut and tree nut-free. The allergist will continue to monitor his bloodcounts yearly, and he gave us some hope that Henry may outgrow his allergy since his levels are not astronomical. However, it will be at least 3-4 years before we be able to determine that and only if his blood allergen levels begin to drop. So for now, we are enjoying the sunflower butter and keeping our fingers crossed! As for the dog, he is most likely the cause of some of Henry’s eczema; however, the dr said that it should not pose a problem unless Henry’s allergies to Luke become respiratory. Luckily, our ol’ man Lukie can stay! * A cute Henry-ism a the moment is that he likes to wave his arms when he gets excited to see someone. We are not sure if he may be trying to wave "Hello.” He also wrinkles his nose when he is really happy and smiles, which to our joy is quite often.
39: Month Eight
40: Henry - Nine Months July 2011 (as of 8/3/11 check-up: 19lbs. 5oz.; 28 1/4 inches) Happy 9 month birthday, to our lil pumpkin!! Here are some highlights of the past month: * The crawling ninja is how we like to refer to Henry at the moment. After mastering the skills to provide himself with forward movement just last month, Henry is now super fast and already starting to pull up on furniture and take a few assisted steps. He is also into EVERYTHING! Luckily, the house is already "baby proof,” but he still manages to go for the un-proofable things like the dog’s water bowl, lower drawers of the end tables, etc. It has escalated to the point that "baby jail” was re-erected in the living room, because, as Grayson so elegantly told his Sunday school teacher, "Mommy needs to go pee-pee.” * In addition to his increased mobility on land, Henry has also been motoring around the pool! He quickly learned that while floating in his float in the kiddie pool, his little legs are just long enough for him to touch and "walk” around. This discovery has brought a new level of enjoyment to our afternoons at the pool, which typically involves a game of chase between him and big bro. Perhaps because of this, Henry has also taken to "swimming” in the bathtub! Although it is hilarious to watch, it does make trying to actually bath him a bit of a challenge. * Teeth! Yes, plural. At the moment, Henry has two and a 1/8th (one of his top, front teeth is beginning to emerge)! * Henry is also doing lots of babbling, including lots of "Da-da’s” and "Maaa-Maaa’s.” The "Maaa-Maaa’s” are usually when he is following me around the kitchen as I prepare his bottle or food. * Henry had his first trip to the beach this month during our family vacation in Ocean City, NJ. He wasn’t too keen on his piggies touching the sand at first or the booming of the waves. But by the end of the week, the waves were lulling him to sleep, and he was venturing into the sand with his little pudgy hands from the comfort of his private pool. * A cute Henry-ism at the moment is that he puffs his mouth like he is practicing blowing out candles and also has taken to growling in happiness. Yes, he growls like a little bear, but it is a sign of affection...really.
42: Month Nine
45: Henry - Ten Months August 2011 Happy 10 month birthday, Henry!! Here are some highlights of the past month: * Henry has taken some first steps! Although he still prefers crawling as a mode of transportation, Henry is beginning to try out his balance and often takes strolls around the house with our fingers for stabilizing. He has been cruising along the furniture and just started venturing off for a few steps on his own. I think all those summer days in the pool while motoring around in his little float really helped him learn how to walk. It was like his own water-based walker! * He can climb stairs! After a week or so of playing around on the bottom step, Henry figured out the coordination to climb the stairs and demonstrated it one afternoon as he climbed the whole staircase from the basement! * Looking a bit like Bugs Bunny, Henry now has four teeth – his two top and bottom, front teeth. * Henry loves to give hugs and has learned how to clap. Clapping is usually a sign that he is happy or excited. * Add wheat and egg to the allergy list! After some concerns that wheat may be causing his eczema to flare, it was confirmed at the allergist’s office with a skin test that Henry is allergic to wheat and egg. So, for now, he is eating a wheat, egg, and peanut/tree nut-free diet. * Henry has been trying finger foods! After a bit of a delay in finding appropriate first foods for him to try, Mommy finally found some rice-based puffs and larger husks that he really enjoys. Rice chex are also a favorite. It is adorable to watch him use those four little teeth to nibble on the rice husks. * A cute Henry-ism at the moment is that he is easily excited and entertained by balls. He loves to throw them and then after letting out an excited yelp/laugh, he quickly crawls after it to pick it up and repeat the process. One afternoon, he entertained himself with his solo game for at least a half hour all throughout the kitchen.
46: Month Ten
49: Henry - Eleven Months September 2011 Happy 11-month birthday, Henry! Here are some highlights from the past month: * Henry is walking! After lots of practice steps, he is walking solo! He still has an occasional loss of balance, which we lovingly refer to as his "drunken sailor” step, but Henry is really mobile now. He still prefers to pull up on something, but he can go from sitting to standing and walking in the middle of a room! * He definitely understands the word "no" and likes to show that he knows he should not be doing a particular action, oh, like grabbing and dialing the phone, by shaking his head no as he is doing the frowned-upon deed. * Henry LOVES Luke, the dog. Whenever the poor pooch is vulnerable and outside his “safety zone” behind the couch, Henry zeros in and pounces on him with an "Awh.” He also likes to give Luke hugs. When standing next to him, the dog is the perfect height for Henry to lay his head down on his back. * Now that he is a little more steady on his feet, Henry has started to play on the ride-on toys outside. So far, he is still learning the mechanics of forward motion, but he is pretty quick moving backward. We have spent several afternoons pushing Henry down the driveway (he has figured out to lift his feet as we push so that he can go faster!) for him to backward push his way up to the garage and start again. * With Henry’s new infant bike seat, we were able to go on our first family bike ride! Henry loved it, especially when Mommy went down hill and increased speed. His little "Ahhhhhhh” could be heard by Daddy and Grayson as they followed. * A funny Henry-ism at the moment is that he likes to yell and chase the vacuum!
51: Month Eleven
53: Henry - One Year! October 2011 (as of November 2, 2011: 21lbs. 4oz.; 29 1/2inches) Happy 1st birthday, Henry! It is hard to believe that a year has past since we welcomed our little "pumpkin.” Here are some highlights from the past month: * Henry is practically running. He is much steadier on his feet and can pick up the pace, particularly when he has grabbed a hold of something he knows he isn’t supposed to have like the TV remote. He also loves to play chase, and he and Grayson often chase each other around the kitchen table while Henry giggles non-stop. * He is into EVERYTHING! Apparently the tupperware drawer just isn’t enough for this lil guy, he loves to pull on the other lower cabinets to test out the childproof locks, grab any remote control, phone or other random electronic device lying about, play in the dog’s water bowl, and climb the stairs if by chance Mommy or Daddy forgot to put the gate at the foot of the staircase just to name a few. * Henry likes to play peek-a-boo, covering his eyebrows with his little hands. * He is learning how to give a kiss, slobbery, open-mouthed and all. * His latest "vocabulary” is "dat!” for "that.” He also says "bra, bra”, which we believe is his attempt at "brother.” "Da da” and "Maaaa” are still favorites as well. * Henry added to Mommy and Daddy’s gray hair count this month with his infected lymph nodes where two quarter-sized lumps grew on his neck and became inflamed. Thank God, after a trip to the hospital, lots of tests, and some very strong antibiotics, he was fine and back to his happy lil self. * A funny Henry-ism at the moment is that he likes to give "head hugs.” He will bump heads and then rub his head back and forth on yours as a sign of affection!
55: Month Twelve