Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pulling Up to Stand

Henry is fed up with the whole crawling thing. He is ready to walk. In the last week or so, he has figured out how to hold on to furniture and pull himself up to a stand.

Henry can even hold on with one hand. . . usually while he's trying to reach one of Nick's toys.

He's really pleased with himself, too. Henry knows he is showing off when he stands up, so he always grins at me as if to say, "Check out what I can do!" He is even starting to scoot sideways a bit, especially when he wants to reach something forbidden. I believe he was trying to climb the stairs in the picture below.

Here is some more video. I don't want to forget this stage in Henry's life, because I'm pretty sure he'll be walking (and running) very soon.

I looked up a video of Nick when he started to pull up, and I was amazed. Nick was several months older than Henry. But I see such a resemblance between them. I think Henry's starting to get chubby like Nick was during his late babyhood.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Dancing on the Dishwasher

My boys require very little urging to shake their respective groove things (or would it be a collective groove thing?). In any case, I guess watching daddy do dishes inspired some serious happy dancing.

Nick and Henry are certainly happy little guys. I remember Nick used to love to pull up on that dishwasher. Now Henry is doing the exact same thing. Observe and behold the dancing sensation:

I need to remember this video the next time I'm in a bad mood. How can anyone feel sad after watching this?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Artistic Development of Nicholas

I find it quite intriguing that in the last few months, Nick's drawings have changed so very much. Where once I saw only scribbles, recognizable figures are emerging. He is now 38 months old.

Nick said he wanted to draw last Friday, so I bought him a brand new giant box of Crayolas. There's something about the smell of new crayons that I still love, even as an adult. I cannot resist coloring with brand new crayons. We drew together for more than an hour.

Here is the close-up of his picture, along with a description of what he drew. I asked him to tell me about his picture. It was interesting to hear what he had to say. The blue lines in the center are water, and under the water Nick drew a fish.  (The fish is the circle with eyes and a mouth.) He drew two more small fish that are blue circles. Nick drew a purple sun in the upper left hand corner, and yellow birds flying across the sky.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Museum of Science and Industry

A few weeks ago, we went to the Museum of Science and Industry. I took quite a few pictures, but didn't have time to post many of them. So here they are for your enjoyment, starting with the one of Nick sitting on a cow.

Here is Nick enjoying his ride on the combine.

I think Henry was a little overwhelmed by all of the Christmas trees. Actually, I'm just guessing. I have no idea why he looks freaked out in this picture.

I think Nick's favorite exhibit was the Idea Factory, where Grandma Toni and I watched him shoot water. "I like the shooting things!" said Nick. Yup. We know.

I love the picture below of Nick. He looks either fiercely determined or moderately constipated. Either way, it's cute, but he was actually trying to turn that gear.

Henry was, for once, not left out of the museum experience. MSI Chicago actually has a part of the Idea Factory that is just for babies, and Henry took full advantage of this place of joy.

That is a look of joy. . . drool, as well, but the joy is just behind the drool.

I wish I could find a baby obstacle course near my house to take Henry. He loved this one so much.

All in all, it was a pretty decent day.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The baby cage is BACK. . .

. . . and, strangely enough, both boys seem pretty excited about this "new" development in the living room.  Henry doesn't seem to mind at all being behind bars.

I bought the baby cage when Nick was a baby, and it was a very smart purchase. Once a child starts crawling, it is impossible to relax even for a second. With the safety of the baby cage, I can visit the bathroom or even (gasp) start dinner without worrying that my child will immediately find and swallow the most dangerous object in the vicinity.

Nick can get into and out of the baby cage in much the same way as I can remember climbing chain link fences as a child. It's not graceful, but it works.

Thus far, I haven't heard many complaints from Henry about being caged. That will change soon enough, I'm sure, as soon as the novelty wears off.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Snow, however fleeting, was welcomed by Nick

Nick jumped for joy when he found out it was going to snow last Friday. He wasn't quite so pleased with the 2 hour + drive home Friday evening, though. About every three miles, Nick decided to announce, "I don't want to be in the car, Mommy. I want to be at home." Yup. Me, too, kid.

 Just guess what his first question was Saturday morning? "Can I go outside and play in the snow?"

Greg took this picture on Saturday, while they were shoveling. Yup, that's a rake he's using. Nick and Greg might have saved themselves the trouble--nearly all of the snow melted when it rained last night.

Greg said that this snow still wasn't "good packing snow," whatever that means. Nick couldn't make a snowman with his daddy because of that, so they drew a snowman in the snow instead. This snowman is only 2D instead of 3D, but he's still cute.

In the course of the last few weeks, our weather can't make up its mind. We went from highs in the 50s and sunshine to wind chills in the teens and tons of snow, back to temperatures in the 40s with rain. Then, this afternoon, the temperatures dropped and all of the puddles froze.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Doesn't it look. . .

as though Henry is conducting some sort of session? He reminds me a little bit of Lucy in the Peanuts Cartoons when she's charging a nickel for a psychiatric therapy session. I wonder if Henry will follow in his daddy's footsteps. I can just imagine him saying, "And how does that make you feel?"

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Banana Pancakes for Dinner

Every once in awhile, it's kind of nice to have breakfast for dinner. Tonight, I made banana pancakes, along with scrambled eggs and bacon. Just the kind of dinner that works on a cold winter night.

I let Henry try one, cut into small bites, of course. The doctor says that he is old enough to eat little bites of food. Henry heartily agrees!

He ended up eating nearly an entire pancake. Henry's joy over every bite makes me smile. It also made me enjoy my pancakes even more.

Nick liked the pancakes, too. He was sneaking bites while I was still at the frying pan. Then he danced for Henry's dinnertime entertainment.

I hear that snow is coming again tomorrow. I'm glad I'll have some leftover banana pancakes to fortify me against the windchill and the snowy weather. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Just a Few Tastes of My Weekend

 Here are just a few tastes of what I did this weekend.

I sat on the floor and played with my children. We played blocks, colored, and picked up all of the cheerios Henry threw on the floor. Check out what Nick made. He ran into the kitchen shouting, "Look Daddy, I made a F!"

No, I didn't suggest that Nick do this or even notice what he was building. I was distracted by Henry while he was doing it. Yes, I let myself get all excited at his intelligence and ingenuity. . . for about five minutes. Then he pooped his pants and made me chase him around the house so I could change him. As are all children, my three-year-old is advanced in some things and far behind in others. Such is life.

January is not my favorite month. The cold air and lack of sunlight bothers me in December, but all of the Christmas cheer and the promise of a vacation cheers me up. In January, there is nothing to console me on these dreary days and long winter nights. Certainly there is no warm air or real sunshine to be had. Even when it's sunny in January, the sky has this odd, grayish color that makes me want to take a long nap. . . with this guy. (I had several naps this weekend.)

This weekend, I wallowed in my dislike of the season. Both boys weren't feeling well, and I was feeling, well, lazy. Except for a brief trip to Walgreens to pick up some Henry medicine, I did not leave the house. In fact, I didn't even get dressed, though I went through multiple pairs of pajamas. That'll happen when you have a baby who throws food at you.

I snuggled with both boys and watched Planet Earth specials, or, as Nick calls them, "special animal movies." We like to describe what we see, and Nick has tons of questions.

Nick and I helped Henry get some exercise. He loves crawling across the floor, seeking out dangerous items. We sit on the floor with him so that we can find and thwart his evil plans.

I re-potted nine plants. The thing about learning to care for houseplants is that if you succeed, you must then constantly pot and re-pot as the plants grow and reproduce. Pardon the shoddy picture. January's bad lighting is no excuse for my horrid photography skills.

We ate hearty, winter food. This is the dish Greg made for us Saturday night. It is Philadelphia-style sirloin steak with a provolone cheese sauce, served with green beans and those little gourmet potatoes. Everything was good, though I thought the sauce was too strong for me. (Probably the sharp provolone.)

I also read six trashy novels, made homemade bread and oatmeal with Nick, gave myself a manicure, edited the last chapter of a book I'm working on, and spent multiple hours online moderating the online portion of the graduate school class I'm teaching and prepping for next week' classes. I guess I wasn't a total deadbeat. As January weekends go, this one wasn't so bad. . . except for the January gloom lurking outside. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Finally, A Snowy Post

Nick has been waiting for snow since October. I bought him new snow boots, and he's been dying to wear them. We finally took the tags off and let him wear his new boots yesterday, even though he's been feeling a little under the weather.

Nick and his daddy spent about an hour outside yesterday shoveling snow. Henry and I didn't join them, although Henry crawled towards the door twice. I think he would've changed his mind outside, though. It was pretty cold!

Winter weather is not my thing. I'm probably the least likely person to want to play in the snow. I hate cold weather, and I'm afraid of slipping on ice and snow, whether I'm driving or walking. I think snow is very pretty, so long as I can watch it while wearing my comfy pajamas, looking out the window, with a book in my hand. But I made sure to grab my camera, throw some boots on over my pajamas, and snap a few photos of their snow joy.

Greg said it was the wrong kind of snow for making a snowman, so they made snow angels instead. They also shoveled the driveway. Nick didn't have a shovel, so he made do with a rake.

Nick was kind of mad when he had to come inside, but he cheered up right away when I started making the hot chocolate. Both boys have some kind of bug this weekend, and we didn't want to expose anyone else to their germs, so we've stayed home all weekend. I've enjoyed all of the relaxation.

Yes, that's a hot chocolate mustache on Nick. I think it's rather attractive, though I dread the day when Nick grows old enough to start growing a real mustache.

Stay warm on this very cold winter day.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Happy Thursday from Henry

Henry says "Hi!"

It was back to work for me this week, and I missed my boys more than usual. I have been very busy lately, and haven't posted as much, but Henry wants to make sure that I don't forget to chronicle his growth on my blog. He is indeed growing!

Despite still having some sort of runny nose/tummy troubles/mild fever, Henry was still all smiles with me. He was just happy to be cuddled.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Henry Notices Himself in a Mirror

Henry just recently discovered what he looks like in a mirror. He finds himself handsome, and oddly fascinating.

Also just a little bit delicious.

These videos are all from January 1st, when we went to the Museum of Science and Industry. Henry had to spend most of the trip in his stroller, but when we reached the Idea Factory, he was able to crawl around in an area just for babies.

That's my big boy.  :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Rub a Dub Dub, Two Boys in a Tub

Our dinner was kind of messy tonight. Between banana chunks (for Henry) and chocolate pudding (for Nick), both of my sons needed a bath this evening. Lately, we've been giving them baths together.

Henry is so very excited to join Nick at bath time. He copies everything that Nick does, especially things that are splashing-related. Henry really looks up to his big brother.

At the end of this bath, the whole room was soaked, but Henry and Nick were very clean and very happy.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Doctor Visits

Last week I took both boys in for their well visits--Nick had his three-year, and Henry had his six-month. The nurse took Nick's blood pressure for the first time. He liked it, strangely enough.

According to our pediatrician, Nick is stout. That's because he's below the 2nd percentile for height, but his BMI is at the 82nd percentile. Stout. I don't really like the term. I'm not denying that my boy is solid, though. Perhaps he'll have a growth spurt soon and gain a little in stature. Here they are in the waiting room.

Nick is doing well with his milestones. As the doctor was asking me about his language development, Nicholas decided to question the doctor. "Can I please see that stringy thing around your neck?" "Do you mean the stethoscope?" "Yes. I want that. I want to use the stethoscope. Please!?" The doctor laughed and let him talk her into borrowing it. Then she told me, "Obviously his language is doing just fine, then."

Nick's Stats:

Height: 34.6"
Weight: 29 lbs., 3.2 ounces

Nick eats pretty well, though he's not consistent. Some days he'll eat practically nothing, and on other days he'll eat absolutely everything. We try not to make a big deal out of food, and that has worked well so far.

Henry is not stout, though he is definitely growing. Since his last doctor's appointment in November, he has gained more than a pound. I also think he'd qualify as the record-holding infant in the snot production races. This boy can make some boogers.

Henry, apparently, is ahead with all of his milestones. He is sitting up, crawling, using a pincher grip, and furiously rolling over to his stomach every time you put him on his back. This makes Henry's diaper changes quite interesting, and indeed quite messy.

Here are Henry's Stats:

Height: 27"
Weight: 17 lbs. 4 ounces

Henry is in the 32nd percentile for weight, the 56th percentile for length, and the 19th percentile for head circumference. All of those iron infusions I had while pregnant seemed to do the trick for Henry, because he is completely normal-sized.

He does eat a ton, though. Henry can put away up to two jars of baby food in a sitting. He loves Cheerios and anything else he can get his baby paws on.