Dear Henry

Dear Henry,

It’s been a while since I wrote you one of these. It’s hard work taking care of a Henry. Hard, but the best. Really. The best.

You’re 6 months old today. Half a year old.

henry6months

I honestly don’t know where the time has gone. You do something new every day and you’re changing so quickly. I just try to take in every single stage of your life as it comes and savor it because you’ll be on to something new soon. I even cherish the not-so-fun times. The other night, your dad and I put you to bed early because you were fussing more than usual. You fell asleep quickly, but about 2 hours in to dreamland, you woke up SCREAMING. Now, whenever you cry like this, it alarms us. We kinda freak out because you, my sweet baby, are not a big cryer and definitely not a big screamer. You are a fuss-pot sometimes, but that’s usually as far as it goes. Anyway, you wouldn’t go back to sleep unless one of us was holding you, so I quickly got ready for bed and laid you down next to me. You let out a big sigh, and fell asleep. I just stared at you, trying to take a mental polaroid, so I would never forget how sweet you looked curled up in my arms. I eventually fell asleep, too.

Turns out, your bottom teeth were finally sprouting and that’s what caused all of the extra discomfort. See? You always have a reason. In all honestly, you are one of the happiest babies I’ve ever come across. You’re always smiling. You’re always happy to see us. You’re just very content to be wherever you are.

henryhappy“Little body, big smile.”  I think they made that with you in mind.

At 6 months old:

  • sleeping ALL THE WAY through the night. Every night. (8 pm – 6 am)
  • you take about 3-4 naps a day, and you fight only half of them
  • you’re sitting up on your own
  • you’re trying really hard to crawl (you’ll get there soon)
  • you love splashing in the bath
  • you love jumping in your door jumper thing
  • you’re eating all kinds of food and LOVING it (your grandma calls you a foodie because you love trying new things and you eat a lot)
  • you’re getting pretty good at holding that bottle all by yourself

henrybottle

  • you’re giggling and babbling a ton
  • everything is going in the mouth
  • your bottom teeth finally came in (and you love chomping on mom and dad’s fingers)
  • you’re playing a lot more on your own and I love watching you explore

henryplaying

  • you wave hello and goodbye when prompted
  • You protest loudly when I take away a toy, fresh food feeder, or anything else you grabbed and put in your mouth
  • You love Itsy Bitsy Spider. With our without hand movements, doesn’t matter. If I’m singing it, you’re smiling.

I hope you stay this happy forever. Your dad and I will do everything in our power to make sure you do. And no, that does not mean all the G.I. Joes you ask for. Just like, love and stuff. Lots and lots of love, laughter, and kisses. You are the center of our universe and I’m not ashamed. Everything revolves around you. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next six months and beyond.

Love,

Mom

Updates and other things.

Wow. What a month it’s been.

Henry is almost 5 months old (!!!) and is changing every day. Here are some things he’s doing now:

  • Pulling himself up from reclined to sitting (not from flat on his back)
  • Sitting unassisted for a few seconds, but getting better!
  • Laughing a lot. He’s got a great sense of humor.
  • Staying awake for longer periods of time, and taking longer naps.
  • Holding his own bottle (still hasn’t completely mastered this yet either)
  • Entertaining himself for longer periods of time

After his immunizations last month, he was really clingy. The teething didn’t help either. Therefore, he would only nap either in my arms or next to me on the couch (with his legs touching my legs). He would also lay down and nap with me, which has been great. But I was being held hostage by a cute little drool monster, so I had to put an end to it. There are things mama needs to do! I put him down in his crib today for his afternoon nap and within 10 minutes, he was out. There were a few tears (which I soothed by rubbing his head) but other than that, easy. He slept almost 2 hours. I really hope he keeps that up. Bedtime is still easy peasy and he’s still sleeping 6-8 hour stretches before needing a feeding.

I feel like I’m finally hitting my stride with this parenthood thing. I feel more confident, I’m enjoying it a hell of a lot more, and I don’t stress out over the little things. I guess getting more sleep helps, but so does having an easy going baby who you can take in public without tantrums and crying fits and who is extremely predictable and easy to please. I said it. I have an easy baby. I was blessed.

henrymirrorCheap entertainment.

But, full disclosure, I’m feeling ok now, but I had severe anxiety attacks for a few weeks there. I would lay awake at night panicking over the future, the uncertainties, afraid to leave the house even at times…it was bad. But I’ve been working on it and I feel so much better lately. I’ve realized the best thing I can do for Henry is live life to the fullest and not worry about things I can’t control. I don’t want him to be afraid of the world or worry about little things because his mother is a lunatic. I’m gonna say the hormones did it to me.

I’ve loaded a bunch of vids onto our YouTube page. Check them out when you get bored. I tried to watch our wedding video again tonight but had to stop it. It makes me weepy!

Blood, tears, and vaccinations.

Oh man. What a morning.

Henry had his two month check up, which also meant his first round of vaccinations. He slept GREAT last night, from 9 – 4. Then I put him back in his bassinet because he was ready to PART-AY, and did not want anything to do with me trying to rock him back to sleep. I listened to him coo and babble to himself before he fell asleep again. At around 6, I put him in his swing and he slept again until almost 9 am. His doctor’s appointment was at 10, so I was able to quickly feed him (he didn’t eat very much at all) and get him dressed. At the doc’s office, he was in the BEST mood. He laid on that table patiently just smiling and laughing and kicking his little legs.

164478_10100298320415407_648123525_nSweet sleep. I have no idea what’s in store for me today.

The pediatrician gave him a clean bill of health, even using the word “perfect.” He’s now 11 lb 4 oz and 21.5″ tall. The doc told me that he has advanced motor skills, more on the level of a 4 month old! He’s also got exceptional muscle tone, hence the super motor skills. It must be all the red meat and eggs I craved during my pregnancy.

539524_10100298374067887_2127631272_nIf I’m really sweet, you won’t stick those needles into my thighs, right?

Then the shots came. He was smiling at the nurse really big and then BAM! Shot and screaming and tears. The first shot made him bleed! I had this overwhelming urge to just grab him and run away at that point, but I just rubbed his head and told him he was alright. My mom came with me and we were both in tears by the time the nurses left.

He was crying like I’d never heard before. Usually he whines and cries when he’s sleepy or hungry. This was loud, and shrill, and “it hurts!” BAH! To think I have to do it again in 2 months.

65591_10100298407730427_295797512_nNot. Happy.

Then when we got home, he finally ate a decent amount and proceeded to have a blowout on my lap. I mean, like ON MY LAP. I really didn’t mind though. It’s all washable. The bigger concern for me was still Henry. After the blowout, I put him on his mat and he was  back to normal. Back to smiles, laughing, and getting the monkey. (Here is another monkey video I took a couple days ago. I couldn’t help myself).

Yeah, I know. I need to get over thicker skin. He’s got years of bumps and scrapes and bruises ahead of him. It’s a part of childhood and I don’t want to keep him from doing things just because he might get a little hurt. That’s no fun. Mommy may need some Xanax, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

Being a parent is hard. Really hard. But oh so worth it.

Two months.

Henry is 2 months old today!

henry2months

Not much has changed since I last posted  his milestones except that he is now drooling a lot, grabbing things that go straight in the mouth, and sleeping better at night. The routine has helped. Henry now knows around 8:30 or 9 at night that bedtime is looming. He gets cranky until his bath, then he usually just passes out. Last night was the easiest bedtime ever. He fell asleep in my arms right after bath time, I wrapped him up, put him in the bassinet, and he slept from 9:30 to 2:30. Then he was back to sleep from 3 am to 6. I hope it stays this way, but the realist in me knows it won’t. I will keep you posted if miracles happen.

On top of that, he’s just a really enjoyable baby. So easy going. I love singing to him, talking to him, prematurely baby signing with him, reading  him books, and making him pose for pictures. He’s a good sport.

Story time is another fun one for us. For a 2 month old infant, he’s got a remarkable attention span. I joke with Chris (but also kinda serious) that Henry’s attention span is better than his. When I read him a book, he’ll stare at the pages, even cracking big smiles occasionally. To be fair, he’s most likely smiling at the silly voices I do. I’m not saying he understands children’s literature just yet. I usually get about 3-4 books out of him at one time before he’s ready to move on. This could be why Henry also enjoys watching TV. A little Sons of Anarchy never hurt a baby, right? Kidding. JUST KIDDING. Calm down.

Our favorite book (or my favorite book) right now is The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? Oh so hilarious. Get it if you have kids. Or don’t. You’ll like it anyway I bet. And a big thanks to my friend Jenny for the gift.

So the baby is sleeping great, but what about mama? Not so much. I am so worried about EVERY. LITTLE. THING. all of the time, that I will lay in bed and stew over crap while he sleeps soundly. I need to learn how to turn off my brain otherwise I’ll never sleep again.

 

Dear Henry

Dear Henry,

You’re 8 weeks old today. I can hardly believe it. Time is going by too fast. Part of me wants to press pause and just enjoy you at this sweet age forever. Another part of me can’t wait to see you grow and continue to change — to see you crawl, talk, walk, use a toilet.

henrymat

Yesterday, I put away a lot of your newborn clothes. I stopped at the outfit you wore home from the hospital, the outfit I nervously bought when I first found out I was pregnant, and just stared at it. A flood of emotions came over me. I looked at that outfit a lot during the 9 months you were in my belly, just praying everyday that everything would work out and I’d get to see you in it. Of course, I did, several times. Now that you’ve outgrown it…well, it just tugs at my heart a little. Or a lot. I’m keeping that outfit forever, by the way.

You finally graduated into size 1 diapers and now wear some of your size 3 month clothing, which makes me very happy. You grew slowly at first, thanks to reasons beyond our control, but I swallowed my pride and did what I had to do to get you caught up. Looking at you everyday, and just how happy and sweet natured you are, I know I’ve made the right decisions so far. The big parenting F ups are yet to come, I’m sure.

Grandma Suzanne can’t get enough of you. She’s got Henry fever and the only cure is more Henry. I am so thankful for this because when she’s here I get to do things like clean and take a shower. After a while  you start fussing for your mama and I’m glad to take you back. There is nothing that makes me more happy than holding you.

Sleep is getting better. You sleep about 5-6 hours straight for the first half (as I call it). Then you wake up hungry and usually go back to sleep quickly. However you treat the second half more like a daytime nap. So that’s when I put you in bed with me and you do much better. I love waking up next to you but I will not cry when you start sleeping through the night.

You’re hitting some milestones: holding your head up (even sitting nicely in your Bumbo chair), grabbing and holding things, smiling and cooing a lot, and other baby stuff. To be honest, I think you’re a baby genius, but you’re probably just right on track. Not that you won’t be a genius later, I am almost 100% positive you will.

We’re getting out of the house more as a family and just the two of us. It’s nice to get back to a normal routine. You’re a great shopping buddy.

henrystore

Favorite song: Itsy Bitsy Spider (you love all the hand action happening)

My favorite song to sing to you today: Sea of Love

Favorite toy: Still love that play mat. Actually, I think you love it more and more each day. There’s just so much to discover. The monkey bouncer is growing on you though.

henry bouncer

You’re beautiful and I love you.

Forever,

Mom

One month.

I can’t believe it’s been one month already since little Mouse* was brought into this world. He seems so much older to me now.  He’s sleeping longer at night, he’s smiling when I sing him songs (his new favorite), he’s already lifting his head up, and he LOVES taking a bath.

baby bathHeaven. I could stay in here forever.

We are also getting our daily routine down. Wake up around 6 or 7, he eats, I eat, he naps, I pay bills/clean/fold laundry/organize/sleep/mess around on the internet/watch TV (this repeats several times a day), tummy time, play time, reading time, song time, bath at around 9, in bed by 10. And about a dozen diaper changes sporadically thrown in.

I’m healing really well from the c-section and getting used to the exhaustion, which makes things easier. I am really just enjoying this stage in his life, since he’ll never be this tiny again. This involves letting go of new mom nerves and relaxing. Much easier said than done.

I used to wonder why stay at home moms would count down to Friday along with the rest of us. Isn’t it all the same to them? I TOTALLY GET IT NOW. On the weekends, I have my husband here who can help me. He can change diapers, he can put him down for his nap, he can play with him. Mom finally gets a little time off on the weekends, and maybe a little more sleep. I am TGIF’ing like crazy today.

Other milestones:

  • Henry is now finally above his birth weight by several ounces. In other news, our pediatrician is a saint for putting up with me.
  • Breastfeeding is slowly getting better, which is great. I’m still supplementing, but whatever. It is what it is, and Henry is as healthy as a horse. I must be doing something right.
  • He’s putting himself to sleep now at night. I just lay him down in his bassinet right when he’s at the brink of sleep. He lays there and moves around for a while, then falls asleep. It’s a beautiful thing.

I’ve seen people track their baby’s monthly growth by placing them next to a stuffed animal. I thought it only appropriate to do the same with Yoda:

baby yodaGrowing, he is.” – Chris, when I texted him the picture. Don’t worry, Henry. You’ll be bigger than the Jedi Master before too long.

I know you are all wondering who the professional illustrator is who drew the sign. That would be me, one handed with a sleeping baby on the other arm. Not too shabby, considering.

*Henry makes the cutest little squeaking sounds when he’s sleeping or falling asleep. I started calling him Mouse and it’s sticking. My husband calls me Monkey, and now we have a Mouse. Monkey & Mouse. I should turn that into a children’s book.