Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Walk Like a Man

This morning Henry took 2 steps all by himself! Luckily we (even Lucy) were all watching him at the time :). It was just a couple, but it's a start. Soon he will be chasing Lucy through the house while she screams at him, hahahaha! He's 10 months and 1 day old.
photo from later that day:

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Denning Family Reunion

Yesterday Ron and I, along with the kids, went to the Denning Family reunion in Battle Creek. The cottage on the lake was gorgeous and there were almost 60 people there! Everyone brought great food, and there were a lot of new faces for me (and for Ron, in some cases). Henry was really good although he became extremely tired with no nap, and Lucy was having a good time, but busy busy busy! We got there around 12:30 and left around 6:30 PM. We didn't realize it until we were on our way home, neither of us even had a chance to pee while we were there! Sorry if TMI, but it goes to show you how we both had our hands pretty full! It was nice though. There were just so many people I wish I could have talked to more!

His whole family doesn't all get together like this too often, so it was important to get a big group photo. This is when a wide-angle lens is most useful!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Henry at 9 (okay, 10) Months!

What? I'm just playin' my xylophone...

Today Henry had his 9 month checkup, although he's closer to 10 months old now - the 28th will be the date. He weighed in at 21 pounds even, and 30 and 3/4 inches long. Generally speaking, his weight is right in the middle of average for his age, and his length is "off the chart" but not by too much. He had one shot, and stopped crying the instant I picked him up. He was back to his smiling self immediately. What a good boy. See, here he is amusing himself with a hanger.

Then again, he is starting to become even more mobile, and with that has developed a feisty streak. He does not sit on your lap for more than a couple seconds before arching has back and wanting to get down. He spots something across the room and goes for it one way or another. He will to crawl to anything, pull himself up, and "creep" along it until he has no choice but to take a hand off and stand, holding on with one hand. He can even walk a little bit holding onto my hand with one of his, but usually twists around to look at me and that's when he ends up plopping back down. Sometimes he can stand on his own for several seconds holding onto nothing, but of course, crawling is faster and easier!

He loves taking a bath (no ring, no inflatable duck tub, etc.), especially if he can play in there with his big sis. I think she would disagree about the fun factor of bathtime with her baby brother, because "he's in the waaaaay!" He just crawls all over the place and splashes up a storm. He might slip a little here or there, but I make sure he is safe, and he is doing pretty well at holding his own. Lucy spotted something that seemed out of place though, and that was an interesting moment. "Because he's a boy" is enough of an answer to satisfy her for now!

He is starting to drink regular milk (might we be done buying formula???) and also using a sippy cup. I think we got Lucy on the sippy a little earlier, but time flies with the second one. All of a sudden he's over 9 months old, and it's just too easy to go about your routine and have the months sneak up on you. I'm also guilty of not giving him enough finger foods to experiment with, but over the past couple of weeks he has had a lot more, and is really good at the pincher grasp. He seems to like most everything we give him. He's had a little pizza, squash, peas and carrots, Puffs (that doesn't really count, I'm talking about "people food" here), cake, chicken salad, graham crackers, and some other things. It won't be long until we can phase out baby food too. We give him a variety of fruits and veggies, and - yuck - some meats. Well, apples and chicken isn't so bad, but I am not a fan of baby food meats. Anyway, many baby foods are orange: namely squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, peaches, and some of the combo foods. We try not to give him more than 1 "orange" per day, but alas, carotenosis cannot be stopped. You can see it by the sides of his nose mostly. If you look at the Wiki entry and see the list of foods associated with high levels of carotenoids, you might be surprised to see things like broccoli, apples, plums, among other unexpected culprits. Well rounded diet or not, it seems inevitable. No I am not spraying fake tanner on my baby.

He is so good. Even when he is super tired he smiles and waves (open-close-open-close hand) and babbles (da da da, na na na, ah-da), and makes funny sounds like "atchh" and "eeshhh." Looking back, Lucy was not a fussy baby either, she too was friendly and smily and slept through the night at a normal age, everything very similar. As soon as she became mobile, she was obviously a lot more work - she was, and still is, very very active and is an amazingly sweet, smart girl when she gets attention. When she's ignored she acts out, or gets bored and goes to the fridge (!!!). Maybe Henry will be able to amuse himself more than Lucy, but he is showing signs - just like she did - that he wants to be doing something all the time. I'm sure I'm in for some surprises as they start to play together more and more....

Monday, July 06, 2009

3rd, 4th, and 5th of July

Sorry but I think this post is going to be picture-free! Of course my camera is at the camera hospital getting repaired (hopefully) and although I did borrow one for the time being, I really didn't feel much like taking photos this weekend with someone else's camera. Also, if you can believe it, I sometimes don't feel like always taking photos! I have had a cold, and maybe that has something to do with it, because it kind of made me grumpy and unmotivated.

Anyway, Friday afternoon we made the kids take good naps - although Henry went to bed at his normal time, Lucy stayed up extra late so we could enjoy a campfire and fireworks at our neighbor's house. She stayed up until after 11:00 PM and we had a great time over there. Our neighbor bought some really great (probably illegal) fireworks in Indiana and they were quite impressive! Henry was safe sleeping in his crib, yards away, and we ran home a couple times to make sure he wasn't awake or screaming!

Saturday we headed to Grandville for the parade, which we watched with Ron's mom, his brother Tom, and (2 out of 3 of) Tom's kids. We let Lucy dash away from the curb and crab candy, and she had a blast with her cousins! Then we headed back to my grandparents' for lunch. They live on Yellowstone (in the house they built and where they raised their 5 children) so they are really close to all the 4th of July activities. As far back as I can remember, their home is open to all family and friends throughout the day (or any other day, for that matter). We went home for naps (including me, I was feeling pretty crappy!) and then to my parents for hotdogs and hamburgers.

We went back to Grandma and Grandpa's at night for the big fireworks display, where everyone (who is in town) watches from their front lawn. I almost bailed on it, because I was feeling like my head was completely stuffed up, but I didn't want to miss watching my own kids watching the fireworks... and I know how special it is for my grandparents on that day, when family, community, patriotism, and tradition are celebrated probably more than any other time of year. Grandma is 80 and Grandpa turns 80 next month, and as important as all this is for them, it is starting to take on more meaning for me than ever before. No one goes there because they are guilted into it... it's just what you do, if you are in town, even if it's just to stop in and say hi for a minute. Not everyone can be there all the time, but their kids and grandkids always know they are welcome and loved, no matter what, which is how it should be.

Henry didn't cry with the loud booms, or the fact that it was well past his normal bed time, but he was so exhausted he just stared at the fireworks, while Lucy could hardly sit still, despite the long day and another late night. The excitement had her pretty wound up!

Lucy has a cold (I think I caught mine from her), and Henry started developing the same symptoms later on Saturday, so when Sunday morning came around, we really didn't feel like exposing all the other kids at church to our illness, and stayed home (again). Ron worked on the deck a little bit, and I had an engagement session in Holland at night, then spent the rest of my evening editing wedding photos (yes, I am still working on them... but I'm almost done, hooray!!!), while Ron snoozed on the couch... and now I think he's coming down with this cold too! Summer colds are the worst! Luckily mine is almost gone now. :)