Saturday, June 28, 2008

Harry's Babies

This happened a couple of weeks ago at out Saturday play group and again today, but I hadn't had a chance to write about it.

So, we were at group when one of the other babies (a girl we'll call E) came in riding in her stroller. E had fallen asleep on the walk to group, so her mom had put her baby doll in the back pocket of the stroller. From across the room, Harry spotted it and made a beeline. He took the baby out of the stroller pocket and started patting it and giving it kisses. It was really sweet. I thought he'd then start tossing it about (his form of love is a little rough sometimes) but he was very gentle and kind. He saw it again today and did the same thing, though this time he took it right out of E's hands. Oops. Later, he and E had a little case game going and he kept trying to pat her head and kiss her.

I'm not sure what my point is, but it was pretty cute. He just loves other kids and animals and isn't afraid to show affection. I love that he is so outgoing, but I just have to wonder where it comes from, with a pair of introverts for parents.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Harry Joseph, Eleven Months Old

Dear Harry,

I can hardly believe that we are so close to your first birthday. You are such a big boy in so many ways, but still such a baby boy in many other ways.

This month, you have started to show a lot of interest in walking. You have learned how to push your Radio Flyer up and down the hallway and you love to cruise (walk holding onto furniture) all over the house. You will also walk if we hold one or both of your hands. You can also stand up by yourself and have given yourself a round of applause after doing so, several times. You can climb up and down the stairs (with a spotter!) and can climb up and down from your mattress (without help!) and love to do so. Over and over and over again.

This month's picture shows you with your early birthday present from your grandparents in South Carolina. It is called a "Kangaroo Climber" and within 24 hours of its arrival, you figured out how to climb UP the slide to the little platform and then DOWN to the ground from the platform and out the back swinging door (shown above). Holy cow. You are a monkey! Sometimes you like to climb up the slide and then slide back down on your belly. That makes you laugh, which makes us laugh back.

With all the nice weather we've been having, it is really fun for us to take you outside. It gets tiring being in the house all day, so we take a blanket into the yard with some toys and just hang out. The funny thing is that you HATE the grass. I can put you on the blanket and trust that you will not move from it. That comes in handy if there are any forbidden objects around. If I want to have the laptop nearby, I can put it on a chair in the grass, away from the blanket and I may as well have put it on an island surrounded by burning lava. You retract your legs like a turtle if we dare try to put you on that foul substance. It is a relief not to have to chase you for once!

Sand, however, does not seem to bother you. During last week's heat wave, we took you to a lake at a local state park. You loved squishing your toes in the sand and splashing in the water. I can't wait to take you to the ocean and see what you think. Otherwise, it is great to go to the park and play. There is a pool at our local park that we plan to join so we can beat the heat as the summer wears on. We got you your first bathing suit and you look pretty cute, I must say.

You like to talk to us and sing songs and we love hearing your voice. Your laugh is infectious, your appetite is insatiable, your joy in life is palpable and your smile is bigger than you are. That gets us through the sleepless nights, the teething and the nap fighting. You are thriving and developing so well and so fast that these 11 months will be nothing but a blur when we look back. There is still so much to look forward to, but it is bittersweet that your first year is almost over. Just remember that even when you grow up, you'll always be our baby.


Sunday, June 8, 2008

Up to date

Now that I'm through with the archive posts, I'll be writing a bit more regularly between the monthly letters. Tonight, though, it's too damn hot.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Harry Joseph, Ten Months Old

May 13, 2008

(Reposting this one to get the letters in order.)
Dear Harry,

This week, you turn 10 months old. Double digits my boy! How is that possible? We are so close to a year now that I'm having to come to terms with your looming toddler-hood.

I've been saying all along that I feel like I gave birth to a toddler, and I do believe that you are going to come into your own once you are walking. Right now, you are lazy, though. We try to encourage you to walk with rolling toys and by holding your hands, but you are impatient for us to let you get down and crawl. You're like, "Screw this! I can get there faster on all fours! Let me go!" You can balance pretty well standing, but you don't quite realize the potential that position has. You only see letting go of the furniture as a means to lower yourself to the floor, but Daddy claims he has seen you take a couple mini steps without realizing you aren't holding on to sanything. I'm not trying to rush you, but let's keep that up! I know certain things will be easier when you can walk. I've thrown my back out a couple of times carrying you, so it would be nice to have options.

Sleep is still an elusive thing. Yesterday and today were good nap days, but last night was restless. We are still waiting for your first tooth and I think we're getting closer, but they really seem to bother you some nights and you want to nurse the pain away. You now sleep in your room on a "big boy bed" which is a full size mattress we recently bought for you. I've been in here with you for about a week. You've just been too active at night to be in our bed. We're looking at this as a transition to when we night wean this summer. I think I'll get the neighbors some ear plugs for that because I can't imagine you'll like going without your nursies. I miss being with Daddy, but the good news is that you will give us a nice chunk of time between 7:30-ish to about 9:30-ish where we can do grown up things. I usually have to go nurse you back down at least once, but it's getting more consistent all the time.

You love going to play group and seeing the other babies. You have started wanting to kiss all the babies you see - in the mirror, in books, photos, real life. It's cute, but your version of kissing is pressing your open wet mouth to their faces and going, "MWAH." It's sweet, yet slimy. I'm not sure the real babies appreciate it the way your Daddy and I do. You are really starting to enjoy "playing" (if you can call it that) with other kids and we look forward to bringing you to the park and the pool this summer. We've got a good group of parents and kids all around the same age that do regular meet-ups and you are pretty comfortable with them. It's nice to see you crawl over to one of the other moms to smile and babble hello. You usually reserve that for the mom who has the snacks, though.

Next week, I start my summer work schedule, which is very light. I'm looking forward to getting a good routine down so that we have a solid schedule in place for the fall. This school year has been really hard on me. I feel like I've been dropping the ball all over the place. I need a break to get my act together. We'll be able to enjoy some vacation days together and I hope get some much needed rest. In fact, I think I'll go join you in bed right now.


Harry Joseph, Nine Months Old

April 15, 2008 @ 7:33 pm

Dear Harry,

As of this week, you have been on the outside as long as you were on the inside. How do you like it so far? I like you much better on the outside, I can tell you. It’s way more fun.

This month has kicked us all in the butt. It started with the big trip out West and went downhill from there. We’ve had back-to-back colds, teething trouble (still no teeth!), separation anxiety, sleep regression, crappy naps, growth spurt, daytime gigs for dad throwing off our pumping schedule leading to formula supplements. It has been rough. We are counting down to the end of classes when I can go to work at 9 instead of 8. Then, after commencement, I can go in at 10. I think things will be better after April. This month is just full of so much stuff that we are, once again, in survival mode. I think we all have bags under our eyes.

We have given up on the idea that you will ever sleep in the crib. You will go from co-sleeping straight to a big-boy bed, it seems. We put a full size mattress on your floor and use that when we want to put you down alone. You love climbing up and down on it all day long and will sleep on your own there for as long as an hour! As long as we can get a little alone sleep from you every now and again, your parents will retain their sanity. The crib will be a play pen for you until such time that we set it up as a full size guest bed and you inherit your great-grandparent’s bedroom set. I even went out and bought linens for you this week because I heard they were discontinuing the line. Since I call you my “Harry-Bear” and my “Pumpkin-Bear” (I know, “Mom! You’re embarrassing me!”) we went with the Woolrich Bear collection:

It is very soft and cuddly, just like you. I hope you like it. I know I will like snuggling with you under the quilt and Daddy will like to pretend we are camping.

Despite our difficulties this month, you have started doing some exciting things like dancing to your favorite music imitating Daddy when he does the growly bear noise at you, making little “Brrrrp!” noises at the kitties and waving hello and goodbye. You are exploring your voice and can shriek with the best of them and your laugh is quite contagious. You are cruising on the furniture to beat the band and have earned the nick-name “destructo-boy” as you like to tear down all our DVDs from the bookcase. When that is done, you proceed to pull off the plastic “child-proof” protector from the DVR and press the buttons. After that, it is time to see if you can unplug the cable cord. When that fails, it’s off to inspect the outlet covers. Then maybe it’s time to find every little speck of something gross on the carpet and try to eat it. And on and on. You keep us on our toes, Harry-Joe.

You have boundless energy and will stay up and play all day, if we let you. We finally broke down and started playing a video for you because it helps you slow down and transition into quiet time. We chose “Baby Neptune” from the Baby Einstein series because of the fish. You love the fish tank and this video is all about water. You love it and it only takes about 10 minutes for your body to relax and get into night-night mode. It is the only time you will sit quietly on our laps, my little Energizer Bunny. I can sneak in all the kisses I want during movie time. Or, have a phone conversation or straighten up the room. Amazing.

I can’t believe we only have 3 months until your birthday. Every month that passes, I look back at how you have changed. 3 months ago, you were just starting to crawl. What will you be doing in another 3 months? I can’t even begin to imagine. Our days and our hearts are so much fuller than we ever could have imagined 18 months ago when I peed on that stick on election day. The time has gone so fast that I just want to press pause sometimes. I already look at you and wonder where my baby has gone. You are in such a hurry to be a little boy. Let’s slow down and take a nice nap and enjoy 9 months. OK?