Friday, January 27, 2012

Sometimes the best show in our little home is not the clothes being folded, the shining white snow outside the 3rd floor window, the colorful book being read, or the mirror containing the other baby in the bathroom. The hottest ticket in town is the washing machine.

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It has flashing lights at seemingly random times, sings songs when finished, makes erratic noises as water spits inside, and spins. Oh, does it spin. It is so wonderful the way it spins. Henry is very capable of sitting up strongly and sternly, but he does still tumble over now and again when something distracts him. If something fascinating is happening near you, how could you help yourself from lurching dramatically in that direction? The washer is such a magnetic threat, so when we plop Hank in front of the churning happiness we need to mind him closely. It's a small price to pay for such a happy event.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The deep freeze in south central Alaska seems to have finally broken. For about 10 days here in east Anchorage we started the day at -17 and peaked at -8 or -9. We now live happily in the positive single digits, which is a world of difference. Perhaps a Saturday hike in the bog is in the near future for Henry and his old man, though he has been happier than ever lately. We were stuck inside fighting the chill so we devised endless games, stories, and songs to throw at Hank. Keying into his role as "The Supervisor", we often place him in the center of our bed, sitting up and holding his burp rag (this kids loves his rag). He's well away from any side of the bed and is in no danger from tumbling over. He's set. We simply pop up our heads from the end and sides of the bed, secretly shuffling along the floor between pop ups. Henry believes this is the funniest and most fascinating thing in the world, particularly if you do it slowly with eye contact. Throw in a few quicker pop ups to the actual center of the bed and you have one entertained little boy. 

Now if we could just get him to realize that he can use his feet to power this swing, imagine how much wider his smile could be.

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Here is Hank and his foal enjoying one of the many times he's heard "Ragtime Cowboy Joe."

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Monday, January 23, 2012

One of the larger gifts around here for Christmas was a slick Cuisinart food processor.  Aside from a desire for pesto in our pasta, the main job of the cuisinart will be in pulverizing all kinds of foods for Henry. Squash, green beans, broccoli, and avocados are all on tap. We've been squirreling away glass jars from a few weeks of purchased baby food, and slowly but surely our freezer has been filling with tiny containers of squash and avocado. Henry really loves squash, though in truth he seems to love everything (except carrots when presented in sizable chunks). The only sad part of the eating experience occurs whenever we need to wipe his face with a damp rag. He moans and fusses, unable to realize that he's the one that found a way to get those green beans in his eye brows and up his nose. However, once the wet rag has finished its painful journey across his face the happiness quickly returns with the next spoonful of squash or banana.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

We all know what happens when you move the pump arm.

Our 6 month visit with Dr. Michelle was last week and Henry is healthy and perfectly in the average category of all the health and weight ranges. This is the time of his life when average is what everyone is shooting for. He smiles and coos for the doctor as she kindlyexamines him and takes his shots like a champion. We always tell him he was so brave, but in truth he was held down for 10 seconds, cried, and had to be quickly soothed. Certainly the crying and fussing could have continued for much longer, so for only fussing for a few moments after the shots ended we'll give him a bravery badge.

Dr. Laufer always treats Henry so warmly and he responds in kind. We certainly chose the correct pediatrician. I held Henry on my lap as she tenderly rotated his legs, checking for smooth hip joints. Hank's diaper happened to be off this time and as she held his left leg and smoothly moved it she activated the pump. Her pants ended up a bit wet, Daddy's jacket was earmarked for the washing machine that evening, and the diaper was quickly replaced. We all chuckled and shrugged as it was 4:45 in the afternoon, which meant that Henry was nowhere near the first one to pee on the staff that day.

Monday, January 9, 2012

This winter has become a bit of a bear here in Anchorage. It seems that we end up with a new dump of snow at least once a week, not to mention that we have spent nearly a month happy to just get above 0 and live in the single digits during the day. The skiing has been excellent though as the snow keeps getting groomed and packed into nice, smooth trails. The picture below is of the snow on our garage as of Sunday the 8th.

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We're happy and comfortable inside next to the fireplace, playing with Henry on the floor amongst his pile of toys. He's a wonderfully inquisitive, pleasant, and happy little boy. He loves to quietly observe and monitor anything and anyone that happens to be drifting around the room he is in, hence his new nickname "The Supervisor." I don't believe in Lamarckism myself, but Henry seems to have somehow stumbled into the knowledge of how to behave precisely as a Chicago city worker. He just sits, watches, stays relaxed, and refuses to move. If he learns how to read a paper and go out to lunch he'll get snatched up by Chicago immediately. The best example lately comes when it is time to fold clothes -- plop him in the middle of the bed and he will happily observe and seemingly double check the shuffling and folding of shirts and pants. Why start to fuss when there is so much to monitor and be in charge of?

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Here he is at 6 months old.

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Henry and I rarely have disagreements, but the other night I found myself on his bad side. Becky was off to the gym and I was tasked with feeding Henry his supper (something I have done many times before). Hank was all snapped into his high chair, the bottle was shaken, and some mushed green beans were at the ready. We always start the process with the bottle to prime the pump and settle life down a bit, something which went according to planned this time. The green beans turned his mood from happiness to a deep, sad unrest though.

It seemed to be pure torture for 'ol Hank, regardless of his previous love of green beans. Screaming and crying ensued and soon I was cleaning spattered beans from my glasses. We shifted back to the bottle to calm the escalating mood and soon were back to normal. I doubled down and steered the spoon back to his mouth. It was even more painful this time and for the second time in 5 minutes I was taking a moment to rinse my glasses of green goop. Hint taken!

Back into the fridge went the green beans and out of the chair came Henry. His sad mood miraculously disappeared and we were the best of smiling friends on the couch as he slurped on his bottle. Becky returned to an odd combination of chuckles, puzzled frustration, smiles, and a splattered shirt on Daddy.  Henry didn't want solids during that meal, so that's the way it was going to be. I'm doing my best to roll with the punches and am doing a little better everyday. Henry is happy and healthy so there is nothing to get hung up on.

Evidence on my shirt aside, you can see below that he was my buddy soon after the green bean rejection.

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