Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Encyclopedia Henry and The Case of the Missing Rag

Henry pushed away his pacifier for good around the 3 month mark. It does nothing for him as he is without a doubt a burp rag guy. We expect him to transition to blankets at some point, but these days the rag gets it done. Much soothing and peace comes from tugging and wringing the burp rag in his hands. He loves it. As he is able to roll over from side to side and sit up on his own, he can now begin to sleep with his burp rag.

This has been an amazing turn of events. He used to fuss for 5-10 minutes when we'd put him down for bed, but now he merely babbles for a minute or so before falling asleep. Bedtime is infinitely easier than ever before, and in truth it was never that difficult to start with. He loves his rag, so give the kid his rag.

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The weather lately has found each day exploding into blue skies and near 50 degree temps. Add in some sunshine and we are in the midst of a beautiful, gradually melting Alaskan spring. The trails in the neighborhood bog are still packed with 1-2 feet of slushy snow, so we've been forgoing the backpack and instead using the jogging stroller. Hank loves both and as long as he's in motion, he's happy and up for it. In the afternoon yesterday Becky loaded up The Supervisor into the stroller and started off for the supermarket. After filling the short shopping list she pushed homeward as Henry scanned the trees and road for endless interesting images. Becky returned home, put away the stroller, and settled back before texting me.

Nice walk but lost a rag somewhere on the walk :(

Trouble was brewing and a mystery was underfoot. I ended up getting home from the gym within 30 minutes and the weather was still fabulous. Assuming Hank didn't need to eat anytime soon, I had planned on taking him on a jog. Given the tragedy in front of us, we quickly opted for a route retracing the steps of the fateful voyage. I've read enough Encyclopedia Brown and Hardy Boys books to know a mystery when I see one, so off we went.

Twenty minutes later I saw a white object against some greening grass and knew that Henry and I had cracked this case wide open. The dusty rag had been reclaimed and we happily texted mommy with the news. After snaking through a new neighborhood as Daddy panted and Henry craned about at the homes and melting snow berms, we found ourselves home enjoying a dinner in the high chair as the dirty burp rag sat safely on the top of the hamper. He may never know how close to tragedy we had come.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Henry's 9 month checkup went well. He's average in all physical categories except height -- he's leaning towards the tall end of the bell curve these days. I'm sure it will all shake out in a few 100 more directions in the coming years, but as parents we are happy he's growing steadily and healthily. This is the time of your child's life where "average" is what everyone hopes for. Hank is growing and exploring and eating everything put in front of him.

Our pediatrician gave us the ok, thanks to a change in current medical thought, to begin introducing some of the foods that provide the biggest allergic threats. Just space them out and watch for a reaction. We began first with several days of peanut butter and are happy to report that this boy loves his peanut butter. We had spread it across some bread to make it easier for him to actually feed himself and perhaps cut down on some of the mess. You be the judge.

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 Later this week scrambled eggs will be making an appearance.

Finding a few spare hours over the weekend, I pulled out my power drill and attacked all of the cabinets that needed baby proof locks. We opted for magnetic locks based on the advice of different folks I've run into. So far they seem to be hindering Henry as promised. We'll need to pick up a few extras though as the magnetic ones are too large for some of the smaller drawers.

It's always a party when Daddy fires up the power drill and The Supervisor will not be denied the chance to observe the work.

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Monday, April 16, 2012

The ongoing joke around the house is that Henry looks so much like a young Chris and has mannerisms so much like a young Chris, that we are unsure of whom his mother is. There is plenty of time for an infinite amount of habits and physical traits to surface, so we know it's all a joke right now. Still, Becky would like a Barnes trait to pop up now and again. I'm sure it will.

For years my parents have told endless stories of how as a baby I would slowly and steadily move my index finger north in the hopes of touching a parent's eye. As soon as I learned how to point and touch things, I wanted nothing less than an eyeball as the goal. If I was being fed or held, the finger went to the eye. I don't believe Becky did anything nearly as a specific. Well, look who is all about eyeballs around our house.

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When Grammy Turek came up for her Iditarod visit, she brought my Eagle Scout plaques along. I did not have any specific plans for them, but certainly they should end up in my house at this point. For the heck of it I put the plaque up in Henry's room.

He loves it. Without fail, if we ask him where "Daddy's plaque" is, he will turn directly to it. At any given time, he loves looking at it for minutes on end as well. It's a magnetic eagle it seems.

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With daytime highs in the mid 40's, the melt is on. Henry and I have been jogging around the neighborhood and hiking through the bog. He's able to stay awake during the jogging just fine, but inevitably falls asleep during the bog hikes. I suspect when I put together the new bike trailer in a few weeks he'll be dozing off even sooner. He's slowly revving up for the Alaskan summer of endless daylight.

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This video was on Facebook a while back, but in case anyone missed it there, Lesley was able to provide a youtube version.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Saturday found Anchorage being dumped with a few inches of heavy, wet snow, which pushed us into the record books. I was extremely hopeful that we would end up breaking the record -- If you are knee deep in a brutal winter, go for it all. If you're going to be a bear, be a grizzly.

The record was broken, all facebook statuses echoed it, so let's now get it melted.

The Easter plan was for Henry to eat a full breakfast of solids and hopefully remain satisfied throughout church at noon.We travel with a baby bag and a flexible schedule, and had every intention of sitting in the rear of a packed church. It was ambitious, but worth a try. Thankfully, The Supervisor thought quietly glancing around the church at the plethora of adults and children was just the cat's pajamas. A quiet, inquisitive Henry is always a welcome state of the world for us. Aside from a bathroom break after Henry's red-faced Eucharist prayer, church was a breeze.

After church at St. Andrews in Eagle River, we continued north to Chugiak for dinner at Randy and Kelly's home. Amongst a delicious dinner of Prime Rib and Ham, Henry was dressed up a bit by cousin Hailey. 

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Henry helped me hide the eggs and also participated in the searching process. Between Hailey and Lesley, 22 out of 23 eggs were found. We eventually shrugged and chalked the missing egg up to the dogs.

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Even though there was at least knee high snow everywhere, the sun and 40 degree temps had everyone milling around outside without jackets. All Easter photos are here.

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter finally arrived and it was as perfect as we could have hoped. Henry found himself coloring eggs thanks to some washable markers. He seems to have found the experience odd -- making marks on a heavy, rolling, spinning object. He enjoyed it, but there seemed to be one too many new experiences in the equation. There was no fussing, so we'll put that event in the positive column.

On Saturday I made a lamb cake using my grandmother's aluminum tins. It came out fairly well and Becky only needed to use a little frosting to repair some of the sections that just didn't want to pop out of the tins easily enough. I tried to find some lamb butter, but Anchorage just doesn't have enough Polish Catholics to force the stores to carry the stock. I'd like to give Henry a taste of the old Turek  Polish traditions in the future, so I'll need to arrange for some oplatek this coming Christmas.

Saturday dinner was some intensely fragrant (garlic!) polish sausage and cheese pierogis, courtesy of Grammy Turek and her visit last month. It was a delicious and authentic Holy Saturday.

Hank awoke on Sunday to his first Easter basket and a plethora of plastic eggs "hidden" around the living room. The Easter Bunny had placed several candy eggs in each plastic egg, which produced the most delightful rattle for Henry to enjoy.

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He really seemed to get into it, though it probably helped that the eggs were placed directly in his crawling hot spots.

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Henry fumbles through his "Da" sounds and even peels off a few "Da-das" here and there. I've happily ceased to be named Doug and his vocal progress continues. I was holding Henry last night as he happily gazed at Becky when out came, "Todd." Yep, Mommy is Todd. He repeated it a few more times for good measure and we chuckled away. I'm Doug and Becky is Todd. The Supervisor has spoken.

He may not be crawling in a fluid or classical way, but the young boy is moving forward. It made my planned installation of the baby gates over the weekend all the more prescient. Good timing, Doug. It should almost go without saying that when the electric drill was fired up, The Supervisor had to come and watch Doug install the gates (at least until  Henry hit the wall and needed a nap).

While we remain 3 inches shy of the all time snow record for Anchorage, we are now seeing daytime highs in the 30's. We have been slowly melting for a week and the city is turning into a world of slop. I hope we get those final inches and crush the record -- there are at least 5+ weeks of winter left. In the meantime I've been chiseling away at the snow on my deck. I'm not worried about the weight of the snow as much as I am concerned at the sheer amounted of water that will eventually settle next to my foundation. I probably have nothing to worry about, but who wants to deal with seepage when it's time to get out biking and fishing.

Yes, Henry needed to closely monitor Dad's shoveling.

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