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Despite our inability to find winter boots for Henry, he is loving all the snow we’ve had recently. We bundle him up until he looks like Randy from “A Christmas Story” and then hover over him while he launches himself into yards of thigh-high snow.

Henry has learned how to say “baby,” which will just about break your heart in half. It is one of the only very distinct words he has, where anyone could tell that was what he was saying. There was some worry when he started tapping my stomach and saying “bayyybee!” but we think he is just confusing “baby” with “belly.” To be clear: no babies in the belly.

Thanksgiving was a ton of fun. We like any excuse to dress this kid up in a sweater vest (hand-me-down thanks to Bricker cousins).

This was the first year he got to eat all the food and he loved it. Mashed potatoes by the handful, stuffing with raisins, cranberry sauce, rolls, fruit. He was in heaven. He told us he was full, but then we gave him a special egg-free cupcake and he made room, in true Thanksgiving spirit.

Finally, here’s a scene from lunch last weekend. Someone fell asleep in the car for two minutes just before lunch. He woke up enough for us to get him situated in the highchair, but as you can see, he proved to be a little un-awake after all.

Of course, he woke up fully the second we decided all was lost and put him in his crib for an early nap.

We got some snow on the ground and Henry was very excited to check it out.

snow 1

That is, of course, until he realized the pretty stuff was very cold and wet.

snow 2

The cold weather happened so fast, we weren’t properly prepared with all the proper toddler attire. A quick trip to Target fixed that and Grandpa Terry treated the guy to his first pair of winter mittens and a sweet hat that will make all the other baby snow boarders jealous. We also taught him a new trick. Henry, where’s your tongue?

tongue

He is full of surprises lately. While it wouldn’t have occurred to me to give my 13-month-old a whole apple, it certainly occurred to Henry to eat one. After a rigorous debate on the proper name of the fruit, (Me: “Apple.” Henry: “Ball!” Me: “Aaaaapuhhl” Henry:…”Ball!”) I let him examine it closer. Whereupon he opened wide and planted his mouth right on it. After a few teeth scraping yielded only peel, I helped him along by removing a portion of the red skin. He went to town on the thing using his own unperfected technique of scraping his bottom teeth along the fruit until a small portion made its way into his mouth. He could not believe I was holding out on him and is now suspicious of the supposed unpalatability of the raw potato we wouldn’t let him eat a few days ago.

In growing news, the buzzy chair that was on loan made its way back to us. Not quite the cozy, enveloping pouch it once was.
buzzy chair compare

While I’m not sure we have any full words yet, Henry has definitely reached a sign language milestone. Now when we go to heat up his bottle, he’ll squeeze his little hand and go, “Ba ba ba ba!” It’s all very exciting, except that he uses it as much to identify as to express desire. So him doing it might mean, “Gimme a bottle now!” or, just as likely, “Hey look, it’s a bottle!”

He’s practicing using utensils more and more. Here he is attempting to feed himself yogurt with a spoon:

He does pretty well until he realizes how much more fun it is to fingerpaint with yogurt than eat it from a spoon.

Even though he is too big for his Exersaucer now, Henry has brilliantly refashioned it into a fort-type thing. He likes to toss things underneath and then go on expeditions hunting for them.

Exersaucer under

The weather has been cool, like a teaser for autumn. I predict footie pajamas in our near future.

Poor little Henry has an end-of-summer cold right now, with a faucet nose and a bit of a fever. It’s too bad because otherwise he’s doing great. He’s not walking yet, but it’s a glimmer in his eyes. If you catch him unaware, he’ll stand on his own for a few seconds.

Henry has a great love for all fuzzy things. This is especially the case for dogs, but also for large stuffed animals, like bears and Elmo. With the inanimate objects, he demonstrates this love by falling head-first into their bellies and rolling around on the floor while smiling like a goon.

elmo

Sometimes he miscalculates the location of the stuffed object and will end up head-first on the floor, but he usually just plays it off.

When he feels like it, Henry can find objects that you ask for, namely balls, his dinosaur, his bear, and shoes. His (our) favorite is when we say, “Where is Trump?” and Henry looks right up to the bookcase where Trump is indeed sitting. We then lift Henry up to see if the Donald has any words of wisdom to impart. Sometimes it’s encouraging (“Never. Give. Up.”), sometimes baffling (“Try to avoid shaking hands when at all possible.”), but sometimes the baby does get fired. It’s a tough world.

In addition to throwing food off his highchair, an endless source of entertainment, Henry is now trying to train us to play fetch from his crib. He takes his beloved panda bear and elephant blankie and pretends to hug and love them until we leave the room. At this point, he hurls them over the side of the crib and then yells to indicate they are no longer in his possession. Unfortunately for Henry, Mom and Dad have a very limited amount of time they’ll entertain this (approximately twice), and then he’s on his own. The upside is, it does make me feel like a mom to go into his room after he’s fallen asleep and tuck the bear and blankie back into bed with him.

Despite all the afternoon rain storms we’ve been getting, this summer has been a scorcher. While some of us are stuck in over-air-conditioned offices, Henry gets to squeeze in some fun in the pool. Here he is kicking it with Grandma.

Cooling Off

He likes to maintain a neat grooming regimen, even in the water.

Brush Brush Brush

Henry loves all the barbecues we’ve had this summer. It’s a great time to crawl around in the grass and be fed veggie hot dogs and blueberries. We tried a banana bread recipe this weekend, which Henry gave two enthusiastic thumbs up. Vegan recipes can be great for babies: no honey or egg whites!

Lower-Fat Banana Bread
adapted from Veganomicon cookbook

2 large or 3 small very ripe bananas
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons prune puree (the original recipe calls for molasses here)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas really well. Add the sugar, applesauce, oil, and molasses, and whisk briskly to incorporate.

Sift in the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Use a wooden spoon to mix until the wet and dry ingredients are just combined.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a knife inserted through the center comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let cool.

Here’s a little piece of the internet where Henry fans can check in on him to see what he’s up to.  He’s quite busy these days, cutting teeth, pulling himself up, crawling like crazy and babbling away.  Here you can see him enjoying a delicious watermelon rind–his favorite summertime treat.  Not shown: gleeful tossing of rind to floor.

He’s improved quite a bit from his first banana eating days!