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

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Henry has always enjoyed blowing bubbles in his bath water and wasn’t daunted in the least when we decided to give him a bubble bath. Result: bubble beard.

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Bath time is one of his favorite times of day. If he’s in the other room and we start up the bath, he’ll drop everything and come tearing into the room. Then we line up all his bath toys on the side of the tub and he systematically tosses each one in the water. Recently, he developed a fun game for himself where he starts on all fours and then kicks his legs out really quick before tucking them back in, sort of like a frog. This never ceases to crack him up.

The little guy is battling an ear infection right now, which is no fun for anyone. We’re all ready to have our healthy boy back, which should hopefully happen sometime around Wednesday of next week, when he can stop taking the amoxicillin.

Henry has developed a very funny social laugh. He whips it out when everyone else is laughing for some reason and he wants to be included. It’s kind of a loud “AH AH AH AH!!” which usually makes us laugh more and eventually he is really laughing. Highly entertaining.

The ball video is so very two weeks ago. The new favorite is this Sony Bravia (brand loyalty) spot featuring paint.

That terrifying clown that pops out at the 34 second mark? Totally Henry’s favorite part. It’s refreshing to see a child find a clown entertaining, actually.

Henry’s getting very good at tooling around with his little walker. He’s kind of messing around in this video, but once he gets going, he’s quite the fancy walking baby.

Henry can perform the following arguably useful things, which he does with aplomb:

* giving a refreshed “Ahhhhh!” after taking a swig of water (he’ll also sometimes make the noise to indicate he’d like a swig of water)

* pretend swishing and spitting of Listerine

* blowing kisses/kissing hand in a “bon appetit!” motion

* patting his belly/nose/ear when asked (his nanny helped with that one)

He’s taught himself a few of his own tricks, like giving the big pilates ball zerberts, bestowing kisses on his stuffed animals, and squeezing a rubber squirting toy under water so it blows bubbles. We read a little board book about babies and one of the lines is “Sometimes babies cry.” Whenever we get to this part of the book, Henry smiles hugely and starts waving. We have no idea why. Is it because “cry” sounds like “hi” and “bye”? Is he waving goodbye to the crying baby? Unclear.

He’s also a very big fan of balls right now and will point one out wherever he sees one. Sometimes it’s actually a ball, though often it is an orange or a picture of a button or really anything spherical. In an attempt to amuse him, I found this old Sony Bravia bouncy ball commercial and boy does he love it.

He bobs his head when the music starts and goes, “Baaah!” while pointing at the screen. The video does get old after the 20th time or so, but still highly preferable to reading a 4-page book about shapes again.

Henry’s such a lucky boy, he got to celebrate his birthday twice. When the singing started and he got more cake, you could tell he was thinking, “I could get used to this.” Grandma Anita baked him a special Elmo cake:

Elmo cake

Which he ate with gusto (and without a shirt).

Elmo cake eat

So much gusto, in fact, we had to pop him into a post-cake bath. There was some fingerpainting and body art going on with the frosting.

cake bath

He got a ton more presents, including his very first tricycle from his uncle Jon. Henry loves his bike, though he “rides” it by crawling up, patting it, and having someone push him around. I’m sure things will change once his feet can reach the pedals.

Bike

We had a bit of a scare driving home from the party when a car ran a red light and hit the passenger’s side of our car. Fortunately, everyone was okay (save J’s possibly cracked rib), but the car might not make it.

Accident1

Henry weathered everything fantastically and seemed to think the sirens and lights and the little red dog the firemen gave him were just extensions of his birthday celebrations. Plus, we got to open more presents the next morning, including a sweet tent with tunnel from Grandma Glenda.

tent

I know it’s cliched, but it’s hard to believe it’s only been a year since we met this great guy.

henry born

Tomorrow Henry turns 1! We’ll have an official family celebration to mark the occasion, but invited everyone over on Saturday to eat cake and have some fun with the little guy.

Henry and I started our day early and went to the grocery store to pick up some party supplies, including a bouquet of helium balloons. Henry was enthralled and played with them while we finished up the shopping. They were attached to a clip, which was secured to a shopping bag. Apparently, they were not secured enough. I was loading the bags into the car and when I turned back, Henry had released the balloons to the heavens.
balloons bye

I was upset, but Henry seemed unconcerned.

Henry in cart

Luckily, Grandma came to the rescue and brought more balloons. Good thing, because they were a major highlight for Henry, even inspiring him to learn the word “balloon” instantly. It sounds more like “baaooo,” but distinct from “ball” or “bear” (“Bah!” “Beh!”).

balloons party

We thought he might feel bewildered by all the decorations and attention, but on the contrary, Henry was thrilled. He couldn’t believe all the wonderful things that were for him! I made a chocolate buttercream cake for the party:

bday cake

and we bought some vegan cupcakes from our favorite veg-friendly bakery for Henry since he had a reaction to egg whites earlier and we wanted him to be able to stuff his face worry-free.

bday cupcakes

He also couldn’t believe his luck when he got a whole cupcake to devour by himself. Why can’t dinner be this delicious EVERY DAY?

cake face

Presents followed and he was excited by everything, including the wondrous bags and fancy bows.

Opening presents

Happy birthday, little buddy!


(video)

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.

Henry had his first birthday party this weekend. His buddy V turned one and the birthday girl had everyone join her at Gymboree for some good times with colorful things to climb on and play with. Henry was a little overwhelmed by the awesomeness of the occasion and kept his apprehensive face on.

Here he is ripping it up at the hokey pokey:

vhokeypokey

We thought climbing through a long tunnel might not be on his to-do list,

vtunnel start

but he crawled on through like a champ!

Vtunnel end

Note the excitement coursing through his eyes. He’s working on another top tooth, so in addition to apprehensive-face, we also got stuff-jammed-in-the-mouth-face:

V H and V

vslide

vbasketball

Henry’s big 0-1 is just around the corner, so we’ll have to start planning our own party soon. He approved of V’s Elmo theme.

Henry briefly visited the mountains when he was very little and his grandparents came from Ohio to meet him. He took a trip to Red Rocks with Grandma Glenda and strolled around Central City with Grandpa Tom and Grandma Becky. He slept through most of those outings, so his first trip to Eldorado Springs this past weekend was particularly fun. It was his first time in a big pool and his reaction was a bit mixed. He loved standing up in the shallow water, but wasn’t too sure about going deeper, even with mom holding on.

He definitely enjoyed having snacks poolside and stacking some cups, though.

Pool cups

At the end of the day, Henry sometimes likes to put little presents in mom’s purse and dad’s backpack. Useful things like wooden spoons and toy balls. Of course, this is less of a gift than a barter, as he then tends to find good exchanges for his baubles. Like gum!

Gum

Dad hates all gum with a fiery vengeance, so this was particularly amusing (for mom).

Henry briefly learned how to give kisses on the cheek when asked, but has since declined to repeat the trick. He is, however, quite skilled at the two-handed wave.

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.