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April 24, 2009

Henry 8

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First news of the day, fresh from a weight check visit with our pediatrician, our efforts during Henry's third week of life have not been in vain; we've gained! Henry has regained and surpassed his birth weight, tipping the scales at an impressive 7 pounds 15 ounces! Our combined hard work this week gives us great cause to cheer; the hard work means that 1) we now know what we're doing feeding-wise, 2) we can move to feeding on demand (instead of the every 2-3 hour thing that we were doing), and 3) we don't have to see the doctor again for 6 whole weeks!

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Therefore, this month wherein the world celebrates, or maybe just marks, the 500th anniversary of the coronation of that notorious scoundrel, Henry VIII, we celebrate the fact that our Henry ate and now he's 8.

Huzzah!

April 22, 2009

Happy 50th Birthday, Marmee!

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You have the spirit of 10 five year-olds!

We love you! Happy birthday!

April 21, 2009

In-Crowd

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No fewer than four new siblings were born to Adelaide and her schoolmates in the months of March and April! It's exciting to be a member of the in-crowd, even when you're in preschool.

Yesterday during Adelaide's drop-off, Henry waited patiently in his car seat while I helped Adelaide hang up her coat and stow her precious plush dog, Shelby, in her cubby. Another eager preschooler and classmate of Adelaide's, Jaewoo, took this opportunity to inspect the unsuspecting, snoozing Henry. Adelaide, catching sight of Jaewoo's attentions, ran over to Henry and shouted at Jaewoo, "Hey, Jaewoo! That's my baby brother!"

I guess that preschoolers don't really need to be taught that possession is 9/10ths the law.

April 20, 2009

Whirlwind

Well here we are, Toadsland, two weeks from Henry’s birth day, and the best descriptor of life that I can employ is that it is a whirlwind. We’re living a daily monsoon of diaper changes, finicky eaters, coughs and sniffles, 30-minute power naps, overflowing laundry baskets, stale coffee, and doctor’s appointments. My mom left us to return to Lake Wobegon and my sister’s junior prom on Friday, and now we’re really flying solo.

The Babies:

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Henry, a charmer to be sure, in his best pose: Repose.

The first thing to note about Henry at two weeks is that he is more and more alert, both eyes open, taking in the shapes and colors of his new world (which is good because he was born with a crusty blocked tear duct of his right eye). Sure, he still sleeps a lot, but he also enjoys passing the time gazing at and thoughtfully considering the view. In other Henry-related topics, we’re feeding the little guy every two hours during the daytime (0530 - 0130) at our doctor’s behest. You see, he’s a being a bit of a poky eater and, subsequently, a slow weight gainer (7 pounds even at last official check on Friday, 4/17/2009). To Joel and I this is just odd; how can a child of parents who are known to get shaky and grouchy when supper is late be so loath to tuck into what might be life’s best, most abundant comfort food: breastmilk? To Adelaide, Henry’s behavior is a little more understandable; Adelaide’s going through a bit of a White Bread Only phase (but more on that in a moment ...). Henry will have yet another weight check this Friday to determine our course for the next month or so; I shudder to think about what our pediatrician will say if he’s not gained, so we’re not really thinking too hard about that. But, despite all that pressure, we’re loving the Getting To Know You period ... He’s cute; he’s blond; he looks like Joel when he’s mad and Adelaide when he’s not; he’s generally calm and collected and excessively patient with his older sister’s attentions.

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Unable to attend her favorite weekend library storytime owing to a fever, Adelaide acts out storytime using her Little People.

Speaking of older sisters, Adelaide has been champ these past couple of weeks and deserves an award for Most Loving, Most Interested Sibling. She often demands, “I’m just going to touch my baby brother now” or asks inquisitively, “Why is he all red?” I can only imagine the craziness of these past weeks from Adelaide's perspective. First, Marmee (our constant) was here, seeing Adelaide through the tumultuousness of Henry’s birth day, but then went home:

Adelaide: (matter-of-factly) Marmee lives in St. Cloud.
Me: Yup.
Adelaide: (straightforwardly) D and Erin live in St. Cloud.
Me: They do.
Adelaide: (squarely) Kelli and Cha-Cha and Baby Owen live in St. Cloud.
Me: Mmm-hmm.
Adelaide: (questioningly) We live in Go Hawkeyes? (Go Hawkeyes = Iowa City)

“That’s weird,” was written all over her face after she made that connection. I nearly lost my composure. Second, although we’ve tried to keep Adelaide securely in her routines, allowances were made for nursemaid’s elbow and viral bugs. The first week of Henry’s life, Adelaide had her arm pop of out of joint at school. So, Joel collected our tearful girl and off we went to the doctor where they popped it back in place. The second week of Henry’s life, Adelaide spiked a temperature of 101. Coupled with a snappy cough and a faucet of snot, Adelaide won a couple of days on the couch with a strict regime of Motrin/Tylenol, endless movies (she especially loves a children’s series called Kipper), a fountain of cherry juice, and the well-earned right to be moody. More seriously, is it the cold or all the change in our house that prompts Adelaide to cry out in the night and ask for Joel or I to snuggle with her? My mom assures me that though Adelaide cries out and makes a huge scene, she moves on much quicker than we adults do. This week, we’re back in the swing of our schedule, feverless, and are feeling better about everything.

The ‘Rents

So, as Joel and I often muse, “now we have Kidz, with a ‘z.” Life is evolving, a work-in-progress, a catch-as-catch-can experience.

We’ll spare you a photo.

April 13, 2009

Finding Eggs

Sunday afternoon, before supper, Erin and Charles hid 22 Easter eggs in our backyard, and then Adelaide spent approximately 30 of the happiest minutes of her life finding them.

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Finding treasure- that timeless and universal experience of surprise, joy, greed, and pride- inspired Adelaide to perform running leaps, which was, as far as we know, a brand new maneuver for her.
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Parenting is mostly an in-the-moment exercise for me, full of snap decisions, ill-conceived plans, and a vague hope that all will work out well, but, thanks to Charles and Erin's efforts, I was able to have the explicit thought, "Yes, this is a happy childhood, after all."

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April 11, 2009

A Little Fresh Air

A wise pediatrician (ours) once said (earlier this week), "You may think that this new baby is a gift for your 3 year-old, but she might not think that." We've taken his words to heart and have tried our utmost this week to encourage Adelaide to enjoy Henry (gently), but have also tried to spend quality time with her each day, doing the things that she loves. This is no easy task when that old bear sleep deprivation is finally catching-up with us ... But, we manage, with all the extra helpful hands around!

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Today, for example, Marmee, Adelaide, Erin and I skipped our naps and went to an Easter Egg Hunt in nearby Coralville.

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We pat the bunnies.

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We pondered our strategy at the hunt's starting line.

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We collected our loot.

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And all the while, Henry napped.

April 9, 2009

Nursery Rhymes Come Alive! With Play-Dough!

In the midst of all the Henry-o-rama, Adelaide likes to take time to play little girl games. Tonight, for instance, she took a break from touching Henry's head, face, hands, and belly to help me with some play-dough.
At her request, I fashioned Humpty-Dumpty and Jack n' Jill (each with their own bucket, because why shouldn't Jill have her own bucket?).
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Having someone as artistically ungifted as myself as a parent brings with it a strenuous Imagination Workout. To Adelaide, they were perfectly adequate representations of the characters. And not at all creepy.

April 8, 2009

Pleased as Punch

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April 7, 2009

Morning Son

After a twenty-four hour hospital stay, we elected to check-out last night. The attractiveness of sleeping in one's own bed, cozy with all of our family together under one roof, was just the thing for me, Joel, Henry, Adelaide, and Marmee (who's been caring for us all since last week). We popped open a bottle of champagne, toasted Henry's newly minted name, and then, all to bed for an interrupted, but comfy night of sleep.

H. is adjusting to life on the outside with great ease, requesting no more than a little snack and diaper change every now and again ... These Days of the Big Sleep are to be cherished. Adelaide is settling in to big sisterhood with such grace, style, and with great purpose - always asking to hold, or change, or feed her baby brother. Adelaide's biggest complaint comes when we are separated; she likes us all to be together, all the time, one family. Joel's got the day off work, and seems intent on using it for things like vacuuming and making a second pot of coffee. Marmee's keeping us in clean laundry and connected to the outside world with the use of her Blackberry. Nine's doing a lot of purring, because - as fans of Disney's Lady and the Tramp will remember - "where we finding baby, there are milk nearby."

As for me, I'm just enjoying the view from my place this morning ...

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April 6, 2009

HCPPNY Miron

Alright, after a great deal of thought, the name on our son's birth certificate is
Henry Casper Miron

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However, his official name, per Adelaide, is Henry Casper Peter Pan Not Yet Miron.

Thank you for your patience.

Ready or not, here he is!

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Weight: 7 lbs, 3 oz
Length: 20 inches
Head circumference: Off the charts

Everyone's feeling great! Thanks for all your good wishes!