Stick ’em up, Tickle Terrorists!

Yesterday our pal Maria and her friend Alex stopped by for a visit. Alex, being a friendly giant, reached out for a passing Finn & laid a few tickles on his tummy. Finn’s going through a rather shy period, so he didn’t know what to make of these advances. In the kitchen he remarked, “Dude… dude tickle!” He kind of froze up upon returning to the living room, unwilling to venture past Alex. The problem was solved when Alex and Maria agreed to hold their arms up (“Arms up up!”) and grant him safe passage. 🙂 [Click the image for a larger version showing the circumspect Finn.]


Henry’s Kidney Situation, Updated

When Henry was born, we had to have his kidneys checked out due to possible hydronephrosis (too much fluid swelling the kidney). His ultrasound (at the ripe old age of 2 days old) showed that his left kidney was indeed swollen, and we have been keeping him on a daily antibiotic to prevent kidney or bladder infections.
At Henry’s 4-month check up, Dr. S ordered another renal ultrasound for our boy, which we did last week at the hospital. Dr. S called us yesterday and said that the swelling is still present, and so she wants us to do further testing to determine if it has gotten worse, and also how serious the condition is on a 1-10 scale. She thinks he is “mild to moderate”, but needs more info. We are scheduled for the VCUG (X-ray test) next Wednesday.
Regardless of the severity of his condition, we will continue to give him the antibiotic and meet with a pediatric urologist to set up a plan to monitor the situation. If it is bad enough to require surgery on his renal valve, we would still wait until he is older to do the operation because he is just still too little right now. And there is still a decent chance that he will simply outgrow the problem, which is what happens in most cases. We’ll just keep checking it every 6 months or so.
Please think good thoughts for us on Wednesday, because the test won’t be any fun for Henry, who has to get catheterized. Hopefully the test itself won’t last longer than an hour. I do hope we confirm that his case is mild or moderate, and not severe.


Sunday in the Meedgit House with Boys

Ah, we’ve finally had a chance to take a few snapshots of our lads. In this little gallery (HTML), you can see our fellas…

  • “enjoying” a new tub (sink),
  • dumping “fruit” into Finn’s “Casa de Meedgit,”
  • partying on the playmat,
  • “sleeping” with Dad-O,
  • reading Arthur Geisert’s great “Hogwash,”
  • and hanging out with bulldozer driver/armpit denizen Tiny Monkey.

Momzi Schemes

This week has been loaded with mini-milestones for both boys. This means that Mom-o has to start getting crafty to outwit her little guys when needed!
For instance, Finn has started to understand and repeat the sequence of numbers from one to five. He has also started to buy into the idea of just eating “a couple more bites” of something before he is allowed to get down from the table. It’s great because now we don’t face flat-out resistance to eating his dinner, he cops a plea bargain. This is where Mom-o takes advantage of the little perp, saying “two more bites” and then working on our numbers as he continues to eat. “One bite! Two bites! What’s after two? Three! Four! Do you remember what comes after four? Five!” After he eats a decent amount of dinner I ease up on the counting, but I figure learning and eating is a good combo!
Henry, too, is working on a lot of things. He’s grabbing and pinching everything in sight, including my skin while he nurses. I’ve introduced Ollie the owl in hopes that he’ll grab and twist *him* instead of me, and it works sometimes. Henry’s also turned a corner on napping, it seems. I am now able to dispense with the rocking and holding before putting him in his crib. Now I just put him straight in while he is awake but ready to sleep, and he does the rest. He’s also starting to nap for a decent amount of time (anything over 60 minutes is fantastic), and can resettle himself if he partially wakes during the nap. Yesterday he had two big long 2-hour naps instead of three 30-minute ones. *That* is a development worth celebrating!


As the Finnster Turns

We’ve been a tad light on picture & video-taking lately, but there’ve been no end of little developments with our big(ger) guy. Random news from the Finn front:

  • Language fun: Finn’s learning to conjugate verbs, adding “-ing” to the end of many (for example, “Finny achoo-ing!”). I’m especially fond of his onomatopoeia. He says, “Turn on the vaporizer. More ‘hwwwoo‘-ing!”
  • In a similar vein, he’s learning to make things plural, adding “s” to the end. Unintentionally funny stuff often results as he lays it on a little thick–“Gobots-es,” “green beans-es,” etc.
  • Birdman Sings The Hits: The little guy gleefully recites the bits of popular songs I sometimes warble to him. Current fun includes Usher’s “Yeah!” (Finny: “Yeah, yeah!… Rea-dy to go!”), Soundgarden’s “Spoonman” (“(S)’poonman… save me!”), Rick James’s “Cold Blooded” (“Dad-O cold blooded!”), and Fatboy Slim’s “Rockafella Skank” (“Funk soul brutha!!”).
  • With a chill now in the air, our breath condenses visibly. Pointing to my mouth during yesterday’s AM garbage can run, Finn said, “(S)’moke! ‘Moke coming out!” He was a little too psyched out to try making his own.
  • It seems that despite all our blogging, we’ve somehow neglected to talk about “The Meedgit House,” an innovation my dad used to apply to me–trapping a little kid by crossing one’s legs, then holding the kid prisoner while he delightedly tries to wriggle free. Finn took a shine to the idea right away, often trapping things in his own meedgit house (“Leo meedgit house! Squash!!”). Now Margot has added some Aztec flair, making “Meedgit Tacos.” The recipe consists of one (1) giant floor pillow and one (1) fast-moving lad. Delicious! 🙂
  • Speaking of Mexican chow, Finn greeted me last night saying, “Horchata, horchata!” He’s kind of a sweet rice milk junkie, so we trundled off to grab drinks & tacos. En route, we talked about different animals and the noises they make. “Who makes bubbles, Finny?” I asked. “Fish,” he replied, then added, “Goonie!”

“Ecce Ollie”: Behold the Owl-Buddy

The owl has landed!
Inspired by the great success we’ve had with Finn’s “lovie” Leo, Margot got Henry one of Leo’s stablemates, a little owl* we’ve dubbed Ollie. The friendly strigiforme is already well-slobbered, both by Henry & by Finn’s “(s)mooching.” Zipping Ollie into Mom-O’s jacket, then extracting him and saying, “Hi, owl-buddy!” is a particular hit.
Here’s a little gallery (HTML) in which you can see the goings-on, as well as Finn’s antics with raccoon-buddy Duke. Duke likes to say (in Finn’s words) “‘ow’sitgoing!,” then crawl down the big guy’s shirt. “Tummy full of Duke!!,” shouts the delighted boy. 🙂
*Aesthetic/unhygienic bonus: Ollie is brown, the better to hide the disgusting impact of living in a lad’s mouth. We’ve learned from Leo!


Big Henry’s 4-Month Stats

Our ever-bigger little guy, Mr. Henry Seamus Nack, had his 4-month check-up visit with Dr. S today. Here are the stats:
25 inches tall!
17 pounds even!
43 cm head circumference!
Still spitting up like a champ (a bigger dose of Zantac is now required)!
Further wowing the doc were the strength of “Goonie pushups”, his newfound ability to lock his knees when placed in a standing position, his 2 lower teeth (no more visible on the horizon right now), and his enjoyment of the normally-dreaded hip joint rotation test. Most babies hate it, but Henry started laughing! And maybe Henry caught on to Mom-O’s pre-natal yoga moves while in utero since his cobra pose is so good! Entire torso off the ground.
He had 2 more shots, and cried quite a bit, but manned-up fairly quickly as we made our way to the reception desk. The doc wants to go ahead and have us schedule another renal ultrasound to check in on how his kidneys and ducts are doing, because if we can, it would be nice to take him off the antibiotic. So we’ll do that within the next few weeks and post the results. Worst-case, minor surgery on his renal ducts, best-case, the problem has resolved itself.


Sentence completion with the Finnster

This morning, Laurie was talking about her young granddaughter Chloe learning to speak, saying that Chloe likes to say “Dog.” And just as Laurie finished saying “Dog…,” Finn jumped in with “…Goneit!! Rad. 🙂
Later, Margot and the big guy were eating some popcorn. “Mmm,” she said. Finn shouted, “Delicious corn!!” He’s up to eight cylinders–er, syllables–in a row. Right on, big guy.
In other news, Henry’s new leg-locking technology affords us the chance to do a little “Danger Management,” as we did with Finny. Videos and, I’m sure, chuckling hilarity to follow!


Poll: 100% Of Grandsons Talented

Heh–I got a kick out of this article from the satirical paper The Onion:

ATLANTA–A Zogby poll of 1,542 American grandparents published Monday found that grandsons were described as “very” to “extremely” talented by 1,542 of the respondents. “Participants in the poll were emphatic in their descriptions of the talents of grandsons in fields as diverse as advertising and sales, choral performance, baseball, talking, crawling, making their beds, video games, and instructing their elders on proper cell-phone use,” pollster Tom Waterton said… Sources at Zogby admitted that the survey was incomplete, as several hundred pollsters are still unable to get their assigned grandparents off the phone.



Fantastic Four (Months)

Our little Henry turns four months old today! His birth feels at once like it was yesterday and a thousand years ago. (Ah, back then Finn & I would spend all morning exploring the “antenna truck.”) The little guy is tracking our movements like crazy, locking his legs for some “Proud Stander,” and grasping onto things like it’s his job. (I know: yesterday he locked onto both sets of my crow’s feet, digging in & trying to pull my nose into his mouth!)
Meanwhile big bro Finn is becoming even more of a character. Eating his weight in green beans tonight, he eyed one with a long stem and said, “Macaw! Eat the beak! Come *heeeere*, Macaw!! (haaup!).”
Despite Finn’s new penchant for inspecting things with a tape measure (“Dad-O’s leg, 30 pounds!”), we don’t know Henry’s stats yet. We’ll get the full 411 on Thursday when Margot takes him to the doc. (Eyeballing it, we can say that a standing Hen comes up to roughly Finn’s shoulder line, and that Finn is perhaps 35″ tall.)


“Might be/Maybe not”

Finn is talking up a storm, but even we struggle to understand him some of the time. This plus his increasing grasp on useful little phrases led to a funny exchange the other day:

“Boo* book,” he said–possibly gesturing at a coloring pad–“Boo book!”
“Uh, boo book?” I asked with some hesitation.
“Uh Huuh” he chirped. But reading my hesitation, he added, “Might be.”
“Might be?,” I repeated.
“Uh huh,” he said. And then after a beat, “Maybe not…”
* Halloween has gotten him hooked on ghosts, and he loves his “Boo shirt,” saying boo (“Scare Mom-O!”), and even calling himself “BooMan.”


Random Cuteness

Believe it or not, Margot and I have been hanging out with Actual Grown-Ups this week, having a pair of couples over for dinner, and thus we’ve been a bit behind in posting photos. Without further ado, here’s a little gallery (HTML) of recent stylings, featuring:

  • Finn “taking off!” with Dad-O’s shoes, then stacking pepper on the “pizza stool” that came with some ‘za
  • Some extreme close-ups that Finn (!) and I took
  • The G-man showing his studious hand-clasping
  • Everybody donning some “banana horns,” and
  • Pictures by & of our new babysitter Lori

Goonie: Revolutions

Henry’s really been working on his upper body strength these days. Lots of “Goonie Push-ups” as Finny says, plus random squirming, has resulted in little Henry being able to roll over from tummy to back! He did it twice yesterday during tummy time on his play mat. The first time it took a few minutes for him to get from tummy to side to back, but the second time it only took a few seconds! Nice job, H-man!