Finn turns 21 months old today, and is taking it somewhere new on a daily basis. We've been looking at lots of ABC and number books, and Dad-o and Finny have been spending some quality time with the Sesame Street gang, singing "C is for Cookie" and counting things with, of course, the Count von Count. We were wowed when Finny actually recognized the letter C and a couple others in one of the library books. He even knows, courtesy of Kermit, that a capital B looks like a fat man with his belt too tight. "B... Belt too tight!"
We were also excited when he counted to three (instead of his usual "two!") one day. So imagine our surprise when Finny was running around the other evening, chattering about various things, when, almost under his breath and without fanfare he exclaimed:
I totally missed it, but John and our sitter, Laurie, caught the tail end of it. Luckily for me, he did it again a few minutes later and I got to hear it that time.
Now, he still really can only go to three or maaaaaybe four when we're actually counting objects together, but he sure has the syllabic sequence of numbers one through eleven down pat as a thing unto itself. It's almost like a little chant he does every once in awhile.
Oh, and when we ask "And what comes after 11, Finny?", his reply is "Six!"
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!
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.
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.)
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!
That's what Henry would say to the nurse at Dr. S's office if he could speak...Unlike Finn, who can speak, and dubs the nurse "Bad Lady!". We went in today for Henry's second round of vaccination shots since we're splitting them up into smaller groups of 2 shots each instead of four or more at once.
Not only did Henry not cry, he didn't even really flinch! His attitude was almost "Hey, you got any more of those you want to give me? 'Cause I can take it, lady!" Seriously, he was a total champ, and the visit was totally anticlimactic. I snapped up his pant leg, congratulated him on his high pain threshold, and we were back in the Ocho in no time. Whew.
We visited Dr. S today for Henry's 2-month checkup. He's doing quite well--eating like a champ, sleeping loooooong stretches at night, and is full of smiles and coos for us. He is 14 lbs. 5 oz., 23.5 inches tall, and a head circumference of 41 cm. He's a bit smaller than Finn was at the same age but believe me, he's no lightweight! The doc even thinks he may be able to stop taking the Zantac because he is not spitting up much at all and his throat is looking really good. We'll give it another month and see.
No troubles to report, although he still seems crabby after having a couple of vaccination shots today. Maybe he is more sensitive to pain than Finny. He's gone nuclear a couple times this afternoon for no apparent reason, so I'm kind of wondering if the injection sites are sore, and have given him some "baby T" just in case.
Okay, I know it's a totally invented milestone, but our littlest guy has officially done a "half century" in terms of days on earth. In recognition, here's a little gallery (HTML) of the two boys this past weekend. The bats are gifts from our baseball-loving pal Ginna. (Thanks again, Ginna!) The Cheerios holding them in place are functioning as chocks.
Henry had his one month checkup this week with Dr. S. He currently clocks in at 12 lbs 2 oz, 22 inches long, and has a head circumference of 40 cm. This puts him in the 90th, 75th, and 90th percentiles, respectively. His throat has healed up from the reflux thanks to Zantac, which he will continue to take. We have to up his dose of antibiotic for the kidney since he's getting bigger.
He has also started becoming much more alert and aware of his surroundings, which also translates into a lot more difficulty in getting him to fall asleep and stay asleep. The changes in his sleep patterns between last week and this week are marked. This week we've had a lot more fussing and sleep-fighting, and it takes a lot longer to get him really and truly asleep and have it stick for more than 10 minutes. That means he and I are spending exponentially more time in the rocking chair, and also exponentially more time awake in the middle of the night if he's not in the mood to continue sleeping. Yeesh. The last couple of nights have been rough, and it's hard to remember to be patient and empathetic when your baby is wailing at you from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m!
Yesterday Finn was sitting on my lap while we were recounting the day's events. I looked over at him to find his right index finger shoved as far up his nose as it would go. "Hey Finn, what're you doing with that finger up your nose?", I asked. Finn looked at me, then took his left index finger and shoved that into his other nostril. "Two!" he said gleefully.
July 2, 2009: Finn turns 16 months old! Hard to believe, and even harder to believe that El Segundo's arrival could be any day now. We keep waiting for "Gundo" and he keeps teasing me with phony contractions, but has made no definitive moves towards his big entrance.
Meanwhile, Finny keeps picking up new words every day. New ones include "handle", "eagle", "hanger", "ice", "antenna", and "Beetle" (re: our neighbor's vintage VW bug). He's decided he likes watermelon, and he tried a dill pickle today and surprisingly, liked it a great deal. He really hammed it up when he made his "pickle face," but kept on asking for more!
Yesterday, Finn went on a bender about "BrokenHam!", careening around saying it over and over, and cracking up in the process. He and Dad would take turns shouting "BrokenHam!" and giggling. Turns out, he was referring to Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham, which he's been enjoying. How it became broken, I do not know, but it's hilarious nonetheless.
The sprinkler and garden hose antics continue. Finn has gone through a couple outfits per day due to his interest in the garden hose and the new spray nozzle we got for it. He basically points it at his face and tries to get a drink from it, so you can imagine how quickly he gets soaked from head to toe. He's also taken to hosing down the Cozy Coupe--gotta keep your ride clean, man!
Here's a little compendium of photos (HTML) from the past week or two--including piggy-back rides, attempts at jumping, visits from friends, and neighborhood expeditions.
Our little fighter had his 15-month check-up today with Dr. S. Once again, he blows away the competition and has gone through quite a growth spurt, to boot! He is 33 inches tall, weighs 28 lbs 12 oz, and his head is 48cm around. He clocks in at the 90-95th percentile on all counts.
Dr. S was astounded when I told her how many words Finn can say (we've counted about 75) and that he can even understand abstract concepts (for instance, he says "Leo!" when we're trying to be sneaky and say "his buddy" or "Finn's little pal"). She says that for boys, the average at 15 months is more like 15 words! Unfortunately he was dozey and not too talkative during our appointment, so she didn't get a sampling of his skills. She did, however, get to meet Leo :-).
While we were waiting for the nurse to come in with the vaccination shots, I started whistling little tunes to keep Finny entertained, which he really enjoyed. As soon as I would stop he'd look up at me, pucker up, and start blowing through his lips to get me to start going again! (A mom can only sing the short lyrics to "Pony Boy" so many times...so whistling is a good alternative, and fascinating for Finn.)
Last night we had a little impromptu taco night with our pals Tom & Sarah, their daughter Harper (11 weeks), Huez* & Alex, and their son Miles (3.5 mos). Here is a little gallery (HTML) of shots from the evening, starting with the touchdown of the cute tots in our backyard. Finn was mad for guacamole and chips, so many thanks to Alex for letting us keep the leftovers!
* Pronounced by Finn as "Oot!"
"BeeBeardBoo, LightDogPolka..." Walking after Finn outside today, I found myself reciting little mnemonics, trying to make sure I could remember (and report) all his little goings-on. At exactly fourteen months of age, he's one busy dude.
- For Easter Grandma Nack gave Finn an animation-packed "Bee & Me" book, and now he can't wait to get me across the street to our neighbor's bee-infested fountain. He's always pointing out the front window saying, "Bee!" (I'm a little worried he'll get too friendly with the bees & at least one of us will learn a painful lesson, but there's only so much I can do to prevent it.)
- One bonus of visiting the fountain is the way we set off the neighbors' dogs. Three of them start flipping out on command as we approach the driveway. Thus Finn often points out the window and says, "Ruff ruff ruff... Bee!"
- For whatever reason, "Pat the Bunny" has re-entered our book rotation. Coincidentally, I've been slacking in the shaving department, and now after the "feel Daddy's scratchy face" page, Finn comes over and strokes my stubble.
- The small guy gets more & more into hide and seek, now loving to circle the dining room table and yell "Boo!" every time he emerges to make eye contact. We kind of love this game as it tires him out while letting us remain still.
- Over the last few months, Finn has gone through phases of loving to touch light fixtures all around the house. Now he's suddenly back in that game, but with a twist: he imitates the high-pitched "ding" produced by tapping the bulbs, and he wants to use specific objects (such as Leo) to do the tapping. Each day this week has started with him appearing in the bed with me, saying, "Leo... ding ding ding!"
- From early on our boy has enjoyed playing "Tear it apart!", zealously destroying paper towels, wrapping paper, etc. Now he's into "SQUEEZE The Crap Out Of It!," a new "game" that involves, well, squeezing the crap out of whatever's available (e.g. Dad's fingers). The hilarious part is the look of total concentrated effort--plus smiles--that comes over Finn's face. He reminds us of Tarmo Mitt & other strongman competitors.
- To my amazement, Finn seems to have figured out what polka dots are. We've been reading about Polkabats lately, and on a trip to the basement he pointed at a polka dot-painted trunk and said "Poka!" Later, looking at a spotted leopard in a book, he started saying "Poka" again. Harvard, we're ready for that admissions form now. ;-P
Finn is officially thirteen months old today! Just in the last week, he's hit a few more milestones. For instance, he now says "Mama" directly to me, quite frequently. It's unspeakably rad!
He is also very interested in some new characters in his story books. He is fascinated with the yak in our animal alphabet book, and wants to skip right from "Ape" to "Yak" so he can say "Yak" & "Moooooo". We also have a book where the main character turns into a big bug who is slurping some kind of goo, and Finn *loves* to skip to the bug page and make slurpy noises. Oh, and his current favorite book is a hilarious one called "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!"--we must read it at least 3 times a day.
[Oh yes, and Finno and I love to play "Sproingy Doorstopper." First we party on the actual sproingy doorstopper, making it waggle & chatter. Then I stick out one index finger, pull it back with the other, and then make it go all sproingy doorstopper, complete with surprisingly good sound effects. 😉 Finn is fascinated. --J.]
Margot and I are so happy to say that one Finnegan Liggett Nack, a.k.a. the Finnster, the Finnfather, Birdman General, Lord of the Delmas Manor & all around terrific kid, is officially one year old! Thanks to everyone who joined us for his b-day shindig yesterday. Without further ado, here are some photos (HTML).
Today marks Finno's 11-month birthday! Which means we only have one more month until his
He is such a happy tot, and gives us plenty of reasons to smile. Three cheers for taking it to 11!
Finn turned 10 months old on Friday, Jan 2. In honor of this milestone, we present the following top 10 list.
10. A budding imagination!
9. Dancing to music
8. Light fixture symphonies courtesy of our chandeliers, a pencil or spoon handle, and Dad
7. Recognizing words and phrases
6. Saying Da Da Da Da!
5. Walking walking walking
4. Laughing uncontrollably while being flipped upside down by Dad
3. Laughing in response to Mom and Dad making stuffed animals "talk"
2. Emptying containers of all kinds--drawers, toy bins, the Goldfish cracker container
1. Remembering where Mom hid the aforementioned container of Goldfish crackers!
Today marks Der Finnster's 8-month birthday. To celebrate (well, mostly coincidentally), he balanced on his feet unassisted for the first time! I had him up and tottering for a couple of seconds this morning, and this evening he was up for even longer. (I'd like to think it was for 8 seconds, a la bull riding. ;-))
In miscellaneous news, we've coined more Finn argot lately (building on the first installment from earlier in the year):
- Up up up, up up up...: Finn has lately discovered the concept of "Up," and he's waaaay into our fascinating light fixtures. Every morning when Margot gets him out of the crib, his eyes make a beeline for the lights (even when they're off). I feel like this should all be in some book--Their Eyes Were Watching GE or something.
- ICAS: I've dubbed Finn's little hooded PJ's the "In-Crib Adventure Suit."
- DipeCon: You know how the military has five DEFCON levels to denote the current security situation? We've implemented a "DipeCon" system to inform each other of... well, the condition of our friend's pants. Probably enough said. (Call it "Threat Condition Brown.")
- TEAR IT APART: This is what Finn will try to do with anything he can get into his clutches/mouth these days. He's all about grabbing things (strings, leaves, napkins) and yanking them in opposite directions, ideally while holding them over his head. Where possible he lands some vicious blows with his 7 sharp teeth--great for ripping up little bits of rug while dad gets distracted. I keep imagining him saying, "Hey, that's a great phone charger, Dad. Mind if I TEAR IT APART??"
- Toro Leg: Now that he's found his feet, our buddy likes to paw at things (grass, fringe on carpet, etc.) before putting any weight on them.
P.S. We can now add another "ocho" to The Big Ocho. Another tooth, his 8th, just broke through. --Notorious M.O.M.
Seven months, seven teeth! The Finnster has been with us 215 days (!) and just keeps getting better and better.
Today he took me on a little walking tour of the back yard, taking his first steps on grass. Finn is way into all things stringy/fringy/frilly these days, and the grass really threw him for a loop. First he stood on his left foot, pawing the grass inquisitively with his right, after which he switched sides and pawed with the left. Once he found his footing (literally), Finn took me on a culinary tour of all the backyard plants, attempting to snack on each one we passed.
Here's a little gallery (HTML) of the guy taken over the last few days. Seeing him nicely lit as he sat on the "Dipetorium," I exclaimed, "Finn, dude, you've gotta warn me if you're gonna be radiating that much cuteness. I've gotta have time to prepare!"
Our boy is six months old today! Much like his birthday in March, he chose to roar his six-months in like a lion. For the first time in a looooong time, Finn had an inexplicable bout of post-bedtime outrage, with an hour of nonstop crying and screaming. I wondered if it wasn't a precursor to our doctor visit this morning. The good news is, he got over it, went back to bed, and got up at 6:15am ready to party.
Now on to the stats: 19 lbs 15 oz, beating mom's estimate of 19 lbs. 27 inches long, and a head circumference of 44 cm. Lots bigger than he was at 4 months, when he was already a strapping 16 lbs! We might start calling him Babyface Nack, heavyweight champion of 983 Delmas Ave.
The doc was super-impressed by Finn's ability to sit unassisted--apparently this is an 8-month skill! She also saw several teeth under the gums, so we should start seeing them come out soon.
He had one shot and only cried for a few seconds, then fell asleep in the car on the way home, where he miraculously stayed asleep as I transferred him to the crib. Whew.