Thursday, June 05, 2008

month eleven: in review

Are you familiar with Grover, the furry monster from Sesame Street? If so, you might be familiar with his "Monster At The End Of This Book." It's a story of a monster that is waiting at the end of a book - and each page that you turn - brings you closer to him.

So lovable, furry Grover pleads with the reader "Don't turn the page!!" and he constructs elaborate barricades to stop any further page turning. There are ropes and brick walls, sticks and stones.

Our kids love that story.

They love turning the page and getting closer to the monster, while I can sense the anxiety that poor Grover has about getting to the end.

Not that I'm drawing a comparison between my lovable baby Henry and a monster, but I do feel like throwing up some barricades to slow this rapid progression of time.

Because it just doesn't seem plausible that in one short month, we'll be celebrating Henry's first birthday and HOW IS IT POSSIBLE that a full year has (almost) passed??

I am NOT READY to close the chapter on this first year of my baby's life.

I am NOT READY to be thinking about birthday cakes.

Or a big party.

Or toddlerhood.

Or a first hair cut.

Sadly, ropes and brick walls, sticks and stones won't help me.

Because like it or not, the simple fact remains ... my baby is growing up. (And he needs a haircut).

Oh, but this baby has been such a joy.

He has brought more love and laughter in to my life than I ever imagined possible. His mere presence in our home has made me stop and enjoy EVERY SINGLE DAY to the maximum extent.

I know that this first year goes by so fast and I have focused on savoring every developmental milestone - every grin - every belly laugh - every nursing session - every night when I pick him up and hold him in my arms, and feel his soft head on my shoulder - and breathe in his beautiful baby scent.

Unlike my experience with the triplets when they were infants, I am so NOT strict.

I do not enforce the rule that Henry sleep in his own crib. So what if he wants to come to bed with us at 4 AM and nurse until 7 AM? Really. How much longer will I have the ability to hold him and soothe him and provide him with that one thing that I know he wants more than anything other?

Although I do not object to bringing Henry to bed with us for an hour or two in the morning, I do object to him waking up at 2 AM and screaming, because he shares a room with his brother. But as of tonight, Henry is in a room all by himself because we decided to move William back in with his sisters ~ temporarily ~ because Henry's waking throughout the night was really starting to have a toll on his older brother's demeanor. (Primarily noted by the fact that he'd fall asleep during breakfast and his head would nod in to his porridge.)

Besides, after a while ... this can get to you. Particularly when it starts up at 2 AM.

But that minor point aside, Henry is rapidly catching up to the triplets. Or, more appropriately ... he thinks he is.

He is cruising around all of our furniture - and is standing for a few seconds, unassisted. Although he still prefers to be nursed - he will eat solids. His favorites are yogurt and crackers, any kind of fruit, pasta and soybeans.

Edamame. Who would have ever guessed babies love them??

Henry does his absolute best to keep up with the big kids. The day that Charlie took the kids out on a small boat in the bay - Henry hustled off our beach blanket and was down at the water's edge, prepared to swim out to them, before I had time to even realize what had happened.

Luckily, I have three helpers that are more than willing to step in and help contain their baby brother whenever necessary. Although, I don't know how much longer Elizabeth, who weighs in at 28 pounds, will be capable of holding Henry, who weighs in at 25. Funny enough, although a little snug, she can wear almost all of his 18-month clothes. (Very unlike William at 35 pounds, and Carolyn at 40).

So, yeah ... my baby is growing up and that first chapter is about to come to a close. But wow, I am so glad to have him and this tale of love has far exceeded my wildest dreams.


  1. Gorgeous baby...just precious! You just want to eat him up!
    It goes way to fast the second time! And you feel so much more in love , too!

  2. I can't believe it has been a year already either. I started reading your blog around the time you announced your pregnancy, which means I have been reading for a long time now! I have enjoyed taking the journey with you.

    As Joey spent the first two years of his life in Japan, he fell in love with some really random foods. Edamame was one of them and that picture of Henry chomping on them reminded me of when Joey was his age and wouldn't eat anything apart from edamame, tofu and natto (which is fermented soya beans- yuck!)

    Your post has made me very broody. I really hope that one day I get to have more kids.

  3. I love these posts-- so beautiful! Sniff sniff about your baby growing up.

    So, tell us more about the huge weight difference between your girls. Random - or is it reflective of their appetites?

  4. The Monter at the End of This Book is one of our all-time favorites!!!

    (We also like the sequel with Elmo in it!)

  5. What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful baby! That dark hair and blue eyes...yummy! He's adorable.

  6. Simply precious. I keep telling my 3 month old to stop growing... so far she isn't listening :)

  7. it does go sooo fast. enjoy every second (i know you do!)

  8. That was awesome! Now, go upload your blog into a book!

  9. I was looking forward to this post as I love your monthly tributes to Henry. Time does indeed fly by too quicky when we are watching our children grow.
    My son is a July baby too. He will be 17 later in the month. I am beyond words on this joyous ride of motherhood - but 17??

    Maybe I should have another one....?

  10. Nicely done. All 4 of your children are beautiful and charming :) (Even though charming may be lost on you sometimes...)

  11. They all look wonderful. I know what you mean about that special bond. I could not believe how different I felt when I had my first son. It is amazing! The girls were cute and great but the boys were a special bond. Are you going to get out the scissors and get him a Kennedy cut?
    Great job--everyone seems to just love Henry and are so kind to him.

  12. Mom?

    So ... what you're saying is ... that you liked the boys better than us??

    I KNEW IT!!!!

    (Kat >> the weight difference between the girls is HUGE. But Carolyn is also about 3-inches taller than Elizabeth. I think it is primarily a function of their appetites. Carolyn won't leave the table until everything is gone [at least all the carbs] and Elizabeth will take two bites of protein and run.)

  13. What a truly lovely gift from God you have in that sweet, sweet baby boy of yours. Oh! That all children would be loved as you love yours!


  14. My baby turns 1 tomorrow and I am in complete absolutely does not seem possible that 12 months have gone by since she was born.

    I love all the pics of Henry...especially the one of him at the table with the book!!! And I am ready to run out and buy some Endamame for my little one to try...and I am now wondering why I didn't think of it sooner :))


  15. I meant Edamame!!! My little one was trying to "help"!!!


  16. Aww. This post made me tear up. My baby is 10 months and I, too, have been searching for some barricade to hold him back!

    I'm kind of relieved to hear that Henry isn't sleeping peacefully through the night. Because neither is my 10 month old and I've been pulling my hair out. Misery loves company, you know.

  17. I absolutely love Henry's eyes. Every time you post a picture of him they're so big and curious.

    I'm amazed that a year has almost passed. Where on earth did it go?

  18. Awww, they do grow up way to fast. Even during the times when I think they are not growing up fast enough, at the end of the day when I say goodnight to them I realize that I will NEVER have that day again. Then I forget how difficult the day was and wish I could just enjoy their childhood a little longer.

  19. He is the sweetest!

    That is very interesting to me about your kids sizes. Our first and second daughter would have been the same as your girls if they were born at the same time--the older one is just a thinner kid, and the younger is going to be bigger and almost makes me want more just to see what they look like!

  20. Great post and fun pictures. The Monster at the End of this Book is one of my all-time favorites. I still crack up over it. Just the other night we read Another Monster at the End of this Book.

  21. He-is-GORGEOUS!!!!! You make cute kids!!! Now go make more!!!!

  22. One of many cuzzins'6/6/08, 12:04 AM

    Sorry Auntie...but you are BUSTED!! Oh yes you did say that you liked the boys better than the girls!!! You're in wicked big trouble now!

    I want to eat that Henry right up. He is the cutest little bugger. I could look at his pictures all day long. Can't believe he will soon blow out his first candle.

    What the heck is edamame? Probably something healthy, right? Figures.


  23. So sweet! I am feeling much the same, and your post really brought it home. My son will be two tomorrow. I rejoice in his every milestone, but also miss all of the baby things he used to do.

  24. He is BEE YOU TEE FUL! ANd I know, I know...where has a whole year gone? Sniff...

  25. Jen,

    Love the pictures ...he sure is a cutie pie!

  26. He is one beautiful baby.

    Also, I could have written this post myself, reguarding my yougest child.

    Here's my theory- we savor the ONE baby thing so much after having MORE THAN ONE baby in the house. When my twins were babies, I couldn't enjoy them the way I wanted to, b/c I was overwhelmed. One would fall asleep at the breast, and I couldn't just cuddle and enjoy her because her sister needed to eat next, ETC.

    When #3 came along, I drank her in, savored every moment of being able to just BE with her. It was beautiful.

    Also, it's it a blessing that we grow as parents, and chill the hell out? My youngest slept with us often too, for the same reasons you stated.

    Their babyhood goes so fast. She's now 20 months, but she doesn't have much hairs, and I'm LOVING that she still looks like a baby! =)

  27. He is a beautful baby! I think that relaxing some rules is just what we do with subsequent kids. I let so much more slide with the last one then I did with the other 2. I didn't fight her in my bed, I enjoyed it saying " we won't have another 3 year old etc."

  28. Cute. Cute. Cute. Cute. Cute!!!! Those pictures are adorable! Brings back so many memories of my little guys.

    Okay I'm feeling a little selfish here but.......
    God I wish you lived closer so we could see those beauties more often!! We have land for sale and can build a nice home for you..................Come On!!
    Love, Marg.

  29. You've got the gift girl. Two. The gift of a wonderful baby, and the gift of a talented story teller/writer.

    I enjoy your posts.

    Glad you are enjoying your wonderful baby.

  30. he is darling, even i am sad to see him grow up so fast. i'm also trying to soak up each moment with my baby, the last for me. with the trio it was a blurr.

    my mom insisted that i post to tell you that she saw your video of counting and asking the kids to hide. when you stop counting they all run out. precious.

    well she decide to try with our trio, who are 20 months, and yes, they did the exact same thing. kids, they are so funny.

    thanks for the idea.