Happy 2nd birthday, Henry!

November 4, 2015 § Leave a comment

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This past weekend, we got to celebrate Halloween and Henry’s second birthday!

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Grandpa Storch made a special trip from Pennsylvania to celebrate with us and our little monkey. P1040156

Since Henry’s still a bit young for trick-or-treating (plus he doesn’t like candy), we spent the afternoon at Social Pants‘ Halloween party at Greenpoint’s McGolrick Park. They did a great job! We saw so many amazing costumes!

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Including Henry’s Curious George, which we weren’t sure if he’d actually wear, but was a very good sport about putting it on for a few hours.

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On Sunday, we had an apartment full of people for Henry’s birthday party.

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Since all of his invited two year olds buddies besides little Zack couldn’t make it, it ended up being mostly adults, plus Henry’s BFF, 8 year old Caylan, and 2 month old Eloise. It was a nice balance though – very manageable! P1040187

Henry handled being serenaded with the birthday song from about 20 people very well and enjoyed eating just the strawberry from the top of his birthday cupcake.

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This gift-giving event was the most prosperous to date in Henry’s short life. Our apartment is officially covered in trucks of all types and sizes! Here he is, eating his dinner after the party with his new bulldozer.

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Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate, and loved ones who made that extra effort to send Henry their best wishes in the mail. We love you! Here’s to our third year of #DailyHank!

Playground Politics

July 1, 2015 § Leave a comment

I’ve been dreaming of a simpler time – last summer when all Henry could do at the playground was swing.

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These days, he’s big, mobile, and curious enough to do pretty much everything, though never while unsupervised. I can’t say the same for some of the parents of kids around here though. Every day at any number of the playgrounds we frequent (and we have three within a 10 minute walk) it’s a lesson in sharing, patience, and that some kids are adorable and wonderful and others… less so.

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Since private outdoor space is rare around here, everyone heads to the playground. And now that school’s out, all of our spots are swarming with kids. This is great because Henry gets to see so many other kids every day. We’ve been fortunate to meet some kids around his age who are very sweet and pretty much in the same boat as Henry when it comes to sharing and playing together, meaning they’ll come up to Henry who is playing with a toy and want it, then I’ll offer them the spare toy I always bring for this situation and they’ll play alongside each other. But then there’s the unsupervised 3 and 4 year olds who will actually stalk around us until they get a chance to grab Henry’s toy when he’s not looking or it’s slightly out of reach and run away with it. There’s also the older kids who declare a portion of the playground “theirs” and that Henry can’t play with them or go up onto their structure. And then there’s the kids who zoom around the park on their scooters, knocking toddlers over with parents nowhere to be seen and then talking back to the parents of said toddlers.

I however, am always around and will always be in Henry’s corner to make sure he’s safe and happy (no matter how exhausting it all is).

I am curious – is this a common scenario where you live? How do you handle these situations with your kids? Do you let your little guys do their own thing or do you stick close by them too? How do you control your reflexes to grab 6 year olds on scooters when they’re headed straight towards your 20 month old? (I have yelled.) Any opinions welcome!

Impromptu Photo Shoots

May 21, 2015 § Leave a comment

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Unplanned photo shoots – aren’t they always the best ones?

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I love the photos my DSLR takes with its 50mm lens, but since Henry became mobile, it’s been more challenging to shoot manually. Then the other night after dinner, I found a school bus I’d hidden in my dresser because Henry was trying to eat the wheels off it. Now that he’s a bit older (and less likely to eat a choking hazard), he was completely enchanted with the bus, driving it around the windowsill of his bedroom.

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Then… Dad came home!

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Nick had his usual after work snack: Henry’s belly.

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And then things got sweet.

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This horseplay is a wonderful nightly occurrence, but it looks even better on camera :)

Hooray!

April 2, 2015 § Leave a comment

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After four months of rough times – teething, leaping, frustration, whining, and most of all, exhaustion – we’re finally over the very slow, uphill ride and are coming down the other side, smiling.

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It’s so important to remember that when dealing with small kids, nothing lasts forever. All things must pass. It’s just that some challenging times last much longer than others. I’m happy to report Henry is sleeping through the night again, sometimes as late as 6:45 am**! Nick has a show tonight, but I am not completely exhausted from watching Henry and planning on a 9pm bedtime, as I was likely to do a month ago. I’m currently enjoying Indian food, wine, and High Fidelity after a lovely warm day where Henry got to run around in a park and we didn’t have to wear winter coats.

Thanks to everyone for their helpful encouragement over the past few weeks and here’s to the winter woes finally ending!

**Parents will understand that this is a decent sleep at this point in our lives.

All the feels of Winter

March 18, 2015 § Leave a comment

There’s no point in sugar-coating it: March has been a challenging month. And some of February. And let’s face it, most of winter. Winter sucks. It’s soul sucking. Add having a restless toddler to the mix of cold, wind, and snow, and you’ve got yourself a less than desirable situation. I’ve been dreaming of those warm days that consisted of 3 stroller walks in 12 hours, and chatting with other parents at the playground while you pushed your smiling son on the swings and sipped an iced latte. Sigh… it’ll be back soon enough, but really can it ever be “soon enough”?

Winter complicates things. It makes toddler teething and bad sleep worse. I don’t do well with sleep deprivation (who does though?) and when it goes on for too long, I end up in a feeling-sorry-for-myself mess. I’m not too proud to admit the past couple weeks have included many feelings of jealousy. I’ve been jealous of those who live close to their families and have grandparents and siblings around to help pick up the pieces when parenting gets tough. I’ve been jealous of my husband who has out of town best friends that he gets to see every couple months. I’ve also been jealous of people who are in the position to have a second child. Even though Nick and I still occasionally doubt that we’ll do it, we both know that in the long run, we want at least two kids, but it seems so complicated when you live in a 2-bedroom Brooklyn apartment, with no car (or license! Oh, me), a husband who has a job that requires travel, and have no family support for miles.

Then I read an interesting article today that totally changed my perspective. While I attribute the feelings above to uncertainty, maybe the envy I feel is actually some sort of drive. In any case, I’m happy to see the light and am consciously making the effort to pull my head out of the cloudiness I sometimes get stuck in when going through a rough patch with Henry. This isn’t forever, but family is and what we are ultimately doing is building a family. Whether we are a family of 3 or 6 (haha – yeah right!), these are little things that will pass in time. Also, how lucky am I to have this amazing kid AND to spend these years in New York City???

And how is YOUR day going?

Some Daily Hank

March 12, 2015 § Leave a comment

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It’s been a few months in between Henry updates, so after taking the first DSLR photos I’ve been able to snap of him since he started walking, I thought this would be a good time for one!

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Little Hank here is about 16.5 months old. His baby days are long gone! It’s amazing to see his skills and interests constantly evolving. He’s traded in his former favourite toy – the plastic bottle – for megablocks and little wooden animals.

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He has quite a few wooden puzzles of animals, dinosaurs, and various vehicles that he can now put in their proper spots. He can stack and nest cups, play with his megablocks, and use a fork very well!

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We now let him watch a little TV each day, because when it’s an ungodly hour in the morning, you need to watch Thomas & Friends and cuddle. He’s also started watching some Baby First TV right before dinner and his waving, clapping, pointing, and other skills have actually improved.

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We are currently in an exhausted limbo, waiting for his final fourth teeth, the incisors, to come in. Early mornings and midnight wakings are our current state. The photo above shows his “Muppet face” which lets us know his teeth are really driving him crazy.

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Henry may be deep into toddlerhood by asserting his opinions and letting you know when he is NOT happy, but he really is such a joy. After a toddler meltdown, he’ll eventually calm and look you in the eyes and smile (maybe even do a little butt wiggling dance) and all is forgiven :)

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