Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Higher education

This is our certificate from the research project Henry participated in. For about 20 minutes he sat in a high chair and watched screens that showed faces of babies and adults, and then a face and an object, and then images of himself (one in real-time, one delayed). The researcher recorded his reactions. Kind of a neat way to spend a morning.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Some highlights from the past few days

I've been trying to keep things going in chronological order, but I've been a few days behind and now I'm going to catch up with one post. This past week was a busy one, and these photos will show some of the highlights. As we have already seen, Sunday was the Toronto Santa Claus Parade; Monday we had a great visit with Kelly and Jason. Tuesday was the usual: Storytime at the public library in the morning; Bouncing Back with Baby exercise class in the afternoon. Wednesday we had a visit from Aunt Katrina, and we attended an info session at U of T with her - it was in the evening, and Henry loved it. Thursday was our music class in the morning, and a new class in the afternoon - Laptime and Lullabies at Mabel's Fables bookstore. Friday was my birthday and Henry marked the day by waking up early to present me with a locket. In the afternoon we went to our mom's group to visit with some friends, and then enjoyed a beautiful mild afternoon with a slow walk home and some shopping along the way. Saturday we went to Home Depot to start planning our basement renovation, and in the afternoon Henry and I attended a Sign and Sing workshop where we learned some sign language for infants (check out
And today we attended the children's holiday party at my office. It was our first time attending, and we have to admit they do a fabulous job. There was Santa (our first visit with Santa! and a much shorter line than we will find at the malls); face painting; a "Critter Show" that was basically a travelling zoo with several animals (including a rabbit, a parrot, a snake, mice and various bugs); assorted craft activities; the Cat in the Hat; a room for toddlers; and lots of food and drink for everyone. We have a busy week ahead too - tomorrow we're going to the Early Social Development Lab at U of T ( where Henry will participate in a study about infant preferences for faces (male or female; adult or infant - I have no idea how they will determine what his preferences are), and we have a class where we'll learn how to make our own baby food. We're exhausted!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Kelly and Jason

On Monday we had a visit from my cousin Kelly and Henry's second cousin (is that right?) Jason - it was great to see them both. It's amazing how quickly the day passes, and how little you do, when you have infants around. We spent several hours together, and we (i) ate lunch and (ii) went for a walk. Oh - and we took some pictures. In most of the photos, Henry is poking at and terrorizing Jason. This photo captures a rare moment when Henry kept his hands to himself, and both of the boys are looking at the camera. Thanks for the visit Kelly and Jason - next time we'll see you in Stratford!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Santa Claus Parade

On Sunday afternoon we went to see the Santa Claus Parade. Henry was indifferent to it all, so we didn't stay long - we saw our beloved Queen's bands, and after the sugar-buzz from our hot chocolate wore off we went home and watched the rest of the parade on TV. That's the new wing of the currently under construction Royal Ontario Museum behind Mike & Henry.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Interesting mail

Henry received two great surprises in the mail yesterday: first, from our friends Jessica and Geoffrey and Nina, who live in Jordan, Henry received a stuffed camel. It's huge and it's beautiful - thank you! Second, from Grandma Laney and Grandpa Ralph, Henry received a coconut from Maui - "tree-mail", I suppose.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Six months

Dear Henry,
Six months! Things just keep getting better. You are more active than ever - you wiggle and squirm, and are rarely content to sit still. Your actions and movements seem very boyish to me, which settles the nature v. nurture debate in my mind. This month we started solid foods. While you haven't refused anything yet (out of the rice and barley that you've been offered) I think that you know that tastier delicacies lie ahead. We still can't determine the colour of your hair: in some light it;s light blond; in other light, it looks red; and in some cases it has looked brown. Your eyes are still big and bright and blue, and people are always complimenting you on them. I would never have guessed that you would have blue eyes. You are still growing steadily - we use the big scale at the doctor's office now, and according to it you were 18.5 pounds at your six-month checkup. I think it might be less precise than the baby scale though, because I think you've grown more and weigh more than that. You wear clothes for 12-month old boys. You have started to amuse yourself for longer stretches when you are in your crib, and you start chirping and singing to yourself. You need to have a toy to occupy your hands (and mouth!) when you are on the change table. You have let out a few big belly laughs, but while you are quick to smile at everything and everyone (even the anchor on the evening news) it takes more work for us to hear a big laugh from you. Recently we travelled together to Las Vegas and you were a dream during our journey. We are still busy with many activities and you seem to be getting more and more out of these sessions each week. We can't wait to celebrate the holidays with you!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Bad nights

We've had a few bad nights this week.

Ever since we introduced solids a few weeks ago, Henry has been up at least once each night. He eats and then goes right back to sleep, and the entire exercise doesn't last more than 25 minutes. But he had been sleeping through the night on a fairly consistent basis, and we want to break the midnight snacking habit. So we started last night, and it took 2.5 hours and many tears for him to get back to sleep.

On Wednesday night at about 11:20 p.m. we heard a loud popping noise outside. Mike thought it sounded like a transformer blew, but we still had power and I don't think we live near any transformers. We didn't investigate, but we should have - because 10 minutes later there was another loud popping noise outside, and when we did look out the windows at the front of the house we saw that our next-door neighbour's car was engulfed in fire. The car was parked on the street, and the street along the curb in front of our house was also on fire. The flames were at least chest-high. It was garbage night, and the neighbour's garbage was on fire too. We ran to get Henry, call 911 and get out of the house. As we dialed 911 the fire trucks pulled up in front of our house. Henry and I went to the backyard and waited for the firefighters to bring the blaze under control and we were sure there was no risk of any further explosion. Henry was wide awake, but was not at all alarmed. Later, when he awoke again at 2 a.m. I took a look outside to see what was happening - the fire trucks were gone, but there was a police car in front of our house. And in the morning the car (which was completely destroyed) was gone - no word yet on what the cause was.

We hope for nothing but sweet dreams tonight.

How to unwind after a long day

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Guess what we did today?

Mike is excited to teach Henry about democracy as we make our way to the advance polls.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Naked playtime

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