Latest updates on Henry Xavier Murphy Wolverton
Troy and Tara's newborn son.
Henry is quite the funny guy. He has developed quite the sense of humor in recent weeks and months, telling a number of jokes and giggling up a storm.
Tonight, for instance, I was going to feed our dog, Haillee, but I could find her food dish. So, I asked Henry if he knew where it was. "Yes," he said. "I took it." I asked him where he had taken it. "To the zoo," he said, laughing, since we both knew he hadn't been to the zoo today. Really, Henry, I asked, where's Haillee's dish? "I took it ... to the zoo," he said, laughing harder. He laughed even more when I pretended to get huffy about it, saying "No you did not!" From then on, he kept saying over and over that he had taken the dish to the zoo. The kid knows a punch line when he hears one.
Along those lines, Henry gets a big kick out of our reactions sometimes. The other day, when Tara and I took him out for a walk, he found a seedpod on the ground. Because the seedpod was grey, thin, long and furry, Tara told Henry she thought it looked like a mouse tail. My immediate response was, "Ewww!" That brought the house down. In fact, Henry thought that was so funny, that he repeated the story over and over to Tara as she was trying to get him down to sleep that night.
Henry is still nursing, which has become the fodder of jokes -- from Henry. He likes to tease me by saying, "Daddy nurse?" If I say, "Sure," he'll respond with "No," or "No way!" or "Daddy nurse with Kayla." Regardless, any of those phrases is accompanied by a giggle.
He also loves it when I respond to the "Daddy nurse with Kayla" or the "Daddy nurse with Haillee" lines with something along the lines of no, because you don't know where that car (or dog) has been or what she's been eating.
The kid's fun -- and funny.
Henry and I came home from downtown on Friday to find that our neighborhood covered in what looked to be salt pellets. It turns out that we got a flurry of sleet. Although our neighborhood was one of the only ones in the city that got any white stuff, the Bay Area has been inundated with wacky winter weather of late, with snow supposedly falling at elevations as low as 200 feet.
Anyway, this was the first time that Henry had ever seen anything close to snow. He was thrilled! After seeing some folks making a snowman across the street, I got inspired and as soon as we got home, Henry and I went out on the deck and tried our hand at one.
OK, so it was only a foot high or so, but it was still neat. And Henry and I both thought it was a heck of a lot of fun!
Henry has become in recent weeks and months quite the mimic or parrot. He often seems to be repeat certain words or phrases that Tara and I have said to him.
What's fun is to see him starting to put things together on his own.
Since he was an infant, Tara and I have been counting to him or reciting the alphabet. So, when I carry him up the stairs, I count off the steps. Or when we put him in his pajamas, we count off the snaps as we fasten them.
Late last year, he started to do some counting on his own, often prompted by us. But he never got terribly far -- until somewhere around New Year's Day.
Henry was in his room playing while Tara and I were in the bathroom getting dressed. We had the door to the bathroom cracked so that we could monitor him. And all of a sudden, Henry just starts counting. He made it all the way from one to 10 that first time and in the weeks since, he's counted at least as high as 17 that I can recall.
But more than just reciting numbers, he starting to learn how to actually count objects. Last night, for instance, he started counting the buttons on my shirt. (He counted several of the more than once, but it was still a neat start.)
Beyond counting, though, Henry has a lot of cute phrases that he's been saying lately that he obviously got from Tara and me.
Often over the last month or so, Henry will say something that's either unverifiable or obviously incorrect. For instance -- and this is just an example, not an actual quote -- he'll say something like, "the sky is green," or "Bunny" -- his stuffed rabbit doll -- "is a boy." Our typical conversation from that point usually goes like this:
Well, Henry has in the last couple of days started using my line. So, instead of him responding "Yes," to my "Really," Henry will say "interesting." It's really cute.
This morning he had another couple of cute phrases. For a couple weeks now, regarding various objects or foods or things in his life, he's been asking Tara and me, "Do you like it?"
Before Chandra, our first nanny, moved to Florida last month, she left with us a Fisher Price Little People firehouse still in its box. Not long afterward, Tara's Mom gave us a box of Tara's and Trevor's toys she had found in her attic. We ended up setting both boxes on our drier, unsure of what to do with them.
Henry has a bunch of toys already, which we had finally gotten organized into shelves and bins in recent months. And his birthday is coming up, which will probably mean a bunch more toys. So we didn't want to overwhelm him -- or us -- with a bunch of new ones.
That's a good thought and all, but with the toys all on the drier in plain site, Henry saw them everytime he went in the garage. And Tara and I quickly ran out of excuses as to why he couldn't have or play with the toys right then.
Tara broke down a week ago or so and brought up the box of toys from her mom. But we held off on the firehouse. Well, we held off until yesterday when Henry finally had a melt down about it after seeing it in the garage for the upteenth time.
(You may well wonder why we didn't just hide it. That's a fine question. Partly it's because we just didn't think about it until Henry saw it. Partly it's because Henry's memory is dang good now that even if we had, he'd still be asking for it.
(For instance, we hired a nanny named Juliana to replace Chandra. Because of a family emergency, she only worked one and a half days for us early last month. Despite that, Henry to this day still remembers and says, giggling, that "Juliana said, 'goodie, goodie.'")
Anyway, to get back to the point, after waiting for Henry to calm down, we let him have the firehouse. And he thought it was great. I think he played with it much of the day yesterday and was talking about the "e-larm" on the firehouse when I got home from work last night.
This morning, he asked Tara, concerning the firehouse, "do you like it?" In turn, Tara asked Henry if he liked it. Henry's response: "I love it."
Moreover, when he got out of bed this morning, he kept saying, "pretty cool" -- another one of his recent phrases -- over and over. When I asked him to show me what was "pretty cool," he took me to his firehouse and said something like, "It's pretty cool!"
Like I said, Henry is pretty cute! (Not to mention darn smart!)
Henry is now an interstate singing sensation.
I called my parents tonight and Henry entertained them by signing (with me) "The Eyes of Texas." Since the song has the same melody as "I've Been Workin' on the Railroad," we proceeded on to "Somone's in the Kitchen with Dinah," and "Fee-Fy-Fiddly-eye-O." My parents -- and Tara and I, of course -- got a huge kick out of Henry's singing.
Henry's crooning tonight started earlier in the evening when he and I were playing in his room waiting for Tara to finish working. He has a Fisher-Price Little People bus that makes various sounds and plays a number of different songs when you press down on the driver's seat. Among those songs is "If You're Happy And You Know It."
After hearing the bus play the melody for "If You're Happy," Henry started singing the song. So, I decided to sing along with him. After the first verse, I switched from "clap your hands" to "stomp your feet." But Henry was determined to sing "clap your hands" no matter what I sang. That became our running gag the rest of the night. I'd try to sing a different verse and he would go right back to "clap your hands." That gave him the giggles no end -- and me too.
Henry was very cute tonight.
Since he was a newborn, Tara and I have been singing to him regularly, often as a way of getting him in the mood for a nap. Some of our regular songs have been "Slip Sliding Away" by Paul Simon, "Frog Went A'Courtin'" by The Brothers Four and "King of the Road" by Roger Miller.
(Actually, we began singing to him when he was still in the womb. I was determined that by the time he was born, he would know "The Eyes of Texas" by heart. And, in fact, he seemed to.)
Well, lo and behold, all that singing seems to have paid off. Henry has started to sing and, when we sing, he recognizes the lyrics and can fill in the blanks.
We've known for a while that he knew "Slip Sliding Away." That's often my opening tune when trying to sing him to sleep. And in recent months when I've tried to dance and sing to him, he'll start singing "Slip Sliding Away" to me before I begin.
But he's started to sing other songs now too. For instance, tonight, he was signing "Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah," from "I've Been Workin' On the Railroad." And when we sang "Frog Went A'Courtin'" or "King of the Road," he would fill in the end of nearly every line.
His memory is pretty impressive. We've not sung "King of the Road" all that often over the last year, and I can't even remember the last time I sang it to him. But he knew big chunks of it tonight when I was singing it.
He's demonstrated similar recall abilities in recent months with his books. My last entry talked about his recollection of lines in "Mr. Brown Can Moo" and the lollipop in "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." But he also can fill in the last word of just about every line in "Madelline," and knows almost all of "Hop on Pop."
The kid is darn smart.
It's been more than a year since I last wrote and -- as might be expected -- a lot has happened with Henry: walking, talking, eating by himself...
You can catch much of these momentous events in the pictures and video on this site. And maybe I'll fill in some of the details on this blog at a later date.
For now, though, I wanted to recount some of the latest goings on with Henry. Very frequently these days -- often daily -- I find myself awed at just how smart the kid is.
This evening, for instance, as we were getting Henry ready for bed, Tara and I read him several books, including Dr. Seuss' "Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?"
We got that book for Henry before our trip to Baja this summer. Although it's been one of his favorites since then, we haven't read it a whole lot lately. So, you might imagine my surprise at how well Henry knew the book tonight.
As suggested by the title, "Mr. Brown" is a book about a guy who makes all kinds of animal and other noises. Well, Henry was our Mr. Brown tonight. Every sound Mr. Brown made, Henry made -- most without being prompted by Tara or me or by the text.
In other words, when Mr. Brown says, "Moo," Henry would say "moo" before we read "moo" in the text.
Now, you might think that's no great shakes. The kid sees a cow and he moos, big deal, right? But he got more than just the easy ones. He remembered that the shoes go "eek" and the butterfly whispered. He remembered the buzz of the bees, the boom! of the thunder, the pop of the cork and the pip of the goldfish kiss.
It was pretty neat.
Like I said, though, he's been impressing us pretty often lately.
Last week, for example, Henry started saying, "lollipop." As he's want to do, instead of just saying it once, he said kept repeating it. Tara and I were apt to just shake our heads, answer, "yes, lollipop," and be done with it. But Henry wouldn't let us.
Instead, he grabbed Tara's hand and dragged her to his room. From there, he directed Tara to his closet and had her open the door. Inside Henry's closet is a shelf full of books. Henry wouldn't let the subject of a lollipop drop until Tara had gotten down the book he wanted: Eric Carle's "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." Once she did, he flipped through the pages until he found what he was looking for: the lollipop that the caterpillar had eaten through on his last day of binging before forming a coccoon.
Neither Tara nor I had remembered a lollipop in that book. Henry's never eaten a lollipop. And while we've read that book a number of times, I think it had been a while since we had last read it.
The kid is just amazing.
But he's not just smart, he's pretty darn funny too. Tonight, as I typically do when I come home from work, I grabbed Henry and we took Haillee outside to our backyard so she could relieve herself. By the time we got out there, it was already dark, so we grabbed the flashlight, which just happens to be one of Henry's favorite "toys."
As I searched around for Haillee's droppings, I said something like "any more poop? No." After picking everything up, I handed Henry the flashlight and expected to chase him around the yard -- or have him chase me -- as we'd done the night before.
Because instead of playing chase, Henry turned on the flashlight, pointed it at the ground and started walking around in circles in the backyard saying, "any poop? No!" over and over. I've been giggling about it ever since!
Henry's taken a number of big steps forward since I last wrote!
Indeed, that's the big news. No, he's not walking yet--at least not unassisted. But he is crawling! Little Hank crawled for the first time during Halloween weekend (on Saturday, Oct. 30, to be exact). And not only that, but the day after his first crawl, he sat up for the first time by himself! The little guy's making big strides!
(He also has an impeccable sense of timing. His first crawl was witnessed not only by Tara and me, but by his Aunt Kim, Uncle Mike, Papa Pete and Mama Betty! And he mastered the art of sitting up at his Grandma Murphy's house.)
The three of us--Tara, Henry and I--were in Southern California on Halloween weekend to see my sister Kim. Kim, who is about 8 months pregnant, was having a baby shower.
The trip marked Henry's first-ever plane ride. That too went well. Well, he fussed a little when we first got on board, but that had more to do with him being hungry and a bit tired (our plane took off at 7 p.m. at night--dinner time for Henry), than anything else. After he got to nurse a little, he was fine and had fun grabbing the shirt of the man sitting next to us and looking all around the plane.
Indeed, Henry was far crankier on his drive over to the airport from his Aunt Anina's house than he was on the plane ride itself. And he was even better on the plane ride home, basically sleeping the entire way.
We have video of Henry's first crawl, which I plan to post soon. And we have plenty of pictures from that weekend, which I also plan to post in the near future. So look out for them!
That Halloween weekend was quite an experience for little Henry. He got to meet his Grandma Murphy for the first time, and that was fun for all of us.
Henry is often very reluctant to be held by anyone other than his mom, me or Chandra, his baby sitter. But Grandma Murphy swept him out our rental car as soon as we arrived at her home and Henry didn't protest too much. In fact, by the time Tara and I stepped inside, Henry was sitting on Grandma Murphy's lap as if they'd known each other for some time!
The little guy also seemed to have a fine time over at Kim and Mike's house. He played with his Grandma Betty and enjoyed the new toys and clothes that she and Papa Pete gave him. Tara and I plan to head to their house for Thanksgiving, and we are all looking forward to that.
Since Halloween weekend, Henry's been busy practicing his new sitting and crawling skills. He's still not an expert yet--he'll often mixes in lunging on his tum with his stretches of crawling-- but he's getting there. Hopefully we'll get the house babyproofed before he really gets going around the house!
Henry's also been practicing standing up and walking. The standing up he can do on his own. He's become very adept at using the edge of the couch, storage bins, his parents' legs, you name it to pull himself into a stand. Now, he can't yet stay in a stand unassisted, but he will lean against the couch, storage bin, etc. and stand for quite a while these days.
In fact, one of the things that he enjoys a lot is to pull himself up using the couch in his room in order to see if his mom and dad have left anything fun on the couch that he can play with.
Speaking of playing, Henry's favorite game these days is peek-a-boo. He loves it! Having Mom or Dad hide and then--peek-a-boo--reappear sends him into giggles guffaws.
Another thing he really enjoys is swinging. Chandra takes Henry and her son Eli to our nearby park fairly often to swing. Tara and I took him for the first time ourselves this past weekend and Henry just loved it! He swung with me, then on his own, then played in the grass, then swung some more. He got a big kick out of it when Tara or I would get close enough to him that it looked like he would crash into us on his upswing. He giggled in high pitch as soon as we would quickly duck away to avert a collision!
All in all, the Little Guy's doing great--and amazing us by how quickly he's growing up!