Henry Louis

Here is the latest on our family...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Welcome to the Year 2012!

We have had a whirlwind six months since Gus's arrival. While getting used to life as a family of four, we have had many adventures.

Aunt Peggy accompanied us on a trip to the Anat Baniel Method Center in San Rafael, California in September. We cannot thank her enough for all of her help. Henry had a week of intensive therapy with Anat Baniel and some other practitioners. Peggy and Gus became fast friends while Henry was otherwise occupied with his lessons. Henry responded positively to the lessons, and we hope to return to the center in 2012.

We live not far from the Glenview Public Library. Henry is the proud holder of his very own library card:

20111011 - Henry Library Card

We also live near Wagner Farm. Here, Henry got to pet a cow:

20111015 - Dad & Henry & Cow Wagner Farm

Over Halloween weekend, Gus had his first long road trip to Pennsylvania. He also saw his first snow. He and Henry were subjected to costumes appropriately humiliating for their respective ages:

 20111030 - Halloween 2

Here is Gus on Pap's lap:

20111029 - Pap August

We snapped a quick family portrait at Thanksgiving:

20111124 Thanksgiving

Henry turned 3 on November 26. We celebrated with his first real birthday party.

20111128 - Henry bday cake Mom Henry Dad 2

20111128 - Henry bday let's eat cake

The most major event since our last post is definitely that Henry aged out of the Early Intervention program and officially became a schoolboy. His first day at the NSSED Pleasant Ridge Early Childhood Education room was Monday, November 28. He attends school daily from 9:15 - 2:45. He has a wonderful aide, Miss Carolyn, who rides the bus to and from school with him and is with him all day. Henry participates in Speech, Physical, Vision, and Occupational Therapy throughout the week with various therapists. His teacher, Mrs. Kay, along with Miss Carolyn, see to it that Henry is included in group time and play time with his classmates. He's even done a couple art projects (proudly displayed on the fridge). This has been a significant transition for all of us, but the reports are good, and we are excited that Henry has the opportunity to be with his peers and to experience school.

20111128 - Henry first day of school mom dad

20111128 - Henry Dad first day of school

20111128 - Henry first day of school on bus

Sadly, Meade's uncle Toby Potter died in August after battling leukemia since last spring. We (Sean, Meade & Augie) were glad to be able to go to Portland shortly after his death to be with Meade's aunt Jenny and cousin Stu. Meade and Augie went back in December for the memorial service; it was good to be with all the family.

20111204 - August Juna Portland 1

Jana & Lauren

Gus's first Christmas (and Henry's 4th!) was a lot of fun. As always there were many wonderful gifts for both boys and lots of family time.

20111225 - Christmas kids Kate

Big Don & Holly
20111225 - August Big Don Holly

The last major bit of news to report on is that Henry had adductor myotomy surgery on December 28. Since Henry has throughout his life consistently pulled his legs inward, in adduction, the heads of the femurs are not seated properly in his hip joints. Therefore, his hip joints are at risk of becoming malformed. In Henry's case, the problem is much worse in the left hip than the right. This surgery helps weaken the adductor muscles, allowing greater range of motion from the hip joint. The idea is that, over time, with practice in weight-bearing activities such as standing and walking, the heads of the femurs will come into place. We have our fingers crossed for that; if this process is not successful, hip and leg reconstruction could be necessary.

After he had the surgery (while still under anesthesia), he had another ABR (auditory brainstem response) test. He had one in January 2010 which showed poor auditory processing in his brain. This one showed near-normal hearing in the left ear, but did not get interpretable results from the right ear. This result is consistent with the improvement we have noticed in Henry's responses to sound over the last several months/year.

Lastly, here are a few pictures of some of our recent visitors (as always, you can see more pictures on our Flickr site.) We love to have company and hope to see many of you in 2012. Happy New Year!

20111217 - Bret August

20111206 - Melissa August

20111126 - Mom Augus Diana

20111225 - Meade Kate Augie

Joan August 20110824

Heather & Jason
20110814 - Heather Jason August

Owen, Michelle & Diane
Owen Michelle Diane August 20110811

20111214 - Nanna Gus Balloon 1

20111213 - Paul Dad August Henry

Grammy & Nanna
20111213 - Family Grammy Nanna

Rob & Todd
20111230 - August Rob Todd

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Big Brother!

Henry has a brand new little brother! August Nichol (AKA Gus, Augie) was born July 11, 2011, at 2:53 PM. He was 8 pounds 5 ounces and 20.5 inches long.


As you can see, he and Henry are already good pals.


I apologize for the brevity of this post, but you can find many other pictures of Henry and Gus on our Flickr site. Thanks to everyone for your well wishes! We are all happy to be a family of four.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

First post of the year

As March comes to a close, we are finally getting around to our first blog post of 2011. At least we kept it within the first quarter. Although our last post was in early December, we'll spare you the jarring site of Christmas trees and wrapping paper.

Henry has been happy and healthy except for a couple of colds and an ear infection that was discovered to be MRSA. Fortunately, the tubes in his ears relieve him of the pain most of us associate with childhood ear infections. When his doctor finally determined which antibiotics would be effective, the infection cleared within a day.

Henry's biggest news is that he is going to be a big brother. Meade is due July 4 and is doing great, of course. We don't know if we're having a boy or girl, but we're open to suggestions.

Although Henry continues to struggle in his high chair, we do have fun moments now and then. (Notice his new glasses.)


A piece of equipment that he much prefers is his bath chair.


During the Super Bowl, our devotion was not enough to inspire any life into the Steelers' usually-stellar defense.


Henry decided that he would rather nap than watch lackluster football.


Here are some photos taken on Christmas Day:





Finally, Henry has a new trick. He can now roll from his back to his side. He can only do this from right to left, and he will only do it when his parents are not watching. We owe many thanks to Jennie for capturing this video on her phone.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

2nd Annual Hanksgiving

No longer a baby, Henry is now two years old. As his birthday was the day after Thanksgiving, we celebrated a day early in order to enjoy cake and pie on the same day.

Henry's day of surgeries at Children's Memorial Hospital was without incident. He has new tubes in his ears and his testes are in place. The MRI was disappointing but not surprising. His brain has experienced quite of bit of atrophy. Although his shunt is functioning properly, his ventricles remain large as cerebral spinal fluid fills much of the space that was once occupied by brain tissue.

Believe it or not, this photo was taken before anesthesia:


He continues to make slow and steady progress with his therapies. One of his favorite weekly activities is his music class, Wiggleworms. We attend the 6 - 12 month old class and sing songs that involve lots of clapping and body awareness.

We finally found an outdoor activity that Henry can enjoy visually – Zoo Lights at the Lincoln Park Zoo.


Aunt Cara and Uncle Joey stayed with us for Hanksgiving. Here we are getting ready for a delicious breakfast at Over Easy:


Here is Henry trying on a birthday outfit from Cara and Joey:


What Thanksgiving would be complete without a deep-fried turkey? (Do not try this at home.)


Backing up one holiday, we had a great time haunting the streets of Park Ridge with cousins at Halloween. Henry wore an adorable frog costume – er, well, it would have been adorable if Henry were about 20% smaller. We'll find a better-fitting costume next year.



We got to spend a morning with Henry's friend Owen. Owen is an impressively mobile and curious fellow these days.


I gave Meade and Henry a much-needed break and hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon with Mike, Zach, Susan, and Peggy. We had a fantastic time.


Henry is still not enamored of his high chair. He has developed a couple of tricks in hopes of taking his meal in a lap, as nature intended. One of his tricks is falling asleep and refusing to eat. Once removed from the chair, however, he miraculously awakes and finishes his meal. Jennie took this photo one afternoon at dinner time:


Here is another sleeping shot, although this one was more genuine:


Henry's head control is getting better. Some of the techniques that we use to help him improve his head control are...

his arms braced on our chests:


crawling position:

20101121 Holiday Card 2

and sitting:


Here are some posed pictures intended for holiday cards.


20101121 Holiday Card 1



Finally, Henry has been doing quite well in his gait trainer. We made a couple of videos of the first time that he completed multiple trips (6!) up and down our hallway without needing help from us.