Henry has been taking a very low oral dose of an anti-spasticity medication called baclofen. In combination with his latest botox treatment, it appears to be greatly reducing the stiffness in his arms. We are able to do more reaching, stretching, and exploring his body. He particularly likes to slap his knees and clap his hands, although he needs assistance to do so.
We have one very busy day on our medical calendar coming up in November. Henry will have a full MRI, a procedure that requires sedation. Since he will already be sedated, he is also going to have his retractile testes stitched into place and the tubes in his ears replaced.
In August, we had a followup visit with the vision specialist in Pittsburgh. She was pleased with his progress since his initial visit in February. She believes that his vision has now outpaced his motor skills. His inability to either support himself in an upright position or accept the help of positioning equipment (high chair, car seat, etc...) is a real challenge. His head control does continue to improve, so we remain hopeful that he will be sitting and playing independently one day.
Over the past couple of months, Henry has become generous with his smiles. He even laughs now and then, most frequently after a loud kiss on the cheek. He is becoming a happy little guy, and we cherish every grin.
And now for the story of our past couple of months in pictures...
Our travels began with a weekend trip to see Henry's Aunt Cara and Uncle Joey in St. Louis. We were delighted that Aunt Dori and Uncle Nate were able to join us. Here we are in front of a giant Chihuly sculpture at the Missouri Botanical Gardens:
The very next weekend found us in Pennsylvania to visit family and see the vision specialist in Pittsburgh. We bought a special flotation device for Henry so that he could experience the freedom of reduced gravity in the swimming pool. As you can see, he really enjoyed it.
Shortly after returning from PA, it was time to go to cousin Rachel's wedding in Baltimore. For this trip, Henry flew on an airplane for the very first time. As you can see, he loved O'Hare (and who doesn't?).
Here we are on the airplane. Henry slept for nearly the entire flight.
Henry was able to meet many members of my family for the first time. Unfortunately, we did not do a very good job of documenting that in photos. We did get another one with Nanna.
Here we are back in Chicago enjoying a visit with our friend Whitney (notice Henry's dinosaur camouflage PJs):
Henry's cousin Holly celebrated her first birthday in style – with ice cream!
We had a fun breakfast with Erika, Eno, Dana, and Sandra.
We spent part of the Labor Day weekend in Door County.
Big Don and Jim would not share the seesaw with the other children.
We topped off all of this travel with our first real family vacation. We went to Oregon, dividing our time between Portland and the coastal town of Manzanita. In Portland, we were graciously hosted by Jenny and Toby. They threw a party one evening:
Henry was delighted to meet Brian and Sera's daughter Sofia.
We got to spend some quality time with cousin Lauren.
Lauren, Seth, and Sage hosted us for breakfast one morning.
Jenny and Henry are resting in preparation for what will become a big day of hiking.
Jenny and Lauren accompanied us on a steep hike up Mount Hood. We didn't quite make it to the very top.
We then headed to the coast. Here are Henry and I hanging out on various gorgeous beaches:
At one point, we encountered a baby seal. It pondered us a few moments before lumbering off into the waves.
Can you believe we actually managed a full-family shot?
Our friends Chris and Laura joined us for our last couple of days on the coast.
We shared a great little house in Manzanita.
Back in Chicago, we were pleased to host our friends Peter, Sarah, and Ian. Here are Sarah and Ian enjoying the model railroad at the Chicago Botanic Gardens:
Sarah ran the Chicago Marathon while the rest of us cheered her on and partied. Grandma Judy and cousin Emika were especially enthusiastic.
Watching a marathon can be tiring. Here we are taking a break from the action with cousins DC, Charlie, and Harry and our good friend Kathy.
Congratulations for making it all the way to the end of this post. We'll attempt to return to our usual monthly schedule for postings, but I cannot make any guarantees.