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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Henry's Sweet Second Birthday

Henry turned 2!! Woo hoo!!

It's been a big year for our little guy. A year ago he was still struggling with severe reflux and crazy severe sleep apnea, which both turned out to be related to respiratory difficulties ultimately caused by his hypotonia (to the best of my understanding). On his first birthday, Henry was juuuust baaaarely starting to sit on his own, and only for a few seconds! He was still struggling to eat solid foods and still depended on formula from a bottle for most of his nutrition. I remember filling a cupcake wrapper with whipped cream and sticking a birthday candle in it for him because we knew he wouldn't be able to eat a cupcake :)

Throwback to Henry's "beary" first birthday

The turning point for him really was the surgery he had last October. As nerve-wracking as it was to send my littlest into a surgical procedure, the progress he has made since the surgery feels miraculous. With his breathing improved, the reflux disappeared. He stopped aspirating liquids and after a few months we were able to stop using thickener in his formula. His feeding improved very quickly and by Christmas he was able to eat regular table foods. By spring he had learned how to drink from a straw and an open cup and we were able to wean him off of formula and baby bottles (Hallelujah!!). Now, he is a great eater. He continues to work with a feeding therapist as he slowly learns to feed himself.

Not only did his feeding improve, but over the following months he made leaps and bounds in motor development. Soon after the surgery he was sitting stronger and longer and he started belly crawling - he was finally mobile! By early spring he was crawling on hands and knees and pulling up to stand, and by late spring he was cruising circles around the house! I recently wrote this post: Motor Moves about Henry's motor development.

His cognitive development really began to shine this year as well. Henry started speech therapy in April and for the first time, we felt like we could really see glimpses of what he understood and what he was trying to tell us. Here's the recent update all about Henry's language development: Looking, Listening and Pre-Language Skills.

This year has felt like Henry's chance to finally get to the business of being a kid: playing, learning, growing. To start showing us his curious and energetic personality. To start discovering how to interact with his world and the people lucky enough to be a part of it.

As he grows and develops, the things that are challenging for him and for us, his parents, also change. But it's all part of the big picture of Henry having the chance to grow into the kid he will be. And I'm grateful for that.

Here's how we celebrated Henry's 2nd birthday!

Of course, we started off the day (bright and early!) with birthday breakfast! James made waffles and we covered Henry's with whipped cream and sprinkles and topped it with a candle.

We spent the day at one of our favorite places - the zoo!

On the zoo train

It's my party and I'll nap if I want to ;)

Calvin went around poking all the animals in the sculpture garden with a stick. 

That afternoon our cousins came over for pizza and cupcakes. My mom made her famous Black Bottom Cupcakes (chocolate cupcakes with a cream cheese and chocolate chip filling) for Henry's birthday. When it was finally time for cupcakes, the birthday boy was just about ready for bed! But he perked up when he got to eat one :)

Hooray for Henry! Our big 2-year-old boy!


  1. Wow, what an incredible year of growth for Henry! And, um, those cupcakes look amazing. Happy happy birthday Henry! Here's to another year of play, discovery and zoo trips.

  2. Wow, what an incredible year of growth for Henry! And, um, those cupcakes look amazing. Happy happy birthday Henry! Here's to another year of play, discovery and zoo trips.

  3. Happy Birthday Henry! xx

  4. Beautiful & inspiring family! Henry is a fighter and you are too. Well wishes! Happy Belated birthday Henry!!!