The Henry Family

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Merry Christmas Update

I will do my best to update you all on everything without making this too long of a post.

Christmas came to our house and was a lot of fun! Will's main gift was this really cute Little People car garage. He also got the Little People airport from Aunt Gina and Uncle Robbie and it is too cute.
Madeline's big gift was this dollhouse. Other family members got her different rooms and a mini-van to go with the house and family. She has already spent a lot of time playing with this and I think it will be fun for her for several years.
We spent lots of time with both sides of the family. Will really enjoyed getting to interact with everyone and was walking around a lot. He still likes to crawl but really wanted to be like the big kids and walk around. He also gave everyone lots of his good snuggles. I caught him hanging out with Poppa Henry in his chair.

Right before we went on Christmas Break, the kids school had a program. Will's class came in riding in their 6 seater buggy. They rang (or some chewed on) their jingle bells to the music. Will was not shy at all. He just kept looking around and started smiling. He really enjoyed himself. For those of you who don't know, he's the one on the right on the 2nd row wearing green and white pajamas.

Maddie's class sang. . . . you guessed it, Go Tell it on the Mountain. She sang with all her heart but looked a little nervous standing up there. It was fun to see everyone in their pajamas and Maddie was excited to wear her new Christmas p.j.'s and Hello Kitty house shoes.



I have really been enjoying spending so much extra time with the kids. It just reinforces our convictions that the kids need me at home and we are working even more diligently to make that happen after this school year. God has been so good to us and I pray that we are taking the path He would want.
Here is a close-up of my beautiful girl. This picture doesn't do her beautiful light blue eyes justice. I sometimes feel like I blinked and she went from a cute, chubby baby/toddler, to this very grown-up looking preschooler.



Speaking of growing up fast, this little man is getting so tall. He got lots of new winter clothes for Christmas because he is outgrowing everything so quickly. He melts my heart daily with his sweet smiles and affectionate nature.
I will say that the slobber is out of control! I can't believe I didn't have a bib on him and recall that this shirt was quite soaked shortly after this was taken. When will it ever stop????
Maddie asked me to take the next picture as she feels she is 4 going on 13. She loves all things "girl" and parades around in jackets with purses and fancy shoes all the time. Please don't grow up too fast sweet girl!
My dad took many more Christmas pictures with this nicer camera and I plan to post them when I can get over to use their computer.
By the way, what do you all think of my new layout. I like the background but wonder if it looks to Christmasy (sp?) and I should change it soon. Let me know what you think:)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Prepare to be Shocked!

video

I actually figured out how to get a video clip from my camera onto my blog with minimal help from Nathan!

Let me say that there is a lot going on in this video. I was actually taking still pictures of the kids and Will was walking around by himself. So, I thought I would brilliantly capture it on the camera instead of the camcorder. You will see that this plan did not work so I had Maddie perform her program song to entertain us while Will decided to keep rearranging the refrigerator magnets. I love how he decided to chime in on the song partway through while having the pink paper fall on his face. This is very representative of free time in our house.

For those of you who might not have noticed by my voice and Maddie's. . . yes, we're definitely from the South:)

But, didn't Maddie do a great job with her song. More to come on that Monday night after their program. I will also keep trying to catch Will walking for everyone.

I have such a wonderful husband!

Okay, for some reason, blogger uploaded this picture first and I don't know how to switch things around. So, let's all take a moment to smile and admire this handsome little man's "funny" face. I mean, I may be a little biased, but isn't he just one of the cutest babies you have every seen:)

Now, back to business. . .
If the time is posted on this particular blog, you might be wondering what I am doing at home at this time on a weekday. Well, I'm spending the day with my poor sick little girl.
Apparently, she was throwing up all night.
My wonderful husband woke me up around 11:00 to say that Maddie wasn't feeling well and he was going to lay with her for just a little bit to make sure she was okay. I was fine with that because I was pretty tired and had been asleep since 9:30. I woke up in the morning and thought he just feel asleep in Maddie's room because I hadn't heard anything during the night and I'm a notoriously light sleeper. But, I found the infamous bowl in Maddie's room and a very tired Daddy that told me she had been sick all night. I told him that he should take a sick day and stay home and rest with Maddie but he had already taken a day with Will earlier in the week (pink eye). So, it was my turn to take a sick day and I felt just awful that Nathan had to go teach all day after such a hard night. I still can't believe that he didn't even wake me up! That's just the kind of dad and husband he is.
Maddie is doing well now and has been able to keep everything down. We even decided to pick Will up at 11:00. We had decided to send him to baby school until we felt Maddie was doing better.
So, I've really been enjoying my day doing all of the things I love, spending time with the kids, catching up on laundry, reading all my favorite blogs, and, most importantly, having some time to be with God and my thoughts. It's kind of sad that my life is so hurried that it takes a day off for me to really focus on the One who should always come first. I really need to work on that. God is always so good to me and he is helping me see more clearly that which He would have me do. Now, I just need to work on strengthening my faith to truly carry out His plans for me and not let my own fears and worries get in the way.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sorry!

Okay, for those of you who have not given up on even checking on my blog, I apologize for taking so long to update. We have just been crazy busy and I'm so tired by the time I get both kids down and get my list of things done that I just fall asleep. I have managed to find a little time to read other's updates and am glad everyone is doing so well.
There is not really anything too new going on in our house. Just the usual business associated with the holidays. My students are about ready to bust from excitement whenever Christmas is mentioned and we have all been counting down the days until Winter Break:) Madeline and Will are getting ready for their school's Christmas program on Monday. Maddie has been singing "Go Tell It On the Mountain" for about a month solid and has it down! Will has been working as hard as a laid-back guy like him can, to get this walking thing down in time to walk in and see his presents on Christmas morning. He is walking more and more and getting faster everyday. He still prefers crawling and cruising but is using walking more and more to get to things.
We are really trying to downplay the gift thing more this year and are trying to talk more about Jesus and the Holy Family. Going to mass on Christmas Day will take priority and we have not gone overboard with presents. Now, whether either Grandma has, remains to be seen:) We are going to be buying a family in our own church some clothes and toys and hope Maddie will understand how important giving is instead of always focusing on receiving.
I hope everyone else is enjoying the holiday season. I will try to post some pictures next time.
God Bless and Good Night!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Almost There!

Madeline "almost" had me centered in this picture she took on Halloween. She loves taking pictures and it was a hard debate to decide whether or not to get her the kid digital camera or the doll house she wants for Christmas. We decided on the doll house because she is only 4 and has plenty of time to develop her photography skills.
Now, don't think you eyes might be tricking you. Will is actually standing without holding on to something anchored to the ground! After this picture, he took about 8 steps to Nathan. Thanks to Susan for the tip on giving him something to hold on to in order to "trick" him. It worked like a charm. I wouldn't say he is walking but is taking steps and that is progress!
In "Not Me Monday" fashion, a day early, (which I haven't officially done yet because the directions seem long and intimidating) I thought I would pick out a few things that are "not happening" in this picture.
Will is not wearing only one shoe. Only an irresponsible parent would not put the shoe back on when her child is learning to walk because she was afraid of aggravating his toddler temper by stopping him to put it back on. That would be very wimpy of me and my kids know who is boss.
Will is not playing with a Eucerin sample. I would never give my child something that is not even remotely child-proof in the hopes that he would get really distracted and walk on his own. My child's safety is always my first priority.
That is not my living room in the background. Living rooms are only for living in my house and being filled with toys would be foolish as we do have a playroom.
Will is not wearing a bib. I do not have slobber issues that make me put my 15 month old in a bib when we are at home because I cannot stand him to have a soaked shirt and then take it off in public so everyone can see his cute outfit. I am much more laid back than that.
There, that is my first attempt a Not Me Monday. How did I do?


Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

We have had a lot of fun preparing for Halloween this year. Each year, as our kids get older, Halloween gets more and more fun.
Thursday night, we carved/painted our pumpkins so they would still be fresh on Halloween night. Will would only try to eat the acrylic paint, so he had to hang out on the sidelines. He was pretty interested and just cruised around to observe.
He is still so happy to crawl that he may not decide to walk anytime soon. But, if he is this happy and precious, who cares! I just love those big brown eyes!

Nathan, once again, did a great job carving our big pumpkin. Maddie said she wanted a scary pumpkin this year, so he did his best.

Maddie was very into painting her pumpkin and ended up painting every surface. She gave special attention to the stem.

Here is Madeline's finished pumpkin.

And, here is the finished family pumpkin. How scary!

Since acrylic paint is not known for being good to eat, I painted Will's pumpkin for him. He was the artistic inspiration, though.

Today, we woke up extra early and Maddie kept saying, "I'm just so excited today!" She would say this at random times with such enthusiasm that Nathan and I cheered up and got excited with her (even though Halloween is not as fun for teachers). She dressed up as Dorothy this year and Will was her sidekick, the Scarecrow. I think she really looked the part. Excuse the crazy eyes. The red eye removal on my Paint Shop program leaves something to be desired (or I just haven't figured out the right way to use it. . . which is entirely possible).

Will is officially at the age where getting a good picture is impossible! He didn't want to stand or sit, so we did the best we could to capture his scarecrow cuteness. The costume included a really cute hat with a crow on top, but he wouldn't wear it.
When I chose to dress them as Dorothy and the Scarecrow, I had wonderful visions of all the cute pictures we could take.
Well, this was the best we got. Maddie tried her best, but Will was not having any of this posing stuff!

They wore their costumes to school and changed after the school carnival. They were both given really cute Halloween shirts and I wanted to show them off.

Thanks Karen and Gina for the shirts!

I hope everyone enjoyed their Halloween just as much. We only had three trick-or-treaters, which is probably good because Will started crying every time the door bell rang! He ended up going to bed before 8:00.
After we went trick-or-treating, Maddie and Nathan changed and headed out to the high school football game. Go Wildcats!














Monday, October 27, 2008

Oh, What a Busy Life!

You can tell how busy we have been by my lack of posting. I manage enough time to catch up on all of your blogs but leave little time to upload pictures and write for myself. So, for those of you who faithfully check, despite my lack of posts, I will try to do better.
We have all been busy doing the usual. Nathan and I stay very busy during this fall at school. We will definitely be ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas break when they get here! My class has been studying pumpkins and the solar system. We have made cute flip books (I will try to take a picture of the bulletin board where they are posted) and a really neat solar system book out of paper bags. I'm quite proud of our craftiness!
Will is still studying the act of walking. It is amazing what he can do while touching a table with one finger or holding on to one finger of his caretaker! But, the second he realizes he is not holding on to something, he sits down and starts to crawl. Oh well, I had hoped he would walk by Halloween but we may be looking at Thanksgiving as well. You all know just how much he loves food. Maybe the Thanksgiving spread will inspire him.
He does appear to like the taste of grape, sparkly lip gloss as well as most kinds of food and his sister was gracious enough to leave some just where he could get it.
A purple goatee is just what he was going for, I'm sure:)

Madeline is still loving preschool and learning lots. Today, they had a Red Ribbon Parade downtown at the square. Their school puts the babies in the big red buggies and the preschoolers in red wagons and joins the parade. They both had a blast, although Nathan and I were sad we did not get to see it. She is also very into dance and gymnastics. I hope to take a 1/2 day some afternoon and watch her in action.
In other important Madeline news: A week ago, she woke up to the sound of rain, music to the ears of a little girl who has been waiting over a month to wear her new Hello Kitty rain boots and use her Ariel umbrella!

She made quite the statement with her dress and jean jacket, don't you think. Nathan laughingly said we might need some cowboy boots because she does look pretty cute in a dress and boots (for those of you who don't know us well, this is pretty funny as we don't do anything countrified, despite living in Arkansas).

In other important October news, Nathan had a birthday!
How old is this handsome man who keeps those biceps oh so strong by bench pressing his kids?



Don't worry, his candles won't give it away. . .


Nathan is now 31 years old!!! We had a nice, simple birthday celebration and went out to eat. He requested an ice cream cake and we all really enjoyed it. I just bought a premade one but the cake decorator was nice enough to take it out and decorate it for him. Happy Birthday Nathan!



Other than all of that, we have just been having a nice October and are enjoying the fall weather we are finally getting down here in the South.







Monday, October 6, 2008

A Cute Diaper-Clad Baby and Other Pictures

I love taking and having lots of pictures of my family. Our camera is not always the easiest to work with but is small and portable for all occasions.
Here are a few snapshots from this weekend.
Will had just majorly messed up his clothes after a snack of soy peanut butter and crackers. When I was changing him, I noticed that he was hot and sweaty as it had warmed up to about 80 degrees since I had dressed him that morning. So, I decided to let him cool off and he was as happy as a clam. He even did a little light reading with his faithful sippy cup nearby just in case he needed to check for anymore juice, later.
Maddie loves to listen to Laurie Berkner songs in the playroom. When the Boots Song came on, she ran into the living room, and said, "Mama, I have to get my boots on right now!" She just got these Hello Kitty Rain Boots from her Nana and we have not had a drop of rain since. She was itching to get a chance to use them and decided this song was good enough. I had a hard time capturing a good shot of her dancing and bouncing but you get the general idea.
The boots in all their glory!!!
Now, I'm not one to dress my family in matching outfits but little did I know that Nathan is. On Sunday, he got Will dressed for church and then came out later wearing the same outfit. Everyone at church assumed this was my doing, but Nathan owned up to his part in the planning. It was too cute to resist a quick picture.
Maddie was feeling left out so Nathan got this picture of "the girls." It made me realize how rarely I am in pictures with my kids. I'm usually the one taking the pictures. I love this picture of my sweet girl and I!



Sunday, October 5, 2008

Corduroy Visits!

Madeline's class has a little bear that looks just like the book character, Corduroy. They each get to take a turn to have him over for the weekend and this weekend was Maddie's turn. He has a whole bag full of clothes, books, and a toothbrush. We are supposed to help her write a journal entry with pictures to pass along in the bag too.
Madeline actually asked to go to bed around 6:30 on Friday night because she was so excited about getting him in his pajamas and brushing his teeth. Humm. . . maybe Corduroy should come over more often!
Nathan finally got around to putting Maddie's new doll bed together on Saturday and Corduroy was the first to have the honor of using it.
Side note: Can you believe it is October and Maddie is still having to wear shirts and tank tops!!! Come on fall weather!
Corduroy also got to accompany Maddie to church today and enjoyed mass.
After a good nap, he came with us to Jacob's fourth birthday party at a local park where fun was had by all.
Another side note: Maddie photograpy is coming along nicely. She took this next picture with no help from me. She thought the girls smashing the play-dough into the concrete, while they were supposed to be watching Jacob open his presents, was funny.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My "Teacher" Side

Today, as I was contemplating what to blog about, I realized that I usually blog about my family life. Now, that is a very important part of my life, but I also spend 8+ hours of each day M-F doing something else. For those who don't know, I am a first grade teacher. This will be my sixth year of teaching and most of that time has been spent teaching first grade. It is my favorite grade by far! Many think it is one of the harder grades, but it suits me to a tee. I have come to realize that teachers are truly "called" to a certain area in education. Nathan is also a teacher but chooses to teach 8th grade English and could not fathom doing my job. We jokingly compare our jobs and compete to decide who has it the hardest. We have come to the conclusion that both jobs are hard for different reasons and no wonder there is always a teacher shortage!
Now, in the spirit of being very positive about my job, which I do love despite a strong desire to apply for the SAHM job in my own household, I thought I would tell some of my "secrets" that many teachers have and the outer world may not know about:

1. I do love what I do despite the pay, long hours, and bureaucrats that make mandates for teachers without spending at least a day in our shoes (okay, that got a little negative!).
2. I spend hours and hours of unpaid time getting my room ready during the summer so that it is just perfect and makes parents and kids feel lucky to be there on registration day.
3. I probably have more teaching-related dreams at night than ones related to family life. The teacher side of my brain must have more trouble turning off.
4. I love new school supplies! I love the smell, organizing them in my classroom, and getting out brand new ones part way through the year just to surprise my students after theirs get dingy.
5. I often find myself tearing up when I see a child finally get a concept they struggle with. I also tear up when they are truly sad about something, when they admit something they did wrong and are upset, and when parents write me nice notes.
6. I get really nervous about the 1st day of school even though I have been there and done that 6 times!
7. Teachers hope for snow days even more than their students and I often stay up late, watching the Weather Channel for any glimmer of hope (especially when I live in a part of AR that never sees snow!). For those of you who wonder why: There is a wasteland of the school year that happens around the middle of January and doesn't let up until we are within 2 weeks of Spring Break. There are no breaks in sight and students get antsy and distracted and we all just need a snow day to relax:)
8. There have been quite a few times in my career that I didn't want to put a child on the bus or in the car and instead wanted to take them home with me and keep them safe and loved.
9. I really don't like standardized tests! It's like trying to fit square pegs in round holes and it is not fair! (okay, sorry, a little negative too)
10. I'm always proud to tell someone I am a teacher and love answering questions about what I do. It is a great job!
So there, my secrets are out! I'm not sure if anyone really reads this blog very often but if you are a teacher, feel free to add your secrets in the comments section.
Good Night!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Madeline the Photographer!

Well, the weekend is over and it went really well. The kids and I enjoyed our time together and Nathan had a great time in Austin (even around all of those pesky Longhorn fans). I'm really glad that he got the chance to go as he wasn't sure he would get a chance to see the Razorbacks this year.
One my achievements was getting us all ready on time for church on Sunday. My mom actually told me on the phone Saturday night, "Don't worry about going to church on Sunday if it's too stressful to get everyone ready on time." Well, I just saw that as a challenge and was determined to rise up to the occasion. We were actually ready early and took a few quick pictures.
Will was a little tired from no morning nap and was not willing to pose standing up but did show off his new fall church shoes.
Madeline, of course, had to pose and we tried several before she settled on this one. Watch out Vanna!
Maddie decided we needed a picture of me too. Without Nathan there, she played photographer and took a picture of my top. . .
and bottom.
(Notice the basket beside me. Nathan got tired of always taking shoes back to bedrooms and started piling them up in the basket. When it overflows, we carry the basket to the bedrooms and distribute them.)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I've survived so far!

I am a blessed woman, because I have a husband who is very present in our lives. He doesn't have any hobbies that take him away from home, but instead, chooses to do things that can be done at home or can include the family. Therefore, I have not had a lot of experience going it alone with my 2 kids. The first time Nathan went out of town was when I was on maternity leave and he went to New York for 5 days. Will was 4 months old and Madeline was still going through a hard time adjusting to a new sibling. It was hard for me, and I'm afraid I had a pretty negative and resentful attitude about the whole thing. Since, I have dreaded the next time he would have to go out of town.
So, on Tuesday, when Nathan told me he had a great offer of a ticket to the Texas/Arkansas game in Austin, I paused for a moment, the resentful and negative feels welling up inside. But, I did not let them out because I am working so hard on being a more positive person overall. Now, I don't just ignore my feelings, but try to reason through them and find a positive and happy way to look at the situation. Therefore, I was determined that this time would be different. I made a point to be positive and enjoy this time alone with my 2 kids.
Believe me, the positive attitude has really been tested starting with Will being sick, having a report on a horrible substitute, having to take Madeline to a birthday party right in the middle of our usual nap time, Will getting extremely fussy and crying the entire way across town after the party, Madeline having a huge melt-down over cleaning up her mess in the playroom, and Will's new phase of separation anxiety that makes him hard to get down at night. Whew!!! In spite of all this, I managed to stay calm and handle each situation very positively and I really have enjoyed this time with my kids. Here are a few pictures I managed to catch today:

Madeline was really enjoying dress up right before lunch and I just had to capture the ensemble!

She was excited when the post-man brought her a belated birthday present from her Great Mema and Pepa Pesek. It was a beautiful dress and cardigan. I really can't wait for fall weather to start here so that we can enjoy the wonderful new fall clothes!
Will didn't want to be left out and claimed the bow on the package as his own accessory.


Friday, September 26, 2008

Another sick day!

For those of you who don't know, last year, I went back to teaching in late January when Will was almost 6 mos. old. Because I only taught for half of that school year, I was granted only half the regular amount of sick leave. Well, between the flu, stomach viruses, and respiratory issues, I used up all of my days and then some taking care of my kids. Nathan also used his and even got a negative comment on his end-of-the-year evaluation because his principal thought he was missing too many days.

We were proud that we got through that time and thought that this year, our kids immune systems were better developed after all of the sickness last year.

That is what we get for thinking! I have been back for 6 weeks and have taken 2 1/2 sick days and Nathan has taken 2.

I started off this morning thinking about how this was going to be the first week in awhile that I was there all week. But, by 9:30 I had a call from the daycare that Will was running a high fever, even after having Tylenol. So, the school had to rush to get me a sub. so that I could leave and go get him as the rest of my family was about to leave for the Texas/Arkansas game. Apparently, the sub. they got was horrible and the rest of the school staff had to go in and get control of things for the rest of the afternoon.

This is one of the things I really dislike about being a working mom! I don't really like that my kids get sick so much while in daycare or that it feels like an inconvenience to take off work to care for them. My kids come first, but when you are a teacher, 22 little lives are affected every time you have to leave. It's a constant war in my head. I love being there for my kids but cried out of frustration when I found out how badly things went with the sub. at work.

I found myself sitting at my desk today, while Will was sleeping, trying to figure out a way to balance our budget so that I don't have to work next year. Don't get me wrong, I love teaching and think I might be pretty good at it. But, I love my kids way more and wish that I could be with them full-time. With a husband who is also a teacher and a world where even our pretty basic way of life is getting more and more expensive everyday, it will not be easy to have what we need without going into debt for it. I strongly believe that going into debt to be a SAHM is not the right option. I'm not about trying to live outside my means to have the life I want. I know my kids are well-cared for and are very happy in the current situation but still pray to find a way to be at home full-time.

So, please pray that Will gets over this fever virus and that I find a positive and constructive way to deal with this problem! I am really working on backing off of the worring and letting God take over. He knows better than I what is best for myself and my family and I have faith that He will reveal it when the time is right.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Will's passion

My son has an addiction! It is food. He is willing to eat at all times and almost anything. When his meal is over, he usually cries as if he has lost a loved one. I always have to remind people of this when they keep him because they might worry that something is wrong or feed him more than he needs. I forgot to tell someone once, and they were baffled and panicked trying to figure out what was wrong. Because of this passion, I worry that he will overeat and get sick or learn bad habits that could cause him to have a weight problem later. I know, I worry about crazy things and my mother and mother-in-law think I should just feed him whenever he acts hungry. I have just never seen a baby quite like this. If you know one, let me know so that I don't feel so alone in this paranoia.
Also, when you give him a cup, he never just sips. He drains it in one sitting and then keeps trying over and over again to get more out. You cannot pry the cup out of his hands until he feels he has checked it enough. He is very well hydrated but apparently feels he needs much more!

Maybe he has been so late to walk because all of the time other kids spend trying to figure out walking, Will is scheming on how to get more food and drink! :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Just some thoughts. . .

I'm going to try to start putting my thoughts on this blog because I really enjoy looking back and reading things that I forgot. Several bloggers that I follow do a good job of recording their kids thoughts as well as their own and I'm going to try to do the same.



Yesterday, as we were driving home, Maddie and I got on the subject of the tooth fairy and she was talking about it very excitedly. Then, we started talking about the paci fairy that was going to come and get Will's pacies when he gives them up. I decided to take advantage of the subject and mention that there is also a night-night fairy that could come visit her if she is ready. Since she was about a year old, she has held one of many receiving blankets to her nose and sucked her thumb to fall asleep. We have not been very brave in getting her to give it up but have talked about it some. When this subject came up, my excited and talkative girl completely changed. The car got very quiet and finally I asked her if she wanted to talk about it. I mentioned that the night-night fairy would bring her a special big-girl gift in return for all of the night-nights and she started to cry and said, "But I won't ever be able to sleep again!" Very dramatic! If anyone has any suggestions to nudge this process along, let me know! Here she is sucking her thumb at about 5 months without a night-night yet. At the time, it seemed so great that she started sucking her thumb. She couldn't lose it and she started sleeping through the night. Now, we are worried she may never give it up!