The Henry Family

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!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Picture Catch Up

I have finally cleared all of the pictures that have been sitting on my camera since school started and thought I would share a few cute ones.

Here is Maddie on her first day of 4 year old preschool. She was so excited about her new lunchbox that she wanted it to be in the picture too.
Will was also excited and didn't seem to mind waking up early. He was all smiles!
Lately, as Will is more mobile (although still not walking yet), he has been getting into more and more. In the background, you can see the diapers he pulled out of the package and in the foreground, the roll of trash bags he unrolled. He did all of this in a very short period of time, while I was a few feet away in the kitchen.
Doesn't this shirt tell it all! "Large and in Charge!" It was a birthday gift from the Long family.
But, how can you get too upset when he gives you this look. "What mess mom?"
His other new favorite past-time is crawling to the entryway and looking out the glass door. He will stand there for awhile, just looking around. This particular time, the dogs decided to join him. It was such a cute little scene, that I had to grab the camera. Boys and their dogs!!

I will try to be better about taking pictures and updating more. I hope you all have not given up on checking the blog!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Madeline is 4!

Today, my beautiful baby girl turned 4. I still can't believe that it has been 4 years since I met this wonderful little creature that would change my life forever. Your first child always has a special place because he/she made you a mother. Your subsequent children also have special places for various reasons but your first is who truly changes the direction of the rest of your life.

So, for a trip down memory lane. . .

Madeline was born at Northside Hospital in Atlanta, GA at 3:39 pm. She weighed 7 lbs 9oz and was 20 1/2 inches long. She had a personality right from the start and was very alert and aware from the start. This is still her to this day!
At first, we thought we might have a strawberry blonde on our hands but is has since darkened into a light brown with a few blond highlights. Here is Maddie just a month before turning one. Like Will, she was late to walk and was still crawling at this point. When I look at this picture, I realize just how much she and Will look alike!
We moved back to AR a little before Madeline turned 2 and this is really the only home she remembers. Here she is at the age of 2 playing in our favorite park. She is now so big, she goes on the big swings. Sniff, sniff!
At the age of three, she had a very big change in her life. She got a baby brother. Here she is at about 3 1/2 hanging out with him during snack time (Will is behind me. She was making faces at him and I was trying to catch her. Look how she still had to pose!)
Finally, here she is tonight, blowing out her candles and looking older and older everyday. The past 4 years have been such a pleasure and such and education. Maddie keeps us on our toes, makes us laugh, gives us great hugs, has an amazing imagination, wows us with how smart she is, and even frustrates us with her strong personality. She is a joy and I wouldn't change anything about the last 4 years.

We love you Maddie x x x x o o o o

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Back to School

Well, you can tell the school year has started because I haven't posted anything in weeks! We have all been busy getting back into the swing of things after a relaxing summer.

Maddie and Will have adjusted pretty well to their daycare and like being around the other kids. They both have such great teachers that it was not a hard transition. Madeline is already learning so much and shares amazing information everyday when we pick her up. Friday, she sang this cute little song about the letter "M" and then listed off about 15 different things that started with the letter "M." She also started dance on Thursday. She takes a combo ballet and tap class and then an hour of gymnastics. She is loving it and can't wait to go back next week. Will is the big guy in his class but has fun playing with the other babies. When he starts walking, they will probably move him from the baby room to the toddler room. He's working on eating with a spoon and is starting to say more words everyday. He's growing up so fast!

Nathan has had a good start to the year. Having a year of experience under his belt has made his job much easier this year. I can tell that he is such a great teacher when we see his students around town and they all stop and talk. You can tell they really like and respect him.

I am back to teaching 1st grade and am enjoying being back in the classroom. I have a really great group of kids and really enjoy the people I work with. It is tough to juggle everything in my life but I am really happy that I have a job that really makes a difference and I enjoy making the most of my quality time with Maddie and Will in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings.

I will try to post some pictures later but think I am going to enjoy a Sunday afternoon nap before my kids wake up from theirs:)