Sunday, July 30, 2006

Mostly for the family

Warning...the following post might only be interesting for our families:

Nora is now eating sweet potatoes! And she is LOVING them! I hope she feels this way about all veggies...ah, to dream. But, she gobbles down the sweet potatoes and gets very agitated everytime I have to fill the spoon up with more. Impatient little thing. Anyway, her are some pictures of her getting her fill:

And now the video. It is her sitting up for a few seconds...I hope it works!

Video Hosting - Upload Video - Photo Sharing

Isn't she a cutie!

She is getting really good at sitting up! I'm such a proud mommy! She is getting to be so much fun too. One of her new faves is to look in the mirror and smile at the little girl on the other side. She loves to be tickled on the bottoms of her feet, but if she thinks you have been doing it for too long, she'll yell at you :). She is still teeny, but I'm hoping she will start to bulk up with the added vegetables in her diet. I am actually making my food! My good friend, Lyndsay Magar, makes her baby food and totally inspired me when we were together last week. It is sooooooo easy and a whole lot cheaper than the store bought stuff. My other friend, Leslie Echols, loaned me a book from her collection, Super Baby Food. It has some yummy recipes in it. Lyndsay recommended "Blender Baby Food", but I have not been able to find it yet...the hunt is not over though. I realize it is impractical for a lot of moms to do this, but for this stay-at-home mom who is trying to pinch pennies, it is a breeze. I say all of this and I have only tackled one food. I'm hoping the rest is as easy.

We leave Tuesday morning, bright and early, for our trip to Orange Beach. I'm hoping to be a better photographer than I was on our last trip, maybe Matthew can give me a nudge every now and then. We're actually stopping in Hattiesburg, MS for a few days with his dad and then onto the sandy beaches on Thursday. We'll be coming home on until then, have a great week.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Summer School is Cool!

I have been substituting for summer school this week (really just Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday). A few things I have learned about teaching summer school:

1. EASY MONEY!!!!! Any of you teachers out there ever get the offer to teach it, do it!
2. Good hours-8:30 to 11:30 every can't beat that
3. Good kids-at our summer school, it was only for 2nd graders. Now these aren't the kids that you usually think of when you think "summer school" (you know the losers who are half sitting, half slumped in a desk with a cigarette dangling out of their mouths while they are carving their initials in the desk with their 6" pocket knife). These are cute kids who made a whole lot of progress in reading last year and their teachers didn't want them to lose it over the summer. Pretty much, it should be called "Refresher course" instead of "summer school".
4. Nice dress code-I could have worn shorts everyday if I wanted to. Notice I wrote "if I wanted to". My upbringing would not allow it though. We had it put in our heads, from a very young age, that it is okay to be a "click" above when it comes to dressing to go places. That way you don't feel ridiculous if you are underdressed and it looks like you put some effort into it. Not many people make rude comments or look at you strangely if you are dressed nicely (well, the people who are dressed poorly sometimes say, "Well, look at you...what are you all dressed up for? I didn't know that we were supposed to dress NICE!!!!!". I think they do that to make themselves feel better, because when they are standing next to you, they wish they had dressed a "click" above too). My mom and sister are the queens of the click theory. Because of their good influence, I try to "keep up with appearances" as well. (Disclaimer: after having a baby and not being able to fit into ANYTHING in my closet, it has made it very difficult to abide by the rule. I am happily shedding the weight (and strange bulges) and can see the light at the end of the closet where all of my clothes are.)
5. Early get up time-and I mean EARLY! I have not really had to set my alarm in over 5 months. When my alarm went off on Tuesday, I thought I was literally going to have a heart attack. But, I still remembered where the snooze button was from my alarm clock days and pressed it successfully on Wednesday and Thursday.
6. Picky baby-She would NOT take a bottle from her grandmother (Matthew's mom) or Matthew any of the days that I was gone. Stubborn little girl! When I got home, I even tried to give her one and she looked at me like I had lost my mind. I'm pretty sure she was thinking, "Mom, what are you doing? Why are you trying to shove this crazy piece of silicone in my mouth...that's not how you and I usually do it! Come on, you know I'm not going to give in, you might as well do it the way we've been doing it since birth." Any suggestions on how I can convince her to take a bottle. She won't even put her lips around a sippy cup! Picky, picky, picky!
7. Good to get home! It has made me realize that I am so happy with our decision for me to stay home with Nora. I really love teaching, truly! I completely enjoyed my time these past few days, but I missed my baby also! And she missed me! I can't imagine dropping her off somewhere at 6:45 every morning and not picking her up until 4:30...I know, a ton of kids do that, and I really respect those parents, they are so busy and still manage to spend time with their kids. I, on the other hand, would be so worn out by the end of the day, that I would not be able to function very well, let alone play with my child and love her like she deserves to be loved.

So, those are a few things about summer school. If they ask me again next summer, I will jump on the opportunity!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Hint from Henderson

I feel a bit like Heloise right now...

Dear Hints from Henderson,
I love fresh corn on the cob, but hate pulling the silky things off of it before I boil it. Do you have any suggestions for getting it off easier?
From, Love Corn but Hates Silk

Dear Love and Hate,
Glad you asked! Next time you go to the Farmers Market for that corn, don't bring it home and immediately start "shucking" it. Put it in the microwave instead! Yes, that's right. Put the fresh corn on the cob in the microwave (shucks and all) and cook it for 3 minutes per cob. Once the time is up, take the corn out and peel away the layers and silk and enjoy some hot corn. The silks don't even stick to the corn! Be careful though, it's a little hot, so don't burn your hands. No more boiling pots of water and digging out those pesky silks from the corn. Enjoy!!!!

Just thought I would pass on a little tip that I have found extremely helpful this summer!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

More pictures

Refer to the post below if you are curious about our Girls Week, if not, enjoy the pictures. Thank you Lyndsay and Leslie for sendings some pictures. I have them all posted on Flickr, so you can see the entire slideshow...enjoy!

Lauren Gustafson

Tess Magar and Marley Gustafson

Kate, Jenny, and Andrew Martin

Crazy moms taking 8 kids on a walk in the 100 degree heat

Addie, Lauren, Ethan, and Kate playing in the sprinkler

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Where's a professional photographer when you need one?

I am a LAME picture taker apparently. After I got home from my wonderful few days in Alabama with my friends, I realized that I did an awful job taking pictures! I only got one of my friends in a picture and didn't even get all of the kids. I have put out an S.O.S. to all the other ladies in hopes of retrieving some of their photos.

Nutshell: we had a great time, but have decided that our next Girls event is going to be adults only! Trying to time naps, running around after youngsters, and having 8 happy children at one time is nearly impossible! Don't get me wrong, a good time was had by all, but we have decided to have a more relaxing visit next time.

The plane rides with Nora weren't so bad. The ones on Monday were a dream, she hardly cried and actually slept most of the way. On Thursday she did fantastic on the first leg of the journey. On the very last one though, she melted. She was screaming at me, "Hey, mom! I am so tired of these stinking planes! When are we going to get home already? I miss dad and am STARVING TO DEATH. To let you know how upset I am with you, I am going to cry as loud as I can for the next 45 minutes. Oh, yeah, those newlyweds sitting next to you are going to think twice before they start having kids." Seriously, the two sitting next to us were obviously coming back from some tropical island and couldn't keep their hands to themselves. My little girl fixed that though. As soon as she started crying, no more PDA...way to go Nora.

I am uploading my GW pics to Flickr (the few that I have) and hope my friends come through for me with some more pictures. We're glad to be home but I can' t wait to see my friends again!

Tess Magar, Marley Gustafson, and Andrew Martin

Tess Magar

ethan, nora, and addie
Ethan and Addie Echols (and Nora)

Nora 01
Nora Henderson

Friday, July 14, 2006

Girls Weekend! (Okay, really, "week")

I am going to Cullman, Alabama on Monday and I will be there until Thursday and I am SO EXCITED! Before my friend, Leslie Daniel Echols, moved to Cullman, I had never heard of it (one hour north of Bham)...but from what I know, the 24 hour Wal-Mart closes at 9pm and there are MANY cute little shops. I am not the only one who will be venturing towards Cullman though. We are having our annual (although recently it has been every other year) Girls Week/end at Leslie's house. It is going to a zoo at her house. The people attending:

Leslie and her two kids, Ethan (4) and Addie (2.5)
Lyndsay Allan Magar and her daughter, Tess (almost 1)
Janna Shero Gustafson and her two kids, Lauren (3.5) and Marley (1)
Jenny McCormick Martin and her two kids, Kate (3.5) and Andrew (3 months)
Clair Weitecha Patton-no kids yet, but I'm sure someone in our group could loan her one
Me and Nora (almost 5 months)

14 human beings in all! Quite a houseful. Thankfully, Leslie has a house that can accomodate us and she is being sweet enough to let us come in and take over. (She might need some serious massage therapy though after we all invade!)

Here are a few reasons why I am thrilled to be attending:

  • The airplane ride-okay, not really the ride, but the look on people's faces when I step on the plane with my baby. I have one of "those" people before. The second I saw a baby or toddler I knew the flight was doomed. The kid would cry the entire time, or at least that is what I thought. Now, I am one of those poor parents who looks at people apologetically and prays that I get sat next to a grandmotherly type and not a super serious businessman.
  • Being in the TRUE South. Arkansas is not really the "South" (I don't know what it would be). Alabama, however, is truly southern. I am mostly excited because the bows that Nora wears in her hair everyday will be normal and expected and I won't have people saying to me,"Well, look at that...she has a bow in her hair. Do you put one in everyday? Hmmm...well, I guess it shows she is a little girl." Well, duh! She is a girl! And she was blessed with a lot of hair...of course she is going to wear a bow (and she will wear one everyday until she learns to do her own hair, and then I can only pray that she will choose them on her own).
  • Rick and Bubba!!!!!! I LOVE Rick and Bubba! When I lived in Nashville, TN (4 years), I listened to them every weekday. I went through some serious withdraw when I moved back to AR! I can still sing the 7 o'clock song (Time to get up in the morning, drink my coffee, hurry up, I got to, got to, got to get to work on time...) and wonder how they are doing. I do visit the website occasionally, but it's too painful to go very often. I have a few of their CD's and listen every now and then (my favorites still are "Carwash Joe" and Bubba and his CPack machine). I am hoping to hear them at least one morning while I am there. Maybe even sing the 7 o'clock song and the National Anthem (do they still play that every morning?).
  • Yummy food...I am afraid that on Monday-Thursday of next week, Weight Watcher's Bye Bye Baby Fat will be tossed aside. That's okay though (I have to keep reminding myself of that). I am surrounded by good friends and don't need to worry about my waistline. I love my friends dearly, but they are all a bunch of skinnies. A bit sad for the ole' self-esteem, but I'll overcome and enjoy every second (and morsel of food) that the four days have to offer. But Friday morning, it's back to bootcamp!
  • Time with the girls. This is truly my favorite reason for going. It has been so long since we have all gotten together. The last time I saw Lyndsay was at my wedding (over 3 years ago), the last time I saw Clair was about 2.5 years ago, I saw Janna and Jenny in Nov. of '03, and Leslie visited us in April. I cannot believe that we are all about to reunite. God has been so good to all of us and has blessed us so much. Our friendships started in the Fall of 1995 when we all pledged Zeta Rho. Our love for the club faded some over the years (don't get me wrong, we LOVED ZP, but as we got older our priorities shifted slightly), but our love for each other has held strong. We have a group email that we write to often so we are all caught up and now what is going on (thank you again Ashley Sholl Lemaster for starting that so many years ago!).

I'm sure I will have a ton of pictures to post when I return next week. Please keep us all in your prayers as we are all traveling from different states. Don't you love friends!?!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

A few of my favorite things...

Since becoming a mom, I feel like I have become acquainted with quite a few baby items. Some great, some, not so good...for me, for other moms and babies, they might be the best thing ever.I thought I would highlight some of my favorites for you.

Our stroller...I love it! It is by Chicco and one of the greatest things. It is a one-handed close and open (which you all know is very convienent!). It has great storage underneath and we love it!

The best mobile EVER!! When Nora was about 2 months old she would lay in her crib and stare at it for about 30 minutes. She would track it and would laugh and coo at it. I would love to watch her, she was so cute. I told my cousin, Julie, about it and she got one and said her little boy, Bailey, loves it too.

I knew before we even had Nora that the Pack N Play was big ticket was a must have. When we registered for this one, I did not realize that we were registering for the BEST one that Graco had to offer. Notice the green diamond shaped contraption on the side, it is what makes it so great. It is a little box that plays "white noise", it makes that Pack N Play vibrate (for those colicky babies), it has little night light on it, and plays Mozart. It is also easy to move. So, when she graduated to her crib, we moved the device too. Only downfall...the amount of batteries that we have had to invest in is crazy!

The BUMBO seat! Okay, obviously not the best picture of Nora, but it shows off the seat great. I love this seat. It is perfect for kids who are just learning to hold thier heads up. Nora sits in it all the time...when I'm reading to her, when she is eating her cereal, sometimes when I'm typing. The seat also "teaches" her to sit up (which I know helped with her sitting up so early-refer to previous post where I brag about her sitting up for a millisecond). She loves it too. Oh, and it is super light! We take it with us just about everywhere.

Just a few of our faves around the Henderson home. It's funny how my favorites used to be new clothes or a really cool kitchen gadget...having a kid really does change everything!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A longggggggg day!

On days like this one I am reminded of one of the reasons why I chose to be a stay-at-home mom. Of course the top reason is to raise Nora and help her develop into a God-fearing young woman. The second reason, the reminder, is that I do not have to get up at the crack of dawn each morning to get myself ready and make sure she has eaten before I head out the door. Do I hear an AMEN!?!?

As a member of a family that has recently been cut down to one income (gulp!), I am doing what I can to help out. I have been active about seeking out employment that allows me to stay home with my baby. I have been successful by landing a teaching gig at Harding University...teaching ONE class, ONE night a week (some Nora/daddy bonding time will take place, I'm sure). However, I did not feel like that would be truly supplemental to our income (think: private university paying an adjunct instructor does not equal alot of moolah...oh well, it's not for the money, right?). So, I found another job opportunity. Okay, actually Matthew found it and let me know about it. Thanks honey!

It is an "on-line facilitator of professional development classes for school teachers in the state of Arkansas". What???? Well, I wondered also. The only true info. I had was that each class was 6 weeks long, I would get paid a certain amount, and I could do it from HOME! What is better than that? Well, I found out last week that I would need to be in Conway, AR today for the orientation. No big deal, right? Well, yes, it was a big deal. I thought I was planned and ready to go...but obviously I wasn't.

Nora has been a perfect sleeper for the past few months. Only getting up once a night for me to feed her (I nurse that darling baby) and then going back to sleep right away for 3 hours. How perfect is that? Well, last night (she must have sensed that I had a big day) she decided to wake up 3-4 times! What!!!! And she wanted to eat! Grrrr....that's what was going through my head at 1:30am and at 5:00am. After the 5am feeding, I thought it was pointless to go back to bed and just jumped in the shower. Starting out the day a little tired!

The orientation was great (I did have to leave my house at 6:30am and drive 3 hours to get there, but it really was good)! I learned a ton and am excited about facilitating (this is all through by the way). Things back on the homefront were not so great though. Matthew stayed at home with her today and had a hard day! Like I mentioned earlier, I nurse Nora. Well, I don't have a whole lot of extra milk just lying around. In order to prepare for today, I pumped as much as I could...turned out it wasn't enough. After the "good" milk was all out, Matthew tried to give her formula...and the hunger strike began! The kid stood her ground for 7 solid hours and didn't let one drop of formula pass her lips-talk about a strong will! Part of me was, a small selfish part, actually happy. I am her lifesource, I am what she needs. Crazy I know, but those of you who breastfeed must have felt the same way at times. But, overwhelming that small selfish feeling was the feeling of...oh my goodness, I'm never going to be able to go anywhere because she needs me ALL the time! At least for a few more months...will we make it to a year?

She was in heaven when I walked through the door and ended her hunger strike. She was so happy, she fell right to sleep for 2 hours (apparently not much napping happened today either). So, it was a long day for everyone in the Henderson household. The smallest one is already asleep and the taller ones are on their way to bed.

Check out our Flickr badge. I have uploaded a whole lot of new pictures. Enjoy!

Thank you Kevin!

Thank you Kevin O'Quinn! Because of your amazing instructions, I was able to post a picture from Flickr!!!!!! (Isn't she cute! This is her at EXACTLY 4 months old.)

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Blogging questions

Okay, since I am new to this blogging thing, I have several questions. Please humor me and feel free to answer any or all. I realize I should have done more "homework", but am looking for the cliffnotes version.

  • How can I put links to other friends blog on my blog?
  • Can I post pictures onto my blog from my flickr account or do I have to do it from my harddrive?
  • If I can post from my flickr account, is there a way to reduce the size of the picture to fit the web page?
  • I have seen several blogs that have fun backgrounds...does anyone know how to personalize or am I limited to the backgrounds that they have provided me?
  • How do I provide a hyperlink to something I am mentioning in a post?

That is all for now. Thank you for humoring me! Your friend, the technically challenged, Dallas

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

So White!!!!!

I am officially back to blogging. We got our computer back today...yeah! It has been a bit of a struggle for me to not check in everyday with my favorite blogs. We got our computer back, but not all of our programs! Our photo editing program didn't make it back onto the harddrive and I am having a VERY hard time downloading and editing pictures right now. I guess I'll figure it out eventually.

So much has happened since I last blogged. If you are not really that interested in our family and what is going on in it, stop reading now.

Nora has learned to sit up!!!!! When we were at lunch on Sunday, I set her on the table and let go for a millisecond and she didn't tumble over. A very proud moment for her two parents. I am not so blinded by her giftedness that I do not see that it was not a true "sit up". She balanced on her bottom without diving for the table for a few seconds and we considered it sitting up. She still has some muscle control to gain before she is seriously sitting up, but don't think I didn't mark down July 2, 2006 as the first time she sat up in her baby book. Now that she has displayed her gift for sitting, we practice several times a day.

The 4th of July did not scare her too much...thank goodness. She started wide-eyed at the fireworks and hardly made a peep when they exploded over her head. What a trooper. Of course, if someone other than me tries to hold her, or sometimes, even look at her, she goes crazy and produces big 'ol tears.

The reason for the subject of this blog-So White!!!!!-is because I am SO WHITE! I am embarrassed when I look down at my legs and see how pale they are. I thought with a new baby I would have all kinds of time to lay out while she was napping. Not the case! I am convinced that before this summer is over I will drag myself out to our backyard and get a base coat on my body. Why is it so hard to get ANYTHING done with an infant? Everyone says that when they start crawling and walking it is so much easier. Then I'm going to be running around after her, I don't see how it gets easier. We are going to Orange Beach, Alabama at the beginning of August and I fear that I will blend into the sand and no one think I have appendages. I will just be a swimsuit...aughhh!!!! That's a whole other subject-the dreaded swimsuit on the post-pregnancy body.

We took Nora to camp for the first time last week. Camp Tahkodah is where Matthew and I met the summer of '94 and where we married in May of '03. It is such a special place to both of us and I hope that Nora (and other future children) learn to love it as much as we do. We are actually hoping that next summer we can go and spend a few weeks helping out.

I am going to be home the next few weeks, so I hope to get caught up blogging. It has truly become an addiction that I am encouraging all of my friends to take part in. I hope to post some pictures soon, check out our "Flickr" account though. It has some pictures on it that I had already saved.

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