Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It's a good thing her middle name is NOT "grace"

We are signing up Nora for ballet lessons in the fall. I am signing her up for a few reasons:

1. I was in ballet FOREVER and loved it. I'm not requiring Nora to love it, just give it a chance.
2. For the past 6 months she has been "doing ballet". She even has a little routine that she will do for you...if you ask (and sometimes if you don't).
3. She's a little girl. Is there anything cuter than a little girl in a tutu? I don't think so!

What we didn't realize was that we would be enrolling her in ballet lessons for her health.

We are learning that our Nora does not come by grace naturally.

Last night, it was time to get ready for bed. I was in Nora's room waiting for her. She comes running into her room, trips on the carpet and lands, face first, at the foot of her bed.

And this is what she looks like now:

Isn't she pretty? Now, she didn't come equipped with grace, but she is chalk-full of the "drama". Oh, she can cry and wail and scream and plead. There is no reasoning with this girl when she is injured.

Happily though, the black eye that she is sporting is the worst of her injuries. It could have been much worse.

Here she is, at VBS tonight. Nice eyeshadow!
Hopefully those ballet lessons will pay off. If not, I don't know how much more her face can take.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Vacation Bible School

Come and join us...it's going to be a blast!!!!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sad days in Hollywood...

Ed McMahon-March 6, 1923-June 23, 2009

Farrah Fawcett-February 2, 1947-June 25, 2009
Michael Jackson-August 29, 1958-June 25, 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Oh, God is surely having a good laugh right now...

Remember when I bought this book because I thought Nora was strong-willed?

I still believe that Nora pushes our buttons and tests us...

but ELYN...wow! She is in a different league!!!

She will be 21 months old next old and is already giving us a glimpse of the misery that is going to be her 2's.

Tonight, when it was time for us to start picking up the toys, Matthew told Elyn to follow him into the living room to help him bring some toys back to Nora's room.

She looked at him and said, "No."

I could see the look of terror on Nora's face as Elyn uttered that word. It's like the wheels were turning in her head and she wanted to shout at Elyn, "Don't you know what happens when we use that word? Have you not seen the trouble I have gotten in to? Are you blind??? Little sister, I have tried to lead by example, and when I say "no", I am punished...seriously punished." Nora knew what was about to go down.

Since Elyn is new to the "Henderson discipline" we did not initiate her full-force. We started gently.

Matthew took her hand and led (dragged) her into the living room. He took her hand and placed it on top of a toy and led (drug) her back to Nora's room. Elyn screamed the entire way. (It reminded me of a very similar situation with Nora when she was about Elyn's age.)

He took her back for another toy...see above.

After that, he left her under my supervision. I told Elyn that she needed to sit down until she stopped screaming. She wasn't crazy about that suggestion because she started screaming harder. I literally held her down while her little, 25-pound body twisted and turned, trying to get out from under my grasp.

She is strong.

Finally, I had heard enough of the screaming and took her to her bed for her to calm down. BUT, before I dropped her in, I removed her pacis.

I am the meanest mom in the entire world.

She had a mini panic attack when she saw what I was doing. I told her (I never really know what she understands and what she doesn't understand, so I talk to her as I would Nora and hope one or two words sinks in) that when she stopped throwing a fit I would get her out of her bed.

She didn't quit very quickly.

She is strong!

Finally, I heard her say "done". I scooped her up and went into Nora's room for her to tell Matthew "sorry".

Guess how long she refused to say "sorry"?

ONE HOUR. I kept telling her that if she would tell him sorry she could have her pacis back. I would go in her room and ask her if she was ready to say "sorry". She would say no. Matthew would go in her room and ask her to say "sorry" and she would just stare at him and not say a word.


Now, I realize that she had forgotten all about her original fit and why it even happened.

But we were standing strong as parents, realizing that in the morning she will have forgotten all about it.

Were we wrong to "stand strong"? I don't think so. We set a precedent tonight. Even if Elyn doesn't remember this, Nora will. She was obviously in the house the whole time and saw how Matthew and I didn't cave into the tears. We are hoping she will remember that when she is throwing a fit in the very near future.

Our baby girl cried herself to sleep tonight. She has zero pacis in her bed. (And when she wakes up crying at 1am, we will give them to her.) She never said "sorry" either. Sigh.

I am glad that I have already purchased the book. I am confident that I will be looking at it way more in regards to Elyn.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Home again, home again...

We're home and happy to be here!!!! We had a great time at the beach and look forward to future visits.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

We love you DADDY!!!!!

You are our favorite boy on this Earth! You make our days so much fun. When you come every day from work, we are so excited to see you. Thank you for playing with us, for reading to us, for teaching us, for showing us God, and for showing us what to look for in a man when we get married.
We love you so much! Thank you for being the best daddy in the entire world!
Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Soaking it up

Dear friends and family who are not on vacation with us...we are having fun and wish you were here with us.

Love, Nora and Elyn

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Why I love a vacation...

  • i don't have to clean my house
  • i don't have to clean the house that i am staying at
  • i do not have to plan/cook meals (all by myself anyways)
  • laundry is not that big of a deal
  • lots of playing during the day equals easy bedtimes
  • calories don't count :)
  • LOTS of quality time with my 3 fave people
  • reading, reading, reading
  • not as much t.v.
  • less time on the computer (i am going to have a lot of catch-up to do on my blogs next week!)
  • an excuse to sit outside and relax

just a few reasons i am loving my vacation so far

Monday, June 15, 2009

Oh, did you need me?

Because this is where I will be for the next week.

Happy June to you too!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Home again

I have spent the better part of this week in Fort Worth. I left Monday afternoon and returned yesterday, late afternoon.

My grandmother was admitted to the ICU on Saturday with chest pains. After several tests and EKG's they determined that she has cardiomyothopy. Her doctor's assured my mom, aunt, and uncle that this is something that can be controlled by diet and medication.

She is still in the hospital (although not in the ICU any longer) because the doctors are having a difficult time regulating her heart rate. It is extremely fast. They are hoping that in the next few days they will find the right combo of meds to bring her heart rate down so that she can go home.

I am exhausted right now and happy to be back with my family. I spent two nights at the hospital with my grandmother so my mom could catch up on some much needed sleep. I was happy to do it and thankful that Matthew was home and could watch the girls without me having to worry about them.

Nora and Elyn were pretty much attached to me all night long. And I loved it!

Thanks to everyone who has been praying for my grandmother so far.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My husband thinks I am a nerd

Because I like to read.

To him, reading is more of a chore. Perhaps it is because, for the past 3 years, every time he has sat down to read something, it has been for work or for school. He does not often get to read for pleasure.

I have begun my summer reading and have really enjoyed the books I have chosen so far. I am going to "review" four books and three of the four were recommendations. (I use that word VERY loosely. What I will do is probably the furthest from an actual review as I can get. Basically, I'm going to tell you I liked it-and maybe why.) I have decided that I like having books recommended to me.

Okay, first book, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Kristen O'Quinn recommended this one. At first, I wasn't sure about it. It was a little slow going for me at the beginning, but once I got to page 20, I was hooked. I am fascinated with the practice of binding feet now. I googled "foot binding" and was horrified by some of the picture I saw. I do not see how men considered those feet attractive. Anyway, this novel is set in 19th century China and, although I have done ZERO study on Chinese life during the 19th century, I think this book does a fabulous job painting a picture of the beauty of the time and the heartache.

Next, The Glass Castle, recommended by Kathryn and Sara. This was a GREAT book! I cannot imagine growing up the way this woman did. She came out just fine and had a great story to tell, but still, bathing once a month, residing with giant rats, living in a garbage dump, and having the town drunk as your father has got to be an emotional roller coaster. The best part for me was her constant love, completely unconditional love that she had/has for her family.

Firefly Lane, recommended by my mom. I COULD NOT put this book down (Matthew can attest to that). Every free second I had I was opening up the book and reading. I went to bed early two nights, just so that I could lay there and read. When I finally finished (two days after I had begun), I was laying in bed trying not to wake Matthew up with my crying. This is a beautiful story of friendship. I think we all long for a friendship that is shown in this story. I could go on and on about this book, but I'm not going to. I want you to read this book with the same blank slate that I had. Read it, you WILL NOT be sorry!

And finally, Shopaholic and Baby, recommended by no one-I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood). I love her carefree attitude, her fun spirit, her fierce love of family and friends, and her ability to shop. If you have read any of the "Shopaholic" books and haven't read this one, it's a winner too. If you haven't read the books and are looking for a quick and easy "beach read", start at the beginning and get to know the charming Rebecca.

I have a stack of books on my bedside table that I am slowly making my way through. It's only June 11...I have a lot of summer left and a lot of reading ahead of me.
Call me a nerd, I don't care. I'm excited!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

She's not ours

About two weeks ago, Matthew and I were getting ready to spend the afternoon celebrating our anniversary. Our plan was to drop the girls off at our friends house, go eat lunch, shop a little, and go see a movie.

Good plan, right?

Ah, the best laid plans...

We were, literally, walking out the door when our world almost changed forever.

We had our bags packed and were gathering the last-minute things that make our world go round. I had called for Nora to come and get in the van and was getting Elyn ready. Nora yells that she is packing her purse and is coming.

I run back into our bedroom to grab something and hear Nora running into the kitchen, yelling, "Look Daddy!!!!!"

Then, I hear it.

A huge, loud SMACK. And then a huge, loud CRY! (She tripped over her shoes when she ran in to show Matthew her sunglasses and fell against the cabinets, head first).

Matthew scoops Nora up into his arms while I rush into the kitchen to see what kind of damage had been done.

Nora is crying so hard that she is sobbing soundlessly at points. She has been crying for about 30 seconds when the worst moment of my life occurs.

All of a sudden, Nora goes silent, her eyes roll back in her head, and her arms/body go completely stiff-like the beginning of a seizure.

I look at Nora and feel things I have NEVER felt in my life.

I wanted to grab her in my arms and run back, 2 minutes in time, and erase what has just happened. I wondered, in those few seconds that she was "seizing", what our life would be like now with a disabled child. I wanted to take on her pain and make it my own.

As Matthew starts shouting her name I ask him if I should call 911. Right after I uttered those words, she started crying again.

What a beautiful sound!

And I started BAWLING. Matthew gives me the evil eye that basically says, "Turn around and do your crying. DO NOT let her see you falling apart. Get it together!"

I give myself a few seconds to cry out all of my fear and then grab some ice for her head.

I take Nora out of his arms and smother her in my own. Our main goal at this point is to keep her as calm as possible, which is not easy considering she has just dented our kitchen cabinets by running into it with her head.

She is also VERY ADAMANT that ice is not coming near her forehead.

We turn on Clifford and I told her that when Clifford turns off, we will take the ice off of her head. She seems to be okay with that and settles back in my arms to watch some T.V.

For the next 30 minutes Matthew tries to call every doctor we know. And NO ONE answers their phone.

So, Matthew and I had to work together. We definitely didn't want her falling asleep and the cut on her forehead didn't split open any. We knew she was not going to need stitches and we had been quizzing her on all sorts of stuff, checking out her brain functioning.

We talked and talked about it and decided that if we took her into the ER, they would probably just tell us to watch her closely...which, if we would have been watching her any closer than we already were, we would have needed eye drops from the lack of blinking.

About an hour and a half after the incident, she looks at us and says, "I want to go to Gibson's house now." We were ruining her afternoon, apparently, and not sticking with the plan.
We decided to go ahead with our plans and take the girls to Gibson's house for an afternoon of fun.

It was an afternoon of fun for them and an afternoon of recovery for mom and dad.

Matthew and I could not get the image out of our mind of Nora having the seizure. I told him that I was glad we were both there to witness it. That sounds funny, but I was glad because we knew EXACTLY what the other was feeling-the heart stopping, gut dropping feeling. We could sympathize with one another.

I was SO glad that Matthew was there when it happened. I am confident enough in myself that I would have been able to handle it on my own. However, had I been alone when it happened, I would not have been free to cry and release my emotion. Since Matthew was being the rock, I could be the mommy and hurt for my child.

One thing that was crystal clear to me, after it happened, is that Nora is not ours.

She belongs to God. He loves her even more than I do.

If something, life-changing, would have happened to her that day, we would have grieved and hurt. We would probably still be walking around in a trance.

But, I hope and pray, that we would be joyful knowing that she is being loved so much more than we love her now.

I think about those parents who deal with illness everyday of their life. They watch their children suffer daily. I ache for them, those parents, because I had to feel-if for only a second-the damage that is done to their hearts each time their child hurts.

I also respect them and admire them. They are so much stronger than I am and I am sure their faith is deeper and understanding of God and His love, deeper too.

Nora is doing absolutely fine! Her "boo-boo" is healing and, amazingly, never really bruised. When Matthew finally got to talk to his sister, the doctor, she said we did a good job reacting to her injury. She also said that the seizure could have been one of two things: 1. The impact of the fall was so great that it jarred her brain and her body shut down as a reaction 2. Sometimes when little kids cry really hard, they sometimes don't breathe. When they stop breathing, there is a lack of oxygen to the brain and a seizure can occur.

I will admit that we held her a little longer the next few days, watched her a little closer, asked her to be careful a few extra times, and thanked God for her more than usual.

Life can change in an instant. In the blink of an eye. I am so thankful that our life did not completely change, but I am thankful that we were able to see how it could have.

We appreciate our little life so much more. And thank God for our blessings!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

"You look beautiful!"

Well, it has started.

I realize that it is probably unusual for it to have taken this long. For most little girls, this is probably a milestone that happened several months, or even years ago.

For our family, it was today.

The first day that Nora wanted to pick out her own clothes.
I announced that it was time to go get ready and Nora looked at me and said, "I'll do it myself!"

So, we let her.

And she did a pretty good job. Those aren't exactly the shoes I would have chosen and I don't know if the necklace really "makes" the outfit-but she is proud of herself!

She wanted to do her own hair too. I vetoed that idea.

So, it has begun. Years and years of compromising on clothes, letting her develop her own fashion sense, cringing when she emerges from her bedroom.

Let the games begin!

Monday, June 08, 2009

I'm baaaaaack

Well, technically, I have been back since Thursday-just enjoying my little hiatus.

The girls and I traveled to Fort Worth last Monday, June 1, to celebrate my sisters 30th birthday.

Yep, just me and the girls. 6.5 hours in the car, just the 3 of us.

It was surprisingly not too bad. One day, I might even try it again. But, not for a while. I like being the co-pilot and letting someone else captain.

So, we arrived just in time for the big party-

So excited to see the birthday girl, Aunt Marty. (Why does Nora ALWAYS insist on putting her hand beside her mouth whenever she smiles for the camera?)

I have a million pictures just like this one...me, my sister, and my cousins. Can you guess who was blessed with the "tall" genes? One guess....

Yummy, doesn't that cake look wonderful!
I know of two little girls who were dying to get there little hands on it.
My dad drove up from Austin for Marty's party. Oh, that is where she got her height. Hello, where are my tall genes?
Yummy, chocolate cake!
Our second day in Fort Worth we had planned to spend poolside. Sadly, the weather did not want me to work on my tan. It rained all morning, so we headed to an indoor play area, Incredible Pizza. I had never been to an Incredible Pizza before but was very impressed! It has everything. The only drawback was that 1/3 of the Fort Worth schools decided to have a field trip on the same day and the place was PACKED. At least the toddler area was free from public school children.
Thankfully, on our 3rd day, we were able to spend the day at the pool! Both girls loved it and Nora is already asking to go back.
Of course, one of the best parts of going to Fort Worth, in Nora's opinion, is getting to spend time with her cousin, Bailey. They are quite the pair! I love watching them interact. They are both 3 and play really well together. I enjoy getting to hang out with Bailey's mom too!
My step-brother and his wife have two children, Trooper (2) and McKayla (newborn). Drew is in the army and overseas right now. Trooper had been spending a few weeks with my mom and step-father and our visit overlapped some. He was such a cutie and Elyn really enjoyed getting to play with him. He is such a good boy and just went with the flow. And from the looks of this picture, really enjoyed getting some ice cream.
My mom and Nora contemplated a trip off the diving board. I think they decided that it would be better to wait and do that when her daddy was able to make the trip, later on this summer.
On our way home, we made a small detour to visit my friend, Ashley, and her 3 children.
Elyn and her daughter, Lucy, are only 10 days apart. It was amazing for me to see the difference in them. Elyn is so much taller. Lucy is so sweet and petite!
Sweet Lucy Lemaster.
Future college roomie?
Nora had a good time playing with Ranger. Ranger is 4 months older than Nora. Again, it was neat to see the difference in the two of them. In their case, Ranger is so much taller than Nora.
Ashley has a newborn baby, Sawyer (who didn't make a peep the whole time we were there and is precious-sadly, I have no pictures to prove that). Even though she has a newborn, she served us all lunch. And got my girls a present. She was definitely a fabulous hostess! Her yard and house are great!
Here we all are: Ranger, Lucy, Ashley, Sawyer, Nora, me, Elyn (who looks thrilled to have her picture taken)

It was a great, quick trip to Texas. We were glad to go and glad to get back home to Matthew. Our first full week of summer starts today and we are thrilled!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

a little break

we are enjoying the sun, water, and family this week!

see you next week!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Another decade

Happy birthday Aunt Marty! We love you and can't wait to party with you!

(Elyn insisted on holding a piece of paper all on her OWN. Hers says "Love, Nora and Elyn")

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