Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Long Lake Beach

On Sunday we went up north to visit Grandpa and Paula. The forecast wasn't looking too good, but we kept our date. It ended up being a perfect day. It was overcast and cloudy when we were at the beach and no one was there. The girls had a blast. Delaney was a fish and went pretty deep and swam like crazy! Katie was a bit braver than the last couple times...and went in fairly deep. She enjoyed swimming on Daddy. Rowe spent most of her time at the shore...with a blue frisbie and blue shovel. She had a great time just hanging out. We did get her in the water and she enjoyed that too...along with a raft ride, despite rolling off and going completely under.

After rolling off the raft...
She got right back on--what a champ!
After the beach we all rinsed off and had a picnic at Grandpa and Paula's. They made some great burgers and hotdogs, and the watermelon and chips were great sides. After a while, we got back in our swimsuits and decided to go on the boat. Delaney and Katie took turns driving with Grandpa. We also stopped for a swim. Delaney jumped right off, Katie needed Daddy's help, and Rowena...well, she tried to walk off the edge of the boat SEVERAL times! Finally Daddy took her in for some swimming. Then we headed back to the house and back to the beach for a bit before heading home.

Turned out to be a GREAT day! So glad we didn't cancel!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Blog Makeover, Coming Soon!

I'm SOOO excited! I won a blog makeover from a fellow (awesome) blogger! Check out her blog, Creative Bubbles:

I've been following and checking various blogs more and more lately. Many I enjoy reading for their reviews, like the giveaways/contests, and more so...for their creativity, design, and writing style. I appreciate what they are writing about and how they write.

Well, on this blog, Connie was offering a blog makeover, and YEA! I won. So, hopefully soon you guys will see the HenderBlog with a style more "me" or "us," if you will. Stay Tune...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Taste of Joliet

Late this afternoon/early evening we ventured to the Taste of Joliet. It really is not comparable to the Taste of Chicago, so I won't even go there. First, you have to pay (ugh) to get in. Thankfully all the girls were free, as it cost Peter and I $20 to get in (total). Once inside the girls were in heaven and beyond excited; there were carnival rides. We only got about 22 tickets--whatever cash Peter had on it. And it (sadly) allowed the girls to only go on 3 rides each. :( But, they didn't really complain. They were more upset they weren't tall enough to go on the real, fun rides (48"). Rowena was sooo good just sweating in her stroller. I was constantly wiping sweat beads off her cute little nose, and pushing her wet hair off her neck and forehead. She wasn't whiny or anything and never tried getting out of her stroller. She just was taking it all in.
Delaney and Katie were so excited all day to go to the "festival." They behaved very well, waited their turn, paid attention, and stayed with us.
This was their second ride. They really liked it, but I think after a while they were both a little bored. I'm sad they couldn't go on some of the other rides. Maybe in a couple years. Katie has 6" more to go.
For their last ride they both really wanted to go on this--the swings. I was nervous, as was Peter a little, in that they go pretty high and a little fast. We weren't sure if they would be okay with the height or combo with the speed. They LOVED it. It was so fun to watch them, as they screamed and laughed!
After the rides, we went on back to where the food is. The $6 later--we had three ears of corn. Too bad Katie has TWO loose teeth and couldn't eat it. So we wondered around for a bit. The girls discovered free jumping houses, so we were able to spend another hour in the food area with the girls entertained. Rowe tried one, but freaked out and got out right away. Pete tried a porkchop on a stick and was disappointed. Delaney got some pizza and barely ate anything. We all shared a funnel cake and a very tasty $5 lemonade. So, about $60 and 2-3 hours later, we headed home. Damn! Having family festival fun is expensive! But, we rarely do stuff like that and we had a GREAT time!

Thursday's Zoo Trip

On Thursday, the girls and I ventured to Brookfield Zoo together. The girls behaved pretty good, even despite no morning nap for Rowena. I was hoping she'd fall asleep on the way there, but no such luck. We oddly didn't see a ton of animals. This was our trip: Elephants, Tropic World, Splash Pad outside the Penguin House (but we didn't go in the Penguin House), Bear Grotto (SOOOO cool), Hippos, Kangaroos, then time for push-ups (ice cream) and then a ride on the carousel.

Delaney LOVED the splash pad by the Penguin House. She was SOAKED!
Katie...was usually seen drinking the family lemonade. It was very hot and she was super thirsty. She didn't get too wet at the splash pad.
Excited and a bit hesitant for the splash pad!
They love the carousel!
Passed out within SECONDS of being in the car!

All in all, it was a good day. I only had to talk to the older girls twice about behavior. We'll be going again soon. Just wonder if we should try a later in the day approach. And, next time, we'll be inviting Poppy. This was a spur of the moment trip, and I didn't think to call him.


So, blogger has changed its way in which you can upload pictures to your blog. While I understand change is good and the changes that have been made make Blogger more mainstream and updated, I cannot get pictures from my computer to load up. It's frustrating! I wanted to post pictures from the zoo on Thursday and tomorrow we're going to Craig and Paula's and there are always tons of pictures from the beach, boat, and picnic to share with you. So, sorry for the delay in posting, but that is why...I can't figure this out and it's very frustrating! :(

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Looking Back...

I was looking through some old posts today, being all nostalgic and whatnot. I cannot remember Delaney or Katie being that little! I think sometimes I missed out on Katie's baby-hood because the girls were so close together. Maybe I didn't, it's just difficult to recall. But, looking at these pictures from just three years ago make me so sad that they are growing so quickly! I mean in less than a month, Katie will be FIVE! And in August, both my "babies" will be getting on the bus, Delaney to stay all day and have a lunch box! Whoa! I wish I could slow down time. I think I am cherishing every moment with Rowe and with the girls at this time. I just can't wait until I'm done with school and in the evenings, the only thing to have my attention (other than this black hole called "the Internet.") will be my family!

I just love each and every stage these girls go through, despite the aggravating, difficult aspects. So, to you out there, have you looked back at old posts? What are some of your fave memories of the girls?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Never Say Never...

...Or you might just eat your words!

A few posts down I mentioned how our kids will "always attend public schools." And, yes, while technically I didn't say "never" it can be taken that in a way I also said "our kids will never attend private schools." Okay. So, that might not be true. However, Peter and I did research before moving back to Illinois on schools and where we want to move...and decided that Plainfield fit so many things we hold dear (school district wise). And, since Peter and I are not religious, and most private schools have a religious affliation, the likelihood of us enrolling any or all of our children is pretty low. However, I guess it is a possibility.

When this was brought to my attention, I began to think of the many (yes, many) things I or we said we would "never" or "always" do. Here is a list of a few:
1. Our parents will always live at least 45 minutes away--that changed in November 2009 when my parents moved just 10 minutes from us (a move that Pete and I both welcomed).
2. We will never use cloth diapers--something we started over a month ago and have been doing so exclusively except nighttime.
3. We will never be "granola"--and while that hasn't changed per se, we are doing things a little "greener." We are using cloth diapers, have begun to use our compost (thanks, Dan), and want to use a rain barrel (although we are using a drain for our sump pump to water our garden, and it's been great!).
4.  We will never own a gun (but something happened almost 7 years ago that had us rethink our safety).
5.  We will always park in our garage/never use it for storage...We've been parking in our driveway for two years now!

I can't think of anymore at this time, but am sure there are MANY more! (No need for reminders, please).

We all say "I never" or "I will always" and I really think that drastic of a comment needs to be taken with a grain of salt. At the time, a person's intention is true to what he/she says, but times and people change. So, just as you may have once said "I'll never" or "I will always" and meant it at the time, so have others.

Some that Peter and I still hold true to:
1. We will always be liberal in our thought process, in our ideas, values, and beliefs.
2. We will raise our children with morals but without religion.
...I'm sure there are others, but can't think of them right now.  And, no, I do not need you to remind me, thank you!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Phew! Onto The Next Step

Over nine weeks ago I sat nervously though a very difficult exam.  This exam, the NCE (National Counselor Exam) is needed to be passed in order for me to practice in the state of Illinois and be able to bill insurance companies.  The test was four hours long, and was the most difficult exam I have ever sat through.  I left this exam feeling overwhelmed, defeated, and sick.  Well...I got the results today, and I PASSED!  I am so grateful to have this piece of the puzzle behind me.  Now I have to finish up my internship (hours with clients) and two classes--one which requires a ginormous portfolio and a defense (where I defend my work in front of three professors).  After that, come August, I will be able to send in my transcripts and supervision sheet to the NBCC and get my results of the test sent to the state of IL and will then be able to sign my name:
Amy L. Henderson, MA, NCC, LPC

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

I would like to take this moment to express my love, admiration, and appreciation to all the amazing fathers out there. Some children aren't lucky enough to have an amazing father; one who reads to them, plays with them, sings and dances with them, cuddles and watches movies with them, makes them good meals, provides ample finances and shelter, loves them unconditionally, challenges yet supports them, and is there for them. I am beyond grateful that I had a father who was there for me, made sacrifices so I could have things that I wanted as well as those I needed.

I am wonderfully grateful that I married a man who turned in to be a better father than I could have imagined. He is a very hard worker; he puts in many hours and has career goals that shock and amaze me. Then after working long hours and dealing with administration and employees and patients, he comes home and NEVER hesitates to just jump right in and play with the kids. I don't think I can recall even one time where he needed to rest or lay down or want some down time. He demonstrates endless patience with his three daughters, unconditional love, a sense of humor that is never ending, as well as the ability to teach his daughters appropriate manners, how to laugh at themselves, and how to care for others. I fall in love with Peter more and more every day; watching him as a father has surpassed any expectation I ever had. I am jealous of my daughters relationship with him, in that I'm not sure if or when they will realize how fortunate they are to have such an amazing, wonderful, and loving man in their life they are able to call "Daddy."

We love you endlessly, Peter! Enjoy today...filled with donuts, video games, movies, and outside fun with your daughters.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Craft Projects

Here are a couple recent craft projects. The first was done for a school project for a classmate of mine's Play Therapy project. The family participated in a play session where we designed a family aquarium, or for us, we decided we wanted an ocean. I'm the seastar, Peter is the turtle, Delaney is the very glittery fish, Katie is the funny fish on the right, and Rowena is the jellyfish on the far left. We had a good time, and it gave Delaney an idea for a couple weeks later.

A couple weeks later, Delaney began a new craft project. She wanted us to make a family jungle. Delaney is the lion, I'm the zebra, Katie is the tiger, Rowena is the giraffe, and Peter is the big blue mosquito in the middle of the page.
Now, if we could only find a place to hang our big pretty projects...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Fun-Filled, Productive Day

It's days like today that make me love summer sooooo much!
1. Wake up and have some breakfast while watching Playhouse Disney
2. Trip to the doctor's office, where ALL three girls behave beautifully!
3. Home...Rowena goes down for her morning nap, girls go outside to play and I get lunch ready.
4. Lunch the fort of the swingset5. Grapes and juice snack...atop the table and in the shade6. Slip-n-Slide fun
6. Run errands: Oil change and Emissions Test (passed--woohoo!)
7. Home to play with the neighbors in their pool
8. Drinking from the hose and playing with dogs
9. Grilling out: Homemade burgers, baked beans, pasta salad...Mmmmm!
10. Walk to Sunny Delight's for some tasty ice cream (well, Delaney and Katie rode their bikes)
11. Walk home and jump back in the neighbors' pool---IN OUR CLOTHES!

13. Bath time, stories, and bedtime.

Phew...I'm beat. Gonna have some ice water and head to bed myself...probably gonna be another hot and fun one!

Scared Sister, Supportive Sister

One day last week, Delaney freaked out because she felt a spider on her while working in her craft area. We found that it was just a piece of fuzz, however, Delaney was pretty freaked out the rest of the day. Then, that night she had a lot of nightmares of bugs (mostly spiders) in her bed and came into our room crying a few times. Finally, around 4am, Peter let her sleep with us. The next night, Nana was in town and she slept with her. Then the next night, she was still scared, and Kate offered to share her bed. SOOO sweet! I captured a picture of them together, sleeping.

Rowena...almost 16 months

So, Rowena is at that age where she is knowing what she wants, but cannot communicate those (wants) to others. We are currently hearing a lot of "eh, eh" from her as well as full-out tantrums. At times she's actually thrown herself on the floor screaming. While it's easy to get annoyed and frustrated, I am trying to think "what is SHE going through in this moment?" I mean, really--she can't tell us what she is feeling or thinking or what she wants. The only way for her to say "I'm frustrated" or "I'm not getting what I want" is to throw a fit. So, usually Peter and I just laugh (not at her, mind you) as it helps us keep our sanity. She really isn't talking yet, and her vocabulary is pretty non-existent. She says "Mom" and "Momom" but that's about it. The past couple days we've realized she's now saying ball, dog, and bath. She'll sign for more and please as well. I asked the doctor, and he said she's fine. She's a third child and probably doesn't need to talk. As soon as he said that, Delaney started talking for Rowena--telling him what she likes, how she eats, etc. Too funny. He just looked at me and said, "If this is standard, she doesn't need to talk." We both laughed. She follows instructions very well, stacks blocks amazingly, and does puzzles. She's on the mark for speech other than the actual talking. She'll catch up. I'm thinking maybe come September when her sisters are no longer around to talk for her.

She's is getting into things she shouldn't, and it's hard to keep things away with two older sisters. We have found Rowe with marker in hand, and a very, VERY purple mouth (thankfully, the markers are "non-toxic"). She really likes to feed Riggs by filling his dish, but in doing so, she makes a huge mess. She even wants to top it off when his bowl is over-flowing. She likes to help out when she can. She gets very excited to open up the microwave after I warm up her milk in the morning, and she squeals in excitment as I pour it into her sippy cup.

She is an AMAZING eater! She likes to eat the majority of our chorizo tacos, and spicy chicken meals. She loves bbq chicken breasts and fruit galore. She will eat almost an entire box of stuffing or a whole pan of mashed potatoes by herself.

Rowena has been a challenge when it comes health. She has some pretty bad (hopefully seasonal) allergies. She hasn't been able to stay healthy for longer than 2 weeks at a time since November (when she was in the hospital with H1N1). The doctor has tried a prevention program, but that has proved to not be strong enough. So after hitting 1/3 of our deductible in less than 6 months, we are starting a new program. It's three months of singular at night and then a nebulizer treatment with a steroid every morning. If this doesn't work, we will see an allergist who specializes in the lungs. We'll also probably have her tested to see if she's allergic to Riggs (I REALLY hope it does not come to this...). So, here's hoping this helps!

Rowe was weighed and measured today:
Weight: 22 lbs, 13 oz (35%)
Height: 30 3/4" (40%)
Head: 49 3/4 cm (97%)

She's looking great and growing well. Her weight and height have come down a bit in the percentile, but her head is still as big as ever! ahahahah

Here are some recent pictures taken of Rowena this past week. Isn't she just a cutie-patootie!?!?!

Helping Daddy garden
Upset after Daddy moved her away from stepping on our peppers
Making her cute face before she tries to give the air a zerbert.
Having a little snack in her chair
Doing homework on Katie's laptop...very serious stuff!