Sunday, August 31, 2008

Day Two - Labor Day Beach Trip 2008

Before I start in with the recap of today, I must mention something that was overlooked in yesterday's recap. Breakfast. I gave props to Nada's dinner, and it was very yummy indeed. And the best part is that there were leftovers. But breakfast was worth mentioning, as well. Leslie prepared her mexican egg casserole. I'm sure it has a fancy name, but I simply call it yummy. And again, the best part is that there is leftovers. History has shown that this yummy, mexican egg casserole is even better the second time around. So it will serve as breakfast again tomorrow.

After we finished dinner yesterday, we set up for a game of Sorry. Henry won, of course. And I don't say "of course" because we let him win. We all learned early on, you don't need to give the boy any leeway. He has a knack at games. And he roundly beat us all without any of us helping him along.

We wrapped up the night with Henry falling asleep to "The Sound of Music" and the ladies watching "Emma" until it was time to watch the latest Gustav update. We went to bed feeling pretty confident that we were not making the stupidist decision of our lives.

This morning, I was on kitchen duty. I decided to try and repeat the yummy breakfast we had when we visit San Antonio a few weeks ago. I had copied the recipe and everyone was game to try something new with me. Well, it turned out great if I do say so myself. It is a sort of french toast. You dip cinnamon raisin bread in pancake batter and pan fry it. Then is is served with toasted pecans, banana slices, and syrup. (I know that I mentioned yesterday that we use the same menu on every trip, but since we added one more day, we had to add this one additional meal. Lunch is always sandwiches and leftovers, so it can easily be extended a day. And we decided to actually venture out for dinner one evening to make up the extra dinner meal.)

Another great day was spent at the beach. We had just the tiniest bit of overcast-ness in the late afternoon. It helped cool things off. Several visits were made to the ice cream truck as it went by.

Henry spent a good amount of time on his boogie board. He has a little one and a bigger one. The little one, he has totally mastered on his own and will spend long stretches of time on his own surfing in the waves close to shore. The bigger one must still be used in the company of an adult and he and Leslie spent time playing with it this morning. Leslie also ventured off on her own with the bigger boogie board and seemed to enjoy surfing the waves with it.

After lunch, Henry decided to spend his 30-minute quiet time in the hammock. Yesterday, he did his time in his little pop tent. After swaying for about 20 minutes, he actually fell asleep. I let him sleep for about and hour. During this time, the tide came in and we actually had to push our "camp" back about 10 feet. We left Henry where he was, so he woke up on his own little "island".

Recapping our favorite things for today:
  • Nada: Sitting, relaxing and reading. Also, she enjoyed a dreamcicle...something she said she hasn't done since high school (although she won't admit how many years ago that was)
  • Paula: Reading and listening to my iPod, while Leslie and Henry surfed; and watching Henry surf with his little surf board on his own
  • Leslie: Building a sand castle estate, complete with two towers and a tunnel, and hearing what Henry's favorite thing was
  • Henry: Relaxing in Leslie's arms when they swam in the morning; eating his snowcone, and eating the bubble gum that was hidden at the bottom of his snowcone.
Tonight, we are actually going out to eat. For some reason, we've never done that on our beach weekends. It's nice to think that no one needs to cook tonight and no one needs to do dishes. After we get home, Henry will probably whoop us at Uno.

Well, that's it for now. Stay tuned for the next update.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

But that's not even an adventure

Well, we just enjoyed our first day on our beach weekend. Nada is busy in the kitchen making her most yummiest chicken pockets. It will be accompanied by her famous salad with goat cheese and candied pecans, and macaroni and cheese.

We have our beach weekend down to such a science. We have an excel spreadsheet that contains a tab that has our menu, a tab that has our packing list, and a tab that has our shopping list. We use the same one every year. We have the same menu, the same rituals. It is 'comfort' to us.

We rent a house that is on the beach (second row, actually, but still walking distance). We can drive the car on the beach. We have the whole setup: canopy, chairs, tables, sand toys. So all the beach stuff stays in the car...we unload and setup at the beginning of the day, and the we tear down and throw it in the van at the end of the day. And do it all again the next day.

This year, we took the plunge and extended our holiday weekend by an extra day. Of course, that may all change based on what Gustav decides to do.

We had perfect weather today. Not a cloud in the sky. There was very little seaweed. The water was a clear as it could be for this part of the gulf coast. And the water was as warm as bath water.

Towards the end of our day, I posed the question: "What was your favorite thing today?" And here is everyone's answer:

  • Henry: The ice cream (because indeed, the ice cream truck drives by about every 45 minutes)
  • Mama: The walk Henry and I took looking for shells for our art project
  • Leslie: Playing with Henry on his new boogie board
  • Nada: Sitting and reading her book (to which Henry responded: "What? But that's not even an adventure!")
And while dinner is being prepared, Henry is laying in bed watching pre-season football. In deciding who to root for, Henry has no problem. He simply chooses the team that is already winning. In this case, it was the New York Giants...or according to Henry, the You Nork Giants.

Tomorrow is another day, stay tuned...

Oh, and I can't add pictures from the beach. So look for a post next week with a recap of our photos. Oooh, another opportunity to scrapblog!

Lunch with my boy...Gustav threatens our beach weekend

Earlier in the week, I asked Henry if I could join him for lunch one day this week. His response? "Hmmm, well, it's my school, so it's my decision. Let me think about it Mommy". Alrighty, then.

So on Friday, I asked him again if I could meet him for lunch. He thought for a few seconds, and replied "I guess that would be okay."

When I arrived at the school, he was at his little table. He'd already set a place for me, complete with a placemat and napkin. He'd already gotten all of his lunch items out of his lunch bag and placed them on his own placemat. He's also already put his lunch bag under his seat. He was seated nicely while the rest of the kids to finish their lunch preparations.

Soon, it was time to start. Everyone had to show their "ready fingers". This means that one finger goes in front of their mouth (like saying sh) and the first finger on the other hand goes in the air (pointing up). So we both showed our ready fingers and the kids sang their little pre-lunchtime song. And then we could start eating.

I had stopped and picked up Burger King. I was so proud of Henry as he picked up his sandwich and ate all of it, before moving to his cucumbers and apple. I wouldn't believe that a room full of 3-6 year olds could sit so calmly and eat the lunch that their parents has so lovingly made for them. I know that I make that lunch for his lunchbox every day and then always wonder what actually happens to it at lunch time. How much gets eaten, how much gets thrown away? Now I have a better sense.

All in all, lunch was wonderful and Henry was quite snuggly with me before I had to leave. He wasn't upset that I had to leave and he had to different than my attempts to have lunch with him even last year. My baby is growing up and becoming independent.

Now, on to Gustav. We are enjoying our favorite beach weekend in Surfside. Gustav is in the gulf. I hate how much time we have to spend watching and monitoring the projected path of this hurricane. But so far, it looks like it won't impact our plans.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Another Scrapblog...

I have always wanted to go back and create a photo book for each year for Henry. Needless to say, I have all the scrapbooking materials in a bag in the closet and just can't seem to find the time to get it all out and do it.

But now that I've discovered scrapblog-ing (thanks again, Allegra!!!), it doesn't take that long. I'm not the most creative person in the world, but overall, I am happy with how this turned out.

This was an easy one. It is 2004 and I only had to scrap about 6 weeks worth of material. Don't hold your breath for the subsequent years...they may take a little longer. Afterall, there are THOUSANDS of pictures that must be sorted through. Fortunately, I've always tagged my favorites, and I think I'll just focus my attention on those.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Goofy faces...

Here is a strip of pictures of Henry taken in a photo booth at Katz's (never closes). He was trying out some of his goofy faces in between his normal, goofy smile.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A picture review of our trip to Chicago

Kudos go out to Allegra for showing me a new, neat little trick. I was struggling about how to recap our trip to Chicago in July. So here are the photographic highlights.

Obviously, there was much more, including:
  • Trevor Lxxxx's graduation party (really, according to Henry you need to say the entire name, but for the sake of privacy, I've xxx'd through the last name)
  • A visit with Aunt Kristen, which included a movie and dinner
  • A play date with the children of many of mom's ex-bosses
  • Many trips to pool, thanks to Auntie Margot
  • A family graduation picnic at the beach
  • A playdate with DebiP and Griffin at Chuck E. Cheese
  • A weekend with Aunt Nada, including a trip to the top of the John Hancock building
  • An 2-night overnighter with Titi and pal, Lukie
  • A day spent with one of Mommy's oldest friends and her children, which included a trip the county fair (no, Meg's not old, just the friendship)
  • A morning spent at Mommy's office, pretending to work
  • And lots of quality time spent with the cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents

And in case you have any problems playing the scrapblog, the sheets are layed out below:






Monday, August 25, 2008

Kindergarten...and mommy only cried a little

Today was the first day of kindergarten for Henry. We had stopped by the school's open house on Saturday and were surprised with a special t-shirt that only the kindergartners were receiving. It was to worn on the first day of school, and then they get to wear it on Fridays as a special treat. (When this was handed out, I totally lost it and started could my baby actually be starting kindergarten???)

Henry attends a Montessori school, and in his classroom there is a group of children that range in age from 3.5 - 6. Henry actually joined this classroom days after he himself turned 3. Last year in the room, there were actually no kindergartners. But because he has an August birthday, there were several children that were older than him. This year, there is a group of 7 kindergartners in his class. Many are children that have been in this classroom as long as Henry.

While so much of our routine this morning is the same as it has been for the last several years, at some level, Henry did appreciate the difference and "specialness" of it. He wore his t-shirt with pride. He smiled and participated in the "first day of school" pictures that I insisted upon. He is proud to be an official "afternoon worker" with no napping materials being carted to school. He knows some of the exciting things he will learn this year, including telling time, tying his shoes, addition, subtraction, reading and maybe even fractions. And today, I managed to shed only a few tears as he ran off to join the other kids without thinking to say goodbye to me.

When I think about 4 years ago, and what I was doing on that day, I was preparing paperwork for my first trip to Russia to meet my son. I was coordinating travel visas and passports for both me and my mom. I had no idea that the next 4 years would fly by so quickly and so wondrously.

In a few weeks time, he'll have his "big boy room". While he doesn't seem to express much interest in helping pick designs and decorations, there is an underlying excitement about it all. With him, he needs the visual. So when he walks into his room and sees the transformation, it will be real. Until then, it's just a lot of talk.




Friday, August 22, 2008

Zoo Camp - Henry's Artwork

Here is Henry's artwork from Zoo Camp this week:




Zoo Camp - Adventures in the Rainforest


Henry spent this week at the Houston Zoo attending zoo camp. He was a little worried at the start of the week, knowing that he wouldn't know anyone there. But I assured him that he would have so much fun.

As it turns out, it has rained every day. Maybe it won't rain today, but the jury is still out. Regardless, the camp was prepared and the kids had ponchos that they wore when it was raining (as long as it wasn't thundering and lightening).

Seems like Henry has enjoyed himself and has shared all kinds of little tidbits he's learned throughout the week. He was excited that he got to touch a turtle. They are planning on riding the carousel today.

A couple of cute stories from the week: He had an "incident" with one of the other students yesterday...all very innocent. But Henry decided that he might have hurt his back and needed an ice pack. I mentioned to the teacher that Henry can be quite dramatic about things, and she conceded that they had already noticed that.

Also, on the first day of camp, Henry reported that he had been separated from the group twice. The next morning, he further embellished his separation stories to tell me that he had spent too long in the bathroom and the group had moved on without him. Well, I must say I was wondering what kind of camp this was that was allowing my 5 year old to get left behind in the bathroom. On Tuesday morning, I spoke with the head teacher, who reported that Henry had never gotten separated from the group. Turns out that Henry was just very concerned about getting separated and wanted to make sure I talked to the teacher "in case" he got separated. I think he just needed the reassurance that it wouldn't happen.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Car Dancing

Henry decided that we should dance in the car on the way to Zoo Camp this morning. It was an excellent idea and we had a great selection of music thanks to KidStuff (on Sirius Satellite Radio). It really got me going and I think it woke us both up to have a great day.

We started off doing a freeze dance to "Where's the Music?" by Medeski Martin and Wood. The music stops and starts, so it's perfect for freezes.

Next, what could be better than doing the "Hokey Pokey", sung by Dan Zanes? We had fun, especially in the "shake it all about" sections. Henry suggested that the tongue should be added as one of the body parts.

Finally, our friend Sebastian sang "Under the Sea". Henry decided this was a good song to practice his speed dancing. He announced whether he was dancing Adagio, Moderato, Allegro, or Presto. Presto was his favorite as it was very fast and crazy. (Many of you will recognize these terms from Little Einsteins.)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Zebras and Llamas and Caves...Oh My!

We are home from our wonderful weekend in San Antonio. Saturday was an easy day where we slept in and had a wonderful homemade breakfast made by our host. We went downtown to catch "Alice", a play Aunt Leslie had frequented back in her glory days. It was a great trip down memory lane for her, and Henry enjoyed the music and costumes.

From there, we headed to the River Walk. Henry and I took the boat tour, while the rest of the adults reminisced over adult beverages. Dinner on the River Walk capped off the day.

The highlight of our trip was Sunday, when we visited Natural Bridge Caverns.

Henry was a little leery about going in the cave, but he was very brave and at the end, announced it was the 'coolest thing he'd ever seen'. While we were waiting for our turn to go down to the cave, he took his hand at mining and found a mini-treasure of precious gems.

After we finished at the cave, we headed over to the Wildlife Park. We circled through here twice, and saw everything from Wildebeests to Rhinoceros. We fed several animals from our hands, including zebras and llamas.

Enjoy some pictures of our weekend:










Friday, August 15, 2008

A trip to the eye doctor

Okay, last post for today...

Yesterday, Henry and I had our annual eye exams. Last year, the doctor felt that Henry might need glasses before kindergarten due to some astigmatism. After the exam, she felt that his astigmatism had improved and that he did not need glasses afterall. Yippee. She was very impressed with Henry and kept asking me about having him tested for GT (gifted and talented). Uh, he's not even in kindergarten yet. It was nice to hear, though.

He did very well. Got a bit silly at times and kept repeating the same letter over and over and tried to take over and give the exam when it was my turn (Mommy, look up there and tell me what you see. Now cover your eye and tell me what you see.) Fortunately, the doctor was quite patient with him. He got to do the eye test with the clicker but refused to do the one where you get a puff of air in the eye.

He did NOT like getting the drops in his eyes and cried the first round right out. However, after he realized that it didn't hurt, he was pretty cooperative about having the second round put in. And we celebrated the successful visit to the eye doctor with...what else...a root beer float!





Who Cooked? A mini tribute to Aunt Leslie

After bragging on my own dinner the other night, I wanted to make sure to give props to Leslie. In a seafood kinda week, she prepared a meal to rival what is served at Pappadeaux. For those not familiar, Pappadeaux is a cajun seafood restaurant chain that has absolutely yummy food.

She labored and prepared her own version of Shrimp Diablo, which is bacon-wrapped shrimp stuffed with jalapeno cheese. She served them on a bed of dirty rice with a serving of the best corn on the cob, ever. It was totally yummy, and best of all, there was no leftovers. Here is a shot of the plated presentation:


Leslie also had a talk on the school on Thursday evening. I told Henry that morning, and all he wanted to know was "front or back?". The answer was front. So after the schools split, Leslie moved up to the front row. Henry complained he was cold so I took his jacket off and draped it over his legs (he was wearing shorts). Next, he leaned up against my arm...this was about 3 minutes before Leslie's talk. He giggled and said that I was "his pillow". Well, about 2 minutes before Leslie's talk, he was sound asleep. I've never seem him fall asleep so quickly. So he missed Leslie's request to her house holder to look up a scripture in Second Proverbs.

And just to wrap up the Henry part of this story, he obviously wasn't happy when I woke him at the end of the meeting, but we managed to get home and upstairs without much to do. I undressed him (much better than the drama of asking him to do it himself in this case) and snuggled with him for a few minutes. I put him to bed in only his underwear (tidy whities). This is unusual for him as always insists on wearing his jammies...but he was too tired to argue with me on this one.

This morning, as he climbed into bed with me, I called him "Captain Underwear". A few minutes later, he was giggling and I asked him what was so funny. His reply: "You called me Captain Underwear, I think that's funny. That's why I'm laughing."

Today is his last day of summer school at Sugar Mill. Next week, he has Zoo Camp. He's not too sure about Zoo Camp, I think he's going to have an absolute blast! The following week, he will officially be a kindergartener! Yikes!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Backyardigans

The Backyardigans Theme Song

Hi, I'm Pablo.
My name's Tyrone.
I'm Uniqua.
I'm Tasha.
And my name is Austin.
And we're ...

Your backyard friends, the Backyardigans!
Together in the backyard again,
In the place where we belong,
Where we'll prob'ly sing a song,
And we'll maybe dance along.

We've got the whole wide world in our yard to explore.
We always find things we've never seen before.
That's why every day we're back for more
With your friends, the Backyardigans.


Why am I regaling you with the lyrics of the Backyardigans? Because we went to see them last Saturday. Henry really enjoyed the show, in his own way. See, Henry doesn't participate. He doesn't get up and dance. He doesn't sing along. He doesn't call out when asked to. Most of the time, this is even true when he watches television. He wants to observe, not be part of the show. I don't really understand, because other times, he has no problem being the center of attention. Maybe he feels like he might miss something if he is doing those other things. So anyway, he enjoyed the show very much and talked about it the rest of the day. His favorite part was when Pablo was pulled off stage on a wire. There was a loud crash from the sidelines and then Pablo could be heard calling out "I'm okay".


After the show, we decided to be a bit adventurous for dinner. Leslie had found a restaurant with the same name as my last name. We didn't know anything about it, but decided it would be worth checking out. Turns out, it was a "bar and grill" which really meant, it was a sport's bar. The good news is that we were there early so it was almost empty. The even better news is that there were about 20 televisions in the joint, each tuned to a different sporting event. Henry didn't know which way to look, but finally settled on watching his "Cubbies". The food was alright, but it won't become a place we frequent often.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Papa and Henry

Today, it was all about Papa. Papa is here for his monthly visit at MD Anderson. So after school today, Henry and Papa went to the pool to swim while I made dinner.

Actually, I was quite proud of my dinner, cooked completely on the grill: Lemon Dill Salmon on a cedar plank, Kristen's potatoes, and the best corn on the cob ever. Kristen's potatoes are so very yummy...yes, the recipe is on the box, but since I first enjoyed them at Kristen's they will forever be called "Kristen's Potatoes". The corn came with Papa on the airplane. They stopped at a roadside vegetable stand and bought the corn on Sunday afternoon...10 minutes after it had been picked. I soaked it overnight and grilled it and we all agreed that it was the best.

The report from the pool was that a good time was had by all. Henry started telling me about he raced 5 other boys across the pool. A little suspicious, I asked whether these other boys were real or pretend. Turns out, they were pretend Olympic competitors. This boy is so "about" the Olympics, it's unreal.

After dinner, we played two rounds of Uno. Although Henry kept claiming that it was "his night", Papa and Leslie were the winners. Henry was a bit disappointed at not winning, but we all know that a root beer float fixes everything. So we enjoyed a round of root beer floats and all was right with the world again.

I am really encouraging Henry's ability to care for himself. While it is so much easier to get him dressed myself, I am trying to let him do more for himself. He really is doing great. My goal right now is to teach him to put on his pants/undies while standing up. We're doing the "lean technique" where he leans against his bed to help him balance while he lifts a leg. So far, I think we're moving in the right direction.

So after undressing and putting his jammies on by himself, he settled down with Papa for a bedtime story. Of course, he picked the violent dinosaur book with all of the hard words. But Papa muddled through no worse for wear. And then, bedtime prayers and off to bed. The ending to another day.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I have not checked in for a while so let me just catch you up real quick. Ashley had her baby in February – little David Leigh. You really love him– it is cute and you are so sweet with him. We just went out to eat with them and David Leigh was smiling at you and you were saying he likes me. So sweet. Also, Lucy died in February. You weren’t as sad about it as we thought you might be. Your Mom and I are both very sad – she might have been a grumpy dog but we loved her and she was so protective of you. You still mention her in your prayers. We took her to be cremated and you stayed at the house with Nana and Papa – when we came home we all sat down and told you what had happened not knowing what kind of response we would get. You laid your head down on your Mom’s shoulder for just a bit and then you raised your head up and said “so are we getting another dog”…guess you were over it.
I had to have surgery in April and we told you that I had a boo-boo in my tummy so to be careful. You asked me for a long time if my boo-boo was better. It worked out just perfect that you were in Chicago during my surgery and hospital stay – so it was all over by the time you came home. But since I was scared, it was really hard talking to you on the Sunday before the surgery but you did talk to me. Thanks.
Also, I got laid off in February and for a while it was a sore subject – bad thing was you had just learned the Legend Logo – so every time we drove past a sign or a billboard you would say “you don’t work at Legend Homes anymore…do you?” yeah, thanks there Henry.
You have had a nice summer – you were such a good boy at the District Convention and have really gotten into helping with the volunteer work. We were assisting with cleaning one of the restrooms and you were such a big help and really tried to do what you could. Then for the whole month of July, you and your Mom were in Chicago. Mom said you did great on your road trip. When you came home, I asked you how your trip was and you told me “I drank root beer floats and watched too much TV”…well, sounds like vacation to me. I think you went fishing, swimming, you played basketball a lot. You also started watching a lot of Cubs games with Papa.
Over Memorial Day, we went to the Yellow beach house and this time Jack came and stayed. You guys had a lot of fun playing in the water. You also played lots with your boogie board and would try to body surf. I had brought a game called the “ladder game” kind of a version of horse shoes but different – well, you loved it and wanted to play whenever we were playing. We will be going to the Yellow house again at the end of this month with Aunt Nada over Labor Day.
We are going to San Antonio this weekend and you are going to see a play I saw about 20 years ago – “Alice, A rock Opera” I am so excited about you seeing it. We will be with my friend Katrina and maybe Brent, Hannah, John and Skylar were supposed to come but John is very sick and they can’t make it. If the weather is nice, we are taking you to Schlitterbaun on Sunday – but we haven’t told you yet. You have been asking to go so hopefully it will work out.
You are now 5 and really have a little boy look about you – not looking like a toddler at all. You can almost read. Also, Mom is going to be redoing your room and she is probably going to let me arrange everything. So we have been looking at furniture. I am going to give you 5 choices for your theme and see what you pick. You have an interest in just so many things I think you will have a hard time.
The Olympics are on right now and you are “strung out”. You don’t care what is on – you want to watch it and ask which color we want to win. Last night you and Papa went swimming and you pretended to have an Olympic swimming match.
OK, back to work – will write more later.

Can you see what I see?

One of Henry's new favorite ways to pass time in the car is to look at the clouds and see if they look like anything to him. I have recently had my camera with me and been able to snap pictures of the clouds he was looking at. Now look closely...what do you see?

In this one, Henry saw a turtle with his mouth open. The head is there on the left, and his mouth is indeed open. In this case, I really was able to see what he saw.

Now to be fair, it took me a bit to get this picture and you know how quickly a cloud shifts. When he first pointed this out to me, it did look like what he told me, but by the time the picture was taken, the cloud had shifted a bit. This one was described as an alligator laying on his back. The part on the left is his snout, kind of sticking up in the air. The part to the right is his body. And he is, indeed, upside down (and has kind of a big head!).

There have been plenty of other clouds Henry has pointed out to me that I had no vision of what he claimed he saw. But these two, I saw it the same as him. I'm not sure how this little past time got started, but I am thrilled that he has the creativity and imagination to look at clouds and see something that isn't really there, even if we have to squint or look upside down to "see" it.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunny 99

It's so hard to remember all of the hilarious things Henry says and does each day. But this afternoon, we stopped at Baskin Robbins for an ice cream. While we were eating our cones, Henry cocked his head sideways. Leslie asked him what he was doing and he said he was listening for the weather...after a few seconds, he said..Ooh, it's Sunny 99.

While that probably isn't that far off, it was really the name of the radio station that was playing.

On the way home, he continued to help me with the road signs to ensure I wasn't speeding. He kept calling out to me what the speed limit was from the signs that we passed. How sweet of him.

He is absolutely in love with the Olympics. I let him stay up a little late on Friday night to watch the opening ceremonies. I think he was just as blown away by some of the the guys that were drumming, and the other guys that formed the perfect circles, while running around. He also like the globe that had the guys walking around it. But mostly, he is loving watching all of the sports. So far, he's watched women's basketball, men's soccer, women's weightlifting, and men's basketball. It doesn't really matter what is on...he is constantly asking if he can watch the olympics. It is the theme for the week at school, so I'm glad that he'll be able to contribute to the discussions.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Mommy, the light is green

Henry was very excited this morning, because today is Splash Day at school. Since we were gone for July, it is the first and only one he gets to participate in this summer. The first words I heard from him this morning was "Mommy, you need to get me dressed for Splash Day today!"

Last night, he fell asleep at the meeting. He wasn't happy when I woke him to go home and several tears were shed. Usually, he gets a second wind, but last night, all he could think about was getting home and getting in his bed. So after I got him changed into his jammies, he crawled into bed, gathered all of his stuffed animals together, laid his head down on them and fell instantly asleep. For any of you that know Henry, he has a habit of taking his special things and using them for a pillow. I wish I had pictures of all of the things over the years that I have found under his head while he is sleeping. And when he takes my hand and puts it under his head, it truly warms my heart.

This morning at breakfast, he complained to me that the kids at school said mean things to him. Upon further investigation, it turns out that the kids at school don't think he's "special". We had the same conversation yesterday, which ended with the declaration "I won't give up, I AM special". I think what this stems from is the fact that there is a girl in Henry's class that has special needs. I'm not exactly sure what they are, but Henry comes home regularly with stories of the outburts and actions of this little girl. I struggle with how to explain this to him...I don't want to say that there is something "wrong" with her, or that she is "sick". I do want him to recognize that she is different and that she isn't "bad", but that she does the absolute best that she can with what she has. I am thinking that somewhere down the line, someone has explained her as "special" and that's why the kids don't think Henry is special, only this little girl is "special". I had a chat with his teacher about it this morning. The way she explained it to the kids is that all children are different and unique, and all children learn at different paces. She told them that sometimes it takes this little girl a little longer to learn something. Overall, I think that was a good way to position it. I don't like that this poor girl got singled out, but I also don't see any way around it as I think the rest of the kids needed some kind of explanation. I'm open to any ideas anyone has on this topic.

On the way to school this morning, I was stopped at a light waiting for the green arrow. I was messing with something else (maybe looking in the mirror). As soon as the light changed, I hear Henry call out from the backseat "Mom, the light is green". He further explained that he needed to help me out so that the cars behind us didn't honk and I didn't get in trouble again. Hmm, did that happen before?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

No shots, right Mom? Henry's 5 year checkup

If I heard it once, I heard it a thousand times: "No shots, right?" See, with Henry, it is always a good idea to give him fair warning of things that are coming up. So everytime I reminded him that we had his doctor's appointment on Thursday, it was met with the same worried question...usually about 2 or 3 or 10 times. I had been told last year (after he receive 4 shots) that there would be none at his 5 year checkup. So I felt pretty confident in reassuring him that there would be no shots. Whew, I was right. It was too cute...they gave him a paper gown to wear. He didn't understand why he had to put it on, and then when it was time to take it off, he didn't understand why he had to take it off.

All in all, we had a great report. Now, a drumroll for the official measurements:

Weight = 37.6
Height = 41.75
Blood Pressure = 60/90

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A running history of August 6

Okay, I don't have pictures from every August 6, but pretty close. Here is the very first picture of received of Henry. It was taken the day after he turned 1 year old:

This picture was taken the day Henry turned 2. We had gone to the circus the day before and this hat came with his cotton candy. I'm not sure why he has such a serious expression, but this is one of my all-time favorite pictures of him.

This picture was actually taken a day after Henry's third birthday. We spent his birthday at Allegra's baby shower and I have a fabulous picture of him on that day, but its not electronic. This photo was taken of him on the airplane on our way home from Philadelphia. He still loves to travel by plane.

This is one of the "official" 4-
year-old pictures. I arranged a "shoot" with a professional photographer. He did an excellent job capturing Henry's personality and I treasure this collection of pictures so much. Wanna know what book he is reading? Well, Curious George, of course!

Here is Henry from today telling the world that he is 5!

Welcome aboard....


I've been wanting to do this for a while so I decided that today was the day...the day my baby turns 5. I wish I could backfill the last five years of Henry's story, but if I waited until that happened, then I'd be stuck and never able to go forward. So instead, as things occur to me, I'll try to include the history as I go.

So last night, we made a big deal about the fact that Henry would turn 5 today, August 6. This is the first year that he seems to really have a concept of that. So what does he want to know? "When Mama? When will I turn 5?" It was enough to send me to my stash of official papers. Unfortunately, nothing in them indicates the exact time he was born. To answer his curiosity, I simply told him that it would happen to him while he slept.

This morning, after he came and crawled into bed with me, I asked him how it felt to be 5. His answer: "I still feel like Henry. And I didn't get any bigger."

Oh, and as far as the blog's name "and always very curious", some of you might recognize that as a line from Curious George. It is usually on the first page of all of the stories, and is the tagline to describe him: "George was a good little monkey, and always very curious." Of course, his curiosity always get him into a pickle, but he always comes out on top. Curious George has been the favorite of my little monkey for as long as I can remember. So I thought it an appropriate name for the chronicles of Henry.