Tuesday, February 8, 2011

teaching a child who is eager to learn


The past few days I've been truly contemplating what i want to accomplish as a mom. i've been evaluating my goals and what i hope to accomplish while teaching Henry what he needs to grow up well.

While I was in college, I was an Aide for a Montessori school in Dallas. I really admired the children. The ages I worked with ranged from 3-5, and it was amazing how they were so much like little adults. While I have been researching different teaching techniques, and exercises, I am very much gravitating towards the Montessori method. My plan is to set up our home to accommodate those practices, and to see how Henry takes to it. I feel as he is learning and mimicking my every move, now is the time to teach him how to be orderly, organized, and to think for himself. Children are so amazing at what they do while growing. I am very excited about this decision. I've already started to see how some of the changes we have made here have helped him feel more independent. And it seems, that as we have given him the space to be independent, he has become more calm and comfortable in his settings. This will be an interesting journey. I will be posting our progress on here to share with you what I see as Henry gains his independence.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

when it snowed in texas

so we don't get snow all that often. Come to think of it, all the snow that we got while i was growing up was pretty scarce, and it always melted by the afternoon, or it wasn't cold enough to stick. Mostly, i remember ice storms. i remember sliding down the street on cardboard boxes and sliding lots. but i don't remember much snow. Last year we got 12 straight hours of snow. It was beautiful. Every weather station was commenting how Texas hadn't had a storm within that caliber since the 1970's. Well, it seems that this winter season felt it needed to trump last winter. We had two days of below freezing temps, introduced by thick layers of ice that covered everything. By day three, (when it is usually all melted and gone) we got 6" of snow. Oh how i love snow. I think it is one of the most beautiful things that nature provides us. Everything is given this layer of 'hush' after it snows. Down here we don't get to experience it that often. Last year, lil H was too small to do much more than sit in the snow and stare at me wondering, why on earth his mom would plop him down in something so cold to take a picture. This year, however, was different. Both Andrew and I had to work regardless of the storm, but we took henry out for a little bit before the sun went down. He didn't seem to notice that he was cold, until he face planted in the snow. Then, he flailed all his limbs, and threw a huge fit, which was followed by a bath to warm him back up.






aren't those rosy cheeks irresistible?




video

Sunday, January 2, 2011

a whole lotta NEW!


lil H christmas morning at mimi and gramps'


this is the time of year when everyone reflects on their priorities and set goals to better themselves for the new year. for the past month i have been really contemplating what i want to work on this year, and to what capacity i want to focus on these goals.

we were blessed with a beautiful christmas filled with family close and far, delicious food, great gifting, and good stories. both of my brothers are serving missions right now. one is in New Zealand and the other is in England. we got to visit with both of them and hear about their adventures and the people they work with. it was a good pick me up to get to hear their voices. It is great how so many wonderful things are happening all around the clock and without us even realizing it. My dad likes to say now, "the sun never sets on the clines". with the time differences between here, new zealand and england one of us is always awake. what a cool thought.
here's a pic of my brother having christmas dinner in England.

After christmas got to move into our new place! FINALLY! i though the day was never going to come. finding a place seemed to take forever. it is official the worst part of moving is having to find a place to live. you shop all the different locations, weigh the pros and cons of each place. go back and take a second look at the narrowed list. it's exhausting, and somehow we crammed it into like 2 days. at least that is how it felt. that doesn't matter any more though, because we found our place, we are moved in, and I LOVE IT! while we were
packing everything up from the old place it was mentioned that usually when you get all the stuff moved out of the old place you usually notice how big it is. in our case we marveled at how we ever fit our furniture in there: two couches, an entertainment center, a keyboard, a convertible crib, and king size bed, an armoire. the place was so tiny that we had to keep the high chair outside when we weren't using it. basically 570 square feet is a tiny space to squeeze a growing toddler and two adults. we have upgraded a whole 300 extra square feet and it feels HUGE! lilH is not sleeping in his bed residing at the food of my bed and is (as far as i can tell/hear) sleeping 100% through the
night. we actually have a living room AND a dining room that can and will be fitting a table soon! and because this place has so many windows it feels almost like a house and not an apartment. no lights needed until the sun goes down. it truly is a beautiful space. So NEW YEAR, NEW HOME! and we are so very grateful for a wonderful place to live.

so my great goals for this year are:
1. to keep most things more simplified. i am so very good
at making things more elaborate and intricate than needed. i'm going back to basics to master them again. i remember reading an article, i think in the ensign, and it talked about how it is important to step back and star
t from the beginning, with prayer, scripture study etc. it is so easy to over fill days with STUFF and i'm done with stuff. i need more sustenance.
2. become organized. i used the move as an opportunity to purge. i purged while packing and then again while unpacking, and again while putting stuff away. good will got a huge bag of clothes and stuff from me, so hopefully someone who really needs it can find it, and i can have that shelf back in my closet!
3. do my hair every day. i know this sounds a little crazy, and maybe weird. but it isn't to me. i can't tell you how many days i start out with full intention to take the 15min and fix my hair. then i let myself get distracted (usually with something not so important) and all of a sudden i have gross hair and look more tired than i would without it. this means no wet knots of hair at
the nape of my neck. plus it's important to feel pretty.
4. do something to show andrew how important he is to me, on a daily basis. sometimes i feel like i slip with this one. i feel like i fall into this rut where i think something like, 'oh he knows i love him' i like to be shown, so i am going to be more thoughtful in this for him.
5. take time out for me. i read a really inspiring book last year, 'EAT.PRAY. LOVE.' while reading it i realized that there is alot i do not make time for. now is the time for me.

i hope that everyone had a beautiful christmas filled with all the wishes children remember this time of year. i am so grateful to have a henry who helps me remember why we do what we do day to day. here's to a beautiful new year and all the adventures one can get!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

ruminations full of heart

I'm not sure how many people actually read or follow this, and I know it is a little out of my 'comfort' zone to post something on here that is more than just my adventures with my little man. I haven't been able to post the other posts that I've started for some reason, I think something to do with the photo sizes, but since I haven't been able to post them I've been thinking a lot. Henry went down earlier than usual tonight, and easier than he has been the past few nights. I think the time change threw him for a loop. At any rate, because he's down, and the house is clean, it feels very quiet. With it's quietness i have been thinking of all the changes that are taking place, and the holiday planning, and mostly of all of my blessings.

I am truly blessed with real friends. Not just for those friends who are more like acquaintances, but the friends that really know you and you know them. The ones who it doesn't matter when they show up to your house and it looks like you chose to sit on the couch to take a breath instead of picking up after the kiddo who's taking a nap. I am so lucky to have friends like that.
Today while visiting with one of those friends, I realized all of the layers of richness that we (my little family) have to our life. It is so easy to get caught up in what you do on a day to day basis, to get lost within your schedule and even though you don't see what anyone else is really doing, somehow reflect your experiences on them. maybe i am the only one who does this, and if so, GUILTY! I find myself sometimes feeling as though i can be read like a book, or that i know what is going on behind someone else's closed doors, only to find out that either they feel the same way or i was completely wrong. I know this is why we are told not to judge, and I've never viewed it as being judgmental but it makes me very hard on myself. anyways, So what my friend said that triggered all this thinking was, " as women we are so blessed to be given the opportunity to raise God's children. It seems silly that I would want more to be 'just a doctor' or 'just a pharmacist'. Somehow it is so easy to view that, as a greater achievement than being a mom." now, this friend of mine doesn't have children. and while she was saying this I was reflecting on all the different emotions I've experience since having Henry. I was watching him run around and be his charming self while she was talking too. And she is right, we are given this amazing opportunity to strengthen our belief in God, to strengthen our relationship with our husbands, and to teach this small and beautiful child (children) how to do everything that is right. We have mass amounts of resources to help us succeed at this job.
I thought about how when I met my sweetheart, before I even knew that's who he was, the love between us grew, it started out very different than it does with a child. With Henry, the moment i felt that first movement i began to love him. When that baby was born, from the first moment i held him, i had a love for him that was unexplainable. A love that I had never experienced. And my love for him has grown from that enormous amount to something unmeasurable.
I watch the way he watches me, and how he looks to see how i am going to do it. 100% of his trust is put in me, for everything. When he is not sure how he feels about a situation, he turns to me to see how i am reacting; if I am sure that it will be fine, he borrows my confidence for his courage.
Being a mother, and honoring what that role is is an experience different than i imagined. I worried that I would feel like I threw my professional experiences out the window, or to the wayside. It is quite the opposite. And the 'professional experience' that comes from learning from your child, is something that is irreplaceable. If this is just a glimpse of what our Father in Heaven feels for us I understand more now, than i did yesterday. I understand that I can turn to Him when I am not quite sure of my footing, and can borrow his confidence for my courage.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

From Pumpkins to Candy:


October was filled with lots of fun activities. the city of flower mound has this amazing pumpkin patch, lots of pumpkins and wagons and things to climb and play on. lil H had a lot of fun. the wagon was the highlight of the day. he thought it was cooler than anything else that was there.


after he got warmed up to us being somewhere new, he helped himself to all the pumkpins. it was funny to see him trying to move them around. he mostly just bent down and would try for a little bit, then walk over to another one.


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Now, halloween was fun. he still didn't quite get it. he liked the boot portion of his costume (but how could you not love the boot part?). he ran to a couple of houses, but then would stop at the sidewalk. one of my friends dressed up as a pirate and lil H didn't like that too much.


the lil buckaroo! he got his first piece of candy, and he put up a fight to keep it all to himself. well, at least until he decided the dog needed to taste too.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

OUR STATE FAIR IS THE BEST STATE FAIR

September is a beautiful time of year here in Dallas. It is most amazing because this is when the last drop of leftover heat disappears. If you can make it through to the last couple weeks in September you are good to go. I'm not sure if it is Texas' way of celebrating, or if it is just coincidence, but this is also the time of year when the State Fair of Texas is going on. The state fair is full of crafts, photo ops, all the fried food imaginable, rides, cool (and boring)exhibits and so much more.

We took the train to the fair grounds. I really like to ride on the train, lots of people watching opportunities, plus we didn't have to worry about parking.


Once we got to the fair the first exhibit we stopped at was the car show. We had to show lil H all that is good in this world. It didn't take much explaining, he already has 'CAR' branded into his heart. Look at the pure joy on his face! We will teach him how to work hard so he can one day buy his own cool car like this Corvette!

How can you go to a Texas car show and NOT take a picture in one of the over-sized trucks? If goldy locks was about a boy and took place in different sized trucks: Henry would be sitting in papa bear's front seat.


We watched a parade. It was pretty cool. Because it was put on by the electric company everything was lit up very creatively. Some of the costumes were a little bit scary looking.

You also go to the fair to check out the latest 'fried wonder'. below is fried chocolate on the left, and on the right is fried cookie dough. We also gave fried pizza a shot, and were sadly disappointed. We of course enjoyed a corn dog, pineapple ice cream, root-beer, cotton candy and eyed other fried creations. Some of the other fried options were: fried peanut butter and jelly banana sandwiches, fried lemon-aid, fried peaches and cream, fried Frito pie... the list goes on and on!
This is the biggest ferris wheel I've ever seen. I think it is beautiful. It is a landmark too, growing up I'd always gage how much further something was in comparison to the ferris wheel.

Our ride home on the train: It was a busy day and those eyes were as tired as they look.

Until next year: so long state fair!

THE END OF THE FIRST YEAR OF FIRSTS



So i am finally posting about lilH's birthday. Since the party things have been crazy so i haven't done more than load the photos onto the computer from the camera. I had a blast planning his celebration. I made his invites, which turned out really cute. The front was printed on photo paper, and the back was stitched together with thread and mini pennants cut out of mix and match paper.

His highchair needed a face lift. I spray painted it black and made it a new cover. I was so excited when I found the fabric that I used for the cover. Before lil H was born, and while I was planning all the things I was going to make for him, I ran across this fabric. I fell in love with it. I wanted to do his nursery out of it. I was going to make the crib set and everything else to coordinate with the animal print. I couldn't find it anywhere though. So, while I was meandering through JoAnn's a few weeks ago, I came across this and was probably a little over excited. Either way, I snatched it up. And it is now the newest addition to our home decor!

THE ACTUAL PARTY
King Henry the First

I think cupcakes are some of the cutest cakes. Lucky for me they are also the perfect size for little hands to hold. I love how artistic some bakeries are with their cupcake designs. We got a couple dozen cupcakes from a few different bakeries to sample their unique styles. I love the paper cups that envelope the actual cake and the bundtini's from 'nothing bundt cakes' were a huge hit, and delicious. I need to spend more time in the kitchen! (first i need a bigger kitchen mine just isn't cut out for real baking).
When we gave lil H the cupcake he wasn't really sure if he was supposed to actually eat it. He kept looking at me as tough to make sure it was ok to be putting this in his mouth. Once he got that in his mouth, he was pretty ok with it. He ate most of it.
The park that we had it at is so beautiful. It was an amazing day and we were blessed to have some of our good friends join us. I don't always remember to take photos of everything that goes on, but I caught a little bit of the party to share, and a few of lil h's friends.

My friends' kiddos, these two little guys are the same age, you'd never guess that if you didn't know! they are both too cute. And those faces are priceless, like a couple of grumpy old men!
More cute kiddos that came to celebrate. When lil H started opening gifts she tried to show him how it was done. it was pretty funny. He wasn't all that interested in the opening of the packages, but he sure did wear this penguin push toy out before we left. the banged it around on the pavement and let the whole park know how much he loved it

The penguin toy was cool, at least until he found the doggy drinking fountain. this child loves water. this was the party to him. And he did not want to part from it.
Oh, the joy this little boy has brought to my heart. I love how new everything that we do is to him. Watching a child who is exploring and curious is good for the adult soul. I think too soon we forget about the wonders of what is around us. Have children helps re-open that part of your soul.