Sunday, November 8, 2009
Yes, it's true. The Henley family are sports nuts! In case you are new to reading my blog, just a heads up. :) The kids are involved in all kinds of sports including soccer, basketball, volleyball, track, and everything in between. Derek coached Brooklyn's team again, along with Coach Matt. We are thankful for those parent-coaching volunteers who make the season great! It's nice to have parents who are involved with their kids, and do it in a way where kids are having a great time and learning a lot. Brooklyn's team even played at halftime of a WSU women's soccer game! Bella's team also had a lot of fun, and a lot of siblings from Brooklyn's team were on Bella's team. It's fun to watch Bella's abilities develop. Brieyn enjoyed sitting through soccer games day in and day out, as long as her friend Caroline was there. Brieyn will tell anyone who will listen how Caroline is her best friend! Bradyn spent most of the games either wanting to get down, or sleeping. The games where she fell asleep in the stroller were so wonderful, because then I could watch the entire game and cheer on the girlies!!!
Brieyn....is a 3 year old. EEK.... So, as an incentive for good behavior, I found this awesome bat girl costume on a clearance rack from Halloween. Of course, she wouldn't take it off, and I have visions of her wearing it in public, but it's totally okay....because as you can see from the pictures she rocks it!
Halloween with four kids is always exciting! The kids dressed up and we did our usual trick-or-treating in the same neighborhood we always go to, then a few places around our house. The day after Halloween we had our annual party, the kids dressed up for pictures, then costumes were off and the kids ran off to play with all their friends. Thanks to the Kallaher family for hosting this year! As always, there was a ton of fun food and treats, and good company. We look forward to this party every year, because we've had one since our oldest children were not even a year old. I need to look and find the pictures of each time we've done it, because it's so funny to see how the kids have grown and changed in the last 9 years. Bradyn was not really "in" to the concept of dressing up, it was hard for her to walk in her cute koala bear costume, so she laid in the middle of the living room on her back and stayed there. Such a goof. We realized this may be our last halloween with her not really understanding what is going on. Poor kid got all dressed up then rode in the stroller while all the kids ran from house to house getting candy. I had brought a couple treats that she can have, so the last couple houses I let her walk up to the door, then I handed her the treat I'd brought and she was thrilled. Too bad it won't be that easy next year!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Every fall we go to Greenbluff. It's one of my favorite places to visit. I love the fall, and we go up there and visit the many orchards where we pick apples and pumpkins. I wanted to make it in June for strawberries, but never got around to it. We went on a Saturday this year and it was super crowded and cold. Brooklyn and Bella went on a pony ride, we checked out the petting zoo, let the kids pick a little pumpkin (the neighbors have large ones to give us from their garden) and called it a day. There was music, beautiful fall colors, and the smell of kettle corn all around us. It is really a wonderful place, and I told Derek on our way there I wouldn't mind living there someday!
Derek is amazing for many many reasons. First off, he survives in a household full of estrogen. He takes it all in stride, and shows us all patience and unconditional love. He recently remodeled our basement family room. He did everything all by himself, from the wood flooring, trim, and my favorite part...he redid the fireplace. He didn't tell me he was doing it, he just surprised me one day when I came home. He even built the mantle! On July 8, 2009, we celebrated our 9 year wedding anniversary!! 9 years....4 beautiful daughters....we are blessed indeed! *The before picture of the fireplace was taken when we were seeing the house for the first time before we actually bought it. I think the previous owners liked wine. :)
I'm very pleased to be writing this post. Over the moon, actually! When Bradyn was 14 months old, in July, a pediatric allergist was able to come up with a solution to all over her issues. We have now diagnosed her as severely lactose intolerance, as well as having disorder of carbohydrate metabolism. Condensed, she cannot tolerate fructose (sugar found in fruit). She can do real sugar in smaller amounts, but her diet now consists of oatmeal, unsweetened soy milk and yogurt, lean protein, some veggies, and a few other items. She cannot have anything with high fructose corn syrup, so that eliminates 95% of packaged foods. I've been shopping for her at our Co-op, to find crackers and stuff that are HFCS free. She eats plain Cherrios and Kix like they will only be around one more day. I've bought almond cheese (trust me, its dsgusting) that she LOVES. I make her own bread so that she can have sandwiches, which can be fresh meat like turkey (no lunch meat) or natural peanut butter made only from peanuts with no sugar additives. So, all the doctors appointments, everything we went through for her first year of life with her tummy aches and crying....it all vanished within a week of changing her diet. We are SO pleased beyond belief to finally have our sweet and happy baby! She is still very slow at weight gain, although she is growing normally in length. She weighs in at 19.9 lbs as of a couple days ago. Which is below anything that will register on the growth charts. Being small in size seems so insignificant compared to being in pain all day every day for over a year. I have a lot of guilt over Bradyn, and I have learned so much from her. I've learned that a parents instinct is SO important. I remember telling our doctor when Bradyn wasn't even 6 months that I believed the problem was somewhere between her stomach and intestines. I knew that she just wasn't a "fussy baby" as they had labeled her. At any rate, she seems to be developing normally since the diagnosis, and I think her weight will catch up someday!
Brooklyn is our grown up 3rd grader and Bella is now in first grade. Even though you are technically reading this in October, school did in fact start on time in August, even if my posts are a wee bit late. Brooklyn was lucky to have several GREAT friends in her class. We were a bit surprised to have all these girls in her class, because it seems as though they'd just talk all the time (which I'm sure they do). For Bella, first grade means school all day. She was excited to get to eat lunch in the cafeteria with the "big kids". She's got to make new friends and is happy to share about her day when she gets off the bus. Of course with school starting, means after school activities are starting, which if you know our family.....you know we LOVE this part! Brieyn started preschool and was thrilled to dress up with her sisters on their first day of school. She only goes once a week at her daycare, but she LOVES it so much! She keeps telling us she has preschool, preschool, then kindergarten...because I took her to the older girls school and told her she had this year of preschool, next year of preschool, then she gets to be a big kid and come to the big school.