Sunday, November 22, 2009

Please tell me its normal for Owen to only want to watch movies allllllll day sometimes.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

It is Adoption Awareness Month! If you feel your family is not complete, look into your heart. There are so many sweet babies & kids out there waiting.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I'm not sure I like the movie Stuart Little. His "real" parents--mice who are pretending to be his birthparents--show up and Stuart's adoptive parents send him away with them! Yikes. Owen loves the movie. He's watched it four times in the last three days. (Well, it's been on...he watches the beginning then plays, then a little more, then plsys...) I wonder about the message he's getting, so I tell him over and over that no one will ever take him away from ME!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Who needs tv? We have Owen and Ian dancing to an 18-minute version of Grateful Dead's "Eyes of the World"

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Today the Henson 40 (acres, that is) becomes the Henson 51! More trails for Becca to run on, more places to hunt for Shannon, more woods for the boys to run wild!

Friday, October 9, 2009

I wish I could stay home v. I have the best job in the world

I love my boys. I miss them. Not a revelation there.

The babysitter texted me this morning, saying that Owen had used the potty again. He used it three times yesterday, and barely went in his diaper even through his two-hour nap. (Will he go on his little potty at home? Nah. Rascal!) I asked how often they tried, and she said every hour she takes him in there. Sometimes he goes, sometimes he doesn't.

As I texted her back, I got all sappy and teary-eyed, which is rather unusual for me. I thought about our hours at home in the evenings after I pick them up. We go to the store if we need to (an hour I can't take him to try to potty), we get home and get things to play with/find cartoons to watch for a bit (I could try then to take him), I get supper started and we eventually eat (can't take him then), we play for a bit/I do laundry or dishes or pick up or all of the above, then books, bath and bed. So there are a couple opportunities to try on the potty. But being away from him, and home, from 7-whenever leaves us little time for that sort of thing. So his sitter does it.

For some it may sound great to not have to deal w/pottying! But it's just one more thing I feel like I miss out on while I'm working full-time.

That brings me to working. I teach high school science--freshmen physical science, and biology 2 with juniors and seniors. I love my job. I have a blast almost every single day I'm at work. Even if I'm doing notes or something not as fun as a lab or experiment, the students are always entertaining enough to keep me happy. Other perks: Most days I can leave by 3:15. I have a prep hour to get things done. I don't have to sit all day for my job. I see young, fresh faces every hour. I get to write discipline referrals when a kid hacks me off. (Bet you wish YOUR job let you write up your co-workers!) I'm off from the last week of May till the 2nd week of August. My job pays well enough that between us, we can afford to live on 40 acres of woods (in a house, mind you) and be in the process of purchasing 11.72 more. Added bonus, Shannon is vice-principal so he's my boss. Heh heh.

And back to what I miss: the little smiles and laughter from my kids day-to-day. Both of them starting to crawl. Owen's first step. The first time Ian clapped. Teaching them colors, numbers, sign language, words, about the world. I do this whenever I can in the evenings and on the weekends, but life demands so much of a working mom. Throw in a husband who is asst. principal, athletic director AND head football coach, and I'm lucky if the house isn't condemned and my kids aren't removed from my care, most weeks.

So I just miss them. And simultaneously, I love my job. Then I miss them some more, and wonder what they are doing. Their babysitter is the best, the type of caregiver maybe 1 in a 1000 working moms are lucky enough to find. The boys are learning social skills with the other 2 kids who are there w/them, and learn plenty of educational stuff, too. They are happy there. I know I miss them more than they miss me.

But is she raising my kids? Or are we all ok? I have guilt from working; I have guilt with my impatience with them on weekends when they are home w/me all day. I love my kids; I love my students. I love interacting w/adults and young adults; I love playing w/my kids on their level. I would love to stay home; I love the money my job provides for our lifestyle. I would love to teach my kids about the natural world; I love the intellectual challenge of teaching high school kids the complexities of the human body.

I guess all working moms are a dichotomy. I'll end this post here, because there really is no pat way to wrap it up. I'm split every single day.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Here's Isaiah!

Our friends Jamie and Jason's new little boy!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Owen just told me he doesn't like the dinosaur costume and he wants to be a walking stick for Halloween.
Owen's costume came! Will he put it on? Sigh. No. Sigh.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Congratulations to the Mills!

Our friends Jamie and Jason have a new baby boy--Isaiah James! He was 5'4". He was born a month early via C-section, but is as perfect as can be. His grandma said he looks just like a teeny tiny Jason. Poor, poor child.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What Owen wants for his birthday: Diego backpack, Dora backpack, a puppy, & a present. Tonight we've sung "happy birthday" to Daddy, Spongebob, Spiderman, & Ian's Kitty Blanket.

Check out Owen's Halloween costume for this year!

I can't WAIT to post pictures of him in it!!!
Ok, I'm trying this out---posting on my blog via text!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I should be grading/VOTE FOR OWEN AND IAN!

However, I am not grading. I'm trolling for votes! Owen and Ian had their pictures taken in a contest to be on the cover of a local magazine, SE Parent. The kid w/the most votes wins that spot! The website is
You can only pick one, so I totally will not ask which you voted for. ;)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ok, so I slacked again.

Seriously. I am pathetic. School started and this is the first time in 2 years that I've been there for first quarter! Maternity leave w/Owen in 07, and same w/Ian in 08. So I'm relearning what I teach this semester.

Update on sleeping through the night: Literally, the night before the first day of school, I put Ian in his crib and left. I didn't come back. All attempts at Ferberizing failed miserably with this child--he would get all worked up every time I came in to 'reassure' him. So that night I just left. Perhaps it wasn't the kindest, but I tell you, a mommy w/o sleep who is suddenly faced w/summer being over and full-time work w/two under the age of three? That ain't kind, either! First night Ian cried 2 hrs then slept, waking up to cry for 20min or so a couple times. Next night was easier, third night darn near perfect.

Speaking of darn near perfect, Owen turns 3 next month! Aaaaaaahhh! He's my little verbal whiz, trying out new phrases and words all the time, sounding like an almost-4yo instead of almost-3yo. Sharp, too--doesn't miss a thing. Can't get anything past this kid!

Here are some pictures. I've been sick and this is the longest I've been upright in about 36 hrs, so adios for now.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Ian slept in a little cosleeper bed right beside our bed from Day 1, to make nursing easier, and it also alleviated fears of squishing him. Eventually, though, he ended up sleeping w/Shannon and I (Owen has always slept on his own, thankfully!)

Well, I looked up the other day and realized Ian's almost a year old and still nurses frequently throughout the night--meaning I haven't slept through the night in a year. He barely wakes up when he nurses--grunts a little, and I wake up and off he goes, falling back to sleep quickly but not immediately, so that means I'm up for a while, sometimes not falling back asleep get the picture.

So tonight was the night. I'd previously tried keeping him from nursing but still letting him cosleep, to try to ease the transition. No dice. The smell and proximity of Mom was too hard for both of us. So I put him in his crib and said good night. I did this after he'd already been asleep for about 2 hrs., so he was sleepy already.

45 minutes later, he's asleep. I went in every 3 minutes, three times, then in every 6 min., twice, then every 10 min. The last time he let me lay him back down and rub his tummy. He slowly fell asleep, occasionally opening his eyes to give me this awful wounded-animal look--"how could you?"--but exhaustion won out in the end. I did not just let him cry it out alone because I felt like he needed to know I was still around, had not abandoned him, but also that I was not going to pick him up. Ugh. I hated it all...but when school starts, I have to be able to sleep!

Ah, tomorrow, let's talk about Owen and sleeping. Another great story, sure to fascinate...

Good night. Must sleep while I can.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Some more pictures!

Above, you'll see Ian on his day of birth; Owen hugging "Obama the Llama" (he named it!) on election day this past November (WOOHOO Obama!); Owen with his Grammy; Owen in the park with his (great)Grandma Billie.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Some recent photos

Owen on BigWheel in March

Ian on our back deck, March

Ian and Owen at St. Louis zoo

Me w/Ian and Owen and St. Louis zoo couple of weekends ago

This is insane.

I have not logged in or posted on this blog in OVER A YEAR! Holy CRIPES!!!! Let me tell you why:

I gave birth to a perfect baby boy, 9 lbs, 21 inches long, via C-section on 6 August 2008!

And that is why.

Having two in diapers is fun, exhausting, fun, amazing, fun, insane, fun, and makes me realize just how blessed we are daily! (Well, most days.)

Owen Lawrence Armando is a pistol now--he's 2 3/4 yrs old. He'll be 3 on 28 Oct. this year. His language skills amaze me literally every single day, as do his capacity for extreme rage one moment and mushy heart-breaking love the next. Ah, the life of a two-year-old!

Ian Raymond Keith is something else, too! He's now 11 1/2 months, to turn one very soon! While Owen was a mellow baby, Ian is a maniac. He tears around the house crawling--on hands and knees or gorilla-style, on hands and feet--and has recently begun trying to leave the house on a regular basis (going to the doors and trying to open them). He climbs, he flops, and he is hilarious.

I'm going to play around some with the format here, then try to post some RECENT pictures. Look how little my Owen looks in my last post! Where did my baby go???