Sunday, June 10, 2018

... Elizabeth/Lizzie/Eliza...

"What's my name?  What's my name?"  Nope, not a Beyonce song.  It's from Disney's "The Descendants."  Get with the program.

Lizzie is into names right now, especially hers.  She likes that she can be Elizabeth or Lizzie.  Sometimes, when she's feeling fancy, she prefers Eliza.  Don't worry if she doesn't answer you when you call her, just keep calling different variations of her name until she responds.

Elizabeth/Lizzie/Eliza has turned into Ms. Independent, preferring to do things on her own, and work at them until she figures it out, or burns it all down out of frustration.  There's no in between for this one:  Completely passionately absorbed in something, or as disinterested and disengaged as possible.

That's not a criticism of her.  She wants to master things on the first try.  She's working on understanding that mistakes are good, that making mistakes is how you learn, and that mistakes are not failures.  It's a deep thing to try to understand at 6, but if she does get it, my little Wonder Woman is going to be unstoppable.

She loves her Barbies, animals, drawing, and tells me that she wants to be a doctor one day so that she can help people.  But it's not all seriousness with this one.  If I were to classify Lizzie, she's a total jazz musician.  Improvisation is totally her thing.  Ask Jamie and Chelsie about the song she made up at Violet's baptism!  It was the first of many hilarious songs, all stream-of-consciousness, songs detailing the moment that she's in.  She got it from her Momma.

RMH  6/10/18

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

... Neil “Armstrong” Henderson...

Neil might just be the most social person I know.  Seriously.  The kid channels Grandma Vi.  He knows everyone, he loves everyone, and he can tell you everything about everyone he knows.  Case in point:  

We took a trip to Anaheim this past October for a wedding (Hi, Lindz!), and did the two and two split for the plane rides - one adult with one kid in one row, and the other adult and other kid directly behind.  The kids usually ended up in the middle seat once they got tired of looking out the window.  Neil spent most of each flight talking to the person sitting with him.  Not Scott.  The other person.  He offered them gum, asked them where they were from, and told them ALL about us, our trip, and where we live.  Guess we need to work a little more on that Stranger Danger thing, eh? ;)

We landed back in Pittsburgh, and my dad picked us up at the airport.  He asked the kids if they had fun on the planes, and I casually mentioned that Neil made friends with the people he sat beside.  He looked at me, and matter-of-factly stated, "Mommy, her name was Karen, and she was very nice."  We all cracked up, and I apologized for not remembering her name.

That's Neil.  The first person to talk to someone, and make a new friend.  He tells me that he'll be a baseball player when he grows up, but now that I think about it, maybe he'll be a biographer one day.  

He's very interested in the "why" and "how" of things.  Why do we get summer off from school?  Why are there negative (he called them megative at first) numbers?  How can I explain the skips?  How does the catapult work?  And he doesn't want a simple answer.  He wants an answer that will make him think, and ask another question.

He says that his nickname is Armstrong.  Once he found out that Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon, he got his space books out and jumped right into them.  He even took his binoculars outside to look at the moon.  He wants to go there one day, but with the stipulation that I go with him.  Maybe by the time he gets there we'll be able to FaceTime between Earth and the Moon...

Current likes:  Batman, the Beatles, baseball, dancing to "My House" by Flo Rida, reading, riding bikes, playing with legos, coloring, Saturday trips to the barber shop with Scott, and writing stories.

Current dislikes:  most vegetables, any movie that I suggest we watch, cleaning up, and mac and cheese.  

RMH 5/29/18

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

... Welcome Back...

My last writing started by saying that it’s been “WAY too long since my last post.”  I think I just set a new record.  It’s not that life has been uninteresting over the last three years. It has!  And hectic! Let me catch you up:

Survived threenagers, potty training almost broke us, kids went into Pre-Kindergarten, DON'T SING MOMMY, little artists, soccer, Batman, Barbie, horses, cows, dress up, dress up, Neil Armstrong, dress up, Kindergarten registration, SING MOMMY, Pre-Kindergarten graduation, Mommy cried like a baby, sold the house in Crafton, moved into an apartment for 6 months, first day of Kindergarten, Mommy cried like a baby again, minor head injury, Mommy kept it together, first airplane ride to California, moved into the new house, 7 school days left until summer vacation.

Whew!  That was a quick overview!  To get back into the swing of things, my next two posts will focus on each of the kids.  Please don't look too closely at who is first - it has no bearing on which child is my favorite...yet.  It's 10:25 PM, and everyone (including Scott) is asleep.  Therefore, everyone is Mommy's favorite.  By the time the next post is up, who knows!  Also, don't expect the individual posts about each kid to be up tonight.  10:25 PM, remember? In the meantime, enjoy this picture from Mustache Day at school.  Also, someone remind me to write about the last 26 days of school...if I survive it!

Lizzie "The Scoundrel" and Neil "The Scholar" Henderson
RMH 5/22/18

Sunday, June 7, 2015


I realized today that it's been WAY too long since my last post.  To be fair, the last one was really funny, and is probably going to be really hard to beat.

Here we are: Neil and Lizzie are three, and potty training....well let's just say it's been an adventure.

 Current status:  we love our big kid underwear, we will pee on the potty, but don't even THINK about asking us to poop on that thing!  And if you have the audacity to suggest such a horrible thing, you had better come prepared with a bribe. Current acceptable bribes include five marshmallows for one poop, or a horse.  A real one.  

It's full-on Threenagers at our house.  The other day Neil asked to wear his red shirt.  I got it out for him, he screamed bloody murder when I tried to put it on him.  "No!  Not this shirt!  The red shirt!"  So, I asked him to point out which shirt he wanted, because I was holding his only red shirt and he was insisting that it wasn't the right red shirt.  He grabbed a blue shirt, insisted that he didn't want the red one, and he wanted the blue one, but don't put the blue one on me because, psych, I want that red one that you just put away when I insisted that red was blue.  And while we're on the subject of your shortcomings in meeting my demands, mother, where's my soccer ball?  I must have this ball within 2 inches of my self at all times.  Get it, now, before  I go all Bruce Banner on your ass.  Hulk want soccer ball!  Hulk want red/blue/red/blue/let's settle on yellow shirt!  And goldfish!

Mommy wants a drink.

So, we try to reason with them.  "Yes, I know you want to break mommy's glasses, but she needs them to see, so you'll have to settle for breaking your own sunglasses instead. Oh, I know, you're upset. This feeling is called anger.  When things don't go our way, we get upset and angry.  But don't worry, the anger will go away when you remember that you haven't tried to eat the candles when I'm not looking."

Until my next post, enjoy this image of the twins on the "time out wall," because we want the sprinkler on, but don't want to get wet, but keep the water running or we'll scream like you're pulling our finger nails out with pliers.

RMH 6/7/15

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

...What's That Saying About Good Intentions...

Two words.  Potty Training.  Let's make it three words.  Potty Training Twins.

Are you laughing at me yet?  If not, you will be after I describe Take 1 (yeah, there will be multiple takes of this...multiples seem to be our thing):

Scott and I have been reading up about different ways to potty train toddlers, especially ways to potty train toddler twins.  It seems that there are basically two schools of thought on potty training.  You're either going to take your time and ease your children into using the potty or you're going to be hard-core and get it done between 1-3 days (depending on the level of insanity that you're willing to impose on your children).  As far as the differences between singletons and twins, everything that we read said to avoid doing anything that will visualize their differences, like sticker charts.

So, Scott and I decided to try the three day potty training method.  On day 1 you are supposed to remove their diaper as soon as they wake up, refrain from putting pants on them, and basically stalk them with a potty waiting for them to pee or poop.  No pants, no diapers (except for naps and night time), no leaving the house.  Every time they get something in the potty it counts as a hit.  After around 12 hits they should understand the purpose of the potty.  Day two is the same, but you should plan a one-hour outing for the kids.  Have them use the potty before leaving the house, and put loose bottoms on them.  Day three is the same, but you should have two one-hour outings.  From then on, the kids shouldn't wear underwear for approximately three months, since they feel similar to diapers.

Here's how day 1 went:

Neil and Lizzie woke up around 8:00.  I went in, removed diapers, and had them both sit on the potty.  Nothing.  Scott and I put shirts on them, rolled up the rug in the living room, and took them and their potties downstairs.  Scott grabbed towels and cleaning supplies.  We gave the kids breakfast, and stared at them.  Nothing.  I gave them a second drink, and they ran around and played while we continued to stare at them and stalk them with their potties.  Nothing.  We kept asking them if they wanted to sit on the potty, or would put them on the potty, but still...nothing.

So here we are, stressing about rogue pee-ers.  Scott is so nervous that he's either pacing, or walking two inches behind a kid with a potty aimed at butt-level.  I'm trying to reman calm, but I keep asking the poor kids if they need to pee, or want to sit on the potty.  If someone was doing that to me, I'd probably knock them out!  Poor kids.

At 9:30 Lizzie peed a little bit... on the floor.  Scott swore, and put her on the potty.  Nothing.  As he grabbed a towel to clean up Neil the corner of the fireplace.  Thank goodness we didn't have anything in there!  About ten minutes later they both peed...on opposite ends of the dining room.  That time, I swore.  We kept trying to get them to get a hit in the potty.  Lizzie did get one hit, but I'm pretty sure that it was from the pee running down her leg.  Around 10:30 Neil sat on the potty for about 5 minutes, then got up and peed on the baby gate by the kitchen.  I put them both on the potty, and Neil actually peed in his!  Lizzie screamed "Ouch!  Ouch!  Ouch!" while literally no one was touching her.  At this point, I'm getting flustered, sweaty, and I realize that I need to pee!  As I tried to calm Lizzie down Neil got off of the potty, walked over to play with his cars and pooped on the floor.  We both swore at that one, cleaned him up, and he ran over to the exact same spot and did it again.

So here we are, not even three hours into this, and we're dealing with Lizzie, who is flat out refusing to sit on the potty, and Neil, who has diarrhea.  Now you can see why I called this Take 1.

Back to diapers for a few days...

RMH 6/18/14

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Here's a typical conversation with Lizzie:
Me:  Hi Lizzie!
Lizzie: 'Lo
Me:  What's going on?
Lizzie:  (Giggles, runs away for a few minutes, then comes back over)  Ticka-ticka-ticka-ticka-ticka-soog-soog-soog-cookie.
Me: want a cookie?
Lizzie:  Okay!

Did she really want a cookie?  No.  But she said the word cookie, and I repeated it to her, so NOW she wants a cookie.

Here's a typical conversation with Neil:
Neil:  A...B...C...
Me:  (repeating letters)
Neil:  ...D...E...F...G...H...I
Me:  (still repeating letters)
Neil:  One!
Me:  I thought you were doing your letters.
Neil:  ONE!
Me:  Okay!  One.
Neil:  2...3...4...5...(each number shouted angrily...don't know why)
Me:  (repeating numbers until the cat walks past)
Neil:  Hey!  Cow!
Me:  Cat, Neil.  Cat.  T-t-t.
Neil:  Yow.  Go-Go.
Me:  Yep, that's Go-Go.  (Off he goes to chase the cat)

What can I say?  He's a man of few words, but many letters and numbers.  With both of them, these are successful conversations.  No tantrums, no tears, and we had a conversation...I guess.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

...The Twins Turn Two...

I'm going to bed in a few minutes. Yes, it's 8:00 on a Saturday night and I'm going to bed, don't judge. ;)  in fact, early nights are a regular occurrence here.  What's different tonight is that when I wake up Neil and Lizzie will be two.

I know that everyone says that the changed that occur over the first year are amazing, but the changes that happen between one and two really blew my mind.  Neil and Lizzie went from these crawling, cooing babies to toddlers that can talk, walk, run, fight, kiss, tease, and play, each with their own personality.  I don't know how else to explain it, but I'm starting to see the people that they may become.

I wonder what the next year will bring.  Please let it involve successfully potty training both kids.

RMH 2/8/14