Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Better late than never!

My dear friend finally remembered to bring me the disc from Trenton's Birthday Party - from back in February!
I am ever so slowly going through the pictures and thought this one was definitely "share worthy".

Monday, April 27, 2009

A beautiful evening in the tropics...

a cool breeze, torches lit, ice cream, Monkey playing in the water, me with my feet propped up on the table and Chris with his feet propped up on the railing (we are so refined!), enjoying the tropical view from our deck.

Julien watching intently over Monkey, helping her play in the water, trying to forget all about the cuts and bruises on his face, shoulder and leg. He got boo-boo's at school yesterday. I send him to school to learn and he comes home looking as if he was taken out back and beaten. What every Mother wishes for their child when they send them off to school each day.


Would anyone like to tell me

how often you see this?

Julien wants to help Addie. I didn't even have to ask. He walked over, got her towel, got her out and took her upstairs so I could get her ready for her bath.

Man, I love him. He is an awesome son and an awesome big brother!

It didn't take her long...

to figure out how to get something new.

We filled up one side of her table to allow her to play a little bit while we enjoyed the beautiful evening. We were chatting and the next thing we knew, Chunkus started climbing into the water!

I guess Monkey realizes that if she plays the "poor pitiful baby" role, she can con me into buying her whatever her little heart desires!

I think she is hinting at a baby pool for summer...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

846 days in the making

"Addison Ellis Henderson!
Mommy said no ma'am!
We sit on our bottoms in a chair!"

Yes. It happened.

Monkey got in trouble.

This little Monkey tried to STAND in the chair. Granted, she was still holding on to the top of the chair and had not made it to a full standing position, but she sure was trying her best!
(of course no one was around to get proof of her wrong doings, so just try to picture the situation!)

Monkey got in trouble.

Wouldn't you consider that, "functioning as a normal child"?

Making great progress!

I am working with Addie to teach her how to get on and up from a chair at a table. Right now at school, she sits in a "special" chair. I am hoping with lots of hard work, we can get her balance steady enough so she can transition to a "big girl chair" soon!

She is doing great!

Big changes

I have made some pretty big changes for Addie recently. In the beginning, I thought the decisions were going to be difficult, but in all actuality, it was quite easy.

I have always been very straight forward about Addie. I'm not in denial over her progress and I know how very far behind she is. I realize that. There was something nagging terribly at me and when I figured out what it was, I fixed it.

As much as The Bell Center helped us in the beginning, I realized that in the present time, Addie needs more help than they can offer.

Chris and I made the decision to take Addie out of The Bell Center. I found some amazing therapists who will provide one on one care for Addie. Monkey is in need of intensive one on one therapy and as much as that may hurt my heart, I know it is the right thing to do.

I am still trying to work out the scheduled dates and times, but PT, OT and ST will equal out to four sessions per week. Granted, that will more than quadruple our monthly therapy payment, it is worth every penny spent.

The amazing thing about it is that I get to schedule the days and times that are good for me as opposed to me having to work around a center or therapist schedule. Imagine that! That really helps us out and makes Monkey's transition back to her school day so much nicer!

I am going to miss Monkey's visits with Hand-In-Paw. She really enjoyed that part of her therapy. I am looking into other options, but I don't believe we will have access to them again.

I am absolutely thrilled about these changes because I see this opening new doors for Monkey!


As a few of you know, when Monkey was born, our friends, family and co-workers donated money to The Bell Center for Monkey's therapy.

At the time of the donation, it was enough to cover tuition for 34 months. With inflation, it ended up that it wouldn't have covered but two months of the third year. With that being said, I want each and every one of you to know that YOUR money is still being used for Monkey's therapy.

There was a small credit balance remaining from The Bell Center. I took that money and transferred it over for her new therapists.

Please know that each and every penny of every dollar given is going directly to Monkey's therapy. Not a penny of that money was spent or is being spent in any other way.

That gift to us was amazing and appreciated more than words could ever say!

I want you all to know that it is continuing to help sweet Monkey!

Two by two

We're making progress!
Monkey is progressing towards more "sentences".
(We have already mastered "I Love You" and "Thank You")
The newest are:
"Hi Daddy"
"put back"
I'm just beaming with joy!
You can only guess how we made it to these two sentences.
Each and every time we come home, walk outside, wake up, etc., I tell Monkey to tell "Daddy hi".
So she does!
Then, you can imagine how many times a day Monkey is told to "put something back". She has to put back her toys, put back my makeup brushes (little Monkey), put back her play dishes in the cabinet, put her food back on her plate, put her socks back on.... No wonder she caught right on to those words!
I have all hopes that we will continue to progress. If we never progress past today, I am thankful for what we have achieved and who my little Monkey is!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

0-1 yet again

Our losing streak continues!

Today we played against a group of children who were bred for a life of luxury and bred to annihilate on the soccer field. They were awesome soccer players and kept our kids on their toes!

We were told to expect to have our tushies handed to us. We actually held our own and walked away with a loss by only one.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Let's just say...

...that Addie and I went to an appointment late yesterday afternoon. Our appointment lasted much longer than I had anticipated because there was so much to talk about.
By the time we made it to the reception area, the receptionist had already left for the day. While I was waiting to pay and make another appointment, I allowed Addie to walk over to a toy in the waiting room, only feet from where I stood.
As I'm chatting and completing my business, I do take notice of a lady who had been sitting in the waiting room (waiting on someone). After Addie walked over to the toy and sat down, a few moments later, the lady got out of her chair, walked over to where Addie was playing and sat down in front of her. I'm a very observant person, so my attention was split very well between what I was doing and what Addie was doing.
To be perfectly honest with you, I thought it was odd. Not odd in a bad way, just odd.
I was waiting on the worker to retrieve a sticker for Addie, so I took the opportunity to walk over to where they sat and asked Addie if she was having fun. As I'm talking to Addie, I thought I saw this lady wipe tears from her cheeks. I was trying to take a quick moment to find the right words to say ("are you okay?" doesn't fit...obviously she wasn't), when she spoke and told me that she was having a really bad day. She told me that she just couldn't help it and she was sorry, she didn't want to upset Addie. She also proceeded to tell me "thank you". She thanked me for allowing her to play with Addie. She thanked me because she told me that Addie had made her day. She thanked me as tears continued to stream down her face.
She thanked me.
The lady got up and went over to sit back down in her chair.
At that moment, the worker came back with Addie's sticker. She gave Addie the sticker and we asked Addie to walk over to the trash to throw the backing away and so she did. Addie was just so proud of herself and honestly wasn't ready to leave. I told her that it was time to go home, that the kitties, Daddy and Julien were waiting on us and that it was way past dinner. I told her to say, "bye-bye" and come on.
My sweet angel did something that truly shocked me. She walked as quickly as she could with her walker over to the lady who had been so sad, held her arms out and gave her the biggest hug!
At that moment, what I had always suspected was confirmed. My baby who is so very special, my baby who struggles with each step that she takes and my baby who strives to do what everyone else is doing, has an amazing gift.
She was sent here - to us - to bring joy to others.
She truly has the spirit of an angel and a heart of gold. I have said for so very long that Addie's gift to this world is to bring joy to others and now I know how very true that is.
It has been confirmed.
So, let's just say that it is all worth it. The heartache and the pain that I face, the time away from my husband, the sacrifices I make with Julien, the struggles and the hurt, the obstacles, the opposition, the hatred, the negativity. Let's just say I wouldn't trade it for anything. It is a blessing. Without this pain, I never would have known so much joy, been witness to so many miracles and appreciated every aspect of my life. I don't take anything for granted.
Let's just say...this is just the beginning of the joy this world will get to witness. My Addie has work to do and a path that we must follow.
We are honored.

6:00 a.m. light bulb moment

A show of hands for all of you that agree that my child looked like Rainbow Brite yesterday. Trust me, it was so not intentional. I was putting my makeup on this a.m. and out of nowhere, it hit me. I guess it was all those years of cartoon brainwashing coming back to haunt me.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wacky Tacky Dress Up Day!

Today Addie had a reason to be extra cute for school!
It was Wacky Tacky Dress Up Day!
Addie's teacher called this a.m. to tell me there had been an "incident". Apparently, my daring little devil decided that she wanted to try and go down the slide - head first. From what I understand, her teacher caught her before she encountered the full impact of face on ground, but ended up with a mouth full of wood chips. Today is day 15 after surgery. Today was our "all clear" day. Talk about wasting no time trying out the healed incisions! Her teachers immediately got her all cleaned up and watched her closely the rest of the day to make sure that she didn't have any bleeding! They called me three more times throughout the day to give me updates.
I think Addie just about made them have heart failure!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Copyright 2009 by Jennifer Henderson

I'm going to write a book. The prologue will read something along the lines of:

Our day began as it would any other Saturday. I had no reason to believe that this day would offer me a miracle that my heart never knew was possible.
It all began on a visit to our local nursery one cool Saturday afternoon April 2009. This is our first spring in our new house. Chris, being very eager to update our landscaping around the house, wanted to spend the afternoon finding new bushes and plants to spruce up our already beautiful yard.
When we arrived at the nursery, I grabbed Addie's sling, Addie grabbed pup-pup and Chris helped me get them all snuggled in close to me, knowing this is the only way to keep her content while we browse row after row of plants.
We make our way into the nursery, stopping to see the fish in the pond. I point to the fish, realizing that Addie doesn't see them. My heart aches. We move on, gingerly walking through the rows, mud oozing up just enough to dirty our running shoes.
Addie is content with pup-pup all cuddled in her arms and her all cuddled in my arms.
We look at red bushes, yellow bushes, purple bushes and so many green bushes that my eyes feel as if they are starting to cross.
A gentleman makes his way over to offer assistance.
This is my cue to exit stage right.

Addie, pup-pup and I walk down the hill to the hanging baskets and tables full of potted flowers. They're beautiful! It's springtime and the flowers are proud to highlight the season.

I talk to Addie. I tell her to look at all of the beautiful colors, the blooming flowers and the blanket of greenery. We walk from flower to flower. She wants to gently touch the petals and so I guide her little hand from petal to petal.
Next, I tell her that the flowers smell so beautiful. I lean way over, taking care not to let pup-pup fall from her arms and I smell the flowers.
I ask Addie if she wants to smell the flowers too, "ys" she says.
We lean back over and (to God goes all the glory), my sweet, beautiful miracle makes the most angelic attempt to smell the flowers.
She leans way in just millimeters from the flowers, closes her breathtaking blue eyes, presses her lips softly together, leans her head back and says, "Mmmm" and laughs the most heartwarming laugh!

In her attempt to imitate me.
My heart explodes with joy!
Have you ever seen an angel from heaven defy all odds?
I have.
This time, it was standing in the middle of a nursery in a speck of a little town in the deep south on a sunny, spring day. There were numerous people milling about, but I believe that I was the only witness to this gift.

To me, there was no one else present.
I asked my beautiful angel if she wanted to smell more flowers, "ys" she answered. I told her, "OK, let's look for some more" and she pointed at more.
She pointed at more...she understood me.
She understood me and responded appropriately.
Have you ever held an angel and witnessed a miracle you were assured would never happen?
I have.
My angel, my Addie, my miracle, my gift from God is serving a purpose beyond my complete comprehension.

Have you ever stood alone in a crowd of people as God reached down to offer your heart and soul new hope?

I have.
I am thankful and I am blessed.

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Matthew 6:9-10

Monday, April 20, 2009

See food

(I realize there are these things called bibs. We have about 50 of them...all the way upstairs in the top drawer of Monkey's dresser. Sometimes the effort to go and get them is just not worth it when you weigh carrying a fussy, hungry child up a flight of stairs all the way to her room to get a bib as opposed to just letting her dirty her pajamas because she is about to take them off anyway. Whew, I'm glad I explained that. Am I forgiven?)
Have I ever told you how thankful I am? Have I ever told you that I thank God everyday for the miracles in my life? Have I ever told you that I would do anything for my children and that I push them everyday to learn and to be kind, loving people?

Have I ever told you that although I have been told that my daughter would never do any of the things that she is doing, that I still push her every single day to learn and develop each skill that she never should have learned to do?

Have I?
There are many days that I feel like the meanest Mom in the world. I don't let my kids get away with a whole lot. With Julien, I try to take into account that he is a boy and boys are rambunctious, full of energy and do things in life that girls will never understand.

I try to understand that.

With Addie, I push her and I push her hard. I don't feel sorry for her and I don't let my emotions get in the way of her progress.

I have had a pretty big goal for Addie over the last few months. I have let her learning to walk take second place to her learning to use utensils.

Primarily because I know how people judge. People are much more accepting of a child who cannot walk, as opposed to a child that makes a tremendous mess while eating and uses their hands to eat when not appropriate.
I know that.

Using utensils has not come easy for Addie. Her little hands just couldn't get the hang of it.

Yet, I pushed her.

I reminded her constantly and I guided her little hand from her plate to her mouth, time after time after time...until...she got it.

She got it!

She is still a pretty messy little eater, but then again, I realize how many times I drop a bite of food on my lap or spill water down my chin. I get it. I know.
It is hard to keep the tears back. I'm not a crier and never have been, but accomplishments like this deserve tremendous praise!
Not everyone will understand.
I understand.
I get it.

My daughter is a miracle and a blessing from God!

I never win anything and I don't expect this to be any exception, but it doesn't hurt to try!

Katie over at Steady As We Go got me totally hooked on It's an awesome site that can totally make your day or make you grumpy for the day! They offer one awesome deal per day and once it is sold out - it's gone! My favorite thing about is that you never know what steal is coming next. I usually hate surprises, but this daily surprise is pretty neat!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I guess

I should give an official update.
Chunk-chunk is doing so much better! Tuesday will be our official two week mark and once we pass day fourteen with no bleeding, I do believe we will be good to go!
We can buy sand for Chunk's new sandbox and I can start offering up a wider variety of food for her.
She really has been such a trooper! I am so proud of her. I can only pray that the surgery will make a difference and allow us a healthier baby girl!
The recovery truly was much more difficult than I had anticipated and it just broke my heart to see her so miserable.
It is now behind us!!!

I'll give you a little hint...

What Monkey's new word is.
This little word is absolute music to my ears! If we never progress past where we are today, my heart will accept that.
Monkey is a miracle and I will take this one little word and show this world how my sweet baby is beating all the odds!

Alterations by George

Deedra over at Alterations by George is an absolute life saver! She has been hemming and fixing anything that I don't have a clue how to do myself since we moved to Helena.

Monkey and I picked Julien up from school last week and made a run over to pick up a few things from Deedra. Monkey was still having a really rough time, so I sent Julien in for me.

When he came out, he was juggling an arm full of clothes, my debit card and the cutest Monkey lunch sack I have ever seen!

Thank you so much Deedra for Monkey's gift! It is just precious and you are too kind!

If any of you are sewing machine impaired like me, please stop in and see Deedra at Alterations by George! She can patch you right up in no time!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


This soccer season is turning out to be just, in a losing streak kind of way.

The kids are having fun though. :)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Dental visit number two

Julien and Addie had their six-month dental check-up today.

I am blaming the trauma on the fact that Addie is not even two weeks out from having surgery. I probably should have rescheduled, but we all know the wait time for routine cleanings (it was a two month wait last time). I just didn't want to put it off. So, we proceeded with the trauma.

Addie was not happy, at all.

She never once smiled and was not the happy child from her very first dental visit. Bless her, she has had a tough time lately.

Julien was a pro as always and no matter that Julien tried to be cheerful for Addie, she was still petrified for him! She whined and cried and wanted everybody just to leave Julien alone...just the way she wanted everybody to leave her alone.

I finally just had to get up and walk around with her, but it didn't help much! Julien came through the whole thing unscathed and Addie didn't recover until a few minutes after we left!

I just love everyone at Dr. Thomas' office.
They are perfect pediatric dental providers! They even remembered Addie from her first visit when they saw her magazine cover back in March. One of the hygenist told me that they were bragging, telling people that Addie was one of their patients!
Too sweet!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Julien had a piece of his artwork selected to be on display at the Shelby County Board of Education this week. It will only be on display until 4:00 tomorrow and there is no way that we can make it to Columbiana.

If any of my readers just so happen to work at the Shelby County Board of Education, it wouldn't hurt my feelings a bit if you had a digital camera or cell phone handy to snap a quick picture and send to me!

I'm a terrible's just been such a bad week and I can't take the time off tomorrow to drive out there.

I have a few new updates...

but Addie just went to sleep, so I'm going to take advantage of the whole five minutes that I might just get!

She is definitely doing better. She has eaten dinner three nights in a row and is even willing to take her meds now! :)

If I could just get her to sleep well...

She went back to school yesterday and had a good day. I could tell she was so happy to be with her friends again!

I am starting to really see the light now. It's brilliant and beautiful!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Giving it a try

Addie used her walker for just a few feet, before diving for the first egg. After that, she stayed in one place and everyone brought the eggs to her. She really was just exhausted! It was a tough, tiring day for her.

Dressed up or not...

she still had to match.

From toe.

I have no idea

what they were watching, but it must have been good.


bought Julien a new Warriors Book and
bought Addie a new Eebee Book.

Tears and a hug

The tears kept coming...

but yet, she was still giving out hugs.