Wednesday, December 17, 2014

moody hayden.

Recently, Hayden hasn't been quite as cheerful as he usually is. To be honest, he's been rather moody and sullen. I'm not sure exactly why, but he definitely has some negative energy happening as of late.

I asked him about it and he seemed to recognize that he was a little grumpier lately. I asked him if he knew why and at first, he said that he wasn't sure. After thinking about it, he noted that he doesn't like not always getting to do what he wants to do and having to do so much (meaning pick up after himself and get himself ready for school and whatnot). He also said that he doesn't like having to do schoolwork (reading and math). 

From my observations, it seems like he just wants to watch TV and play with the iPad and if he has to do other things, then he is "suffering." He doesn't use that word, but that is how he acts. If he has to do any "work" or anything that he doesn't want to do then he is rather miserable and whiny: lots of complaints and push-back.

I have to admit that it wears on me. I don't want him to be unhappy or sad, but I do expect him to help out around the house and to do his schoolwork. I'm trying to be more positive about things and nag him less - which I admit aren't exactly helpful (and would be beneficial to everyone - including me).

I also think he needs and wants more attention - especially more focused attention from me and Randy. When he was younger - before he started school - we had "Happy Hayden Days." These monthly "days" consisted of Hayden getting to plan the day and us doing whatever he wanted for that day. We've decided to reinstitute the "Happy Hayden Days" and also start "Happy Harper Days." These days are separate from one another and siblings can be included at the discretion of the child whose day it is. 

Hopefully these actions will help to bring Happy Hayden back to the forefront.  I want his fun, chipper self to come back. Grumpy Hayden needs to go away. He is not very enjoyable - to say the least!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

harper lately - generally feisty, but not today.

Harper is now 3.5-year-old (as of November 5th). She continues to be our very confident, spirited, strong-willed little vixen.

I wanted to write a post in order to document a few of the things she says and does so I won't forget them. Otherwise, I know they will be forgotten and that would be quite unfortunate.

To begin with, one of the more comical things I overheard her saying lately to Big Pinky (her favorite blanket) was, "Oh Big Pinky, you don't have a mouth or legs or a vagina or a penis. I told you that already!" I'm not sure exactly where all that came from, but that's definitely good information to know.
Harper's confident nature exudes in almost everything she says can be quite comical. Over Thanksgiving, I asked her what she was thankful for and she matter-of-factly said, "Nothing. I don't like anything." She said it with such seriousness - very firm and direct with conviction. At that moment, she was not thankful for anything and obviously not in a very pleasant mood.

A few weeks ago, I erroneously packed Hayden's peanut butter and jelly sandwich instead of her jelly sandwich. When I picked her up she told me, "Mommy. The sandwich had peanut butter. You know I don't like peanut butter. I told you that. Remember?!" She was not impressed.

Lately, she has been coveting every toy she sees on TV. When an advertisement comes on featuring something she wants (which again, is pretty much everything), she immediately call my attention to the commercial saying, "Mommy I want one of those. I want that." It wasn't enough to acknowledge and affirm her wish, because she would continue to repeat to me that she wanted whatever was being advertised. A friend advised me to say, "we will add that to your wish list" and ever since doing that she has become much less repetitive regarding her present needs. I am forever grateful to my friend!

When we voted last month, we took the kids. (Note: We always take the kids with us when we vote and we always vote early - early voting makes things SO much easier.) Harper was convinced that we were boating (not voting) and going to get on a boat. She was wondering if we were going to get life jackets. I still don't think the difference between voting and boating is clear to her, so when we recently voted again (for a special election) I told her that we were going to the Courthouse to "make our choice" and vote. She didn't ask about getting on a boat or life jackets, so I think the "make a choice" phrase worked.

One thing Harper is really into is making cozy spots out of blankets and pillows. She imagines these creations to be homes, stores, igloos, tents, Doc Mobiles, nests, or even ice cream trucks. She "lives" in them and has gotten quite clever regarding her cozy spot construction. As you can see from the images below, her structures have really advanced over the past several weeks:
Yesterday though, she did not create a cozy spot. Yesterday, Miss Harper was sick and instead of constructing a cozy spot she slept on the floor (with Big Pinky and two of Big Pinky's friends).
She is still sick today, but is currently feeling relatively well (albeit with the assistance of some Motrin). Hopefully she will get to feeling better and be back to her feisty, exuberant self soon. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

kids in their christmas pajamas and a christmas tree too!

Every year we take pictures of the kids wearing their Christmas pajamas. This year was and is no different. Here they are wearing their festive nighties!

All-important and incredibly adorable brother-sister pics:
And here is a picture of our tree. Merry and jolly and all that jazz!

Friday, December 12, 2014

lice take 2.

I wish I could provide a positive update regarding the whole lice situation, but such is not the case.

Over a month ago, we discovered that Hayden had lice. We have been treating him ever since. We use the lice shampoo. I comb his hair - checking for nits, nymphs, and adult lice (nearly every day). We wash everything. I research. We do the follow up treatment and there are still some live lice. The whole process repeats again and again. Every week I use the lice shampoo and every week I have found a few live lice. Obviously I am not getting all the nits (or somehow he is getting exposed to lice again - although I think it's more likely that I am missing some nits). 

Hayden was blessed with amazingly think hair. In this situation, that lush hair is a curse: a terrible, evil curse. 

I think that he is finally free of lice, but honestly I'm not sure. I keep thinking I am doing a good job -- that I am being thorough and diligent in my combing and nit, nymph, adult lice removal - and that he is lice free, but obviously I'm not as I keep finding live lice.

And now - as of yesterday - Harper has lice too. 

I swear. I think these darn creatures are going to be the death of me! 

Twice a day, we had been using "Fairy Tales" spray - that purportedly prevents lice (on both their hair). We had also been using a detangler on Harper's hair that also theoretically helped to prevent lice. I had been checking her hair and hadn't noticed anything. Again, I did not do a good job, because her hair was most definitely infested with lice.

We've since treated her and washed everything. I'm desperately trying to remove all the nits, nymphs, and adult lice. I am trying so hard. I'm trying to be thorough and exhaustive, but it is incredibly difficult. Like her brother, Harper is also blessed with thick, lush hair - which again is not helping things.

To be honest, the whole situation has me feeling like an utter failure - which I realize is an extreme sentiment. It's true though. I am a Perfectionist, but as much as I try I cannot prevent or effectively treat these little terrors. It is demoralizing. Which again is an extreme sentiment, but it's also true. My morale is not good. My spirit feels dampened and I am incredibly tired and frustrated - just exhausted. I am embarrassed and feel awful.

I have spent countless hours brushing, examining, and combing through hair. I have done hours worth of research. I have purchased products. And it all feels so useless and I feel inept. 

Hayden's case does seem better now - which is reassuring - but now to do it all again with Harper and fearing that Hayden might get it again (or that me or Randy will be next), I just feel overwhelmed. 

And knowing that my kids may very well have given lice to others makes me feel terrible. I don't wish this on anyone! 

Lice may be "harmless" (as they don't cause disease or infection), but they definitely can create havoc and have caused harm in my little world.

Things could surely be worse and I don't mean to whine and complain about this "little" lice situation, I probably shouldn't be upset about it and should just roll with it and not stress or feel bad about it - but it really is bringing me down!

And the kids aren't enjoying any of this either. All the brushing, combing, and lice treatments aren't things they are particularly fond of (to say the least!). 

The whole thing just sucks (to be blunt).

Harper is even missing her school's Christmas Program today because of the the darn lice situation. I was looking forward to it, but fortunately she could care less about missing it. 

The lice are definitely bringing me down, but hopefully I'll get back up. I have to if I'm going to conquer the little buggers!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Card 2014.

Greetings Family and Friends –
    As another year comes to a close, we hope 2014 has been kind to you. For us, this past year has been full and robust – which translates to busy and hectic! It seems like that is the overarching theme in our lives and I don’t think it will change anytime soon so we are trying to accept and embrace it – while also trying to find balance in a seemingly chaotic world. I wouldn’t say our efforts at finding balance have been successful as of yet, but maybe next year! As for this past year, here is what we have been up to:
   Harper is now 3.5-years-old and continues to be our confident, determined, strong-willed sprite. She attends preschool 3 mornings a week – spending the rest of her time hanging out with her beloved mommy (and Hayden when he isn’t at school and daddy when he isn’t at work). She is infatuated with her blanket – Big Pinky – and especially enjoys playing with her brother. She also enjoys watching TV, playing with the iPad, and making “cozy spots” out of pillows and blankets (which she imagines are homes, stores, igloos, tents, Doc Mobiles, nests, or even ice cream trucks). She tends to command attention and action, and likes to be in control and in charge. She is her own authority. Very inquisitive and talkative – she tends to ask a lot of questions and be quite the conversationalist. There is a push to her that can be intense and quite frankly, exhausting, but also impressive and inspiring. She is our smart, sassy, spirited little vixen: tough to parent, but remarkable to raise.
   Hayden is now a 2nd Grader at Washington Elementary School. He will be 8-years-old in less than 2 months (his birthday is January 23rd). According to Hayden, he enjoys “football, baseball, basketball, candy, recess, Thanksgiving break, Alfie, kickball, playing with [his] friends, watching TV, playing with the iPad, Legos, Playmobil, snowball fights, and popsicles.” He recently got braces to correct an “anterior crossbite” (a crooked underbite) and will be accessorizing with the braces for the next 6 months or so. Currently, he has red and green on them, to (in his words) show off his “holiday spirit.” He does love himself some Christmas! In fact, he has been singing festive holiday tunes for nearly a month now. We’ve been “dashing through the snow” and jingling “all the way” since we took down our Halloween decorations. Sweet, sensitive, loud, and energetic – Hayden is our constant comedian: entertaining the crowd every chance he gets.
    In solidarity with Hayden, Randy is sporting his own set of braces – to correct the “over-crowding” of his bottom teeth. Aside from that, not much has changed in Randy’s world. He continues to work for Old Buildings LLC and has been exceptionally busy with work the past several months as they have taken the business “in house” so to speak. The local real estate market is doing well and is keeping the Old Buildings LLC team’s workload incredibly full. In addition, Randy continues to serve on the Fayetteville Area Community Foundation’s Board and is currently chairing their Community Awareness Committee. He is also still serving on the University of Arkansas’ Vice Provost’s Alumni Council – another thing he takes great pleasure in doing.
   As for me, I’ve kept myself busy with my volunteer work and as a stay-at-home mom to two lively kiddos. As an Active Member of the Junior League of Northwest Arkansas, I’m an Adviser to over 20 fellow Active Members in my current role on the League’s Nominating and Placement Committee. I just finished my 2-year Presidency of the University of Arkansas’ Women’s Giving Circle and am now serving as the Past-President, as well as on their Grants Committee. In addition, I continue to serve on Harper’s school’s “commission” (which is basically their school board) and volunteer as often as I can at both Hayden and Harper’s schools. I’m also teaching Sunday School (Kindergarten-2nd Grade) every other Sunday. For the most part though I hang out with the kids, do my volunteer work, and manage/coordinate/keep track of our busy schedules. I am definitely the house-manager extraordinaire – or at least I try to be. I don't do it alone though! We are blessed to have help from the best "babysitters" in town! Randy's mom and aunt and my parents are invaluable assets. I'm not sure what we would do without them!
   I think that about covers it. As you can probably see, we live busy lives. Apparently, that’s how we roll. I suppose it works for us – although there are definitely days that we find ourselves drained and running on fumes. I imagine that’s the case for many young families though and we are simply part of the norm.  
   Now as we wrap up 2014, we look back at the year, as full and busy as it was, grateful and thankful for all the blessings that surround us, eager to see what the upcoming year has in store for the Werner Family of five (for clarification purposes the 5th family member is Alfie, our 8-year-old shih-tzu, we are not expecting a baby!).
Wishing you all the best during the Holidays and a new year full of hope and happiness, 

Monday, December 1, 2014

thanksgiving and an unfortunate thanksgiving break extension.

We had a lovely Thanksgiving last week. We actually enjoyed 2 Thanksgiving meals.

First we went to Uncle Jason and Aunt Megan's home:

Then we went to my parents' home:

And as a "fun" surprise - Hayden woke up this morning sick, so his Thanksgiving beak from school has unfortunately been extended.

He was pretty bummed this morning when he woke up and it was discovered that he had a fever. He really wanted to go back to school today - mainly to see his friends and for recess and PE. Regardless, that was obviously not an option. 

I'm hoping he will be able to return to school Wednesday, but I'm not all that optimistic. We shall see.