Friday, May 29, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wish You Were Here

Dear Elspeth and Adwen:

We miss you while we are in Tucson, but are working hard to find a great house for you to play in!

This is the backyard view from one house we looked at yesterday:

Mommy snapped a picture of the Santa Catalina Mountains while we were driving. There are three mountain ranges surrounding our new home:

Our favorite house has this for a neighbor:

And this for a backyard(notice there is no grass, only rock that you two can use your bull dozers in!):

Grandpa Dactu will be very happy to learn we have an operating Weinerschnitzel down here! He was so disappointed when the Champaign area one closed before he had a chance to try it (they only gave him 6 years):

Mommy and Daddy love you. Have fun with Grandma and Grandpa, don't get too spoiled.

Love, Mommy and Daddy

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Saying Goodbye

All our stuff boxed up, and lined up, waiting for the movers to come in the morning. We are saying goodbye to our stuff for several months while we bounce around, depending on the goodwill of family and friends.

Ella enjoys playing on piles of bedding in our room, our final morning.

Addie wakes for the final morning in her crib, in her room.

The last picture of our home, the only thing I will truly miss. I will always remember the trips Kev and Michele made to help us prepare for our first born. The love evident in each detail they put into her room.

Saying goodbye to the house was easy (the hardest part is giving up the autonomy that comes with your own home). Saying goodbye to these women was considerably harder. Elspeth still accidentally calls us by their names in her unguarded moments. She loves them without reserve, and so do we. This was the point I started crying without ability to stop.

We found Addie in her favorite spot. The ironic part is that Adwen will not sit in my lap for story time anymore, preferring a "group spot" to my lap. So finding that at group time, she actually will climb into the teacher's lap made me laugh. Then it made me cry. I am a sentimental sap.
I am at work this week, missing my family, and my house, and the school that my kids love so much. This week is the hardest. Next week, we go to Arizona for the first time, after seeing our new home, I will be excited, but this week I just feel the goodbyes mounting.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Final Hours

As I looked (desperately) for my travel mug this morning, I yelled "where is my mug?"

Ella didn't hesitate, she responded "You packed it."

This is not true, of course. I would never pack my travel mug, because I will always need to be able to carry coffee, but it reflects the atmosphere in our home.

The walk-through is today.

The buyers are bringing a partner from the brokerage representing them, a home inspector, and an attorney to the final walk-through.

Yes, there is an office pool as to how much $$ they will ask for in concessions. They may just be nervous, but I call a home inspector and an attorney self-fulfilling prophecies. Don't worry, the office pool is not illegal gambling, we play for pizza and bragging rights around here.

I officially came into my own as a Henn, when I crawled into the cardboard container at the recycling center to retreive a "good box." I didn't need this box (I gave it to a friend), but it was good, and I hated to see it wasted. I have never felt closer to my father-in-law, I am sure he will be proud of me. Slightly surprised, my husband asked me if I had both deposited and withdrew from the recycling container. He has never seen this side of me before.

We celebrated this morning when our trash company took away ALL the trash we piled at the curb this morning.

We are grateful for the neighbors who let us use their excess trash space.

The movers come tomorrow morning, whether I finish packing or not.

Finishing is highly unlikely.

Thus begins the Henn Family Road Trip edition.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Chick Bits

I moved too slow yesterday getting watermelon for Elspeth's breakfast. My elder child proclaimed "How bout we feed kids around here!"

My mother took my girls to the library and selected some special books to read to them. My younger child has been carrying those books around for two days saying "Grandma?"

Elspeth has gotten interested in nature. But she has already tapped out my knowledge. We got a book about trees, and it talks about photosynthesis, prompting a discussion about how sunshine is food for trees. Last night, I said something about getting done before sun down. Ella proclaimed, "Mommy, the sun doesn't go down! The trees eat it." Since we had our tree discussion, my daughter thought the trees ate the sun every evening, and a new one came up the next day.

Addie had a pair of brown shoes. She loved these shoes. In an attempt to "summerize" her wardrobe, she got a pair of hot pink sandals. She will not wear them, and has even started crying if I even pick them up. I suggested to my Mother that she pick up a pair of easy to put on sandals. Addie opened them and refused to put them on. She wants her brown shoes. In a flash of inspiration, my mother took Addie out and purchased her a new pair of brown shoes. They look almost like the old ones, just newer, one size larger, and the Velcro still holds. Addie will not look at her old brown shoes. She will not contemplate those lovely pink sandals I still dig out each morning in the hopes that today is the day.

At school, they immediately noticed she finally had on new shoes, and they noticed that they looked almost exactly like her old ones. By the end of the day they were scuffed beyond recognition as new. We figure that about makes them perfect in her book.

My old sneakers are friends of mine.

You can't trust any shoes that shine.

Some shoes pinch you and some shoes squeak.

The only shoes that I would choose are shoes that sneak.

- Sandra Boyton

Monday, May 11, 2009

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Old Gold

When Jeremy first proposed, I don't think my feet touched ground for days. It wasn't a surprise, but, boy was it the most exciting thing that had ever happened to me. I loved the ring he selected without reservation. Especially when he described his agony in picking out a diamond, a setting, wondering if it was all correct. That was 13 years ago, and I love that ring still, I think even more.

The day our first child was born, I was a total and typical new mom, worried about everything. I wondered if I would scratch our precious child, and Jeremy agreed, so I took the ring off, handed it to my husband and did not put it back on until this week.

As I was packing, I came across it, and I did not like the idea of my engagement ring residing in a storage locker, and my kids are old enough, well, I am over scratching them. So my ring went back on, causing me to contemplate on my old gold rings.

Back when we married, it was all the rage to get platinum rings. One excited bride explained to me that the ring would last forever, like her love. That's nice. I think it is a lovely symbol of eternal love, but it isn't for us. Jeremy and I are, well we are more "gritty."

We have gold bands. Old fashioned yellow gold bands. Gold is hard by human standards, but soft by metal standards. Like our marriage, it changes, but slowly. I am not sure what year the brushed gold finish became more scratched gold finish, but it happened. Probably the year I stopped seeing the moon in Jeremy's eyes, but appreciated more his steady hand in mine. There are dings on my wedding band that I have named for each of our moves. Our rings are decidedly unique after a dozen years.

Which is why I sat in tears yesterday when I got home from a shopping trip with Elspeth and discovered my engagement ring had fallen off. I knew I had it at the check-out counter, it fell off there, and stooped to pick up thinking I must be more careful. I wasn't.

While Jeremy bathed our daughter, I collected a flashlight and headed back to Target in search of my ring. The sweet girl at customer service said she wished I had put it in my pocket when it fell off. "Not as much as I do," I thought.

I retraced my steps, slowly. I got on my knees in the parking lot and looked under the car now parked in my previous spot. That is when I attracted attention from other shoppers. People stopped to help look. One guy positioned his car so the headlights would help in the increasing darkness.

No luck.

Finally, we called it quits and I headed home in a fresh round of tears. Now I was sad that I lost my ring, AND that I was leaving a community where everyone will stop to help a complete stranger look for something lost.

Jeremy called to check on me, neither of spoke about the ring, knowing that each of us was telling the other by silence alone that it hadn't been located.

Tired, and upset, I backed the car out of the driveway to park it on the road.

That's when it happened.

My brain saw something flash.

I backed up.

It flashed again.

Leaving the car straddled across the entire road, I slowly got out. And found it. My ring.

Now it has been run over at least twice (pulling forward, and backing up). And it probably has a few more scratches, but who could notice. I figure it is still a good representation of our marriage. As we prepare to sell the home we had babies in. As we prepare for the unknown future in Arizona. As we prepare for all kinds of unknowns together. We have picked up a few more scratches, but we are still here. Shining like old gold.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Big Girl Alert

Addie Kate
Cute as a button.
Likes: Playing "duck swim" in the sink with her sister
Skills: Finding sharp objects
Recent Activities: Went Potty IN the potty yesterday!!
For references, see the Little Lions Teachers who are as proud as Mommy and Daddy.