14 December 2009

Sitting Up

Gabriel is pretty good at sitting up these days. He leans over, grabs toys, and sits there playing with them. We're pretty impressed. It doesn't take too much at this age :)

In other news, Ben gained three pounds in the last month (since his surgery). This is a big step for our little guy.

06 December 2009

Sharing with Family

We try to teach sharing. But, as many of you know kids just don't want to share, sometimes.

This morning, Benjamin was playing with a bunch of toy dogs after finishing breakfast.

Collette: "Ben can I have a dog to play with?"
Benjamin: "Sure, which one?" He selects one and brings it over to Collette.
Collette: "The baby one." After being handed a larger dog.
Benjamin: "Sure." He retrieves the baby one and delivers it.

I'm amazed that with so many disagreements and arguments over who has what, there are still moments where our kids are perfectly behaved and absolutely polite and loving.

05 December 2009

Things are changing...

These are not significant changes in life. But things that to me are funny or just strange to see my children growing older. Here are two pictures that show how our house is changing lately:

This may seem just like my 6 year olds bed. Nothing spectacular. But oh, is it ever! Do you see the stuffed animal squished against the wall back there? That, my dear friends, is Piglet. And that, is where he usually stays these days. Which is soooo not normal. Not for my 6 year old who usually takes him places with her and if nothing else would never think not to sleep with him. And yet, there he stays lately. She has found other animals that she is sleeping with these days. Is she outgrowing him or is this just a stage?!

And these next two pictures are what my 2 year old son has taken a liking to lately. Finding some kind of chocolate around the house, getting scissors out of the drawer, and helping himself to some treats. I found these two bits of evidence when I woke up this morning. The door was closed so I opened it to see if someone was still sleeping. Nope, no one was sleeping but this was in the middle of the floor. I think it's funny he tries to "hide" his evidence, not by cleaning up, but by closing the door. Nice thinking, Ben.

30 November 2009

Christmas Tree!

On Saturday we picked out the tree. We went up to Santa Cruz mountains to a farm higher than we're used to. It was very windy and cold, so the kids wrapped themselves up in whatever we had in the car. It was fun, but Abigail kept telling us to hurry up and cut down the tree (any tree) so we could get out of there. Of course, Laura picked the perfect tree - almost too big for our place, but not quite.
From Christmastime 2009
Laura and I brought it in on Sunday, and we started decorating with the kids. They didn't want to go to sleep, but we promised FHE would be spent finishing it up. We finished up decorating the tree and house tonight, ending with a lesson on the nativity for FHE (good talk about what a 'manger' is) and ice cream for dessert.
From Christmastime 2009

11 November 2009

In the end

We are so glad that Ben is home safe and happy. He is doing great today. He ate a TON of food when we came home from the hospital last night. He ate four eggs with cheese melted on in just a few minutes. He has only complained about a soar throat 3 times that I know of since he's been home.

When the Dr came out to talk to us after surgery she said his tonsils and adenoids were huge and very infected. She said there was puss oozing out of them. Yuck. Gross. I talked to her on the phone today when she called to check up on Ben and she said that of all the tonsils she removed yesterday in children (which were apparently many) she said Ben's were the biggest and he was by far the youngest kid. Poor kid.

They also put tubes back in his ears. He had tubes put in when he was 7 months old. Which is pretty young for tubes. They had fallen out within the last 6 months or so. The ENT yesterday took a look at his ears, removed all the wax build up, removed the old tubes that had fallen out and were just sitting in the ear canal, suctioned out tons of fluid that had built up in his middle ear also known as "glue ear" and put in new tubes. It's like Ben got a shiny new car wash for his ears. Aahhh, sounds nice.

So all in all, I'm so glad we did it. Thanks to you all for your support and thoughts and prayers. And here's to hoping for some great things to come for Ben in about a month (the time it takes for full recovery).

10 November 2009

Benjamin Post Op

Benjamin 'smiles' post operation. He woke up pretty upset, but has clamed down, even laughed at some home movies. He had a small can of apple juice and has started on his second. He is still complaining about the port in his hand. And he said he's too scared to fall asleep.

Just Prior to Surgery

Benjamin just prior to surgery. See how skinny he is? We hope this will be corrected.

09 November 2009

Say a prayer and cross your fingers (whichever you prefer to do)

Tomorrow at 6:30am we are taking Ben over to Kaiser to get his tonsils and adenoids taken out. I'm excited. I'm nervous. I'm hopeful, mostly. It's no secret that Ben is a small kid. Joel and I often say it feels like we're going to brake him when we pick him up. He's so skinny. Sooooo skinny. We've always attributed it to the many health problems he had (see many of the posts back in 2008). He had reflux really badly and had chronic upper respiratory infections. The pediatrician told me it would take awhile for him to catch up in size since he was stunted in his growth for so long. Knowing that, I was piecing some bits of information together about Ben. Often times, when he's asleep at night, I can hear him snoring all the way from his room, with the door closed, to our family room. Also, he does that stop breathing for 7-10 seconds at a time then takes a big gasp and falls back asleep. That, along with his low weight, always enlarged lymph nodes (see pictures below), and being a chronic mouth breather made me ask the pediatrician for a referral to an ENT.

When I went in to meet with the ENT the first thing she did was ask me how long his lymph nodes have looked like that. When I said 6 months she responded with, "why are just in here now?" I went on to talk about the other issues; his history, a voice recording of him sleeping, and her visual assessment of Ben quickly led to the conclusion that he needs his tonsils and adenoids removed. She said it *should* help with many of his health issues. Kids who need their tonsils and adenoids removed often has chronic upper respiratory infections because their tonsils and adenoids are simply a house for bacteria to hang out in. Therefore, his lymph nodes are always swollen in a meek attempt to fight the ever present bacteria in his mouth. Kids who need them removed are often mouth breathers because his adenoids (which sit behind the nostrils in the nasal passage) are enlarged and make it difficult to breath through the nose. Also, kids who need them out have sleep apnea and have problems gaining weight and growing normally because the Human Growth Hormone is released during deep sleep. Ben never gets to deep sleep because he body is consistently waking him up to breath.

So, I'm excited that this one, semi simple procedure, has the potential to really help Ben. Maybe he won't be sick as much. Maybe he'll finally grow and gain some weight. Maybe he'll get quality sleep at night. Maybe his lymph nodes will finally go down in size. Maybe...

However, it is a procedure that requires anesthesia and that makes me nervous. He's had it before and did "fine" with it so I know he doesn't have a reaction to it. But still, some one is in charge of making sure my son wakes up from a very very deep sleep so to speak. That is scary. Also, he is going to be in some pain. It's going to be one serious sore throat. So, say a prayer or cross your fingers for Ben tomorrow. I'll give an update after all is done.

Not sure if you can tell~ it seems so obvious to me~ but on either side of his larynx are huge bulges. Those are his swollen lymph nodes.

Another view~ the bulge right below his ear lobe.

And just because Ben specifically asked me to take a picture of him and Gabriel. Too cute these boys!

08 November 2009

Abigail Gets More Teeth

Laura discovered that Abigail is getting here adult (ugh, I can't believe that wors can be connected to Abigail) teeth. Look closely you can see them behind her baby teeth (see arrow).

This discovery came at Church when Abigail saw that Truman had some new teeth. Abigail asked Laura when she was going to get new teeth. Laura decided to 'check' and was shocked to see the teeth coming in. Someone nearby had mentioned the same thing had happened to their child. They found out that it's no big deal. You just have to wiggle the front teeth until they fall out, and the adult ones will move forward.

In other news, I had this conversation with Benjamin while I was trying to get him out the door and into the car:

Ben: I want juice.
Me: Why?
Ben: For fun! [Ben starts to dance]

He's a pretty funny kid.

07 November 2009

At the Park

Saturday activities with the kids.

05 November 2009

Halloween kids

Here are three of the kids getting ready for trick or treating. I
loved all their costumes.

25 October 2009

Going Private? Try sending emails to avoid loosing readers like me.

There's a growing trend of personal blogs I read or want to read are private. I always am late sending people my email address (don't you have it), so I end up getting locked out. This makes me sad.

I'm more open than most people and tend to through everything out there on the 'internets.' So, I don't have a private blog. Everyone can find my contact information by searching. And, I prefer, that others don't have private blogs either. Why? I read blogs via a feed reader.* This means, I spend very little time browsing blogs. I find out a friend has a blog, and I subscribe to it. Once you go private, I barely visit (sorry). But I do miss your blogs.

Sign me up to get email updates about every post.
  1. First sign in to blogger.com
  2. Select Settings > Email & Mobile
  3. Add my email address under Email Notifications > BlogSend address
Now, like my feed reader, I get updated every time you post. It's great for me. Not much gain for you, unless you need help with some Google product - you can shout out on your blog 'help me!' and I'll be there. :)

My email address: joel.headley@gmail.com - if you want to get really clever, help me filter my mail by +yourblogname to my email address. For example, joel.headley+headleyhomestead@gmail.com - hint, hint.

*By the way - I recommend (with bias) Google Reader as a feed reader. That way, if you want to share what you're reading on the web (not just writing), we can share together.

22 October 2009


I was thinking yesterday about feeling "productive." It's kinda a broad term but so many days of the week I don't feel productive enough. So, I thought about my day yesterday and here it is in a nutshell to show all of you what makes me feel "non-productive":

Got breakfast for the kids
Cleaned up kitchen from night before and morning breakfast
Got all kids dressed and ready for the day
Changed a gazillion diapers (my kids are sick and come with lots of dirty diapers)
Organized Ben's shirt drawers
Cleaned up my room and made my bed
Picked up Collette from preschool
Made lunch and cleaned up mess from lunch
Took all 4 kids to the post office for some work on my church calling~ spent way too long there!
Clean up the living/dining/family room areas
Vacuumed the carpets (more on this later)
Took all recycling out to the bins.
Took out all yucky diapers to the trash
Took trash and recycle bins to the curb
Made dinner (such a simple thing to write but so much more to do!)
Swept the kitchen floor
Ironed Ben and Gabe's church shirts
Helped Abigail with her homework
Did 2 loads of laundry
Cleaned up the girls' room
Picked up Ben's room
Went on a walk with the family (Joel is finally home here)
Bathed kids (with Joel's help)
Got kids to bed (with Joel's help)
Fed Gabe twice during the night (when the 24 hour clock stop??)

There may be more but that's what I could come up with quickly. So...why don't I feel productive?? Does anyone else have this problem?

I was trying to answer the question and this is what I could come up with:

I never got a shower yesterday. Therefore, never really felt clean and ready for the day.

We have gross carpets. So even when I vacuum, it doesn't look like I did.

As soon as I put something away, something else gets destroyed. You should have seen my house by the end of the day... it looked like I never cleaned anything up all day long.

It feels like someone who works at a job and say...writes a report and then the manager comes along and says, great, then deletes it all and then says, "Could you just rewrite that since you have nothing better to do?" EVERY DAY

Thanks for letting me vent. Again.

18 October 2009


Hi readers!

We're looking at getting a new camera. We'd like it to be a really nice one. If you swear by one that you have, could you let us know? Thanks!

13 October 2009

Happy #8!!

When I first met Joel I thought we were so different that I couldn't even imagine going on "a" date with him. Though I did think he was very cute and intriguing. Sometimes when I step back and look at the two of us in this marriage, I still see that we are so different in so many ways I'm surprised we've made it to eight years. But, when I look at us in the entirety and all that we've done in 8 years it's no wonder we're still going. Here are some of the highlights I thought of quickly to recap the last eight years. (and for fun at the bottom are some pictures of us along the way).

~We spent the first 7 months of our marriage living apart. Very tough. Wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
~We were able to buy a house right off the bat in Arizona. That was a great place to live and we made great life long friends there.
~We've moved 5 times in the last 8 years and live in 3 states.
~We've had kids in all 3 states
~My favorite place has been Boulder though my best memories are probably while in Arizona. Our life together started there and we had so much time to spend together.
~One of my favorite things about Joel is that he loves food and loves a good treat. I knew I could never marry a guy who just wasn't that into good food. I have friends now who's husbands don't really care for treats or delicious desserts and I just couldn't live with that. Thanks, Joel for always being willing to indulge with me!
~I love that Joel and I have totally different likes and dislikes to be able to bring to the table with our children.
~I love that Joel loves playing music. And listening to jazz. It's an experience to watch him play or listen to music he enjoys. He hears things I don't. I like music with words that you can blast in the car and sing along to with your friends on a road trip. Joel likes that, too. If it's a musical.

Here are some pictures of Joel and me~ mostly before children to remember how we started 8 years ago. Not really any particular order. I was too tired to rearrange things chronologically.

This is a picture of us at our friends wedding in Rhode Island. Joel was able to marry them. It was a lot of fun and I have fond memories of our first "big" trip together.

The picture under that is at my graduation from San Francisco State. Hard to believe I graduated from there 7 years ago. Time is flying...

The next two pictures are of our "wedding." Yes, for those that don't know the full story, you can ask me someday. But this is our elopement picture at the Las Vegas Courthouse. The security guard was also our camera man. And a lady with big blueish hair married us. Gotta love Vegas. Except this secret didn't stay there too long. I stress too long.

This is our house being built in Arizona. Well, we're on the lot anyway. There wasn't much house yet. I can still vividly remember the day we moved in. June 21st 2002. It was so fun for our first house to be brand new and all the things we got to pick out and do to it. After two kids I complained about that house being too small. I'm sorry, Joel. You did an amazing job at making sure we were taken care of there.

One of our favorite things to do would be to come outside at dusk and watch the sunset. It's no secret that my favorite color is pink and Joel and I would go out to watch the sky light up in pinks and reds and oranges. The desert has some amazing sunsets.

Here we were just driving around the Saguaro National Forrest. We put the camera on the top of the car and said "click."

We took in and trained two pit bulls while in Az. They were both good dogs. I miss them.

Here's Joel peaking in the room I was in when I was getting ready for our reception. I like this picture. A lot.

Not a super great picture~ but here's what he was looking at:

And this was us. A little less than the full 8 years but this is pretty much how we started out. Thanks, Joel. I love you. Always and forever- just like Chip and LaFonda.

08 October 2009

Faces Painted

More magic at Disneyland.

07 October 2009

Princess Lunch

Quick update:

Day three at Disneyland, we're going to a princess lunch at Ariel's Grotto. The girls all wait in anticipation of seeing all the princesses at once.

29 September 2009


Ladies and Gentlemen, prepare yourselves, because I would like to vent. I would normally do this much more privately but after being married for almost 8 years now I've learned which things I can vent about to Joel and which ones I need to call my sister or girlfriends about. This is one that I would not use Joel for. So normally, I would call my sister or my girlfriend (probably you, Mer, since we always so many of the same complaints :) but I just don't feel like getting on the phone most of the time now and watching my house fall apart before my eyes while I talk for 10 minutes. Ok, here it goes, starting with this:


So this is how I feel these days. This morning Joel had Gabriel and told me he would hold him until I hurry and got dressed. I literally stood in front of my clothes for probably a good 7-8 minute staring. Just staring. Trying to remember the days when I could just throw on any number of cute jeans. This is no longer my opportunity. Now, I spend way too much time trying to convince myself that I *might* be able to fit my cow size booty into some of my old jeans. Then I spend the rest of the morning in a self wallowing depression. I'm kinda tired of the small number of articles of clothing that fit my lower half. I've told Joel I would like to join the local YMCA. Through them I lost all of my baby weight from Ben (and some). But Joel, sorry honey, does not want me to join a gym. I assume because for Joel, money trumps all. Despite health or self esteem boost, I think he would prefer to save the money. I explained to him this morning we either spend money on a whole new wardrobe for me or at the gym. Personally, I would rather be healthy and keep my current wardrobe. He was not happy with me after that statement.

The problem with the gym is that I'm tired. And busy. Those two things don't mix well with getting up at the ghastly hour of 6am to go work out. I usually feed Gabriel around 5:30 and I'll I want to do is get back to sleep after that feeding. If for some reason, he thinks it's an appropriate time to get up, I either make Joel get up with him or I'm not a nice Mom until about 11 o'clock. Right now is a particularly bad time because all the kids are sick. And sick babies like to feed a lot. Too much. So I've been getting horrible sleep for sometime now. Gabe has been waking up 3 times a night to feed. And though this goes against the code of motherhood, I actually got sick as well. Which pretty much is the biggest slap in the face when you're a Mom. Why? Because it doesn't matter when a Mom is sick. I still have to get up in the night and feed a baby. I still have to make lunches and dinners. I'm still taking care of the other sick people in the house. It takes so long to get better because there's no rest for this sick person.

I'll stop my ranting here. I'll finish another day. On another topic. But just so you understand here's the recap:

So there's a horrible cycle here. I have baby weight still on me. I want to go to the gym to work it off. But I have a baby. So I'm tired. Too tired. Then I get emotional because I'm tired. Then it feels like all those pants that don't fit are laughing at me in my closet. Telling me to just go ahead and donate them. Then I want to cry. But I know it's partially because I'm really tired. So I think all about how I would feel better if I went to a gym and fit into those clothes. Then I would laugh at them. But then I hear my baby cry out, and my two year old yelling my name through the house, and my 4 year old asking me what we're doing today, and my 5 year old asking me to make her lunch for school and I think~ MY PANTS ARE GOING TO WIN!! I'LL HAVE TO DONATE THEM AFTER ALL! Stupid pants. Stupid shirts. At least my shoes still fit.

22 September 2009

No Shame

This is again about Collette. As noted on the side of the blog, she is the humor in our household so it goes that she keeps us laughing. Today we went over to a friends pool to swim. There was an older, semi overweight lady there laying out on a lawn chair. Note to readers~ I am totally UNAWARE of this conversation. The lady told me after the fact what their conversation went like. When she told me I didn't know if I should laugh or be embarrassed. Here's how it went down:

Collette~ Do you have a baby in your tummy?

Lady~ No, I'm too old to have a baby in there

Collette~ Oh, are you going to die soon?

Lady~ I could, I guess

Collette~ Like Michael Jackson?

Lady~ Yes, kinda like Michael Jackson.

Oh Boy. Laugh? Cringe? Both.

16 September 2009

Collette's excuses~ gotta love 'em

Anytime I ask Collette to help me around the house, she almost ALWAYS has a reason why she can't. Here are just a few that I have heard over the past week or so.

1. I can't, I'm hot

2. I'm too tired

3. I need to watch a show

4. I have to color first

5. No thanks

6. I want to hold Gabe first

7. But I don't want to

8. Why? Is someone coming over?

9. Can you do it for me?

And my favorite this past week (drum roll, please...)

10. I'm busy growing.

11 September 2009


A minute before this shot, Gabriel was smiling - stupid camera phone latency.


My conversation with Abigail today:

Abigail: Mom, my friend Faith who's fat showed me this tree...

Me: Umm, stop right there. What did you just say?

Abigail: (repeat first line)

Me: Abigail, we NEVER define or describe people by their weight. That's not ok.

Abigail: Ok, sorry, Mom. So, my friend Faith who has a big tummy showed me this tree at school...


09 September 2009

Big Head!

Benjamin is hilarious with this helmet on. He keeps saying "bye," because he knows he has to travel somewhere with that helmet.

I stayed home this morning with Laura getting oral surgery -  abscess = yuck. Hooray for spending a little time with the boys (though Gabriel was alseep the whole time).

05 September 2009

Some more vacation time

We did a lot more during the week Joel took off than just Santa Cruz. But that's all we've had time to post up to this point. After Santa Cruz we took the kids and Brooke to go see Berkeley, both the city and where Dad went to school (Go Bears!) as well as San Francisco. Another jam packed day but lots of fun. Here are some of the highlights of our trip: We ate. A lot. A lot of really good food. Oh, and we saw some cool sites. Here are some of the sites and a lot of the food:

Here Ben and Collette are eating some delicious creme puffs we got from Telegraph St. in Berkeley. Yumo!

Showing off Daddy's school.

Go Bears!! Never too young, right?

Mmmm~ digging into some Blondie's pizza

The adults are digging into some delicious Vik's Indian Food.

Off to Lombard St. I like this shot only because it's hard to get a good shot of Lombard from the car but I think you can get the idea in this one and the kids really want to go to Coit Tower someday which you can see in the distance (ok, if you click on the image)

We then went over to Pier 39~ mostly to see the sea lions but to enjoy all the touristy stuff over there...both for our kids and for Brooke.

I like this shot of Ben and Joel. Ben looks so coy here.

Here are Abigail and Ben checking out the boats in the Marina

And lastly, the reason we stopped by~ to see the sea lions. I think our kids were the loudest kids there. No, not loud like running around screaming or anything. Loud like, "I need to connect with the sea lions and make the most obnoxious sounds possible that sorta sound like a sea lion in the event they mistake me for one and come this way." Yes, that's exactly what it sounded like. Don't doubt me.

Ok, that wasn't exactly the last thing we did. We went and ate one more time at a spot right on the pier. Nothing spectacular after what we'd been eating previously but it was good and the kids had a great time with Abigail's new surfer friend (she's holding his hand?).

04 September 2009

Friday Night Activity: Train Ride

Start in Sunnyvale, up to Palo Alto, back to Sunnyvale.

I think Benjamin was a little excited and surprised the whole time.

The girls made friends with a German speaking southern californian.


03 September 2009

A comparison

I tried to take these photos around the same age. I think Gabriel is one week older than Ben was but pretty close. And mostly I wanted to do this so I could see the similarities between them. Any guesses on who's who?? And do you think they look alike?