Sunday, March 3, 2019

Catastrophic Thoughts & Overcoming Them

Most people would see this picture and think, “that’s just a normal kid doing normal kid things—no biggie”.
What MOST people don’t realize is that this has been a few years in the making. Not minutes, or weeks, YEARS. A few years ago Kaden asked to go on the ropes course and he did. He made his way up the stairs and onto the first platform and took three steps and FROZE. As in, someone came to help him, FROZE. His fear won that day and every day that we’ve been to Main Event since.
We call these catastrophic thoughts. All the “maybe this” or “maybe that” thoughts that creep into his head and paralyze him from being able to see all the wonderful things that can come from conquering your fear or by just trying.
MOST of us are able to assess a certain situation and know that those “maybe” or “mights” have a very SMALL chance of even occurring and that the reward far outweighs the risk.
Not Kaden. The unknown is one of his biggest internal struggles. He wants to be like “most” kids. He wants to get up there and not have all the internal battles with himself but it’s soooo dang hard for him.
And so when he does. When he decides that he won’t let fear win again—it’s something magical.
Did we talk about this for a week? You bet. Did we talk about his fears (heights) and then discuss everything he has already done to conquer fear? You bet. Did we talk about how the cruise ship will have its own course and this will be good practice? You bet. We analyzed it from every possible angle AND today, he put one foot in front of the other and he pushed fear aside, once again.
For “most” kids you wouldn’t think twice about them going on the ropes course—Logan included—for Kaden, this was a HUGE victory and you better believe we celebrated with ice cream. Even in 15 degree weather.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Off to the Symphony

Last year Logan's first grade field trip was canceled due to the weather. It was an abnormally cold October day and the district determined that it was not safe for the kids to attend the zoo. We were all bummed. So when they sent out information regarding the 2nd grade field trip and mentioned they needed volunteers but could only take 2 per class, I put my name in running. The field trip gods must have been watching over because my name actually got drawn & when I told Logan, he JUMPED up and put his arms and legs around me in excitement. This kid was stoked. As was I. 

So off the symphony we went. Bow tie and all. 

It has been a number of years since I had been on a school bus and as loud as it was, not to mention bumpy, it was totally worth it to be sitting next to my little man. That smile was plastered across his face for the entire day which only told me that I was right where I was suppose to be.

We got to take in the 11:30 performance by the KC Symphony and somehow Logan and I ended up with some of the best seats in the house. He loved listening to the music and then they performed a musical play called Peter and the Wolf. Each instrument represented a different character and the narrator of the story had a different movement for each character too & asked that the kids join along in the story. Logan was flapping his wings like the bird, pouncing like the kitty & waddling like the duck. His smile only grew bigger as more and more animals were introduced. Our time there was special but the adventure wasn't over yet.

We loaded up the buses and we headed over to Crown Center where we ate lunch and then got to explore in our little groups. As we explored we made sure to capture moments with our favorite friends as we ran into them. I mean, is there anything cuter than little 2nd graders dressed to the nines---I don't think so! 

We finally arrived back at school, we gathered Logan's stuff, stopped by to get Kaden and we broke out of there a little early. It's always a special treat to spend a little extra time with the boys during their school activities and I'm so lucky that I not only was chosen but have the flexibility to to say yes too. These are the moments that are important, these are the moments they will remember & I want them to know that I was there. I was there for everything I could be.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Around the World

Whenever we travel to a new location whether it be in the US or to a Caribbean Island, we always place another pin in our map. We quickly realized that we have NO pins in the western hemisphere and then I had the idea of pinning locations with a different color, in this case PINK, whenever we received a postcard from that country. Over the last couple of years our pink pins have started to add up. Most recently Grammy visited Australia & New Zealand. Before that it was Alaska, Greece and Ireland. Grandma Sara and Papa Tom tackled Hawaii for us! 

Not only is it fun for the boys to receive the postcards but it's also interesting to see if Grammy beats the postcards home too! 

So if you are out and about traveling the world---send us a postcard and we will add it to our map!

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Weather the Weather

Third grade musical was finally here. 

We had been gearing up for this night for over two months--not with Kaden practicing his LINE or the songs but Momma and her friends were in charge of the decorations. I've gotten better at saying NO but when it comes to school--I almost always say YES. So when the music teacher reached out and asked if I could help her out, I agreed and I pulled a few friends into the mix too. We were given a picture of another school who had done this play before and the rest was up to us. We brainstormed and then one night we just went to town & I won't lie, we whipped up some pretty damn good signage. Which also led to us getting FRONT and SECOND row seats at the musical and if you knew our school---you would know why that was such a HUGE thing. I mean, people line up outside in freezing weather 30 minutes before the doors open at their shot at getting good seats---this was a way better way of ensuring we got the best seats in the house!

It was show time and Kaden was ready. He honestly, was so excited for this and I loved seeing him enjoy himself up on stage in front of everyone, smiling from ear to ear. 

Our music teacher did it again. We are so blessed with such an amazing music teacher and she was one of the reasons we are so sad to be moving schools but we also learned that evening that she's going with us!!! So this won't be your last Mrs. Richard's performance, we've got three more still!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Snow Day. Again.

One of these days these boys will get a full week of school in but not this month. Without fail the winter weather has kept them at home for at least one day a week since returning after school break. Thank goodness for friends and play dates so that I can get some work done from home.

& for projects too. Not only did it keep the boys busy for awhile, they were super proud of what they were able to accomplish working together. Now, if we could just get some relief when it comes to the winter weather---we really don't want to be going to school in June, that will be cutting into our lake and pool time so Mother Nature, we beg you, please bring us sunshine and warmth.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Meet Mahomes

Meet Mahomes.

Mahomes wasn't planned to be a part of the family so soon but here he is.

So how did Mahomes come to be? Ever since Logan got his leopard gecko for Christmas from Santa, Kaden, has wanted one too. Now, mind you, Kaden isn't the biggest fan of "animals" especially reptiles. Yet, he took to Max. He wanted to help feed, water, clean its cage & he wanted to hold him. He loved holding him and Justin & I both were so shocked to see him take so easily to Max.

But when he asked for one we both said that he would earn one or work for one but that he couldn't just "get one". He understood but was still sad that he'd have to wait. His Christmas present from Santa was in the garage and he couldn't wait to ride it some more. & then the warmer weather came and we were able to get it out a few times and that's when we realized it just wasn't working. We would charge it per the instructions and it would literally run to the stop sign and then they would have to push it back home. Hours of charging for minutes of play.

So, I started looking into what we got him, the Vega Viro 2-in-1. I saw that on there were a number of reviews that weren't good. So I left my own in hopes that someone would reach out to me or leave a number to contact like one of the other reviews. A few days later I went back to check the review and you couldn't even find the item--they had removed it from the website. So I called. Long story short, we ended up taking it back. There wasn't any replacement available but they said that I could bring it and they would give me our money back. Although I knew this is what needed to be done--my heart broke having to do it. He wanted that so badly for Christmas and it was from Santa. And Santa's elves went so far out of their way to track this gift down and get it back to KS in time for Christmas. I'm talking Tucson, AZ to Lenexa, KS. What we will do for our kiddos. Again, though, I knew what we needed to do so I talked to Kaden about it, we had days left until the return policy would lapse. I explained that I was so sorry that his Christmas present from Santa wasn't working and that I had figured out a way we could maybe make it right. What if we took it Target, per Santa's suggestion, and then instead of getting a new one, we could get a gecko for him. His eyes went straight from being filled with sadness to being filled with joy and excitement. He was all for it.

So, the following Friday Justin loaded the scooter up and I took it back. I then walked next door and loaded up a gecko and everything we need to give it a home. And a home Kaden has given him. He has taken such great care of Mahomes and just loves getting him out to play with him. I think they'll be best of buds and good news---Mahomes will be around a lot longer than that scooter would have been. Not the way we thought it would shake out but it certainly was meant to be.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Snow Much Fun

The forecast called for snow and for once, it was right and it just kept coming. We went to sleep Friday night with hardly any snow on the ground and then we woke up to a winter wonderland.

Gorgeous was an understatement.

And of course the boys were dying to get outside -- they just wanted to run and play until their toes fell off and they did. Their dad surprised them by getting the golf cart out and taking them sledding. They were in snow heaven.

Of course all of our activities were canceled for the day except the big Chiefs game so after we played in the snow we loaded up and ran to Kansas Sampler to get some new gear for the game. We were ready--we were ready to roll. 

And then Cousin Colton showed up, they not only watched the game with us but Cousin Colton got to stay the night too. And as soon as they were up and around the next morning they were back outside. It was the perfect snowfall -- for all. It kept us home and with each other and we made the most out of it. & seeing their smiles and hearing their laughter was everything that weekend.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Two Steps Forward

Two steps forward, one step back. That’s been our motto for the the last few years as we’ve navigated this ADHD journey and today we took TWO STEPS FORWARD! Not only did he gain 4 pounds (this news made me tear up) BUT we also GRADUATED from the Children’s Mercy Clinic and will be heading back to our primary care pediatrician. I’ve got mixed emotions as we’ve been so lucky to partner with the doctors at Children’s Mercy ADHD Clinic and it’s a little scary to know our time has come BUT we’ve done so much work over the last few years that it’s nice to see it’s paying off. To all my family and friends who have continued to be there for us and for having nothing but compassion and understanding for us as a family and for Kaden, thank you! Everyone needs a village like you. This journey is far from over but today was a win and we will celebrate it!! 

To those who may be on a similar journey—know your enough. Know that the journey is long and hard but days like today are ahead and make it all worth it! 

Monday, December 31, 2018

NYE 2019

We've kind of changed up our New Year plans over the last couple of years and not because we don't love who we were spending it with --- actually quite the opposite. It has to do more with logistics and wanting to stay close to home. Gone our the days were either of us like to wake up the next morning feeling like poo and here are the days where we wake up and spend another day as a family together before heading back to reality. So when our dear friends planned to do a repeat of their party from the year before -- we were in. It's a block down the street in our neighborhood and if we didn't make it to midnight, there would be zero hard feelings plus we could be home to let the dogs out one last time & sleep in our own beds.

And it was all about being comfy. Win. Win.

We arrived a little after 7 -- we decided to start a little later and have the kids already fed so they could go straight into painting and playing. Another great decision by the Shafers. And I loved that they have continued with the painting theme---basically, we each paint our favorite memory from the year. Logan painted Max, his new lizard he got from Santa. Kaden painted Russell, his new fish -- pretty sure that was just top of mind, I painted our trip to watch the Chiefs play the Rams for Justin's favorite memory (I guessed right) and then for me it was watching the boys play baseball together this last season. It was there last together and it was so special. 

The boys had their annual game of poker which meant two days later we were ordering our own chips so that we could play at home too. 

The parents played their annual game of What the MEME. And we laughed and laughed and laughed. Until Travis and Jenn were winning EVERY SINGLE ROUND.  

& before we knew it, midnight was here. We gathered the boys, we all got our noise makers and our poppers and we counted it down. 

& then we all gathered around the pot for our New Years Resolutions. We wrote three. 1 to share. 1 to burn. 1 to tuck away. 

The shared ones for the Souths were:
Justin - To spend more time with the Palangies and the Shafers
Kayla - To read more. For myself and the boys. 
Kaden - To not be as mean.
Logan - To become a better football player. 

& then we shared hugs all around and said our goodbyes. It was the perfect end to 2018 and the perfect start to 2019. It's going to be a GREAT year.