Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Team 24k Magic - CCE 2018 Talent Show

Ever since last year's talent show at school came to a close, Logan has not stopped talking about what he would do for the next one. He was determined to think of something as he was not sitting out this time. The conversations were going on constantly almost to the point where we were like--"hold up Logan, it's like 9 months away!" 

Now, I should say, I have a love hate relationship with talent shows. Not only will these kiddos be judged by their peers but they would also be judged by teachers and by parents and honestly, there are so many people who can just be complete a-holes and I didn't want that for my kids. On the flip side, you can't squash their desire, their want, their creativity. So the reward outweighed the risk. For sure. 

He and Kaden talked about telling jokes together. They talked about dribbling basketballs. They had settled on telling jokes UNTIL our last cruise. While aboard we watched a performance where the performers came out and danced with light up shoes -- Logan's eyes lit up instantly. As we walked out of the theater he knew what he wanted to do -- he wanted to dance with his friends with light up shoes on. Turn off all the lights and dance. Again, I didn't want to squash his idea or his courage so I went with it. I emailed a few moms & asked their thoughts--they were all in. 

Logan not only picked out the idea, he picked out the song too.

24k Magic by Bruno Mars

The problem, the lyrics weren't appropriate. Thankfully, Kids Bop had a version that was totally usable. Plus, Just Dance for the Nintendo Switch had all the dance moves. We submitted our talent show paperwork, ordered the light up shoes--which you can find on Amazon for like $15--no kidding & I managed to pick up a few light up gloves for everyone to add a little extra flair. It was game time.

The boys practiced on their own a few times--I may or may not danced along with them, someone needed to count and help them learn it. We started with the first couple of 8 counts and then we added on from there. It didn't take long for them to get it down the only problem, we hadn't really had a group practice. UNTIL, the day before. We put them in formation and ran through it twice. It was so cute. I wish I had video from the "dress rehearsal" because their facial expressions were probably the best part of it. Logan's face beamed the entire time he was dancing. & on the day of the performance they had three performance to get through. One for the 4th graders, one for the 2nd graders and the last for the 1st graders and let me tell you, Logan (as did everyone else) beamed for the ENTIRE day. So, without further ado...

Team 24k Magic

Made up of 5 first graders and their siblings.
Before their first performance.

And after.
I could not be more proud of these kids. I mean, talk about the amount of courage and bravery needed to get up on a stage and perform, not just once, but three times, in front of your friends, peers, teachers and parents AND they KILLED it. I may or may not have cried tears--I was so overwhelmed with pride and excitement for these kiddos. They may not make it into the finals as there was some stiff competition at the 4th grade level BUT they won top spot in my heart & should be so proud of what they accomplished. Job well done Team 24k Magic.

Monday, May 14, 2018

THAT TOOK FOREVER--Peace Out First Tooth

Seven year and 8 days later and his FIRST tooth finally fell out.

Kaden had a pretty epic first tooth story - he lost it at the lake but not only at the lake but IN the lake. So, Logan needed his own. Not only did it take 2563 days for it to fall out which is pretty epic in it's own right but it happened at the ball fields. On the 14th of May wearing number 14.

In the 2nd inning he called me over in a panic and showed me that it was "sooooo" lose. It was actually bleeding--totally ready to come out but he did not want me to pull it. "No, Mom. I'm not ready." and off he ran back onto the field. The entire time he was covering 2nd he was fiddling with it. I ran to the bathroom and got a few napkins on my way back thinking that maybe he would use them to pull the darn thing but before I could get them over to him, he was yelling it was out! And showing everyone his tooth in the dugout---one would think there would be a gaping hole but there isn't, that darn shark tooth is already there. 

I won't lie either--I'm kind of sad that he lost his first tooth and I think part of the reason why it took so long for him to lose it was partly because I wasn't ready for it. I LOVE his little baby smile with his baby teeth and now, that cute little smile that once was will be no more. I'm sure his new smile will be cute in it's own way but it's just another way where life is reminding me just how quick the years go by. And I don't like it. Next thing I know, he'll be too big for me to hold in my arms and that will be a very sad day for this sentimental momma.

After we got home from the baseball game we put his tooth in a baggie & I placed it under his pillow. He was a little sad that he didn't lose it at school because he really wanted to get the "tooth necklace" from the nurse but I reminded him that the tooth fairy couldn't come if it wasn't under his pillow. 

He woke up to two dollars that looked as though they were covered in fairy dust & his tooth was gone. Before I know it, his mouth will be full of holes & the tooth fairy will be working overtime.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mother's Day 2018

Every single day is Mother's Day. 

No seriously, I mean, it is the one word that I hear the most day in and day out.

"Mom, can you get me my underwear and clothes?"

"Mom, can you get me something to drink?"

"Mom, can we go outside and play?"

Mom. Mom. Mom.

I love being a mom, don't get me wrong. It is the hardest yet the most rewarding role that I fill. I've been blessed with the best kids too -- I'm sure every mom says that -- but I have. Kaden and Logan make my world go round. I may have a few more grey hairs these days than before they came along but that's a small price to pay for the amount of joy and love they give.With that being said, Mother's Day is the one day that I don't want to hear "Mom" all day long, I want a few hours where I am someone else than "Mom"---I MOM HARD ALL DAY, I DESERVE ONE DAY or a few hours.

So, for Mother's Day, I plan my day and for the past few years it has consisted of a double feature at the movies with one of my best friends. This year was no different BUT I had somewhere to be first for brunch, so for the morning, I "Mom'd". 

Janet and Craig made brunch reservations for all of us at GasLight Grill, that was Craig's three daughters and their families and then the whole South clan too. It was a wonderful start to the day but when 10:35 rolled around, I was out--I had an 11:00 date with popcorn.


Movies this year weren't as easy to choose as previous years, there just weren't a lot out that were getting good reviews. Two that were, Blockers and Tully and we found a way to make them both work. Typically we like to enjoy one movie that makes us laugh & another that makes our hearts swell or requires us to think about life a little deeper. I promised Jennifer that I would meet her at the theater at 11:00 and that I would be there before the movie started and I walked in to a completely empty theater as the previews started. Since it was empty, we were able to chat for a little bit before settling in for the movie. 

Blockers--hilarious. It certainly footed the bill for laughter.

We had a few minutes in between movies so we grabbed a quick drink.

And then we settled in for Tully. Now, Tully, great, GREAT acting. Was kind of left with lots of questions, like--what's going on and then to be followed by, did that just happen. Great movie, one that really shines a spotlight on a much needed topic, just not 100% where I thought they were going.

After the movies ended we headed back to our families. When I got home the boys were quietly playing but immediately asked to go outside. Justin had made dinner per my request & as soon as we ate, we headed outside to play a little kickball in the driveway. At bedtime I spent a few minutes with each of the boys thanking them for my Mother's Day gift -- a record player -- and telling them what I love most about them and how happy I was to be their mommy. 

& it wasn't over, the next day I capped off the Mother's Day celebration with a Mother's Day Read In with my favorite 1st grader. I love this tradition that our school has, I got to spend my lunch with him on a picnic blanket reading Captain Underpants. No where else I would have rather been.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Birthday Party Sleepover

Seven is a big birthday. And even though we had a little family time away celebrating his birthday, he was still looking forward to have his birthday party with his buddies. The weekends leading up to his birthday were jammed pack or Justin was out of town, the weekend after his birthday was Mother's Day so we decided to stay away from Saturday and Sundays all together and celebrate on a Friday. 

Logan had decided that he wanted to have a sleepover and take a few of his friends to the movies. Easy, peasy. I reached out to his "crew" and they were all available, only problem, movie times weren't available yet. It wouldn't be until that Wednesday when we figured out that there just wasn't anything worthwhile to watch at the theaters. Yes, the newest Avengers movie was out but I didn't want to put any parent in the position to either say no or say yes even though they really didn't want to. So we just came up with a back up plan. I suggested a movie night at the house -- Peter Rabbit, Logan was in. He really only cared about being with his buddies and having a sleepover.

The last thing we had to pick out was his cake. The cake is something that I do each year for the boys. They give me an idea of what sort of cake they would like -- yellow, vanilla, chocolate or in this case tie-dyed and then they give me a theme. Logan chose Pokemon. I baked the cake Wednesday evening and then on Thursday while the boys were at baseball practice I stayed back and iced it. I kept it simple and when Logan walked through the doors he immediately asked if I got it done. I said, "Look for yourself, buddy." & his eyes lit up like a Christmas tree--the best compliment I could have asked for and making those 1347+ stars all worth it.

The plan was for the party to start after school. The boys either could ride the bus home with Logan or could meet at our house. Those whose met at our house walked with me to the bus and as soon as Logan and the others hopped off the bus, a group hug commenced. 

We got everyone settled in and headed outside to play some basketball and soccer. Then we were back inside for a Nerf gun war & then back outside for more play. 

As soon as Justin got home from their school's golf tournament we had some pizza and then followed that with singing Happy Birthday to our birthday boy which only meant cake and presents too.

Movie time--consisted of Peter Rabbit and a popcorn bar full of candy toppers in dog bowls. Yes, dog bowls -- no dogs have EVER used them & they were left over from Logan's 4th birthday party the "Logan's Barkery". They actually worked out perfectly. Easy to hold, perfect portion size too. As funny as Peter Rabbit was, listening to the boys and their laughter from watching the movie was definitely my highlight. 

After the movie was done we said goodbye to Seph & then it was time for the boys to brush their teeth and head off to bed themselves. They wanted to talk a little so I gave them until 10 to talk, as long as they didn't get up. I'm not sure what I was expecting to hear BUT I could not stop smiling. They kept asking Alexa question after question. Mostly to do with diarrhea and Captain Underpants which was always followed by uncontrollable laughter. 

At 10:00, I broke up the party. I sat quietly in Logan's rocking chair as they drifted off to sleep one by one, all within minute of each other. Before they fell asleep I reminded each of them that when they woke up not to wake the others up but to come on down and let anyone who would like to sleep, sleep. Well, that didn't happen but they did wake up the exact same way they went to bed, with laughter. The day started at 6 am on the dot, thanks Alexa. 

The friendship that these boys have created is something special and I can only pray that they are part of each others lives for a very, very long time to come. What a perfect celebration it was.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The South MLB Tour 2018

 The South MLB Tour was taking us southwest this year---straight into Diamondbacks territory. 

This trip wasn't really planned out like all of our others and was kind of last minute too. I knew I had a conference in Tucson that wouldn't  be wrapping up until the Saturday morning of Cinco De Mayo and since Logan's 7th birthday was the following day it got me to thinking. What if the boys were able to fly down and meet me at my conference and then we all could travel up to Phoenix for a few days to celebrate Logan. I ran the idea by Justin once I checked that the Diamondbacks would actually be in town on the 5th of May and he didn't hesitate. Let's do the damn thing. 

So on Cinco De Mayo we checked out of one JW and drove 2 hours north just to checked into another JW. We quickly unloaded our belongings into our hotel room and piled back into our rental and headed for Chase Field -- Home of the Diamondbacks. 

This marked the 7th MLB stadium for the boys to visit and for Logan, his 7th birthday.

The Diamondbacks were playing the reigning World Series Champions, Houston Astros & an old Royal's favorite was on the mound- Zac Greike. Justin even brought his jersey out of retirement to wear & cheer on #23 -- ForeverRoyal. 

The boys wore their Aces shirts -- and without realizing it, the Diamondback's Triple A team is called the Aces so we looked like real DB fans who just happened to be from KC. Kaden was a little put off by my lack of fan gear. 

It was a hot. Like really hot. So, of course, the roof was closed which was great since we weren't sweating non-stop BUT it also made it feel like we could have been at any MLB stadium. We did take a tour around the field and watched some batting practice. We stopped at the team store and both boys picked up new DB hats & even managed to talk Justin into a puzzle to take back home

When Justin was looking for tickets to buy he noticed that they had a Friday's Front Row and if anyone knows anything about Justin and I then they probably know that we spent a good majority of my first few years in KC at Fridays. We were what one might consider regulars. It was right down the road from his mom and dad's & we not only loved the food and drinks but the bartenders were some of our favorite people too. It was a no-brainer to purchase these tickets. 50% of the ticket price was given to us in food and beverages so we ate and ate and ate. The boys wanted dessert. Sure. A smoothie, you know it.

We were a little farther from home plate than we would typically be when purchasing tickets but the boys were loving it. & were totally into all parts of the game, even though it wasn't our Royals.

So seven years old and seven ballparks -- with 23 to go. And although he can't be seen in the picture from Milwaukee, he was there, in utero! Good news though, our best friends are moving to LA and we should easily be able to knock out 2, maybe 3 stadiums when we visit them next summer. Maybe by the time they are ready to marry and have children of their own we will have made it through all & they'll be ready to start their own.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Work/Life Balance

Every other year I attend a conference for one of the firms that I work with and every other year it takes me on the road for 5-6 days straight. It's actually two conferences which run back to back but either way, I'm away from the family for longer than I would like. So, like last time, this time I had the boys fly to meet me at the conference as I was closing it down and then we'd all stay a few days extra to enjoy a little family down time. 

Work/life balance is so very important to me. I love working. I believe that for me, it makes me a better mom BUT I still hate being away from my family. I can do it. They can do it. It's probably good for us all BUT when the two can meet--it's a beautiful thing. 

Added bonus this time around was that the destination was a place that neither the boys are myself have been--and when I say the boys I am also referring to Justin. We were headed to Tucson, only to be followed up by a few days in Phoenix once the conference wrapped up.

The first few days while I was there the weather was a little chillier than normal, or what I expected so I made sure to phone home and tell the boys to pack a jacket or sweatshirt that we would be needing them. I actually even wore my jacket on one of my morning walks--where I also happened to run into a few new friends who were just as interested in what I was doing as I was them.

A few days after I had arrive the boys started their adventure. They had a full day of school before jumping on a 7:30 flight non-stop flight to Phoenix, renting a car and driving about an hour and forty-five minutes south to Tucson. Now why wouldn't they just fly into Tucson--well, it wasn't direct and by the time they would have arrived in Tucson, they would have landed in Phoenix and arrived at the hotel & been asleep for 3 hours so Justin made the call to drive it. They arrived around 11:30 that evening, 1:30 KC time and let me tell you, although tired, both boys were still awake. I was shocked. They did, however, have zero issues falling asleep.

Since there were two conference occurring back to back, Thursday was a free day---arrivals were happening all day long. So we all hung by the pool and then headed into town to eat at Culinary Dropout which happens to be owned by the same individuals which own North in Leawood.

While I worked the following two days the boys hung out with their father poolside. They had taken a football and would not only toss it back and forth but they also found some green space and ran a few plays that involved Kaden leading the way blocking for Logan as he scored on Justin. Our last evening we spent around the fire pit with Smores--one of Logan's favorites.

After the conference finished up we packed up our things into our rental car and headed north about 2 hours to the JW Desert Ridge Resort. The first evening we took in a Diamondback's game and then the next day, Logan's birthday, we celebrated, hiked and relaxed by the pool. This pretty awesome day started out with us leaving the resort around 7:30 so we could get our hike in nice and early before it go too hot for us. The staff at the hotel suggested Pinnacle Peak -- it wasn't too far away and it would be a nice easy kid friendly hike. And it was.

But by the time we were finished, it was HOT and we were all ready to hit the pool. Where we tossed the football back and forth and played countless games of ping pong. We enjoyed lunch, beverages and smoothies for the rest of the day. We may have even sang "Happy Birthday" to Logan with a candle in his smoothie.

We finished the evening off with a meal from In-N-Out. The boys and I have never experienced an In-N-Out burger so we were all pretty pumped and it didn't disappoint. It was an early night for us though, we had a 6:55 am flight and so at 9, lights were out but after we captured one last picture of Phoenix--the sunsets were beyond words. 

Cheers to a healthy work/life balance which is only made possible by wonderful bosses who GET IT.

Sunday, May 6, 2018


He was only hours away from being seven so I asked for one last picture of my SIX year old as we made our way back to the hotel from the Diamondback's game.

And then I stole one of him sleeping--he'd never be this little again. & sleeping pictures are a fave of mine. They're peaceful. They're full of innocence, love and wonder. 

I tried willing this birthday not to happen--for time to stand still...

But against my wishes, he woke up a SEVEN year old. I mean, that just doesn't even seem possible to write, I can still here is little baby voice using me instead of I---Me Love You. Sadly, those days are long gone but the days of many vs. much have arrived.

He was immediately ready for room service the moment he woke up & once our order was placed, he was begging to open his presents which we brought with us from KC. 

The first gift he pulled out of the birthday sack was his first jersey but not just any jersey, a LeBron James NBA All-Star jersey. I love watching him open gifts, his facial expression says everything you need to know. He was a happy, happy kiddo.

Next up was an Alexa Echo Dot. He LOVES talking to Alexa and we figured this would be perfect for his room since he always likes to ask her what the weather is going to be like before getting dressed and currently, our only one is in the kitchen. Saves this kid easily 5 minutes which equals 5 more minutes of sleep before having to get up.

We hiked. We were lazy by the pool. We ate In-N-Out. We tossed the football around.

It was a pretty perfect day for a pretty, perfectly AMAZING birthday boy. Logan can light up any room with his smile. And don't even get me started on his laugh, hearing him laugh instantly brings a smile to my face which is almost always followed by a few laughs myself. Logan has the kindest heart. He is the first to make sure anyone else is okay if they are hurt. He is the first to come and give me a hug when I'm having a challenging moment. He tries his hardest at most everything he does and always seems up for a new adventure. He still loves carrots more than cake and he'll never say no to a new stuffed animal. He has found a new passion for reading & can often be found reading to Stoli in his room, well, their room. And unless he is hurt or in trouble, a smile is firmly planted on his face.

He's the cherry on the top when it comes to our family. 

Love you to the moon and back Logie.