Thursday, December 30, 2010

Post Holiday Depression

If there IS such a thing, well then, I am suffering from it. My main depression stems from one daily (except for Sundays) activity - getting the MAIL.

For the past month we have been receiving holiday card after holiday card and getting the mail became one of my favorite parts of the day. Now it just depresses me and I find myself often going to the mailbox hoping that someone wasn't on top of it this year and sent them out late or that the post office lost a couple so I would have just a few more to open.

To those who sent us a holiday card, THANK YOU, it was one of the highlights of my holiday season but you may be receiving a bill in the mail for some serious Xanax medication.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

name (neym)

  1. a word or a combination of words by which a person, place or thing, a body or class, or any object of thought is designated, called, or known.
If you type in 'baby names' on Google you get 97,300,000 results in 0.20 seconds. Although I have not scoured the entire list, I made a good dent and we still have yet to come up with a name. Okay, okay, by we, I mean Justin. He won the bet fair and square so he will have the final say but that doesn't mean I can't verbalize my favorites and help him along!

When it came to picking out Kaden's name, it was fairly easy. I had always loved the name and knew that if I had a little boy someday that he would be a Kaden. I would also push for the middle name of Milo. (No matter what you hear from my husband, I can compromise) Since Justin wasn't fond of Milo we went to the drawing board and came up with two options-Thomas (after my dad) or Oliver (no family releavance). Needless to say, Thomas was not the winner and this was due to a few comments made by a certain someone-I showed him! So Kaden Oliver it was and it fits him to a "T".

I never really thought beyond that first child. Sure, I had girl names that I liked but Audrey and Hartley were late comers to the game. I only really started thinking about them after Kaden was born and we were thinking about number 2. I just figured that I would have that "picture perfect" family- a mom and a dad with an older son to watch out for his little sister. However, my version of a "perfect" family will consist of a mom and a dad with two little boys that will best of friends through out their life and that will love their mommy so much!!

It isn't all Rainbows and Butterflies though, I won't lie, I cried when I found out it was a boy this time around. Partly because my baby had an identity and I could officially stop referring to it as an "it" or alternating between "he" and "she" like your weekly emails do. Partly because it is an overwhelming and amazing experience seeing this little thing that is growing inside of you, swallowing and moving around. Mostly because I wanted a girl. There I said it, I wanted a girl and I had names picked out and ready to be used, gosh darn it!

The disappointment is fading and it has now been 5 days since we found out that we are having a boy and although I am much more positive on the fact that I will have 2 little boys to "put" the toilet seat down after or try and teach them that putting your hands down your pants isn't polite (although no one should ever do that) or teach them that burping and farting are not allowed, especially at the dinner table-I still have a "Little Sister South" shirt that will go unused. On the postive side though I will have 2 boys that will build forts in our living room, that will shoot water guns in the house, to teach how to play basketball, that will be itching to go to MU games, who want to grow up and be just like their daddy. The more I think about it, the more I know this was how it was MEANT to be. And if I am meant to have a little girl, she will come along too.

So now all that is left, is to name this child. I am a planner, I am an organizer, I like everything to fall into place and this kid needs a name. I need to be able to plan for his arrival and not having a name, is almost as bad as not knowing what we were having!! This task has become more and more challenging as more and more names find themselves in the trash. Here are a few of my favorites (a couple of Justin's too) that we had to say no to for one reason or another.
  • Adler
  • Liam
  • Greyson
  • Leighton
  • Braydon a.k.a. Brady
  • Parker
  • Caleb
  • Asher
We do have a couple front runners (not listed so we can make a big reveal) and of course, I have my favorite but I we will all have to wait patiently (or not so impatiently) while my husband makes the decision. Don't **** this one up, Justin!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Found It!

And it fits! As we were pulling together all the clothes we needed for today's game, Justin ran across a stocking hat in which he purchased for Kaden last year but at the time it was just a tad too big. (I know what you are thinking-Yes, Kaden has a HUGE noggin but it still was just a little big and would fall over his eyes but not anymore.) He immediately took it from Justin's hand, put it on and there it stayed until bedtime. The first thing he did when he woke up, picked it back up and on his head it went again. Daddy couldn't be more proud, he got his life long Chiefs' buddy and couldn't stop talking about bringing Kaden and Baby Boy South #2 to their first Chiefs' games. Hearing him talk about the future and his plans with his boys brings the biggest smile to my face and makes me realize just how fortunate and lucky we are. I think I might do just fine coming home to my THREE boys.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

All in the name of L.O.V.E

Last week Justin mentioned that he would like to go to the upcoming Chiefs game. What?!? Are you stupid or something, or just slow...

For a number of years we have talked about getting season tickets but in the end, we both would rather be sitting in our living room with something in the crock pot watching the game, so we haven't done it. So why is he asking me to go with him on December 26th?!? Did he expect me to go along with it?

He got what he wanted. A few days later, I mentioned that since we had such a great time at the MU, Georgetown game (it was INSIDE) that I would go with him if he could find some tickets. The hunt was on and it was surprisingly easy (due to the holiday I am guessing). We got two tickets at face value and then we found someone with a gold parking pass. No turning back now.

So tomorrow morning, I will be layering on clothes after clothes and throwing on my North Face winter jacket, stocking cap, boots, and gloves and will proudly stand by my husband and bare the cold, all in the name of LOVE.

But since I have decided to be such a wonderful wife, I figured I would share a little tid bit about my wonderful husband. Last Sunday we had a few friends over for the game. A few comments were made about my husband's luscious long locks and then the TV crew panned over to Mr. Brody Croyle standing on the sidelines. Twins? Maybe not but siblings, YES. From that moment on in the game, Justin was referred to as Brody. Now, I wouldn't have thought twice about it but when some random person comes up to him and says that he looks like Brody, it kind of makes you chuckle. I have been on him when it comes to cutting his hair but now....


I may just shut my mouth about it. It is only hair and he has never said anything about how much or how crappy my hair looks!! Love you honey!

Santa Came!

Kaden was up and at it by 7 o'clock but I am not sure which of us was more excited. Okay, Okay, I was-and I'm not afraid to say so. So excited that after getting home from Carthage last night, Justin and I had got straight to work. I got Kaden dressed in his Christmas pjs. We read "Twas the Night Before Christmas". Put out cookies and Milk for Santa and then it was good night for Monkey. While I whipped together some oatmeal muffins, hubby unloaded the car and brought in Kaden's new race car bed. I put away all of the Christmas presents we just received, opened up the mail and read our new Christmas cards and then tidied up the house and climbed into bed around 1:15 am.

But there was no point in trying to sleep, I was so excited to wake up and celebrate Christmas with Justin and Kaden. This Christmas might be one of the most anticipated Christmas' that I have had but I certainly wasn't going to go in and wake Kaden up just so it could get started. This was about him and since Kaden was such a good boy this year, Santa came and left lots of goodies for him!

We woke up and I grabbed my camera, threw my hair in a ponytail and ran downstairs to capture Kaden as he came down to see his giant present from Santa. He went straight for the car, checked out the tires and then climbed on top. We started first with Daddy and his stockings and then we moved onto the presents-most of which were bedding for his new bed. After opening gifts, we pulled the guest room apart and made room for his new race car bed and we even added his slide to his "new" room. We figured that since Baby Boy South #2 will be here in May that is was time to get Kaden into a big boy bed (officially we won't start the transition until March but we figured it would be good for him to see it and play in his new room). 

Adam, Becky and Colton arrived just before ten, followed shortly by Grammy and Nanny. Justin had put together quite the breakfast buffet-blueberry pancakes, peppered bacon, biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, chocolate donuts, and fresh fruit. We knew we were working on borrowed time since neither of the boys had a nap or a resting period so we went straight to the Christmas presents. We were halfway through and both boys were getting restless and needed something to entertain themselves so we brought out their new Power Wheels and they were so stoked. It took Kaden a little bit to figure out that he didn't have to push this one and that it moved on its own but once he did, he was off. He even tried riding it backwards-watch out X Games!

The rest of the day was spent watching Kaden play with all his new toys and relaxing. All in all, it has been a wonderful Christmas (Eve and Eve's Eve). We are so blessed to have such great family to be with during the holidays and so excited that another little boy will be joining the family next year to add to the memories. Happy Birthday Baby Jesus. Thank you for giving us a reason to be with family and celebrate your life.

He Got Me.

Every Christmas Eve we celebrate with the entire Hartley family-aunts, uncles, cousins-the works. We gathered this year at Scott and Kelly's again and enjoyed some delicious potato soup, vegetable beef soup and chili. When Grandma Hartley was still alive, our dinners were much more involved. She would call and ask each family member what they wanted to have at dinner and EACH year, my answer was the same-SHRIMP COCKTAIL. She never failed, shrimp made the cut, as did everyone else's request, no matter how unique or bizarre. What a lady. Since her passing, shrimp has remained a staple. Although Christmas at the Hartleys' will never be the same without her, she remains EVERYWHERE.

Before we did the gift exchange, Papa Richard had a special gift for each grandchild. He handed us a bag and said "This is from Grandma, she would want you to have it." (The waterworks started here.) We opened our sacks to find a bunny. A bunny? Grandma didn't have these at her house and then it hit us all. The bunnies were wearing a vest made from some of the clothing in which grandma wore during the last months of her life. I got pieces of the pink robe in which she wore as she sat in her wheelchair at the table going through the paper or ads telling Papa Richard what he needed to buy and stock up on, pork and beans and jello were certainly on that list. We all then learned that the entire bunny was made from her clothing, down to every last stitch. This may just be one of the best, if not the best Christmas gift I have ever received.

I know it was hard for Papa Richard to let go of these pieces of Grandma so I hope he will be able to find comfort in just how much this means to me.

December 24th

Christmas Eve turned out to be a pretty special day. We started off with a great breakfast from Papa Tom and then we all started getting around. We were set to leave the house by 11 so we could go and see Grandpa Earl and be back for lunch around 12:30. Leah had us on quite the schedule and was adamant that we would be opening presents by 1:30.

Grandpa seemed to be in pretty good spirits. He had a lot to take in since 11 of us came shoveling into his little room and throwing names at him. See, Grandpa is 87 and suffers from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's so he has his good days and bad days when it comes to recognizing us. I think today was a good day. We would have to tell him who we were but once we told him, you could see his brain working and pulling the memories he had of us. I introduced him to Kaden and the first thing he asks, "Are you married?"-same old grandpa! He was fairly quiet but you could tell he enjoyed the company. It is never easy to see someone you love so much having such a difficult time but seeing him blow kisses to Kaden, is something I will never forget and always cherish.

After visiting grandpa we headed back to mom and dad's for some lunch, family pictures and then it was present time. Kaden received his first gift a little less than a week ago and wasn't too sure what to do with it but he has it down pat now! He loved ensuring that every single piece of wrapping paper was off the box. He loved, loved, LOVED standing on each and every box! It was so much fun watching him take it all in. He worked and played so hard that when it became nap time, he was down and out in a matter of minutes. Christmas can be tough on a 16 month old!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve's Eve

We decided to do things a little different this year. In past years we have always stayed the night at my parents on Christmas Eve to wake up to a yummy Christmas morning breakfast. We would then load up and head back to KC to join Justin's family for the Christmas Day celebration. This year, we headed down a day early so we could be home Christmas Eve night and wake up to celebrate on Christmas morning, just the three of us.

We arrived in Carthage around 7:30, just in time to eat some of the luke warm pizza and get Kaden into his pajamas. Luckily, Blake will still wear matching pjs-Brett at 13, thinks he might be a tad old for it. Plus, it isn't an easy task to find matching pjs for a 13 year old who is 5'6! And lucky for us, next year, we will have another little guy which will get to join the pj fun!

We knew the next day was set to be busy so we tried getting Kaden to bed but he was just having too much fun. Daddy took him upstairs to rest and when I peeked in around 9:30, he jumped up and started clapping his hands and screeching at the top of his lungs-this kid was not tired! I brought him back downstairs and he headed right for his four wheeler where he got ride after ride from Cousin Brett! Finally, with everyone else falling asleep, we headed for bed ourselves and he eventually shut his eyes. One might think he would sleep in a little, but nope, up and at it by 7:15! Gotta love my early riser!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Audrey and Hartley

are going to have to take a backseat and wait for baby #3 because...

will arrive around May 11th. Going into the appointment, I still thought it was a girl. We heard the heartbeat, 142 and that was down from 150 just two weeks ago. I thought that was more confirmation that we were having a little girl and then the money shot came and there was no mistaking that  we had another boy on our hands. Naming rights go to Justin and from what he is telling me, we have no idea what we are naming him! One thing is for sure, we just saved a LOT of money!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Breathe In, Breathe Out-

We woke up this morning to one snotty little boy, literally. Green goop oozing from his nose. I would wipe it and 30 seconds later it was back. We had a case of the never-ending-green-ooze and it wasn't pretty. Alongside the green ooze was a hackling cough and we figured it was best to call the doctor and see if we could just get the little man in and nip whatever it is that he had, in the bud. I dropped him off at daycare, went to work and set up an appointment for 1:30. Outside of a little bit of a cough and the running nose, he was same-old-Kaden. Ms. Brenda said he had a great morning and wasn't too concerned with anything but agreed with the holidays coming up it was best to have him looked at.

We arrived for our appointment and Kaden headed straight for the number sorter while I checked us in. His name was called, he ran right for the lady. We got to the room and he froze in fear. Shoes came off for his weigh in, 25.6 pounds. We headed back to the room and got his temperature taken, normal. His oxygen was taken (which is done by wrapping something around his big (but small) toe) and this was a fight, he hated having that done but it read 96%, normal but on the low end of normal. The doctor asked if she could send in her student to look Kaden over, we agreed, nothing wrong with Kaden having it done twice so someone else could get some practice in, right? WRONG! Kaden was not a "good" patient. He hated the stethoscope, he hated the tongue depresser, he hated the ear thingy (pretty good at medical terms). Basically he hated it all and he had to have it done twice. After the doctor looked him over she let me know that his lungs were rattling pretty good and that he could be on the onset of an ear infection. She wanted to go ahead and give him a breathing treatment there and then have another listen. A different nurse came in to administer the treatment and why, oh why, would this have a different outcome than everything else that just occurred. It didn't. I had to sit there holding him with one of his arms trapped behind my back, one hand holding his other arm down and then my other hand holding his legs from kicking. The nurse, she got to hold the mask in place and his head still. I cried as a sat there holding my son, I hated seeing him sick and having to go through something like this but then I caught myself and I thanked God that it was just a little wheezing, it could be much worse.

After a long 10 minutes went by, of which 9 1/2 were kicking and screaming, (Good News-by screaming he was opening up his lungs better and more and more medicine was working) the doctor came back in and had another listen. The clarity of his lungs had improved so much, so much in fact that we got to go home with a nice little present:

Luckily, I am no stranger to breathing treatments. My brother grew up on them, my sister has taken them once in awhile and I have given a number of them to my nephews, so I at least knew what needed to be done. We will be giving Kaden 3 breathing treatments a day-morning, noon and night until he is cough free for two days. He also is the lucky recipient of a dose of amoxicillin twice a day for the next 10 days.

As a self-diagnosed paranoid mommy, I often feel bad about calling the doctor when something seems so minor but in this case, it paid off. Never did I expected to leave the doctors office today with our very own breathing treatment, I was sure the diagnoses would be "Well, just give him lots of liquids and sleep but if things don't change in a week, bring him back in."

I wasn't looking forward to the next breathing treatment seeing how the first one went but we played with a few of the parts before it was time. Mommy put the fish mask on, we talked into it, we put it on Stoli-the mask was our friend. We started the air compressor up and Kaden held the hose and got to feel the air coming out of it-air compressor/noise was our friend. We put the two together and we got the same initial reaction but he quickly calmed down and sat quietly on my lap and took his treatment for the next 20 minutes. Maybe tomorrow morning we will get through it without any tears! Fingers are crossed, toes too, if anyone is counting!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


On Saturday night we headed out to celebrate Uncle Adam's 40th Birthday. Since it was an adults only party, we got a couple babysitters and Cousin Colton came over to play. Once we got home and noticed how sound asleep the boys were, we decided a sleepover was the only way to go. We were a little worried how Colton would wake up since he wouldn't be waking up to his mommy and daddy but he was a champ. He started gabbing at 6:45 which got Kaden gabbing and up we went. Both boys helped put the dogs outside, we got buckled into our seats, munched on a few Fruit Loops before Daddy/Uncle Justin got the pancakes fixed. And as hard as getting a picture of Kaden and Colton has been, I decided to up the ante and try to include the dogs. With "treats" in both the boys hands and then doggy treats in mine, they sat for a whole minute, might not have been still but it worked.

Pretty positive the future holds many more sleepovers for these two.

Kaden also received his first Christmas gift today. He got his very own MIZZOU chair for all the future tailgating we will be doing from Aunt Dawn! What a perfect gift. He already loves climbing in and out of it!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy BIRTHday!

To my newest cousin, Kyarah Mae Mathews. Kyarah was born on Thursday, December 16th at 2:19 pm and weighed in at 5 pounds, 4 ounces and was 19.5 inches long. Everyone is healthy.

Congratulations to Chad and Ashley! What a special gift from God and in time to celebrate the holiday at home in your arms.

The Darndest Places

I always hear that kids fall asleep in the darndest places but we have yet to experience that with Kaden. Unfortunately, tonight was no different. Monkey usually goes to bed around 8, 8:30 at the latest but tonight we thought we would let him stay up a little while longer since he has been waking up earlier than normal. We could tell he was tired. He was getting snuggly. He was doing the "drunk" walk. Then all of the sudden, he would be laughing and running in place. He was fighting it and trying to take advantage of the extra time but in the end, SLEEP won out. However, instead of falling asleep at his picnic table or on top of the ottoman, or in his tunnel reading a book. He fell asleep in his chair. Do these darndest things ever happen? I just hope when and if they do, we are there with our camera because this picture might be cute, he is sitting on his hands but it certainly isn't blackmail worthy!!

In a BARE tree...

Bare, empty, bleak, stark are all perfect words for describing what our tree looks like today but in time that will change. As a child, each and every year, our mom would take us to a number of stores on the hunt for that one perfect ornament to place in that perfect spot on the tree. The first year, it was my Baby's First Christmas. Another year it was a Snoopy Snow Globe. Sometimes it was an ornament from a family trip in which we took, Disney World, skiing or even the beach. And my favorite, the little basketball mouse on a clip board. Having a special ornament each and every year made decorating the tree over Thanksgiving weekend that much more special. We got to hang each and everyone of them, leaving the perfect spot for the newest addition.

Then it happened. Mom handed me my box of ornaments. Ornaments that I was to put on "our" tree but I just can't seem to find it within me to hang them up. They belong on my childhood tree, at the home I grew up in, next to all the family yearly ornaments and my brother and sister's ornaments.

Since I have loved this tradition for so many years, I decided it would be one in which we started with Kaden. Last year, it was the very popular, Baby's First Christmas and this year, a duck. Not only did we pick out a duck for Kaden, we got our family ornament too. So two new ornaments will be added this year making the grand total of 9 ornaments on our tree. The tree might be bare right now but in no time at all, it will be full of ornaments, full of family memories. I wonder what ornaments Monkey will pick out over the years and the stories that will come from them.

This year, our ornaments came from Pier One and I just love Kaden's!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


We opened the door this morning and Kaden started yelling "MOM. DAD." and pointing to the ground. You could tell he was wondering what this thing we call "snow" is and when he would get to go out in it. Well, that would have to wait, there were a few other things in which we needed to get done first.

Turn on the tree's christmas lights...

Kaden assumes his morning spot and we count, "1, 2, 3" and the lights go on. The biggest smile makes its way across his face and he looks up and down at the tree while clapping his hands. We have done this for numerous days in a row and his smile doesn't fade one bit. Such a joy watching him.

Then we have to rehang his teddy bear ornament...

The Teddy Bear often falls to the ground and Kaden will give me the "Uh Oh" look, pick it back up and try again. After about the 4th or 5th try, he manages to get it to stick and claps in triumph. Have no fear, Mr. Teddy Bear, he will be back tomorrow to put you in your new special home on the tree. 

We then had breakfast, played for awhile and went down for a little nap. While Kaden was down, Brodi became my subject.

Finally it was time. We bundled Kaden up and we headed outside to the snow. He wasn't quite sure what to think and we didn't get to play long because we had to get to the birthday party but for the first time, it went pretty good. He does make a cute little snow monkey!


Today we celebrated 96 years with Justin's grandma, Nanny! Since the weather outside is frightful and the snow is so delightful....we made our way out to Little Sisters' so she wouldn't have to get out and about. She wanted BBQ, we picked up Jack Stack. She wanted ice cream, Adam and Becky got ice cream. She wanted an Angel Food cake, we made strawberry with cream cheese icing and yellow cake with chocolate icing cupcakes instead. And what did she eat, her Jack Stack and her ice cream. She didn't want a cupcake. But after 96 years, she certainly has the right to decline the cupcake, no questions asked.

Nanny opened a few presents and found two new outfits to wear for Christmas. She got to watch Colton and Kaden run around and play with their basketball and football. And she even got to show them off to a few nuns which were walking around and complimenting the boys. The boys loved it there. They had so much room to run and play and we didn't have to worry about them getting into much. And of course, before we left, we got a few pictures in. Becky and I were so excited because getting pictures of Colton and Kaden both looking at the camera at the same time has been an impossible task. But we finally were able to do it and then when we reviewed the pictures, the blasted sun glaring off the snow and peaking through the windows made for some pretty dark pictures. We turned the chairs around, took a few more but of course the boys were over it!!

 The first attempts were they were actually smiling and Colton saying "Cheese". 

And then we get this...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I Am An Addict.

I might need a 12 step program when it comes to my newest addiction-ETSY. I admit it, I have a problem and I need help but I love ETSY and I just can't stop perusing the endless pages of handmade items! At first, it just started as a place I would go to and find something simple, the mother's necklace in which I now wear, a rosary for my Godson, and a few shirts for Kaden's birthday party but those purchases occurred over a number of months but now that it is Christmas, I am out of control. My goal this year was to try and find very personal gifts-enter Etsy and soon after my addiction. For a little over a week now it's like Christmas has come early for me. I arrive home from work and see a new box at the front door and I just can't wait to tear into it and see how the gift turned out. And now, I can't wait to wrap them all back up and watch my family and friends open them. I certainly hope they get the same feeling I got when opening them up to check and see if everything came just as I imagined. And for those of you who are reading this and might happen to get one of these gifts, if you don't like it, FAKE IT! You might truly break my heart! All kidding aside, ETSY has been fantastic, I accomplished over 75% of my Christmas shopping using their site and almost 90% of my shopping was done online in one fashion or another. Getting out and fighting the crowds, well that is a thing of the past! Isn't technology just wonderful!

The necklace I ordered with Kaden's name and DOB on it. Gotta add another tag soon!

Colton's Rosary, I love the initial option!

The mother necklace we got Aunt Becky for her birthday. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Monkey Hat for Monkey

A friend from high school had emailed me and asked for our address because she had something to send our way. A few days later this adorable crocheted hat arrived. Thanks Rebecca, we love the hat and will get great use out of it during this COLD, COLD weather we are having.

Rebecca has a Facebook page for the rest of her handmade items, search Creations of the Heart and you will find some great baby gift ideas. They are super reasonable too! A crocheted baby beanie is only $6.00, check it out!! You will certainly see baby #2 in a few of her items!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Finally, We meet...

Since we have all been under the weather we had to keep waiting and waiting to meet Little Sophie. I couldn't wait to get my hands on that little girl. Partly because we have watched Tiffany and Jason prepare for her arrival over the last ten months and partly because there is just something about having a little new life in your arms and thinking about the day we get to meet and hold our #2.

The Walshes picked up Waldo Pizza and we met them over at the Berberiches for the Chiefs game. What better way to say hello to Sophie than during a very intense and very important Chiefs game. No matter the noise level, she wasn't phased and just kept sleeping away the afternoon. Kaden on the other hand was in new territory and was ready to explore. Dog bowl-Check, Breast pump-Check, Breast pump part in Diaper Champ-Check and Check, Bloody nose-Check! It was quiet the first half with the little one and with the Chiefs but at half time it was time to rest and the perfect time to get a few pictures in. Daddy Jason got Sophie dressed in her Chiefs gear (she looks much cuter in the Chiefs shirt than in that darn KU stuff) and the cameras came out.

After the bloody nose, at least he is happy!