Tuesday, August 31, 2010

T-REX

We wanted to do something special for Kaden's actual birthday and about a month ago we decided we would take him to T-REX. Kaden usually does pretty good at restaurants since there is music and people he can stare at and with everything that would be going on at TREX, it was sure to be a good time. 

Kaden's eyes were HUGE when we first arrived and he wasn't sure what to be thinking. Was he suppose to cry, was he suppose to laugh or just look away. We started off to our tables and the dinosaurs started growling and Kaden got a little upset, not a full out cry but you could tell he was a little scared. (Side note-he doesn't like Royal games either due to the noise.) They take us to our seat, which happens to be in the very corner and doesn't have a view of a single thing except a rock wall! There was NO ONE in this place and they want us to look at a rock wall?!? I kindly asked that they move us to a different location so that Kaden can at least have something to look at so they put us next to one of the aquariums with a huge dinosaur above us. The dinosaur above us just happened to be PACHYCEPHALOSAURUS, which is known for having a big head so it was fitting since Kaden ranks pretty high in the big dome category! This dinosaur made noise about every 5 minutes and every 5 minutes Kaden would make noise back and I would like to think he was trying to scare the dinosaur or at least sound like him but I think he might have been the scared one. When dinner was over (you certainly don't go to TREX for the food) they came out and sang to Kaden and even brought him ice cream which he devoured! As we were walking away, he was smiling but I am sure he was thinking, Nana Nana Boo Boo, Stick your head in doo doo! Kaden OUT!


Dear Kaden

Where do I even begin? I guess, I should start at the beginning, there was never a doubt in my mind that I wanted to be a mother so the day that your father and I found out that you were on the way, was one of the best days of our lives. We couldn't imagine a happier state of mind but little did we know that the best days still lied ahead. 

Our next best day came at our 12 week appointment, we heard your tiny little heartbeat and it brought tears to my eyes. I must have played that video 12 times that day, this was really happening and you already had me wrapped around your tiny little nub of a finger.  Up next, we found out we were going to bring a baby boy into the world and although your daddy wouldn't admit it, he was high fiving himself over and over!

Finally, the day that changed our lives forever and for the better-your BIRTHday. You came out 8lbs, 2 ounces and 19 3/4 inches long at 5:04 pm. Our dream was our reality and from that day forward, it only got better. I never imagined just how much you would change my life but from the first minute the doctor placed you in my arms, I knew I be dead before I let you be harmed. (Couldn't resist the Will Smith lyric)

This last year you have grown in so many ways. You are now 25lbs and about 33 inches tall. You have a full set of teeth, 12 to be exact. You still have my pretty blue eyes and I think it is pretty certain that you will keep those baby blues. You have had two "at home" haircuts, the first being much better than the second one which I totally messed up. You are almost walking on your own, you are taking 8-10 steps at a time and if you are walking towards me, you get so excited and dive straight for me. Your favorite foods are cheese and peaches. You hate chicken. You love to play with your sorting blocks, your basketball goal, and your tow truck. Your favorite book to read at night, actually at anytime is I Love You Through and Through. You haven't started saying too many words outside of mommy and daddy and daa (dog) but it won't be long. You don't go anywhere without your lovey, in fact we had to buy a few more just in case one got lost.

You have changed my world in ways that are indescribable and I thank GOD daily that he chose us to guide you through life. That he chose us to help you become the person he envisions. And I pray that your Daddy and I are everything that you need and are provided with all the answers to the important questions that you have. I promise to you, that I will love you more every day and I will never stop protecting you. May all your little dreams come true.

Love,
Mommy

Sunday, August 29, 2010

MONKEY's BIRTHDAY BASH

What a day, what a year, and what a celebration! Mommy and Daddy had spent multiple days planning the party but it was all worth it to see Kaden have so much fun with all of his family and friends-both big and small. We celebrated with Cousin Colton, Cousin Brett, Leah and Blake and of course we had the two newest and littlest babies, Gisele and Madisyn. Outside of the kiddos we celebrated with our friends that have watched Kaden grow over the last year and our families-Grammie Janet, Papa Tom and Grandma Sara, Aunt Jennifer, Uncle Zack and Aunt Lindsey, Aunt Becky and Uncle Adam. We also had a few special guests from Tulsa come up, Rob and his daughter Lauren. We are so lucky and blessed to have as many people as we did that came to be with Kaden on his special day and so touched by the outpouring of generosity and support for Operation Breakthrough.

What is Operation Breakthrough:  Operation Breakthrough cares each weekday for more than 600 children, ages 6 weeks to 18 years. More than 98% of the enrolled families live below the federal poverty guidelines, most far below them. About 25% of the children are homeless or near homeless, living in battered women's or homeless shelters or transitional living programs. Often they sleep on the sofas of friends or relatives, sometimes even living in cars, rundown hotels or abandoned buildings. About 25% of the children are in foster care or other placements due to abuse, neglect or other family crises. The average income of the families is $9,400. Operation Breakthrough offers multiple educational programs for the children and parenting programs for those parents in need. They make a difference each and every day.



Justin and I had decided that since we have been so lucky and fortunate this past year that we wanted help bring happiness and joy to those in need and felt that Operation Breakthrough was a perfect fit. We asked that in lieu of gifts that our friends and family bring a donation. The response was more than we could have asked for and we are truly touched by the kindness of our friends and family. We not only raised over $300 for Operation Breakthrough but we also have a full load of toys to donate! Here is Mr. Kaden with all the toys he collected for for his birthday. I can't wait to post pictures of the kids who get to play with these toys, they will be so very excited to have new toys to play with.



Don't worry, Kaden didn't miss out on any "birthday" fun. A few family and friends brought two gifts, one to donate and one for Kaden. Kaden got some much needed clothes, one particularly AWESOME Mizzou sweatshirt from Wade and Lindsey, he got a VERY NOISY toy from Uncle Zack and Aunt Lindsey which he opened first and then didn't want anything to do with the rest of the presents. He received some Hot Wheels from Uncle Adam, Aunt Becky and Cousin Colton, he got picnic table from Grammie Janet and a really cool recordable book, narrated by Grandma Sara.

All the kiddos sang Happy Birthday to Kaden and helped him blow out his candle and then he got to dig in. At first he was a little hesitant, wondering why everyone was watching him but after I gave him a little taste of what he had in front of him, he CRUSHED the cake. There wasn't a single piece of cake left in tact, he LOVED it.

We thanked everyone for coming and a little after 8, K-Man went down for night. He must have been really tired because he slept until around 7:45 this morning which is a rarity!

Thank you again to those who made this day possible. We are so very lucky and blessed to be surrounded by such great family and friends.

The cupcakes that I made.


Smash Cake


Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures during the party but fortunately, the photographer did and we will post those as soon as they are available. I did get a video Kaden digging into his cake, check out my facebook page to see just how much he enjoyed his cake! (Can't seem to figure out how post on here any longer...)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Road Trip Down 71!

Although Kaden's First Birthday Bash is under a week away and we still have so much that needs to be done, it was time to make a trip down 71 and see some family. While in town we attended Cousin Crystal's wedding and Kaden met lots of family for the first time. And since Papa Richard was now home from the hospital, we got to spend some nice quality time with him. Papa Richard had a hip replacement and isn't able to put much weight on his leg yet so he is using a walker and Kaden thought his walker was pretty sweet. Papa Richard told us where we could find some toys and when Grandma Sara and Papa Tom brought them out I noticed that these were the same toys I use to play with growing up. My brother, Zack, and I would play for hours with the farm animals, barn and playground toys. As soon as we would walk into Grandma and Grandpa's house, we headed straight for the coffee table to find our toys and I believe the toys remained in that one particular place for a good 15 years. It was pretty special to see Kaden enjoy those toys as much as I did when I was growing up and I know Grandma was looking down, smiling from ear to ear. Before we knew it, it was time to head home to KC and when we arrived we had a special surprise. Justin, Tugce and Gisele were here to greet us. Finally, I got my hands on Little Miss GG!! Here are a few pictures from the weekend....









Thursday, August 19, 2010

Not Quite 100%...

but close enough! Justin and I are so excited about our new kitchen-we love it! And for the first time in about a month, we were able to cook a meal. (Okay, Okay- by we, I mean Justin.) We had a vision and I am so excited to say that not only did our vision become our reality, it is so much more than we expected and we can't wait to start entertaining.

Before:


AND AFTER!!


Monday, August 16, 2010

Bad Dog?

Not anymore! This weeks Parade had an wonderful article about pit bulls and it made me want to write a special blog dedicated to Stoli. Stoli will be having a birthday in October and has been a very loving member of our family for 6 years now. She is a momma's girl. Being a pit you would think that she would be a rough and tough doggie and I guess part of that is true. She is certainly a protector, she keeps our house safe and I doubt any strangers would want to walk up to our front door with her there. But she is a lover and a pleaser. She loves to cuddle and she would sleep under the covers every night if we allowed her to. She can't hold her licker so our windows are covered in dog drool and Kaden probably doesn't even need baths because she loves on him so much. We aren't blind, we know we have a pit bull and with having a pit bull as part of your family there are precautions that you must take and unfortunately it isn't always because of Stoli but how people react or approach her. We also knew that bringing Kaden home for the first time could be a challenge because she wasn't the "baby" any longer and there would be new smells and new noises for her to adjust to but she exceeded our expectations and became a little mother to Kaden too. Wherever Kaden is, Stoli isn't far behind and you can tell just how much they love each other.

The article in Parade gave updates on the rehabilitation of Michael Vick's pit bulls and it was very heart warming to hear that so many of them are doing so well and even helping those in need. A few of the dogs have received the Canine Good Citizen certification and even live in homes with multiple dogs and cats. One lucky dog newly named Johnny Justice (formly known as Johnny Rotten) works in a program that helps children improve their reading. What Michael Vick did, was wrong and inhumane. But I am thankful for the judge, the volunteers and so many others that stepped in when these animals needed them to. Thank you for giving these dogs the chance at a life they deserve, to be a part of a family that love them unconditionally. It is tough to hear all the bad comments that people make against this breed and I think the article states it best - "Generalizations and preconceptions are as unhelpful and counterproductive for pit bulls as they are for people".

If you would like to hear more updates on a few of the pit bulls you can go to www.parade.com/vick and the author of the article, Jim Gorant's new book, The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick's Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption will be published next month.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Weekend Update

If you want to ensure for a great weekend, you have to get off to the right start and what better way to start your weekend than with a Chiefs game, Papa Murphy's Pizza and the Johnsons! This would be Justin and Kaden's first time meeting Baby Madisyn and we were very curious to see what he would think of a little baby. For the most part, he didn't even realize she was there unless she was crying or I was holding her. If she was crying, he just stared and once he even started crying a little himself. I guess he didn't want her to feel alone-what a sensitive and caring young man. We weren't able to get a picture of just the two kiddos but we did manage to get a picture of the mommies with the babies and the daddies with the babies. (Kaden had fallen asleep in daddy's arms and mommy just woke him up with the flash.) Unfortunately, (from what I hear) the Chiefs didn't look so hot but I guess a few players, McCluster and Croyle looked pretty good...


We got an early start to Saturday, while Daddy and Kaden enjoyed the farmers market, mommy started putting the kitchen back together but before we were able to get it all done we were off to a party. Miss Lily (a swim buddy and co-worker's little girl) was having her first birthday party and we were so excited to help celebrate with Lily. Kaden was also going to get to see the rest of his swim buddies and baby Luke. We tried getting a picture of all the boys together but Kaden wasn't wanting to look at the camera. It was getting close to nap time so before we headed out we put Kaden in Lily's new wagon for a quick little ride. Kaden invited Lily or at least made a few noises which sounded like "Would you like to go for a spin around your family room in your new wagon with me?" Lily got in and wasn't digging Kaden's vibe and start to cry. Kaden's feelings were hurt, his first date didn't go as planned, and decided that she was a little too emotional. :0) We thanked the Albins and Lily for the wonderful party and the great party favors-Kaden enjoyed hours of fun with the pail and shovel, and only managed to eat 3 crayons! On a side note-Kaden sure does have a lot of friends that are girls-Lily, Gisele, Madisyn and Baby Girl Berberich. Dad thinks we should start a "black book" for the little guy since he has so many choices!!


After the party it was back to working on the kitchen. We got the cabinet drawers and door pulls picked out, Adam installed under cabinet lighting, I got to do a little shopping for a few new things and we finished unpacking the kitchen. I unfortunately have to leave tonight on business but I am looking forward to returning to a completed kitchen or at least one that is 95% of the way done. I will post pictures as soon as it is completed.


Oh and I forgot the best part of the weekend thus far, Kaden woke up at 6:15 this morning and by mommy and daddy's time that was too early, he came into bed with us and went right back to sleep in my arms until 8. Not sure if there is anything better than sleeping in with my two favorite boys, and we can't forget Stoli and Brodi. Here are a few pictures from the weekend.







Monday, August 9, 2010

S. I. N. K.

We have a sink.....and counter tops!! One would think that I would be so excited about our new granite counter tops but the past three weeks have been sooooo hard without a sink. Take my oven (I don't cook), take my microwave (don't like leftovers), you could even take my fridge (we will get take out) but you CAN'T have my sink. Washing bottles/dishes in the bathroom sink is for the birds and I am so thankful we don't have to do that anymore! Here are a few more pictures of the work in progress (and a couple of Monkey) and a big shout out to the best brother-in-law in the world, Adam has done such a great job on the remodel!! (DC Home Remodeling-give him a shout too).





Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Little Things...

seem to always get to me. Although we were out and about today, there were still things that needed to be done at the house, things I never imagined would make me tear up. (I seem to be doing that a lot lately, could it be because my Monkey is about to turn one-I think so!) Anyways, Kaden has been standing in his crib for awhile and he just keeps getting more and more adventurous and climbing over everything so it was time to lower the crib down a few notches and save him from black and blues that come from falling out of a crib.  As I was putting the crib back together, first the mattress, then the sheets, next the bumper, it made me think back to putting it all together for the first time, before K-Man was born. I use to just sit in his room and wonder, who he looked like, if he would know who I was, would I be able to give him everything he needed? There were so many questions, so many hopes and so many dreams that I had for my little boy. Fast forward a year later, there are still questions, more hopes and many more dreams that I now have for Kaden. And here, I thought I was suppose to be shaping and molding his life and yet, I am the one that has learned so much. He is such a ray of light, such a blessing and I thank God daily for bringing him into my life and allowing me to be his mother. How did we become so lucky...

Now the waterworks, didn't stop there. It was time to put the pack and play up. This pack and play has been in our family room since before Kaden was born. It has been put to good use, first as a napping place for Kaden, then as a changing station and now as a toy box. It houses the hundreds of toys and books that Kaden plays with on a daily basis and it was just taking up too much room. To the shelves the toys and books went (after removing TONS of DVDs-I had needed a good reason to get rid of them and Daddy didn't mind since it was for Kaden). Kaden was pulling himself up now and getting into everything so it was a win, win. Kaden gets to feel like he is into EVERYTHING and we don't have to keep pulling him away from everything. As I was loading the toys and books onto the shelves, we ran across "Love You Forever", a book that I still am not able to get through without crying and of course, I sat there and I read it to Kaden and we can all assume what happened next...

Hopefully, the next 24 days aren't as emotional because if they are I may never make it through his first birthday! On a positive note, here is Kaden's new play area with all of his toys out for his choosing!

One Busy Saturday...

Today was a pretty busy day for the South family. We went to Home Depot, The Tile Shop and then to Lowe's. We bought a new I-can't-believe-they-are-so-expensive-kitchen faucet, the tile for the back splash, and rock to finish off the backyard. The cabinets are in and the counter tops come on Monday! We now have a new and a working fridge and the other appliances should be hooked up by Wednesday. It will be so nice to have a functioning kitchen again. Now the kitchen isn't the only thing being planned and since we have shared a few pictures of the kitchen, I thought it was only fair to have a quick glimpse into Kaden's First Birthday Bash. I don't want to give it all away but it is great to have a little teaser so below you will find one of the party favors I just finished making for the party as well as a few pictures of the K-Man.




Before

 After Daddy had a sneezing fit! Scared the poor little guy :0(

Monday, August 2, 2010

Okay, I must BRAG! But just a little...

Today was Kaden's first day at the new daycare. We loved taking Kaden to Ms. Melissa's and Ms. Pat's but the drive was long and frankly we wanted a little more time with him after work. Luckily for us, we had a good recommendation from a co-worker of Justin's and the best news, it is on my way to and from work, a whole 3 minutes from our house! I wasn't sure who this would be harder on, Kaden or me. I know how much he enjoyed being with Melissa and Pat and I was just hoping that it would be any easy transition. Drop-off and pick-up times at Ms. Brenda's are quick, get in and get out. So she held her hands out and took K-Man and off he went crying. I loaded back into the Tahoe and my eyes started to water but luckily, I got a text a little later for another mommy saying Kaden was playing and was super happy-made me feel so much better! At the end of the work day, I picked the little man up and although he was happy to see his mommy, you could tell he had a great day. And now for the bragging part...we get a daily report card and this is what Ms. Brenda had to say about Kaden and I quote...

"Kaden is a perfect angel! He had a great day, very happy & playful, very sweet, I really enjoyed spending the day with him!"

Ms. Brenda just confirmed everything we already knew!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Fun in the Sun!

It just might be a little too hot outside to do anything except be in or around water. Enter, the fun sprinkler mat which we found on Amazon. As you can tell, it was a huge hit with Kaden and we will certainly have to do it again sometime very soon!