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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend was all about being together as a family, a family of four with Logan turning 3 weeks and Kaden 21 months. We of course had to make room for a Sunday BBQ with friends and we even got to meet the newest addition to the circle. We started the weekend off with dinner at Granite City, which was tasty as always. Headed to NFM to pick up a patio table (since the wind decided to catch our umbrella and throw it back down and shatter the glass on our table a few weeks back) and then it was home to get the kids off to bed. Saturday was a lazy day and was spent watching a lot of ABC Family movies with Kaden, he was such a love bug on Saturday. Sunday was when the real fun started. We decided it was time to host our first bbq of the summer and on the menu were ribs, smoked chicken wings, brisket and salmon. Justin out did himself this time and his salmon might just be the best thing he has ever made. Again, why would I want to cook when I have him, it just doesn't make sense and frankly should be a crime for him not to cook all the time. By the time our friends arrived and we were ready to eat, we had all the fixings for a fantastic bbq. We all sat around the patio table and talked about how this time last year there was just one little kiddo and he wasn't even running around, he was barely crawling and was able to be contained in a pack and play. Now look at us, 5 little kiddos surrounded us. The newest, Leland, we were so pumped to finally meet him. Leland was born just 4 short weeks before Logan was.


It was up bright and early on Monday for our trip to Africa compliments of the Kansas City Zoo. We arrived just before 10 and it was packed, the line for tickets out to the street, the line to become a FOTZ was even longer but lucky for us, we were already FOTZ and went straight to the entrance and bypassed all the waiting. First stop were the otters and then we headed over to the ever popular polar bear who once again was doing his flips for the packed crowd and since we weren't able to get any where close we decided to hit that up on our way out. Last time we were at the zoo, Africa was closed so this time it was our focus. We jumped on the tram and away we went. We got to see the chimps, rhinos, zebras, giraffes, lions and elephants. By noon Kaden was getting tired so we took a spin on the carousel and headed on home. Once home we had lunch which was immediately followed up by a much needed nap that I even had to wake the boys (yes, all 3) up from at 4:45! 


Monday, May 30, 2011

3 Weeks


Logan is now feeding every 3 to 3 1/2 hours and taking a full 3 ounces. His cheeks are starting to fill in and the rolls are showing up on his arms and legs. He still loves to sleep and although a majority of his days are spent snoozing away, he gives us a good 4+ hours between feedings at night! We have allowed him to nap on his belly once in while and today we started belly time while he was awake, it went pretty good for about 10 minutes and then this is what we got...


In the last week we have been able to record a couple firsts-our first dinner out as a family of four! Big thanks to the Johnson Family for venturing out for the first time with us. Korie pointed out that now when we go and eat (usually at GC, such great food and very kid friendly), we are 4 adults, 2 highchairs and a baby sling-make room for us because when we come, we come big! Logan slept almost the entire time, except for the couple times he wanted his pants changed, Kaden sat happily in his highchair playing cars with Madi and the boys, well, they sat happily with beers in their hands. Good news, we know we can do it. Bad news, probably won't ever go that smoothly again! We took Saturday off and just rested and then today, we visited Africa-but more on that later. Safe to say, life just keeps getting better and there was never a need to worry about having enough love to go around, I didn't have to figure out a way to divide it, it just multiplied.

Photography 101-Week 1

Basic photography lessons are exactly what I have been in search for. I have had a Canon Rebel XTi for a little over 3 years now and I have never really ventured outside of the AUTO function. Auto focus-on, Auto speed-on, you name a photography term and it is has been on Auto. My intentions for learning how to use my camera were good, in fact, a few months back, more like 5 or so, I bought a Groupon for a basic learn-how-to-use-your-camera-class through a local photographer but I have yet to cash in on it.

Lazy, Maybe. Busy, More like it!

Then today, on Facebook, (FB is great for so many reasons) a page in which I have "liked" posted a link to her blog, found here about a 12 week crash course to better pictures. I have decided to take her up on the challenge and for the next 12 weeks I will be learning how to take better pictures with my camera. The best part, it is in Kayla-can-understand-words!!

Lesson One-Apeture or the f/stop-which can be used interchangeably-and how the f/stop allows light through your lens. My take away, the LOWER the f/stop (more light coming through) the LESS focus in your picture; the HIGHER the f/stop (less light coming through) the MORE focus in your picture.

This week's challenge, take your camera off of Auto or the "green box" and move it to AV for the entire week. Check, Done, Completed. I took the camera outside to try it out and what do you know, it makes a lot of sense-see for yourself!

 Flowers in focus, background not. 

 Flower in focus and background is partly focused.

Flowers and background in focus.

Stay tuned for Week 2 and the link to the tip!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fourteen

was my number. Orange and black were my colors. I was a Jasper Eagle and when my mom came up to stay with us for the first week after Logan was born, she came with a little present from my past. Not sure where she found this or when I wore it-possibly in 4th or 5th grade for basketball-but it never looked as good as it does now...on Kaden. I only hope he gets the opportunities like I did when it comes to sports and that he decides he wants to be just like his mommy and wear 14 too. And if a picture can be worth a thousand words, well then maybe, just maybe, it can also tell what the future holds-our very own #14 MU basketball player.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sleeping Beauty

While Logan napped today, I got out the camera and held my own mini photo shoot. It would have worked out a little better if he had no clothes on but the chances of me getting his outfit off and him back into a pose were slim to none so we worked with what we had. He sure makes for one cute subject!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Life's Best

Lately my days have been filled with errands to Target, the bank, dropping and picking up Kaden and the never ending pile of laundry. I often find myself looking for an adventure to make the days go by a little faster. Not tonight. I wanted time to stand still so that I could just soak it all in. And thanks to a few clicks of the camera, I will always have these images to look back at. Tonight Kaden was the teacher and Logan couldn't take his eyes off of his big brother.


Officer Hartley...

I have been meaning to get to this post for awhile now but each time I start writing about such happy times and great memories in which my boys are making, I think about Joplin and all the devastation. So, I decided to take a different route with the post-I will make this a thank-you-post and a I-am-so-proud-of-my-brother-post.

My little brother is a police officer for Carthage, MO and has been for about 4 years or so now. Him being an officer, scares me and it is a good thing that I live in KC and not in Carthage because I would worry each and every day he had to go to work. I am not sure how his wife does it and I tip my non-existant hat to her. Growing up, my little brother was a handful and the kind of brother that you often wondered what will he end up doing with his life. Then, while in high school, a few unforeseen events occurred which changed his life dramatically. He went to college, enrolled in the police academy and that was it, he was home. He was doing what he was meant to do and in no time, he was graduating and towards the top of his class. He puts his life on the line daily to protect his community, to serve for his community and now he is volunteering his time to help with the relief efforts in Joplin. He has escorted FEMA around, he has searched for survivors, he has helped those in need of medical care and getting them to the right place-he has done whatever has been needed and I am so very proud of him and I know he has a whole family that is thinking the exact same thing.

Officer Hartley, my boys are very lucky to have you in their life. I only wish we were closer so that they could beat up on their uncle a little more. I have never heard Kaden laugh that hard and now all he wants to do is knock us over with the Big Blue Ball but we just can't play it the same way as you did. We miss you and hope to see you very soon and have never been more proud of you as we are now.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Gobble, Gobble

Turkey Creek Festival 2011, here we come! We have lived in our house for about six years now and this year was the first time we ventured to the Turkey Creek Festival at Antioch Park. We had to get an early start to ensure we got good seats for the parade which started right at 11. The parade wasn't the biggest or the most amazing parade we have been to but it entertained Kaden and that was the whole goal, any longer and he probably would have lost interest. We got to see the Merriam Fire dog, Sizzle from the T-Bones, and KC Wolf. His favorite part-besides the sucker-the little blue cars that buzzed around, they may have been loud but he didn't mind one bit.

After the parade we continued up Antioch and entered the park where there were lots of kid activities (most to old for Kaden), arts and crafts, and lots of food. We also got to see a few parrots, one in particularly, up close and personal. Kaden wasn't quite sure what to think about this big white bird and didn't mind saying bye-bye to the birdie. The highlight of the day for Mommy-besides being with my boys which is a given-the funnel cake! And Kaden enjoys them just as much as I do. It was approaching nap time and so it was time to start our mile walk back home, up and down the Antioch hills all while pushing the double stroller, (which wasn't that easy to maneuver unless Kaden wasn't in it)! I could talk about how great of a time we all had but really all you have to do is look at Kaden on our way home, it pretty much sums it all up.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Family of Four Update

I thought it would be fun to share a few things about the Logan's delivery, the labor, all the transitions, and day to day life of our new family of four.

1. Logan is a GREAT baby. (finding wood to knock on-whew, glad I got that taken care of) Yes, he sleeps a lot right now and over the last couple of days he has been a little more fussy but a little mylicon and that problem has been taken care of! He is very laid back, very cuddly and I hate putting him down so I don't. He is just a sweet little blessing.

2. Kaden is a GREAT big brother. He loves holding Logan, he loves swinging Logan and he really likes to stick his finger in Logan's pacifier to help hold it in place. He continues to flourish and is learning so many new things and words right now. Let's just say the camera is being used a lot to capture all he does! He does have his tantrums, the terrible twos are creeping in but for the most part, he is a very happy 20 month old.


3. Diapers. Diapers. Diapers. and when you think you couldn't change another one, DIAPERS. Not only does Logan seem to dirty a diaper as soon as I put a clean one on, he also likes to pee all over at least 3 outfits a day. I may just prefer changing Kaden's diaper over Logan's, whoever said a newborns diaper doesn't stink, hasn't smelled Lil Logie's. And what about size! Changing a newborn's diaper makes changing a 20 month old's diaper like putting a tarp on a boat. I can't believe how big Kaden's diapers are compared to Logan's and he is only in a size 4!


4. Labor. Piece of cake this time around. I decided to forgo the stadol, this drug made me so loopy with Kaden and I wasn't really aware of what was going on so we skipped it with Logan. I was much more aware and present and enjoyed the experience so much more. We went in the night before and contractions started on their own but at 8 am on Friday we decided to start the pitocin and in 4 hours went from a 2 to a 10 and we were ready to push. After 20 short minutes of pushing, Logan arrived. It was short, sweet, and pretty amazing. I can remember having a pretty hard time getting to my feet with Kaden but this time around, I was up and walking in no time-the epidural wore off at just the right time. I  even was up for visitors after having had Logan which is nuts because last time, I cried knowing visitors were waiting to see us shortly after Kaden arrived. I knew the pain that I was in for but the entire stay, I took two pain pills-it wasn't anything like I had remembered. Although my labor with Kaden wasn't bad by any means, Logan blew it out of the water, it was like a day at the park and I came home with the biggest prize ever!

5. Me. During this pregnancy I gained 15 pounds less than what I gained with Kaden. I won't say the actual numbers that I gained but you can probably take a pretty good guess and come close to both figures. It took me 6 months to fit into a pair of jeans that I felt comfortable in with Kaden, it took me 9 days to button those same jeans this time around! I had Kaden the last day of August and in October, at a friends wedding someone (he was wasted) asked me when the baby was due and I politely explained that he was born about 5 weeks earlier. Granted, I didn't feel great about myself and knew I had a lot to lose but REALLY, kick a girl while she is down why don't ya! Guess it is safe to say that I still looked multiple months pregnant at that time. With the help of Belly Bandit, that isn't the case this time around. Yes, I have a nice flabby belly that needs to tighten up but I don't think I look pregnant which is AWESOME! Jeans fit, shirts fit-and we are only two weeks in!

6. Life with 2. Fulfilling in every way. Yes, it is hard work. Yes, sometimes I am worn out and exhausted but it is all so worth it. Our evenings have been spent playing in our family room and then we end them with each one of us with one of the boys in our hands until they fall asleep and we move them to their beds. Our mornings begin with all 4 of us, plus the dogs, in bed watching Handy Manny and feeding Logan. Logan spends his days eating and sleeping and once in awhile is able to work some awake time in. Kaden spends his days playing with all his friends at daycare. I spend my days doing things around the house, checking work emails and keeping the little man fed. Daddy is spending his days working and then when he gets home, he starts dinner. I hope to surprise him one day with dinner already done but he is such a good cook and I, well I frankly suck at it! All in all, life is good.

Two Weeks Old-We had his 2 week appointment yesterday and he got a great report card. We are now 7 pounds 15 ounces and 20 1/4 inches long. 25th percentile across the board and the best news, since he is over his birthweight, he doesn't have to be woken up at night to eat! Hopefully he cherishes his sleep and will fall right in line!

Kaden at 2 weeks...

Logan at 2 weeks...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Great, Great Visit

On Sunday we loaded both kids up and headed out to Little Sisters where we were meeting Grammy Janet,  Adam, Becky and Colton, Leann and Deonte for lunch with Nannie. On the menu, Winstead's, one of Nannie's favorites. This day was a little more special than our other visits, Nannie would get to hold her newest Great, Great Grandson for the first time. As Kaden and Colton ran around chasing each other with a football, Nannie sat very quietly and just held our Lil Logie. Nannie is 96 and it means the world to Justin and I that we were able to introduce our boys to her and that they have the opportunity to know who she is.



I am currently reading, Heaven is For Real, which is about a 4 year old boy that was on death's door and talks about how he visited heaven for 3 minutes and what Jesus told him... So far my favorite part of the book talks about how his Pop (dad's grandpa) came up to him in Heaven and asked if Todd was his dad and then he proceeded to tell him that he was Pop. Although the little boy didn't know who he was at first, Pop knew instantly who the little boy was. The fact that Justin's dad, Dave, my Grandma Hartley and Grandpa Earl will know who Kaden and Logan are when they enter Heaven and that Audria, my mom's mom, will know who I am and open her arms to me makes my head spin but I know that all things are possible with God.  We couldn't ask for better guardian angels for Kaden and Logan.

Monday, May 16, 2011

IMPOSSIBLE

We had a pleasant surprise in the mailbox this morning-our proofs from Logan's newborn pictures and I couldn't wait to see the rest of the pictures in which Janie took. Picture after picture of Logan turned out great, we even got a decent one of Kaden and Logan together but when it came time for the family picture it went a little something like this...


Needless to say, we will not be ordering any family pictures this time around and next time we will not wait till the end to grab a family shot. Here are a few more of Logan but don't worry, I saved my favorites for the announcement!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Its Our Turn Now

Over the past week we have had my mom staying with us and helping out wherever she is needed. She did laundry (we asked her not to). She picked up Kaden at daycare, bathed Kaden, played with Kaden and then put the toys away when they were done. She held Logan, changed Logan and fed Logan while we spent time with Kaden or I caught up on some sleep. She was such a blessing to have here during this transition time and then Friday came. Friday was a day in which we weren't sure we wanted to arrive, Grandma Sara would be leaving to go home to Papa Tom. We knew we would be getting a few more visitors on Friday that would stay over to Saturday but I wasn't sure they would be Grandma Sara material and I was partly right. Before Grandma Sara took off for home, my sister, Mike, Leah and Blake pulled into our drive. Leah and Blake were very excited to meet their newest cousin but weren't able to fight off their mom when it came to who got to hold him first. After a couple hours of everyone being together, Grandma Sara said goodbye and headed home. As she left, I remembered looking at Kaden and wondering who was more sad-Me, Kaden or my mom and as she pulled away, Kaden just watched out the window waving the saddest wave I have ever seen and if waves could talk, it would have said, "Don't Go Grandma!"

It took Kaden a little while to warm up to both Blake and Leah but once he did, he had two new buddies. The three of them played so well together and burned so much energy that bedtime was a piece of cake! Blakers decided that he would like to sleep with me and help out with the nightly feedings and changes-who couldn't use a little help, right? Wrong! Blake snoozed through the entire night and wasn't even disturbed by the crying of a 7 day old. Morning finally rolled around the kiddos picked up right where they left off and when it was time for them to head on home, hugs were shared by all.

We were finally alone. Just the four of us. After dinner and bath time we settled in for the ABC Family movie, Monsters Inc. As I sat there holding Logan on my chest and watching Kaden sitting on his Daddy's lap while in a movie trance, it hit me. Our family is complete. I had been waiting for some sort of feeling of completeness but it just wasn't coming but as soon as the house was quiet and we were on our own, it came. It was such a powerful and emotional feeling. Then Kaden pulled out his beanbag chair, climbed in and started "telling me" that Logan should come and sit by him. I did as instructed and just sat back and watched as my boys continued to form a special bond that only brothers can.

This is going to be a real good life!


Friday, May 13, 2011

Sneak Peek-2nd Attempt

Not sure why this disappeared the first time around but here are a few pictures from Logan's newborn shoot. We tried to get a picture of the boys together and a family shot but not sure how they turned out!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday to Colton!

It is hard to believe that Colton turned two today but he did! Unfortunately, I had to miss the party this past weekend since we were in the hospital but Daddy took Kaden and from what we hear, it was quite the party. Happy Birthday Colton, we love you very much! 


Yellow but Okay

Lab numbers came back today and we got good news-16.2 down from 18.6! And once we start our decent, it will only continue which means-NO BILI BEDS!!! Another great advantage to our numbers going down, we get to see more of Logan's baby blue eyes! He has been pretty alert and has had some great moments with his older brother. Love seeing them study one another. 




Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Little Boy Yellow

Since the heat index was in full force today we thought we would let the little guy enjoy a little sunbathing. We took off his clothes, pulled the bouncy seat in front of the door and that was where Logan spent the next few hours, snoozing and hiccuping.

Jaundice. We were familiar, Kaden had a small bat with it but Logan is another story. Before we were dismissed from the hospital on Sunday we were set up with a bilirubin test for the next morning-Logan's numbers were a tad high at 10.2. Monday the continued to increase to 15.6 and today they were 18.6 (20.0 is when the doctors start getting a little more worried and want to take more action). Since his numbers continued to increase we were given a few instructions-sunlight, supplementing and pumping. Pumping and supplementing weren't on my favorite things to do since this time around I was going to TRY really hard to do nothing but breastfeeding knowing that pumping would play a part at some point. With Kaden, I gave up after a few short weeks and frankly, formula was very easy to do and was still a healthy option. This time around, I am determined to make it work but things are starting to stack-up against us. With the pumping, will there be any sort of confusion on his part? How long are we going to have to do this? However, on the positive side, I do know exactly how much he is getting which is the exact reason why we are having to pump. Supplementing-milk is almost all the way in but until we can get 3 ounces every feeding we must supplement, fortunately the first few attempts we hit our mark but I am not feeling so confident about the night ahead.

Tomorrow we have another follow up appointment with the lab to check his numbers again. If they have not peaked like the doctor thinks they have then we will be sent home with a bilibed, basically a blanket of lights to help push the biliruben out of his tiny body. Besides having his foot pricked for the second time in two days Logan had his first doctors appointment and although he is quite jaundice, he did gain a couple ounces since leaving the hospital and got a perfect report card.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Brotherly Love

Everything I could have asked for on Mother's Day.




Saturday, May 7, 2011

In Just 24 Hours

Today has been filled with visitors of all kinds-family, friends and lots of hospital staff and we are counting down the hours until we get to take the little guy home. Our first visitor was probably the most special, Monkey came busting through the door for another look at his little brother. He jumped up on my lap, sat next to his little brother and then 2 minutes later, he was done and over it. Soon after, we  had a visit by the pediatrician's office where Doctor Nelson whisked Logan off for his circumcision and just as he was returning from observation Papa Tom arrived with Papa Richard and Grandma Earl. The hustle and bustle didn't stop there, we had our hearing screen done and btw, my son is an overachiever just like his mommy, passed at the first possible passing mark, the birth certificate lady stopped by, the photographer stopped by and finally my doctor. Logan had his fair share of excitement so when the afternoon came and we only had 2 visitors, we were in rest heaven. Mommy got some much needed sleep while Grandma Sara got some much needed one on one time. Up next, a picnic at the hospital with Kaden and Daddy, they are picking up some pizza and heading in for a little family time. Here a few pictures from the past 24 hours and a couple from his impromptu photo shoot that Mommy just had to buy the CD from. 




Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Logan Beckett


We headed to the hospital last night around 10 pm to start our induction and by 7 this morning we were starting the pitocin to increase the strength and consistency of the contractions which had already started on their own. A few hours later and after 20 minutes of pushing, Logan made his appearance. Our time with him thus far has been short but already couldn't image life any other way. Looking forward to introducing our boys to one another in a few short hours. Thank you to everyone for their well wishes and prayers, it means so much to all of us. 

Name: Logan Beckett South
DOB: May 6th, 2011
Time: 12:57 pm
Weight: 7 pounds 11.5 ounces
Height: 19 1/4 inch

Mommy + Kaden = Special Time

Thursday was our last day as a family of 3 and I felt that it was important to take advantage of this time and do something special with Kaden. Since it was suppose to be raining, I thought Build-A-Bear would be the perfect place to take him. He might need to be a little older to understand everything about the process but it was still cute to watch him follow the lady around. When it came time to stuff his bear, he pushed the pedal and then didn't want any more to do with it. Mommy and Korie ended up finishing the stuffing portion while he directed us. Up next, a bath for our new friend, and unlike Kaden, we got to skip the bath part because it was SUPER LOUD and he was a little scared. We picked out, okay, I picked out a Royals shirt and then we went and named our new little furry friend. (Trial Run) Kaden proudly introduces- Duck South. And yes, you are looking at a monkey but Kaden really likes the word Duck.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Perfect Ending

to a perfect evening with just me and Monkey. The last couple of nights have been trying, to say the least, when it comes to Kaden and his moods. Fits have been thrown when we have to come in from outside, when the toy he wants can't be found, when his shoe won't go on and sometimes when one of the dogs looks at him in the wrong way. The Terrible Twos won't be passing by our house, they will certainly make their stop and probably out stay their welcome. Tonight, however, 100% different. He was extra loving, he didn't throw any fits and when it was time for bed, he went straight up without an issue, even decided to take his stuffed monkey with him. So how did we end our perfect evening? Reading our favorite book. As I read each page, he would turn to the next. This book has certainly seen its fair share of nightly readings and I hope Kaden wants to curl up on the couch next to his little brother and have me read it to them each and every night from here on out.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ready or Not

Here he comes. Not like right-this-minute-he-is-coming but in the kind-of-sort-of-in-two-days-here-he-comes-kind-of-way and we are all very anxious to meet our newest family member. It is a little hard to explain how I am feeling at this moment. Worried and Excited. Tired and BIG. Happy and Sad-if you named an emotion, I have probably felt it at some point within the last few days. On one hand, I am so happy to be giving Kaden a little brother but on the other hand, it makes me sad to think that my little Monkey, isn't my baby anymore and that this past weekend was officially his last weekend as an only child. Bittersweet.

We have our bags packed.

Got my newest obsession in the mail yesterday-Aden & Anais swaddle blankets!

Toes are exfoliated and painted.

My shadow has been following me nonstop for the past few days.

The soon-to-be Big Brother of the house is still a RockStar when it comes to a lot of things but especially sleeping in his Big Boy Race Car bed. And yes, count them, FIVE, five lovies all in his little bitty arm reach for some middle of the night cuddling.

And a few things from this past weekend. Kaden has found a new love for Oklahoma Joe's-ABOUT TIME-it was like feeding a baby bird! While Jake and Daddy golfed on Saturday, Jenn, Kaden and I watched the Royal Wedding on DVR and then we put Kaden to work. Kaden ran around their backyard picking up pinecones-got 25 cents a cone, Jake owes him $2.75-pay up buddy!! The face-this is the face he makes when you ask him what a cat says, MEOW! Jake and Jenn have a couple cats and Kaden found two new sidekicks in CeCe and Prince.