Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday Catch All

With the busy weekend behind us, I figured I should take a moment and play catch-up. So here goes a little bit of everything.

On Saturday before your pumpkin patch hunt, we headed down to Bentonville to watch my oldest nephew, Brett, play a little football. Junior High football is nothing like it use to be. They play on astroturf field-turf (according to my husband-thanks honey for that correction). They have some pretty cool uniforms. And the kids, well they look like they could be seniors in high school and this made for one nervous aunt. He got playing time on both sides of the ball but shined on defensive. I might have been nervous but I was also very proud and I made sure Bretters knew it. Yes, I cheered for him and it may have embarrassed him but he gave me a little wave.

I know, thirteen and six inches taller than his aunt-embarrassing!

My SIL makes the best cake pops EVER and I was dying to learn how to make them. I hope to be able to make Logan's cake out of them for his first birthday. Yes, you heard correctly, Logan's First Birthday, I am already starting to plan. Mom bought everything we needed but then we decided to try something new, we wanted to put them on sticks and see if we could use green chocolate. What a mess! It was an adventure to say the least and halfway through, we decided to go back to what we knew, almond bark. For the first attempt, we did pretty good. They were yummy and didn't look half bad either! After a few more attempts, I might just be ready to take on the first birthday!

Kaden is a kickball KING! According to the doctor, a two year old should be able to run and kick a ball without stopping-CHECK! He played kickball with Grandma Sara on Friday afternoon. With Papa Tom and Grandma on Saturday. With Uncle Zack on Sunday. He played it inside and outside. 

Last Wednesday when we got home from work and before heading out to The K, we found a HUGE box at our front door. When it comes to online shopping, I can compete with the best of them and often packages are showing up that I completely forgot about or lost track of but for the life of me, I couldn't remember ordering anything this big. It took both Justin and I to get it in the front door and while Justin was holding down the fort this weekend, he put it together. Kaden came home to a NEW train set and table. Some very special people sent this to him for his birthday-you know who you are! You guys are some of the best friends anyone could ask for and we are lucky to have you in our lives. Kaden hasn't stopped playing with it and I won't lie, Mommy and Daddy kind of like it too!! 

Last but certainly not least, Kaden's love for Cousin Colton. We watched the Chiefs game at Grammy's on Sunday and the boys were determined to both sit and ride on the toy car. They were much more entertaining than our beloved Chiefs…

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fall Bucket List Two Thousand and Eleven

I hate making plans. Check that, I hate trying to decide what to do, love making plans but hate having to come up with them so when I read a fellow bloggers post about a Fall Bucket List, I was on cloud nine!

Whoa, Wait! Lets back up for one quick second though and let me explain why I blog and what types of blogs I follow. I blog for one reason, to help capture all those special, everyday moments we create with Kaden and Logan. This blog is kind of like my scrapbook/diary for them and hopefully one day, they will appreciate all the time I spent creating it. If this blog is read by no one, doesn't change a thing for me. If this blog is read by thousands, great-I hope you enjoy the little glimpses into our everyday world. Now, for the blogs I follow. I follow different blogs for different reasons. Some blogs that I follow are close friends, old friends, or new friends and often we have one thing in common, we are all moms but for these blogs, I KNOW the blogger. I also follow a few blogs such as Erin at Blue Eyed Bride who I have never personally met or spoken to, just a blimp on her big blogging world. Erin and I have a lot in common, we both have 2 boys, both of whom are almost the exact same age to the day and I love hearing what she is going through and comparing it to what we are going through. It is strange how in sync our lives are-I know I sound like a HUGE stalker. Another one of my favorites is Katie at Bower Power, she is a mom to a little boy, a DIYer and great at it. She loves to shop the thrift stores and turn someones want nots into super cute home decor. She also started a photography business not too long ago and this got me to thinking and why I just dove in head first with Oliver Beckett Photography. Again, I don't know Katie, never even spoke to her, just a blimp on her radar and yes, another prey of mine. The blogging community is amazing and can provide so many clever and wonderful ideas for you and your family and that is why I keep stalking my favorite bloggers.

So back to the reason for my initial post-Fall Bucket List Two Thousand and Eleven. The other day on Blue Eyed Bride, Erin posted a link to a blog that she follows. This Katie (not the same one from above but a different one) created this wonderful Fall Bucket List and offered it up to anyone who wanted to print it out. Just click on her blog and read all about it. Print it off, frame it and join me (along with Katie and thousands of others) in checking off our Fall Bucket List Two Thousand and Eleven. Enjoy!

Photo Courtesy of Loves of Life

*Okay so this post had little to do with my kiddos, except for how I have filled the calendar with all sorts of fun ideas and adventures for our family. Plus, next season, I will know exactly where to look for our next bucket list and our next set of adventures. Who knows, maybe I will have a few ideas of my own!

The Pumpkin Patch Hunt

The one thing that I wanted to do this weekend-take the kids to a pumpkin patch. Easy enough, right? Wrong. After hitting up Brett's football scrimmage and a little Chick-fil-a, we started our adventure. My mom was nice enough to print out all 52 pages of information on the Missouri pumpkin patches. We scanned for SW MO and found one that was calling our name. It had pedal bikes for kids, pumpkins in the patch and already picked, goats that climbed "mountains", a pond, a kiddy maze crawl and more. This was going to be great and certainly worth the 30 minutes in the opposite direction that we were driving. Upon pulling up we noticed two vehicles but NO customers! The goats, well their mountain sure looked a lot like a dog house and the pond was a horse tank. We pulled in but instead of putting the car in park we pulled it to reverse and headed out the same way we came in. Do you think they saw us?

The next pumpkin patch on the list was about 15 minutes away and luckily on our way home. As we followed what seemed to be 20 different pumpkin signs and drove another 10 miles away from the highway we saw it. Tents and cars and PEOPLE! This one may actually be worth the stop. We pulled up and noticed that there was plenty for Kaden to do so we quickly unloaded and we started our adventure. Vendor after vendor lined the old gravel road and Kaden of course stopped at each one until something in the distance caught his eye. A train, or at least what looked like a train and it was giving rides for $1. Grandma Sara instantly said she would pay a dollar for him to ride but I really didn't think it would be needed. He would get up there nice and close, sit in the seat and would want out. He surprised me. He walked right up to the line, took his seat on the hay bale next to the boys who were waiting and then handed the lady his dollar. He picked out the white barrel and I hoisted him in. He was actually going to do this. The lady started it up and away they went but ten short seconds later it had stopped and Grandma Sara was racing to rescue her scared little grandson. He got farther than I thought he would and once he was back in his safety zone he went back to admiring the train. He didn't want to get back on but he sure liked watching.

After prying him away from the train we made a quick stop to pick out pumpkins. He picked out one for himself and one for Logan. Both perfect. We scouted out the pond-of which was a real pond, small but real-and got to watch a couple frogs jumping in off their lily pad. Once we had made our way around the entire pumpkin patch we headed home to Grandma and Papa's. The pumpkin patches don't hold a candle to the ones found here in Kansas City but Kaden still had a smile on his face-except for the train incident-and we still created memories. After all, thats what it is all about.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Small Town Livin'

A toddler sitting on his daddy's lap helping him drive to the post office or the grocery store wouldn't get a second glance in my hometown when I was growing up. That's right ya'll, we pulled many "Britneys" during our young childhood. Heck, on a farm you would certainly see 10 year olds driving the farm truck and feeding the cows, if they could reach the pedals. And if they couldn't, well they would get the crappy job of standing on the bed of the truck shoveling feed and hay. But driving underage with your parents, this was the norm. And when the big day approached for you to finally be granted your driver's license, it was a cinch. We had years and years of practice.

Now, I'm not sure if this is still a common practice or if Britney has ruined it for all of our future generations but I do know, that if Kaden is going to "learn" prior to his permit, its going to be back home, my home and not up in Kansas City! I also figured I had a few more years to think about this and to prepare the don't-turn-the-music-up-too-loud-where-your-seatbelt-at-all-times-never-speed-talk but as I looked out the window I noticed he was way ahead of me and was already making his rounds.

Papa Tom had turned his beautiful yard into a race track of sorts and Kaden was behind the wheel, honking each time they drove by. I know he is only two but I couldn't help to think about the day he turns 16 and having to watch him drive off on his own. Kind of makes my heart skip a beat and I also can't help but hope they change the driving age to 25, just to give me a few more years with my little baby.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Take Me Out To The Ballgame.

I love how last minute decisions turn into some of the best decisions and make some of the best memories. And this last minute decision did just that. The Royals were hosting the Tiger's for their last home game and we felt that we need to give a proper farewell to the 2011 baseball season. Some people would argue that we aren't that lucky since we are fans of the Royals but that couldn't be farther from the truth. Personally, I think we are some of the luckiest fans in baseball and I'll tell you why. Where else in MLB can you jump on StubHub or any other online ticketing site the day of the game and get 4 lower level, under the awning, right at the beginning of the outfield for just $35 total! Including a processing fee and a printing fee. If you did the math (had I provided all the numbers of course) that would come to a whopping $4.99 per ticket! And as my MIL would say "They were GIVING them away!"

We loaded the kids up, picked up Grammy and headed out to The K for a family night of fun. We had hot dogs. We ate peanuts and Kaden took care of tossing the shells on the ground for us. We had funnel cake sticks (one of, if not the best invention ever!) We watched as Kaden shook his tail feather to each and every song that was played as the next batter approached the batters box. We did baseball. And we can't wait for the 2012 season. Even if our Royals aren't the best team in MLB at least we get to take our kids out to the ballpark on any given game day and enjoy America's favorite pastime. Wouldn't trade be a Royal's fan for anything.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ms. Brenda's

If you have spent any time with Justin and I over the last year you know just how much we love Ms. Brenda. Kaden has gone to Ms. Brenda's for a little over a year now and Logan has been there for about two months and we couldn't be happier. Not only does she provide a safe and loving atmosphere for our boys but she teaches them just as much. In the last month Kaden has been incorporated into circle time and learning time, before he would always play as the bigger kids would sit and learn. Well now, he is that bigger kid. This past month they have been studying zoo animals. They sing songs, they read books, they play with zoo animal toys and they make crafts that go along with each of the animals they learn about. He can now say "ele-pant" and has brought home some of the cutest artwork a momma has laid eyes on. (And all this artwork has inspired yet another Pinterest project but once again, more to come on this later.)

Since the kids have been learning about zoo animals all week long, what better way to end a month long lesson than with a trip to the zoo. We got both boys dressed this morning and packed Kaden a sack lunch. As we headed out the door he graciously posed for a split second so that I could capture their first field trip together, as brothers. The zoo was a hit. They all had so much fun and its days like today that I don't feel so guilty about being a working mother and sending them to daycare because let's face it, Ms. Brenda's is anything but a daycare.

One Year Later

It was too gorgeous not to be outside so this evening Justin and I loaded up the kids and headed over to a neighboring park for a quick project. After completing our project for the evening-more to come on this later-we pointed the train out to Kaden and away he went exploring and driving. He probably doesn't remember but we were at the exact same spot about a year ago…

Oh and Dad, remember this train doesn't move and the tracks, well they lead no where so you can't really say that your grandson was playing on the tracks.

and a few more just for kicks…

and we can't forget about Logie, after all, he was a young bun in the oven...

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Birthday Wish

Happy (Day Early) Birthday to the best mom a girl could ask for. I have sat here for about thirty minutes trying to find the perfect words to let you know how much you mean to me, to us, and how much we appreciate everything you have done for us but I find it that those words don't exist. I would type and I would delete a few sentences and then I would start typing again just to delete it all over again. Thank you for loving me and thank you for loving my boys. We are very lucky to call you Mom and Grandma.

Apologies for only getting half of the boys to cooperate for picture time! That Kaden has a mind of his own.

Chomp, Chomp

Logan's first bite of rice cereal went about as well as I thought it would. Slow and Messy.  Gone are the days of sitting down and eating alongside of Kaden and here are the times of 30 minute meals. Mommy and Daddy are back to trying to scarf down something, anything or trying to eat in between bites to Logan. But hey, you won't catch me complaining, this is what we signed up for. We take care of the kiddos before we take care of ourselves and we wouldn't have it any other way. Chomp, Chomp Gator. Here's to fully bellies and sound sleeping!

*Notice my copycat in the back? I was snapping to get Logan's attention so of course he had to try and snap too!

Shared photo book from Kayla

Click here to view this photo book larger

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Blog Dump.

It has been one of those weeks. Not too much happening for individual posts so I figured I would just sum it all up at the end of the week in one giant blog dump. And as a special treat, a few videos for your enjoyment.

Kaden has always been pretty good about going to bed. Between 8:00 and 8:30 we read a book and then he marches upstairs to his bed. It might take him a little while to fall asleep but usually, no more than 15 to 20 minutes. On Friday night it took well over an hour. (Please note, we do have a video monitor so it isn't like we weren't watching him to ensure he was okay.) He sat there in pitch black darkness while occasionally calling out to Justin or I. However, he never once got up out of his bed. Finally the chattering came to a sudden stop. After making sure he was asleep, I snuck in to put a few things away and found him like this, completely sideways in bed. And I'll admit, I kind of liked being able to pick him up, scoot him over and pull the covers up snug under his chin. I hope he never gets too big for his mommy to tuck him in.

Logan has hit a milestone and found a new love. This week marked the first time Logan rolled over. On Tuesday, as I was heading to the airport for a trip to Boston, Brenda texted me and shared the great news. I wasn't sure how to feel about this news. I was happy that he finally rolled over, he had been working so HARD, for so long but it was a FIRST and I missed it. Now, I know I am bound to miss lots of firsts since I work and especially since I travel but I was hoping that those firsts would be things like first blowout or first time puking, you know the firsts that no parent really wants to be there for. But with a little help from Big Brother Kaden, we reenacted Logan's first rollover.

and I just had to include another one of the boys to show just how much Kaden loves his little brother. He even manages to get Logan to play a little game with him.

As for his new love, his tongue. He is a babbling fool now and loves to stick his tongue out. Pretty cute if you ask me and I know you were totally getting ready to ask just how cute it is. Hopefully, he doesn't stick his tongue out tonight in disgust when we try rice cereal for the first time-picture will definitely be posted. 

Over the last few weeks I have noticed that Kaden has inherited one of his Uncle Zack's traits, his love for setting up and playing cars. I can remember when Zack was little he had a "garage city". It went everywhere with him and the best part, the garage was also a carrying case. Well for Kaden's birthday, Uncle Zack and Aunt Lindsey bought him a similar garage and a day doesn't go by without it being played with and hauled around. He will sit there and line up his cars and drive them around and around. He will pack it all up and move it to a new location and will start all over again.

Rainy weekend = Great weekend. Normally I am not one to like a completely rainy weekend cause I can get a little stir crazy but this weekend was perfect. Instead of being on the go as we always seem to be, we stuck put. Justin got in 17 holes of golf on Saturday while I took the kids to Target and then to get Kaden's hair cut but outside of that we didn't do a darn thing and it felt good.

Wishing everyone a great week ahead!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Grandparent's Day

Happy Grandparent's Day to the most amazing Grandparents two little boys could ask for! Or that their Mommy could ask for, for them and we all know just how crazy and picky she can be!! We wish we were able to have given you all your gift in person today but it will just have to wait until we see you next. Here's a sneak peek to hold you over...

Grammy, you have one too but we showed Grandma Sara and Papa Tom theirs on Skype tonight and we didn't want you to see yours!!

On a side note, Pinterest is addicting. And I am a Pinterst Addict but I am okay with that. What I am not okay with is pinning things and then realizing that I haven't really done anything with any of it. The idea is to inspire creativity and to share ideas one may never have thought about on their own. So what better time to start my own little project than with Grandparent's Day?!?! I took two pins that I really liked and merged them into one. There are things I would certainly do different the next time around and for those reasons I would have to give my first attempt a B- however, I can finally cross one of my "pins" off my list. Hope you guys love them as much as our little boys love you.

Circus, Circus

I didn't know the Circus was coming to town until last Monday but as soon as saw the commercial for it, I knew what our family activity for the weekend was going to be. I emailed a few friends, they were in. I emailed Grammy to see if she would watch Logan, she was in. I bribed Justin, he reluctantly gave in. All week long I talked about seeing elephants and tigers and clowns and Kaden would give me a big loud "YEA!". Pretty sure he didn't understand an ounce of what I was saying or where we were headed but that was okay, I was definitely excited enough for both of us.

Saturday came and while I was on a photo shoot, Justin held down the fort and made sure that Kaden got some shuteye in before we headed down to the Sprint Center. We arrived just as the doors were opening up and we headed straight for the center ring for the pre-show. Kaden got to get his picture with a man on stilts, he got a tattoo and he even got to watch an elephant paint a one-of-a-kind picture. We made our way to our seats and shortly after finding them the show began. Kaden bounced from Justin's lap, to my lap, to sitting in his own seat and even standing up BUT he never got bored. He LOVED every minute of it and when it came time for the show to end, he stood there and said "Bye-Bye" to circus.

For me it was more than just taking Kaden to the circus. It was about making memories. It's about letting his imagination run wild. About taking time to just enjoy the simple things in life and let your kid be a kid. Watching as his eyes open wide in amazement, as he jumps and dances with excitement and how he never missed an opportunity to clap and show his appreciation. As I sat back and watched all this take place there were moments that my eyes got a little teary but a tear wasn't shed until I saw Justin with his arms wrapped around our son, pointing and telling Kaden all about what was going on. My heart melted. In that moment, nothing else mattered-this is what life was all about.

So glad I caught this, Kaden is such a HAM!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


There is a first time for everything and even though this is a first, it is probably a last as well. And I am okay with that because the spotlight, well it couldn't have been on anyone better! Last week I wrote a blog post on Oliver Beckett Photography about my cousin Lottie Mae. This week that same blog post was published in my hometown's online paper, The Carthage Press, seen here Face of Hope. I'll admit, it is pretty neat to have something published and to see my own byline but the time I spent with Lottie was much more special. The strength this little girl has shown, outweighs it all. She has been and will continue to be an inspiration to all and if this little blog post introduced her story to just one new person, it did its job.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Birthday Weekend

My husband makes fun of me when it comes to celebrating birthdays. To me, they should be birthWEEKS or even better, birthMONTHS cause I tend to milk them for as much as I can, especially when it comes to Monkey. Last weekend was the birthday party, Wednesday was his BIRTHday and this weekend well it was all about him too. On Friday night we rented Rio and Kaden was captivated from the moment the colorful birds came on the screen. Daddy and I might have gotten a little sleepy during the movie but not Kaden, he would chuckle when things were funny (I love that he gets humor now) and would do a little jig when the music came on.  First thing the next morning, it was back on. We had it for 24 hours and we were going to get our monies worth!

Saturday was game day. We all put on our Mizzou gear and had a little birthday BBQ for who else…Aunt Becky, that is who-see I can share! Since we had done something for Janet and for Kaden we wanted to do something with Becky too. So Kaden and Cousin Colton spent the next few hours chasing after one another. (He slept soooo good at nap time). After he woke up we walked out the front door with Jake and Jennifer to try out luck out at Dave and Busters. Jennifer instantly found PacMan (I think there is some sort of magnetic attraction because we were there two minutes and she had already located it). Of course, Jennifer went on to top her all time high score, she rocks! Justin and I had our every-time-we-are-at-arcade-pop-a-shot-match and for the first time, he beat me. For the record, there was a two year old at my side and he was stealing my basketballs! Up next Deal or No Deal and man, if this was the real deal, we would have walked away with the million! We won the top prize of 600 tickets, the lucky case you ask, case number 2-for Kaden's 2nd birthday of course! Dinner was at the Yard House which was delicious. The only casualties came in the form of a few bruises. Kaden fell as he was running and skinned up his face. He tripped over his own two feet as he sat down next to a wall and instead of sitting ran smack dab into it. And fell once more before the night was over. Dad the balance bracelet is going back on as soon as he is asleep!

We woke up bright and early so that we could be at the zoo right as it opened. This time we were heading to Australia and the Tiger Trail, saving Africa for another time. We arrived just as they were feeding Mr. Polar Bear. Usually he is doing flip after flip but for once we got to see him out of the water eating what looked like dog food and carrots. Water must be a lot like TV because he really did look a lot bigger when he was doing his flips. We got to enjoy the kangaroos jumping around and the sheep up close and personal. It was a great start to our Sunday and we finished the day off with some meatball sliders at Jake and Jenn's.

The weather has been such a relief. We have been able to enjoy so much of our time outside playing. We have been to the park. We have been in our front yard. We went to the zoo, the Legends. And the past few days Kaden has napped like he has never napped before. I loved getting him out of the house and away from his normal toys and tv and to get his brain working in a different way, to watch him run (and fall) and to play till his heart was content. We have had a great birthday weekend and I can't wait until next weekend so we can do it all over again. I hear the circus is coming to town!!

"Mommy, YUCK!"

So there I am. Just finishing up Logan's bath and as I take him to the room directly across from the bathroom to get him all smelly goody and dry, I hear, "Mommy, Yuck!" I get up, walk the few feet to the bathroom and as I lay eyes on it, I hear again "Mommy, Yuck!" And there it was-poo. Really?? Again?!

The first time this happened, I was in complete disgust. I was in shock and didn't know what to do for what seemed like eternity but then Justin and I got an action plan together and fished it out. The next time it happened, we recovered a little quicker. And this time, sadly, it didn't even phase me one bit and I was all alone-no Justin to help me out this time. I pulled KMan out of the tub, sat him on the toilet and went for the grocery sacks. I covered the shower in bleach and turned it on as hot as it possibly could go. About a month ago, Kaden pooped in the real porcelain bowl-actually twice in one day, I was so pumped-but I think that was a curse because since then, this has happened way too much. If I was missing some sort of cue from Kaden I might be a tad more upset with myself but one minute the water is clear and the next we got floaters… Man, I can't wait to start potty training, wait a minute...

Just Numbers...

But these numbers might just be the difference between a point guard and a forward or Division 1 vs Division 2! It was time to find out just how tall Kaden would be when he gets older. (Not sure how scientific it is but we have always been told that however tall one may be at 2, that you would be twice as tall when you get older). I think it is time to work not only on the baby hook shot but also our 3 pointers and our crossover-we are going to have a triple threat on our hands!

We took the boys to the doctor's on Friday-Kaden had his 2 year checkup and Logan his 4 month checkup. I was fully prepared to have to hold Kaden down while he was being looked over but surprisingly was in good spirits. So much so that when he got his finger pricked so that blood could be drawn, he didn't even flinch. Logan on the other hand had a few whimpers when it came to get his shots but he was easily calmed down by a few pats on his bottom. By the time we were done the boys had 4 shots, 1 finger pricked, 1 flu mist, 1 oral medicine and 1 lollipop. Both boys got great report cards and continue to flourish.

Kaden Oliver-24 months
Height: 36'' = 95% (double his height at age 2 and we have a 6 footer!!)
Weight: 29 pounds 10 ounces = 70%
Head Circumference: 50 cm = 85% (still a big dome)

Logan Beckett-4 months (Happy One-Third Birthday)
Height: 25'' = 50%
Weight: 15 pounds 11 ounces = 70%
Head Circumference: 42.5 cm = 50%