Monday, October 31, 2011

There's No Place Like Home

This year we channeled The Wizard of Oz and luckily we found a much cuter Dorothy than what I would have made. Now, I would love to sit here and tell you all about our Halloween adventures and how great of a job Kaden did-he looked like such a big boy trick-or-treating, but truthfully, I can't keep my eyes open and my bed is calling my name. So instead of me going on and on about our evening I'll just show a few pictures and add some minimal commentary…

Our Cowardly Lion.

The Scarecrow.

And the cutest Dorothy ever.

"Hello! Anyone home?"

and then a few extras…

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mommies Night Out

Over the past year a small group of girls-all from college and most all with babies, decided that we needed a girls night once a month. Each month someone would throw out a date and an idea and we would try to make it happen. We always had a great time but it was too short. This time we decided to up the ante-we were going for an all nighter! The husbands pretty much pushed us out the door when we brought this up, they wanted us to have this night or maybe they just wanted a quiet night to watch football. Either way, they took the kids and we took our wallets. Initially it just started out the three of us, Korie, Meghann and myself but at the last minute Laura joined us for dinner, shopping and dessert. But before meeting for dinner we started the day off right with pedicures and a quick trip to SunFresh in Westport to pick up the essentials-wine, candy, donuts and water. We knew our night would be memorable but never thought one of the highlights would occur this early. As we were checking out we saw Westport's finest checking out in the lane next to us. She said no less that 50 curse words all of which were the F word and most of which were directed to a very nice clerk. She proceeded out to the parking lot where she threw her bags at a car and continued her ranting. Spot a crazy, psychotic woman for the night-Check.

It was also a night of firsts but a night of favorites too. Meghann's first time eating at PF Changs, Korie's favorite. Korie's first purchase of BR skinny jeans (she looked hot in them, you're welcome Scott!), my favorite place to shop (at least right now-I have like half the store, it's kind of sad). My first time eating at Melting Pot-even if it was just dessert, another one of Korie's favorites. It was the perfect mixture of good food, good shopping and good conversation with great people. And I am sure I can speak for all of us, it was just what these Mommies needed!

And I'll let you in on a couple little secrets. While heading out to dinner and in the elevator, we were invited to a wedding reception by the FOTB (Father of the Bride). He was nervous but looked so cute in his tux. Best part, we think he was really series. He saw how much fun we were already having and knew it was a solid decision on his part. Sadly we didn't take him up on his offer. After returning to the hotel we walked around P&L. After all it was Halloween and this would make for great people watching. It did not disappoint. I won't say what we saw but WOW, I think I actually peed my pants a little and Meghann she was insisting on following this chick and getting a closer look but I was certain we would have gotten the crap beat out of us so we headed back to the hotel. And probably the best secret, when we went to bed. I was fully prepared for an all nighter. To stay up and talk. Talk about our kids, work, our husbands and families. Gossip about this person or that person. Drink wine and eat all the junk we bought earlier. Truth be told, I don't think I saw midnight. Actually it might have been more like 11 or 11:30 at the latest and the food and wine weren't even touched. We were out, not drunk out, dead tired out.

A big thanks to our Babies' Daddies. We really appreciate you giving us the night out and don't worry our next one isn't for another 2 weeks. ;0)

For A Great Cause

Saturday Justin, the kids and I had the privilege of joining a few co-workers out at Arrowhead Stadium for Step Up for Down Syndrome. We were there to support Lily. A sweet little girl that could make any person who crosses her path smile from ear to ear. It is pretty amazing to see so many people gather for such a great cause and make such a difference for so many lives. We were honored to have joined Line Up for Lily and to have met this little girl who is such an inspiration to so many people. Thank you Nick for sending along the invite, without you we wouldn't have been able to meet such a great family.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Some new "toys"

Yesterday a co-worker of mine stumbled across an antique mall and found all these great finds. So today I had to check it out. Luckily, I had an extra set of hands with me because we left with a few new toys for me. And by toys what I really mean are photo props. I left with 3 chairs, all of which are different colors and totally different styles and one super cute little wagon. I got home, pulled them out and had a little mini-photo shoot with two of the new props. You'll have to check back on Oliver Beckett Photography after this weekend to catch the other two props in action but here is a little peek at the boys modeling the new props off for me.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

And a Baby Makes...

We recently had family pictures and as soon as I saw the below picture even I thought I was pregnant! I am talking about 5 months pregnant too. I mean see for yourself…

Told you. I may be crazy, but not that crazy!! Just an unflattering shot. Everyone gotta have one and if they say they don't, their lying. But since we are on the topic of being pregnant and it wasn't a mistake that I named this post "And a Baby Makes" I figured I would share some news that has had me beaming from ear to ear for a number of weeks now. I am happy to announce that not one but TWO of our dearest friends are expecting!! And they are due only a day apart too! 

The first case-And a Baby Makes...Three as in Jake, Jennifer and Baby Walsh! The Walshes are due on May 19th and we couldn't be more excited for them to become parents and their parents to become grandparents. We are so very blessed at the love that they have shown to our boys and we can't wait to show the same love to their little bean. I might be a little more anxious and excited than they are to find out what they are having because one, I have tub after tub full of baby boy clothes waiting to be handed down.  Two, I get to start shopping for a baby again!! Can't wait to watch them take this amazing journey over the next 8-9 months to becoming the family that they have always dreamed of. Love you guys and can't wait to meet your little bean. Oh and thanks. Kaden and Logan both say thank you for the pjs.

The second case-And a Baby Makes…FOUR as in Justin, Tugce, Gisele and Baby Garrett. The Garretts are due May 20th! Now this is a whole different kind of thrilled. Of course we are thrilled they are pregnant and having a baby but I think I am more thrilled for Gisele. Her parents are giving her the most amazing gift in the world, a sibling. I never quite understood this until we had Logan. Yes, it was hard for me to imagine having enough love for both children but that just naturally happened. What I was more worried about was Kaden and how he would react but by watching him with Logan I can see that he has as much, if not more love for his little brother. I wish the same love between Gisele and her little brother or sister. I can't wait for Justin and Tugce to be able to sit back and watch as their two kiddos interact with one another and build a bond only they understand. The one thing that makes me sad in this whole thing- that we aren't closer so that we too could watch all this unfold.  Congrats Justin, Tugce and Gisele-we love you all very much and can't wait to hold the newest Garrett and love on them as well. Face it, your stuck with us. And there is nothing you can do about it! See you all in December-can we go baby shopping?!?!

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Art of Sharing

Sharing is one hard aspect for a two year old to grasp. And I will be the first to admit that he doesn't always GET it but when it does happen, its pretty precious. A little photo montage by Mr. Kaden and Miss Madi, narrated by me.

Kaden: "Hey Madi, my mom isn't looking would you like some of her Sonic Tea? Don't let her catch you though, she loves her tea."

Madi: "Yum, that was good. My mom loves their tea too." "Your turn. They're gabbing away and not paying attention to us."

Kaden: "Hurry quick, one more."

Madi: "Don't drink it all!"

Me: "Kaden, where you guys drinking my Sonic Tea?"
Kaden and Madi: "No, we were over here drinking this one!" "You have tea?" "Drink?"

Sunday, October 23, 2011

One Wish

I have only one wish-well I have a lot of wishes and they would cover everything from World Peace to Millions of dollars but there is only one wish that I wish to talk about. The need for permanent three day weekends and I am sure I am not alone when it comes to wanting more family time. These past weekends have been filled to the brim with activities which always seem to overflow into the beginning of the work week with no time to relax. Between photo shoots, family time, and laundry there really isn't time for anything else. The sad thing, as I sit here typing, I can't remember Friday. What in the world did we do on Friday! So since I can't remember, we will jump ahead to Saturday.

Saturday was Mommy and Kaden time. While Daddy and Logan stayed home to watch the MU game, Kaden and I visited Pumpkin Hallow at Deanna Rose. We are certainly no strangers to Deanna Rose but we hadn't been introduced to Pumpkin Hallow yet. Best part, we weren't going alone. The firm I work for had their annual fall festival there so we were surrounded by familiar faces and Kaden got to hang out with his buds Jake and Hannah. Kaden's favorite part-the tractors, as always. My favorite part-the hay ride. My big little guy was a trooper. We went around nap time and we left the stroller in the car and although he was Mr. Slow Poke, he was-for the most part-in a great mood. I love watching him explore.

Then there was today. A busy morning-running around getting the kids in their bests and trying to get myself pulled together too. It was family photo shoot day and stupid me figured that I could shoot ours too (with a little help). This turned out to be much harder than I anticipated. Trying to keep a 26 month old engaged and present isn't the easiest thing but thanks to Tiffany and Becky we got it done. Here is a little sneak. 

and my absolute favorite…

And what weekend would be complete without a couple milestones. Logan started his vegetables this past week and loves, LOVES his carrots. And although he is only 5 1/2 months old, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if he is crawling within the next month. He is up on all fours and rocking back and forth, back and forth. Kaden didn't show interest in crawling until around 9 or 10 months, so this is NEW territory for us! Makes me a little sad-my littlest little man is getting too big, too quick!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Almost like Christmas!

We have family pictures coming up. Logan has NO shoes. And for the life of me I couldn't remember where I put Kaden's old shoes.  Why by new when we could get some more use out of the hand-me-downs especially since Logan is just the right size for those darn boots. I started pulling out bin after bin of clothes, all of which I thought were too big for Logan. To my surprise, I overlooked an entire bin of 6-12 month clothes. It was like a never-ending supply of gifts. They just kept coming, one surprise after another surprise. We are now fully stocked on pjs, jeans, long sleeved shirts, short sleeve shirts for layering, and comfy pants. We are golden! Best part, I found one of my most favorite outfits of Kaden's and of course I just had to put it on Logan today. Most of you probably have already seen the poor and grainy photo that I uploaded from my blackberry but I thought I would pull out a photo of Kaden wearing the same outfit so we all could compare. Besides the lack of hair (I know you can't even tell because they have the beanie on) and the blue eyes, I have difficulty seeing the similarities. Might have to pull out my baby book and see what I looked like at 5 months…

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Little Happy Feet

Its official. We have signed Kaden up for this first team sport-SOCCER! The sad thing, this mommy isn't going to be any help when it comes to coaching/teaching. Can you say Soccer 101!? The ONLY thing I know about soccer is that the only person who can use their hands is the goalie and that is only sometimes-I think. But yet I haven't been able to pass down that one little piece of information that I do know to my budding athlete. Maybe we will get lucky and that will be covered on day one. We gotta start somewhere. Or maybe he will just have fun running around with Jacob and Lily kicking the ball back and forth, picking it up and placing it just right so he can make the perfect kick. Of course at this age it is more about socializing and less about competition but I would be lying if I wasn't kind of hoping that Kaden was a natural and tore it up on the 'field'! Happy Feet won't start for a couple of weeks but don't you worry there will be lots of pictures to share!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Seven or 49.

One December day at a Pitt State football game a little puppy was placed in my arms. Wait, Wait, Wait. I should back up. I grew up with Rottweilers and even though they were great dogs, I pretty much decided that I wouldn't own an "aggressive" breed of dog because of all the extra steps you take to ensure "everyone else" feels safe. Now fast forward some 10-15 years to the Pitt State football game-I knew Asia had just had pups but we wouldn't be taking one home with us. Who was I kidding?! Once she was placed in my arms, it was done. The only time I let her go was to make Justin hold her to convince him she needed to come home with us. A quick trip to the ATM, PetsMart and we were proud owners of a new puppy.  And Stoli, well she just celebrated her 7th birthday on Sunday. She has the instincts of a mother and if you aren't feeling well she will be right by your side until you are better. She loves to cuddle but she loves sleeping under the covers even more. She allows Kaden to crawl all over her, using her as a step ladder to climb on the couch, as a pony and as a pillow. She is a gentle soul and is always happy to see us when we come in the door. She brightens our days and I just hope she feels as loved by us as we do her. Happy Birthday Stoli. Thank you for being such a sweet and fun-loving dog.

Where did it go?

It seems as though the year has just flown by. That it was only yesterday we were bringing Logan home but now he is a little over five months old and Halloween is right around the corner. Unfortunately, this past weekend was no exception and before I knew it, I was setting out the kids' clothes for Monday morning, I was writing a check for day care and counting the days until the Friday. Even though it went by rather quickly we packed it as full as possible with fun family activities. On Saturday Grandma Sara and Papa Tom came up for a quick visit, well more like we needed a babysitter and this mommy just isn't ready to hand over Logan to just anyone. And once again, my mom and dad came to the rescue. They arrived just as Kaden was getting up from his nap and then off to the park they went. Once they returned we piled up some leaves and we jumped on in.

While my mom and dad held down the fort with the kids, Justin and I attended the JPII annual school auction. We were hoping for some good deals but never thought we would walk away with what we did-a week long trip to St. Marteen. A 3 bedroom, 2 bath condo with an eat-in kitchen right smack dab on the beach. The only problem, it is 10 months away!  None-the-less, we are going. With the kids. With Adam, Becky and Colton. With Janet. A South Family vacation! Can't wait to see the expressions on the kids face when they feel the sand between their toes.

We also managed to check off a Fall Bucket List 2011 to do-make fall cookies. A colleague of mine was able to find her favorite sugar cookie recipe and was kind enough to share it with me. We rolled the dough. We cut the cookies. Baked them and once they cooled we iced them. For some reason, Kaden wasn't all that hungry when it came time for dinner that night. Guess he filled up on the cookie dough.

On a separate note. We all know that I am not the cook/chef in this family and to prove this point I figured I would show off my skills…

And in case you didn't count them-FOUR, four pieces of burnt toast. I can understand two but FOUR, really...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Meet Kiley Ann

Ten fingers. Ten toes. A full head of pitch black hair. Perfect in every way. Last week our good friends (who happen to be major MU fans) welcomed their first child into this crazy but beautiful world. Kiley was born on Oct. 3rd which just happened to be her Mommy and Daddy's 2nd wedding anniversary. Could you ask for a more perfect anniversary gift? Heck, I think I got a Royals half season package…

Like most babies, Kiley just fit. She fit perfectly into your arms and just slept. Making giving her up so hard to do. I did manage to give her up just long enough for Kaden to hold her but for some reason, he didn't have any issue handing her back. I think he was just wondering if this one was coming home with us too! And she would have but I am pretty sure her Mommy and Daddy would put up quite the fight if I tried carrying her out with me.

I mean, look at her. Could she be any cuter? More content? I have said it before and I will say it again, there is just something special about holding a newborn and this mom just isn't sure if she is ready to say we're done. Thanks Kiley for letting me hold you and for giving me lots to think about.

I think Kaden might need a little sister!