Saturday, January 28, 2012


Check out this HYM! (Handsome Young Man) I hate to toot our own horn but damn we make a cute kid! TOOT, TOOT! And if your looking for a HYM for your cute little girl, we'll start the bidding at college tuition!


Friday, January 27, 2012

Moving On Up!

Look who is playing in the big leagues now! That's right, after having purchased the Keeping Up With The Souths domain about a week ago, I finally figured out how to get it all linked up to work! No more We are big time now!

So what took me so long, you ask? I wasn't sure if I was going to stick with the blog name or not. At first it was just the South Family Blog and although the name said exactly what this blog was about, I wanted more. And yes, the Kardashian's were kind of the "IT" family when choosing the name-that show is such a time suck-but again, the name did its job and anyone visiting the blog would know what they were getting into just by the title. And it just doesn't make sense to change it again.

The good news, we aren't just stopping with the new domain name! I have been working with a blog designer for a little while now and will be unveiling one of her designs within the next month or so. I haven't seen what she has been cooking up but I can tell you that I like her work. And hopefully it won't be too advanced so that I can change a few things here and there when I need too! I guess you can call it an happy early 30th birthday present to myself. A new look for a new decade.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I'll be the first to admit, I probably don't have the best manners all the time. I try. I try hard. But I know that I should look up at someone passing by and say hello. I should have held the door open for an extra 10 seconds for the person behind me. I should have said "Bless You" instead of continueing to read the latest celebrity gossip on People. I would like to think that those occurrences are far and in between, very far and in between.

Lately, I have been reminded more and more about how important manners just really are. Kaden is at a stage where he mimicks and repeats everything. And I do mean EVERYTHING. It's cute, really cute but the truth is that just like most everything else, manners are a learned habit. And if I want this kid to grow up being a polite young man who opens doors like his father does, walks on the street side like his father does, helps me down out of the car like his father does, we need to start leading by example now. Please, Thank You and You're Welcome are the new "IT" words in the house.

Since Kaden was little we have always used these words hoping that one day it would just click, and it did. Justin hands him his milk-only after he has asked nicely and with a please of course-he says "Thank you Daddy." He is always opening the door for me at daycare and at home. I say "Ouch.", he runs over, kisses it and asks if its better. The kid just gives me the warm and fuzzies all over. He really is one of the politest kids that I know and I keep my fingers crossed that it only continues.

Now, I have to give credit where credit is due. Sure, Justin and I use these words on a daily basis at home with him and we never just hand something over without him asking nicely for it first but without our dear Ms. Brenda, none of this would be possible. Ms. Brenda runs a tight shift at daycare (which I LOVE) and always expects the upmost respect from the children she cares for throughout the weekdays. So not only is Kaden hearing these words at home, he hears them while he is in her care too. Some of my favorite things that he does, he learned from her. He now asks if he can be excused after he is done eating-at first I had to ask Ms. Brenda what it was that he was trying to say but now it is much more clear! And just the other day, he said "Bless you, Mommy". I had no idea that he even knew what a sneeze was, let alone the proper way to respond-and this Mommy was in Mommy heaven. Music to my ears.

Not only do our actions and responses rub off on him but his are rubbing off on us too. I find myself willing to take that extra little time to hold a door open for someone. I use the words please and thank you to the extreme now.  I swear our waitresses think I am a looney for thanking them each time they come to the table to check on us. But isn't that how it should be? Shouldn't we all try and be more polite to one another? This isn't an earth-shattering concept by any means, it's just something that has really taken center stage in our lives. We have two little minds that we are trying to shape into polite, respectable young men and hopefully we are laying a strong foundation.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Not Like Me

So this past weekend Kaden, Logan and I headed back home to see Papa Tom and Grandma Sara. As always, I was armed with my handy-dandy camera. Ready to document the whole weekend with pictures. Except this time I hardly took any pictures. It was a nice change but I really can't image it happening again any time soon, you just never know what you are going to miss! So my apologies for a small number of pictures from our weekend adventures but I think the pictures that we did get, sum our time up perfectly.

The one thing that never changes when we go back to my parents'--they spoil us. Spoil us ROTTEN. We eat like kings and queens. We stay up past our bedtimes. We sleep in later than normal. We ride four wheelers in the house. And we might even eat Birthday cake for breakfast. This trip we were spoiled even more. We beat both Grandma Sara and Papa Tom home but when they pulled in the driveway they had some special people with them-Cousin Brett, Leah and Blake were going to stay the night too! It wasn't long before Zack and Lindsey heard about the party and they too were on their way over. It might have been full house but it was pretty perfect. You heard giggles coming from upstairs. Laughter from the living room and chatter from around the kitchen table. Then all of the sudden we look up and see this…

And this is the guy that is going to be a daddy in just a few months? He has a lot to learn or else poor Lindsey will be changing far too many dirty diapers.

And this kid…

well, he is pretty terrific. I couldn't say it if it wasn't so! He was awarded the I'm a Terrific Kid award for the month of January out of all the kids in the second grade. Pretty big achievement if you ask me and that makes for one super proud aunt. Plus it doesn't hurt that he is so great with Logan and Kaden but especially Logan. That little boy of mine took a liking to Blake and was right by his side all night long. Who could blame him though, did I say he was a Terrific Kid yet?

Saturday morning brought work for the big boys and they were up and at it early. Brett decided that shorts would be a good fit for the weekend and Papa Tom wasn't allowing that since they would be outside doing "man" work so out came the hand me downs. And since Papa Tom was pretty sure Brett had never worn such an article of clothing, he made sure to help Brett put them on correctly…

Now that is hot! As much as I would love to post these pictures to FB for all of his friends to see, I promised I wouldn't. I mean at fourteen, something like this could ruin your reputation in junior high and from what I am hearing from his mom and Rob, this kid needs all the help he can get. And I guess it wasn't like he was prancing around in these all morning, he was put to work hauling wood from the woodpile behind the house up to the back door. Sawing a few boards down to size and measuring parts for the garage. Man work or so I was told.

I know, I know. You are probably asking yourself, "How could this get any better? That picture is priceless!" Well, what if I told you those are my dads? Or at least he claims they are. And to that I say, "Maybe in 1982!" 

After lunch it was nap time for the boys, Mizzou basketball for Papa and project time for Mommy. Luckily the boys took extra long naps, from having played so hard with the kids, that I was able to get both growth charts done and everything put away before they started to stir. Once they both were up we decided to take a little trip into town to see if we could find Uncle Zack or in this case, Officer Hartley. He was kind enough to meet us back at the CPD, that's cop talk for Carthage Police Department :0) Once we arrived he introduced us to Dawn the dispatcher and then give Kaden his own little badge. It may have just been a sticker but Kaden was really proud of that sticker and didn't want it out of his site! 

And what trip to Papa Tom's and Grandma Sara's would be complete without your own bag of M&Ms? Kaden sure had a great time eating them! He couldn't just have one at a time-no, he had to have a full handful all at once. 

Weekends back home never seem to disappoint. Logan got to show off his new skills by pulling up and chasing after his brother. Kaden provided an endless supply of laughs. He finally warmed up to Aunt Lindsey and had said good-bye to her a couple dozen times before she made it out the door. Grandma Sara got her grandkid fix in and Papa Tom got to fall asleep next to his little buddy. For the record, Papa Tom fell asleep first and Kaden was in awe of just how loud one person can snore.

Thanks for another wonderful weekend Mom and Dad. Weekends at home with the kids are some of my favorites. Maybe this summer we can teach Kaden how to fish!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Saturday Project

Since the kids and I hadn't been to Papa Tom's and Grandma Sara's since Christmas we thought this would be the perfect weekend to take a little trip. We left Daddy behind to handle the house showings, loaded up and headed south. We have lots to share from our weekend trip but more on that later because what I really want to share with you is our little project we just completed. A few months ago I spoke about a trip to the farm, seen here, where I talked about my Grandpa Earl's old barn and how I wanted to recycle the wood. Well today we did just that. With the help of my dad and a handy dandy power saw we completed the project in a little under two hours, all while the kiddos napped. Here is a look at the finished project. I just have to say, I am absolutely in love with how it turned out. One could certainly use a brand new board but I think knowing that this wood is 80+ years old and has so much family history in it, makes it so much sweeter.

So now the step by step. If you have trouble following my step by step instructions, click over to this blog where I got the idea from Pinterest on.

The first thing I did was make a stencil for the ruler marks. I decided to use a couple different lengths to differentiate the 1/4 and 3/4 foot marks from 1/2 foot marks and then from the foot marks.

The whole foot marks are 3 1/2 inches long, the 1/2 ft marks are 2 1/2 inches, the 1/4 and 3/4 marks are 2 inches and then everything in between are 1 1/2 inches. I marked and traced them out on a poster board and then cut out each section to create the stencil.

I then taped the stencil to the board and used a marker to fill in each section. I should note that I started the board at 6 inches so we will hang the board 6 inches off the ground in order to make sure we are measuring at the right height. Since we used a 6 ft board this allows us to go to 6 1/2 feet, just in case my kiddos decide they want to be tall like their Papa. 

As you can tell, I only made the stencil 1 1/2 feet long. Once I hit the 2 ft. marker, I picked up the stencil and placed the 1 ft. marker where I had just finished and then filled the sections from 1 ft to 2 ft again and repeated 3 more times. 

I then took the boards outside and used a clear coat spray to seal the marker and to give it a little extra shine.

Don't they just look amazing? I love, LOVE, the aged wood effect. I think it just provides so much character. Can't wait to get them home and find a place for them in the boys' rooms. We might have to wait to actually hang them up because really there is no point in putting more holes in our walls since we are trying to sell it but that won't stop me from measuring the boys. All I have to do is go back and pull a few stats from the dr. visits and chart them! Oh and the only other thing that I might add later are their names and the year they were born. More pictures to come if we decide to go that route. Big thanks to my mom and dad for helping with the project and more importantly for getting me the wood. I know it is something I will always cherish and hopefully the boys will too. 

Would love to know if anyone decides to do something similar and would absolutely love to see the pictures! 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Things That Amaze Me

Unfortunately, I had to stay home from work today with a sick little boy. Fortunately, said little boy was full of snuggles. It wasn't long after Kaden got up that he started complaining of his tummy hurting and it struck me as odd but there wasn't a lot I could do. We sat him down on the couch, started a movie and we went back to getting ready so we could walk out of the door on time. In between blow drying and straightening sections of my hair, I would run down and check on him. I even handed him a bowl just in case. I was getting ready to wake Logan up to get him dressed when I heard Kaden crying and I instantly knew what I would be walking down to. The poor little guy was as pale as could be and had just ruined his clothes. We got him cleaned up and the rest of the day was spent watching movie after movie all while cuddling. 

And that, the stuff you just read, well its what got me thinking about some things we do or say as mothers (or fathers) that seem, well, pretty amazing. A few examples. A kiss on a boo, boo. There isn't a day that goes by that Kaden doesn't bang an elbow, stub a toe, or run into something. He instantly runs to me and points to what hurts and says "hurt, here." One little kiss and it's all better. 

The number of times we have watched the same movie over and over. I officially know Tangled, Cars, and Monster's Inc. by heart. I count myself lucky that he has good tastes in movies, I could have gotten stuck watching Jake and the Neverland Pirates or OSO all day. No thank you.

And our little episode today is probably one of the most amazing things a mom and dad can do. We take care of our kids when they are sick. We hold our hands out to catch whatever it is that might be making its way back up. We clean their clothes, the couch, we get them settled again and when everything else is done, we finally clean ourselves up. If it were anyone else, even my husband, I wouldn't be able to do what we did this morning. I would have lost my breakfast or whatever I had in my stomach the moment I got the first whiff. But not when it comes to my kids. Maybe that will change as they get older and are able to make it to the bathroom, brush their teeth and then crawl back in bed without disturbing me (my sister has trained her kids well) but now, I sit there rubbing their back telling them it will be okay. It isn't always the most glamorous job being a mommy but its certainly my most treasured job and I just can't get enough of it. 

Our video playlist.

Don't ask me why he bites Mickey's nose...

Towels. A must to save the couch.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Not My Brightest Moment...

We got a lot accomplished this weekend. Okay, so Justin got a lot accomplished this weekend. He basically did all the laundry and all the grocery shopping. I did venture out to Target to pick up some food for Logan but like usually left with more than what I needed. --A side note, our Target is getting a full grocery and it is coming in March. I loved our Target but now I am going to love it more!!--

As I was strolling in and out of the isles, trying to figure out where things had been moved to during the remodel I ran across a few items that were marked down. And one particular item just happened to catch my eye long enough that I went ahead and tossed it into my cart. Buying the item wasn't where I went wrong. It was how I tried putting it together.

After I got home and Kaden woke up from his nap we headed outside to play. I was so excited to show him what I had gotten him but all he was interested in was his bike. Finally he came over to help me hold a few things in place while I tried putting the finishing touches on it. Then Justin walked out and shook his head at me and said, "Who puts a teepee up outside in this kind of wind?" But I was determined and by golly I bought this darn teepee so that Kaden could play in it! After about 30 minutes of battling the wind, I gave up and went to the garage. It went up in a matter of minutes and I rushed out to show Kaden. He didn't give a rats behind about the thing and continued to play on the bike he's had for months now. Finally after we moved the teepee back inside he showed some interest and made up for my battles with the wind. But really, who does put a teepee up outside with the amount of wind we had today? It's not a kite!! Sometimes I even shock myself!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Pimp Us Out! PLEASE

Okay, so I am not one to really ask for favors but here I am doing just that. I have all these great ideas buzzing around in my head and on Pinterst that I would love to put to work. One example, Kaden's next bedroom. I can't wait to give him a real BIG boy room. One that he can't grow out of and one that will be kid friendly and fun but still look like it came out of a magazine. I won't lie, Monday I am heading out for another Craigslist roadtrip to pick up his future bed. With a little TLC, we hope to take this...

and turn it into this...

And this is just one of the projects that I want to try and tackle. We just have one HUGE, problem and this is where you, my dear followers and friends, come into play. We HAVE to sell our house! My poor MIL is going to be the lucky receipent of an antique iron bed until we do. So if you know of ANYONE looking for a super cute starter home, ours is the one. Its sad to have to think about saying good-bye to the home that we brought our boys home from the hospital to but if we want 2 more kiddos, we gotta do what we gotta do. And just in case you need a little bit of information on our lovely home to give to your friend, co-worker, in-laws, cousins, or the lady in front of you at the grocery store-here you go.

MLS #1756430

Look at this AMAZING kitchen that my BIL did for us!
Justin and I have put a lot of love into this home over the last year and a half and I am not sure there is another house in the area that has as many updates as this does, especially for the price. Oh and the most important thing, the house is FSBO but we have an MLS number and we are willing to pay the buyer's agent 3% if they were to bring a buyer to the table. So really a win, win for all involved. Please help spread the word, it would really mean a lot to Justin and I as we are ready to move onto the next chapter in our lives. So go on, PIMP us out-our house that is. Tell one, tell all and if you refer the buyer, we may just have to do something special for you!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Whats On My Mind.

I am not sure if it's because Logan is closer to being a "toddler" now--that darn Baby Center catches you off guard when they turn one and send their Your Toddler-1 Year email--or if it was being around family over the holidays. Maybe it was helping one of my besties, Jennifer, find the perfect baby bedding for their little boy who will arrive in May. Whatever it is, I can't get it this thought out of my head…

I want more kids. Not right away. I want to enjoy the stages that Kaden and Logan are at right now but I certainly want more. For awhile I wasn't sure if I wanted more. I mean, things are pretty perfect with our two little boys. Kaden is our adventurous, wild and crazy child who has pretty massive mood swings but his great moments far out trump any of his not-so-good moments. Logan is our content baby. He takes everything in and is pretty much happy wherever, whenever. Why would I want to mess with something that is so great. Well, I'll tell you why. Family. And not just a small family-don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a small family but lately, I have been dreaming of a big family. Not just 3 kids but 4 kids. I want total chaos. I want to hear giggling coming from bedrooms as they are suppose to be falling asleep. I want to walk into the house, cook dinner as a family and sit around a crowded table discussing everyone's day. I want the kids to look up to one another and to know they can look to one another in times of need. I want holidays to be full of family football games in the backyard and figuring out where we can fit one more chair so that everyone has a seat. I know it won't be all butterflies and rainbows and we will probably have more fights than we can keep track of but just like with Kaden, the good will far outweigh the bad. We'll have to give up some wants for some needs for our larger family--I still won't drive a minivan though--and we'll have to really start saving to send 4 kids to college but it will all be worth it. I am sure if you ask any parent what their greatest achievement is, they'll say their children. I know it's mine. 

With all that being said, there aren't any plans to have any more Souths running around this house for some time. We know we want Kaden to be in some sort of school whether that is preschool or kindergarden and we really want the boys to both be out of diapers. Could you imagine all the diapers around this house if they weren't! Don't get me wrong, it's a lot to take in--ask my hubby, I dropped this bomb on him tonight. He instantly Skyped my parent's to let them know how crazy I was and they kind of agreed but they also get it-my mom is one of 7! So today, it will be 4. Guess a few years down the road will have to look back and see if we are on our way...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Always Loved, Never Forgotten.

Its been 365 days since Grandpa Earl passed away. I can remember it all so very vividly-sitting next to his bed holding his hand. The countless hugs and tears that we all shared as a family. The amazing 21 gun solute in the frigid weather as we said our final goodbyes.

In the years leading up to my grandpa's death his mind was a wondering. He didn't always remember who I was but once my mom told him, you could see it in his eyes that he knew. He found a memory and was latched on. There were two visits that stick out most in my mind when thinking about Papa Bob and I thought I would share them. The first actually happened by chance. I had just arrived at the office my mom works at and Grandpa just happened to be sitting in the waiting room. I walked over gave him a hug, sat down and we started chatting away. When it came time for him to leave he stood up, shook my hand and said "It was nice speaking with you young lady." It was then I realized he didn't know who I was. I told him my name and who my mom was and his cheeks got a little red. He was embarrassed but it really didn't phase me. We sat there carrying on the same conversation that we would have had if he had known who I was. That was the kind of man he was. Always kind and willing to talk to a stranger.

The second visit took place in his home. A home that was just down the street from the house I grew up in. One I visited frequently. One where he taught me the game of pool all while my mom sat getting her hair done. Kaden was about 6 months old and we were down for a quick visit. We stopped in to say hello. He knew who I was this time but when I brought Kaden over you could tell he had a look of concern on his face. The next words out of his mouth-"Kayla, are you married?" That was the kind of man he was. Straight to the point, never dancing around the question he wanted to ask.

I am lucky to have been able to introduce Kaden to Papa Bob and so very blessed to have been loved by him for 28 years of my life. I will forever cherish these pictures and the memories that I have of him.

Speaking of pictures, you see those overalls well I just happen to have a bunny that Grandma Earl made from his overalls and a few of his shirts. This bunny sits on top of Kaden's dresser and watches him sleep, just as Papa Bob is in heaven watching down on all of us each minute of every day. Words don't express just how much we miss and love you.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Feeling Biased

I'll admit, since the last few posts have been about Logan, it has given me the feeling of favoring one child over the other. And I know, no matter how hard I work at trying to be equal and fair to them, it will never come across that way. It is impossible and I might as well learn to accept that. However, right now at this moment, I can and I choose to give Kaden a little post all to himself! This afternoon Kaden decided that he wanted to have lunch out of the highchair. You see, he never sits in the highchair, he is either sitting in one of the chairs or on the bench seat that we have but never in the highchair because Logan is almost always there. Must have been his lucky day, Logan was down for an early nap and there it sat, empty. As soon as he got in the chair he crossed his feet. From the moment he was old enough to sit in the highchair he crossed his tiny little feet at his tiny little ankles. Might just be one of the cutest things that he does. On his first birthday, Janie Jones of Janie Jones Photography, captured the below image…

Look at those piggies! I could just eat'em. Today, I snapped a similar picture. Still cute even 16 months later!

As Promised.

This post may seem boring to some people but since this blog is about my family and keeping up with us and all, it made sense. Plus, I always try to keep my promises and this is me keeping a promise. Yesterday, Logan turned 8 months old and I mentioned that I would have a few more pictures to share with you today. Well, here you go. Thanks to Logan's Godmother, Jennifer, dancing behind me with a squeaking Sophie the Giraffe we were able to get the little lad to take his eyes off of all the leaves for a few seconds…

Found some dirt and leaves. Yum.

Friday, January 6, 2012

In Full Swing

Logan turned E.I.G.H.T. months old today. I've said it every month and I will say it again, how can he already be this old? Didn't we just bring him home from the hospital? Maybe I feel this way because he is my baby, my sweet little chunk of a baby. But seriously, he is getting too big, way too fast. Can someone please hit the pause button and slow this first year down a little!

He continues to be a happy and content baby. So much so, that I often wonder what we did to deserve such a wonderful little guy. He literally doesn't cry-Unless it's 3 o'clock in the morning and we are letting him "cry it out" and then he just cries and cries and cries a little more. In the end, I give up, he wins. I truck my tired behind downstairs to warm bottle so that we can all go back to sleep for a few more hours. But it's kind of hard to complain when that is really the only "issue" that we have.

Logan has been a busy boy. Over the last month he has sprouted another tooth making a whopping grand total of TWO. We have left the army crawl behind and have decided that crawling on all fours is totally the way to go. And now when he reaches his final destination or whatever pitstop along the way, he pops right up to standing position. He then looks up at us, proud as can be of his newest accomplishment. This past month has been full of firsts but nothing can compete with a simple little game that he has picked up on. Peek-a-boo. And there isn't anyone in the world that can make him laugh like his big brother, Kaden can. The biggest and most contagious belly laughs I have ever heard followed shortly by the pure joyful giggles of a 2 1/2 year old. Fills my heart with contentment each and every time.

Not sure if anyone else has been counting but I sure have. We are officially down to 4 months until the BIG FIRST BIRTHDAY party and it is time to really get cooking on the party planning. Granted I already had lots of ideas pulled together but it wasn't until this week that we finally decided on a theme. We picked out and ordered the smash cake from MoMo Roo Handmade Creations by Shanna, along with a few other items. And the rest of the food and decorations are pretty much planned out too so now it all comes down to making sure it is executed perfectly to a one year old's standard. Can't wait to share a few of the details as we get closer to Logan's big day!

Here are a few more pictures from a SUPER mini photo shoot today, it was literally like 5 minutes long since we didn't have too much sunlight left after I got home from work. Tomorrow we will be going back out for a few more pictures and for the all important "8 month" picture. Here's hoping that tomorrow is half as nice as it was today.

love his expression.