Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving.

I have tried writing this post a couple of times now & I am just not sure how to start it or what to write so I am just going to type and try to find the words.

This Thanksgiving wasn't what we were expecting & frankly I am still in denial. You hear of stories like this but you never think it would happen to you and your family but it can & it did.

We had decided awhile ago to host Thanksgiving at our house. Justin loves to cook and to entertain & now that we have the space, it made perfect sense. Family started arriving around 2:30ish and we took to the front yard to enjoy the weather. We played football & even with Kaden's help interfering with Deonte, Leann and I still lost-I blame it on the boots.


Once Cousin Colton arrived we took off to the park hand in hand. Logie proceeded to drag Froggie around with him everywhere he went and Kaden and Colton chased each other around. The boys ran up the stairs and went down the slides. They pumped their little legs as quickly as they could and swung as high as they could. It was starting to get a little dark so we headed back to the house cause we knew dinner would soon be served.



When we arrived, most all of our guest were there, except one. We sent a message to him but decided to go ahead and start. We finished our meal & no word. We looked through the ads & still no word. This wasn't like him & so instantly we all started to worry.  Something felt off, we started calling around checking with the police. It was about this time that we ran across an article about an accident that had happened the night before and although it didn't release any names we could tell by the description that our friend was in a very bad accident and hadn't survived. A few short minutes later, our worst fears were just confirmed by the local police & our evening came to a halt. He was suppose to be here. With us. At our table. Enjoying Thanksgiving dinner. Laughing and telling stories…and he wasn't.

Charlie was a great man. He cared for our family and was hands down one of the nicest guys that we knew. Its still hard thinking about what this holiday brought to our family (and to his) and I am sure it will be hard for awhile but the one thing I am so very thankful for-we were all together when we got the news. We were all able to hold on to one another, to cry with one another. Charlie will be missed dearly and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family-mother, brother, children, grandchildren & his friends. We lost a great man Wednesday evening and I only hope he knew how much our family cared for him.







Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Switching Places

I totally jinxed myself by giving Logan so much praise about being such an easy child but he was, up until about a month ago and then something just flipped. He went from a happy-go-lucky little guy to a never-wanting-to-be-put-down-fit-throwing eighteen month old. If you need proof, just look at our first attempt at his 18 month photo shoot-they say a picture says a thousand words and this pretty much covers it.




Don't get me wrong-he can totally be a sweetheart and I love him with every inch of my body but I pray that this is a short, very short phase that he is going through. I am sure I am not alone when I would prefer my child to be happy the below pictures, instead of being pissy like the above pictures…



At least when Logan decided to flip a switch and become the not-so-easy child of ours, Kaden flipped the same switch and decided he would become the easy one. Not sure what went off in his little brain of his but you can now reason with him. We can set expectations, provide options and even let him know there are consequences to his actions or lack of actions. He still will throw a fit here and there & he will whine and try to get his way but it doesn't last as long as it use to. When we tell him why we can't do this or can't do that, he takes a minute and then he moves on.

He loves to just be with Justin and I-no matter what we are doing, he likes to be there helping out. My favorite-laundry, I have someone that will help me match socks and put away the towels. For the last month, Kaden has been a whole different child and I think he likes taking over his brother's "easy child" title.


I am sure this won't be the last time that the kids switch places but lets all keep our fingers that they are never on the same page. Unless that page is E. A. S. Y.

And since Thanksgiving is a mere 2 minutes away, it only makes sense for me to express how thankful I am for these two boys. They might be handfuls at times but they are two of the sweetest, most polite, caring & loving boys that I know. They both have amazing personalities that can go on for DAYS and their laughs are just so infectious. I can't imagine my life without them in it and I am just so thankful and blessed that they call me MOM. Life just keeps getting better with these two.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Honored-Plain & Simple

Today was a very special day for this little guy…


he was welcomed into the church-the church were his parents said their vows and their I dos. Today we celebrated Nathan. Nathan Patrick Walsh.

They day would have been just perfect if all we did was sit with the congregation and witness his baptism but it was more than that. Justin and I stood up next to his parents as he was baptized. We made vows to watch over him and guide him through life. To be a strong presence of faith for him & for his parents. And although it goes without saying, we vow to love him as our own and to support him in every endeavor he takes. We can't wait to watch this little man grow before our eyes…

We are truly honored to have been given the wonderful job as God Parents to Nathan. To know that his parents have such faith & trust in Justin and I means more than words can describe. I have said it more than once and I will continue to say it, we are extremely lucky to have such great friends who aren't just friends but are our family too. I can honestly sit here and say that loving Nathan, encouraging Nathan, supporting & guiding him through life will come as easy as loving, encouraging, supporting & guiding our own children through life. We are beyond blessed when it comes to this family and to the honor they gave to us today. We love you.


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I'll have to steal a few pictures from Nathan's mom, dad & grandmas cause I didn't really pick up my camera. I did have Toni snap this picture of us with my phone before we headed home though…


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Big Boy Underwear

Tonight I am taking a moment to brag on my biggest, little man. He has been potty trained since the end of May but have been wearing pull-ups at night just to be sure. There have been mornings where he has waken up completely dry but then there are MORE mornings were its not. So we just went with the flow (literally)-didn't want to push it and certainly didn't want him to feel as though he was failing so we kept buying the pull-ups. A little over a week ago I started noticing that his pull-ups were heavier than usual and I asked him about it. He flat out said "its okay Mom, I just now peed in it."

SAY WHAT!?

This kid realized that a pull-up was just like a diaper and that he didn't need to get up to go to the bathroom. He could just go wherever, whenever as long as the pull-up was on. So you know what I did? I took the pull-ups away & made a big deal about wearing big boy underwear all night long. Knock on wood--he hasn't had one accident since taking them away. In fact, I got a 5 am wake up call "Mommy, I need to PEE." this morning. This dude is good.

Now I am fully aware that some kids don't even use pull-ups and that some kids are in pull-ups for a little while longer, that it truly depends on each kid but for us, Kaden was just using them as a crutch and we just needed to call his bluff. Whats even better, he knows how proud we are of him and you can just see how great that makes him feel. He is one special kid…


and one cute kid at that. I took Kaden to the side of the house in hopes to use our backyard/green space as a backdrop but he had something else in mind-the drainage spout. He can choose the location from here on out because in the short 5 minutes that we were out there, he rocked it. And I have been on GAP all night sending emails with pictures cause this kid is campaign worthy!! At least in my heart he is! I mean check out that pose from above...


giving mama some extra drama with the hand on top of his head…


and this one, well its getting blown up-BIG. Can't stop looking at it.




Sunday, November 11, 2012

Failure

So in my last post I mentioned I was going to take a few pictures of Logan to mark his 18 month milestone, well that didn't happen. I had the best of intentions but since today was going to be such a CRAPPY day I decided it would be best to move a few shoots around. And I wasn't about to get Logan out in this weather so we will try again some other weekend--its Kansas, if you don't like today's weather then just wait for tomorrow.

Hence the title-FAILURE.

I did get the camera out this afternoon and took a couple pictures that would hold me over until his real shoot…



As you can see this was smack dab in the middle of us playing Roll the Tape-its a great game, you gotta try it! You sit down across from one another and you roll the tape back and forth. See, great! For some reason the boys are captivated by it and on top of that, its the quietest part of our day…

On Thursday we took Logan back to the doctors for his 18 month checkup. He did such a great job. As soon as his named was called he got up from playing and walked towards the nurse. He proceeded to follow her --at a snails pace-- all the way back to his room. We undressed him and got his measurements- 31 3/4 inches tall and weighed in at a whopping 24.2 pounds, finding himself in the 25% on both counts. Unlike his brother, little Logie is going to get his Momma's height. Poor guy.

Next up was the exam and he sat there and just watched everything Dr. Rawson did. He just adores her and with a few bats of the eyes he got her to give him two thumbs up on his bill of health. Now came the hard part, the nurse was back with a tray full of fun, he took the finger prick like a champ again but the shots were a different story-tears came a rolling. He stomped right out of there with a french toast stick in each hand, not even saying a single goodbye, he'll show them.

Since Logan may just be our last baby (we go back and forth, back and forth on this subject-kind of like the tape game) it makes me sad to see him gaining so much independence. He wants to dress himself. He wants to climb in the chair on his own. He wants to get his own book. Put on his own shoes. Brush his own teeth. Its something new each and every day but the one thing that he still lets me do-he lets me hold him tight. We have spent each night of the last few weeks rocking and reading in our new chair before bed. He lays his head on my shoulder and just rests. Heck, sometimes in the morning I try and sneak in a little rock before we start our day. It has easily become one of my most favorite parts of our day & if I had to do it all over again, a rocking chair in the nursery would be a MUST! At least we will have one handy in case we do for that third…

Oh and today, he even took a nap with me. Love rainy day Sundays!

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Now even though today was such a crappy day, we still managed to stay busy.

We started off with haircuts for the boys. Logan sat there in a trance and was done in no time. Kaden's took a tad longer (the lady took forEVER) but he still made me proud. If only he could always sit that still!

We also decided to take care of a few things that we hadn't gotten to yet around the house-pure laziness on our part. We hung the curtains in Logan's room (needed brackets).

Hung a moose head in Kaden's room -- "Mommy, I love this moose. Its fun."

We crafted some Mayflower Boats as place card holders for our Thanksgiving dinner (Mommy's back on the road this week and gotta get a few things done ahead of time).

Daddy got me the pallet that I have been wanting for a few weeks now--this will be my favorite project to date when its done and over.

And while the kids slept I finished up the globe for the playroom. Again, I saw it on Pinterest--I just loved everything about it, the globe & the quote. I found our globe at a local antique store for $10 and bought the sticker for $5. At first I wasn't sure how to go about the "sticker" so I read through the "how to" and learned I needed something called a Cameo. I certainly didn't own one and I really didn't know exactly what they were or how much they were so I googled it. Yup, not buying one of those for this little project so I did the next best thing. I tracked down someone, who knew someone, who had one! With a few quick exchanges of emails, I was in business and today, I got 'er done.






I didn't do the most PERFECT job, a wrinkle here or there, but thats okay. Its all about the quote-

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi

There are a lot of things that I want my boys to learn, one of those being that THEY can make a difference. They CAN be the CHANGE.




Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Look Who's 18 MONTHS!

Hard to believe that Logan is 18 months old today. Whats even harder to believe is that I was just 8 weeks shy of having little Logan when Kaden turned 18 months. I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like if I were pregnant again and about to give birth in just a few short months…I shutter at the thought!

But instead of looking at where we were when Kaden turned 18 months, lets talk about where we were tonight! I figured that since Logan has to endure some wonderful 18 month shots come Thursday that it was only fair to take him out and celebrate his HALF birthday. You do only turn 1 1/2 once, you know! So I picked the boys up from Brenda's, met Daddy at home and we loaded up to meet the family out at Texas Roadhouse. We figured that at least there, we wouldn't have to worry about dropping food on the floor or them being loud-both are allowed so it made perfect sense tonight.

It was great to be home and not only be with my boys but with our family & to sing Logie half of a birthday song. As the boys became restless and wanted to get up I took them to the front and away they went, climbing and dancing. The night didn't end there though, we had a special surprise for Logie when we got home-HALF a cupcake. (Kaden got to enjoy the other half)


Its pretty amazing to know that each morning I get to wake up to this smiling face and each night I get to kiss him & hug him tight as I tuck him in and tell him how much I love him. There are no words to describe the amount of joy and love he has brought to our lives… Happy Half Birthday Logie. Love you to the moon and back.

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You'll have to come back later this week for his 18 months statistics, his new quirks and a special photoshoot that the little guy is going to get. We are going to try and get a few of the same outfits that Kaden work in his 18 month pictures and see if we can try and recreate a few of the pictures. We'll see how just how much the boys really do look like one another...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Toughest Job

Out of everything that I do, being a MOM is by far the toughest job EVER. There are days that I question everything that I am saying, doing, or trying to accomplish. Then there are days were everything just FITS perfectly and is so easy. Lately, its been tough, real tough and the hardest part is not knowing when we might see the light at the end of the tunnel. I keep my fingers that it is just around the corner but not having been through this before-I just have NO idea. And it hasn't just been one of the boys, both of the boys are going through their own little funk right now. And don't get me wrong, each of the boys are still so very loving and have many sweet, sweet moments but those in between moments where they are in full on tantrum mode are starting to weigh heavily on us. It makes us wonder what more can we be doing...

The little guy, Logie, hasn't been sleeping very well lately. He is waking up almost every night for about an hour or so and just cries and cries. I don't know how many times I have told my co-workers or friends to let their little ones cry it out, that they'll figure it out, they'll go back to sleep on their own and that they are just testing you. The minute you walk into the room, they will laugh, they will be perfectly fine and when you pick them up-they just got everything they wanted. So when Logan woke up the first couple of nights I took my own advice…until I couldn't take it anymore and just wanted to go in and rock with him and hold him tight. Let him know that his Momma loved him and that I was there and always would be there for him. We rocked for 20 minutes or so and when I thought he was asleep again I slowly got up and as I made my way back to his bed he started screaming again. He had already won this round so sleeping with me in bed wouldn't be giving in. Or would it? So after two very LONG and sleepless nights I let him cry it out on the third night. When he woke crying, I walked in, laid him back down, rubbed his back and turned on his noise machine. After about 20 minutes, he fell back asleep. The next morning I come in and I see blood on his sheets-he had a bloody nose over night and I didn't see it. I felt horrible. And then I started to count the number of bloody noses he has had over the last month or so and the number worried me. I told our babysitter about it and asked her to watch it and that day he had two more. Deep down I knew it was the weather change, the dryness in the air but I couldn't help but think it was more so I called the doctor and asked to have him checked out. After explaining my concerns and a quick draw of blood she was able to confirm that all his levels looked good. He had a little bit of a viral infection and that could be part of the reason for the more than  usual bloody noses but more importantly could be a reason for his restless sleep too. I left the doctor's office knowing that Logan was healthy, he was just having one of those weeks...


And Kaden. Well I am afraid he is having more than one of those weeks. I posted the below picture on Facebook earlier last week-it had a lot of red on it and words were even underlined. It was a bad day at daycare. He did have his good moments-he ate all his lunch!


I was hoping that this would be just a one day type of thing, something we would talk to him about and that it wouldn't happen again but we weren't so lucky. By the end of the week 3 out of the 5 days looked like this.

Kaden was having trouble waiting his turn and channeling his emotions/reactions. One example that I was given--he wanted to play "house" with one of the kids at daycare but that kid didn't want to and said "no". Kaden chucked a book at him. Literally chucked a book. It broke my heart to hear this. This was not what we were teaching and we certainly don't tolerate this behavior nor do we know where he was learning this. Yes, he throws his little fits when he doesn't get his way but we do the "time-out" thing and we don't give in. If he doesn't ask politely then he doesn't get what he is asking for either. We are trying our best to raise a respectful young boy but I guess as hard as we try there are just some things that he has to learn on his own. We just have to be there to explain why we can't react a certain way and help him see that there are other options. Ms. Brenda reassured me that three year olds go through this, that they just need to find a good way to communicate their feelings and that with a little redirection and explaining his options, he'll figure it out.



I don't want my children to grow up thinking they are entitled to anything and everything they want. I want them to be thankful for what they do have and to understand that not everyone can be as fortunate and it is those, the less fortunate, that we need to help and lend a hand to. I want my boys to be the ones that go over and sit with the kid who is sitting alone at lunch and make him feel as though he is included. I want my boys to make a difference.

But how do we ensure that we are doing all we can? Its these teaching moments that make being a parent so hard. I want to be able to be the "fun and cool mom" but I know that sometimes being the tough yet loving mom is the only way. And as I write this, I know that I am talking about a 3 year old and an 18 month old--heck they can't even wipe their own butts! I can't even begin to imagine the tough decisions that we'll have to make when they are teenagers…

Being a parent might be a tough job but it is by far, hands down, the most rewarding job I have ever and will ever have. Just thankful that I have such a wonderful family and set of friends to lean on in times like these.




Friday, November 2, 2012

Spooktacular Halloween.

When it comes the boys' Halloween costumes this year, we sure got our monies worth. We actually bought Kaden's in August and borrowed Logan's from a dear friend.

But why Kaden's so early, you ask? In May at Cousin Colton's birthday party he would not put on the super cool cape that he gave to all his buddies. He didn't want anything to do with it. Three short months later, you can't take the dang thing off of him. He went from asking to watch Mickey Mouse to flying around like Superman so I did want any Mom would do and decided that for his third birthday we would have a SUPERhero photo shoot with the amazingly talented Katy from Katy Gitto Photography and I can't tell you enough about how in love with these pictures I am…




and even before that we had a quick dry run to see what kind of posing he would be into. We stepped outside our front door and walked across the street to the house that was being built…


If we had stopped there, we still would have got our monies worth but we weren't even to October yet! In October we kicked it up a notch and whipped their costumes out every chance we got. They went to Deanna Rose for their Halloween Hallow with Ms. Brenda and ran into Johnsons, Ms. Korie was kind enough to send me a picture-don't they look so enthused!


Kaden talked about that night for the next few days and that necklace he has on in the picture-he still wears it! Can't get the thing off of him.

We decided that the costumes needed a little rest so for the next week we did other Halloween activities. We "painted" pumpkins. We bought candy, made treats for day care, read Halloween books, colored pumpkins and worked on our BOOs.


 And then finally it was time to get the costumes back out for some Pre-Trick-or-Treating fun at Nanny's. Grammy Janet wanted to take the boys out to see Nanny so that she could see them all dressed up and so that the boys could bring some added joy to her and all her friends. They ran the halls of Little Sisters with their baskets in hand and charmed each lady they ran by. We had one Superman and two Spidermans but my little Spiderman was not having the mask...




Side Note: When dealing with a 97+ year old, know who is the boss. Nanny sometimes needs a little encouraging and pushing to get her to go on a walk outside or to even walk down to the end of the hall to sit and watch the kids play. (Sometimes all she wants to do is walk-just depends on what sort of day you catch on her.) On this particular day, she just wanted to get up and walk and not sit. I said we would walk in just one minute that we just wanted to get a picture of her with the boys and boy did I get a look. She gave me the dirtiest look a 97+ year old could give and sat there with her arms crossed. I was NOT on her good list. We quickly got the picture and off she went!! The boys had fun, Nanny seemed to enjoy them being there and in the end, thats what matters but lesson learned on my part!

Halloween Day was filled with fun. First up was their party at day care. When I picked them up later that day they had WAY too much candy and goodies with them. The good news, it was all the good kind and Mommy got to enjoy a little bit of it on the drive home.

Once home I pulled together a kick photo shoot for the boys. We tried the evening before at Nanny's but it just wasn't the right lighting and I was trying to hurry and get the picture and the boys were trying to hurry away from the camera. This time, I got smarter. I brought out my handy prop--the trunk. The trunk works magic, kids LOVE the thing and just want to sit, stand, or climb on it. Thats why I use it so much now, its like the kids forget about running away and are instantly drawn to it!




After our quick little shoot and some dinner we headed out to the neighborhood. We weren't sure what to expect since our neighborhood is still growing and there is a WIDE age range when it comes to our neighbors but we were going to give it our best try. Plus this would be a great way to meet more of our neighbors and perhaps find a few boys and girls that we could set up play dates with. Armed with my iPhone-for taking pictures and for recording names & addresses-we hit the pavement. The boys went house to house-Kaden walked alongside or helped by pushing Logan.


They toured the neighborhood faster than the speed of light…



Once we arrived at a house Kaden would run up to the door and push the "ding, dong" button which was instantly followed by a loud and impatient knock. I tried teaching him that one or the other was plenty but he was just way to excited. Just about the time the door would open Logan would be finding his place right next to his brother. It was so cute watching him follow his big brother around, idolizing every move he made.


They, well Kaden, said Happy Halloween & Trick-or-Treat at each house and followed up with a Thank you and a Have a Good Night. And as we walked back down the sidewalk Logan would turn around and say bye-bye. They had our neighbors eating out of their hands, just like they do with everyone. And as we arrived back home Grammy pulled up with more treats. Once inside they dove into their buckets and fished out the one thing they wanted before it was off to take their baths and then to bed. It was a successful Halloween and the costumes have found a new home in their playroom for the occasional dress up party. I wonder what the kids will be into next year...