Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pete & Repeat

I have mentioned before that Logan has become Kaden's shadow. He idolizes his big brother. He wants to do anything and everything that his big bro does & he doesn't want to even think about being left behind.

And just in case Kaden doesn't always "see" Logan following in his every foot step, Logan makes sure he is heard.

Meet Pete. Our soon-to-be three & a half year old.

Meet REPEAT. Our twenty month old.


Logan has started repeating everything, I mean EVERYTHING that Kaden says. Doesn't matter what it is, I hear two of everything.

"Ka-CHOW."
"caachhhhaaaww." (Logan speak)

"Gentlemen start your engine."
"gennnele sarrrr ennnnnnnn." (Logan speak)

and then there are the words that we can all understand….
P

Kaden-- "NO."
Logan-- "NO."
Kaden-- "Don't tell me NO."
Logan-- "NO."

I can't even begin to explain how frustrated Kaden gets when Logan starts repeating everything he says. He flipping goes nuts. Gets all worked up, starts screaming his words which only makes Logan start screaming his words too. Heck Logan thinks it the bestest game in the world.  And then it happens, an all out melt down. Kaden on the floor, crying and telling Justin and I that Logan is making him sad. Poor kid just doesn't understand that all Logan is trying to do is be more like him--he just thinks Logan is being a pain. I get it. I use to play a mean game of shadow too.

And you know, I can't help but laugh at the situation. One of these days Kaden will understand but sadly, that day seems a LONG ways away. Because when Kaden gets in one of those moods, there ain't no rationalizing with him. You just gotta walk away and hope Logan doesn't get down on the floor and follow in his footsteps yet again..

Boys. They sure keep life interesting.




Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Boy & A Hat.

This is the story of a boy and a hat. It isn't long because it isn't more than just that-a boy & a hat.


I came home Thursday afternoon with a few things from Target-diapers, a plaid shirt for Logan's Valentine's pictures, a floppy girl's beach hat for a photo prop, and a boy's fedora beach hat. I was shocked when Kaden asked to wear it. I didn't think it would last long but that hat was attached to him for the next 3 days…still is.


Justin and I both laughed when Kaden asked to wear it to bed the first night. Sure buddy, go right ahead. When morning rolled around and he asked if he could come to our room he entered with the hat still on his head, well probably back on his head. He made sure he located it before his ever so loyal Mickey and lovies--and that is saying something. The hat doesn't leave the house (we wouldn't want to lose it) but it is the last thing he does before he leaves and the first thing he does when he gets home.


One week its a slinky, the next week its a Diego toothbrush, this week-its a hat. And he looks pretty darn cute wearing it too if I don't say so myself.  

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Making the MOST of it.

This weekend is shaping up to be one VERY nice weekend & the weather was just perfect enough to throw on a sweatshirt, a beanie & RIDE.


This was the first real time that Logan has gotten to enjoy his Christmas present from Papa Tom & Grandma Sara. We let him try it out in the house a few times but we couldn't wait to get him outside with it. Lucky for him, Kaden took a longer nap & Logan got us all to himself & didn't have to worry about BIG brother wanting to ride on his NEW RED four-wheeler rather than riding the old green one he got when he was Logan's age…

It didn't take much time at all and Logan was off…off in the grass that is!


But he didn't seem to mind one bit. He was having a blast...


and he likes to live on the edge too but this Mommy doesn't really like seeing him drive with only one hand. TWO & TEN LOGAN. TWO & TEN.





being in the "safe" grass shortly wore off and when he wasn't able to go as fast as he wanted, he pulled that four-wheeler straight to the driveway. This kid meant business.




and if looking through these pictures can't put a smile on your face, not sure what could. Logan was having the time of his life-just wish Papa Tom & Grandma Sara could have been here to witness it in person. Then again, I am sure we'll be charging it every evening cause it looks like this kid is going to live on this all spring long-so they'll get their chance to see him live in action. 

Not sure how long this weather will last, especially for January, so we gotta take advantage of it when we can! Happy SPRING-like weekend…

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hoarder.

Yup. That's me. I hoard. I admit it. You could look in my night stand and you will find things in there from high school. And that might not be so out of the norm but they are the most RANDOM items. So random.

My office at work, I have QAGS (quarterly advisor guides for those who don't get the acronym) from 2007-you just never know when you might need the 2Q2007 YTD return for a fund.

Even though, I may hoard things here and there, I won't be appearing on any future episodes of Hoarders-I ain't that crazy--sorry to disappoint. It does however get me to wondering why I hold onto some things and not others…

I do like to believe that my hoarding has come in handy since having kids. For instance, when birthdays and holidays come around, I tend to stash, hoard, or put back some of the gifts the boys receive for a rainy day. And boy did it come in handy this past Monday when we were all home sick with the flu. I was by far feeling the worst on Monday and the boys, especially Logan was starting to perk up and wanted to play. All I wanted to do was put Despicable Me on repeat and take one very LONG nap. But since napping was out of the question or at least it was until they went down for their nap, we had to find something to occupy our time. So I dug into my hoarding pile and brought out some new puzzles from Christmas and a new game-ZINGO.

ZINGO was the BOMB-O. Thanks Adam, Becky and Colton, the boys had a lot of fun. So much fun, that we have had to play it every night for the past three nights, five plus games a night.

And before you even say anything. Yes, that is a Sonic tea sitting next to me, shouldn't come as a surprise any longer though.

And you can't have a family game night without a little pouting. This is one of Kaden's latest tactics on trying to get his way. "I'm calling the COPS on you MOM!" Can't help but laugh at it.





Now Zingo is kind of Bingo but you race to see who can get their card filled first. We aren't to the racing part but we can certainly fill our cards quickly. And don't be turned off by the age suggestion on the box, 4 to 7--heck our 20 month old can play this game. Frankly, I was a little surprised at how well he can match at his age. He is like a little sponge and once again, wants to show everyone that he can do everything his big brother can do. Please. Make. Time. Stand. Still. My baby is growing up way too quickly.





Saturday, January 19, 2013

Open Wide

Kaden is pretty good at stalling when it comes to bedtime. And if I would let him, he would brush his teeth a thousand times just to prolong the inevitable. So when it came to the dentist, I wasn't really worried about how his teeth would look, more so about how he would react.

So I figured that I would let the little guy tag along at my next dentist appointment so he would know what to expect. Now, I am no fan of the dentist and I have an AWESOME dentist. I'm not sure what it is about them, maybe I was scarred as a child but for some reason I sit there and just clinch my hands around the arm rest. But not this time. I had to be a big girl and show Kaden there was nothing to be afraid of. I guess I must have gotten the job done because as soon as I was finished with my checkup, he was up in the chair, going for a ride…


He did great--so what if there weren't any drills or a cleaning involved. He at least wasn't clinching the arm rests like his mommy normally does!

So here we are 3 years and 4 months and still haven't made our way to a REAL dentist appointment. It was time but I was torn between taking Kaden where Justin and I go, or finding a pediatric dentist. He probably would do just fine at our dentist and again, we have an AWESOME dentist but growing up, I went to a pediatric dentist (although I don't recall him being called that)! What I do remember is that his name was Dr. Rosenberg and when you pulled into his office there was a huge whale out front. It had a super cool playhouse inside and each room was decorated in something different. Last but not least, as you walked out you got to stop by this huge treasure chest and pick out a toy. They made going to the dentist as much fun as one possibly could.

So I decided, if I could find someone or someplace that could come close to the experience I had, I would. I had heard great things about Jenkins and LeBlanc but just never made the call. Finally a friend posted that she took her little boy and that he did great & more importantly, they were great. I had procrastinated long enough-made the call right then and there. They had an opening two days later & we took it.

We walked in and you could tell they knew exactly what kids like. They had video games in the waiting room. They had multiple TVs and little areas for kids to climb up, plopped down and watch some toons. It wasn't but a few minutes later and we were called back. As we were being escorted back to an area with multiple chairs, the nice lady was asking Kaden all sorts of questions. When she pointed out the chair that would be his, he jumped up and waited patiently. She talked him through EVERY instrument & he got to feel each one. He even got to watch her squirt water on the floor before squirting it in his mouth. Before I knew it, Kaden was reclined in the chair and she was polishing away at his teeth.


After the polishing was done, they gave him a token to spend in their toy dispenser. Up next were the x-rays. Once again, he climbed up in the chair and did exactly what they asked-even providing a little commentary here and there. X-rays were over in no time and they gave him another token to get another little toy-the kid was in heaven as he sat there waiting for the doctor to come by.



She finally arrived and as nice as the dental hygienist was, she was even nicer. She was high-fiving Kaden and after she was done looking over his teeth she declared that he was EXTRA special. --Yes, we already knew this but thank you for confirming it!-- Kaden had 21 teeth instead of the normal 20 teeth for a toddler. One extra tooth on top but luckily for us its a baby tooth and it is perfectly in line with all his others. No need to pull it, he'll just lose it on his own. And the better news-he has the right amount of permanent teeth and they look great!

And just when we thought our first trip to the dentist had come to an end, Kaden got another surprise. ICE CREAM. Yes, you heard that correctly-they give out ICE CREAM to their kiddos. Better than all that hard candy that sticks to their teeth or so they say!

So 2 toys, a cup of ice cream, & a balloon later and they gave this kid a reason to want to come back and see them in six short months. Just not sure he wants to wait that long. Job well done Jenkins & LeBlanc. Job well done.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Fly.

It is no secret that we have lived in our home for about 9 months now and its still a work in progress. We decided that we wouldn't just buy furniture to buy furniture and wouldn't just hang up random stuff to fill the wall space. We would live with things bare until we figured out exactly what we wanted. Logan's room is probably the farthest along but still is missing one key piece BUT I at least know what I want…

Kaden's room is another story but we are starting to get there-with the help of some super cute Moose flannel sheets, a cute throw, a bright yellow bed and one white moose head. Next we needed some art & badly. There were WAY too many bare walls--still are--but again, making progress…

First, the WHY behind the project & then the project itself.

It had to be meaningful & hopefully one day, inspire. Kaden has a love for SUPERHEROES. But what boy at 3 doesn't...


He puts on his Batman cape, his Batman underwear and he takes off flying.


Thinking that he can conquer the world. That he can save the day by rescuing the damsel in distress all while taking out the bad guys. There isn't a building too tall that he couldn't scour, a mountain to tall he couldn't climb. He is unstoppable. Or at least he BELIEVES he is & that is ALL that matters.

& I pray he NEVER forgets that. The sky is the limit for this kid. All he needs to do is spread his wings and FLY.

-------------------------------------------

So keeping this in mind, I went to Pinterest to find something to fit the bill. And like always, Pinterest did not disappoint. I found this from the Domestic Project (which you can find here).


I decided to go with it and really only change a few of the colors. At first I was thinking that the yellow canvases would be the way to go but with Kaden's bed being yellow I came to the conclusion that there would be WAY too much yellow going on up in there. Plus I already had the perfect color on hand…


So during nap-time one Sunday afternoon I decided tackle the job of painting the canvases. Once the kids were up everything else was put on hold…

A little later Kaden helped make a few airplanes to act as place holders and I started stenciling in the tails using a sharpie oil based pen.




and then finally after everything had dried and the planes were stuck good and hard, we hung it up. It adds just that special touch that we, well I was looking for.

One more project completed and man did it feel good--it had been WAY too long…



Keeping It Going..

We kicked the New Year off just perfectly with a trip to Milwukee to see our family from the North & we just had to keep the momentum rolling as we headed into the first weekend of the 2013. We started the weekend off with a trip to the Plaza with the Walshes, a little bit last minute but like always, some of our best evenings come from last minute plans. We dined at Plaza Three and then headed to O'dowds where we were entertained by a deejay that reminded us of our college nights at 5th Street. The deejay was playing all the good songs--"I'm Real" by Ja Rule, "No Diggity" by BlackStreet, he played Nelly, Outcast, Jay-Z--needless to say, we were doing our own versions of the fist pump!




Sadly, by 11 o'clock, the Souths were ready to head back home--where we would be enjoying a full night of sleep and possibly getting to sleep in too. A rarity!

The next morning we woke up, took care of a few things around the house & pulled together some clothes for the boys & drove over to Grammie's to pick them up. We decided to surprise them with a little morning trip to SeaLife. We haven't yet paid a visit to the one in KC that opened last year and Kaden enjoyed our trip to SeaLife in Minneapolis so we figured it would be a perfect little outing for such a cold first weekend of the year. And it was.

From the moment we walked through the gates the boys were in awe of the fish. They ran from tank to tank to point at each one. They saw Nemo, Bruce, Dori. They saw a red fish, a blue fish, a big fish, and a "snake". And like most days, Logan was once again Kaden's shadow, wanting to do everything that big brother was doing except when it came time to petting the Starfish. The roles reversed, it was Logan that stepped up and took the lead and Kaden followed in suit.



But our fun didn't end there. Justin suggested that we visit Crown Center's Fritzs' for lunch. We found our way into our booth and from the moment we sat down their eyes were glued as they watched the trains make their way around the tracks. This was the first time that Kaden waited eagerly for our train to come and drop our food down. When ours finally arrived he stood up to make sure he got a good look at everything that was happening. And if you ask me, I kind of wish I had a train that would deliver our food all the time because this kid ate like a champ!



It was the perfect way to kick off the new year for our family & no matter how busy life gets for us, we will make sure to have more weekends like this.

Friday, January 11, 2013

WAY PAST DUE

Considering I take pictures as a side hobby, it may come as a surprise that I haven't really printed any pictures out that I have taken...besides the canvas of Logan in his room, a few of Maddie as a newborn, and then of Logan when he turned one.

And if you were to look around my house, there wouldn't be too many pictures done by me up. It isn't that I haven't taken any. Or that I don't think they are worthy of being on the wall-the exact opposite really. Its just that I haven't had TIME to even think about where I would want to put them or which ones I would want to use.

That is until I was in Milwaukee and Tugce & I went shopping and found the most perfect frames ever. They were the right size, the right material & more importantly I could see both black & white pictures and colored pictures used-meaning I could change them out often.

Once I had the frames, I went to ordering. I used MPIX.com (I use them for all my printing needs & so should you!!!--cheap, fast, great quality. oh and did I say CHEAP!)

I ordered a ton of pictures & in every size. I had a lot of frames to fill and had a lot of family that needed updated pictures. A day and a half later I had the pictures and this is what I got…


Why did I ever wait to print these off! I'll admit, I was smiling ear to ear when I hung these in our home. My work. My boys. My home. An unreal feeling.

And the best thing about this, all three pictures that I took of the boys that will hang in our hallway, took a total of 5 minutes to capture. You just have to get your camera out and snap away. Play with it. Get it off auto. You will be amazed by what you can do with it. I promise!! And knowing that you took the pictures of your boys--well your kiddos--will mean the world. You have absolutely nothing to lose, so snap that picture & snap often!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

TWENTY{months}

Twenty months old & there is only one word that can describe how I feel about it-CRAZY.


He is a walking, talking toddler. He has his OWN very distinct personality & isn't afraid to tell you how it is. He loves to laugh and the kid still has the best belly laugh in town. He is almost always up for a good snuggle but often finds it funny to run and hide and make you chase after him all while laughing that contagious laugh of his.

He loves to eat. Will eat basically anything in sight-IF you call it a fruit snack! One of his favorite daily activities is his morning milk and Fruit Loops. Before even picking him up out of his crib he is already asking for his "milk, Fruit Loops". Give the kid what he wants and you have one very happy little boy.

Up until a few months ago, we have said that Logan was our easy child since day one. Now don't get me wrong, Logan is still a terrific kid but he is just at that age. The age where he doesn't want to sit still when we go out to dinner. The age where he can't quite communicate everything he wants to us and he gets frustrated. The age where he climbs out of his pack-and-play at daycare during nap time-over and over. It's a challenging age but watching him continue to grow and learn new things makes it all so worth it. You should see his face when it happens, it lights up like a light bulb. Truly spectacular.



The past 20 months have been the best months of our lives. Bringing Logan into our family. Giving Kaden a sibling, a little brother. He completed us. He's the sugar on top & boy is he sweet. 




Its hard to believe that in just a few short months he will be two. TWO. Can't even believe I am saying those words-looks like its time to start planning a birthday.

But you wanna know what's even harder to believe--that when Kaden was 20 months, I was 39 weeks, 1 day pregnant and headed to the hospital to meet this sweet little guy we now call Logan. Kaden didn't know what was going on, he was just a baby himself but little did he know, he would have a little mini-me following his every move and looking up in awe at him. He would forever be someone's Superhero.

Sometimes being a BROTHER is better than being a SUPERHERO.

Kaden vs. Logan---20 months.

picture taken by janiejonesphotography.com

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Picture this...

Its 6:30 am on the Friday after Christmas & our bags are packed. This would be our first REAL family road trip--the last time we went on a road trip with both boys, Kaden road with my parents and Logan was only about 10 weeks old. This time it was just the four of us & the interstate for 9 hours…

What were we thinking? Why didn't we just fly? It was a tough decision. Both boys have flown but in the end there were a number of reasons why we choose to drive-my "surgery" that ended up being moved to a later date, the need of both car seats & strollers and most importantly we took our dear friends some Okie Joe's BBQ & some Boulevard Wheat. Oh and we know how I like to shop, this allowed for a few more packages to come home with us!

So when it came to packing, I may have went a little overboard. I packed a bag full of snacks-from suckers to fruit snacks to granola bars to anything that just looked fun to eat. I packed wipes for wiping butts, wipes for wiping hands and mouths, wipes for wiping up messes, and individually wrapped wipes. I packed coloring books, magna-doodles, the LeapPad, the Tag, our entire collection of Disney and Pixar movies (minus Robots--not that big of a fan), Superman and his superhero friends & Elmo-can't forget Elmo. We crossed our fingers this would be enough and said good bye to our dear four-legged doggies. Final destination-WISCONSIN, Milwaukee to be more exact.

We climbed in, buckled up the kids and off we went. Justin and I looked at each other and we wondered, how long until the first meltdown, the first "I have to pee?". Well we got to about here…


that's right-just north of downtown KC. Things weren't looking so great & I was hoping not to have to dig into the snacks this early but a non-screaming backseat is far better than a screaming one. A fruit snack later and all is fine-Logan is asleep and Kaden is watching Toy Story.

We stopped for lunch about 3 hours into the drive in Des Moines and had our first potty break & let the kids burn off some energy at a playland. Once back on the road they both settled in and continued to watch movies. Logan needed a little extra attention here and there but nothing I couldn't handle from the front seat. We made our next stop in Davenport just before crossing into Illinois-Kaden went to the bathroom again, we handed out a sucker to each and then told them it was naptime. They were both about out & then we made the mistake of shutting the DVD screen & that was the last thought they gave to naptime. Before we knew it we were crossing into Illinois and soon after into the great state of Wisconsin. We had made it and more importantly WITHOUT any major breakdowns. The boys did amazing-they always seem to rise to the occasion.



It wouldn't be long now before we were hugging our dear friends who we haven't seen in a year and meeting Mr. Julian for the first. Julian was born last May & we are such horrible friends for not making it up before now…


He is the sweetest, most gorgeous little guy & is a spitting image of his older sister. Those Garretts sure know how to make cute babies!!

The first night we were there consisted of saying our hellos, passing around the baby, and getting the kids situated at bedtime. And as easy as the drive was, night time was the exact opposite. Logan wanted nothing to do with the pack-and-play so he slept with us, well on me…

On Saturday we got up and around and headed off to lunch and returned to the house for the boys to take naps. Once they were up Tugce and I loaded the kids up to head to their community center while the big boys headed out to the Bucks & Heat game. On Sunday, the big boys returned the favor and Tugce and I did a little shopping and a lot of TALKING. It was great to get out of the house and spend some time with one of my favorite people, especially since that time is so FAR and in between. We weren't home for 10 minutes and we were loading back up for our annual trip to Organ Piper Pizza. I am not sure what it is about the place but I am hooked. The pizza isn't all that great. They make you pay for re-fills. But by golly, I can't help but smile when I go there. You have an organ player playing away, ducks ringing bells, a ragged doll doing flips and little kids dancing away to the songs.





and one said boy LOVED the arcade room. You didn't even need to put quarters in, he was satisfied with demo mode!


The rest of the trip was spent letting the kids run & play while we did more talking. I know I say this each time we visit our family in Milwaukee but its just so true-I love being with them because its so easy. We don't have to be doing anything CRAZY or always have to be checking something out-we are perfectly content just laying back and relaxing. Plus we get more time with them and their gorgeous kiddos, speaking of gorgeous…





and although Julian is so very sweet, Gisele was my girl. She wasn't too sure about me right off the bat, or any of us for that matter but as soon as she warmed up to me, it was over. It all started when we were sitting on the couch. I sat next to her and she gave me a little look but then Kaden grabbed my hand. Next thing I knew, she was reaching for my other hand. From that moment on, she wasn't far away. I don't even let my own kids sit on my lap while I am trying to eat but her, she got to almost every time!



And on the night where most of the world was partying and ringing in the New Year, we were right where we wanted to be. Watching the kids chase after one another. Eating an amazing dinner & then waking up to the fireworks that were being shot off on Lake Michigan. We might not have "seen" midnight but it was another great start to 2013. 





And just like last year, it was hard to say good-bye. Not knowing when we would see each other again but promising we wouldn't let another year go by. We loaded back up in the car-this time with fewer snacks-and started our adventure home. And as great as the first leg went, this leg went even better. Our kids are troopers. My husband is a rock star and drove the entire way.



Now that we have our first trip out of the way, they better be ready for visitors. Who knows, we might just have to take advantage of a few three-day holidays coming up!! Love you guys & miss you all so much already. Thank you for your hospitality, opening up your new home to us and being such great friends.

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And speaking of such great friends-we had a few back here in KC that helped us out why we were away. A BIG thank you to the Berbs & the Johnsons for coming over and spending time with our dogs each day. I know they loved the extra attention that you guys gave them and it made me feel much better to know they were with people who love them like we do!