Monday, March 31, 2014

Best. Weekend. Ever.

Best weekend ever--at least in a very long while.

It all started on Wednesday evening when the boys and I drove a little south & met my sister at a gas station for the handoff---we were getting Leah for a few extra days! Leah and her brothers were on spring break & she wanted to spend a little more time with us, playing with the boys & I couldn't have been happier to hear that. The boys adore her & rightfully so, she is a pretty fantastic kid.


In fact she was so fantastic the kids didn't want me to give them their baths or read them their books. Nope, only Leah. & she jumped at the chance. When it came time to tuck the boys in they at least let me give them a goodnight kiss but once again, it was Leah they wanted to turn out the lights and shut the door. 


On Thursday while Justin and I worked, Leah stayed at home with the dogs. & although I loved seeing the kids take to Leah so easily and want to follow her every step, Stoli was a different story. Stoli has always been MY dog. She follows me around everywhere and along with the kids, I tuck her in too. For the remainder of the weekend it was like I didn't even exist. I walked through the door on Thursday and she didn't even get off the couch. We came home from dinner out that evening and she greeted Leah and only Leah. Traitor was the word that kept coming to mind. 

I figured that Friday I would take some time off and Leah & I could have a girls day. We started off with dropping the boys off at pre-school and Ms. Brenda's and then knocked out our errands. We finished the morning off with pedicures and then rushed to get Kaden from school. Leah chilled out and watched a movie in the car as I did a quick workout and then we headed to the Plaza & did what girls do best. We ate at PF Changs and shopped. A lot. It was pretty neat being able to go shopping with my niece, I may not ever have a girl of my own so being able to spend the day with her was pretty darn special. To say I LOVED it, would be an understatement. 


Friday evening the rest of the family finally arrived & the boys were in rare form. It was a late night for both of them as they ran from one room to the next fighting the "bad guys". They were full of laughs & smiles and watching them play with their cousins was one of the highlights of the weekend. Every waking moment they were wanting to play with Blake & Leah or chasing after Brendan & Brett which made for some easy bedtime routines. 


& with my family in town we of course had to have a full day of the "BEST" KC has to offer. We started Saturday morning off with some John Space Age Donuts which get yummier and yummier each time we eat them and headed out to the park for some morning fun while I did a quick photo shoot. The kids did more running around and more chasing bad guys. 


We then met Justin and my sister at Johnny's and although this might not be a KC favorite, it is a South favorite. We probably eat there once a week or so & the boys have become some of their favorite customers--they get the special treatment and get to fetch their own ice cream from the kitchen freezer--pretty big stuff. 

We finished the night off with some Okie Joe's -- definitely a KC BEST-- and another easy night when it came to bedtime routines. 


The next morning was rough, very rough. The kids woke up each asking if Leah and Blake were still there and when they had to go home. I told them that they would be leaving soon and both their happy go lucky attitudes fizzled quickly & the saddest puppy dog faces were looking up at me. With a little nudge & a promise to see them again soon the boys ran down the stairs to play for a few more minutes before we headed off to church. & once we arrived back home, we had to say our good-byes. 

We don't get to see my niece and nephews often enough but when we do, we make the most of it. This weekend was full of nonstop playing-chasing bad guys, baby shower projects, amazing food, and lots of laughs. I wish every weekend was like this but then again, if every weekend was like this, it wouldn't be so special. 

And this picture is a perfect example of how our kids grow up so quickly & how you gotta make the most of your time. Brett is 16. I was 16 when he was born. It doesn't even seem possible that he can be this old (or that I am this OLD), I remember when I first held him in my arms and here he is holding my little man in his. 





Saturday, March 22, 2014

a SUPER grid.

Our house is always a work in progress. In a perfect world (one with unlimited funds) I would have had our home furnished within the first few months but we haven't won the lottery so I am taking my time. Picking my battles.

Since moving in I have wanted to do some sort of picture grouping in Kaden's room. My initial vision was old comic book covers, mainly superheroes but would you believe me when I tell you that finding the right size and the look that I wanted was next to impossible? I just figured it would be like The Big Bang Theory and that they would be widely available & maybe they are, maybe I just don't know where or how to look for comic books. I never was into them--except for the occasional Archie at the checkout line at the store. I figured 12 or 16 would be good and then I would frame each one in a grid...

Well, here we are almost 2 years later and I can finally check this one off the list of to do's. Although I almost went a completely different way with 3 very large poster board size Superhero prints---The Hulk, Spiderman & Captain America but they sat in the spare bedroom for over two months without being touched. I guess I couldn't bring myself to hang them…

& then I walked back into Hobby Lobby one day & ran across pretty much exactly what I initially had in mind. Actually it was better because I wouldn't have to buy frames for each and every one of them. So what did I find? Well, I ran across classic comic book covers with Superheroes--all of the Superheroes--that were 9x13 and they were embossed.

I instantly pulled my cart over to the side, started sorting through them and laid them down on the floor in a grid pattern ensuring no duplication. Then I flipped them over to check out the price-a little high but with 50% off, it made it doable. Especially since I could return the large poster boards that have just sat to the side for the past 2 months.

I brought them home to show Kaden and he was stoked. Each one he pulled out became his new favorite & he couldn't wait for me to hang them on his wall which brings me to last night. As Justin and the boys chilled downstairs I got busy on measuring out the grid. Luckily, I had purchased some tape that had measurements on it so all I had to really worry about was getting it leveled.


& Justin was not about to let me put 12 holes into the wall because knowing my track record with hanging stuff, it would be more like 24 holes. I had never worked with Command Strips by 3M but they made this project soooo easy & I will be keeping a supply on hand at all times. 



& from there it was just lining everything up correctly by using the numbers on the tape. Honestly, the tape was probably the thing that made this project so easy, I couldn't imagine doing it with just regular painters tape because even though you could measure, mark and then put another piece of tape down, I was able to line the tape up from top to bottom with out measuring, just had to keep it on the "2" at each row. 


I am still thinking that there might need to be one large frame that goes around the entire project or maybe it's just missing a desk and a few other decorations whatever it may be, it isn't done. But I think Kaden and I both can live with it like this for a little while longer---remember, always a work in progress.

& Kaden is obsessed. He loves point out to each character & then quizzing me on their names--looks like I need to brush up on a few Superheroes---Flash Gordon?!?


*sorry for the crappy iPhone pics, I was lazy and didn't want to get my camera out!

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patrick's Day--Warming it Up.

Today marks Justin and I's {SIXTH} anniversary. It seems like it has been way more than just SIX years though & not in a bad way, just so much has happened in six short years. Six years and two kids doesn't sound all that crazy but at one point it was 3 years and two kids & there were times where we would ask ourselves what were we thinking. But now things have slowed down, the boys are growing up & are a little more dependent, we have found our groove.

And instead of taking us all down memory lane, I thought I would give you a glimpse into what our anniversaries will consist of for many years to come.

Yes, we got for-real-married on St. Patrick's Day--a rainy St. Patrick's Day at that. & now each year we head down to the Brookside St. Patrick's Day Warm-Up Parade---that is if the kids aren't sick (like last year) or they aren't afraid of all the sirens (like the year before--although we still went & just dealt with a crying Kaden). No, this year would be the best year yet. The weather was gorgeous. My parents & brother, SIL & Miss Maddie came up. Gram (Kaden now only refers to her as Gram and not Grammy) went with us.


We met great friends down at the parade & the best part, the kids had smiles on their faces the entire time.




They all skipped their naps & they all lasted the entire parade without a meltdown. They waved at the "floats".


They held out their hats for candy.



They wore beads & met Spideman.




They blew bubbles & they danced in the street.



The parade itself was a little long but I could have sat out there all day long. & I am pretty sure the kids could have too.



I mean, seriously, how blessed are we when it comes to having an amazing family and the best friends a couple could ask for. & honestly, our marriage, wouldn't be what it is without the people that we surround ourselves with. We have learned so much from each and every one them. We are so very thankful for our village & I don't think its a coincidence at all that we decided to have our first wedding on St. Patrick's Day, we always thought we were pretty lucky but over the last six years or so, we confirmed that.





Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Taste of Warmer Weather.

The time change has royally messed with our household--three out of the four of us--five out of the six of us if you include dogs--don't want to get out of bed in the morning. Before Daylight Savings Time, I had no issues getting up at 6:45 or 7, the sun was already up & peeking through the window but it's not now & pulling myself out of bed is sooooo hard. Logan and his bedhead would agree. Kaden, he is a different story--isn't he always :0). For some unknown reason the kid is waking up at like 5 in the morning & mind you, we moved our clocks forward so there is NO way this should be happening. One morning he came in to ask why I didn't bring him his iPad the night before & in my mind I was shaking my head because I had no strength to really shake my head, I could barely muster up enough strength to tell him to go back to bed. Fast foward a few days and now at least he isn't getting up to remind me about something I did or didn't do, he just talks to himself until he eventually falls back asleep.

& as much as I HATE getting up in the morning now, especially with the amazing fresh air coming through our windows, I LOVE the extra light we get at the end of the each day more. & so do the boys. After a very long winter we were able to get out and play on the swing set. & immediately a few things jumped out at me…


First:
Kaden can climb the "rock wall" in 3 seconds flat. Last spring he looked like a little boy going up that wall. Unsure of each foot & hand placement & whether he could do it ALL by himself. (By the end of the first month or two he was a pro). Now, its all about how fast he can complete a lap--Up the wall, down the slide. And repeat.


& of course Logan wants to do everything his BIG brother does so he slowly but safely made it up the wall all on his own too. Once he reached the top he proceeded to tell Korie and I it was our turn & talked us through each move to make. First the yellow, then hand on blue and so on and so forth--he'll make a great teacher one day.



Second:
The swings will have to move up a few links this year. Logan could barely climb up in the swing last year when it was on its last link, this year, his little feet brush the ground each time he passes by pumping those tiny little legs. He needs absolutely no help climbing in & makes sure you know he can do it all by himself, "I do it all myself, Mom." It makes me so sad to think how much he has grown over this past year & that he'll be three in less than two months.


Three:
Our spring and summer adventures are just starting. We have soccer, swim lessons, baseball games, the lake, trips to back to Carthage, the zoo---so much on our spring and summer bucket lists to check off and I couldn't be more excited for it. First up--St. Patrick's Day parade!



Sunday, March 9, 2014

A RollerCoaster Week.

These past 7 days have been quite the ride. What started last weekend with a slightly off Logan turned into a whole lot more. In my last post I mentioned I had taken him to Children's Mercy Urgent Care last Sunday and he was diagnosed with pneumonia, a double-ear infection and was running 102 temp. We came home with instructions to take amoxicillin for the next 10 days so that is what we were going to do. & on Monday, things were looking brighter-he was actually smiling after he woke up from his nap. Big improvement & he went back to daycare on Tuesday.

Fast forward to Wednesday morning. Kaden wakes up coughing non-stop--literally didn't stop coughing from 6:30-10:30. I decided that he needed to be seen & thought it might make sense for Logan to have a check-up, make sure that pneumonia was making its way out. So we walked into our pediatrician's office & about 30 minutes into the appointment both boys were getting treatments.


Logan was not doing better, in fact, he was wheezing A LOT. Kaden, well he was another story, we couldn't get it to stop & left with strict instructions that if his coughing wasn't better in a day we were to be back there & asking for a chest x-ray. We walked out of there with 7 prescriptions. Both boys were officially on steroids, amoxicillin & breathing treatments for three times a day until the cough is gone plus three more days. 


& the steroids. WOW. They sure did their job. The boys started perking up thanks to those steroids but the steroids also made them so very hyper. It was not easy trying to keep these two boys from running circles around the house--they just don't get that running around = coughing like crazy! Long days was an understatement. 

Justin was able to stay home with them on Thursday and Friday they finally got to go back to daycare and back to pre-school. They were so happy to be out of the house but weren't that happy with me when I told them no outside play. The weather was beautiful but it was this sort of weather that got them there in the first place & no outside play has continued through the weekend. & even though we had a lot of this…






We also had some fun. The boys and I had a little Saturday morning date. We ran errands--Goodwill to drop off bags and bags of their baby clothes & Home Depot to pick up some very BLUEBERRY paint for a little weekend project. & since we weren't planning on going outside this weekend I told them we could make a special stop at Target and they could pick out a new toy. There were a few rules--under $10 and if I said, no, it meant no. You see, the boys don't get to go and pick out toys, EVER. I know, call me a mean MOM but I don't want them to think that every time they go to the store, they get something. I worry about my kids growing up being spoiled brats & don't get me wrong, they are spoiled, with a capital S but I don't want them knowing it.

Kaden found a Superman on a motorcycle and luckily, Batman was sitting right behind him. We were good to go.

& then, I took them to lunch, compliments of their Aunt Dawn & Uncle Nolan. We were headed to the train place & thankfully we got there before everyone else did. My boys have a fondness for this place we call Fritzs and not just because they get to watch trains deliver their food but because they happily announce to those who are around us that "my Papa Tom drives a train." It may have been the cutest thing EVER. Just sad Papa Tom & Grandma Sara didn't get to see or hear it.





The boys have a thing for "cheers-ing" & I couldn't think of a better thing to be toasting to than to them feeling better. But don't let better fool you, we're not stopping these meds until they are 100% gone.

& trust me, its bad, so bad the pharmacy couldn't fill their prescriptions, I had to go back for four more boxes of albuterol. So many little ones are sick right now & all I can say, trust your instincts & its better safe than sorry. I will happily pay a co-pay any day of the week for the doctor to tell me my kid is PERFECTLY fine and to stop worrying--much better than trying to analyze it myself and hoping it passes. & yes, I am okay being "THAT" mom who takes their kids in to see the doctor as soon as they mention an ear hurting or I hear a cough that remotely sounds off. We will not be taking anymore chances this season.

And after a week like they had, we decided to end it with a well-deserved trip to Chuck E Cheese. We figured that since the kids were still on antibiotics & I had a never-ending supply of anti-bacterial gel, we should be good for a few hours. Again, we didn't want the kids outside, even though it was BEAUTIFUL. Being outside is code for RUNNING, JUMPING, & CHASING for two little boys I know & that would be far worse than a little time at Chuck E. Cheese & the kids were soooo excited about going that they completely forgot about how AMAZING it was outside today. & it was just a coincidence that the boys showed up in almost identical shirts as Nathan, we just got the colors wrong! (I figured if both boys were wearing the same shirt, they would be easier to spot---they have a spend a token and come back to the table rule at this place---and we are strategically placed in the middle of the little kid stuff.)


Two things. The boys were smiling the entire time except for this picture & when we told them it was time to go. & somehow Kaden managed to photo-bomb Nathan and Logan's picture. 

& you know the best thing about this weekend. Besides one little, easy-peasy, photo-shoot, I didn't have a dang thing planned. This was one of the first weekends since I made the announcement of hanging up my photography hat to spend more time with my family that I have actually been able to do just that & it was sooo great for the soul. It was exactly what I needed, what we needed & I can't wait to have more weekends just like this one. Only they will include more sunshine & getting to feel that same sunshine on our faces.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Kaden vs. Logan

I really haven't posted many pictures where Logan is wearing the same outfit as Kaden once did.  Or comparing the two of them to one another for that matter. I think it maybe has only happened twice, here & here.

& now again. Yesterday while I was home with Logan he decided he wanted to wear his stocking hat inside & I am a sucker for a cute kid in a beanie so I let him wear it as long as he wanted. I was thinking that I had taken a few pictures of Kaden wearing this hat at some point because I remember how excited Justin was that he found it. He had actually bought this for himself but with a dryer mishap it got passed down to Kaden.

Here Kaden is about 20 months & Logan at around 34 months--so not really the same age but I think you can see a few similarities between the boys. I, for one, have never thought they have looked anything alike so these images took me by surprise. I wish I had some images where they were closer to the same age...



And since we are comparing pictures and which kid looks like who, here is a picture of me when I was little. No doubt, or at least in my mind, that Lil' Logie looks a little, okay, a lot like me.