Sunday, May 31, 2015

May Extras

May happeninings….

Cousin Colton turned SIX. Celebrated in style with a birthday bash at the Olathe Community Center---the boys loved having a reason to put their suits on a few weeks earlier than normal.

Pink skies remind me of my Grandma Dorothy--she's smiling down and passing out hugs. 

At Cousin Colton's soccer game.

Logan's four year old check-up. Two thumbs up. 3 feet, 3 inches and 33.3 lbs. 

Mother's Day 2015---breakfast in bed brought to me by Ms. Brenda and these two. 

Celebrating another May birthday--Ms. Dawn!!

On this particular day we celebrated three birthdays--Cousin Colton's, Breck's and Mac's---Logan and Nathan were taking it all in.

At Breck's First Birthday--Kaden only had eyes for Miss Lyla. 

Nathan turns THREE.

First family pic of the summer. 

 Watching Cousin Deonte play high school ball. Go Pumas!

Spending Mother's Day on the court. 

Each morning after it rains the boys look for the worms and move them to safer ground before allowing me to back out. 

 Nelly and TLC….and NKTOB but we were totally there for Nelly---Where's the Party At?!?!

Selfie Stick.

Before his luscious locks were cut off. 

 and after, still as cute as before.

Monday, May 25, 2015

& he's done.

Just like that, his preschool years are over.

It's cliche, but seriously, it seems like it was just yesterday that we were dropping him off for his first day of preschool. He was a little nervous but not nearly as nervous as we were and those first three hours couldn't get over quick enough---I just needed to see that he made it through his first day & I desperately needed that hug!

& of course he made it through his first day perfectly fine. & every day thereafter too. Each time we sat down with his teachers they had nothing but wonderful things to say. He was very smart and certainly understood each of the concepts that they introduced but most importantly, he was polite and well mannered. 

We have an exceptional day care provider and from the get go we never sent Kaden to preschool for the teaching---it was ALWAYS for the socializing with more kids his age and learning how to behave in a classroom setting. He started out a little shy, he was joining the group halfway through the school year and everyone else already knew each other but with time, he found his way and made friends quickly. Wonderful friends. Friends he couldn't wait to tell me all about when I picked him up each day.

My favorite part of preschool, the pick up, hands down. Ms. Donna would open the door and dismiss him and he would come barreling at me, as fast as he could, yelling MOOOOM, with his arms as wide as he could get them and would jump straight into my arms. I never once tried telling him he needed to calm down, or walk, or be quiet, his excitement in seeing me was often the highlight of my day. Sure he was close to knocking me over every single day but I just held onto it, taking it all in.

But now that's over. He's off to kindergarten and changes are a coming. Instead of attending kindergarten at John Paul II, he'll attend the kindergarten near where we live. & don't get me wrong, that makes total sense, but EVERY SINGLE ONE of this "best" friends, are all going to John Paul.

Sure, he will make new friends and I am sure it won't take any time at all but it's crazy to see another chapter in his life come to an end---he's only FIVE. And as with preschool, I am sure he will be a little nervous walking through that school door that very first day but not as nervous as we will be & you better believe I will be counting down the hours until I can pick him up so that I can be the first to hear all about his first day.

Peace Out JPII---this kid is ready to spread his wings & FLY.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Friday Night Movie

The weather has been very unpredictable as of late and most evenings it has been raining. Justin was headed out to a concert and was hoping not to get wet and since he was leaving I was on dinner duty. If you know me at all then you know I don't do dinner very often which meant it not only needed to be easy but it also needed to be something the boys could help me with---they both enjoy helping out in the kitchen.

We went for pizzas---the simple kind. & each of the boys made their own.

All you need is are a few cheese sticks, some pizza sauce, crescent rolls and pepperoni--or whatever toppings you want and then pop in the oven. And the best part--the boys ate every last bit and asked for extras too.

After we made the pizzas I told the boys that we were going to make our own drive-in. That we would build and decorate them a little car.

They started out with making their license plates and moved on to adding taillights and then the wheels.

They ended by adding the headlights and the steering wheel and immediately jumped in and jumped right in and made themselves at home.

We would fix up a little concession stand--thanks to their dad running to the store last minute!

We had to choose from The Book of Life or Box Trolls, we went with The Book of Life. Our little last minute drive-in movie was a hit--they were pretty excited which I was thankful for since the weather wasn't looking all that great and and I enjoyed a little down time with my boys.

Monday, May 11, 2015

No Training Wheels Here

When we asked Logan what he wanted for his 4th birthday we were not at all surprised by his request. A Batman bike with pedals.

You see, Kaden, got one for his 5th birthday and Logan was handed down the balance bike. & it didn't take long until Logan knew exactly what he was doing on it either. He was cruising and balancing all over the place so it only made sense to give the real bike a try. The problem with his request---the kind of bike, BATMAN.

I searched high and low but couldn't find any sort of Batman bike that would work for his size--we needed a smaller bike since he is only 4 and he doesn't have the Papa Hartley height. The only bike that I could find was a Spiderman bike so I went ahead and just got it banking on the fact that his brother had a Spiderman bike and now so does he. Fingers were crossed.

His birthday week weather had pretty much nothing but rain in the forecast so we decided to go ahead and give his bike to him the night before in hopes that we could test it out. I ran home from work, told the boys I had a few things I had to put away and disappeared into the basement. I quickly, no thanks to shotty directions put the bike together and tried to sneak it out to the driveway but I got caught. Luckily they didn't mind staying inside for a few more minutes...

And the fact that it wasn't Batman was never an issue, he was so excited that he had a Spiderman bike just like his brother!

We did have to do a little tweaking and lower the seat to the lowest possible position as he wanted to make sure his entire foot could touch the ground. And although he wasn't totally on board with giving it a try, a little timid, he left me hold onto the back and he started pedaling. We barely got one lap in around our cul-de-sac and the rain started coming---downpour actually and back to the garage the bike went. Sadly, it sat there for a few more days and then on Mother's Day, in between more rain, we pulled it back out and went back to work.

And no joke---this was probably our 4th attempt. I started letting go after #2.

We still have a ways to go before he feels totally confident, not to mention I do too but what a great start. I swear, these balance bikes are just the best & although I have never tried teaching a child to ride a bike without having used a balance bike before, I can't imagine it would be easier than this was. In fact, I would think it would be a whole lot harder and probably frustrating for everyone.

So proud of our lil' man. He needs to stop growing up but I guess he just doesn't want to be left behind.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The {South} Life 2015

If throwing a 4th birthday party wasn't enough for one weekend, I threw in a family shoot too. & at the last minute, I scrapped one of the ideas that I had for our shoot and tucked it away in my pocket for the future. I mean lets face it, I only had a limited amount of time between our photo shoot and the party and what I had in mind was really going to screw with my time table---I already had 36 cupcakes to ice, a house to clean and food/desserts to set up. And even though I scrapped my favorite, or what probably would have been my favorite, part of the shoot, the pictures Katy captured of our family are pretty perfect & that canvas I have been wanting to replace---the one where Logan is barely ONE---is getting taken down just as soon as I can order a new one!

So who is this lady who takes our pictures? You'd think as a photographer I might be a little more picky when it comes to who I step in front of a camera for and you are right, this is our 11th session with Katy Gitto Photography. Katy is just an amazing person all around. She is a super talented photographer, I could learn (& have learned) so much from her. She is a woman of faith and although I don't spend time with her family, I still feel like I know them (in a Facebook kind of way), you can see that her and her husband have their faith at the center of everything---their kiddos ooze HIS love. She is just good people & our sessions with her are just so much fun and we all, yes, Justin included, look forward to them. 

One would also think that because I am a photographer it's easy to pull family outfits together for us. That I know what works well in front of the camera no matter where your session is BUT, you'd be wrong. This is the part that stresses me out the most. Not the part about bribing the kids to smile--and the husband. Not the part about being on time. Not the part about letting go of control and letting someone else tell me what to do---usually I am the one directing. No, all of that is a cinch. But figuring out what to WEAR almost does me in EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I literally was sending Justin to Old Navy to pick up Kaden's shirt the day before the shoot. I went into one store and it wasn't there but they had ONE at a different location so I put it on hold and sent the hubby.

But it didn't start there, and I won't lie, it kind of started with what I was going to wear but I am sure most women start with themselves. After ordering a handful of items in multiple sizes I had a couple of options so I moved on to find something for Justin and used the kids to tie it all together---remember, matchy, matchy, just isn't a good thing, you want to coordinate but not even necessarily look like you go together---for us, it was the pink/red that tied me to the boys and then the blues that tied Justin to the boys. Logan was easy. I had two shirts that would work but Kaden was difficult because of his size. He doesn't fit into Gap toddlers anymore and the XS fits pretty good but the S is a tad big but everything that I liked wasn't available in a XS so I did some laundry and worked my shrinking magic. & in the end the only shirt that I was able to find that worked for Kaden was a Superhero shirt so we went with it. I pulled Logan's Captain America shirt out and called it good. So happy we went the Captain America route, they were excited to wear them for pictures which helped out with smiles & Superheroes just happen to be one of their favorite things! Someone had even painted a Captain America's shield for us & we just had to stop and take the boys pictures by it once we were all done with our session.