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Is it Already Time?

Posted by casey on September 30, 2010 in Caden, Caden's Chronicles

Where did month seven go?  On Monday of this week, Caden became another month older and I have to say that this past month has flown by with the swiftness of a scurrying mouse avoiding a cat. No? How about a roach that doesn’t want to get squashed. Ew, gross. Ummmm….a cat’s reflexes?  Sure, go with the unoriginal.  As even my sister in law Jess said, “Is he really already a month older?” Yes, yes he is.

I remember when he had been with us seven weeks, I named his Week 7 Post, “Come on Lucky 7“.  Well…month 7 was not so lucky necessarily.  Sure, plenty of blessings, but overall, not his best month.  Two themes have dominated this month.  Food and lack of sleep.  I believe the combination of those is what really caused the month to blur.  I mean fly. Yes, fly.  Not even a week after Caden turned six months the signs that he was entering into another growth spurt began;daytime grumpiness, night-time sleeplessness, hungry cries, the works.  Easy enough right?  Start filling him up more during the day by adding to his meals and then wham-bam he won’t be hungry. HA!  There are two problems with that theory.  One, when you are breastfeeding it isn’t as simple as “add a bonus ounce to the bottle to make up for his now larger appetite”, and two he was protesting and fighting mealtimes.  Sad because he is hungry, sad because he doesn’t want to nurse, sad because he doesn’ t want pumped milk from a bottle. Sad.

I was sad too.  I spent the better half of three weeks with a child attached to me or me attached to a pump. TMI? Sorry.  It was too thrilling to not share.  We went full fledged back into newborn sleep habits that unlike his four month spurt which from start to finish lasted about two weeks, we are still feeling the effects of a month later. It also pretty much chained me to the house since I was back to the “why even put a shirt on” stage.  Colter has decided that Caden seems to now be particular about his food and how it is served to him and in what amount just like his mother.  I wish I could take offense, but it is true.  So, everyday is a little bit of a guessing game as to what he is going to like and how much of it.  He LOVED avocado (would reach for more) and now won’t touch it.  Protested zuchinni after getting the sweeter acorn squash and now loves it again.  All in all, we are finally, one month later starting to get our angel, routine andsleep back.  Day, by day.

He is though, full of new tricks and opinions.
Speed!  Our little man is becoming a speedy army crawler.  While he pushes himself to all fours occasionally, he realizes he can exert less effort and army crawl.  Way to be lazy son!  You can put just about anything down on the floor and he will move to it but is quickly distracted by Thrasher.  Caden and Thrasher spend the better half of their days chasing each other around the living room/kitchen and swapping toys.  This is great because they entertain each other and Thrasher is being wonderful about sharing his toys and bringing them to Caden.  The only problem is that now, as if he wasn’t sure before, Thrasher REALLY thinks Caden can play fetch since he can move and grab his toys.  So they go back and forth.

(All of the videos are still sideways because of the way my phone is saving and transferring them.  As soon as my computer genius of a brother finds a program or writes a program to fix it you won’t have to turn your head.  Until then, find a good chiropractor. :) )

Curiousity.  At 6 1/2 months he finally figured out that if he saw something interesting across the room he could go to it.  At first it was all about moving to whatever toys were around him or on a blanket.  Then one day he got wise, saw his bouncer across the room and then our lives really started to change.  I have to say, it is fun seeing what he notices and wants to check out.  However, his eyes are very aware of what is above him as he is already reaching for things higher than him so we are well aware at the havoc he will soon reap on our home.

Feet.  He is in love with feet.  Feet and dogs. Gross right?  He loves to chase feet, grab feet, try to eat feet – you name it.  I’m hoping he doesn’t become the creepy “foot fetish” guy like that wacko on The Bachelorette a couple seasons ago.  I am just saying.

Fake Coughing.  Now, while he is eating he fake coughs if he doesn’t like something.  It seems that he thinks we will rush in to give him pats, or won’t continue to put that in his mouth if he “coughs”.  It sounds nothing like his real cough though, so he may not know it, but he hasn’t outsmarted us yet!

- His “Lower Parts”: Yup, he is a man.  A man who has discovered his “stuff”, “junk”,””winky” or “lower parts” as I have so recently referred.  Put him in the tub and what does he do?  Reaches down with his left hand and grabs a handful of himself. Open palm. Close palm. Open palm. Close palm.  Ay yi-freaking yi!  I suppose this is where the, “I’m just a  girl who doesn’t understand.” part of being a mom comes in.  The best part is that Colter comes out from bathing him one night when he was a little grumpy going in and proclaims, “Hey! if you just guide his hand down to his junk he calms down immediately!”  Great honey. Thank you.

Recognition.  I wouldn’t so much say this is new, just more obvious.  He loves his Nonna and Poppa.  He loves it when he sees Auntie Jess.  At a party full of ladies he was comforted by the sight of Auntie Em, Auntie Leah and Auntie Shannon. (A post on all the aunties is necessary I know).  He is beyond excited when his Daddy comes home from work.  It is truly heartwarming and precious and all of that mushy stuff.

-Jibber Jabber. He babbles and motorboats and chit chats all day.  He is rarely silent but not too painfully loud either.  He laughs and talks to you as soon as he sees you coming to get him up in the morning.  He squeals with delight when he sees the dogs.  He “woo-woos” and “eee–mmmms” all while playing and furrows his brow with a spitting motorboat when he has had about enough.  Thrasher thinks the jibber jabber means he wants licked in the mouth. De-lish! Caden loves him so much he doesn’t seem to mind.

Snuggles.  Now, he has gone back to wanting to snuggle a bit here and there.  Caden will burrow his sweet little face in your shoulder and wiggle his butt into the air trying to get as close to you as possible.  Sure sometimes he makes you out to be a jungle gym but he is so sturdy that it is nice to be able to give him smooches and squeezers back.

Our “baby” is rocking out all 6-12 month sizes, size 3 diapers, 18 lbs of “pure gristle” and the height range of his Dad.  He still plays in the car, loves going for jogs in his stroller and tries to rip mommies hair out.  It is obvious that he loves his newfound freedom moving around and it is also obvious when he has a dirty (as in not just wet) diaper because he will start to giggle at you when you begin to change him.  (The little punk knows what he has done and what it means for his parents!)  At seven months we are getting excited for his first holiday season and the fact that he will be old enough to at least be infatuated by the sights and sounds of all the hustle and bustle!

Mr. Caden’s Speedy Seventh Month

 
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Rainy Day Treat – Texas Sheetcake

Posted by casey on September 25, 2010 in In The Kitchen, Sweet Treats

A long time ago, I posted just a picture of this delightful treat.  Today, because it is rainy making us all snuggly and lazy in Dallas, you get the recipe.  Bust out your sheet cake pans, it is time!

Traditional Texas Sheetcake
INGREDIENTS:
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup water
½ cup butter, cut into pieces
½ cup shortening
½ cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
 
Frosting:
½ cup butter
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
1/3 cup milk
1 – 16 oz pkg powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans

1. Grease and flour a large sheetcake pan.  A rimmed cookie sheet will work as long as the cake will spread to be approx 1/2 inch thick.  A 9X13 baking dish won’t work!

2. Whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa and baking soda. Set aside.

3. Bring your water to boil over medium heat in a saucepan.  Once boiling, remove from heat and add the shortening and butter.  Let this sit for five minutes, whisking occasionally until the butter melts.

Then whisk your buttermilk, eggs (whisk fast since your adding them to warm liquid) and vanilla into the butter/shortening/water mixture.

4. Now add your liquid mixture to your dry ingredients until blended.

5. Pour batter into your pan and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 min. Cool for ten minutes and then spread the icing while the cake is warm!

Icing
Combine the butter, cocoa, and milk in a saucepan
Cook over low heat 5 minutes or until the butter melts.
Bring to a boil and then remove from heat
Stir in the sugar and vanilla.
Beat at medium speed until the mixture is smooth.
Stir in pecans. (Traditional sheetcake has nuts in the icing and they do add flavor.  But, if you are completely anti nuts in your dessert you can leave them out.)

I typically double the icing recipe to make a 1/4 inch thick layer of icing across the entire cake.  A single batch of icing will put a thin glaze on it. So, you can do whichever you prefer!


(Oopsies…the finished product is a phone picture!)

 
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Read With Me II – Week Two

Posted by casey on September 24, 2010 in On My Nightstand, Read With Me

Oopsy! So, if you read this post from this week, you saw that I didn’t realize until Wednesday that I had forgotten to actually “Publish” last week’s Read With Me post.  Instead of screwing the schedule up even more by posting it mid-week I thought I would just keep it until this Friday and get us back on track.

So, two weeks ago I left us with the assignment of beginning The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson and reading through Chapter 4.  I knew everyone said it started off slow, but it wasn’t until I heard “get through the first thirty pages” as I was on page 24 that I really felt encouraged.  Sure enough, as soon as I was introduced to Lisbeth I was hooked. (Yes…I already wanted to know exactly what scandal Mikael was involved with too.)

Without further adieu, our discussion questions –

Discussion Topics: Chapters 1 Through 4

Remember, you can leave your responses by posting in the comments section or you can e-mail them to me at lifeofthekazmanns@gmail.com!

1. What do you already know of or think of on golden parachute schemes?  If you don’t know anything at all, do a little “Google” research and get back to us!

2. What did you find most intriguing about Lisbeth and her description when we were introduced to her beginning on page 36 through Chapter 2?

3. If you were having a report written up about you by Lisbeth, what is one detail you would hope she would include, and one you wish she would leave out?

4. Would you have gone to meet Frode and Vanger? Why or why not.

5. Overall basic reaction to Mikael’s meeting with Vanger and the real job he is hiring him for.

Next Week’s Assignment?
 – Chapters Five Through 11

Don’t Know What I am Talking About?  Grab your copy, catch up with Week One and Read With Us!

 
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Garbage Can Shelter

Posted by casey on September 22, 2010 in Caden, Caden's Chronicles

I’m Popeye the sailor- man….

If I get kicked out of this place I’ll have to live in a garbage can!

 
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Passing Blame

Posted by casey on September 21, 2010 in For Your Funny Bone, Home, Life as I Know It

As I was wiping down my kitchen this morning with my new “all natural” cleaner that makes my kitchen smell as though I soaked it in a barrel of Thyme and ran into some little friends (again) I was reminded of a little blame game I had forgotten to spread.

First, a little background to really get into it.  Every now and then, the hubs gets a little itch to yuck it up with a salesman.  He usually fulfills this odd desire by playing to the whims of a local telemarketer up to the point where he is actually supposed to purchase something.  Sometimes I think they might enjoy this as opposed to getting hung up on and other times I think his mindless questioning back at them completely throws them off there game because well, they are used to the dialtone.  Sometimes, though, the phone doesn’t cut it and he really lets himself get wrapped up in the door to door salesman.  What is really contradictory about all of this is that, he is the budget-er.  The one who makes sure we don’t go overboard (okay, too overboard) and tries to get us to stick to what we need.  Most people who encounter a door to door salesman at 7:30 on a Wednesday evening would in some terms tell them to go away.  My husband waltzes back into the house with a jug of “miracle cleaner” that he just bought from Joe because you guessed it, this cleaner will take care of ANYTHING. Anything! (How have we lived without it up until now?)  I should mention that I asked him if he tasted it to make sure it wasn’t water, and told him that I wasn’t fond of the cockroach looking critter on the bottle under its name.  I have yet to see it work its magic on anything and everything.  If you think the cleaner is bad, how about the box of meat he bought from the back of someone’s pick up truck.  MEAT!  I mean, it was a play on Omaha steaks, but there brochure was fresh off their homemade printer with no labels and there is no way a salesman could have ever convinced me it was sanitary.  That was three years ago, and we lived to tell about it.  Meat…geez.

I think it is his generous spirit that feels for these young men out busting their behinds while everyone else is home with their families trying to earn some dough.  He also knows he wouldn’t be very good at it so he appreciates a convincing sell.  Something like that.

Between the meat three years ago, and the cleaner a month ago there was the Pest control.  I’m all about using smaller, local companies instead of feeding into the big monopolies too, but every time they come to spray we have an infestation somewhere.  I understand the concept of flushing bugs out, or them coming out while on their last leg of life.  I’m talking swarming infestations.  I think it is there way to make sure you call them to come back out even though you are under contract.  My sweet husband paid for our year contract up front in stead of each time they visit so canceling would do us no good.

A few weeks ago the nicest gentleman came to treat our home and three hours later while wiping down the kitchen for the eighty-second time that day and trying to figure out why my cloud-resembling puppy was growling at his bowl I saw them.  How I could have missed them I don’t know.  Tiny little bugs everywhere.  Bugs in Thrasher’s bowl.  Bugs in the water bowl.  Bugs on the floor.  Bugs on the counter.  Bugs crawling up the counter. Bugs, bugs, bugs.  I promptly picked up the phone to call the company since I was swimming in bugs and tired of this happening!
Operator: ” How may I help you with your pest control needs?”
Me:“Yes, my name is Casey Kazmann and this morning a gentleman came to treat our house.  Well, now I am having forty-three times the bug problem I was having pre treatment.”
Operator: “I’m sorry?”
Me: “There are bugs everywhere.  Tiny little bugs. Everywhere in my kitchen.”
Operator:“Oh, bugs? Mmmm.  I’m just not quite sure what to do about that.  I’ll have to transfer you to our branch manager.”
Me -In My Head: Of course she has to transfer me.  Why would a pest control company have any idea what to do about bugs?
Branch Manager (Who Sounds like He is From Family Guy): ” How may I help you with your pest control needs?”
Me:“Yes, my name is Casey Kazmann and this morning a gentleman came to treat our house.  Well, now I am having forty-three times the bug problem I was having pre treatment.”
Branch Manager: Oh dear.  What kind of bugs are they?
Me – In My Head (as I am peering closer and closer at the bugs): Seriously? What kind of bugs?  Isn’t that their job?  What am I, an entomologist?
Me: I don’t know. They are teeny, tiny and reddish.  They almost have the body of an ant if I had to compare it to something, but you know, teeny.
Branch Manager:  Tiny bugs whose bodies resemble ants you say? Must be baby ants.
Me In My Head : If I had said tiny but resemble a beetle would you have said baby beetles you delinquent?
Me: I’m not so much concerned what they are, but why they are in my home.  Why is it that this ALWAYS happens once you come.
Branch Manager: Blah…Blah…flushing bugs out…blah..blah…back to the colony…blah blah…don’t spray them….blah blah..should go away….blah blah…new species….blah blah..don’t know what to do
Me: I’m sorry did you say there were new species?
Branch Manager:I mean, these definitely sound like baby ants but recently we have been encountering new species of bugs that we are unfamiliar with and haven’t had to deal with or treat before.  You know there is a bed bug outbreak as well….blah blah
Me In My Head:Yes, I watching CNN this morning too about the hotel outbreak of bed bugs.  Not a problem here thank you.
Branch Manager:  So, these new bugs are coming out and then other ones we know of like in your case are coming inside more.  I think it might be the economy or something.
Me: Excuse me?
Branch Manager: The bugs.  Infesting.  I think it might have something to do with the economy.
Me: Choke. Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Choke.  Cough. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha.

I couldn’t hold it in. I couldn’t.  My bug problem it seems has to do with the economy.  Apparently you see, the bugs are stressed out and worried about their homes, pension plans and stock portfolios. Sooooooooo they thought they would relax by coming in for a cup of coffee and an air conditioning break.  I mean that is the logical  conclusion right.

The economy.  The economy has caused my bug problem.
Passing the blame my friends.  Passing the blame.

I blame the economy for my son going throw the mother of all growth spurts the past three weeks and not sleeping,(not him growing and being hungry) for my spilling a carton of half-and half inside my refrigerator which was awesome (not me being clumsy) for my nose turning into a fountain (not the yardwork I did), for just now realizing I didn’t post the Read With Me assignment for this week last Friday (not inability to remember anything) annnnnndddddd for bitter coffee. Yup, the economy.  Why not?  I mean, if we are passing blame people, lets pass it!  Anything you would like to pass the blame on because apparently it is an open field!

 
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Read With Me II – Geography

Posted by casey on September 15, 2010 in On My Nightstand, Read With Me

I know what you are thinking….this isn’t as light of a read as “The Art of Racing in the Rain” was!  Okay, we all heard it was a bit slow to start right?  Julia warned us that there were a lot of places she hadn’t heard of or words she wasn’t familiar with.  Don’t give up!  If I can’t give up and put it back on the shelf, neither can you.   Especially since you voted for it.  After struggling through the first chapter, that is right, struggling I decided it was because I needed a map.

So I am in the process of finding us a better, detailed map with the towns in Sweden shown that we need.  Bear with me.

But until then…use good ol’ Wikipedia if you need to get you to some online resources so you can get through it!

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – According to Wikipedia

We can do this, we can do this, we can do this!  Don’t you already want to know who is sending the mysterious flowers though? (If that doesn’t show that I get sucked into any mystery crime show in the first 30 seconds when they show the crime and then have to sit and watch the next hour I don’t know what does.)

 

Happy Reading!

 
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Read With Me II – Week One

Posted by casey on September 10, 2010 in On My Nightstand, Read With Me

Saddle up, it is time to start!  It is about time we all get in the loop of all the chatter out there about this novel so I think we are starting this bad boy at just the right time. :)   Each Friday I will post discussion topics based on what we read  in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” from the previous week as well as the new reading assignment for the following week.   Phew, that is a mouthful!  Since we haven’t read yet, this week’s discussion topics will be slightly different a a bit background oriented to get us going.

Don’t know what I am talking about? Read about our “Read-Along” and join us!

Reading Assignment : Week One
Prologue through Chapter 4

Discussion Topics:

Respond to the below topics by either answering in the comments section, or emailing lifeofthekazmanns@gmail.com Either is fine, so go with your comfort!  Next Friday new discussion topics will be posted that will cover Chapters One Through Four, this week we are going for background!

1. What have you heard so far about this book? Any worries you have?
2.Do you have any tattos, if so what? If not, what would you get if you HAD to get one?
3. This book is being made into a movie.  Share with us one movie that you think lived up to your love of its form in book!

Don’t worry, you can jump in with us at any time.  So go grab your copy, catch up and read with us!

Remember, our Promotions Contest ends next Friday!

 
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Read With Me II Promotions Contest!

Posted by casey on September 7, 2010 in Contests & Giveaways, On My Nightstand, Read With Me

We are steadily growing our Read With Me group for our second book together, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson.  Our first reading assignment will be posted this coming Friday, but just like last time I thought we would take a little time to work and promote our group!  We have a nice group growing, a bit larger than last time by both comments and emails, so let’s get some more opinions thrown in our discussion mix. :)  By helping to promote our Read With Me II group (in multiple ways) you will be entered to win a Barnes and Noble  giftcard a whopping four ways. (remember there is another gift card on the line at the end of our group discussion over our novel) . 

1. Change your facebook status to

Read With Me and Get Rewarded
http://www.caseyandcolter.net/?p=2554

2. Tweet about our reading group with a link to the site.  When you comment to tell me you did this, leave me your twitter username!

3. If you have a blog, make a quick post about our group with a link back to it. 

4. Send an email out to your friends that might be interested and BCC lifeofthekazmanns@gmail.com so I can see that you did it!

Remember, you don’t have to be reading with us to promote it and be eligible for this gift card (but I sure wish you would).  Once you have advertised us well, come back and comment and tell me what you did.  Leave me your twitter name and your blog site if you chose those options as well!  If you promote us one way, you will be entered one time, four ways = four times!  Don’t forget you are always more than welcome to email lifeofthekazmanns@gmail.com if that makes you more comfortable than commenting!

Contest Ends Friday, September 17th at Noon

 
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One Step at a Time

Posted by casey on September 3, 2010 in Caden, Snapshots

 
4

Oooooooohhhhh We’re Halfway There

Posted by casey on September 2, 2010 in Caden, Caden's Chronicles, Family

Caden is six months! Okay this isn’t “breaking news” because really, he is 6 months and one week old. Oops.  Sorry buddy, mommy tried.

I’m a week late.  A week late and I have been thinking about working on this post for three weeks.  Pathetic I tell you, pathetic.  It is also pathetic that I have had Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” stuck in my head for the past month as we approached Caden’s Half Birthday!  Last Friday, on August 27th, Mr. Caden “turned” Six Months Old!!!  (Naturally he partied hard and didn’t nap which contributed to the lack of a post.) Stranger to me than our baby boy being six months old, (because every day we are telling him to slow down and hurry up at the same time) is the fact that half of a year has already passed.  It has been over a year since we first found out we were pregnant and now half of a year has passed with him in our lives.

Wowzers!

The other big thing that deserves a “Wowzers” this month is Caden, because Caden is officially a big boy.  I know we have said it, and joked about it, but he graduated.  Newborn, Infant or Baby he is no longer….big boy he has become!  We have really enjoyed watching him gain more and more independence this month. Sure it is a bit more challenging for us, but so rewarding to see him get to excited for himself.  It has been a month of new tricks for sure and I think that the best way to recap this for you is in a David Letterman Top Ten.

The Top Ten New Tricks of Caden Lee Kazmann during his sixth month….

10. The full on licking.  His toys, your face, the floor.  Tongue out and a bottom to top slurp.  (I think he has been spending too much time with Thrasher.)

9. His dinosaur roar. (Believe it or not, this is a happy noise.)
 

8. Master of sitting up.

7. Still a master of spitting up.

6. Introduced to solids. ( He has successfully eaten homemade purees of peas, zucchini and avocado as we wrap up his third week of “real food”.)

5. Discovery of the “Motorboat Noise(Loving the additional drool of course.)

4. Started his poor student habits early and slept at school.

 

3. Became a man and truly discovered the remote.

2. Finds his Dad HILARIOUS every evening.

And, The Number One new trick from Caden during his six month of life….

 Watch out world, he is on the move!  Army crawling and up on all fours.

So as you can see, it has been a very busy month full of fun and all types of changes.   From his first road tripto his first moments of truly being mobile, Colter, myself and the dogs have enjoyed every minute of watching him discover the world.  At seventeen pounds he has more than doubled hisbirthweight in six months, has just finished his second growth spurt and is back to sleeping again at night, is starting to show the dogs how much trouble they are going to be in now that he can move to them, and my favorite?  He loves to snuggle us again.  He reaches for us, hugs us, nestles his head in and chills out….snugglesaurus. (Sure those reaches occasionally lead to cries, but it is still sweet that he knows he wants a cuddle…whether he is going to get it or not :) ) I packed away anything that had a “3 months” in the label about a week into the month (including 3-6 month sizes)and alas, he did not make it to his new long sleeve wardrobe I had recently purchased.  Sooooo into the 6-12 month sizes since Daddy said he felt like he was strangling him and shoving a sausage into its casing. Caden loves to “fly”, play in his bouncer, sit in his high chair, play in the car, snuggle Thrasher bear, hide his face, yoga with Mom, watch baseball with Dad (seriously mesmerizes him)and fortunately, just about anything.  He is still the very happy, mellow baby we brought home and we could not be more grateful! I showed you a few, but we captured some great moments this month, so enjoy the rest of the pictures!

Happy Half  Birthday Caden!

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