Double 2

Posted by casey on December 31, 2011 in Caden, Caden's Chronicles

At 22 months I am ready to just tell people that my son is two!  I pretty much do now because when you say 22 months it makes people do the math which is a pain for all involved.  However you then have your very specific people who like to point out that he isn’t quite there.  I agree, not quite but isn’t it easier?

Easier to say maybe…but hard to believe!

I think this past month for Caden has been full of learning – and frustration.  It is an interesting stage of being very needy & clingy (wanting up all the time or snuggles) yet wanting to be completely independent even when he isn’t capable of it.  We are all ready for his communication skills to start filling in the gaps to take away some of his frustration.  Speaking of, the child speaks!  He has been so efficient with his hands and noises that despite our always asking him to say things and telling him what something his that he is pointing at before giving it to him he hadn’t been very interested in or motivated to truly talk.  Sure he has said things like “daddy”, “yum-yum”, “uh-oh” etc. for awhile but this month we added quite a bit to his vocabulary.  His favorite you ask? “NO!”  He knew the word before but now he uses it – All. The. Time.  I told Colter we have to be careful about what we ask him now because if we ask it we are giving him the option to answer.  For example…

“Caden, are you ready to go upstairs and take a rest (nap) now?”

Answer: “Mmmm, No.”

You asked! He answered.

  Sometimes it is quite adorable though because he will quite simply and softly reply “No” to your question and move on.  The boy knows what he wants!

They aren’t all crystal clear and it is hit or miss as to whether or not he is going to use them on his own or be prompted but his list is steadily growing.(It is About Time)  Let me think…

No, Up, Down, Hi, Doggy, Bo (dog’s name), Daddy, Mama (only when he is whining and really wants me), Brother, (comes out Braduh), Pop, Nonna (Grandma’s name), more, ball, Out (outside), Go, Go Get It, Water (only sometimes)

He is still a dancing fool but it seems to entertain him and crack up whoever he is around.  He loved all of the Christmas music that played anywhere we went and started to ask for me to play it in the mornings while he ate breakfast.  If music can keep him happy then music he will hear!

Speaking of Christmas, the child was a bit overwhelmed.  I think there where too many people asking him to do too many things at once (open this, look at that, play over here, take this, etc) that he was beyond overstimulated and over it.  He cried a lot over those couple of days and mainly because he didn’t seem to know what to do when.  He was especially frustrated that no one wanted him to play with a gift he had opened but to put it aside and open another. So, we saved quite a few gifts for him to open on his own time and even stashed some we had got him for Christmas to save for his birthday.  A little overloaded to say the least.

He is such a busy boy that we have found some new fun to occupy him.  Wednesday mornings we go to Metroplext gymnastics with Lindsay and Becca for open gym time.  There the boys can run, jump (trampolines, bounce houses, padded floors), dance and laugh it up in a large gym with ample space.  He gets very excited when we arrive and wears himself out enough to walk over to his shoes when time is up on his own because he is ready to go.  It is nice because it is enough time for Caden to observe and warm up to what he wants to do and who with before jumping in.

Did you notice I said “warm up”?  Yes, it seems our sweet boy has caught a bit of the shy bug.  He has always been a little but of an observer but this month it went into overload.  Caden started to hide by our legs, grab onto them or want up when other kids or people came around.  Instead of socializing he would just ignore others or become sad.  Now, this doesn’t happen so much at home -if visitors come to the house he is usually thrilled and shows off.  Out in public? Not so much.  I am very aware of him being home with me vs. the socialization benefits of schools etc.  So, I am hoping our increased activities like gymnastics, Gymboree (started it back up), playdates and storytimes (continuing on) will help with this before he starts Mother’s Day out in the fall.

As I even say Mother’s Day Out I can’t believe how fast he is growing!  I wanted him to be talking before we started him in school and since most programs don’t offer a Spring entry we had to wait (but already register) for the fall.  So he has quite a few months to continue mastering his full time big brother skills before leaving us a couple of days a week. 

At 22 months Caden loves his Dad, brother, bed (somersaults in bed anyone?), music, Mickey, trains, animal crackers, legos, big boy cups, Nonna & Pa Pa, and all things boy (sports, dirt, wrestling) Another month down and still in love. I’d say that is a success!



A Different Eve

Posted by casey on December 30, 2011 in Caden, Everett, Family, Home, Uncategorized

This year’s Christmas Eve was a bit different as the absence of Dana was truly felt.  Each year, she and Don always hosted a fabulous Christmas Eve at their house.  In the months leading up to it I would chat with her about all of her shopping, wrapping and place settings for that year.  She loved to find a new creative way to give everyone their own personal spot, a beautiful table, delicious food and gifts that would make their eyes light up.  Dana was a kid at Christmas.  She was always full of giggles and couldn’t contain her excitement as her gift pile grew – not ashamed of boasting when her pile was the biggest either.  She had a fine balance of loving the gifts but really just loving having her family and her closest friends (who were even more her family) there to celebrate and share her love with.

As I wrapped each present this year I thought of her.  Each and every present.  Long ago she started artfully wrapping our gifts with decorative paper, elaborate bows from “real ribbon” complete with some specially coordinated topper.  Over the years it became a sort of “thing” to see who was going to put what on top, which ribbon got recycled from last year and who got the special topper that year (inappropriate Santa ornament anyone?).  Now, I can’t help but continue to do the same with all of my gifts for my nieces and nephews as they see what little trinkets adorn the tops of their packages too.

She was very much missed and will be each year especially on Christmas Eve but we will carry on with her holiday traditions as we try to start some new ones to make up for those lost.

This year, the Orr clan (brother and sister in law Drew & Jess with my niece Cathryn, and nephew Cameron – Dad & Jill and my grandmother) gathered at our house.  We decided to make it as easy on us as possible with 4 kids three and under so that it could be relaxed and about the kids.  Everett made sure his first Christmas Eve was about him as he was fussy most of the evening requiring my full attention.  I then inhaled a plate of food (the two minute swallow a plate of food without chewing because you have to get some calories so you can feed your son again meal) without paying attention to what I had been served.  Thus…I threw Everett into a colic tailsping after the next feeding because of the meal. Poor Everett…poor us.

So, while I may have missed the end of dinner and all of the gift opening, I made sure that Colter took some pictures so I could see what happened!

The professional unwrapper himself.
(Turns out that once he unwrapped one that is all he wanted to play with and was annoyed by having to unwrap others.)

Here Pop and Nana Jill, let me help!

Pre-Fussiness Smiles for Pop

Celebrating Great Grandma Orr’s birthday a few weeks early.

Caden ecstatic to drink out of his Mickey Christmas cup with a straw. It’s the little things.

Just when Drew & Jess thought they had won Caden’s heart with the Little People airplane gift, he opened Great Grandma’s gift…a blinking, light up remote control car.  You have never seen a kid giggle and squeal so much. 

So yes it was different, but we were able to come together as a family and make it about the kids while still missing Dana and those we usually see at her house each year.  We made new memories with the new and more grown kiddos this year and got to enjoy the magic they bring to the holiday.  Everyone then ventured off to bed in their Christmas jammies waiting for Santa’s surprises!



Posted by casey on December 28, 2011 in Caden, Snapshots

Unbridled Christmas Joy

The Perks of Kids at Christmas


From Us to You

Posted by casey on December 25, 2011 in Family

Merry Christmas
We send the warmest wishes of happiness and health to you and your family today and always!



Posted by casey on December 23, 2011 in Home

Have you seen the previews for The Adventures of TinTin?
I know you have…they are everywhere.
You may not know it, but my dog is featured in the movie.

In the movie, TinTin and his dog Snowy take you on Adventures. (like the title tells you – duh)
Here is Snowy

Look familiar anyone?
How about my sweet pup Bo.

Let me show you again.

And a sleepy Bo who is less than thrilled about pictures.

White? Check. Point ears that flip in various directions? Check. Oversized black nose? Check. Knub tail? Check. Velvety groomed coat? Check. Beard? Check. Soulful brown eyes? Check.

They stole my dog and animated him behind my back.
Where is my royalty check?



Posted by casey on December 22, 2011 in Caden, Caden's Chronicles, Family

You thought from the title this was about Everett didn’t you? Nope! It only took us 22 months, but Caden finally needed his first haircut. :)  Sure, I had trimmed it myself a couple times, but his mop was getting a bit unruly.

Getting all set up in his red race car & trying to figure out exactly what is about to be done to him.

Notice the finger pointing as he kept repeating “down” wondering why I would only come and hold his hand but not listen to him and take him down.

Excuse me ma’am, that is my head and hair you are messing with…oh wait, is that music on that TV? Okay, I’ll stay.

Check me out.

“Yaaaaayyyyy! I did it!”

Someone tell me how that baby with the unruly mop above turned into a teenager with just a I said I wasn’t attached to hair & didn’t really get that ” I can’t cut it.” mentality.  Then I watched them cutting off the hair that took FOREVER for our sweet boy to get and I felt the tugs on my heart.

So handsome, and so grown up.

And still so blonde.


In a Picture

Posted by casey on December 19, 2011 in Everett, Family

Sometimes, my sweet hubs just wants me to put the camera down.

In other words, he is annoyed.

I have gotten better and do take time to solely take it in with my eyes at times. 
But then, I get pictures like this and it justifies my actions.

Now, not only can I remember watching him cuddle his second son even though he just spit up on him and its still dripping on his arm…I can show Everett when he is older.  Sorry hubs, the camera stays.


December Action

Posted by casey on December 16, 2011 in Caden, Caden's Chronicles, Family

We have a VERY busy boy around here in the form of an almost two year old boy named Caden. I thought you might like seeing some of the things he has been up to. Turn up the volume and enjoy!

An excessive amount of morning energy to greet you with!

I like to think of this as my dancing handyman.  He just can’t help himself.

Child labor…I mean good observation skills.
At least he is making good use of the baby wipes he stole!



Posted by casey on December 15, 2011 in Everett, Everett's Edition

The Sweetness of a Sleepy Six Week Old


A Very Merry Meeting

Posted by casey on December 11, 2011 in Caden, Everett, Family

This weekend, we paid a visit to Mr. Claus, Old Saint Nick, Kris Kringle or as you may know him Santa.

(The things you notice after the fact – his pants! Although they were pulled up like that last year which is kind of funny.)

Poor Everett will probably never forgive us for a wide eyed Santa picture with a comparable Santa belly, but I think it makes a great memory of the time and what stage he truly was at his first Christmas!

Yes it was busy and took some planning, but already it has become a family tradition for us at the holidays. I have to say, that my mom would have gone nuts over this Santa and the set up they have.  It was a merry occasion for all, and the boys did so good!  Santa even told Caden that he might bring him some trucks and airplanes which would make his dreams come true!

Merry Christmas Season – I hope Santa is good to you!

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