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The Sunshine State {Sand & Sun}

Posted by casey on August 28, 2013 in Caden, Escaping Home, Everett

As I continue to look through the photos from our trip to Florida to see Pop & Nana last month there is a specific set and specific days that stand out among the rest.

Baby Boy Beach Days

Fortunately for us, the beach was only three minutes away from my Dad’s driveway.  Therefore it wasn’t too much commitment to pack up and try it out as we did the first day just driving by to see how they would do.  Caden hadn’t been to the beach since he was 1 1/2 at Pop’s wedding in the Bahamas.  Everett had never been.

As soon as we pulled up and walked across the ramp they could see the sand and hear the waves which elicited squeals of delight as the beach was certainly before them.  After some minor convincing both boys removed their shoes prior to getting their toes sunk in the sand, and then after a bit more convincing Everett was willing to walk in it seeing as how he decided he didn’t have much choice.

It only took about 45 seconds for Everett to then decide that sand in your toes was awesome.  Caden was already well beyond settled in and ready to explore.  Since we weren’t planning on making a big day of it that first trip the boys even still had their clothes on as we stopped by on our way home from errands. Mommy smarts knew to at least throw their suits in my bag because there was going to be no stopping them from soaking themselves once they figured it out.

Bingo

Caden was IN LOVE with the waves.  Everett was IN LOVE with copying Caden.  They ran and splashed and held tight to Pop & Nana.  It only took one wave catching Everett off guard a little as the tide came in more to knock him off balance and break his love affair.  He was not too pleased to be covered in soggy sand, half soaked, half dry and still unsure.  After making him realize it wasn’t so bad so that he wouldn’t be afraid we called it a day with promises to them both to come back with shovels and snacks (always their main concern) on another day.

All that afternoon, during our pre- nap, and pre-bedtime conversations and in phone calls to Daddy, the topic was the beach. “We went to the beach! I love the beach! I think we are going to go to the beach again sometime! Did you like the beach Mommy?! I think we had fun at the beach today!”  It was a sure thing that we had to go again and really let them have some fun.

A few days passed and then we brought up the idea of going back to the boys which just sealed the deal that we weren’t getting out of it.  We had signed a beach contract to them at that point.  We packed up some supplies, still minimal since we were so close to home and were off.  They picked shells, they buried Pop, we built the sand castle Caden had been asking for, they ran in the sand, they splashed in the waves, they ran from the waves, Caden held hands and jumped over the waves.  They played, they laughed, they snacked, they experienced the beach, and loved it.

We are still talking about the beach.

 
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There They Go

Posted by casey on August 27, 2013 in Caden, Everett, Life as I Know It

For the first time in over three and a half years, there are no children in my home.
This morning, both boys went off to pre-school.
Yes, they went and left me.

It is such a wonderful thing to watch them grow, adapt and learn to live part of their life without you.  The teacher brain of mine is SO proud and SO excited for them.  The mommy brain of mine is SO proud and SO scared for them.  Yes, it is just pre-school, and yes, Caden has already been attending for over a year now, but my friend Amber really summed it up in saying that it is the beginning of losing them.

The beginning of trusting others to care for your children, nurture your children, comfort and teach your children in a way that you would yourself, or even better on those days where your patience is thin.  Yes, I could keep them home and yes, they are still very much “babies” but my how my boys have grown, and my how much they blossom with the love and attention of another adult and a group of little friends surrounding them to stimulate their little sponge minds.

There They Went
Off to School
Together

It is that last word that really has me more as I have been watching their brotherly relationship and bond grow closer and closer in the past weeks.  They have their own games, their own conversations and their own understanding of each other.  Now they are off to start their schooling adventures together for the first time and part of wishes I could be a fly on the wall to see Everett’s eyes light up the first time he catches a glimpse of his brother passing in the hall or out on the playground.

The “Hey Look, that is MY Big Brother!”, expression and the “Hey Look, I am here too Caden just like you!” pride beaming out of him.

There They Went
Off to School
Without Me

I am really marinating in this time I have to myself as I have been pondering just how to make these hours purposeful to all of the tasks, projects and restful dreams I have had these past few years.  I am looking forward to allowing them to gain their independence as I regain mine as well thinking of just how we can spend the afternoons together once they arrive home tired from their day at school.

My How They Have Grown
There They Went & Will Continue to Go

 
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A Look Back {School Days}

Posted by casey on August 26, 2013 in Caden, Caden's Chronicles

With another school year start upon us it is always a habit of mine to see just how far we have come thus far.  I can’t believe that last school year was Caden’s first full year of “school”.  It is already such a normal part of our routine that it seems like he has always been a mini student.  This year both Caden AND Everett will be going and while I prepare to send them off on another schooling adventure starting Tuesday, I wanted to take a peek at Caden’s journey so far.

Technically, Caden started school during their summer session. So his first day of school was actually in June of 2012.

After some adjusting in the first weeks, which we knew would happen because of his then shyness, Caden had a great first experience last summer with his teachers who he still talks about.  They were SO good to him.

With a short couple weeks off after his first schooling experience to end the summer we kicked right into the regular school year continuing his two year old pre-school class with his new teachers. A year full of fun was met with morning excitement each and every school day.

He had a very happy and successful year with Mallory and Shannon fully getting over his shyness of other kids and really enjoying all of the treats that came along with getting to go to school.

We said goodbye to Shannon and Mallory as Caden “graduated” from his two year old pre-school class with his first class “recital” and lots of hugs.  He moved right on down the hall to start his summer session with Ms. Kathy in the three year old class.

Growing up right before our eyes he settled into his new class and new teacher this summer like it was nothing.  We are so fortunate that Caden loves school, learning, listening and taking part in any sort of educational activity.  His school has been such a positive start to his schooling experience and to ours as parents.  We are all looking forward to seeing what changes another year brings in our boys and Caden is very happy to continue his three year class with Ms. Kathy!

Back to School, Back to School!

 
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Introducing Betty {Newborn Session}

Posted by casey on August 25, 2013 in CaseyKazmannPhotography, Snapshots

I hate to say it but this little one is a perfect little princess already.
Princess.
Just look at her.
Already reassuring the world that she is perfectly okay.

Ms. Elizabeth “Betty” Lee, may you continue to have the sweetest of dreams.

 
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Weekly Graces {Week 32}

Posted by casey on August 24, 2013 in Weekly Graces, Writing Nook

Week 32

August 16 – August 22

1. Warm water with lemon.
2. Being proactive about an afternoon and evening alone with the boys & changing it up.
3. Burgers.
4. Having a teammate (husband) to start the morning routine with.


5. Feeling the effects of a steady exercise routine.
6. Being content.


7. Sweet babies taking sweet pictures.
8. Early birthday planning.
9. Wine and conversation with my in laws.
10. Everett’s early morning snuggles, a long-awaited treat.


11. Smiles, excitement and success wrapped into our first trip to the movies!


12. Alone time…with a beer…and a book.
13. Art projects.


14. Snail mail.
15. Amazon prime.


16. Coffee with Hayley.
17. Kid joy.


18. Soaking in backyard summer days.


19. Mom talk and girl chatter with Amanda.
20.Boo Boo Buddies for adult boo boos.
21. A chiropractor who stays late to x-ray my foot.
Share your weekly graces with us at www.jordylizblogs.com

 
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Miscounting {E21}

Posted by casey on August 20, 2013 in Everett, Everett's Edition, Uncategorized

Everett has passed the one and a half year mark and as we are rapidly approaching his second birthday I keep getting hit by how much of a blur this past two years has been. So much of it seems so slow and yet the other so fast that I cannot believe that my baby, my baby…is going to be two soon.  Surely I must be miscounting.

Dearest Everett,

Are you making fun of my curls?

You my son are a hilarious handful and at twenty one months (one week from 22 now) are working as hard as you can to grow up as fast as you can.

Attention is your desire at every turn whether it is because you want held, comforted, or for us to just watch you conquer something – typically dangerous.

Danger, danger, danger.  Nothing deters you from testing your limits, especially if Caden can do it!  Right now you love jumping from the couch through the trampoline “door” which is a good 3-4 feet of air time.  Yes, air time.  It leaves me cringing and you giggling, so at least you win.  I will give you this, you land it every.single.time.  If it isn’t that it is you climbing up the barstools only to jump off of them as soon as you see me and say “Jump Mommy,” flying into my arms.  Keeping you off of the back of the couch is also a rule of the past.  Forget it, it is just another seating place and trampoline.

The phrase heard constantly out of your strong-willed little mouth is
“I can do it, I can do it, I can do it!”  Yes son, you think you can do it, but really you just want to do it, because I know that you can’t actually do it. (scrambling eggs for instance…turning the washer and dryer on…dressing yourself)  It is all a battle.  From the little things to the big things it all takes forever because at chance of facing a monumental meltdown that frankly just isn’t worth it I will take the extra 15 minutes while doing deep yoga breathing to zen myself and let you “do it”…until you finally ask for help. Sweet heavens.

That isn’t entirely fair though because you can do a lot, and a lot of it you can do because we let you “do it” – putting on shoes, pants, undies, climbing in and out of the car, up to your seat & buckling, carrying most things etc.  It just takes forever…which is fine because it is my fault if we are running late and I need to not let that out on you but sometimes forever seems like well, forever. Double the time, quadruple the patience. But it is okay, you can do it. Independence is your name. I think.

Sometimes you just need to read to your furry brother.

You went on your first plane ride and with just me and your brother to Florida.  You were an excellent traveler, I was SO impressed!  You even fell asleep on the ride home sharing a seat with your brother. Wowzers.  It was during this trip that you mastered the ABC song and singing all of You Are My Sunshine all on your own.  We are regularly treated to your sweet songs throughout each day now and I happen to think your pitch is pretty good!  We sing songs before bed each night and you love to sing along with me especially with Sunshine and Stand By Me.  Such a musician you are!

In addition to the songs, each night before bed we read three songs, just like we do with your brother. You love to run out after your bath to the couch for your milk, blanket and books of your choice.  More often than not your choices still include Goodnight Moon, Brown Bear, Goodnight Cowboy, Little Blue Truck, Snuggle Up Sleepy Ones and The Wheels on the Bus.  All good choices.  All part of what is certainly my favorite daily ritual with you.

I have been working very hard with you on trying to teach you your colors and shapes, but you aren’t too terribly interested in sitting still to do that.  So, I am having to think on the go for you to catch drive by activities that interest you without making it negative.  You know all of the names (red, green, blue, purple, yellow, orange) but just switch them up still.  The problem is you think its funny when you switch them and to switch them so that is how that goes. You are SO smart, and full of SO much knowledge just from trying to imitate your older brother so I think you will really enjoy having someone other than me, your teacher, be a voice teaching you these things as well.

While we may not have had much progress in seated learning activities you are getting VERY close to being POTTY TRAINED!!!!  I started working on this with you on the early side, right at 18 months because with your strong-willed, messy personality I was a bit concerned you would be a stickler.  You had also been becoming less cooperative about just talking about it in relation to Caden and such.   We slowly introduced it and just made it an obvious choice for you without pulling the diapers.  Then, this past couple of weeks it really started to sink in. You have been keeping your coveted choo-choo & Mickey underwear dry all day long at home with me reminding you to go to your potty and you knowing you need/want to go on your own sometimes too.  You even chose underwear on an outing (you were staying in the car so I went for it) and stayed dry then too!  The evenings seem to be a time for accidents but we are getting there and an end to diapers for you is in sight and closing in.

Being pinned down for kisses by your 1st girlfriend Abbie.

You chatter all day making most who see you think you are older than you are.  I cannot remember not having conversations with you since you have been so expressive for such a long time now.  Since you are well over the basics you have recently started adding in what I think is terrible two attitude already – “Mommy, come back here RIGHT now.”  Other most commonly heard silly expressions include;
– “What happened?” – “Ohhhhhhhhhhhh good job _____________.” = “Treat for all my dinner?” – “Hi Caden! Have a good rest? (when he wakes up) Okay, cool.” – “Hi Potty! (when he sees his business in the toilet) – “Hmmmmmmm, where are you/is it? Hmmmmmm.”- “It’s bouncing time.” You have please and thank you down and automatic which is really cute.  Anything Caden says you pick up so the conversations between the two of you are getting hilarious.

Caden is still your favorite little person.  Caden is also still your least favorite person. I kid.  But your sibling love hate bond is going strong! Man can you pick at each other!  Really you just love him so badly that you want to be near him, talking to him or doing anything that might elicit attention from him in some way.  You are so pleased when you are doted on by your big brother.  I have been loving watching you two grow closer and start to play more and more on your own making up your own games, playing hide and seek (another fun new discovery), doctoring up stuffed animals or having secret meetings in Caden’s room.  Brother besties.

At 26 + pounds you are not short for weight but yes, all of your allergy and food woes are still very much the forefront of every meal, snack and outing.  I am a little anxious about you starting school and keeping your diet strict with all of the other things being brought in.  I am hoping they will be as vigilant as we have had to learn to be so that you stay healthy and happy!

This next month brings lots of fun and exciting changes as you start pre-school at your brother’s school and we get to gear up for all of our fall fun activities.

We love you even though you are a handful because you are just too cute, you keep us on our toes, make us all work harder and since you go at everything 100%, when you are sweet, you are REALLY sweet.

 

 

 
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A Little Push

Posted by casey on August 19, 2013 in Caden, Everett, For Your Funny Bone, Snapshots

 

Given that it is Monday morning for all of us, and most of the teachers in this part of the country are heading back to their first full week of staff development to finalize all of their non-stop preparations for the coming year, I thought we all might need a little push.

And a little baby bottom.

A boost if you will.

Sometimes we all just need a little push to get going.

 

 

 

 
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Giggles & Love

Posted by casey on August 17, 2013 in Nieces and Nephews Oh My!

Now that it feels like summer just might be coming to an end – back to school supplies is in abundance, fall temperatures have given us a tease this weekend and the summer activities are losing their allure, I am working to catch up on our summer fun. Two weeks ago the boys’ cousins came for their annual summer visit from California. It is an event we all look forward to for many reasons including picture perfect moments like this one.

Cate, Caden & Caroline

Additionally, my mother in law gets to spend rare time with her daughter which I know she looks forward to and cherishes.  Even so, she always includes me and lets me and the boys join in on all their fun throughout their time in Texas.  The boys love it when they are coming and talk about Caroline and Cate for weeks. It is such a special time because –
A. They shower the boys with attention. I mean shower.
B. The boys love them because they shower them with attention.
C. Each year the cousin relationship and Auntie relationships grow closer which is so heartwarming to watch and experience.
D. I get girl time with my sister in law and mother in law, which as a whole for me is equivalent to your standard mother daughter time.  A rare treat for all of us!

Caroline will be going into 4th grade already, 4th grade!  It is amazing to watch her become her own person who writes me snail mail letters which I LOVE, so cute, and so like I did.  I even recently received my first phone call from Caroline so that we could chat.  It brings joy to my heart knowing that I am on her list of people that she wants to write to, talk to and visit.  Miss Cate is ready to start her own adventure as she starts Kindergarten this year and all of the teachers better watch out because her love for little ones just might line her up for wanting to be a teacher herself.  It is always such a pleasure to reunite and visit and the boys getting to know and spend time with their cousins, as you can tell fills them with giggles, memories and love.

 
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Weekly Graces {Week 31}

Posted by casey on August 16, 2013 in Weekly Graces, Writing Nook

Week 31

August 9th – August 15th

Cheers to Friendship & Playdates!

1. Working on writing letters with both boys during breakfast.
2. Writing on the plane with nothing but Marina Raye’s music filling my ears.
3. An actual hug from Jordy and meeting Liam.
4. Waking up because I woke up, not because I heard a monitor.
5. Pedicures & shopping.


6. A leisurely dinner with wine and girl talk and friendship. Birthdays.
7. Early morning coffee and conversation with Jordan.


8. Easy airports.
9. Home to snuggle my boys to bed.
10. Feeling tired, but refreshed to get back to the grind.
11. Clean laundry.
12. Games upstairs with the boys.


13.Initiating a new morning work out routine & start to the day.
14. Feeling energized.
15. Happy boys playing on their own and getting to listen in on their conversation.
16. Soreness. A curse and a blessing.
17.Lengthy, enjoyable play date complete with Starbucks.


18.Photo planning during the play date.
19. A cool morning perfect for morning outside play and time together.


20. Celebrating a sweet friend and her second son to be by surprising her with a little shower of our summer play group.


21. An evening with girls and fellowship to support a new endeavor.

 
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Look What’s Cookin’ {Kazmann Kitchen}

Posted by casey on August 12, 2013 in In The Kitchen

Back from Arizona. Empty Refrigerator. Monday.
Get to the Store and Get Organized.
Check.

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