Purple Polka-Dot-Itis

Posted by casey on June 29, 2014 in Caden, Everett, Life as I Know It

On a drizzly Saturday morning while the rest of the neighborhood was snug in their beds we decided to get a little paint crazy not knowing what was about to hit.

We walked. We tapped.  We slapped.

We discussed it is in fact okay to get messy (deep breaths Caden).

And then, out of nowhere, we got…the dots.

They spread quickly. Plague style.

Quick, someone call the doctor. We are all down with purple polka-dot-itis.
(and orange nose apparently)

 Warning: They are often accompanied with side effects of giggling, silly faces and crispy hair.  Best Treatment: Warm Bubble Bath and a Brillo Pad.


Finish This

Posted by casey on June 26, 2014 in Writing Nook
This is a weekly link-up courtesy of co-hosts Jen, {The AZ Russums}, Nicole {Three 31}, Lisa {Coastlined}, and Becky {The Java Mama}.
I have a quarter (25 cents) to use a pay phone, so I call… my husband because it is the only number I know by heart thanks to modern technology.  Well, that and several childhood phone numbers stretching from Ohio to California which are seemingly useless unless I was stranded there and wanted a stranger to pick me up.
Nah. I will stick with my husband.
Oooo! Oooo! I know my in-laws too!
But my mother in law has a broken leg. So she can’t come get me.  So still assuming I am stranded (hence the pay-phone) and not in need of a killer recipe, or the best method for stain removal I still say my husband.
Final answer.
I found $25 in my pocket, so I buy… a coffee, two dollar store surprises for the boys, a shaved ice after dinner treat for the house, the toll for doctor’s office visit parking and then the rest sits in my wallet for months forgetting I actually have cash.

I have 25 minutes to watch anything on TV, so I turn on… something completely mindless and non-educational.  Real Housewives of wherever with whoever? Big Brother? Survivor? Shark Tank?  Twenty-Five minutes to watch something I want means the kiddos aren’t around and I either need to veg out, or accomplish something.  That equally means that I can’t be fully invested in a show. Trash it is.

A meal I can prepare, from start to finish, in 25 minutes or less is… pulled pork tacos, if you don’t count the hours it just cooks away on its own in the crock pot.
At the age of 25, I wish I had known… to take a stinking nap!  The sleepless nights of my then one newborn would only be a warm up to the constant daily demands of two busy toddler boys.  That I have nothing to prove to anyone about my capabilities of a mom or “balancing it all” so to put down the dishes, put the dirty clothes back in the hamper and stock up on sleep…or snuggles.

If I drove 25 miles from my house, I’d be in… in yet another suburb of Dallas.  Pick a direction, you will get it again.  Big city living y’all.
Prompts for next week (July 2nd) are…
It’s never too late…
I compare myself to others…
My personality is…
I can…
I embrace change…


One Day You’ll Know

Posted by casey on June 16, 2014 in Family

To My Boys on Father’s Day

Do you see that man there?  Yes, the one you are currently pummeling in the trampoline while demanding he pretend to be a monster, The Champ, or Mr. Todd from Peter Rabbit.  The one you are endlessly tackling in the grass, and the one you have already enlisted to show you what to do with every ball you find?  As you know, that man is your Daddy.

What you feel, but may not yet know in full understanding is how large of a jackpot you hit in him being your father.  I mean Big.Time.  I say you already feel this because you are very confident in

– him making you feel safe
– him being down to play the very second he walks in the door
– the fact that he is going to walk in that door each night
– us having a door for him to walk through at all because of the hard work away from home and us that he does each and every day.

What you don’t know yet is that not all littles such as yourselves are this lucky.

Your Daddy fills his roles of husband, father and provider until our cup runneth over.  Which means, no, my water cup isn’t spilling boys but that he does so to…ummm…kid terms…infinity.  Yup. Infinity.

 He is a great supporter of each of your growing minds and always will be, I can say that with confidence.  So, never be hesitant to go to him for help, or to ask him to teach you and show you the way when it is beyond Lego structures and the proper stance for peeing like a Big Boy.

He is a caretaker and nurturer of your heart in a way only a man can balance concern and strength.  He knows when a snuggle is in order or a firm high-five distraction to any “owy” that comes our way.  He is tender to your soul while showing you what worries  can be conquered and what manners matter most to be a gentlemen just like him.  So, never let your mind tell you that Daddies aren’t for matters of the heart, because he is, so you can go to him with any affliction in love, frustration in friendship or despair in sadness especially when it is beyond you pushing each other, someone taking your snack, and a lost toy.

He is the teacher of your body’s capabilities as he fills you up with certainty in what you are brave enough to try while I am squeezing my eyes shut while turned around so you can’t see my fear.  I try, I really do.  He encourages your curiosities in your own strength and balance while shaping your form in stance, swing and focus.  So, whether you choose golf, baseball, basketball, soccer or gymnastics…er…maybe you will have to come to me for the latter, listen to his tips, try his strategies and go for it with all your might because he will always be in your corner, on your side and part of your team. Always.

Your Daddy chose to be your full time Daddy the moment we knew you were on your way.  He is and always has been the very opposite of any stereotype in regards to what a man’s role is in the home and with his children.  Diaper changes? Absolutely.  Late nights?  Up walking and bouncing you.  Stomach bug clean-up duty? On it.  Meal makings?  It’s Daddy Dinner night.  From snuggles to sillies, punishment to playtime, tackling to teaching your Daddy has already been instrumental in a 100% hands on, focused purposeful manner that all mini men such as yourselves should be privy to. Oh yeah, and he goes to work away from home each and every day, up and at ‘em bright and early to provide for your life, home, and health.   Since you are so lucky, and you are so loved, that is why among the celebrating we took another picture this year, just like in the years behind us,  of why you love your Daddy. In your own words, you made his morning with your updated reasons that adorn his bathroom counter as his daily reminder of your love.

So remember boys, that man is your Daddy, he is a keeper so you better give him your love and tell him about your love for him on more than just Father’s Day.

He’s Earned It.

 Now Being Shared With Mama Kat to Further Celebrate a Fabulous Father



Posted by casey on June 12, 2014 in Everett, Everett's Edition

With another half of a year plus behind us, this little man is marching onward towards three, and I am SO not ready!  I told a friend just the other day that I now have “kids” as opposed to babies and toddlers.  Yes, I know two and a half is in toddler range but with a big brother steady in his sights he has really zoned in on Big Boydom and is taking the throne.  I am cherishing the moments that I see the “little” in him and gladly soak in and yes, smell, every ounce of baby left.  Because most of the times it really is mud and bugs and smelly boys.

Mr. Everett, you are SO joyful.  When I think of you I think of smiles, and joy and energy.  Which is a little ironic since your first two years were primarily full of tears, and pain and sleeplessness.  But, my little big boy, you are SO joyful.  Your heart is big, and full, and happy, and passionate and capital S.I.L.L.Y.  Whatever you are feeling, you feel it with 100% passion.  Neediness for snuggles? You win.  Frustration over a toy? Ay yi yi.  Silliness for a pretend scenario? Game on.  Tight two arm squeezes for love? Yes please.  You are giving with your love, and you are strong willed with your decisions.

When others think of you, I am pretty sure they think of your big ol’ puppy dog deep blue eyes. Not a day passes without a run in with someone complimenting and swooning over your sparkly peepers.  They have already gotten you out of a pickle or two as you look up at us batting your eyelashes unknowingly.  (See, you have us fooled, I said ‘unknowingly’.)

For the past few weeks, you have been a complete and total snuggle monster.  For months now you have only wanted me to sing you songs and actually “put you to bed” (after the four of us read books together in Caden’s bed) but a new stage of cling is currently in full swing. (I’m a poet and didn’t know it.)   The truth is, I love it.  You made me carry/hold you all the time as a baby but not because you needed snuggled, because you were miserable.  Now, you just want loved on.  Since I am sitting here in a diaperless and cribless home watching you become independent mini-Daddies with each blink, this one of those “littles” left I mentioned that I am soaking in.  You want to hold my hand up the stairs, my finger on neighborhood walks and you want me to flat out hold you at naps, in the middle of playtime and moments in between. Just because.  Now that is a good reason.

At night, when I sing to you, your current #1 on the lullaby charts is our own rendition of “Hush Little Baby”.  It never fails that we snuggle up, nose to nose and just as a start to sing you reach your arm over and wrap it around me so you can rub and pat my back while we sing. The bottom line is that you are full of so much love you can’t help but let it overflow onto us, your teachers, Nonna & Pa Pa, the dogs and any other willing recipient in the vicinity.

I’m pretty sure it is just one big rehearsal for your lady stealing days.  Future Disclaimer: Watch out brother, teammates and friends alike, this one is snagging your girlfriend.

As a blanket statement, you LOVE your brother.  In day to day honesty, you two have a typical push each other’s buttons, try to get the other in trouble, team up the next minute, snuggle then wrestle then chase then snuggle relationship siblings should have.  You want to do and say everything Caden does unless Caden is being Sensitive Sal in which case you want to point out his faults, correct his crying and inform us all why he is in trouble.  Brothers.  The best of friends, the worst of rivals, the greatest of teammates.

“We’ll take two,” is our household motto not because of sharing but because you really just want to be like, play like and dress like the other.  A few exceptions – you are rougher in your wrestling, you are pesky already and really push his buttons, you are of course 20 months younger and don’t always pick up what he is putting down.  But overall, I find great comfort in knowing that you both have each other.  Not just now as playmates and friends but in the future, as I watch your Dad with your Uncles, still playmates so to speak and friends.  I say a prayer everyday that you remain just as close, loyal and loving to one another for the years to come, through the challenges of life as you are now.

You finally, finally don’t cry and complain about going to school!  You have always loved it once you were there but put on a show at drop off like you didn’t know you had the option to do otherwise. Now, you simply walk in, turn around and say “Mommy may I have a kiss and a hug and then you come back and get me when it is done?”  Yes and yes.  We always drop Caden in his class first where you embarrassingly follow him in saying “Bye Caden! Bye Caden!” while death hug squeezing him in front of all of his friends. (the younger sibling role in myself identifies with this need)  Then off your march to your room.  It is really nice to see you suddenly becoming even more interested in the specifics of learning.  You recall letters more than you let on previously and you are tracing your letters and I expect you to have your name shortly which in the past has been of little interest to you.  Minute by minute you are sitting still longer for projects where as before you were always excited but then in a rush to finish.

Another little learner coming into his own!

If you had it your way you would eat sunrise to sunset, which obviously means that you get your way and that is pretty much what goes on. You have no shyness in regards to food and rarely leave a crumb in sight no matter what is placed in front of you.  Plates, and bowls, and cups and baggies of food…food…food…and more food.

Your zest for life reminds me how we all should feel about the smallest of actions, and the littlest of joys as you stop and point out every.single. Roly Poly you find on a walk and cloud in the sky.

Your energy and strength are admirable as I am pretty sure you just appease us by still napping because you could power through a marathon and be ready for more.  You are SO strong and SO determined to conquer all things alone which is both terrifying and inspiring to watch.

I love your smile, your giggle, your crooked worry looks and the simple sound of your voice saying and more often yelling “Mommy!” through your monitor so you can greet me with an ear to ear grin upon my opening your door.  You are a unique balance of silly and sweet, tough but sympathetic and watching you grow mentally and physically as I have already said is such a joy.  Watching you come into your own is as if we haven’t experienced this age before which continues our learning curve with you.  Full steam ahead to three!



Posted by casey on June 8, 2014 in Caden, Everett, Family

Take Me Out to the Ball Game,

Take Me Out to Nonna and Pa Pa’s

Sit me Down with my Camera and Wine

I will Watch You All Night and Be Fine

For it’s click, click, click of the shutter

As I Soak Up Each Bit of this Night!

Because it is just, one, two or a few more years left

Before we won’t see this little sight.


Mi Casa es Su Casa…in Eight Months

Posted by casey on June 7, 2014 in Family

Surprise! We’re Moving!
And By Moving, I Mean Building.
So….Surprise, We are Moving in Eight Months!

After years of you listening to us say “Yeah, we will move in another few months or so,” we are finally outta here, kind of since we decided to go big and build. Wahoo!

We have been signed and sold for a few weeks and are officially off to the races picking everything from flooring to faucets, switches to sod so that we can break ground here in the next month.  The boys were super excited and then super disappointed when we went back to out normal home…without a new home.   This is such a positive focus for us right now that we are taking joy in the timing we did pick and getting to spend hours upon hours making decisions and thinking about our future in this home.

With many pictures, updates and postings on the horizon of this process…

For now, we bought a “whole lotta” mud. Just the way the boys like it.


Summer Lovin’

Posted by casey on June 6, 2014 in Caden, Everett, Life as I Know It, Snapshots


Seasonal Firsts This Year: A good old fashioned jar of lightening bugs.

Summer lovin’ at its childhood finest.



Posted by casey on June 6, 2014 in Writing Nook

Lots to do. Lots to say. Lots to catch up on.
But for now, the truth is, I am going to nap.

     Where have we been?  Well, for starters, if I have had more than 15 minutes, I have been sleeping.  Sleeping, napping, snoozing, resting, my body cannot seem to get enough.  It is as if the two years of never sleeping after Everett was born have caught up with me in a flash and my body is trying to soak up every cozy moment of shut-eye available.

To say that life right now is busy, is an understatement. At least in how my body feels.  Life is swamped.  These wonderful, curious, energetic young’ns of mine get me “up an at ‘em” early with a constant flow (no ebb, just flow) through our day.  I love it. I love them. I love soaking up every last bit of “little” left in Caden particularly who is growing mentally now even swifter than he is physically.  I love my life. I love what we have built and are building as a family.

But boy, am I tired.

     My joints and muscles are worn and weary from chasing treasure hunters, kneeling to pull race cars out from under the couch, bending to wipe that face, and this bottom, and those chairs, and that paint over there.  From standing on my two fragile lady feet for an average of 13 hours straight to cook pancakes, wash up from pancakes, fix morning snack, to pack a car snack, to fix a “special lunch” as Caden says, to a post nap pick me up munchy, to a pre-dinner hold them off snack, to dinner, to a just one more banana before bedtime bite.

My heart is full.  Full of love and life.  Full of life and loss.  My heart is filled with an abundance of happiness so that the trying and exhausting moments of hardship don’t outweigh the happy.  We now have an exhausting two miscarriages under our parenting and relationship belt in our journey to #3.  With tough choices ahead, the challenge of the process and healing has made my heart tired.  So as we embrace our blessed and very full life with a healthy two under our wing, during these times of reflection, analyzing and soul searching I am resting.

Because man, am I tired.

   My head is sleepy as I run through the tasks to be done, the tasks that can wait and the exciting decisions ahead in our newest of projects – building a new home!  The very idea kind of makes me want to curl up and rest for a bit though. Choices, choices, choices, choices, choices.  The things you didn’t know you should be picky about or have an opinion on are all laid out for you in this process.  I can’t wait to take a snooze in this new casa.

Because I.Am.Tired.

I am tired of obligations and plans.  I am tired of schedules and expectations.  I am tired of not feeling up to things I have already set up.  I am tired of doing anything and everything outside of staring at and smooching my sons. T-I-R-E-D.  I am tired of doctors who have no answers for me, for almost fifteen years of being a medical mystery in the world of autoimmune disease because I don’t have time for that.  And then there it is, the real reason I am so overwhelmingly stinking tired at all times.

   Feeling this rear its controlling and constant head over me again after a lengthy remission from the severity of its capabilities is like watching someone put a leash on me after running free on a ranch.  I have grown tired in the past of the phrase ” I just don’t feel well,” and am already weary of this phase again.  I am weary because I have two little ones who I need to let wear me out first.  I have a full and happy life that I want and am choosing to be in control over me instead of a checklist of ailments and symptoms and a saddlebag of prescriptions.  That isn’t me.  That isn’t what I choose.  But then again, isn’t that the whole game, that it isn’t always about what we do or would choose. It is about what is and what we are going to do next.


I am going to take my peepy-eyes in for a long night’s rest.


A Country Spring

Posted by casey on June 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

We definitely can’t predict the weather here, the season’s stretch and bend every year and so do our wardrobes as we can never fully pack away a season until it hits 110 and doesn’t stop for 40 days.

That being said, you can predict bluebonnets. Rain or shine, come spring, at somepoint, somewhere they bloom, and boy are they blue. Whilemy husband insists that they are just a weed, he even saw this year that it isn’t them alone but in abundance that is so stunning.

The boys kept asking to play in the blue flowers so we made a couple stops throughout their relatively short blooming times to take advantage of a country spring and a Texas tradition.  You saw our first little outing which was a bit of a location scouting stop but I haven’t yet shared our perfectly cloudy boys in blue afternoon and now that we are heading full force into summer why not relive a cooler afternoon?

Happy boys and Happy days.

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