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The Big Guy in Red

Posted by casey on November 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

It was a BIG day around here.

Big.
1. Jingle the Elf made his 2014 debut officially kicking off the holiday season.

But more on that later because…

2. The Big Guy in Red stopped by.

There he was, on an eighty degree day in November, fresh from the North Pole.
What??!!

I couldn’t believe it myself.
A introduction to remind us that tomorrow is December 1st and that with 25 days to get our letters in to the North Pole and our trees shimmering awaiting his goodies we better continue to be on our best behavior as we have all year long.

Talk about a gut check.

But more on his unexpected visit later because we have Thanksgiving to catch up on!

 
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The Pilgrim Pardon

Posted by casey on November 24, 2014 in Caden, Caden's Chronicles

I am going to go ahead and take that “Official Turkey Pardon” and move it on over to my little mischievous pilgrim.  I mean really.

A few notes here.
1. Can I just say that I am SO glad my kids’ school still adopts the feather band Indian hats, pilgrim and yes, turkey attire, for Thanksgiving fun.  I know, I know, I am SO not PC, but hey, I loved that as a kid.

2. It is a good thing they rehearse these songs for weeks upon weeks because we hear them every afternoon and evening.  So, when said mischievous pilgrim gets a case of the weeble wobbles and spends the whole time swaying back and forth mouthing the words I know exactly what the song is despite no sound coming out.

3. If I am being truthful, I think he may have had to pee the whole time. Kid problems.

4. I can’t ever miss a school program.  His sweet little face scans and scans and scans the audience until he finally locks eyes with me and the rocket of light that shoots through his face as he beams and giggles and waves and covers his face and sighs with relief.  It makes me sad for the devastation that would ensue if he never found my face because the look of worry when he is scanning is intense.

5. He is just so proud after a performance.  No matter the excuse, it is waves, hugs, kisses and “Did you like it Mommy?”.

Love this little pilgrim and the hilarity of toddler performances.

 

 
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From the Mountaintops

Posted by casey on November 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

I have been told.
I have been told that it is time.
Time to stand on the mountaintops and shout with joy…

After a lengthy journey to get to this point and an abundance of prayers, Baby Kaz III has been a reality for us for almost fifteen weeks now.

We are very thankful to be adding this sweet little sibling for Caden and Everett in May of 2015 and they are VERY excited!

 
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Scooby Who?

Posted by casey on November 14, 2014 in Everett, Everett's Edition

Out of nowhere our then almost three year old Everett fell in love with none other than Scooby Doo.  Who? Yup. That same mystery solving pup and his crew from our childhood.  It took one episode haphazardly being put on the television while snuggling EARLY one morning for his love affair to begin and then he was set.

Truthfully, I am pretty cautious about what kind of things they watch since I still have some say in that and at first I wasn’t sure they would take to the “scary” concept.  If you recall, Scooby always ends showing the monsters at hand are some elaborate costume of someone letting the silliness ensue.

Scooby Doo.  The strange thing is I had been asking him about his birthday party and he couldn’t stay on one idea.  He would throw out a theme here or there and then all of the sudden, BAM, he wanted a Scooby Doo party.  I thought it would surely pass but it didn’t and at first I had no idea what it would turn out to be.  All the cards fell into place to make a fun and “spooky” Scooby party since it was right around Halloween!The next dilemma was location. With our house about to be put on the market the following week, hosting a party there just didn’t seem like a good idea.  Thankfully, my in-laws stepped in opening their home and beautiful backyard for the perfect fall fiesta.  I collected supplies, delivered them Thursday and Friday, set up Saturday morning and a few minutes pre-party and ta-daaaaa a party fit for a three year old, his energetic friends and those close to our littlest of men.

With bright colors and snacks Shaggy and Scooby would surely approve of we made sure we had enough to fill up the crew and entertain the little ones. There were lots of creepy toys like witch fingers, spider rings, Dracula teeth and stretchy skeletons to keep their hands busy they were set. A Scooby bean bag toss, Mummy Bowling, Giant Tic Tac Toe, and a Toss the Spider Onto the Web game spread out around the yard on top of the playscape and actual Scooby Doo bounce house (what are the chances?) the kids were equipped to run and play while everyone enjoyed sitting and watching and chatting. My grand plan worked!  I hardly have any pictures of the kids playing because well, they were playing…we saw them here or there but mostly heard their giggles and screams from the patio.

Amazingly enough, the flavored popcorn, nuggets, sandwiches, fruit and snacks did entice most of them for a “fuel break” at some point. There is something about this age and watching them all have their own little conversations, jokes and even secrets…  Big Boy, very important secrets.  Too funny.

It is so nice to be able to sit back and watch them do their thing while seeing their relationships become their own over the years.  It wouldn’t be a party without his usual group of not so little anymore friends so we are very grateful that they all were willing to spend their post Halloween Saturday partying with us.

Everett is also thankful that since his tummy is doing better he got to eat his own cake this year! (after taking the icing off but still, it is progress).  I wish I could bottle up both of my boys reactions and love for having the birthday song being sung to them.  The sheepish yet ecstatic grin, the lip sinking along with the words and the sparkle in the eyes because, “Mommy, this is for ME, this is MY birthday!”  He had talked about singing the birthday song to him and getting to blow out the fire for days weeks and it was finally his time.  Finally, Mommy.  He even practiced.

So after all the pondering, and even considering not doing but a family dinner party this year among the chaos (which quickly got scrapped in my mind as he and Caden would talk about their birthdays every single detail and about every single detail that would be included) it was just the celebration we all desired.  Friends, fun, food and family.  So grateful for the serene patio and home of Nonna and Pa Pa and their willingness to allow fifteen kiddos and their parents take over for the afternoon.

He is still talking about his birthday and planning his next one already which means that he did in fact feel loved, celebrated and have all the fun his little three year old heart could hold. Perfection.

 

 
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Entering the Threens

Posted by casey on November 13, 2014 in Everett, Everett's Edition

With the house and the holiday and the packing and the prepping it snuck up on me.  Even with planning his birthday party the actual fact of my little man turning a full three years old on November 2nd is just now hitting me. Another year – poof!

So little still, yet so big.  We struggle with that daily, remembering that he is in fact, just two…I mean three.  In some ways, sweet E gets the short end of the stick because by default,  we expect the same behavior out of him most of the time that we do of his almost two years older brother.  On the other hand, he typically lives up to it and when he doesn’t, we remind ourselves. He is little.  Just two…ugh, three.

Everett is full of life and love, energy and excitement, sweetness and sillies.  He still lives true to what we have said about him since he was a baby, whatever he is feeling, he feels it 100% and passionately.  So, if he is in the mood to be imaginative and tolerant of an older brother’s instructions he and Caden will play together in their own little world for hours.  If he isn’t, he will pick and fight he can and shed lots of exaggerated fake tears.  Most of the time it is the first, but on those other days, oh the tears. Our very own Drama Mama.

Speaking of the tears, he has a really impressive fake cry right now complete with puppy eyes slowing batting at you, frown down to his chin and wails.  It is very believable and very pathetic making it almost tempting to always give in to whatever request he is cry-fighting you on.

For the most part though, he is content so long as he is able to be playing, active and silly.  As seen here, if given the choice he would go pant-less at all times.  In fact, shield your eyes because he tends to pants himself when he tires of them and is ready to play.  Probably not so cute when he is ten, but for now, three year old undies are still an adorable sight.  He dances, jumps, wrestles, tackles and races through his days with giggles heard throughoutand some bad guy some where being taken care of by his super powers of unknown category.  As a whole he really embraces his age and stage.  Eager to be like big brother but not so eager to skip the cuteness of the stage.

Thankfully, oh, thankfully, we seem to be making a positive turn in his allergy and food sensitivities.  It wasn’t but six months ago that we tried some things again with obvious results that it wasn’t working well with him.  Feeling very settled into our routine of what he can and can’t have we weren’t that defeated even though “By age 3 months, by age 6 months, by 10 months, for sure by 18 months, just give it until two years…” it should have resolved by statistics say.  We just carried on.  Fortunately since he has aged and can now tell us if something hurts his stomach or we know other ailments we can test here and there.  It is usually only by necessity that we would test something after that last six months and so far, I think he is tolerating more.  Chicken for example, finally seems to be on the okay list so long as it isn’t every meal, or multiple days.

Overall that is still the key, watching how much of and when something new or “on the list” is given to him so that it doesn’t build up.  Do

Stamp of Approval in His New Room

we think we should go cold turkey and give him whatever, no.  But, it is nicer knowing that if in a bind or at a party/friends he can probably have some of something that is there and be okay.

At three years of age he loves Transformers Rescue Bots, all things Spiderman, Superman and superhero like and has a serious monster roar to go with. Scooby Doo was a new and instant love, even resulting in a birthday party theme choice.  Give him a ball to kick or a scooter to ride and he is off.  He sings to himself, or while talking all day every day and is practicing all of Caden’s noise-making abilities regularly.   While he is still very busy and doesn’t like to stay at one activity entirely too long, he has taken to coloring, stamping, painting and gluing for one entire project or paper of his creation before moving on.  Oh and those projects, always blue.  Blue crayons, blue paint, blue paper. Even Caden when picking out something now will say, “Why don’t we leave the blue one for Everett Mommy.”  Yes, why don’t we.

He is my whole heart. My cheer and my challenge.  My salty and my sweet. Every night at bedtime he wants Mommy to take him to bed after reading books in Caden’s room.  He goes back in to Caden’s room for “one last kiss from Daddy and Caden”, back into bed, one last potty, one LAST kiss and then songs.  Every time.  His sing songy voice accompanies “Hush Little Baby”, “Jesus Loves Me”, “Easter Bunny” and “Twinkle” before the sweetest sound of “Mommy will you snuggle me few minutes?” is asked.  Every night.  After a few minutes I always get “just one more minute” with a finger pointed in the air requested.  Every night.  And you know what?  It is one of the most peaceful, purposeful and poignant moments of the day, every.single.night.  The innocence and the necessity of just a little love that we both need.  He is the perfect reminder to what is important in life and always has a way of getting our priorities straight.  Our sweet and strong threenager moving on and up in the world one stage at a time.

 
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Safe Streets

Posted by casey on November 12, 2014 in Caden, Everett, Family, Life as I Know It

With our Jack O’ Lantern lit and our costumes on for hours, waiting for the sun to set to officially start Halloween festivities was the biggest challenge.  This year it seems, the boys had fully grasped the concept of filling their buckets with more sugar than they have ever seen in their little lives. Treats, treats, treats!

 

The good news is that we were extra safe walking the streets on Halloween.  Double safe to be exact, with double the Spiderman.  One old-school and one new-school, though Everett liked to reference Caden’s new-school costume as “bad Spiderman”. While it was pretty hit or miss until the day of whether or not they were going as Double Spidey or Superman and Batman (thank you Buy One Get One Target) the theme was always there – superhero. Duh. Is there any other option?

Excited was an understatement so we played a little front yard, costume clad tee-ball while we waited for our spooky streets to darken. Equipped with their glow necklaces and buckets they happily led the way starting at our neighbor’s house for a little practice run on the procedure and etiquette of this “when you think about it very bizarre tradition”.

What we found this year was Everett’s unbridled enthusiasm yet again. For someone who never has had and can’t have most of the treats you wouldn’t know it because he ready to fill that bucket baby.  At each and every house the entire time he would say, “Can we go to another house now?….march, ring, trick or treat, fill bucket, march “Can we get to go to another house again?”  Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Our neighborhood is great for their age and this process in general.  One big loop with several cul-de-sac streets.  Straightforward and more treats for your time without having to hike too far.  We let them go an extra street this year from last year and then they were happy to haul their loot home and finish handing out our candy to the local monsters and such.  I enjoyed getting to “let go” a bit while walking with Colter and them getting to go up by themselves with big brother in charge.  A parenting right of passage watching two adorable fierce Spidermen keeping the streets safe and stocking our chocolate stash in one swoop.

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