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Hop Hop Hop

Posted by casey on April 27, 2015 in Caden, Everett, Holiday Fun

My two little men enjoyed another fabulous Easter this year that they had been looking forward to in the weeks prior to the actual event.  Their school had beeDSC_0551_edited-1n doing a wonderful job teaching them and prepping them for what Easter is really about and each day they came home with new bible stories, songs and crafts to help us celebrate the day.

With a small egg hunt done at school we all were looking forward to the bunny celebrations of Easter as the weekend came near and they weren’t overloaded with other celebrations.  You see, our boys are VERY lucky because the Easter Bunny makes two stops for them.  Each year, he is so sneaky and leaves them a basket at our house full of fun and goodies and then hops his way to Nonna and Papa’s littering the garden backyard with all the eggs two little boys could desire.  I just love it.

They get to soak up both spots and experiences and make memories that will shape DSC_0507_edited-1what they remember of our family celebrations in the years to come.

As has been the case almost each year, there was a chance of rain Easter morning.  Sure enough when the boys woke up, it was already coming down and quite dreary outside.  Somehow, that didn’t stop our bunny who had delivered their baskets safe and sound to our front porch under the safety of the stoop. But first, before they remembered basket potential, they had noticed and searched for a smattering of eggs they found around the kitchen and living roomDSC_0509_edited-1 which that silly bunny had filled with their favorite cereals!

Sure enough after diving into their cereal eggs they recalled what the bunny had put in their baskets last year, and thanks to Daddy singing our quirky Easter Bunny song that the boys request each night year round it was off to think of where their baskets could be.

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Ta-Daaaaa! Someone saw them!

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Pure delight.
That is what their faces showed. Delight.

DSC_0531_edited-1Our Easter Bunny knows that we don’t eat a ton of sweets around here so he hooked our boys up with some surprises of their very favorite things and wishes.  Almost like a mini stocking full of what their age encompasses each year – coloring book, PJs, flip flops, stretchy bugs, playdough, little readers, superhero fans, light up bouncy balls, yadda, yadda, yadda, and yes…a transformer.  Because what says Happy Easter better than a robot?

Exactly.
Nothing.
At least not to the hearts of five and three year olds.

And so they unpacked, and squealed, and played, and admired, and commented, and traded, and traded back and stashed and saved, and spread out and well, I think you get it.  Happy as two boys who were just spoiled by a bunny that seems to have enough magic to get these baskets full and to them. Amazing.

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It was as it has been the past few years a nice little family morning, quieted by the rain but enlightened by the excitement of their spirits.  They enjoyed their Easter egg cereal, some bunny shaped breakfast concoctions of mine and were set to continue on with their treasures and day.  Knowing that we were going to be going to Nonna and Pa Pa’s shortly for our traditional Easter Brunch and what…egg hunt…for them…they were all geared up for the rest of the day.

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DSC_0586_edited-1With a break in the rain and sprinkling, the boys’ egg hunt was an almost immediate activity upon arrival at Nonna and Pa Pa’s.  After a few bites of snacks of course. As with the house at anytime of the year, or holiday for that matter, Nonna and Pa Pa’s backyard is a picturesque location for the bunny to do his best hiding.  The grass is green, the plants are full, flowers are blooming and there are plenty of nooks and crannies for stashing away those colorful finds.

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The boys were so sweet talking about helping each other and how they could doDSC_0579_edited-1 teamwork and while I thought that would surely go out the window, what do you know, it didn’t. In fact, they both gave each other several eggs when they had already found one like that (Spiderman) or thought the DSC_0569_edited-1other would like a specific color (blue in Everett’s case).  It was one of those little heart-warming sibling moments for me as they dashed about but still thought of the other.

I love that the bunny spreads out the fun and Caden and Everett get to have holiday traditions and memories at both spots.  They always have more than enough eggs to search for and yet still manage to miss a few and require a little coaching from Daddy and Pa Pa as they start to become sparse.  The past two years it has amazed me how well they literally haul around their full buckets, sometimes teetering themselves but not willing to consider an alternative.  Can’t.Slow.Down.     Must. Find.Eggs.

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DSC_0584_edited-1High and low, In and Out, their buckets were filled and their cardio workout was checked off for the day.

They came, they collected and he conquered with glee but the real treat, for the second year in a row, was a live Easter Bunny spotting.  Last year, on our evening walk just as we were approaching our driveway out he hopped from the bushes and into our neighbor’s yard cotton tail and all.  This year, just as we were hunting, Daddy spotted him creeping in the tall grass bushes.

Thinking that he was surely about to make his mad dash to keep himself secret we got the boys attention and what do you know, he hung out for a few minutes (probably trying to best plan his escape).  So the boys crept closer and closer trying to actually get a glimpse of him in his camouflaged hideout when out he came to say hello.

10012043_879832835407352_7343963627224062991_oA perfect little Easter Bunny, showing off his skills.  The boys thanked him as he hopped towards the fence and I remarked at how lucky they were that two years in a row they saw him just after he left his treats for them – what luck!

Caden watched him bound off toward the fence commenting on how much magic that little bunny must have to carry all of these things that he can barely carry and then back to a final scan of the yard and garden for any final remains of Easter fun.

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They delighted in their full buckets and as a parent it was fun to watch them get toDSC_0660_edited-1 another new age and stage where they wanted to open and investigate, “But not eat Mommy, just peek.” all of their finds.

We were able to all enjoy yet another delicious brunch DSC_0649_edited-1and even the weather a little as the rain came and went, came and went, keeping the temperature cool but fine for us to overlook as we ate.

With all of the fun an family time behind us we checked off one more event that would be a last for us as a family of four.  I really tried to soak up what this year looked like for us and how they interact together knowing that next year we will have an almost one year old among the bunch as well to give these two a little competition! With the boys getting to pick out one egg from their bucket after dinner each night, we might still be going through our eggs this time next year too!

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Finally Five

Posted by casey on April 12, 2015 in Caden's Chronicles

He may have been officially five for two weeks, and started celebrating turning five three weeks prior but with the day of his “official party” finally here one little boy was now ready to say he was “officially five”.  Thank goodness. We did it.

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This was the first birthday party for our boys that we were not doing at our house.  With the weather always being tricky in February and not ever knowing if the kids will be able to be outside running around or utilizing a bounce house Caden’s DSC_0091_edited-1birthday is the perfect one to test out an outside facility.  Now that all of the kids for the most part are getting old enough to partake and be busy little bees Caden settled on the idea of a gymnastics party like ones he had attended for some friends recently.  The idea of being able to essentially just show up with cupcakes and let the kids go to town without all of the set-up, clean-up and entertaining since we were still in moving mode and entering third trimester of Baby III was a win for me.

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With the rescheduled invites sent out, and a hefty enough group of family and school friends being able to attend we filled those two hours with plenty of action.  A quick round of Happy Birthday overlooking their imminent fun, sugar, fruit and a few snacks to raise their energy and one happy birthday boy followed by his little brother and friends was all that was needed.

The rest of the party more or less looked like this.
Bouncing Blurs.

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But seriously.  Running and jumping and throwing and laughing, everywhere.  With DSC_0115_edited-1my days of being hands free numbered it was so nice to just watch my boys play and enjoy their friends while getting to enjoy their parents myself and snuggle some of the little ones that were there as well!

Daddy was a hit with his promised foam pit play as he took on a team of little men and ladies working their hardest to bury him or just pummel him with as many foam blocks as they could.  They all were in and out (a feat in itself) up and down the playscapes and making mission impossible a mission success in wearing out all involved.

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Sometimes I would just look around at the various activities Caden was doing and DSC_0120_edited-1think…five, five years old, already!  The instinct of “wait can he do that?” quickly shut down as he scaled walls, dove from distances and conquered pretty much and fear that he would have had in years past.  Searching for any signs of that little baby who made me a mom is pretty darn hard to find evidence of.  Yes, that is the whole point, but it can be quite strange to watch them become physically able to do so much when at one point they couldn’t even hold their own heads up.  We are certainly blessed to have such a healthy, happy, growing fella on our hands!

Seeing all of the kids (and a number of parents) have uninterrupted, active fun was a relaxing joy and well worth the rental in sheer simplicity.  Throw them in a padded, supervised, endless cDSC_0128_edited-1limbing/swinging/jumping possibility filled room and let them go to town.  Caden was eager and ready toDSC_0131_edited-1 take on the zipline as he had done at other events which I am always so impressed by because he loses all nervousness, hangs on tight and drops right down into the foam pit when told too.  Everett…my bravest boy, not so much.  He decided doing it at the last party he attended was enough and that was not in his agenda.

Fine by me because my mothering heart almost has to look the other way while silently praying they do make it to the foam pit. (Yes…there are people to catch them, and yes it is all padded…but still, something feels wrong.  So I close my eyes, or focus them through my lens so I don’t interfere and fun can be had.)  You say neurotic…I say, well, neurotic.

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Everyone was a great sport, everyone was involved and even Ms. Aspen had her first trip down a bouncy slide surrounded by adoring boys, which will be the story of her life.  I mean, look at the blurred joy on those faces!

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DSC_0164_edited-1And so we did it. It was a success.  It may have dragged on the celebrating much more than needed but we rang in five like it was fifty and really though, shouldn’t that be true. Each year for me is in fact such a milestone.  A testament in survival, growth, love, family and memories.  A miracle in itself that they are one year older, one year more independent, one year taller and stronger and sweeter and smarter and still, all ours.  He was loved, he had fun and we got to go home without a mess full of happy guests and a happy boys ready to say adios to Birthday Five…after taking an “I’m exhausted from this place,” family picture of course.

 

 
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Par-Tay

Posted by casey on April 12, 2015 in Caden's Chronicles

Now that it is April, and Caden’s 5th birthday celebrating which actually extended DSC_1004_edited-1into mid-March is more than officially over, I think a re-cap is in order, primarily for my pregnant memory. Phew!
With just shy of a month straight of celebrating including “Make Your Own Pizza Birthday Dinner Night” under his five year old belt Caden mastered the art of the birthday month this year.  While I love a good birthday, I had no intention of stretching his this long, but he sure did enjoy it!

The kid has got it good.

DSC_0814_edited-1It all started because Nonna was going to out of town for his “real party”.  Typically we have Sunday dinners regardless, and Sunday birthday dinners when it is a Kazmanns birthday but since she was going to miss this one she was sure to have us celebrate before she left.  So that started the partying off a week prior to his birthday “real party”.  If there is one thing I know for certain about our still bashful guy it is that he surprisingly loves being the center of attention birthday boy.

Having HIS day and HIS cake and HIS dinner and getting to share it all with us might be his most favorite thing ever. Ever, ever.   And, because Nonna is so good to us on our birthdays, Caden might also be the only five year old ever who requests and receives steak with twice baked potatoes, green beans and homemade Caesar salad.DSC_0816_edited-1

Our tummies are also thankful for Caden’s choices.

Since he has fully embraced all that is cake and surprises being spoiled with one on one time with his Nonna and Pa Pa was a real treat.  Such that, he wouldn’t want to have to take his eyes off the cake now would he…

Balloons, new toys, sweets and love.
All for our big ol’ five year old!

We kicked off his birthday week right and headed home to prepare for the week ahead which included taking some special treats that we made to his friends at school and of course…his Spiderman Gymnastics Party!!!!!

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Imagine hearing that in a five year old squeal while jumping up and down for months.  Very, very, very excited.  The cupcakes were DSC_0900_edited-1ordered, the balloons picked up and we were READY.  Unfortunately, the weather was not.  If you recall, February and March were a bit back and forth here and Caden got the treat of having an actual ice and snowfall on is birthday! What a treat! Until they decided to shut down the city more or less and cancel your son’s party. What??!!

I was way more worried about having to tell him than actually telling him and my hormones got the best of me there.  Luckily, Daddy had prepped him the night before so he knew there was a chance and he actually took it really well.  Truthfully, he took it so well because Daddy had gifted him his first video game earlier that week on a different snow day so he wasDSC_1014_edited-1 consoled with screen time and choosing a date on the calendar to move his party too…two weeks later. Ugh.

(This pregnant mama was very ready to celebrate, check it off and move on.)

Thankfully, Auntie and Uncle came to the rescue as well.  They were already planning on coming up from Houston for he party and since the cousins were already loaded and excited about seeing Caden and Everett and the weather in Houston was fine they continued their journey.  So we had another small family celebration at the house that night since we had party cupcakes to drown our sorrows in, party plates, napkins and balloons all ready to go and a delicious meal prepped for us by Nonna who was out of town. Party on!

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With a party at Nonna and Pa Pa’s, a “party” at home with just Mommy and Daddy on his actual birthday night and then a party with his cousins at home when his party was supposed to be the small family celebrations which are the real deal around here were stacking up and we still weren’t done.  That whole pay in advance thing really locks you in! With the two week countdown to Spiderman Palooza on, it was time to detox from cupcakes and candles and wait out the excitement.

 
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Heard It All

Posted by casey on April 1, 2015 in Baby Kaz III

With two pregnancies under my belt for my little men already, I had really thought that I had heard and experienced almost all of the shocking and unsolicited commentary that a large protruding belly appears to warrant.  You learn to brush it off or just let them talk and nod your head as if

A. you haven’t heard before
B. you aren’t offended
C. you actually care

This pregnancy has been a little different.  I had to work to set my mental capacityphoto 3 for all of the negative input I felt I would receive, and have, as soon as we knew we were having a third boy.  Notice, I did not say, ANOTHER boy.  You see, as soon as we were pregnant it was “a girl, you’re having a girl, you want a girl, can’t wait for a girl, trying for that girl….etc.”.  Somehow no one believes that we were trying for a third child. Simply that.  I don’t know who that third child is yet, do you?

So, I had to really take note of my reactions and feelings to all of the input not about my weight and appearance which is still shocking at times, but about our joy in having three boys!  It was as if I wasn’t allowed to feel excited to be having a boy again, to be adding one more to our brood and to be experiencing “boy-mom” status fully.  I got a lot of;
“Are you finally getting your girl?”
– so does that mean I didn’t want these two charmers you are staring at
– or that I can’t want a brother for them

33weeksAnd then, when I would reply to any various statement similarly made I almost always got met with sighs, eye rolls, “oh mys” “another one” “oh wells” and my favorite “you need to stop trying” as if we were only trying (and experiencing losses) to add to our family for a female counterpart.  The nerve! You better stop trying.  I mean really.

What is it about this belly that makes people open their mouths to comment on things they would never comment on if I wasn’t an incubator?!?!

With a little practice I have my standard replies I give with a grin to move on from the conversation and still celebrate the joy of adding this mini man and what will certainly be his own personality to the mix.

And then I went to the doctor and had a first…

Enter the stranger, as it always is, and their prying questions and statements.32weekskick
After the usual rigamaroll regarding my hands being full, and am I sure I still have until May, and maybe they got the date wrong and I am probably going to run out of clothes out it came…”you aren’t having another boy are you?”

Actually yes, yes I am.

And as she walked back to her appointment having been called,

“Oh GOD, you have to me someone’s mother in law three times.”

I first mentally applauded her for finding a totally new approach. A combined 109 weeks of being pregnant in my life so far and never have I heard that one.  Then I said a prayer for her daughter in law who clearly she must not get along with. Clearly.

Having a wonderful relationship with my mother in law, and already having the women who steal my boys’ hearts on my prayer regimen as previously mentioned I look forward to being able to be a part of and yes, hopefully accepted by their wives.

Dreading that day is just not an outlook I have or can muster.
Negative much lady? I think yes.
Wowzers.

So now, I am convinced, completely convinced that I have heard it all.
But you’re welcome to keep trying if you feel so compelled because soon enough this belly will go away and you will begin to keep most of these sideline comments in your head like normal, well-composed people do.  So until then, get it out. I would hate for you to feel badly and not heard. :)

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