Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom According to Sydney

For anyone who might be unfamiliar, there's an app called Chatter Pix that allows you to add a recording to a picture and insert a mouth to make it look like the object in the picture is talking. Our family loves this app, especially Kaden who loves the idea that beloved objects, like toys and books, talk to him in Daddy's voice. 

We've had the app for over a year and Daddy has created many, many talking pictures so Sydney's seen how it's done numerous times.  She recently decided to create her own Chatter Pix for one of her and Kaden's favorite books, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom . . .

I find that little voice and giggle so endlessly adorable and I am adding it here because I want to remember it forever.  This little video is so totally Sydney in every way: happy, funny, charming and thoroughly original. I love it.

She still loves to make up her own songs.  A favorite that I've heard her refining over the past several weeks goes something like "I love everything . . . Rain. I love everything . . .  Sky. I love everything . . . Trees." It's still in process but I'm pretty sure we've got a really great song on our hands.

Rock on, Sweetpea! I love you.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Six Years Old!!!

Kaden's birthday, June 20th, is one of my two favorite days of the year because it's a day that we devote, as entirely as possible, to coming together in celebration of our beautiful boy. Parties and commotion are not generally Kaden's thing but he seems to make an exception for his birthday.

There was cake. There were smiles. There was a Monsters University themed backdrop.

And there was SO MUCH love.

Despite the million things that were swirling in our lives on his birthday this year (a major move, job change, etc.), for a little while it was all about our precious boy turning six. And he loved it!

Five was a tough year.  Kaden broke his leg on his third day of kindergarten and had spinal surgery two weeks later. Recovery was long and hard. But this is what I want to remember about the past year:

This is Kaden's kindergarten school picture. It was taken at the beginning of April 2014 and it captures a little bit of the Kaden sparkle that I've mentioned.

This is Kaden working his butt off at physical therapy.

And this is Kaden learning how to ride a bike.  I wish I could post the video I took of him riding but I can't figure out how to upload it to Blogger. Kaden loved this bike. It's one of the things he'll miss the most about this particular therapy center.  One day he took my phone and repeatedly watched a video of him learning to ride the bike with his therapist.  It was as if he was studying it, trying to figure something out. At the very next PT session he was super-excited about the bike and pumped his legs harder than ever the second he was strapped in. Gross and fine motor tasks are still very difficult for him so his first few attempts on the bike had been frustrating. He jerked muscles all over his body as he attempted to isolate the specific ones needed to push the pedals. But, like so many other things, Kaden eventually conquered it and was able to do more than ten pushes on his own after a while. The best part for me was seeing him be proud of himself and happy to be engaged in a physical activity. I loved that bike, too. It's definitely going on the short-list of way-too-expensive-but-totally-necessary things to get for our boy.

Finally, this is a shot of Kaden that I took earlier today at the park.

Here's to you my sweet, strong, brilliant and adorable angel. You're amazing and I love you to the moon and back a gazillion times.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes . . .

It's been a long time since I posted here. I even missed posting pics from Kaden's birthday in June so you know we've been going through something.  

Well, my friends, it's been a crazy year . . . 

Last September, shortly after I posted about Kaden's first day of kindergarten, our little angel had a very major surgery to have steel rods implanted and partially fused to his spine.  The surgeon who does this particular kind of procedure is in St. Louis so we essentially relocated for almost a month so he could be close to the hospital during his first few weeks of recovery. The surgery was successful and his curve was reduced from nearly 60 degrees to less than 20 degrees, which is amazing and we are thankful.  I don't particularly want to say more about it because the whole thing (his scoliosis) is scary and difficult and ongoing (further surgeries will be necessary, we just have to wait and watch over time). Suffice it to say that Kaden proved once again how incredibly strong and downright amazing he is - my boy is AWESOME and I will always be grateful for that little sparkle that refuses to be suppressed no matter what the universe throws at him.

Once Kaden fully recovered, which took a full three months, I began slowly dipping my toes back into the work pond. As I might have mentioned, I'm finishing up a masters degree in library and information science. I took on a field project for the Spring semester that had me working two days a week and then I got a full-time position at the Library of Congress. It was an ideal job and I loved it but (as usual) the universe had other plans for this family . . . 

Due to an unexpected career opportunity for my husband, we moved this summer and it was a big one: halfway cross-country to a relatively new boomtown in the rural south. And, as unlikely as it might seem, we're actually really liking it so far.  A whole new chapter begins . . . 

Anyway, that's the super-abridged version of our past year. Now that I'm a stay-at-home mom starting at ground zero with my career (ugh, again!) I anticipate having a bit more time to post to the blog.  

In the meantime, here are a few pics of my favorite people from the past few months.

Kaden's really gotten used to sharing iPad time with his sister and she'll usually sit and watch whatever he wants so long as he lets her be close. LOVE.

Kaden was never able to tolerate swing seats for more than a second before his spine surgery and we would have never even tried a see-saw. Check him out now!

 Kaden still loves the beach. It's growing on Sydney.

Kaden's birthday pics coming soon!

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Sweetest Thing . . .

It's been a good long while since I posted an update but there are certain things that cannot be missed . . . a certain sweet, smart, beautiful girl I know turned 3 last Saturday.
This is an open letter to my Sweetpea in honor of her 3rd birthday:

Dear Princess Sweetpea Doctor Sydney Ballerina Coco Pop,

This has been a tremendous year and you, my angel, have grown into the sweetest, most wonderful and adorable little girl I could have imagined. You have a BIG personality and though I'll never find the words to truly capture the beautiful spirit that I witness every day, I want to share a few of my favorite things about you at 3 years old:

-You're a tomboy and a princess. You would throw yourself face-first down a slide if I'd let you but you've also got a keen eye for beauty and stop to observe it at every opportunity.  We can't walk past a flower without stopping to smell it or look out the window on a snowy day without discussing the snowflakes. I hear "wow, it's so pitty (pretty)" several times each day.

-You love your birthday. You don't often wear dresses but when it came time to pick something to wear for your birthday it was extremely important to you that you "be like a pincess (princess)" so you chose the pinkest dress we could find and said "wow, I gonna be so excited" every time we looked at it before your big day arrived.
You told me every day for a month that you wanted a chocolate cake and presents and a party.  On many days the first thing you said when you woke up in the morning was "is it my birthday yet?"

-You have a tremendous sense of humor, fun and just plain happiness. You smile, laugh, giggle and squeal no less than a hundred times a day.  You're amazingly joyful and virtually everything you see, hear and do is hilarious . . . 

Even duckface selfies with mommy.

- You love to pretend. You can play dress up all day long. . .

- You love to sing and make up songs about everything we do. Everything. Songs like "Mommy's driving the car and we're gonna pick up Kadie from school and I'm singing a song." You always give me an impish smile and sing louder when I say "Did you just make that up? I love it!"

- You're already fiercely independent. When I take you to art class you want to do everything "by myself, mommy, my wanna do it!" You almost always say "Daddy's gonna love it!" when you're done.

- You're kind. Polite. More often than not you say "please" and "thank you" and a few times even "have a nice day" or "nice to meet you" to store clerks. And lately, even after a tantrum (which is happening less and less) you come up to me afterwards and say "my sorry, mommy, my feel better now."

- You love your family, especially your brother.
You give him hugs and kisses and love, love, love to play tag and bingo and old maid with him. Your bond is so special and pure and beautiful and it makes my heart soar to see you together.

These are just a few of the many, many things I adore about you, Sydney.  Happy birthday, my angel! I love you, Stinky Face.