Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fifteen Months

Kaden hates lying down. Even for diaper changes he squirms and wiggles until he practically falls of the changing table. Therefore, I decided to give the both of us a break and move these monthly portraits to his chair. As you can tell from the smile, he is much more comfortable here. So comfortable in fact, it is his new favorite reading spot. Whenever I am searching the house for him, odds are I find him here. He feels like such a big boy having a chair of his very own, especially since it is sized just for him!

After our rainy day experiment, riding around in the diaper box has become one of Kaden's favorite new rides. This breaks our backs, but the giggles we get make it totally worth it! The diaper box brings up what I think may be the early stages of potty training. Kaden is pretty easy to read so, whenever I catch him in the act, I ask if he has a poopy diaper and whether he needs to be changed. Nine times out of ten, he waddles back to his room and stands next to the changing table. Smart little guy! He also really enjoys flushing the toilet. These two things make me think (hope?) that he will potty train on the early side.

Kaden is still into making messes...not unusual for little boys, I guess. I tend to forget that if there is a mess to be made, he will find it. On this occasion, I left some of the newly purchased groceries on the kitchen floor. I have no idea how he managed to open the plastic insert (sometimes I even fight getting that dang thing open), but open it he did. He was quite proud of his messy masterpiece. After this box of cereal was swept up and put in the trash, we went to Trader Joe's for some more. Normally, Kaden rides around in the cart, but on this occasion he wanted to walk with me. When we turned down the cereal aisle, Kaden plopped down on the ground and started pointing and screaming "A-rir-ra" to a particular box of cereal. Sure enough, when I looked down there was a Gorilla on the box. So, that is Kaden's word of the month, "Gorilla." Needless to say, we went home with the Gorilla Crunch brand rather than our old standard Cheerios.

Speaking of messes, Kaden is also fascinated with trash. He will find the littlest speck of fuzz or crumb and insist on throwing it in the nearest garbage can. Our responsible little citizen is following in Daddy's footsteps. Now let's see if he can't make some money off of the trash he finds!

An awakening came this month that made me realize I use my credit card a little too often. After rummaging through my purse (yes, this is still a favorite pastime), Kaden grabbed my credit card and sliding it back and forth in the air register. Before I could say, "no, no, no," down the register it went. After some trial and error, I figured out how to remove the vent from the wall and retrieve the card. And, before you go making fun, it was not nearly as easy as one would guess - neither a screwdriver nor a wrench worked. Kaden was very impressed. This was the last straw for Kevin. For months now he has warned me not to let Kaden go through my wallet as, sooner or later, something would surely go missing. He suggested I purchase Kaden his very own wallet and put expired gift cards, grocery store rewards cards, etc. in there for him to play with. Thinking this was a great idea, I did just what he suggested. I will have you know Kaden played with HIS wallet one time and one time only. Then, it was back to pulling my purse off of whatever chair, counter, table it was on and, once again, rummaging around to find my credit card. It seems to be the only one he is interested in slipping down the vent. Maybe Kevin stayed up late on night and taught him this in an effort to keep me from spending money?

Kaden still loves his music class, but this session most of his buddies advanced to the toddler class. Kaden, being a few months younger, is stuck with the rest of the babies until he is 18 months. He doesn't like this too much as the babies don't interact with him. So, he has become teacher's pet. He sticks close to Miss Beth and helps her dole out and pick up all the instruments. Next session, he'll be back with the big kids (they're letting him in a few months early).

Kaden's favorite class is swim class. He loves his new teacher, Miss Martina, and loves being in the water. He has absolutely no fear. This month, we made some progress and now I don't have to get in the water with him - hallelujah! These are some photos that Ba Noi snapped while she and Papa were in town visiting.

Just a cute snapshot of Kaden sharing his food with his good buddy Andie. We found out some disappointing new this month about the Greenberg family - they are moving back to the D.C. area. This will take them closer to family, and it is what they want, but we sure will miss having such great friends right down the street!

This Thanksgiving we were invited over to a friend's house for dinner. The Maus family hosted a spectacular feast in honor of the holiday and we were so pleased to be a part of it. Molly, is the perfect hostess (you would think she was from the South!) and, interestingly, the husband is from St. Charles (near St. Louis) so he and Kevin have quite a bit in common. They have a little boy named Will who steals my heart every time I see him. He is a wild man and a great companion for Kaden. The two of them had the best time together, however they weren't too wild about sitting at the table for a few minutes to actually eat the yummy meal. Kaden loved playing with all of Will's toys with the exception of his dinosaur, which moves and roars when touched. This scared the bejezus about of poor little Kaden. It was the funniest thing to watch. After we calmed Kaden down, he went back to playing but every time he saw the dinosaur, even out of the corner of his eye, he stopped dead in his tracks. Kaden also loved their little Yorkie, who was very patient with these not so gentle little boys. It think it was a good test run for when my parents bring Marley out this Christmas - let's hope that is not the disaster it could be!

How handsome are these boys?!

Every year, San Diego does a tree lighting in Balboa Park. The Christmas Tree itself leaves a lot to be desired (no, it is not that adorable tree in the photo below), but the festivities leading up to the lighting were a lot of fun. The three of us met a few friends down at the park and made a night of it. There was some beautiful choir and organ music, group carols, elves interacting with the children, and nativity scenes with the story of baby Jesus. In the grad finale, just prior to the lighting of the tree, Santa Claus arrived in a police cruiser. It was a festive and fun night that I hope we make a tradition. As you can see in the photos below, we were all bundled up. It was freezing! There wasn't enough hot chocolate or warm apple cider to keep me warm and I had Kaden so bundled he could hardly move. When we go back to the car the thermometer read 57 degrees! Clearly we are getting a little soft out here in sunny San Diego. Our visit to St. Louis in January will hit us like a brick wall!

So, 57 degrees isn't that cold. But San Diego has had some record low temperatures this month and there are, sadly, a great number of people who have to sleep outside in such weather. This prompted one of our good friends to ask if we wanted to help her and her daughter hand out mittens, hats, coffee, and warm snacks to some of the local homeless. Of course, we were in. I'm not sure Kaden and Bella had any idea what we were doing or why, but the fact that they participated in some giving back this holiday season will hopefully be the beginning of a very important life lesson.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

CA Living

After the rain cleared out, the family got out of the house for a nice long walk. The weather was crisp, clear, and beautiful. Our route usually takes us along the walkway by the beach, but this night we decided to actually enjoy the sunset from the sand. A simple, yet memorable, night. Ahhh...California living.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Rainy Day Fun

Kaden does not like being stuck indoors, so finding something to do on rainy days takes some creativity. After playing with all his toys, reading all his books (multiple times), and going through all of the kitchen cupboards, we decided to take Kaden for a spin. He seemed to like the idea. Gotta love that smile!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Next Picasso?

Kaden's first finger-painting experience was a huge success! As soon as his little fingers touched the slick gobs of paint, he knew just what to do - he smeared and patted, and patted and smeared, all while giggling and squealing with excitement. It's not everyday that he is allowed to make such a mess, so this was Kaden's bliss. So maybe he's not the next Picasso (more like Pollock, maybe?), but I'm fairly certain the Flynn museum will always make room for his latest works of art. Watching him in all his glory was sheer perfection for this incredibly happy mom.

Hack Job

So, Kaden needed yet another haircut. This was his third! Maybe I should have been worried when the stylist told me they could, "squeeze us in," but I didn't think a haircut could be this bad. I understand that toddlers don't sit perfectly still, and there should be some room for error, but this?! Poor kid.


Not only is it way too short, it is completely uneven in spots. I seriously think I could have done better myself - to think I paid $21 for this! With the rate at which Kaden's hair grows, it will look fine again by next week. In the meantime, he will just have to deal with the snickers.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thank You Mrs. Greenup!

We recently received this adorable wall hanging, and couldn't wait to hang it in Kaden's room. A long-time member of the Traxx Co. family, the very talented and crafty Pat Greenup, made this birthday gift for Kaden. The colors and jungle theme match his room perfectly! The photo I took does not do justice to just how cute it is! Thanks Mrs. Greenup!