Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Kaden was very excited to wear his cow costume again yesterday. After his afternoon nap, we made the rounds and visited Grandma Rysdam, Uncle Steve and Kelly, his buddies Austin and Drew, and we tried to visit his girlfriend Emersyn but she wasn't home. As is customary for Halloween, we picked up a pizza after the rounds and prepared to trick-or-treat. The tricky part of Halloween being on a Sunday is that different towns decided to celebrate it on different days. Wyoming left it up to the individual. Andy did a quick loop around our neighborhood and didn't seen ONE SINGLE CHILD, and only a few homes had their front lights on, which may have been coincidental. So, plan B went into gear and we drove to Grandma's house in Grandville to trick-or-treat in her neighborhood. Kaden did so great. He walked up to each house and said "Trick-or-Treat" and "Thank-You," like a true gentleman. He even thought it was fun to run down the sidewalk, pretending to make a touchdown. True cow style, I'm sure. Oh, and we can't forget about asking Grandma to hold his candy bucket. Every time he got candy, he called for Grandma, and she had to hold his candy bucket until the next house. Crazy kid. Despite the runny nose and cough (of course these don't stop trick-or-treating), we had a great early Halloween. I wonder what he'll be next year?!?
Our cow

Opening his Halloween basket from Grandma

Trying to take his hat off. He kept saying "not cold." I don't think he quite understood the point of the hood.


Listening to Daddy's heartbeat with Grandma's stethoscope

Kaden and Grandma Rysdam

Kaden and Uncle Steve

Friday, October 29, 2010


Kaden loves crafts. I wonder where he gets this from?!? The other day I needed a project to entertain Kaden for awhile. We needed to get outside, get some fresh air, and needed a change in routine. So, I hauled out the paint and brought Kaden outside to paint his pumpkin. He LOVED it. We attempted to make a Michigan "M" on the pumpkin, but as Kaden tried to help me paint it, it slowly disappeared. Kaden loves showing everyone who comes over his painted pumpkin on the porch. I decided we'd just go with the painted pumpkin this year instead of carving it. Call me a bad mom, but I didn't really feel like having a huge mess for him to want to be done after 5 minutes. So, we painted the pumpkin instead, and everyone is happy! :)

So focused on painting

Go Blue!

Making it colorful!

I love how he looks when he concentrates so hard.

A thing of beauty. Look at the gobs of paint on there. Oh, and the stick person- that's his girlfriend Emersyn, drawn by mommy at Kaden's request.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Being silly

It seems like whenever Kaden pulls out all of the silliness in him, I never have my camera nearby. So, I quickly capture these moments on my phone. Not the best quality pictures, but they still capture the moments. I've put a few below for your enjoyment.

Kaden wearing my shoes, a hat, and his cool sunglasses. He did that all by himself.

It's cool to ride my matchbox truck holder wearing mom's shoes.

"Bye Bye Mom, store." That's literally what he said. And, he's wearing my shoes again. What's with kids and their parent's shoes?

Kaden came out of his bedroom the other day looking like this- wearing his rain boots with his cool PJ's on. Stud. I especially like that the boots are on the wrong feet.

Fishing man. I believe my Dad took this picture, which explains the better quality.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Conversation with a 2 yr. old

Lately, it seems like Kaden is having much more "adult-like" conversations. This afternoon, he saw this picture of his Grandpa Rysdam in a frame we have. This is how our conversation went.

K: Grandpa Rysdam boat.
Me: Where is Grandpa Rysdam, Kaden?
K: Jesus.
Me: Is he in heaven with Jesus?
K: No, with Noah.
K: And horsies, zebras, elephants, and art prize.

Art prize is oftentimes confused with Noah's Ark. I bet Grandpa Rysdam is having a fabulous time in heaven with Noah, the animals, and looking at all of the ArtPrize entries.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fireman Kaden

We went out for dinner with my whole family tonight, which was such a nice, rare treat. My parents are in town for a few days, which means my brothers, their girlfriends, my parents, and the 3 of us spend lots of time together. We decided to go to One Trick Pony for dinner, a favorite downtown place for us. On the walk back to the car after dinner, Kaden noticed that one of the doors was open at the firehouse. Andy walked across the street intending to show Kaden the firetruck as he stood on the sidewalk. However, there just so happened to be a fireman standing there, who let Kaden climb into a firetruck and sit on the driver's seat. He was in HEAVEN! Of course, I didn't have a camera with me, so I had to snap a picture on my Blackberry... not very ideal. Kaden was making siren noises, and saying "smoke, water." Hmm...maybe we have a fireman in training? He even got an official fireman sticker. What a lucky boy.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

If you give a mom a muffin

I got this from a friend of mine, and had to share it. I know this is the story of my life somedays and many of my friends, so I thought you'd all enjoy a sense of the realities of being a mom.

If you give a mom a muffin,

She'll want a cup of coffee to go with it.

She'll pour herself some.

Her three-year-old will spill the coffee.

She'll wipe it up.

Wiping the floor, she'll find dirty socks.

She'll remember she has to do laundry.

When she puts the laundry in the washer,

She'll trip over boots and bump into the freezer.

Bumping into the freezer will remind her

she has to plan for supper.

She will get out a pound of hamburger.

She'll look for her cookbook

("101 Things To Do With a Pound of Hamburger").

The cookbook is setting under a pile of mail.

She will see the phone bill, which is due tomorrow.

She will look for her checkbook.

The checkbook is in her purse

that is being dumped out by her two-year-old.

She'll smell something funny.

She'll change the two-year-old's diaper.

While she is changing the diaper, the phone will ring.

Her five-year-old will answer and hang up.

She'll remember she wants to phone a friend for coffee.

Thinking of coffee will remind her

that she was going to have a cup.

And chances are...If she has a cup of coffee,

Her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Halloween Sneak Peak

We celebrated an early Halloween with our friends from church on Saturday night. Our Fall Family Festival was spent playing games with the kids, trick-or-treating in the West Wing, doing crafts, and lots of chaotic running around from 23 kids ranging in ages from 3 months through 2nd grade. Phew! :) Kaden enjoyed showing off his costume, and thought it was pretty cool that Mommy and Daddy dressed up like him, too! Enjoy the preview of our costumes and the fun!
The cow family


Daddy and Kaden taking a break from the festivities

Kaden and Owen pushing the balls around

Kaden trick-or-treating from Daddy

The kiddos!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Last week Friday I had an applesauce-making fest with my friend Melanie. She brought her son Jack over to entertain Kaden, and we went to town ALL DAY LONG. One may question if the craziness is worth it. Undoubtedly, yes. Yes, it took some time to prepare all of the materials, pick up the apples from the orchard, wash all of the jars for canning, etc. Yes, it was a jam-packed day of cutting, boiling, and processing 4 bushels of apples. Yes, I finally figured out my canner so the process went much faster. Yes, it took me another day to fully clean my kitchen, toys, and supplies after the applesauce was made. Yes, I was beyond exhausted for our much-needed date night that night. Yes, staring at almost 90 containers of applesauce between the two of us, ah, priceless. One day (give or take) of craziness, and a year's worth of enjoyment. I love the satisfaction of making something and savoring it all year long. Each time I open up my pantry and grab a jar of applesauce, I can enjoy the delicious flavor. Plus, it's even cheaper to make it myself. And, really... what else would I have done all day long? Nothing that would top a year's worth of delicious enjoyment.

Oh, a delightful sight.


Check out my applesauce helper. Such a boy! :) (Sorry for the poor quality, I took it on my phone so I could capture the moment.)

Klackle Orchard

I love fall. The colors, the brisk temperatures, being outdoors, and celebrating the little things in life that give a 2 yr. old joy. Not to mention the fabulous photo ops that happen when you're outdoors on a sunny, colorful day. Last week Saturday it was about 70 degrees. Much warmer than our other trips to Klackle (I did enjoy not having to be all bundled up!!). We met Kristen and Will (his poor daddy had to study for the CPA exam... yuck!) at Klackle Orchard. The boys had SO much fun together. Kaden loved seeing the animals, riding the barrel train ride, the hayride out to pick apples, and the pumpkin carriage out to the pumpkin patch to pick out a pumpkin. Of course he loved the donut afterwards, too! :) I love how the pictures capture him at this stage. So curious, silly, serious, playful, and loving. Sorry there are so many pics- I just couldn't decide which ones to highlight. Check out my FB photo album for all of the pictures if you'd like! :)
Kaden participating in a staring contest with the calf.

Driving on the barrel train

He LOVES this ride!

Daddy and Kaden on the wagon ride out to pick apples

Kristen and Will

Mmm... a juicy apple

Another juicy bite

Trying to reach the apples on Daddy's shoulders- the crop was pretty slim this year, so all of the apples were up high. Good thing Daddy is so tall!

Taking a break from picking apples

Kaden and his buddy Will. I wonder what's going through their heads?

Good ol' family shot

Sportin' the shades

Trying to find the perfect pumpkin with Daddy

I found my pumpkin, Mommy!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Quick trip gone bad

I ran out of time to go to Meijer after teaching all day.
So, at 6:45pm, since Andy was at a meeting, I decide to quickly run to Meijer.
With Kaden.
Typically, this goes pretty well.
I bring snacks.
Kaden eats the snacks.
The grocery shopping gets done.
Apparently, this was not the typical trip.
First, he refused to go in the cart.
Not so atypical.
Lately, he thinks it's cool to sit in the back of the cart.
Today, he didn't want that.
He wanted to walk.
So, after embarrassing myself by the carts trying to get Kaden to sit in one,
I began my grocery shopping.
With Kaden as the cart pusher.
So far so good.
We get apples.
He literally takes them off the display and throws them into the cart.
I'm paying $2 lb. for bruised honeycrisp apples.
Next, the milk.
At this point he proceeds to make a mad dash from the cart down one of the aisles.
So, I tell him I'm leaving.
He continues to run.
He then falls.
And gets up and runs again.
I leave my cart, with my purse in it of course.
I chase him down the aisle and drag him by one arm back to my cart.
At this point, I'm half expecting child protective services to meet me at my cart.
So, we proceed to have another large scene.
I'm not sure why I didn't move to a more private area in the store to do this, but I didn't.
I force Kaden into the front of the cart and buckle him in.
It was quite the struggle.
He's screaming, asking for anyone he knows except for me.
Everyone's staring.
My grocery list is still staring at me.
So, I take a deep breath, and begin pushing the cart.
My child screamed through most of the rest of the shopping.
By the end, he had pretty much calmed down.
He watched quietly as I did the self-check.
We were walking out the door as he suddenly remembered the penny horse.
We walked out the exit, and right back into the entrance.
I didn't want to deal with another scene.
So, I was a great mom, and took my naughty, extremely overtired child back into the store.
He put his penny in the horse, gleaming with delight.
His grin shone from ear to ear as he said,"Thank you, Mommy."
My heart was warm again.
"Bye bye horse, thank you," Kaden says as we finish the ride.
Kaden pushes the cart back to the car.
We drive home.
Only 20 minutes of crying in his crib and he surrendered himself to a night of sleep.
Thank you, God, for the blessing.....of bedtime.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


We took Kaden to the GR Children's Museum on Thursday night for family night. I consider this place to be a mini-Disney for 2 yr. old's. Kaden absolutely LOVED his first visit there. We loved it so much we decided to ask for a year membership for our family for Christmas. It was pretty busy downtown due to ArtPrize, which allowed us to also see the amazing Elephant Walk exhibit right outside the museum. Kaden was curious about everything there- blowing bubbles, playing fireman, making dinner, playing golf, shopping for food, mailing packages, going through the bank drive-thru, stacking balls, playing drums, seeing the Curious George displays- you name it, he loved it. Another fun time together as a family! Oh, and for all of those people who know me well and realize my fear of germ-infested places such as this one, Kaden got a nice, warm bath to clean himself off as soon as we got home and we used lots of hand sanitizer there! :)

If only we looked this skinny in real life...

Kaden and his friend, George. He's recently been into reading the Curious George books, so he loved seeing Curious George stuff everywhere!

Making bubbles with Daddy

Making dinner for Daddy

Kaden driving the firetruck with Daddy as a passenger

Cute fireman

Climbing through the 3-D mirror

A circle of Kaden and Daddy

He was a bit confused as to why this horse didn't move like the one at Meijer. Hmm... if only it took pennies! :)

Driving the car to "the store"

Learning how to use the drive-up at the bank (which isn't necessary since Daddy is our personal banker)

Daddy teaches Kaden everything there is to know about banking

Mailing packages with Mommy (evidence that I was actually there. Usually I'm the photographer and don't make the pics)

Shopping for food- in his glory!

Sending mail to Grandpa and Grandma in NJ

"Hi, Grandpa." I love his phone-holding technique.