Friday, November 19, 2010

Becoming a Big Boy, Part 2

First of all, when I saw this shirt at Gymboree during their Friends & Family sale, I decided Kaden really needed to have it, given the theme of these blogs lately, and due to his love of trains. He really is becoming so much more grown up as the weeks go by. It makes me to sad to think about how quickly time flies, and that he's not my little baby anymore!

Part 2 of becoming a big boy was moving into his new bedroom and sleeping in a big boy bed. We made the transition about a month ago. It was a tough decision for me. I didn't know when the perfect time was for moving him out of his crib, and since there wasn't a need for the crib for another baby, I didn't feel the rush to move him out of there. Plus, I liked him being contained. Selfishly, I knew if I put him in there, he couldn't get out. He tried, but hadn't been successful at getting out yet. After weeks of Kaden waking up during the night and wanting to do nothing except sleep in our bed, I knew something had to be done. I was sick of not getting a full night's sleep, and having him in our bed constantly. Around this same time Kaden also started talking about a big boy bed, so we began our quest. I got a great deal on the platform bed with drawers underneath it, and a matching dresser. I got my bargain headboard and toy chest from Target awhile back (you probably remember my blog about my major bargains!!). I knew we were doing a sports theme in his room, and had begun picking up things here and there. My mom also helped me find great deals on the bedding through Pottery Barn Kids sales and good old Home Goods. You may be wondering why I haven't posted this sooner- I know some of you have been asking me for pictures for weeks now. Well, for those of you who know me well, I like projects finished. I like having a plan and everything in place before I showcase it. So, I was waiting until all of the elements were put in place. The Pottery Barn baseball bat corkboard was on backorder, and finally arrived this week, so we could put the finishing touches on the wall and I could finally blog about it!

The transition to the big boy bed was a bit rough in the beginning. Bedtime was a disaster, he didn't want to stay in his bed, and oftentimes I'd find him playing basketball at 7am in the living room. So, after fighting the fight, we decided to put a gate on his room door. This prevented the eating cupcake event at 7am, and waking up in the middle of the night and suddenly appearing by my bed. I think the gate solved a lot of our problems. He knows he can't get out, so I think he figures he might as well just go back to sleep. Now, each morning around 7:30am, I hear a little voice calling from the hallway...."Mommy.... Mommy..... all done...... play basketball...... wake up, Mommy!!" The calling gets progressively louder, and when I go to get him he gives me a huge hug and kiss. Everyone's happy. We all sleep through the night, and wake up cheery and full of love in the morning. Welcome to big boyhood part 2, Kaden.

A few of my favorite things from his room:
Basketball hoop hamper

Baseball lamp

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pink foam curlers

Today Kaden got a new suitcase set, which includes a rolling suitcase, rolling duffle bag, and backpack. It's the cutest thing ever. It's just his size, and it's a sports theme. The kid couldn't be happier. When I came home from work tonight, he told me he was "packin." I asked him where he was going, and he said "gramma, papa, moosie & baxter (the dogs) house Jersey." He proceeded to go into his room and came out with underwear. He put the underwear in, patted it down, and said, "Kaden get more." So, he followed with several trips, which primarily consisted of hats and mittens. When the suitcase was almost full of all of his "accessories," he closed the top and said, "all set, airport? Kaden Airplane?" There are several humorous things about this situation. First, Kaden isn't potty trained, so the underwear serves no purpose. Although, he does like to wear it over his diaper- does that count with making progress? Secondly, this kid remembers everything. He knows that he has to fly on an airplane to G&Gpa's house in NJ, and that they have rats, I mean chihuahuas, named Moosie and Baxter. I wonder how he'll react when he realizes we're DRIVING to NJ for Christmas?

*Packing the suitcase

*The final packing job! :)

The other humorous thing that this little situation brought to mind was a story from early in my childhood. I very specifically remember a time when I was around 7 or 8, and I was very mad at my mom over who knows what. I decided that I was going to run away, so I filled up this suitcase: (I can't believe I found a picture of that thing... too bad I don't have it anymore!!! Maybe I should add this one to my Christmas list!)
with these (if you grew up wearing these on Saturday night after your bath in preparation for crimped looking hair on Sunday morning for church and are dying to get your hands on some, you can buy them for $1.64 on Amazon):
Clearly I was thinking rationally about running away. I had an entire suitcase full of pink foam curlers. Great plan, Jen. I remember walking down the stairs from my bedroom, carrying my suitcase, and informed my mom that I was going to run away. She came up to me, sat me down on the stairs, and was crying. She opened my suitcase to see what I had packed in there, and I'm sure was amused by my preparation for looking gorgeous for church. After all, if I went to Grandma's house to run away, I'm sure she wouldn't have those curlers, and that would just be traumatizing for the Sunday morning routine. Now that I'm a parent, I can understand why my mom was crying. Of course she didn't want me to run away, even if it was to Grandma's house. And to think that all I thought I needed was curlers.

According to Kaden, all he needs is underwear, hats, and gloves. He's excited to go to his Grandma and Grandpa's house, but I'm hoping he doesn't see it as running away. Don't ever run away from your mommy, okay, bud? Especially with a suitcase full of pink foam curlers (or underwear and hats/mittens)....I may start to worry then.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Kids say the darndest things

Lately, it seems like everyday Andy and I end up cracking up at what Kaden tells us. He always has some kind of story to tell, or something to say. We're amazed at how much he remembers and how he randomly brings things up that we barely remember!

Here are a few recent things from the babe's mouth:

1. Last night we were driving home in the car and Kaden sees the moon:
K: Moon!
Me: Who made the moon, Kaden?
K: Jesus.
Me: Do you love Jesus?
K: Yeah.... Jesus..... BEST EVER! (said with a lot of expression!) (Oh, and the BEST EVER is also a new phrase. Lately he thinks everything is the BEST EVER!)

2. "Papa Miss You." This means he misses his Papa in NJ. He usually says this once a day, but inserts whatever name comes to mind. It's usually Grandma, Papa, Mommy, Daddy, Uncle Steve, Uncle Brian, Benjamin, or Emersyn. Despite the reversal of words, it's the cutest thing ever.

3. Whenever he says something that makes us laugh, he bows three times and says, "Thank you, Thank you, Thank you." It's hilarious. I think we have a comedian on our hands. I've gotta get this on video sometime. If I do, you can bet I'll blog about it. We're asking for a new video camera for Christmas, which I hope will help us capture more moments like this!

4. "Oh, well....." If something doesn't go as he anticipated, he'll often just sigh and say, "Oh, well." I'm glad to see that he's learning to be flexible and realizes that sometimes things just don't go according to plan, or how we always want them to go.

5. "Baby sister, baby brother.... cute." No, I am NOT pregnant. But Kaden thinks it's cool to ask me for a baby sister or baby brother almost daily. He's even started wrapping up his teddy bear in his blanket and rocking it. He then says, "it's o-tay, baby.... no cry... pipee? milk?" He's becoming quite the expert childcare provider. He also usually refers to his pretend baby as Baby Mabel (my friend Laura's baby). Crazy how he remembers things. Bet you love this one, Laura! :)

6. Singing. Lately his favorite songs are..." Old MacDonald had a farm.... EIEIO." The EIEIO is usually SCREAMED. Very.loudly. He think it's hysterical. There's also this song- see if you can figure out what it is: "I you me, you you me..." Yes- it's the song from Barney- "I love you, you love me, we're a happy family...." Once Kaden starts singing this song he usually asks for a family hug. We laugh and squeeze all the hugs we can get.

I know I'm missing more, but I wanted to capture these moments of pure joy that Kaden brings us. The things he says and does make us laugh and love him even more than we already do.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Kaden's new favorite sport is basketball. His Grandma Rysdam gave him an over-the-door basketball hoop for Halloween, and he has become obsessed with it. The first thing he asks for when he wakes up is "Basketball hoop?!?" and it's usually the last thing he does before he goes to bed. It's also been an opportunity to see what Kaden will be like as an athlete. After he tries shooting for awhile (we have it in the family room so I can see him...otherwise he'd be stuck in his room all day!), he gets frustrated with himself if he's not making baskets frequently enough. He falls to the ground, buries his face in the carpeting, and says, "too hard." I'd like to know how 2 yr. olds learn this sequence. He wants to be successful- he wants to make every.single.shot. You're only 2 buddy, not an NBA player. We try to talk to him about how he doesn't have to make every shot, and you have to keep trying. Still, he keeps getting frustrated with himself. On the upside, when he makes a shot (which is about every 3rd shot or so... better than my record for sure) he screams with excitement and asks for a double high-five.

His love for basketball made him SO excited for last night's Calvin/Hope Alumni Basketball game. I was on the planning committee for our church, so I've been talking about it quite a bit. He could barely sleep for a nap, all he wanted to do was go to the basketball game. I think helping set up on Friday night was torture for him- he just wanted to play! He had a great time last night. He sat on the bleachers next to Andy for almost the whole game. Of course, he did have a hard time understanding why he couldn't go out there and shoot like all of the players. Needless to say, he thought it was cool and even tried to shoot during half time. This makes me excited to go to Calvin College basketball games with him this year. I got season tickets for the 3 of us for free since I'm a faculty member, and we're excited to go to quite a few men's games this year! Who knows... maybe Kaden will play for Calvin someday. We can hope, right? And I don't mean HOPE for Hope. I mean, hope for Calvin. The rivalry does continue.

He scores!!

Concentrating so hard on the ball

"Too hard!!!" (Sorry for the slanted photo... couldn't figure out how to change that!)

Shooting hoops

Making his plan

Go Calvin!!

Watching the game with Daddy

Enjoying a brownie treat at the game

Intent on the game. I love how he sticks out his tongue like that when he concentrates. Adorable.

Shooting during the half-time shoot-out

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


This morning at Buchanan Elementary, I happened to observe a sight that brought a smile to my face. As I was observing my Calvin College students, I saw two students- a very young boy and a very young girl walking down the hallway with their arms around each other. It was clear that the boy had been upset about something, and the girl (my guess is 6 or 7 yrs. old) was speaking quietly to him to calm him down. A simple sight that brought a smile to my face. Two students, not hindered by race or gender, with their arms around each other, walking down the hall. Innocent. Caring. Exemplifying an attitude of Christ. This warmed my heart as I was reminded why I love teaching so much. We get to put our arms around students (so-to-speak), calm their fears, and provide unconditional love to them. We can be Jesus to our students. Jesus wraps his arms around us, not hindered by race, gender, or a variety of other factors that sometime separate us here on earth. Jesus, let us all be you to the people we come in contact with today.

*Disclaimer- this is not the actual picture of what I saw. It happened so fast I couldn't capture it with my phone. But, you get the idea.

*Another disclaimer. My life=insane. I'm behind on blogging. I have a whole list of blogs I could write. I really need to sit down and do them at some point this weekend. This one couldn't wait though.