Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Butterfly House & Faust Park

Growing up, I completely took for granted living close to St. Louis and how many things there are to do there.  I must have assumed everyone lived within an hour of places such as Six Flags, the Zoo, a major league baseball stadium (the Cardinals), major National landmarks (the Gateway Arch),
the Science Center as well as numerous other parks, botanical gardens and attractions.
With Kaden getting older, we can now take advantage of these places, such as
 Faust Park and the Butterfly House in Chesterfield. I had heard of this place growing up,
but hadn’t been there until now. What a NEAT place!
checking out the giant caterpillar
posing with the beautiful flowers
This picture cracks me up, as Kaden walked around the Butterfly house with the informational brochure. 
 We learned that during the month of October the Butterfly House was having an event called "Owls & Orchids".  You can see how the markings of these butterflies could be mistaken with the eyes of owls. 

After walking around the hot & humid Butterfly House we walked over to the playground, which was probably Kaden’s favorite. Grandma helped Kaden on the more adventurous slides and walk bridges while mommy relaxed on the side.
First time on a BIG boy swing. 
Grandma & Kaden getting ready to tackle the slide.

I am excited to explore more of these places around St. Louis as Kaden
(and little brother) get older.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

66th Annual Cook Reunion

The Cook Reunion (hog roast/hayride night) is one of my favorite family gatherings- rivaling Christmas. 
I had fun visiting with relatives that I seldom get to see and this year Kaden was fascinated with Johnna's daughter, Nola, who just so happens to be about 6-weeks older than Mr. K.
I can sure tell that he is turning into a little BOY as I had to continuously remind him to
"be gentle" and "not push or wrestle" with Nola. I can only imagine what it's going to be like around here in a couple of years...

Throughout the day, whenever we were close to the farm or near a tractor, Kaden was quite resolute about climbing UP and playing with the controls.
Luckily he has a patient and willing grandpa who seemed to enjoy fulfilling his wishes.

Although this picture doesn't quite capture his excitement/happiness, Kaden loved the hayride, sitting on my lap and snuggling in the warm blanket while I enjoyed catching up with my
aunt Pat & aunt Dawn.
Mommy & Kaden (getting antsy about sitting still, waiting for the hayride to begin.)

Kaden & Nola enjoying a 'smore when we got off the wagon.
At times like this, I wish that Amarillo was a little closer to mid-Missouri.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Potty Training Success

I’ve held off on writing this post because I didn’t want to jinx our progress, but Kaden is well on his way to being potty trained. We’ve been working on this pretty steadily since we got back from Missouri and have been having TONS of success in the past week, especially the past few days.

When we initially started, Kaden either stayed dressed from the waist up or chose to peel everything off and keep it off. I would put a diaper on him when went out, take a nap or go to bed but mainly spent a lot of time in the living room, drinking fluids and running to the “frog” [potty].
Late last week I think we reached a turning point. Yesterday I had to teach a class and just as we were about to leave the house he insisted upon wearing his (Cars) underwear. Since we were only driving 10 minutes across town to Papa’s house, I let him wear his underwear but brought a spare change of clothes just in case. I explained to David (Dow) that he could put a diaper on him if he was nervous about pee getting in their house or just didn’t want to deal with the whole business of potty training. Upon my return, I was jubilant to see that he was still in his dry underwear
AND learn that he had used their potty TWICE while I was gone!

This hard work is finally paying off and getting easier! Ben & I have found that we no longer have to constantly watch him and ask if he needs to go. He’s really starting to get the hang of running to the potty on his own when he has to go.

We’re getting there!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

2-Year-Old Pictures

Jessica and the girls came for a visit over Labor Day weekend.  Right before they left, Jessica was kind enough to take us around Amarillo to get 2-year-old pictures of little mister.
 Kaden loving on Schatzi.
 Schatzi being her good-natured self & taking abuse from Kaden.
  Kaden & mommy (24 weeks pregnant)