Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy First Birthday Kaden!

Dear Kaden,

I'm really not sure how I am supposed to get through this letter to you without having some serious waterworks! I sat down to write to you and was overwhelmed by the thoughts of all that we have been through together in this past year. I get so misty just thinking about all the joy you have brought to us and everyone around you in the short time you have been on this earth. It's only been one year, and yet I can't imagine a life before Kaden! What did we do with our time? You have brightened, deepened, and blessed us in ways we never could have imagined.

I think back to one year ago, and what we were going through as we waited to meet you at the hospital. We really had NO idea. I think about your precious little face when I first saw you, and the overwhelming, aching sadness that I felt as they took you to the NICU, knowing I would not be able to see you and hold you in my arms until the next day. That was one of the most painful moments I have ever endured.

The sadness and pain was quickly replaced with peace and an overwhelming mix of emotions the moment I was able to hold you. Little did I know, at that moment, how much you would change my life completely.

When I brought you home from the hospital, I had no idea what to expect...I just knew I had the sweetest little angel in my arms and that I was in love like I never could have imagined. What I didn't know was that was even half of what was to come...sleepless nights, breastfeeding issues, misreading your cues, daycare, diaper rashes, booger sucking tools and I have been challenged more than I ever thought I could be... but I also have been rewarded beyond compare.

I feel so blessed to be able to watch you grow, and so proud to call myself your mommy. It's so hard to believe that you are now considered a TODDLER....what happened to my BABY? You have more personality at one year old than I thought was ever humanly are such a curious, affectionate, intelligent, persistent daredevil of a little man, and I just can't wait to see what's around the corner....

Happy Birthday my sweet baby boy...

I love you.
your mommy

I cannot believe you are a WHOLE year old!

For your first birthday, we invited just a small group of your favorite people over to celebrate your special day! With so many friends and family across the miles....we spent the day talking and looking at pictures of those that were missing from the celebration. Your party turned into a yummy cupcake celebration and you had so much fun!

poor kaden got a cupcake from vons and did not get to partake in the sprinkles cupcakes festivities! The frosting on the sprinkles cupcakes just wasn't smooshable!

so youre telling me I am supposed to eat this white stuff?

so many of our wonderful friends came to celebrate you!

shyla played the triangle for you for what seemed like HOURS...

we took you to the Aquarium of the Pacific for your birthday weekend, seeing as you are fascinated by our fishies at home. You were actually fascinated for about the first 5 minutes....

but after that, your expression looked similar to this...

We also went to the park...your favorite. You and daddy wore your matching Mr Rogers shirts, and I did a mini photo shoot. This is my new favorite expression of yours, the tight mouthed grin.

You got so many wonderful gifts for your first birthday! One of your absolute favorites was your FORT! We had decided months ago that one of the traditions we wanted for you, was to build you a birthday fort every year on your birthday. A place for you to chill and read and play, and for you to feel like you are king for a day! We thought that every year, as you get older, you could have more of a say in what the fort looks like and what you want to add to it. So this year, we kinda were boring, and used your AMAZING fort that Mamaw and Papaw gave you and just threw pillows and blankets in it. Here are you and your buddy Dreyvin hanging out in it.

You also are super smitten with your teddy that Poppy and Jennifer gave you!

Another favorite was the Band in a Box! You had a great time with all of the instruments at your party, and mommy grabbed the Flip camea a bit too late...but just before taking this video, you had a full band playing around you, and you were playing your baby maracas with the biggest smile on your face!

Mamaw bought you the coolest growth chart, and we decided to wait until we have you moved into your own room in Denver to put it up. So for your 1st bday, we measured you with a tape measure and we marked your growth chart.

Uncle Brian also got you the coolest *make a plate kit* which we have decided to make a tradition of doing for your bday every year! You drew the picture you wanted, and we just have to send it in and they send back the finished product attached to a plate!

warming up....

and here you are proud of your masterpiece.

You absolutely LOVE to DANCE!!!! I need to get a good video of coming soon!

You love mommy's computer....and mommy has called tech support more than once to figure out what happened after you have been surfing the internet.

BALLOONS!!!!! Balloons make you happiest. You can always be cheered up by ballooons.

I love when you laugh like this....and you try to take a bite out of my face.

You want to walk soooo badly on your own....but for now, this little walker is your favorite.

you LOVE to point at just about everything and say "da".

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

a very white first christmas

Happy Happy Holidays everyone! After an agonizing week of sinus and ear infections, and a mean old doctor telling us that we could not take Kaden on an airplane with his ear infection, we got the *all clear* from our REAL pediatrician to go ahead and let Kaden experience his very first white christmas! These are just a *few* highlights from the trip!

Everything and everyone was so wonderful, and if ever there was a doubt in our minds about making the move to Denver, we pushed them aside after this trip. I won't write too much, since after sorting through 30 videos and 800 pictures, I have pretty much spent my entire work day putting together this post. I realized that I don't know how to turn the *soundtrack* to the blog on off, so if you want to hear one of the videos, just go to the bottom right of the blog and push the *stop* button on the jukebox.

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and had a chance to relax, celebrate, eat great food and be with the ones that you love. Cheers to a spectacular 2010!!!!

watching the airplanes take off!

playing on the disgustingly dirty floor at LAX

It's mindblowing how beautiful a shiny payphone may look to an almost one year old!

seeing snow for the first time!

watching the snow fall at the denver airport

what the heck is THIS stuff?

paying close attention to mamaw's authentic version of Frosty the Snowman, not mommy's butchered version...

meeting all of mamaw's santas!


uncle bri showin him how it's done

sledding with mommy

*my favorite picture out of all 800 photos*

sledding with daddy

Playing the piano, but wanting something a lil more his speed....

rockin daddy's old this is more like it!

Christmas day

Christmas day with the Sextons ~Kaden had so much fun meeting his cousins Jack and Caleb.

fun with uncle brian.

We had a little bday celebration in honor of Kaden's first bday approaching...we made him a huge cupcake and was hoping for a lot of messiness and debauchery. Not so much.

oooooh fire! pretty.

awww man...why did you blow out my candle?

so I'm supposed to stick my hands in it like this?


mamaw gave him a little taste of the frosting, and he straight out gagged. Then he was over it.

caught trying to sneak a beer.


This is only a *small* section of the enormous fort mamaw and papaw bought kaden for his birthday present! It's so big we couldn't take the whole thing with us! He absolutely LOVED it!

daddy teaching kaden how to play pool.

Meeting his new friend Lyla. Kaden thinks she's so pretty, Lyla is not too sure about him.

Kaden was also absolutely smitten with Lyla's daddy, which could explain poor Lyla's standoffishness. Kaden threw himself in Tom's lap within a moment of meeting him and could not tear himself away from him the entire night.

Christine playing peekaboo with Kaden.

playing with suzanne

the stairs were a huge hit...
both coming up,

...and sliding down

Mamaw's amazing Christmas village...every little detail and every precious figurine placed with so much love! I like to think that late at night, when everyone is asleep, all the people come to life and sing and get their groove on.

playing with mamaw

rootin for the Broncos

eating puffs with uncle bri and suzanne

snuggly matching jammies Aunt Gloria made for Mamaw and Kaden!

I'll always be a party animal....

I so wish we took a video of this but the Flip was all filled up at this point! We were delayed a few hours at the Denver airport on the way back to LA, and Kaden was overjoyed to practice his walking skillz while holding onto the stroller! He walked in circles with that stroller for about an hour and thought it was the greatest thing in the whole world!