Wednesday, December 30, 2009

ArT PRojeCt.

Braden really enjoys doing art stuff- painting, coloring, these dots things, cutting.. it's also a nice time for us to sit down, chat about little things, and have a mellow time . It's not usually a long time slot but we usually work through all of our art supplies in that short amount of time and make a couple of different "projects." Most of the time its a nice time but sometimes it can end in tears, screaming, or some sort of spill. I enjoy it because I get to see how he's growing and developing just even in how his pictures change, I get to hear his imagination at work ["mommy this is my spaceship"], and it forces me to sit down and just focus on him and what we are working on. (We usually only do art stuff when Carter is napping or someone else is hanging out with him, otherwise art time doesn't work out too well for any of us). Anyway, i'm usually on the search for simple little projects we can do- like during Thanksgiving time we made lots of turkeys, a turkey hat and around Christmas we made snowflakes, Christmas trees and that sort of thing.

Every night before bed we pray with Braden. He usually goes through the list of family members, some of his friends, and other random things. Now that he's getting older and understands a little bit more I thought it'd be fun to make a "Little book of Prayers." Something personal to him, that he can go through and remind him of the things he's thankful for and help remind him of different things that he can pray about every night. We all need reminders of what we are thankful for or what we can pray for on a daily basis right?

We started our book yesterday afternoon. I figured that we would work on a page or two each time we sat down and in a couple of weeks have a cute little book. Plus working on it over a period of time will help reinforce the whole thought process behind it. Today we actually made it through three pages! On our "thank God for food" page Braden mentioned some of his favorite foods and I drew pictures of each [and no I am not an artist so its all pretty funny].

So not only do we get to work on art stuff together, learn how to say thanks and what we are thankful for, but I'll have this cute little momento that I can show B when he's all grown up :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

"and I go under?"

For the last month and a half or so Braden has this new thing where everytime he's in the tub he wants to "go under." Any time I tell him its time to take a bath he says "and mommy, i take a bath and i go under, ok?" I don't quite remember how it all started. I think it was shortly after he finished up with his swimming class that he suddenly was inspired and more confident in his water skills that he decided he wanted to do this. But almost every night he brings some of his "guys" in the tub, tosses them in, and dives under to get them. It's the funniest thing. Sometimes I worry he'll hurt himself because he thrusts his whole little body into the tub and goes under searching for his guys. We had to stop putting bubbles in because he'd end up with red eyes from the soapy water. It's one of those things that happen nearly every night but I know that it probably won't last too much longer and I just didn't want to forget it. Last night I grabbed a couple of shots of him in the tub. It was a mild diving night but I got some pics anyway (probably mild because brother was in the tub too taking up his diving space!).                       

And these are just a couple of random shots. My mom came home with a gift for B- new skates! He was testing them out in the living room. Five minutes in he told me that he wanted to take his skates on the ice...really Braden??

Monday, December 28, 2009

This Christmas

I can't believe that Christmas has come and gone. It was Carter's first Christmas and our first Christmas living back 'home' in Albany. It was wonderful. Christmas Eve we spent with Rob's family- first at his grandfather's house with all of his uncles and their families and then at his mom's house. Christmas morning was here at home and with my parents. Carter and I were up quite early, 6:30am, and had to wait awhile for everyone else to join us (Christmas eve was a late night so I decided it'd be better for all of us if Braden got up when he was ready. And that wasn't until almost 9am!). We spent the morning opening gifts, playing with new toys, eating pancakes and relaxing. Later in the day, my sister and her family came over for more presents and a delicious meal that mom cooked up for us. It was a great holiday spent relaxing [and of course eating] with our dearest family. I can't believe that this year is almost over, sigh. It's been a very interesting year- full of lots of changes, some ups and some downs. I am blessed though and looking at my beautiful boys reminds me every day. I'm looking forward to what the new year has in store for us.
Carter was more interested in the wrapping paper...

Gift from Abuela and Papa. These things are LOUD, but he loves them.

I love my boys.

All 3 of them ;)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Braden turns 3

Braden officially turns 3 tomorrow but we had a small birthday party for him this past Sunday afternoon. It was Curious George themed party and the kiddos got to make their own pizzas. I am always amazed at how much time you spend prepping for everything but then the event itself just flies by. I tried to relax and enjoy my time.
Indulge me for a second as I reminisce. Three years ago tonight I was 37 1/2 weeks preggo. December 22nd was my last day of work before I began my maternity leave (my due date was Jan 8th and I was planning on taking vacation for holidays and spending a couple of weeks prepping for the baby to come. Meaning that I had nothing, I mean absolutely nothing ready. Shower gifts were still in boxes and gift bags in the baby's room and I had not even thought about packing my hospital bag. Yea, not sure what that was all about but ok). My parents and sister were due to come into town on the 23rd to spend Christmas with us and so because I had obviously left my Christmas shopping until the absolute last minute..I was hauling my very pregnant body all through the mall until like 10pm that night. THEN I went home to wrap gifts and had a strange urge to scrub my kitchen floor at 1am. I think that Rob finally convinced me to get to bed somewhere around 2am. Little did I know that just three hours later I would wake up <5:15am> and my water would break. Yes, my water broke and after eating some breakfast, doing some laundry, and packing my bag, we drove to the hospital and Braden Robert Casey was born on December 23, 2006 at 9:15pm. He was 7.04lbs and 18 3/4in. He was a tiny little bundle.
I cannot even believe that its three years later. The time has most definitely flown by. Braden is at a very interesting stage. Everything is very emotional. But I have to say that he is the snuggliest most loveable little guy there is. He talks a ton and pretty well (not just bragging, the dr said so!) too, he's able to express his feelings and thoughts. When I was getting things ready for his party he was like "mommy i love it, i so excited!" It definitely made all the running around feel better! Braden loves his little brother. Loves to hug him and kiss him and sometimes push him and poke him too. He now says things like "I love you" of his own free will. He can count to ten, knows his full name. He loves to paint, has a great imagination, loves to help and fix things. Only drinks chocolate milk, usually remembers that nuts make him sick, no longer likes sitting in the stroller or store carts. He's very sweet and observant- he'll notice when there's a new shower curtain or some other random thing in the house has changed and point it out, "i like that curtain mommy." He has moved past the stage where he'll only eat oatmeal for breakfast, he'll almost always try any food that he can 'dip', he doesn't like potatos, right now his favorite juice is V8 fruit juices. He likes to dive in the tub and "go under" to find his guys- and when he says go under, he really goes under. He is getting better about going on the potty but we're still working on getting rid of the paci. I could go on and on but instead i'll just say
Happy 3rd Birthday Braden, I love you!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

9 months.

Nine months! Carter is getting awfully speedy with his cruising, he'll be walking in no time. He's even let go on several occasions and did a 'free stand' and has let go as he makes his way from the couch to his music table. The newest thing this week was that he has added "up" to his vocabulary. It's pretty funny and cute. I can't believe that in just about a week we'll be celebrating his First Christmas . Have I mentioned lately how much I love this little boy and his edible face?

Monday, December 7, 2009


This weekend we had our first real snow. We got several inches and it was perfect snow for making a snowman. Braden had a blast making snow angels, throwing snow balls, getting thrown in the snow, and of course..eating the snow. I thought it was pretty gross but according to my hubby it's a part of the experience :)
That's one good looking snow man.
And this is my sweet baby boy checking out the snow fall from the comfort and cozy warm living room window!
And Joce with the little snowflake on her nose.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


It's the first of December and we had some flurries this morning! I'm really excited for Christmas this year. It's amazing how much things change when you have kids. Braden is a bit older (turning 3 in a couple of weeks) and understands more now- it's fun explaining Christmas to him, teaching him Christmas songs, yay :)

Today I took some pictures of my niece Jocelyn, she is such a ham. We had alot of fun, took a couple of breaks, and did alot of bribing (ate lots of candy!). I'm her favorite so I can do her hair, and her nails, and keep her attention for a little bit longer :) Here are a couple of my favorite shots.

She has the cutest little boots...She looks so grown with them.

She looks like such a big girl with her hair up.She was being silly and very careful with her nails, which we had just painted during one of our breaks. Love that face! And I love, love, love little girls with big bows.

Random tidbits (mostly so that I don't forget in case I don't get to jotting it down...)- Carter is officially cruising (8.5months)- seriously its going so fast. Braden informed us a couple of days ago that he's in a band- he's the guitar player. He was trying to convince me the other day that he 'had to go be with his band'. I mean he put his shoes on and was trying to get the car keys from Papa. And yesterday he showed up to my room, where I was cleaning up a bit, with a soaked arm. I said "Braden, why is your arm all wet?" Braden said, "Mommy, I had to get the fish out." Yep, he stuck his arm in the fish tank and changed things up a bit in there. Poor fish.

Now i'm hoping that i'll be able to work some magic with Braden when I try to get his shots in the next couple of days. Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Turkey Day.

This year my sister and her hubby hosted Thanksgiving at their new home. It was a nice, relaxing evening, with lots of yummy food and many, many laughs. It was also Carter's first Thanksgiving :)

Here's his cute face mid babble.

Braden and I made lots of Turkey crafts this month. Thanksgiving morning we made Turkey hats with feathers. One for him and of course, one for Joce.

Check me out!

This is half of our table.

Joce really wanted to blow out the candle. Her and Braden were arguing about it until finally one of them snuck up and blew it out .

Mom and Carter. My usually happy baby made this awful whiny sound most of the night, ahh.

Me and the hub.Check out that turkey, it was sooo yummy.

The Shako's pose next to their first turkey ever! With Em.
The grandma's hanging out with the kiddos. Grandma Arlene had Santa Pez' for them.

The kids coloring for a bit. And yes, that is my almost three year old boy with a paci, sigh. It's my fault.
And then the construction of the gingerbread house began.....And i'll just begin by saying that there were five adults all "helping" to put this together and none of us managed to read the directions....ahem.

The kids were helping with the construction...

Um, there was this huge blizzard...

And there was so much snow that the roof and walls of our house began to cave in....

And there were many attempts to keep this house together.

The Shako siblings did not want to quit. And that's A with her sad face.

Turns out that the house was supposed to sit and dry for an hour before the rest of the decorations went on..who knew??

No worries, our evening ended much happier than our house!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I had originally intended on posting something I was thankful for everyday in November..let's just say that my intentions didn't get me very far!

SO, we'll just have to make due with one post and i'll be thankful for having a spare, quiet couple of moments to do that ;)

I'm Thankful for:

-A God: Whom is loving, merciful, has a sense of humor (I think he laughs with me regularly), is always on time (even if it may not be MY time), takes care of me, is patient, forgiving, wise, too big for me to comprehend...

-My family: I have a wonderful, hard working husband of six and a half years that loves my boys and I very much. This past year has brought many surprising and unexpected turns our way- and I thank God that I have Rob to walk alongside of me through this journey. I thank God every day for my beautiful, healthy boys. Being a parent is so much work but the benefits are so great and they bring us so much joy.

-My parents: I am blessed to have such loving, giving, and supportive parents. They have opened up their home to us and haven't expected anything in return.

-My sister (and her cute little family): Love her! I am extremely thankful to be able to live just ten minutes from her. I am grateful for our relationship and our friendship- she cannot be topped :) Even though we were put in the same outfits and shared a room our whole lives- even into our freshman year of college- we made it through and still like each other! I am thankful that she found a great man that loves her and takes care of her like she should be loved and taken care of. And that he happened to be a pretty cool individual that fits into our crazy little family. And I cannot forget my Jocelyn- my niece- we've been connected since before she was born, really, i'm serious. You don't find people like this everyday.

-Close friends: I only have a couple who know me truly and entirely. Grateful for people that I can be me with.

-This journey: Knowing that there is more in store for me, for my family. Trying to learn the lessons, grow, become better, become stronger.

There's more, but for now i'll stick with these.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I took these photos yesterday. I thought that Braden just looked so grown up. When I look at photos from just this summer I can see an immense difference. He's losing that baby face and that cute baby chub. He was actually pretty cooperative- well for all of five minutes- nonetheless it was long enough to get him to be goofy with me and take some photos. I did have to let him play photographer for a couple of minutes though in order for him to agree to cooperate for me and I have to say, he didn't do half bad. I'll have to post those later.
On a random note, today has been day 2 of unsuccessful afternoon naps with the boys. By this I mean them actually falling asleep, in their individual beds...While I must admit that I'm tickled when I hear them giggling with each other and finding ways to amuse themselves and each other- it has been quite frustrating. Today, when I went in to check on them for the gazillionth time (after two hours of this) I found Braden inside of Carter's crib...yes, inside of the crib. I have no idea how he got in there but its a miracle that he didn't break a limb getting himself in there. Sigh. Did I really mention a couple of weeks ago that I thought it'd be cute and fun to have THREE boys?? I must have had too much coffee that day! I am happy to have two boys and look forward to them growing up close, being friends, having fun, and all of the mischief they'll get into together.
Ok, I just rambled but back to the photos from yesterday....

Braden how old are you going to be??

How old are you now?

Above he's posing with the batman pez we got him the night before at Walmart.

And I just couldn't leave Carter out because he's just so darn cute!