Friday, January 28, 2011


Here are some firsts we've been experiencing in the Reese household:

For Kaden:

First Christmas--
Kaden and Kenzie in their Christmas outfits the Sunday before Christmas:

Christmas Day:

 This is Kaden napping on Christmas day.  I had to put this picture in, because I want to remember how Kaden always naps at Gigi's house.  We make a spot for him on her bed and barricade him with pillows, so he can't roll off.  They added the animal print blanket for dramatic effect, but he really does look like a young Sheik every time he falls asleep over there.  It's hilarious. 

Kaden loved spending time with his cousin Mackenzie over the holidays.  We spent Christmas with Chad's family this year and had a wonderful time.  Kaden was terrified of opening presents.  We tried to hold his hand and help him tear the paper, but every time he tore the paper he would burst into tears.  We finally opted to open all of his gifts for him (with some added help from Mackenzie who was all about some present opening this year), and he was perfectly content to observe the gift-opening process.  We were all extremely spoiled by Santa Claus and family this year.

First Roll Over--

On December 27th, Kaden rolled over for the first time, back to tummy.  We had known he was capable of achieving this milestone for awhile, but he'd been too stubborn to do it.  I was playing with him on the floor and all of a sudden he just nonchalantly rolled to reach the toy I was holding.  I started squealing with joy and doing a happy dance, after which I burst into tears (I had been so petrified I would miss this moment while I was at work all day.  I am so glad he waited until Christmas vacation).  Kaden looked at me like I was insane and went back to playing.  Later that day, he rolled over tummy to back.  He has rolled over  multiple times since, but he is far from a rolling machine.  We have yet to catch him rolling on camera, because he is only interested in flipping over when HE wants to (a bit scary how much of his mommy is lurking in his personality, isn't it?) My mom was here for an entire week and he wouldn't roll for her once.

First Snow--

First Rice Cereal--

On January 12th, one day after his five month birthday, the Kadester realized that he too was capable of eating something that came from a bowl and was served on a spoon.  He has been anxiously watching every bite we've taken for quite awhile and the pediatrician suggested at his last visit we start him on a couple of tablespoons of rice cereal to prep him for fruits and veggies at six months.  He LOVES eating (what a shocker).  I've heard that some children don't enjoy rice cereal, because it is bland.  I've even heard tales of people having to mix it with some applesauce to get their children to eat it.  Hmmmmmm.  Not a problem for us.  After a couple of bites, he was leaning forward reaching for more.  He also typically has a tear-filled meltdown after the last bite disappears.  Now that he knows he can eat real food too, his favorite game is reaching for whatever food mommy or daddy might be eating.  I feel so guilty eating in front of him, and I can't wait for him to get started on the good stuff, so I won't have to watch him gaze longingly at whatever is on my plate. 

For Katie:

First Knead with a Stand Mixer--

Chad successfully surprised me by getting me this beauty for Christmas this year: The iconic Kitchenaid Artisan Stand Mixer.  I am in love (with the mixer AND my husband).  I finally had the chance to break her in last night while making the dough for some delicious bread sticks.  Let me tell you, ten minutes of kneading in a mixer feels a lot shorter than ten minutes of kneading by hand.  Just saying.

First Day as an Official Full Time Mom--

I submitted my resignation from Lenoir County Schools upon returning from Christmas vacation.  I told a very understanding and supportive principal that I have felt torn in two directions since having Kaden, and that I want to be a full time mom and a part time something else, yet to be determined.  I finished out the semester and spent my last day at North Lenoir on January 24th.  I'm so glad I had the kids I did for my last semester there.  They were the kind of students who knew how to laugh and play at the right times, and get right down to work at the right times.  I can honestly picture myself going back to teaching again, because they were the last group I taught.  I know I am going to miss teaching immensely.  I feel like it is a true talent I have been blessed with, and (despite how much I complain about it) I really do love it.  I knew that resigning was what I wanted to do, but it turned out to be much more bittersweet than I expected, and I even questioned my decision a few times.  What it came down to in the end was this:  I know a classroom will always be waiting for me in the future, but Kaden will only be this small once.  The hardest part about leaving was seeing so many of the students I was supposed to teach next semester in the halls and hearing them say, "I have you next semester, Mrs. Reese!" and knowing they really wouldn't.  Luckily an excellent, veteran English teacher has stepped in to take my place, and I know they are in good hands.  Second hardest was leaving my wonderful colleagues.  I worked with so many amazing, interesting, wonderful people, and I will miss seeing them every day.  

Pictures of my two English III, Honors classes.  I didn't get a picture of the seniors because half of them exempted the exam, and these photos were taken on exam day:

I probably broke some teacher vow of non-favoritism, because I told these kids they were the best class I have ever taught (and they were):

This decision will not come without sacrifice, and we'll be on a tight budget for awhile, but I am thankful for so many things.  For starters, I am thankful for a husband who supports my decision.  Chad didn't tell me I had to stay at home, and he didn't tell me I couldn't stay at home.  He told me he wants me to be happy, and that I should make the decision that would make me happy.  I am grateful for that.  I am so thankful that he works hard to support our family, so that I can take time off to raise Kaden full-time.  Next, I am thankful that this is even a financial possibility for us.  I know that for so many families, it isn't.  I have such respect for working moms, after being in that category for only a few months.  If you have never had to do it, let me tell you, it is HARD.  November to January in the trenches taught me this simple fact:  Any person who ever criticizes the state of a working mom's temperament, physical appearance, or the condition of her house, should be shot.

First Blog Post of 2011--

One down, many more to go.  It's hard to believe that I started this blog six years ago.  I'm so glad that it has become a way for me to document all of the events in our life.  Here's to a year of great blog posts!   


  1. I'm so jealous you get to be a full-time mommy! I am gradually getting there. Next year I'm going part time, and if we can figure something for health care before August, then I quitting school completely. I am really happy for you. I know what that feels like to be so good at your job, but not want to do it anymore.

  2. This post made me partially tear up. I've had plenty of anxiety over how I will feel about full-time motherhood, and hearing your desire for it was both reassuring and inspiring. Thank you!

  3. Wow. Big changes. I'm glad you aren't working. It really is so much fun to watch these little ones change, and they change so fast!!! I understand that many women have to work, and I admire those women, because that has GOT to be HARD. As it is, I'm happy for you.
    And Kaden is still the cutest little guy!!

  4. This was so fun to read Katie. Kaden is adorable.

    I'm glad you love your mixer. You're so right, kneading is much nicer in a mixer and can actually make wheat dough into something soft and edible.

    I'm proud of you for making a tough decision. I felt your pain as you described the process. You'll always be a teacher. Always. You'll always use that gift be it taking Kaden to a zoo to see the animals or teaching him to eat with a spoon or telling your neighbor how to use her new Kitchen Aid mixer to make bread sticks. Teaching is the best and Kaden will have the best thanks to your willingness.

    Hear. Here. No one should judge a mother in the trenches. Ever!

  5. I'm a mother in the trenches, and will have to continue to be due to finances! I've had MANY crying fits and days where I don't think I'm doing enough for Ruston, but then when I walk in to pick him up and he comes running and smiling to me, I know he knows who I am, and it makes me feel better!! It also helps that the MIL watches him and not a daycare... I think I would feel worse if it wasn't family.
    Definitely jealous of you though... enjoy him!!!

  6. I love it all, and really, seriously, your son is so good looking.

    p.s. if he is that interested in rice cereal, I really wouldn't be too worried about adding a few of the basic fruits and vegetables too. When they are ready, they are ready!

  7. the winter hat on your little man is simply adorable. what a cute baby! i'm so glad for your sake that you've made a decision you feel good about. i imagine it would be very hard to leave your little one with someone else every day. i'm so glad you don't have to anymore. i'm sure you'll appreciate your time at home so much more after having to be away. i am sure your students will miss you like crazy though!

  8. Seriously, your baby is, like, astoundingly cute. And I LOVE the picture of him swathed in all the animal print. Hilarious.

    Congrats on your decision to go full-time mom. The job of a mom is so challenging even without the added day job, and I'm glad you get to do what makes you happy!


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