My LaLa Girl at 8 months

Her new sound: Lalalalala with her tongue doing all the work. Yes, she has discovered this sound and her voice, and she uses it to obtain cuteness points.

Now, today, she is 8 months old and just about sitting up on her own! Oh the joy of this view from above!IMG_2968 IMG_2969 IMG_2970

My dear, oldest, most precious friend, Jocelyn, texted me this morning a “Happy Birthday Tater” message, and that reminded me! Heck! I had spaced this special day. Thank you  Joc… I sure love you and value you in my life. 🙂

Where did the angel go?

Lately while I tutor Olivia, I have been keeping Tatum on my lap. She WILL NOT allow any one else to hold her. Even if I move a foot where she can still see my every move, she loses it. Today, her temper flared and my Tatum turned into Tater HOT! Olivia put her on her lap so she was facing me, and Tatum THREW each one of her toys across the room. That arm I mentioned in this post is now being used in anger and not joy. Lovely. The minute I took her back, she immediately quieted down. Maybe a nice stroke for my ego, but this is not the kind of behavior I was seeking.



This came in the mail yesterday. The County Attorney wrote a letter to me THANKING ME for adopting Tatum. The government is not always so bad. Today, I did not  mind my tax dollars at work.

Thank you Bill Montgomery.

Push! You can do it!

She is ALMOST THERE! She will be sitting up pretty soon! 🙂


The world will be a bit larger when you can see from up high; keep embracing your opportunities, and be open to all of them! Keep that joy in your heart, smile, and know that you are LOVED by God, by ME, and by your family.

IMG_9302 IMG_9301





Myth or Miracle? It’s a Mystery!

One would have to wonder…..

For about a week now, Tatum is showing all the signs of teething: drooling like a fountain, grumpiness..hmph!, sucking her fist and fingers, sucking EVERYTHING…etc. In fact, in between each bite of food, she inserts her two fingers into her mouth. It takes FOOORRREEEVERRR to feed her with each bite. Spoon in, fingers in, spoon in, fingers in….

So, I revisited my old post: Teething Time, jumped on Amazon and purchased everything. I even added a 30-day free trial to PRIME so I could get 2nd day air for free. Saturday….arrival of my goodies!

I first put the teething ring into the freezer and put on her beads. According to Bouncy Baby Boutique, these teething necklaces release a succinic acid, a naturally occurring component in amber that makes it so effective. “Succinic acid is a natural pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, and a central nervous system calmer. It is so effective on babies and small children because it simultaneously eases their pain while also having a strong soothing effect on their nervous system – all with zero side effects!”  They are not to be chewed but just held against her skin (via her neck).

Then I handed her Villa the Giraffe. Now, this squeaking, chewable giraffe seems to double as a Coti toy, and he got a bit confused thinking it was his. He still is struggling with this issue. Well, within 3 minutes, the squeaker stopped working as she spit up right into the hole. Hmmmm. The freezing cold teething ring froze off her little fingers and then produced a large wail. Teething tabs to the rescue but first, I gave her some Tylenol. Within one hour, I had all five goodies going!

Sunday….new girl! She is laughing, joking, attempting to talk and grabbing every toy possible, including my hair.

Coti waits…..


and waits…..

IMG_2900 IMG_2905 IMG_2908 IMG_2914Myth? I think not. These amber beads are pretty nifty; I’ll keep em.. and Tatum too! 🙂

Reading and the Joy of Discovery!

I am on a roll! One of the joys of my job is I get to “test” books for my curriculum. So far, I’ve read quite a few. For 8th, I’d like to add (to what they currently read) To Kill a Mockingbird, The Old Man and the Sea, and The Pearl. For 7th, I’ll add The Breadwinner, Johnny Tremain, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Stand Tall, Bad Boy, and the Story of Helen Keller.


Untitled 4Untitled


As I read with Tatum, and hopefully modeling this obsession, mom bought her Pat the Bunny. Coti is of course taking it all in.


After this..she discovers cups! Putting one inside another is definitely a puzzle she is discovering


Maybe she will figure out how to get the bell out of the cube?


The Secret?

Last night, we watched an incredible independent movie. It was called The Letter Writer. Hollywood would not have touched this one as it was not flashy or filled with “excitement” via unbecoming behavior. (think Hangover?)

The story begins with a high school girl daydreaming of her career as a rock star. Of course the setting of her dream is her Algebra class which she is currently failing. Also being raised by her single hard-working mom has left her searching for some other role models and ways to find happiness. One day, she receives this letter from an anonymous source describing in detail how she is destined to be great and that she is destined for amazing things. She just must recognize her talents, her gifts and take her failures as a guide for her future. After much searching, she finds that this writer lives in a retirement home. He picks 10 names out of the phone book every day and writes a letter of encouragement. The letter writer, Sam, and Maggy (the girl) form a beautiful friendship. He teaches her the joy of generosity. Sam doesn’t want to waste his elder years, so he has decided to use his words for GOOD. He spends his time giving of encouragement. Generosity begets generosity. She slowly changes in the movie into a phenomenal giver and encourager. She finds the secret to happiness.

Today, in church, this was the message as well. Joy is not a feeling; joy is not due to our circumstances. It is from an attitude we adopt. Joy comes from giving of our time, talents and treasures. I continue to learn this concept of generosity and joy. Man, sometimes, I get so darn down, and if only I can remember that in that time, I turn outward and not inward. Tatum can learn this as well, and she will find the joy in her life. She will get knocked down; she will fail. But, if she can continue to adopt the attitude of gratitude (which produces generosity), she will be a huge success! 🙂