One year ago: The Phone Call

It is hard to believe that one year ago today, I received a phone call from Dr. K. The opportunity crossed my path to become a mother. Three months TO THE DAY, November 22nd, Tatum Isabella was born. Yes, it is her 9-month birthday today, and I could not be more in love with her. Well, yes I could, but it just keeps getting more intense every day. IMG_3049 IMG_3052 IMG_3058

I rush to pick her up at 4pm and whisk her home to play with her. I soak in every minute, as I don’t even open my computer or phone for those 2 1/2 hours before she goes to bed. She is at the stage where she just wants to crawl all over me. We go up to her room for some “rocker” time before she goes to bed. She’s not a big cuddler and really would really be playing on the floor climbing all over the place. But, I don’t give up. We say our prayers and attempt to read a story every night.

Happy Birthday Tater Tot! :0)

26 weeks Post-Op

Photo on 8-11-13 at 9.05 AM #3 Photo on 8-11-13 at 9.05 AM

I cannot believe it has been six months! I had my “check-in” with Dr. Waz on Tuesday to see how it is going. I stopped going to Physical Therapy about two months ago because things seemed to be progressing well. However, I would not have minded hanging out with my PT.. I definitely got the 2 most handsome guys to guide me through this (Dr. Waz and Troy have never been struck by an ugly stick)

Anyway, I digress! Dr. Waz wants me to go HEAVY at the gym on my calves once a week due to the atrophy. Also, he says “eccentric” movements with the bands is KEY “as much as possible.” I take that as often! Otherwise, I’m jogging again, swimming and doing my weights. My ROM is perfect and equal to the other side. He’s very pleased. There is extremely LITTLE chance of re-rupture, but this could happen on the other side. So he says those thera band exercises must happen (eccentrically, which is pulling forward the toes rather than out). This really stretches and strengthens a TENDON. He differentiates tendons from joints or muscles. Unfortunately, there is no magic vitamin to take to strengthen a tendon…just the bands. For joints, sure, you can take glucosamine, calcium…etc… but for tendons? No. They just break down with wear and tear, and need to be strengthened AND stretched.

Now, I am so careful, and I will always stretch! With the atrophy, I also need to be in the gym doing my calf work along with the thera bands. Happily, I’m walking normal and feeling great!

Don’t get discouraged if you are experiencing this process. IT TAKES TIME, PATIENCE, and HARD WORK, but it GETS BETTER! 🙂 (He also said, most people are 150% stronger AFTER this happens, so there is hope.)

Conflict Management 101

What? Are we in trouble? Coti and Tatum seem to love the same toys. She only wants this squeaky dragon when Coti is playing with it, and HE only wants her giraffe when SHE is playing with it. Then, they both look at ME to solve this challenge. So, what do I do? Sharing is not an innate quality of either of these lovely children (is it of any?!), so it must be discussed rationally. “Tatum, this is Coti’s dragon. Let’s throw it together!” “Not for Coti; for Tatum; this is your squeaky monster.”

Oy…the joys of motherhood! 🙂


I’m a sitter!

Tatum sits. No, not as I plop her down in her Bumbo, but ON HER OWN! At one point, she was on her back playing with sucking her Fisher Price Radioth

and the next moment, she was erect! IMG_3005

Now, I never would “label” her a sitter, but this really helped today at Safeway. I have always wondered when you move from 1st foods to 2nd foods. Thank you Gerber! Now they have a little person in the corner which designates what your baby’s stage should be. Ex: 1st foods: “Supported sitter.” 2nd foods: “Sitter”. (Coincidentally?), today, I bought her “sitter” foods. The difference? Size and mixtures. Child abuse would be if they had pureed spinach in a bottle. (when I was young) Now, they disguise it in “Garden Veggies” which is peas, carrots, water AND a wee bit of spinach. Smart. So, today? We shall try this concoction as she is now a SITTER!

Golf Chick’s Latest: Pass the Digital Manners



“Keep a napkin on your lap and don’t reach for things; ask to have them passed to you!” Sound familiar? Great advice for a child. No, for all of us. But how long has it been since you have had a meal with your real friends? It is easy to NOT spend time with people you know in real life because you are too busy Facebooking or Tweeting your “friends.” But, it is a reality that these mediums exist. Good thing that everything you need to know about wise social media-ing has been taught by “Raising Children 101” so it is not difficult. Why do I bring this up? It has come to recent attention that athletes more than ever are using social media to stay in the game. Why should they? More importantly, why should we? Read on.

If you are over the age of 30 (or fffffforty), did you know, according to, on average at age 8, children are regularly online. Also, if over 25% of teens log onto social media about 10 times a day (and they do because they want to be connected), then might it be a bit important to understand it? Although, I’m not in the generation that grew up with Facebook, the generations below us now are “expecting” MORE and MORE information and connection. It is not enough to just read a book or watch a movie or event. And just watching our favorite athletes on TV and seeing highlights of games the day after is insufficient. We now want those backstage passes to give our feedback and meet the band. We don’t want front row seats anymore; we want to be in the batter’s box or on the sidelines listening to the trash talk of the players. Give me instantaneous connection with my athletes! They have responded and are using Facebook and Twitter to talk about their games, further their future business opportunities, create their “brand” and stay connected to fans.

Companies are as well. Harry Arnett, Callaway Golf’s director of marketing, told that for them, “It’s pretty much the centerpiece of everything we do. It’s critical for us because that’s a very engaged group of fans of our brand that are also up to speed on the fastest ways to communicate with their friends and other golfers.”

Tony Hawk and Shaq are a couple of top sports stars active on Facebook and Twitter. They love the hype. One fan notes, “It is insane how common Twitter has become in the sporting world. It appears that every athlete, coach and analyst has their own account.” Sadly, however, it has become headline news as of late due to “unsportsmanlike conduct.” Chad Ocho-cinco of the Cincinati Bengals and Larry Johnson formerly of the Kansas City Chiefs seem to use Twitter as a medium for trash talk. Shame shame; where’s the class?

In golf, we have our top 9 as well according to (Thanks to social media, Facebook to be exact, they posed a “who’s your favorite tweeter” question to fans and got their answer)

9. John Cook

8. Andres Gonzales

7. Hunter Mahan

6. Graeme McDowell

5. Bo Van Pelt

4. Rickie Fowler.

3. Ian Poulter

2. Bubba Watson.

1. Jason Dufner.

 They may not have a personality on the course, but off, they show it all on social media, especially Jason Dufner who has quite the wit off the green. They have been on par with branding themselves wisely by providing substantial content and intelligent answers to golf debates. Many contribute to the community frequently and, with class, engage among their followers; they are “social”.

So, if you are a golfer, you can take the game a step further and follow your courses on Facebook, your pro on Twitter, or find out about the latest club, driver or happening event by talking to others. And as a golfer, you know manners are key.

If you will allow me this tangent, from a virtue perspective, should we question whether the millennials are still valuing the same face-to-face communication ethics? Integrity, sincerity, and patience, for example, are tête-à-tête necessities. Are these going away? They will argue that they have MORE to deal with now that we are in a digital age. Change does not necessarily mean that tradition has become obsolete. In fact, these timeless truths are things we teach our children. Simple. Straightforward. Necessary. There is old wisdom, just like raising children in this new day, and these rules should apply if you are to engage in social media, whether you are a pro, an amateur, or just a spectator.

TIPS for RAISING CHILDREN: Apply to Social Media Habits

1.     Don’t interrupt

Since this is not face-to-face, you probably wonder how can one interrupt? Overtweeting (or posting) is a way of overstaying your welcome or dominating a conversation. Unless you are personally witnessing a hurricane in Arizona, don’t give a play by play of your day. It clogs the system and really is unnecessary. You have to have a sifter in your head. Tweet or post the rocks and let the sand sift through. This is one thing the big 9 had in common. They had valuable things to say which didn’t need to be tweeted 20 different ways.

Another big no-no is choosing to tweet or post while you are actually in the middle of doing something, like DRIVING or DINING with a friend.

Be in your moment and wait your turn.

2.     When you have any doubt about doing something, ask permission first.

Not a bad idea! It is pretty sad when you need to borrow someone’s tweets without giving them credit. Be original. If you cannot be, don’t press those buttons. If you must retweet, put RT, and then put the @ username. Think about it, if you are a writer you need to think like one and be polite (don’t plagiarize). While I’m at it, proofread. Nothing is more annoying than typos. You had time to type 140 characters, so you have time to reread it.

3.     Keep negative opinions to yourself; the world is not interested in what you dislike.

But doesn’t negative sell? Yes. That is the problem. I think you are better than that, and I think you have class, especially if you are a golfer. I also know that you are building a brand (or selling YOU) when you are in the public eye and you have to ask yourself, who do you want to be: Spreader of good or spreader of trash? Do you want to add value or detract?

Many people use Facebook or Twitter as a public platform to say something about someone else. Would you say this to their face?

Example, You decide you don’t want to follow someone and you announce it to the world. Uncool. Just do it and carry on.

4.     It’s not all about you. You talk. They listen. They talk. You listen.

We live in a bit of a narcissitic time, and it is easy to get caught up in the “This is MY post/MY tweet/MY thought. You must read and respond and acknowledge my brilliance.”

Rickie Fowler, although a fine golfer, tends to show that, yes, he lives the dream life. For him, it is all about his outfit, his culinary experience or his photo shoots. He is Rickie Fowler after all. But the fact that he knows this is disconcerting. However, for us Joe Schmoes out there, here is a tip: Unless you are a pro athlete, don’t tell us you are at the gym. AND unless you have a personal chef, and your Eggplant Parmesan was made with 14 K gold bread crumbs and served by Rickie Fowler, it is just not that interesting. We all understand that your dinner was one of the best of your life, but let’s face it; your dinner at Joe Bob’s Kitchen is not news breaking.

Finally, “checking in” on Facebook is an odd feature. Great…let me tell everyone I am at XYZ at 2am. At that point, you are going to need your 2000 virtual friends to come help you when someone has broken in to your empty home.

5.     Think before you speak.

This is what I like about John Cook. Known as “Cookie”, he many not have quantity tweets, but he definitely gives his fans quality. He deals with the latest topics and gives his sincere opinion.

Before you hit that final send, post or tweet button, reread, rethink it. Also, please share information with close friends before posting it on Facebook.

Example: You have just played golf with a good buddy, and you have shared that you may be looking for another job. Next thing you know, he has posted this on his Facebook page for his 1700 friends before checking with you. One of his friends is your boss’s sister’s husband’s niece.

Or, perhaps, maybe you had a bad experience at Troon. Instead of Tweeting your frustration, be a classy guy or gal and go see the manager. Maybe there was a miscommunication, misunderstanding or lack of judgment on  one of the party’s fault.

6.     Be appreciative and say “thank you.”

 I’ll take this a step further. Graeme McDowell (GMac) seems to really appreciate his fans. He treats them like he would another pro, and he loves to engage with them.

You may post an idea or a question to your circle, and you get many responses. To be grateful and say thank you, or to send a private note to someone sharing appreciation, is a classy move. It never gets old to be humble.

7.     Don’t call people mean names or make fun of anyone for any reason. Teasing shows others you are weak.

Remember there is a human on the other side of the screen. Enough said.

It is up to YOU: Take ownership of your life, your golf game, and your social media habits!

Before we part ways, remember ONE LAST tip. This one is the most important of them all:

8.     Keep a napkin on your lap and don’t reach for things; ask to have them passed to you.

Now, GO have a real meal with a real friend and take a break from your virtual ones. Then go play a game of golf phone free (unless you are using it to take a picture of the beautiful outdoors).




Be intentional


I love these two words. Why? Because, time is so precious. Every single minute of the day is a gift of the present.

Every year, I have had EVERY duck in my row, completely ready for the year to begin (at least physically). This year, I will enter my classroom on Monday morning which is the required day back. Oddly, I’m not freaking out, but I am feeling a bit discombobulated. My plans are pretty near finished, and I have my materials, but my classroom is a bit of a disaster. Why? Because I chose to spend time at home with Tot. In 4 days, she will be at Temple Chai for 8 hours a day and that sends chills up my spine. It will be harder on me than her, but I know it will be short-lived because I will BE INTENTIONAL with every second we have together.

IMG_3012 IMG_3009She is now scooting like crazy and discovering so many new toys, thanks to my mother’s help and creativity!

At least I get to wake her up in the morning and put her to bed…cute little bootie!IMG_2995Thank you God for my present and my present.


Summer sizzles down and August enters

Tatum has the ability to take a frown and turn it upside down IN ME! Honestly, it has been a memorable summer. I must reflect:

  • Tutoring Olivia (with Tater on my lap) on Reading and Writing
  • Tatum in the morning: I sneak in and play Peek a Boo
  • Getting Coti up with Tatum. She gets so excited!
  • Tatum waits patiently for her food while Coti goes outside
  • Swimming Lessons every Saturday with Tatum
  • Scrabble with Mom nightly
  • Tatum discovering her tongue
  • Hanging out with Mom and enjoying our relationship
  • Completely re-writing the POWERFUL PEN (Tesseract’s Literary Handbook)
  • Church and laughing with Tatum (she makes it through the service!)
  • GCU and enjoying teaching the class. Monica’s appreciation
  • Reading as many novels as I can (with Tatum next to me) (and LOVING Fault in Our Stars)
  • Adapting to mom’s house and being OK with a bit of chaos
  • Sesame Street at 1:30 everyday with Tatum and Coti
  • Spending time with friends: Denise, Nancy, Karen, Melissa, Susan, Bob, Marilyn and Tacy (with Tater Tot on my lap 🙂 )
  • Tutoring Gabe on EGUMPP
  • Researching MORE Grammar programs (Is there a magic bullet?)
  • Delving into the Book of Isaiah Podcast
  • Circle K with Tatum: Michelle and Jean being President of Tater’s Fan Club
  • My new 2011 CRV (for Tatum’s sake of course)
  • Baby Bjorning (carrier) with Tatum wherever we go (Safeway, Fry’s, Walmart, Circle K, Discount Tire, Brake Masters, Paradise Bakery etc…) She loves it! (and she smiles at everyone.
  • That one glass of wine after Tatum goes down.
  • Sneaking in to Tatum’s room to peak at her sleeping. She’s so cute on her tummy all wrapped up in her blanket.
  • Finding the perfect toys for Tatum: cups, cubes, blocks, stuffed toys, rings, books, squeakies, mirrors, alphabet toys (Thank you Jocelyn for the AMAZING cube set!)
  • Getting sleep! Almost 8 hours a night.
  • Old Navy Tank tops. I lived in these. No frills clothing
  • Exercising every day while Tatum naps! 9am-10am. Yahoo!
  • Going to two movies! Despicable Me 2 and Now You See Me. (worth every penny!)
  • Being still. Hanging out with Tatum in her room all day, and being OK with not accomplishing anything.
  • Going into school twice a week for two hours while Tatum goes to Temple Chai. ( a nice little break for both of us)
  • Tatum making me laugh hysterically while she tries to catch and throw a ball.
  • Tatum and me playing with Coti!


I will miss this summer. IMG_2994 IMG_2993 IMG_2992 IMG_2991