Dearest Tatum, we made it through 2013!

Dearest Tatum,

We have had an incredible journey together this first year of your life. You have brought me more blessings than I can even express, and this is through you just being who you are! You are my gift from God:Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17) You never have to prove anything to me; you never have to make me love you; you never have to worry about doing anything that would change the way I feel about you: It is a truly unconditional love. You may wonder how that is possible because you’ll mess up and make mistakes and you’ll wonder: Will Mommy still love me? Will mommy still be there for me? The answer is YES.

You see, I was raised with this from my mom. But, more importantly, I learned that as a human we are fallible and make many mistakes! God showed me this true unconditional love that never fails or lessens. This is how I learned about true love and acceptance. HE taught me this and He is this. Now, as your mommy, I can show you this kind of love. This is the confidence you need to make you continue to persevere through the journey of life’s ups and downs.

Tatum, you are going to have an amazing life. I did not say it was an easy life; in fact, it will be difficult and at times, painful. BUT, take heart! You will overcome and succeed! You will make it because you will have help, you will have support, and you will have the biggest cheerleader in me and MANY others!!! You will and do have God’s arms to surround you and hold you up when you feel completely weak and defeated.

I want you to know that you are made by God and designed by Him for HIS pleasure and for good works! David said this in Psalms, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you,when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” (Psalm 139:13-16 )

Finally, Tatum, God said you were made to do wonderful things which we can discover together and it’s because God loves you so much!!!  “By grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Eph 2:8-9)

Let’s enjoy the blessings of life! Let’s savor each day together and make the most of each day or as they say, “Carpe Diem!” I love you with all my heart and will make sure you never forget that.

Goodbye 2013!IMG_4005

Hello 2014!  IMG_4007




I love you so much   IMG_4033

Making music, mending and MINDSET!



She’s on the mend…my little Tot. It has been a long 7 days of fussiness, frustration, and fevers. The blessing is that I was home during this time, but it also was a curse because I had NO break. She was 24/7, and I was literally spent as I’m sure she was. But now…. she’s back, and enjoying discovery.

The beauty of this age is discovery and savoring. I have filled her play area with all kinds of gadgets, including new toys she received for Christmas. This includes more nested cups, a shopping bag with various pseudo fruits and veggies, a rolling xylophone, puzzles and games. Watching her teaches me the joy of learning…she just tries to fit things where they don’t belong, gets frustrated, cries, then regroups and tries another option. I don’t want her to give up, but she looks to me to rescue her from her frustration. I just smile and say, “It’s OK Tate…you got this!” She continues despite this and moves on…perfect!

IMG_4001 IMG_3999 IMG_3995 IMG_3993 IMG_3989

Currently I’m reading a book called Mindset by Carol Dweck. It differentiates between a fixed or growth mindset and that we all have one or the other.  She notes, “praising intelligence and ability doesn’t foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardize success. With the right mindset, we can motivate our kids and help them to raise their grades, as well as reach our own goals–personal and professional.”  I want to create a love of learning and a resilience in her which I can only foster by letting her work through her failures and frustrations, yet with STRONG encouragement and support. (leading her to a GROWTH mindset!) What counts is learning and embracing challenge not IQ or what we have to prove.

I love her so much, and I just want her to be able to handle all that comes to her knowing that I have her back and God will give her the wings and the boost to soar!

A Kramer Christmas

Postponed until Saturday, we celebrated with the family! Of course, the annual picture had to precur this lovely event which happened an evening prior at the be-EEKING hour of 5pm. Now, I knew that having a dog and a 13 month old sit still for a picture while we wait for the camera was a feat unto itself. Then, to have the 10-second lag was sure to make a disastrous pose. So we did a warm-up. Would you believe this was the best one!? Pictures are so funny…they capture a single millisecond of pseudo-perfection (hah!) only to regroup to reality: Chaos!IMG_0768Finally, we are ready now to have a Christmas with the cousins at the Kramers! Saturday arrived, fevers were gone, Kramers were healthy, we were set! Sadly, no Christmas brunch in our jammies and awaking to a understuffed Christmas tree, but James was making salmon and the girls, Nyla and Morgan were excited to hang out, so this trumped the other. IMG_0813


Morgan received her “puppy” or to be exact, her polar bear which looked a lot like a little Coti!

IMG_0831 IMG_0824IMG_0860 IMG_0850 IMG_0846

Tatum nestled next to James, and it made me see how much she enjoys a wonderful man holding her! Who wouldn’t!? This is a prayer of mine for her, that she would have this in her life always. Until then, I am so thankful for Kel and James 🙂IMG_0815

It was a beautiful dinner of BBQ Salmon by Chef James and delish salad and potatoes from Kell. Taters enjoyed eating the taters and tried salmon. The mango made her scream which confused me then I realized it was because it was the mango from the spicy salsa. Oops! Too spicy for the Tot tongue.

Driving home, the sunset reminded me of God’s beauty and His love for us. What a lovely day!


The answer was in the ear

One of the challenges of motherhood or really any new endeavor is the gray area. Our nature wants roundness; smooth edges; closure….ANSWERS! Yet, when there is no absolute yes or no or  an exact black or white, frustration builds because why? We are not GOD! (pride issue of course!) So, with Tatum, it is the ultimate test. I cannot control every little thing and I cannot understand every little thing. Perhaps it’s pride or just the need to know, but whatever it is, it darn near drives me bananas. Such the case with this last week. Every day, same thing. Wake up. Take her temp. Calm her fussiness. Calm more fussiness. Pull out my hair (sight unseen)…and shake my head in wonder. Just five days ago, Doc said it was just a flu that needed to work itself out. Her ears and throat were clear. So…. what then!!??? This is when Google gets its run for the money. Every possible question goes in the search box..and I get a million answers and various blogs.

Finally, after 6 days, I called the doctor again. She went in only to find out she did have an ear infection AND blisters on her throat. He said that her symptoms were viral or were due to the ear infection, and he could give her meds to clear the ear! I was actually thrilled to hear this because I got my round answer to complete my circle of questions. Now, she is on the mend after only two doses. And me? I’m relieved.


Last night, she woke up constipated and let me comfort her. It made my night 🙂


A fevery Christmas

And so it goes….. This was not the usual “get together with the family and open gifts and eat” day. A simple day. A day to truly remember the reason for the season…not gifts…not the tree..not the decorations, but sacrifice and togetherness. My mom, Tatum and I spent the day resting and just being. Poor darling still had a fever waning and waxing from 99-101.

I put her red riding cape on and took Coti and her out for a little walk…just to get some fresh air!


Mom had delicately put out some gifts for Tatum which she enjoyed for a few minutes.

IMG_3889Curious George made her wince and more curious as he popped out of his steel box.

IMG_3921 IMG_3917The rocket car had her rolling around, albeit backwards, but rolling! We said, “It goes Vroooom.”

and she actually said, “Vroooo” Hee!

IMG_3894IMG_3937Once I turned her around, she was raring to go!IMG_3942

Sadly, about 1:00, the fever kicked up again and she was making it apparent with her fussiness. I put her down for a couple hours and that helped for a bit. It was a trial and error period for the rest of the day of what could make her feel better. This was getting harder, and I know it was just frustrating for her.

After a stab at a bite for dinner, or a spoon actually, she came out…my Tater! She makes me crack up. Coti would drop the ball at her and she would pick it up and give it to him! Adorable! They were playing catch hand-to-me style. Then Coti would thrash his head with the ball and Tatum would copy him shaking her head and making herself laugh. Hilarious!

So, our Christmas with the family is postponed until Saturday. Although, today was great to just spend with my mom and Tatum. Tomorrow, I will call the Dr. and see if there isn’t something I am missing. I just know she is ready for this to be over, and so is her mommy and grandma!

Merry Christmas! Jesus was born today to remind us that His love and His presence are the true gifts; He was born to die for you and for me and thus pay for the forgiveness of our sins. He was born to die on the Cross that we might be reconciled to God. Thank you, Jesus. 


Sick child trumps all

Plans? Out the window. Having a child now, I see how I cannot make plans that are penned; they must remain in pencil. Friday, the last day of school before the Christmas break, I got a call from Temple Chai telling me to come pick up my fevery child. I was really looking forward to enjoying that last day with the students and then doing a wee bit of Christmas shopping. Nope. However, being with her and comforting her was definitely more rewarding and necessary!

Saturday rolls around and my plans were of course cancelled for the day, and Tatum decided to turn her fever into vomiting, fussiness, and more fever. This led me to call the Dr. and get her in to check for something more serious. So we waited. And waited. And waited….Of course I forgot to bring her armory of toys so first, let’s try Dr. Seuss.


That lasted about 5 minutes. Then I searched the office for something to play with. Swabs, cotton balls and sanitizer dispensers did not cut it. Cups! Oh joy. IMG_3882We made confetti out of one cup and she put this in and out of the other cup. Then we nested them inside each other. Brilliant! Finally, Dr. came in and checked her out. Just a fever and nothing else. The rest of the day, she held nothing down, so I tried giving her some Gatorade and this helped her sleep.

Sunday, the fever subsided for a bit, but, she was just non-stop fussy. I hoped she could go to Temple Chai on Monday for just a few hours so I could get to my dentist appointment. When I put her down for bed, she seemed pretty fine. Had a small dinner and was stable. Then, about 8:30, I heard her cry just a bit, and I had this gut feeling something was wrong. Yep…the bed was soaked with the contents of her stomach. And…it was all over her. NO fever though.

The next morning, she was feverless and seemed pretty happy. I took her in to Temple Chai, and no less than an hour later they called and said she had a 99.3 fever. What!? So, no dentist. When I brought her home, she was so warm and her temp soared to 103.7! EEK! Dr. said it was just a virus that needed to work itself out. This little Tot was miserable. She wanted to be held, then not held; wanted to bed, then no bed. Nothing made her stop crying in between the coughing bouts. It was miserable…for her too! By the end of the day, I was exhausted and realized that this Christmas was not going to be the same.

It’s Tuesday now, Christmas Eve, and I realized something. If this would have happened while I was in school, I would not have been able to take off this much work…it was a blessing in timing. Plus, she is going to be better by Christmas and for the rest of the break. God has great timing. Currently, after no Tylenol for 3 hours, she is feverless and emptying her toy basket, intermittently checking to see if I’m right here.


Will it be over now? No matter what, I know that this little sweet girl is worth all the hours of worrying, sleepless nights, medicine questions, frustrating unworkable thermometers, sticky Tylenol droppers all over the place, Coti eating her peas, broken plans, smelly sheets and liners, interrupted phone calls and texts etc…