Winding down the break…and Marching into April!

Years ago, I used to watch Sports Center. My favorite part was the “Plays of the Week” because it summed up the highlights of the whole game. This week, it was a game of “what can Tatum get into or what can Tatum do that is new and completely different!?” Altogether, it was such an adventure of her simply discovering herself and others.

Here are her Plays of the Week!
1. Going to IKEA with mom and grandma and finding that it is actually much better in the stroller. Once she was allowed a bit of freedom, the maze of people and merchandise overtook her curiosity to seek out.


2. Blowing kisses to Nancy and Connie at the Foster Care lunch hosted at Jan’s house. Tatum mimicked Connie, and then could not stop making kiss noises. This was also the anniversary of the first time I met Nancy (my lovely mentor!)

3. Tatum drank water out of an adult cup today at church. The flabbergasted mother sitting next to me was impressed. So was I. She missed the next minute when she spilled it all over her dress.


4. The park AGAIN to ride the train. Tatum took a selfie.


She decided she was ready for the carousel next time as she eyed the horsies.  IMG_4467

5. She has become quite the helper. After going to Trader Joe’s, Tatum helped mommy carry in the groceries. Eggs that were already cooked…I’m no dummy!

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After this event, it was about time for bed, and Tatum was already deciding to undress. Not sure if I like this ability in her to whip off her clothes in the middle of the kitchen. IMG_4474

IMG_4476Well, it was a lovely week of Tatum time. Her little personality is growing into a BIG statement. Wherever she goes, she says, “HI” to strangers and smiles at the crowd. My little ray of sunshine is bright.

Spring Break? or “Spring-don’t Break that!”?

One week. No, actually 9 full days of Tater Tot. Why is this significant? Well first, today marks her 16-month birthday, and with that comes new behaviors. Now that she is mobile  has feet on fire, she is more creative with her curiosity (understatedly) Therefore, my Spring Break should be renamed “Springy-Don’t-Break That!” 🙂

What are these new behaviors? Most of them are adorable…Come on, with this face, how can everything she does not be ADORABLE:
IMG_4422 IMG_4421But, recently, when I come to pick her up from her browsing around, she goes the opposite direction. Then, if I go out of the room, she chases me, “Mommy! Mommy!” I turn to grab her and –psych-she runs away from me! (“Yes, mom, I’m in control and have my own mind, thank you very much.”) From a bit of discussion from “mommy experts” I learned that at this age, everything is a show. The world still revolves around her in her diminutive, brilliant mind, and hence, she is always intimating, “look at me!” IF (and that is a BIG IF) I ignore or diminish/not overreact to her minor tantrum or stern need to be independent (or even walk out of the room), she will soon learn it does not work. Giving attention (even negative attention) to her is what she is seeking. Especially when it comes to meal times. Patience is not her virtue as she cries until she gets her food. I go slower when she does this, and I wait until she ceases the cry. “Please….,” I recite to her.  (Then “thank you, Mommy”) Manners, manners, manners. Model, model, model. This is the only key to success.

So, I decided to sit down on Friday at work (my resting place ironically) and make a week plan of what can we do and how can it be fruitful for all involved, including Tatum! (haha). Time with Susan and Nancy on Sunday will kick off the week. Then, the house needs major attention in making it more Tater-friendly. Step 1:  the patio add-on. That will take up my Monday; as will pulling together/piling together all the obsolete toys, clothes, and mats and find an outlet for them. My thoughts? Sell and donate money to Foster Care at our church. OR find a donation source. Step 2: The Park with Melissa and girls. Mel, Ethan, Gabby, and Sophia are quickly becoming a fundamental part of Tatum’s and my journey through life.

That leaves Tuesday-Friday. Tuesday? IKEA! The mini-kitchen is calling my (Tater’s name). Building it will be the rest of Tuesday! That afternoon must include more opportunities to catch up with my friends who can enjoy hanging with Tatum also! 🙂 Spending time with my family is key for Wednesday and Thursday. Tatum will be at camp on Wednesday morning so I can spend some overdue time with my mom. Yes, I may live with her, but we do not often spend quality time. Movie? Just being together is enough.:-) When I pick up Tatum, we will hit the park and play on the train or carousel.

Thursday, Morgan, Nyla, and Kelly, Tater and I shall generate some fun just probably watching Tatum run around the Kramer house. Listening to Nyla tickle the ivories and having a coffee with Morgan will be on the agenda as well. I savor every minute with the girls and Kell. Creating that family environment for Tatum requires time. TIME! That is it. I just want to spend TIME with my loved ones, modeling for Tatum that this is what a fullfilling life is all about: INVESTING in family and friends.

I must find some time to see Bob, Janette, Denise, and Tacy. Again, I could spend my break working more on the house, working more on my lessons…etc, but as I grow older, my heart yearns for Tatum (and myself) to be surrounded with love, laughter, and Godly living.


Puzzles should be a word that I now use for “what shall we play with?” vs. something I need to figure out with Tatum’s growing curious behavior.



Getting cozy with her buddy

Coti needed something to read apparently, so she brought him Ten Duckies to enjoy. He was not quite sure what to do with this book besides chew it, so she climbed in to help him.

Coti was not enthused by this endeavor as this little Tot took over his space.

She proceeded to pet him and politely say, “Hi Baby.”
IMG_4413The buddies bonded beautifully 🙂


It’s been how many years?

Spending time with my longest best friend today was absolutely priceless. At one point, we were trying to count the years since we knew each other, and it was too long to acknowledge. However, the beautiful thing about seeing her was that she looks exactly the same, but even better. Her heart is so much bigger and she has the sweetest disposition. Perhaps having kids softens the heart and makes one more amiable.


This was the icing on the cake: Sharing our girls together. She has two of the most adorable girls who ADORE her! Introducing Tatum to Jocy made my heart sing because I am so in love with this Tot and sharing that with her made us even more closer. We “get” each other and “get” the IT! This is IT…It’s what we wait for…what we aim for…what we really want: to be the best mommy. And really, that is what we both share now. Jocy and I desire to be our own children’s best. That comes down to us understanding each other’s struggles, joys, and questions. I love it. I even go to Face Time with Elsa (her mom) and see her dad. He is as amazing and cute as ever! Elsa looks the same and oozes sweetness.

Tatum was absolutely on fire! We took her to the park after getting takeout Mexican food, and Tatum was just running around with such joy. Of course she had to stick her hand in the bag of chips only to try to force a wad into her mouth.

IMG_4395She possessed my water cup due to the power of the straw, and she decided it was OK to run AWAY from mommy.


“Give me that phone!”


Now try and get me 🙂



Oh, the joy of discovery (and chasing.)



Thank you sweet forever friend for making my day…making my Tatum’s day…and being a significant part of my journey through life. I cannot wait to visit you or see you soon! XOXO

Avoid the comments

One would think this adorable child would be perfect, wouldn’t one? She has the face of an angel and a smile that makes your heart flutter. IMG_4353


However, with this adorableness comes a bit of an attitude. The fact that you don’t have to teach a child to be selfish or egocentric is woefully apparent with Tatum. And I see it more than others. Why? Because around her mommy, she exhibits all her traits..the good, bad and not so pretty. Screaming BA BA, she demands her milk no matter what you are doing.

IMG_4348It does not fly with me as I wait until she stops crying. She also must wait! Haha (I try.)Then, BA BA time.IMG_4392I am sure I am not alone when I think how will I extinguish this and turn it into polite requests with a welcomed “PLEEEEEAAASE?” Of course it did not help when Fran, one of the ladies at Temple Chai said, “She’s going to be a spitfire; you are going to have such a challenge with her!” Yes, I imagine I will butt heads with the Tot throughout her adolescence, but hearing it gave me no confidence. 

Thankfully, I know (and was told) “She is so bright! You will have to keep up with her!” Her little absorbent mind takes it all in and creates wonder in me. I would rather her be ahead of me (in every way except manipulative behaviors) and me trying to “catch up” with her than her be a bump on a log waiting for life to happen.

Her curiosity, joy of learning, and excitability is intoxicating and I only want one thing: For her to be better than me and have it better than me in every way.

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 Go get ’em Tatum!

IMG_4369 Your life is your oyster…make the most of it and avoid the “comments.”




Observations 3/3/14

Tatum’s Growth in Interaction: “Yes, I am a sponge!”IMG_4357

Tatum demonstrates exacting behavior by methodically and carefully placing an item on the box (in her play area).

She sips “tea” from a toy cup and then offers me some, grasping the concept of a tea party.

She finds the purple bear when asked; she locates her drum and plays it; she deliberately shares her bear baby to kiss (for a moment); and she outfoxes Coti with a return of his ball by cagily going where he isn’t.

Yesterday she gingerly carried  a little plastic bag full of about 100 plastic lids to give to her Mommy whereupon the bag suddenly released the lids in every direction all over the kitchen floor.  She looked aghast, and covered her eyes with her hands to process her embarrassment at her catastrophe!!

Conversation and Kitchen time

Is it possible that Tatum is 15 months, 18.1 lbs, 28.5 inches and soaking up everything like a sponge? Dr. Sotelo told me she is in the 15%ile for her size, but proportionally, she is right on. Size or not, Tatum continues to amaze me daily with her learning.

She is a whiz in the kitchen as a cook and a clean freak! All I do is show her what to do with the whisk and she’s off stirring the pot. Delicately she places the pots on the stool and returns them when she is finished stirring. It is adorable how deliberate she is with each movement.IMG_4342 IMG_4343

Where’s your nose? She points to her nose. Tummy? Head? Where’s the apple? Ball? Banana? Grab the drum and bring it to me….She even grabbed the “boogie rag” when her nose was running. And I cannot forget how gleefully she says, “HI!” to not only Coti, but anyone she encounters.
Her attempts to try things also mystifies me! She will try to help you put on your shoes and then put them back where they belong. All I can do is stand in awe. Awe…She even stands in AWE! Tonight she grabbed a bag of plastic cups and they accidentally fell out, about 100 of them all over the floor. Her expression was priceless; she stood there with both hands over her head; she was absolutely distressed at this matter. What do we do???? Then she attempted to even pick them up. Sharing, picking up, being kind…Is this possible?

Well, not all of it was fun and games this weekend. She had many a meltdown and those crazy molars were to blame. I finally just gave her a bit of Tylenol and some TLC. Eventually, I got her to calm down, and she was laughing again. CLAP CLAP CLAP!