Help…My OCD is showing

In my daughter. Ok, so I am modeling my obsession with vacuuming and cleaning the floors. What else can I expect than for her to pick this habit up? I did not intend this!
Apparently, next to the xylophone that I had when I was a child, there stood my “Little Bissell” which she discovered on her own. Upon banging away at the xylophone, she grabbed the Bissell. It’s important to point out that she did not get introduced to this contraption, she discovered it on her own; Tatum is not one to take to being introduced to something, for she likes to be the “discoverer.”



She became so successful, that she went into her bedroom and continued! Love this child!
She’s hired!IMG_4944 IMG_4943 IMG_4942

Remembering the Patriot

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died while serving in the US forces.  Memorial Day’s genesis was from the Civil War and a desire to honor the ones who died for our country. The opportunity to make the best of our lives (and others’) is what sets us apart from any other place on earth. For that, I honor this day.

Tatum donned her Stars and Stripes and shared it with her baby. Forever we remember and Thank you.

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She be skillin’….skillin!

Tatum had the distinct pleasure of TWO solid days of skillin. How? My sweet mother watched her while I was at school since Temple Chai was closed for two days.

Threading Beads.IMG_2069 IMG_2075

Blocks and Letters… (She mimics the sounds as you put the block into the bag or on top of each other)

Carrying a Purse ( a must for a girl with many toys)IMG_4896

Fisher Price Little People driving into the garage (Coti ate all the old little people, so Ebay here we come!)

And of course putting lids on and off containers!




Now, today, she learned some rumbly tumbly at The Little Gym. This was completely out of her element since the “BEAST” class is 19 month-36 month. However, she did pretty well as she basically ran around watching and trying to copy other kids.

IMG_4883 IMG_4882 IMG_4877 IMG_4876The funniest part was watching her try to chase the bubbles

IMG_4893We will continue this through the summer so she can perhaps attempt the balance beam and the parallel bars.

In the meantime, I continue to reinforce manners with everyone AND Coti (no hitting or teasing!): Please, Thank you, Hello!, Hi! Bye, Happy!…. Words of Encouragement and Positivity.

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Through it all….. The LOVE celebration

It’s hard to believe that one year ago today, I sat in a courtroom with a judge telling me I was officially Tatum’s mother, Mrs. Tatum Tot. Each day, I wonder why me? Why did God choose me to be her mommy? Questioning and celebrating coexist in my brain, and this actually produces wonderment. Awesome wonder of HOW God works. It is truly apparent that I had ZERO to do with this miraculous union just as Mary had ZERO to do with the immaculate conception. She did not deserve it; she merely lived her life, obediently and just plain normally. Me? My life was no different (and I am definitely no Mary!) But, for some reason, this child of mine needed someone to figuratively carry her into this world and give her an opportunity to LIVE HER BEST LIFE.

IMG_2075I humbly receive that honor to be her guide ( and hopefully her light, her sage and her biggest cheerleader). All I can do is continue to point point point (and I say that three times to emphasize this since it is not me who can provide this) to the GOD of this universe while also being the GOD of her life; her ABBA; her Daddy; her personal Jesus.

May each year bring the blessings that she continues to provide me. I say this, not because it is and easy road, for blessings do not come from paved ways; they come climbing grassy hills with rocks and crags. We fall; we bruise; and occasionally break a limb, but through it all, we are ultimately blessed.


Aging, Staging, Paging

Aging. My face shows it, but my attitude does not. In fact, as I get older (numbers-wise), I feel less omniscient. Not that I felt all-knowing before, but I realize how little I really know; especially when it comes to parenting. Tatum aging humbles me in every way since I am walking along side her as her parent. I need to remain one step AHEAD of this brilliant, quick mind or she becomes the “alpha” and I become the responder. Proactivity, wisdom, and a positive reinforcing nature is what is needed with Tot.



The BIG DAY was introduced by my dear friend Melissa and her girls, Sophia and Gabbie. They threw me a birthday party with a lovely blue cake to match Tot’s eyes. IMG_4862
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As the week progressed, it continues to become apparent how much Tatum loves to be “on stage.” She loves to be a ham and the center of attention. This can be amazingly adorable OR in the need of a time out.

IMG_4845She’ll show her silly side with the shades; she’ll play with Mr. Big Baby and point to his eyesIMG_4852 IMG_4854 IMG_4855

But not getting her way? Then she’ll stage a full on breakdown; it’s the END of the world!! Whatever is in her hand goes flying, so she loses it for that moment. Now, I’ve added the Time Out for 2 minutes. After that, we talk like two rational people; I treat her as someone who understands what I’m saying and I listen. It’s tough for the moment, but then, she will hopefully learn and extinguish this stagey cagey behavior.

What do I adore now? Her “paging!” through a book. She’ll pick one up and just plop down going through it on her own. IMG_4840 IMG_4847

She loves to point to the various animals and make the noises.. .




Aging…Staging…Paging. (And no more raging!!!) as we journey through this season.



Mother’s Day Take Two!

Evidence of a fun day!


After breakfast and Tatum’s curiosity bug biting, she ran around my bedroom and bathroom as I got ready. She of course had to grab my comb and pretty herself too. We are going to have to learn to share our mirror and comb usage. Having a girl has its challenges, eh?

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Strike a pose!

Next stop: Church! But first, a pic with mom. Sadly, I did not get a picture with MY mom 🙁 She got bitten by the bug I had last weekend which I got from Tatum. The tummy holds no prisoners…well actually it does but they wanted out both ends.

Ok, so I am still carrying her in the pouch. I have a few reasons for this:

1. I like to be close to my Tot. (vs. the stroller)

2. She’s getting heavy (well, relative to the feather she used to be) Plus, I need some support for my aging (sigh) back!

3. I cannot have her running around loosely (especially since she still is a bit wobbly!)

Tatum loves singing at church in my pouch. She loves to hold up her hands and clap with everyone. I embrace her tightly as we praise God and thank Him for all he does for us. (Thank you for my TOT, Jesus) Then, like usual, we head into the room to listen to the sermon. (She did sit through a great video about moms and smiled the whole time. It’s like she understood it!) In our little sanctuary room, she likes to listen and run around, playing with various cups, kleenexes, boxes, pillows. Note: no toys!? (although she has a bunch of them!)

Then….she heard it. She stopped and started to bounce as the music began again. 

IMG_4830 IMG_4827Clap…bounce…clap. What rhythm!


The rest of the day, we just hung out at home and relaxed. OK…that is not true. Relaxing fell out of my vocabulary for a few years. However, being her mom, relaxing or not, is a whirlwind. When she says, “UP!”, my heart flutters. When she kisses me, I do a happy dance. When she says, “Mama!”, I know I feel like I have her heart too.

IMG_4809This little face..this sweet little face shows wonder, excitement, confusion and individuality. Yes, she is starting to exhibit her large opinion in many non-verbal ways, (shaking head saying NO, pushing things away, laying on the floor turning to the side, and taking swings!) but she is also starting to exhibit her wondrous curiosity with bringing me things I suggest (like a cucumber!) or just wanting me to have something like a book to read.

Sadly, my mom was ill this day, and we will definitely celebrate another day. (What would I do without my mom? She has laid a tremendous foundation for me to be a great mom) Gladly, I got to enjoy a full SECOND Mother’s Day with my dearest Tot.


What is it about balls?

My friend Jocelyn and I used to sneak into her brother David’s room and listen to an AC/DC song which pronounced, “I’ve got big balls…” This now has become the theme of my life with now Coti and  Tatum. She has now graduated to her own big blue ball (from a mini rubber one), and it is driving Coti batty.

At Fry’s today, I decided to buy her a ball since I thought it would be fun to play with it in the park. We walked by an enormous bin of multi-colored BIG soft plastic balls, and Tatum yelped, “BALL! BALL! BALL!” My master plan was to purchase one, so she chose the blue one. Sadly, she had to learn the concept of ‘to wait til we get home to play with the large blue ball.’

Success! UNTIL…………..
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Coti saw this ball.


He could not grip this one, and so this challenge became his obsession. This BIG BLUE BALL became the bone of contention (no pun intended), so the lesson in whose ball is whose was the lesson upstairs. Eventually, Tatum gave up and grabbed her old mini rubber ball brought it to me, and proceeded to bring me more baseballs from mom’s collection. Not good. I’ve created ball monsters.

What is it about BALLS???