The Siblings

Tossing the green squeaky alligator, Tatum feels victorious with Coti catching it and running to get it. IMG_5573

Coti only seems to drop it for Tatum. With everyone else, it’s keep away. Lucky girl!IMG_5577

Bow vs. Train

What makes a girl smile?


which I find on the floor, in a hamper, on a shelf (removed from her head)






IMG_5532Thomas the Train

But the color PINK meets TRAIN…and she is purely pleased. Rosie the Train is the free-spirited, fun train.



I Love You Forever


The new satin jammies were a perfect complement to her most favorite book. Tatum cannot get enough of this book:


She goes through each page commenting and singing.

images-1The thread of:
imagesweaves through the book as the “baby” grows older into a man and then full circle loves and holds his mommy when she is older. Then transfers the tradition back to his own child.

The child’s mind works in interesting ways as she is attached to some books and pictures while others she does not touch. Same with her babies. She has been around multiple little bears, but the look on these babies…

IMG_5344makes her joyful beyond compare.



Give them some credit!

I don’t think we, as a society, do. They see and hear EVERYTHING, yet we act like they are too young to understand or to let it affect them. Ironically, parents allow their children to have technology privileges too young, they allow them to watch inappropriate TV (or at least allow it to be on in the background), they play inappropriate music and have inappropriate conversations in front of them. So, in these cases, parents treat their children like full grown WISE adults able to decipher between what is healthy and not so healthy for the heart and mind. But then, they turn around and hover over them, making their decisions and clean up their messes (figuratively and literally).

The most recent example of this was yesterday at our library class. This class is designed for 24-36 month olds and is mainly to help them with their literacy. They sing with movements, read, and introduce  a letter. More importantly, they learn to sit quietly while the instructor speaks, paying attention with focus. They also learn to be kind and share their square if need be. There were two moms in the back of the class carrying on in conversation as their LO’s climbed all over them not paying attention. (Their moms would say they are too young to understand the class anyway!) Well, no wonder! The moms were allowing it. Now, their LO’s were much younger (maybe 15-18mos), but believe me, they are watching. The also are getting into routines and it has to start as soon as possible (when they are infants). There is not a magic number of when to start teaching children these skills. You just have to LIVE THEM YOURSELF. These moms are going to wonder why their children won’t sit still or pay attention when they become 2, 3, 4… They will just blame the age and say, “They are just going through that ‘phase’ ya know..”

When will parents take responsibility by being the best role models FIRST? Then, expect the BEST from their kids? Tatum is too young for this class, many would say. I take her to it anyway, and I expect her to ‘pay attention, be kind, and share’. I tell her this BEFORE we go into the class so she knows! Also, she can see others are doing it, especially me (her mommy and role model)

Since I have been introducing her to many skills at such a young age, I find that I’m not struggling with her behavior. Why? Because I set the bar high, believe in her, encourage her and applaud her little successes. I also ‘pay attention, am kind, and I share’. It’s not rocket science. I do treat her older than she is, BUT, I don’t expect her to make wise decisions. That is why she has me…so that is why I still shield her from many things that again, ironically, these same parents allow way too young (for their not so wise toddler).

It was only just today, when I was, again, blown away by her being able to remember something that I had no idea she was getting. I put her lunch down and forgot to bless it. She looked at me and said, “Amen.” Maybe she does have more wisdom than I realize.


Two two

…as Tatum says, “Two-two!” (not choo-choo!). She is 22 months TODAY! I cannot believe how fast it has gone.

The theme of the day? Choo choo!! She is obsessed with trains, so I figured we would ride the choo-choo. Before the ride, she mentioned the “tunno” (tunnel) was coming. Since the tunnel does not occur until the end, everyone around us knew that we had the tunnel constantly coming.


Then, we headed TJ Maxx happens to be a tremendous place to find books and toys. I found this Thomas book there for only $7.99, and it had a bonus drawing board on it.

The rest of the day was just enjoying her company. My effort in weaning her off constant attention is failing, but I’m working on it. After her naps, I bring in a book, sit down and read while she nestles up next to me to do the same. I may not get much read, but I’m trying to show her that I’m not always focused on her. The single child syndrome may rear its ugly head of entitlement and need for constant focus if I don’t temper it with showing her she’s not the center of the world. It’s going to take effort on my part because she is at the moment (haha 🙂

Grandma, mommy and Tatum decided to celebrate at Paradise Bakery in Tatum’s new choo-choo shirt (thanks to Grandma).

IMG_5513 IMG_5516 IMG_5518

Then the moment arrived. That first bite…CHOO-CHOO..COLATE CHIP COOKIE!!! It was her first experience eating one and her first taste of chocolate. Her desire for hummus and broccoli are probably out the window since she knows this exists. It was like Edward experiencing Turkish Delight in the Queen’s land. He had never tasted such a treasure! IMG_5522 IMG_5524 IMG_5525 IMG_5526Upon her finishing her cookie (and it was just a chipper!), she did not ask for more. I am doing my best to have her savor the cookies and candy for special occasions.

However, she did “CHOO”se to wear her train shirt to bed 🙂


Do I laugh or….just… what…!?

Today, I decided to pre-empt the nap time with a little pep talk. Yesterday, not wanting to go down for her nap, she rebelled by tossing the books over the side of the bed. So, today, I figured I would ask her about putting books in her bed.

“Tatum, in a couple of minutes, we are going to rest in our beds, and I wonder if you will take care of the books we choose? Would you like to take a couple of books to bed this time and look at them?” I was convinced that she was ready to try again (I figure she needs practice and I want to show her that I can trust her and give her grace).

A few minutes before “that time,” I ran downstairs. When I returned, I was not sure if I should laugh (it was hilarious and adorable) or scold her?? Just not sure.

IMG_5452 IMG_5451 IMG_5450 IMG_5449 IMG_5448She took each book one by one and put them into her bed. Each time she said, “back” like she was putting them back. The last one off the shelf was “Puppy” (The Poky Little Puppy). Now of course I had to get my camera.

As I put the books BACK on the shelf (!), she took my phone and was very adept at taking Tatum pictures.

IMG_5460 IMG_5461 IMG_5481 IMG_5490This girl will try anything to not sleep. L..E..N..G..T..H..E..N.. the time with creative little ploys!

Finally, she picked three books, and so far, they are still in her bed (and guess what?) she’s sleeping soundly. Hooray!



Going up the downside

Tatum and me…we make the best of situations. That’s what we do together.

Saturday, we were to start a new Twosy Doodler class with the City of Scottsdale. Upon panicking due to arriving 5 minutes late (road closures on a Saturday…seriously!?), we walked in to the class only to find blank stares of impatient moms wondering where was the instructor? Apparently they did not bring activities to keep their LO occupied while waiting. (well, they used their electronic devices, sadly). Tatum and I observed the room and pointed out colors, shapes, and happy faces. We kept occupied sans technology. She (The instructor) did not show…ever. So, what now? Since we were at the community center at the park, why not take advantage of the amenities.

Watching the other tiny ones swing, Tatum was open to trying this swinging thing. Monkeys do it, so why not Tot?


After about a few “wee’s” she said, “no more wee.” She meant it! No more wee. Not a favorite ride of little Tot.

So, mommy, stupidly decided to carry Tatum up the big kid ladder and try the big kid slide TOGETHER.


Crazy mommy and Tatum went “wee” this way! IMG_5426

She liked that and wanted “mo!” No mo for crazy mommy because dang..she’s heavy and…well, dropping Tot would be a very bad thing. So, we found a way for her to climb up without the ladder. Steps. Brilliant! There she goes……!


Good ol’ Tatum wants to go against the grain and come up the downside. I love that she loves a challenge!



After the park, and making the best of our no-show instructor, we head to my dear friend Denise’s house for some girlie time in the pool. Tatum decided to make some calls.

IMG_5435 IMG_5434Tatum’s phone calls up everyone! Doggies, mamas….She chats with all of her friends on this phone. Hello, hello!?

What a great day. She had the best attitude, and she just made me smile…even if she did not want to take a nap.

As I pondered the day, rocking Tatum before her bedtime, I just prayed that she would savor the life she has been given. I also prayed she goes up the downside with a “can do!” positive attitude; that she overcomes her adversities with gusto and develops character and grace. In Jesus name 🙂