Letting go and letting swim!

Tot’s semi-private Blowfish class started last week, and my heart was pounding out of my chest. Apparently the Hubbard staff could hear it because Naomi, Charmaine, Kylie and Ed all came over to comfort me that she was doing swimmingly!
She really was because the other boy, James cried for 30 minutes straight. Tot did have a mind of her own at some points in the lesson, but it ended up being  true success.

She took her “gobbles” off after each turn, and then requested them to be put back on. Sage finally just accepted the fact that Tot has to have it this way, and smiled as she asked me again for the returned gobbles.
IMG_0077After, as promised, two froggy slide-downs. The hardest/longest/wettest part is always the showers after. It doesn’t get much more fun than waiting in line with a bunch of naked 2-5 year olds! Still, she really does thrive in the water, and she is filled with joy and confidence. So proud of my Tot!


The Penguins!

We enjoyed her first movie in a theater being Penguins of Madagascar. Robert, Nicholas and Tatum nestled on top of us Mommy’s laps and laughed at most of the appropriate times. Jennie, Elizabeth and I of course caught most of the more elevated humor. “Nicholas, cage the suspect!; Drew, Barry, more power!; Hugh, Jack, man the ship! ha ha…very clever.

Tatum lasted the whole time and did not need to get up. Nicholas and Robert did get up, but only to stand at the railing. They kept engaged however, and it ended up begin a blast. The hardest part was getting her out of the arcade area. The billboard for the new Peanut’s movie had me excited for November!
IMG_0083 IMG_0084Dreaming big is what I do often with this wonder of mine! :-))


Dentists are from another planet here

Times have definitely changed. The only memory I have of going to the dentist was a big white chair, drill sounds and a huge spotlight in my eye. It also smelled like fluoride..awful. Knowing this, I diligently prepared for this visit with Dora books and twice daily tooth brushing and practice saying “Ahhhhh.” Unknown

What was I thinking? When we arrived at Desert Ridge Pediatric Dentistry, I thought I entered another planet, literally. Sitting out front is a life-size astronaut
IMG_0053and his green alien friend. He is reading a newspaper catching up on the latest news about aliens overhead of the area. Is he supposed to be rescuing us? If so, what’s the deal with the green guy? He’s reading something too so perhaps it  an instruction manual on abduction or something. IMG_0057Well, either way, Tatum just wanted to chat with them.

Finally, we entered the “spaceship office.” It’s the closest I’ve come to being in a rocket or spaceship, so for me, it was a first as well. Instantly, Tatum was off pushing buttons, climbing under the rocket, IMG_0065IMG_0063climbing up to the rocket, and discovering her first iPad device on the ship. IMG_0060

For the parents, they have a  separate waiting room, and I think I want to move in. They had a huge screen TV, books, magazines and…..yes, a deluxe espresso machine with all the fixings. You can even make a cappuccino. Insert pod, pick your strength, add hot water for an americano or milk for a frothy cappuccino or latte. Dang…. Tot was busily pushing buttons on her iPad rocket, when we heard her name called. I had to cease the conversation with a nice young dad and slurp my coffee down, but nevertheless, we were there to see the dentist. (Tatum completely forgot as I tried to pull her away from this device. Note to self: Limit the iPad use unless absolutely necessary.)

Once we got in the office, Mikey was taken in by Tatum’s charm and sweetness. She sat on my lap, and petite adorable Dr. Libby Bienstock entered. A perfect ped dentist. Tot immediately warmed up to her, and Tot opened wide and so well! They were in shock. Both said they see kids all day and have never seen someone so compliant, and moreover, at 2 and 1/2! She had some yellow buildup on her teeth from iron in her vitamins. She also should not be eating gummy vitamins. A big no-no for cavity protection! Chewable only. Dr. B asked her if she could clean her teeth and Tot laid on top of me getting cleaned. It had to have been about 10 minutes. Again, they were floored. She was amazing and I was so proud of her. Dr. B complimented ME up and down, and man did that feel so good to hear. (At that moment, I just lifted up a prayer to God…thank you Jesus for allowing me to be with her). The work of bringing her to all of my appointments paid off. And, being with her all day I suppose. IMG_0067

After we were finished, I was told a rice sized tartar control toothpaste daily and floss. We’ll see how that goes tonight.

On our way out they gave us INCENTIVE to come back. You get this card and each time you come you get points toward prizes. Now come on..what planet is this? The dentist office, that’s right.

It was not easy leaving. They gave her a balloon, a large gift bag with a huge cup, toothbrush, stickers, a bouncy ball and toothpaste with floss.


We will be back, Planet dentist with a shiny report. Go TOT!

A birthday, a baby and an alligator

What? No nap today? It was worth every minute. Levi, dear little Levi, turned four today, and we had to be there no matter what time his party occurred. Of course it had to be right between 2-4, but again..worth it. Plus, she got cake.
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Robert and Tot sat next to each other with their no-dairy vegan lemon cake, and oh….was it a treat. Tatum ate every last bite. In fact, all the other kids left the table, and she finished without batting an eye that she was all alone. The rest of the kids went out to get their snow cones. Tatum? Finishing that cake! So was I going to give her more sugar? She did not realize that snow cones were flavored, so she literally enjoyed every teeny bit of this shaved ice creation in a penguin cup. IMG_0035 IMG_0036 IMG_0038

Of course it was 115 today, so she had to eat it pretty quickly.

When we got home, Bella got to go for a ride. Tatum tried to carry her, but I made her a little pouch out of a pair of her pants. IMG_0039 IMG_0040

Oh Bella, would you like some juice? Do you feel sick, Bella? Let me hold you Bella…

Here is something to drink, Bella. Bella is in my pouch, mommy!


Finally, I figured my pants would work better for this homemade pouch, and they did.
IMG_0048When she had her nice and snug, she gave me a hug and kiss and said, “See ya later alligator!” She decided to take Bella shopping! But first, we played catch, and the funny thing was her trying to run with Bella. I said, “See Tatum? It’s a bit harder with a baby in your pouch, isn’t it?!” Ahhhh…the memories!


Not planned are the best plans

It was all planned out. Our day usually is.

We were to go to the gym, get our haircuts, run home to get some lunch, then go to gymnastics. After nap, probably just play.

Did it go that way? Not at all, and that is what made it so special.

The gym went fine, and we got out of there rushed and ready for our haircuts. Well, hurry up and wait. When we arrived at the salon, Kristen was not there yet, and the owner gave me a cup of coffee and Tatum a big piece of paper to draw and write on. After about 15 minutes, we needed to find many activities to keep her busy. We exhausted the magazines, went through my bag of toys, and chatted with the staff. Finally 35 minutes later, Kristen showed only to have another appointment in 15 minutes. Luckily, Tatum got her haircut first, and I got a quick 15 minute cut which is usually one hour. However, Kristen gave me full ear and we dished about our lives. It was needed. Tot sat on my lap, and enjoyed every minute. At one point, I had tears and she stuck her little ring in my mouth as to soothe me. Ha!

So, as we sat there, we found out gymnastics was full, so that went out the window. Man, she was so upset, so I needed to make up for it. What was left to do was….up in the air! As we drove home, I made a quick U’turn and stopped at the duckies. It was time..yes, to feed those little critters. So what if it was 114 degrees out! We soaked it up.IMG_0015 IMG_0008 IMG_0007

When we got home, she and I enjoyed “something different” for lunch, which is the usual request. Turkey rollups with cilantro and tomatoes…and then upstairs. Finally, I sat on her rocking chair as she played, and next thing you know it, we read for 45 minutes!IMG_0023 IMG_0021 IMG_0024IMG_0030 IMG_0025

It was one of those days where the plans of no plans or plans changing turned out to be the best plans!

After nap, we plopped at the table, and we both drew pictures. She wanted me to draw her babies, so I took the challenge. We also wanted to go swimming since she got her new “gobbles” in the mail! But…115 degrees. IMG_0002 IMG_0003

We dished about the day, told penguin stories, jumped up and down, played ball, threw the ball, and played with Coti.

“I love you mommy! See you in the morning!” This is how my day ended. The best plan was this unplanned day.

Laughing out Loud

Every day!! It all started after breakfast. She put a little plastic cup on each hand. Now, did you know that cups can become gloves? She then ran upstairs to grab a ball so she could play catch with her “gloves.” Awkward as it was, she continued to try. Perhaps they work better as hats? Of course. Party hats. “Let’s celebrate, Coti,” she proclaimed as she put on cup/hat on him and one on her. Celebrate? Glove? Then she wanted to have a conversation. Conversation? She picked up her pretend phone and wanted to then order some ink. Ink? Huh? Words are flowing out her mouth I did not know she had. My child has blossomed into a creatively-thinking chatterbox. (and shopper too)

Before we left for music class, however, she needed to do some shopping in my closet. She actually told me this, and proceeded to enter. She also told me she was going to take her friends. Her feet came out flooded in my shoes. I wonder where she gets this love for shoes? Hmmm..IMG_6700

But we still couldn’t leave until she played a game. The “game” is put the pieces in order for Jack and the Beanstalk.IMG_6697 2


Then music class. Her friend Max was there! We have not seen our dear friend Max in ages. He is now a bit past two and a solid adorable little guy. His mom is amazing too, as she and her hubby just adopted another baby, Libby. It was beach day, and this meant lots of “sand” and fun times with the ball. IMG_6705

Of course the train after, but she took over the wheel, until I asked her to share. Who’s in charge?IMG_6708



Recently I was with a group of women, and we were asked to go around and tell something interesting about ourselves. Being last, I had time to think. Hmmm. Interesting about me?

Well, the most interesting thing about me is how I’m learning how to be Tatum’s mom. It used to be I’d walk in a room and people would notice say, “Hi Steph!” Now, I’m just a shadow, because this amazing little wonder derives all of the energy and focus onto her. (no complaint here!)

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Her fascination with hanging or jumping is a strive to become taller and bigger. Her “no fear” attitude continues to inspire me. Honestly, I want to continue to remind her how brave she is and how much she can conquer!! (with God’s loving Hands holding her of course)




I also want to help her “stay in the sandbox,” BUT also be able to experience new ventures with new friends and new experiences. Her boldness in being so outgoing, talkative and friendly can be so powerful, and just needs to be channeled in a positive direction.

So, interesting? Yes, I’m fascinating WITH this wonderful ball of energy and fun.