Saturday, March 31, 2007


Brigg just started Tae Kwon Do about a month ago I think and tonight he broke his first board. I just had to give everyone the link to Cassie's blog so that you could all watch the video of it! It is so cute! He is so adorable and takes everything he does very seriously. I feel like he was just born yesterday and now he's breaking boards!

Check it out...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tip Tuesday

Here's my tip for the is kind of late, but it's been a busy day!

For Wood Floors: Vegetable Oil and Vinegar. Mix a 1
to 1 ratio of oil and vinegar into a solution and apply a
thin coat. Rub in well.

I just realized that due to the fact that I spent all of last Tuesday in the ER or cuddling my sick baby, I forgot Tip Tuesday!!! So, here's another tip to make up for last week...

An effective remedy for bad breath is avocado, which is far superior to any mouth lotion or remedies for this condition. It effectively removes intestinal putrefaction or decomposition which is one of the most important causes of bad breath.


I got to have Bode for several hours today. He is too funny! He's like a new baby since he got his tubes and was calling me "Nennie" all day. I loved it! We played with balls and toys and then he took a 3 hour nap! He played very well with Tate also. He is so funny and I am so happy to see that he is feeling better! I think I am ready for another child! Ha!

Our Little Hawkeye

Tate got a new Hawkeye baseball cap and he LOVES it! He was wearing one of his many Hawkeye outfits today and so I decided to have a photo session with him wearing his Hawkeye cap. He was too funny! It is supposed to be a hat to fit a toddler, but because he has such a large noggin, it fits him great! Seriously, I tried another one of his hats on him that is a 2T/3T and it's just a hair to big. Seriously, his head is huge!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Making Special Memories

After leaving Muscatine today, we headed to Cedar Rapids to meet and have lunch with Brandon (Tate's birthfather) and just spend some time with him. Words cannot express how happy it makes me to be able to have this relationship with Tate's birthfather. He is such an amazing person and Tate is so blessed to have another man in his life to love him like only a father can love his son. Sean is so wonderful about everything as well...he doesn't feel at all threatened by the situation as I know many men would. I love these pictures of Brandon and Tate...I know that someday, Tate will be so happy to look at these pictures and know that Brandon loves him so much and made a responsible decision to better Tate's future. The few times we have spent with Brandon have been amazing and have created some of the most special memories that we will cherish forever. When Brandon looks at Tate, he is SO proud and filled with so much happiness! We are so happy that we can give him this happiness because he has given us such happiness by allowing us to be Tate's mother and father. Never in a million years did we think we would end up in a situation like we are in, but never in a million years would we change it! We feel like what we have with Brandon is SO special! Even though it's been almost 6 months since Tate was placed in our arms and Brandon watched as we drove off with him not knowing when he would see him again, the same feelings come rushing back every time I hug Brandon goodbye. When I hugged him today as we were leaving, he hugged me so tight like he didn't want to let go. It still breaks my heart to drive away from him because I can't even fathom what he must feel. I feel so honored that he can now allow us to drive away and have a smile on his face because he knows that he can see Tate and know how Tate is doing by just picking up the phone whenever he wants. We wouldn't have it any other way! He is family to us and we love him and are honored to have him in our lives. From the moment we met him, we knew he was going to be part of our family. God put him in our lives and he has become someone that now, we couldn't imagine not having in our lives! We thank God for Brandon and Maggie every day and continue to pray that Tate will someday again be reunited with Maggie as well. We have faith that he will. We are ending the day today with so much joy and thankfulness!

My Boys...

I am so in love the these two boys!

Trip to Muscatine

We had a great last few days. We definitely needed some fun after Tate's pneumonia scare. So, we headed to Muscatine on Thursday and stayed at my mom and dad's house and just relaxed and spent time with the family. Tate was a hoot the whole time...he is so full of smiles! He has quite a little cough and some congestion, but was for the most part a happy camper! From relaxing, to watching basketball to sewing to eating to church and everything in between, a great time was had by all!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

More tests...

We head back to see the doctor in the morning again. Tate is doing great, but he needs to get more blood work done so that we can make sure his white blood cell count is going down. He hasn't had Tylenol all day and he's been free of a fever, so he has been almost normal acting. He went to bed great tonight and took great naps all day. Hopefully he'll stay sleeping all night tonight. He's been a tired boy! Anyway, pray that he does well for his blood work...he hates getting his finger pricked, but even worse, he hates the part where they squeeze the blood out of his finger. I wish the poking and prodding would be over for him, but after this appointment, he's supposed to get it done again next week! Poor baby. :( Also, pray that his white blood cell count is down.

On another note...Tate ate Peas tonight for the first time! :) He tried green beans a couple of nights ago and he gagged and puked them up, but he seemed to like the peas just fine. He wasn't so sure at first, but after a couple of bites, he seemed to like them. He's becoming such a big boy!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


This is what Tate looks like this morning...back to his smiley self. For the first time in 36 hours, he has no fever!!!! Praise the Lord! He is chatty and laughing and smiling. It's amazing he is as happy as he is because he still had quite a rough night last night. He wouldn't sleep anywhere but in our arms until 5 this morning. So once he finally went down in his crib, he slept until 8:15. Then when he woke up, I found that he had deposited a sever case of diarrhea in his diaper. Yuck! The pharmacist said this may happen from his antibiotic. It didn't seem to bother him, but it was a mess! It's been an hour that he's been awake and I think he's due to lay back down for a nap. He's probably exhausted an worn out from his day yesterday. I think I am probably more exhausted than him. I am going on about 6 hours of sleep in the last 2 days. I need a nap! Just thought I would update all of you on Tate's improving condition.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A Scare

Late last night, Tate woke up crying and my motherly instinct told me something was wrong. I was right. I went into his room immediately and as soon as I touched him, I knew he had a high fever. We took his temperature and it was 104 degrees. I gave him Tylenol and rocked him. He didn't sleep more than a 1/2 hour at a time and he was crying the majority of the night. I could not get his fever down under about 102.5. I stayed up with him all night in my arms and first thing in the morning, I called his doctor. I took him in and his doctor did all kinds of checking and found nothing besides the fact that he had a temperature of 104 still. So, he decided to do some blood work. The blood work showed that his white blood count was 30,000, way too high. This worried our doctor, so he sent us to the emergency room at Blank Children's hospital where they could test Tate further. Needless to say, I was A MESS! I was SO scared! I was afraid of what they were going to say was wrong with him. Sean met me at the emergency room where they were expecting us. We immediately got in and they catheterized (sp?) him for a urine sample and took more blood and did a chest x-ray. His blood came back with the same results as at the doctor's office, his urine was fine and then we just waited for his chest x-ray. They told us that if his chest x-ray came back fine that a spinal tap could be the next step. I was so scared. I never thought that I would ever pray that Tate's chest x-rays would come back showing that he had pneumonia, but that's what I was praying while waiting in the emergency room. I knew that that would be a better scenario than meningitis or something like that. We were so relieved that the chest x-ray came back showing that Tate has pneumonia. They decided not to admit him and sent us home with an antibiotic. It was a scary day and makes me thank God for his many blessings! I am so happy to be able to have such a beautiful, healthy boy! Even though, he was poked and prodded at, held down, catheterized, stuck with needles, and dressed and undressed, he still managed to squeeze in a few smiles. He is amazing! I love him so much and this situation has really put things into perspective for me. The thought of something being seriously wrong with him made me more scared than I have ever been in my life. I am exhausted from no sleep, I am worn out from stress, but I will gladly hold this perfect little child in my arms all night long if I have to and not blink an eye. I will cherish every moment with Tate no matter how tired and worn out I am because he can be taken away from me in the blink of an eye. We are so glad tonight that he is healthy and that nothing too serious is wrong with him!

The picture above was taken after I knew that nothing was seriously wrong with him. I happened to have my camera in my purse and wanted to document Tate's first (and hopefully last!) emergency room visit. I know it seems crazy that I would be thinking of taking a picture in a moment like that, so I just wanted to clarify that when I took this picture, I knew he was fine and nothing life threatening was wrong.

And for those of you who have been around him lately, I asked the doctor, and she said that he's not don't worry! :)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Decooks Visit

Lora, James and Ava came to visit for St. Patrick's Day and we had such a great time! We are so blessed to have such great friends! The kids got along beautifully and I loved having snuggle time with Ava, and so did Tate! He couldn't keep his hands off of her! We stayed up way too late playing games and chatting, but being exhausted today was worth it!

Thanks guys, for coming to visit. It is so much fun spending time with you guys and seeing Ava...she is such a doll!!! We can't wait to do it again soon! Love you guys!

Love Birds

Tate was infatuated with Ava! He loved looking at her and reaching for her. It was so cute!

The kids...

Here are a couple of cute pics of Ava and Tate.

My Irish Boys!

Here are a few pictures from St. Patrick's Day!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Hope everyone has a great day. We are getting together with some friends and their daughter, Ava who is only 2 months younger than Tate. After this weekend, I plan on having several cute pictures of Ava and Tate to post! :)

Sean started his spring break this weekend, so he is getting a much needed break from class and studying. He's planning on taking a couple of days off next week so we can have some "family time". I am SO looking forward to that!

That's all from us for now. Don't forget to wear green!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Seriously...he is adorable!!!

I just think these are two really cute pictures of Tate. The thing is...this is what he always looks like! We are so blessed to have such a happy boy!


Erwin is Chris and Brenda's frog. We got the bright idea of putting him on Tate's cue ball of a head for some pictures. Shortly into the photo session, Sean decided to get our camera out and snapped this picture just in time to catch Erwin air born as he jumped off Tate's head. It was hilarious and this picture is GREAT!

Tate with "Uncle Fun"

We went over to Chris and Brenda's last weekend and all hung out with the kids. Cassie was even there with Brigg and Lani. Here are some photos of Tate with Chris aka "Uncle Fun". Tate loves Chris. He smiles and coos at him all the time! It's so cute!

For Cassie, Pam and Jody

Recipe for Homemade Chewing Gum...

1/3 cup Gum Base
3/4 cup Powdered Sugar
3 tablespoons Corn Syrup
1 teaspoon Glycerine
1/2 teaspoon Citric Acid
5 drops Flavoring


Into a microwave safe or heat resistant dish, place the Gum Base, Citric Acid, Corn Syrup with Glycerine and flavoring mixture.

Microwave Method: Place all of the gum base into a microwave safe dish. Heat the gum base on high for 1 minute. Remove the gum base from the oven and stir it. If it has not melted, place it back in the oven and heat for 30 more seconds. Stir it again and repeat heating until the gum base is gooey.

Stove top Method: Place the gum base in a heat resistant dish that will fit in a sauce pan of boiling water. Cover the pan and bring the water to a boil. Turn the heat down so the water is at a simmer. Heat the gum base until it becomes gooey. This can take up to 10 minutes. Be sure not to let the water boil dry.

Measure out 1 heaping tablespoon of powdered sugar and set it aside for later. Pour out about one half of the remaining powdered sugar onto your work surface. Make a well in the middle of the pile.

Pour the melted gum base mixture into the well. The gum base may still be hot but it will cool quickly.

Dip your fingers in the powdered sugar and begin kneading the gum base and sugar together. Work it as if your are kneading bread dough. Add more of the powdered sugar when ever the dough gets sticky. Continue adding sugar until you have a smooth, stiff dough. You must knead the gum dough until all the sugar is worked in. This will take at least 15 minutes. The more kneading the better. Kneading too little will cause the gum to break up when chewed.

Now it's time to roll out your bubble gum and cut it into pieces. You can make a rope about 1/2 inch in diameter and then cut individual pieces about 1/2 inch long. Using a scissors make this very easy. If you like your gum in sticks, roll out the gum with a rolling pin and then cut out the strips with your scissors.

Dust all of the gum pieces with the tablespoon of powdered sugar we set aside. Store your bubble gum in a ziplock bag. You can wrap individual pieces in wax paper too!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tip Tuesday Again!

Here is a tip for cleaning your microwave...

Mix 2T baking soda or lemon juice and 1 cup water in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave this mixture for 5 minutes or until the liquid boils and condensation builds up inside the microwave. Wipe down.


I woke up this morning with a nasty stomach flu bug. I spent a lot of time laying on the bathroom floor! Yuck! It is SO hard to care for a baby when you have a fever and can't stop running to the bathroom to be's nearly impossible. Good thing my husband is SO wonderful! He was home by 10:15 this morning and took over the parenting duties so I could sleep. I woke up at 3:30 and feel like a new woman! It's the shortest bout of the flu I think I have ever had! I think God healed me quickly because he knows that I still have to be a mother this evening! :) Hopefully the bug doesn't return!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Big Boy

We watched Bode last night so that Chris and Brenda could go out for her birthday. Tate had fun playing and just watching Bode play. Bode shared well and showed a little bit of interest in Tate, but not too much. He is still kind of a Tater Hater. :) Anyway, we introduced Tate to Bode's spiderman chair and Tate really liked it. I think he looks like such a big boy in this picture!

Our sicky baby...

I think that Tate just looks pathetic in these pictures. Actually, these pictures don't even show how really pathetic he looked this day. He is on the mend now I think. His rash is beginning to go away and he seems a little better. Although, he has been super tired these last 2 days. We're letting him sleep all he wants because we know he needs it to get better. Last night though, he did wake up in the night for the first time in several nights. I must admit, I kind of enjoyed the cuddle time even though it was 3 a.m.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Tip Tuesday...

Okay, so several fellow bloggers are doing this "Tip Tuesday" thing. We'll see how well I keep up with it, but I am really going to try. Every Tuesday a fellow blogger posts a tip and then all of her friends comment on her blog with a tip of their own. I decided to just post my blog address and people can check out my tips here on my blog. I didn't want to deny all of you out there of my wonderful tips! I believe these tips are supposed to be money saving or time saving, so if you have any tips of your own, just post them on the comment section of my blog! Join in the fun! :)

Well, it's not quite Tuesday, but I thouht while I had a moment, I would post my tip for this Tuesday. This tip is money saving:

Re-use dryer sheets for dusting.

That's it...that's my tip. Honestly, I haven't tried this yet, but I plan to. I go through so many dryer sheets with all of the laundry we go through that this (if it works well) could actually be handy. I don't really think it would save me that much money, but I probably go through a few cans of Pledge per year, so it would save a little! :)

Since I am on the subject of dryer sheets, here's another tip I have heard about, but have yet to try:

use an old wash cloth or cut up an old rag into wash cloth sized pieces and slightly dampen them with fabric softener and throw in your dryer instead of dryer sheets.

Those are my tips!

My thoughts today...

I took Tate to the doctor because he's had this same cold forever and now has developed a rash. Of course, as usual, it's just a virus and there is nothing we can do. It's worth paying the copay though to know that everything is okay. Tate got weighed and now weighs 18 lbs.! He's such a chunker!

After the doctor, I had to go to Bethany Christian Services to drop off some post placement paperwork that I have to do every month until the adoption is finalized. When I got there, I started talking to my social worker and 2 hours plus a few Kleenexes later, I had gotten a lot off of my chest and felt much better. Like I said in my previous post, it's been a tough few days for me. I am such an emotional wreck! I was blessed with a phone call from Maggie and Brandon's social worker (who we LOVE) today. She was just letting me know that she had just received a package I had sent to Maggie and Brandon and wanted to see how I was doing. God knew that I needed that phone call. She let me know that she recently spoke with Maggie and that she seems to be doing very well. She said that Maggie wanted us to know that she has really enjoys all of the pictures and letters we've sent. I SO needed to hear that. Thank you God, for sending that message to me!

Still, my heart aches...I think it always will. I would, without a blink of the eye, go through this pain a thousand times over again just to have my precious son in my life. I am so happy that I have experienced the blessing of adoption. I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to go through this process. I had no clue the dramatic change that would occur in my life because of it.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


I am not sure why I have been especially emotional this week, but for some reason, I have been. I think it's possibly because Maggie's (Tate's birthmother) birthday is coming up and I have been deciding on something to send her and have just had her on my mind lately. It made me realize that through these past 5 months, Tate has grown and changed and become so animated and has made us so happy that I have I have days that I forget the pain that Maggie and Brandon have gone through and continue to go through. It breaks my heart to even admit that I have forgotten their pain. When I look at Tate, I am SO grateful for him and feel so blessed! For some reason, lately, all of the emotions that I felt when we first got him have come streaming back...the emotions of sadness for Brandon and Maggie. We are so grateful to have Brandon continue to be a part of Tate and our lives, but I so badly wish that we could have that same thing with Maggie...that Tate could have that same thing with Maggie. Is he going to wonder why he doesn't know her? Are we going to know the right things to say to explain why? I never want for him to wonder anything. I want to have the answers for him, but I don't know if we will.

Tate is 5 months tomorrow and I feel like it was just yesterday that I was sitting at home praying for a baby. I never dreamed that the process of getting Tate would be such a rollercoaster of emotions. I had NO IDEA what I was getting into. I knew nothing of the intense love I would feel for Tate or the extreme joy I would have just looking at him. I was anxious to feel those feelings, I knew I would, but I had no idea how wonderful it would be and how it would feel to truly love my child in a way only a mother can know. What I didn't anticipate was the deep pain and heartache I would feel. I had not a clue that I would feel this much pain for my baby's birthparents, that I would feel it nearly every day. This pain is like nothing I've felt...I can't describe what it's like to feel it while at the same time feeling so much love and joy. It's so hard. Will it ever go away? Is it selfish for me to want it to go away? If it does, is that wrong? I hope this emotional state I have been in these past few days passes, yet I almost feel like I owe it to Maggie and Brandon to feel this pain. I am hurting for them tonight and will go to bed praying many prayers of healing for them.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


I stole this from Cassie's blog...I love it. I need to work on my greedy ways:

I’m convinced that God did not mess up and make too many people and not enough stuff. Poverty was created not by God but by you and me, because we have not learned to love our neighbors as ourselves. Gandhi put it well when he said “There is enough for everyone’s need, but there is not enough for everyone’s greed.” (Shane Claiborne)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Tate's sick...

...or teething, or has an ear infection or something. All I know is that he hasn't been napping well all day and he lets us know he's awake with blood curdling screams, he's not eating the greatest and last night (at 2 a.m) he was inconsolably crying for almost an hour until the Tylenol I gave him kicked in and he went back to sleep. I put him to bed tonight and he woke up with those same blood curdling screams an hour later. Again, I gave him Tylenol and he fell asleep in my arms (which he NEVER does anymore) and he's now back in bed. Hopefully he'll sleep for a while. I don't really know what the problem is because he hasn't had a fever. I feel bad for him and the cry he's been doing absolutely breaks my heart...he sounds like he's in pain. Because of the lack of fever, I guess I am kind of leaning more towards the fact that he's teething, but who knows. If he's worse tomorrow or has a fever, we're going to the doctor.