Monday, December 31, 2007

A New Year, A New Look

I will not be getting an entirely new blog, the address remains the same, but I decided it was time for a whole new look for my 2008 blog. Many things will be changing in the next year, so why not change my blog as well?! :) I hope everyone has a great start to 2008! Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

This was a first!

Tonight before Tate went to bed, he was contently playing with his toys in the living room and I looked at the time and realized that it was time for him to go to bed. I said, "Tate, it's time to go to bed, okay?" He spotted his taggie (his security item that he ALWAYS sleeps with), walked over and grabbed it and then walked up to me and reached his arms up for me. I picked him up and he layed his head on me and put a tag in his mouth while I walked him to his bedroom. I layed him down and he waved at me and said, "bye" and rolled over as I closed the door. I haven't heard a peep out of him! What a little sweetie! He's never done that!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Staying home...finally!

I think after being out and about so much over Christmas, I needed to just be home for a day. So that day is today. I took a shower this morning and put my pj's back on and I am loving not doing anything! I am actually not feeling too great today, hopefully not a relapse from my pneumonia or bronchitis! We ran a TON of errands yesterday and I felt satisfied with all of the things we got accomplished. Sean went back to work today after having 5 days off and neither of us were ready for him to go back. :( I miss him...Tate does too. My house is a mess, the tree is still up, I have dirty dishes in the sink and my bathroom desperately needs a cleaning, but non of that will get done today because I just plain don't feel like doing it. Tate is having a blast playing with all of his toys new and old! I think he is enjoying staying home today just as much, if not more than I am! I just wish Sean was here with us.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas with the Stewarts

My side of the family gathered for an early Christmas celebration on Friday. Cassie, Paul and the kids went to the Burback side of the family for Christmas this year in Storm Lake. To break up their trip, they came through Des Moines on Friday to celebrate with all of us here and stayed the night and then headed to Storm Lake on Saturday morning. We had a great time and ate sushi, Italian beef, pickle wraps, spinach artichoke dip and LOTS of sweets! The kids opened gifts and had a ball! After the kids went to bed, we adults did our gift exchange and hung out and chatted. We had a great night, but by the time we went home, we were exhausted!

I wish this picture wasn't blurry...I love it! :(

Tate got the Little People Nativity Scene and he LOVED it!

He also got a HUGE stuffed crocodile!

Ayla practically slept the entire time! We were glad to be a part of her 1st Christmas!

Sean jumped all over some cuddle time with Ayla. He says he just can't get over how little and sweet she is! Uh think he's ready for another?! ;)

Christmas in Colo

Christmas in Colo with the Peakin side of the family was great. It's always so fun to have Tyler, Leah and Tate all together...especially now that Tate can kind of be a part of the fun since he's a bit older now and mobile! Aside from the fact that I had not yet gone to the doctor and I had a case of pneumonia and bronchitis brewing and didn't feel great, things went perfectly! After the kids went to bed, the adults stayed up and played Trivial Pursuit. We got beat badly by Pat and Linda and then headed to bed. The next day, I woke up even more miserable than the day before and we decided that I should go to the doctor instead of to our Christmas gathering with Sean's Dad's side of the family in Ames. I was feeling horrible and also didn't think it was a good idea to expose more people to my illness. Because it was Sunday, I had to go to the Urgent Care in Ankeny on the way home and we were there FOREVER! I think it was about 2 1/2 hours after arriving there that we were finally leaving. I was happy to get some strong cough medicine and antibiotic and couldn't wait to get home to get some sleep! We were sad to have missed the Christmas gathering, but it was definitely the right choice for me to go to the doctor since it turned out that I had pneumonia and bronchitis! It's amazing how the medicine worked so quickly because I was feeling so much better in a matter of only 36 hours! Here are some pictures from our Christmas in Colo...

Tate loved the ornaments on Nana and Papa's Christmas Tree!

Tate was such a great helper distributing all of the gifts to everyone! :)

Tate with Aunt Sarah

Photo sessions with several young children can be unpredictable to say the least! We attempted to get a good photo of all three of Nana and Papa P's grandkids...things started out pretty well...

then things started to go downhill...

Tate was not into the photo session.

"Mommy, please stop taking pictures of me!"

It just went from bad to worse when Tyler joined in on the crying!

Tate with Nana and Papa P.

Christmas Eve at the Baldersons'

I didn't get many pictures from Christmas Eve, but I really love this one of Sean and Tate! I love my boys!Bode got an Elmo backpack with Sesame Street card games in it. While Bode was playing with the cards, we put the backpack on Tate's back...he looked like such a big boy wearing a backpack!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day 2007

We had a great Christmas Day. We headed over to Chris and Brenda's at 7:30 a.m to make sure we would be there when Tate woke up since he stayed over night there. Well, we got there PLENTY early because Tate ended up staying asleep until almost 9:30! When he woke up, the poor thing had blood all over his lips from his lips being so dry and cracked and his nose had green, crusted over snot all over it so he could barely breath! The little sweetie was still excited to dig into his stocking! After getting our stockings, we ate yummy egg casserole and Tate ate banana bread. We then headed home and spent the rest of the morning laying around, ate lunch and then all took naps! I slept for 2 was nice! After we were all awake, we got ready for the day and headed to Marshalltown to celebrate Christmas at Sean's Grandma's house with Sean's Mom's side of the family. We headed home from there around 8:30 p.m and Tate fell asleep in the car, so we put him down right when we got home. It has been and extremely busy and wonderful Christmas and aside from a little bit of pneumonia, bronchitis, snotty noses, bloody lips, a case of shingles (poor Cassie!), and some sore throats, sniffles and coughs, it has been a fantastic Christmas! :) Merry Christmas everyone!

Tate's HUGE stocking!

Tate sees his stocking for the first time...

he realizes that there are lots of things in there that he likes!

Here Tate is just basking in the glory of all of his gifts from Santa! :)

You can kind of see his bloody lips and snotty nose in this one...poor thing!

MMMMM...yummy banana bread!

Hanging out in Marshalltown playing with his new Hot Wheels!

Christmas Eve

I think I am on my way back to health. I probably shouldn't post this too quickly and jinx myself, but today I have been feeling much better than I did these last 2 days. I am still definitely not well, but at least I have gone without a fever today and my coughing isn't as bad as it has been these last 2 days. Hopefully I will just continue to get better and will be feeling like my normal self in a few days!

We had a wonderful Christmas gathering with my extended family today. We went over to Baldersons' house and gathered with many family members, chatted, ate lots of soup and other goodies, watched the kids play and just enjoyed some family time. Tate was pretty tired around 9:00 and so was Bode, so we decided to head over to Chris and Brenda's and put Tate down in a pack and play over there so that we could hang out a while longer and play some games. It was a good time and at about midnight, we decided to head home. For the first time EVER, we opted to NOT take Tate with us!!!! We just couldn't bear to get him up and take him home in the cold weather when we were going to go back over to Chris and Brenda's as soon as he woke up tomorrow so that we could have Christmas breakfast...we kind felt like that was pointless. Nonetheless, this is huge for us as we have never been away from him for a single night! I am not sure that it counts as 'officially' leaving him over night though because we were the ones that put him down, we will be back there by the time he wakes up in the morning and we are only about 5 miles away from him. We know that all he is going to do is sleep, so we're not too worried. I am counting it though...we waited almost 15 months to leave him with someone for the night! I must say though, it feels weird not having him in the house tonight...kind of empty. Call me crazy, but I really do kind of miss him even though I wouldn't be spending time with him if he were here anyway since he'd just be sleeping.

Tomorrow morning, Tate will get to dig into his Christmas stocking and see what Santa brought him! I am looking forward to seeing him do that since he was way too little to understand what anything was that Santa brought him last year!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Pneumonia and Bronchitis

Saw a doctor today, got blood work and x-rays and she told me I have them both. Ugh!

Friday, December 21, 2007

And so it begins...

Today we have Christmas with my immediate family over at Chris and Brenda's. Mom, Dad, Cassie, Paul, the kids, Chris, Brenda, Bode, Sean, Tate and I will all gather to celebrate.

Tomorrow we head up to Colo to celebrate Christmas with Sean's immediate family. Pat, Linda, Sara, Travis, Tyler, Sarah, Mike, Leah, Sean, Tate and I will all be staying the night at Sean's parents' house.

Sunday morning we will wake up and head over to Ames to celebrate Christmas with Sean's Dad's side of the family. Tons of people will be there. It will be nice to see several family members that we don't see very often.

Monday Mom and Dad will be back and we'll be heading over to Balderson's to celebrate Christmas with my Mom's side of the family. Many family members will be there and we'll gather until that night.

Tuesday we will go back to Balderson's for a Christmas meal during the day and then we'll be heading up to Marshalltown to celebrate Christmas with Sean's Mom's side of the family. Again, it will be nice to see several family members that we rarely see.

Wednesday I am sure we will lounge and relax at home all day and be happy to not leave the house!

It will be a busy next several days, but we are looking forward to seeing all of the family and celebrating Christmas with those we love. We love this time of year!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Officially a toddler...

Tate is walking. It's official! It's 2:00 and I have yet to see him crawl today. He is definitely "toddling"...he falls quite frequently, but just gets right up and keeps going. When he falls he says, "whoa whoa" with wide eyes. I can't believe how fast our boy is growing up!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas with The Knutsons

We had our annual Christmas with The Knutsons celebration and it was SO GREAT to spend some time with some great friends and just hang out and relax. Knutsons are practically family to us and we don't get to see them nearly enough!

When we arrived we celebrated Delaney's 5th birthday (it was December 10th) and she got to open her gift from us. Then, we ordered food from the Pizza Ranch (a fancy Christmas dinner!) and ate dinner when it arrived. It was YUMMY! We then did our gift exchange. Sean got The Simpson's Movie which he was thrilled about and so he and Jeremie decided to watch it. It isn't the most appropriate movie for kids, so we tried to distract the kids a bit. After that, we opened up "Jennie Peakin's Salon" and I cut Sara and Jeremie's hair and then gave Delaney and Olivia a little trim. We hung out and relaxed and took pictures the rest of the night. It was a lot of fun and we feel so blessed to have such amazing friends!

Tate laughing at Daddy because he had a bow on his head.

Tate tearing into his gift from the Knutsons. He got a Little Tikes Tool Bench!

After all of the activity, Olivia was SO TIRED!

Delaney relaxing with Daddy on the couch.

It's hard to believe how grown up Delaney is...seems like yesterday she was a toddler!

Olivia was such a ham tonight, she is so cute!

The kids all playing with Sean...he's a kid magnet!

Too many lists!

I didn't have time to get everything checked off of my list today, so several tasks got carried over onto my list for tomorrow. The problem with that is that I had tasks carried over from yesterday's list onto today's now, tomorrow's list is extremely long! We are leaving in the afternoon to head up to Nevada to celebrate Christmas with the Knutsons so I have a feeling that there will be some tasks from tomorrow's list carrying over to Thursday's list. UGH! At some point, I am going to have to complete my list! So, it's 12:30 a.m. and I am up trying to get some small items checked off of my list for tomorrow before I go to bed. I am tired, I don't feel good and I just want to go to sleep!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Lots to do!

We spent today getting some things done in order to prepare for the holidays. Tomorrow and Wednesday are going to be just as (if not more) busy as today and then Wednesday we will head to the Knutson's to celebrate Christmas with them in the evening. We are SO looking forward to a fun and relaxing evening with them. It's been so long!

After Tate went to bed tonight, Sean and I curled up in the living room and watched a movie. It was so nice to relax, just the two of us. I can't even remember the last time we watched a movie's been months!

I have come down with a cold (I can't get through the holidays without getting sick it seems!) and have felt pretty yucky these last 24 hours, but hopefully it's short lived! I am to busy to be cooped up with a cold! It's more annoying than anything.

Tate is walking more and more with every hour that passes. At home, he walks probably 75% of the time I would say. He still will crawl down our hallway...I don't know why he doesn't want to walk in the hall. He gets so excited when he walks a long distance, he looks at us with the biggest grin and sometimes squeels with excitement. He loves it when we tell him how good he is walking!

I am off to bed now and hopefully will wake up feeling good and ready to check several tasks off of my list in the next couple of days!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas List, Yo

This is a little Rap Video that was put together at our church for fun. The rapper in it is the Pastor of Student Ministries at Valley Church and the background singer is one of the singers that performs every week. I just thought it was pretty cute and thought you may get a kick out of it as well. :) Just for the record, we don't typically get entertained at our church with rap songs! Ha.

Sean aka "Fashion Genius"

This morning, I sat Tate's outfit out that I wanted him to wear today. I asked Sean to dress him while I was in the shower. When I got out of the shower, Tate was dressed and eating breakfast. I guess Sean figured that since there was a hood on the shirt, that Tate should be using it. It was pretty funny.

Tate eating breakfast...with his hood up.
Tate playing...still with his hood up.

Honestly, Sean really didn't do it to get me to laugh. I don't think he thought it was strange!

"Splish, Splash, Tate was takin' a bath..."

Tate was so funny in the bath last night. He was splashing like a crazy man and just being funny. Here are some pictures I took.


"ok, Mom, enough with the photo session!"

Saturday, December 15, 2007

So excited for Sean

You would think that since Sean just finished this semester of school a couple of days ago and will be off for the next few weeks that the last thing on his mind would be school. Wrong! He was checking his school email today and got an email containing his next semester schedule and information about what his clinicals would entail. Next semester he is taking Med Surgery and also Pediatrics/Obstetrics. He is so excited because they are both areas of interest to him. He will be on a cardiac floor at Lutheran for his Med Surgery class and at Blank Children's Hospital for his Pediatrics/Obstetrics class. It was fun watching him read about what he would be doing and seeing the excitement in his eyes. I know he will excel in these classes like he has in all of his other classes. He is so excited to be getting into all of the clinical stuff a bit more now and hopes to be getting a job in a hospital this summer. I am so happy for him and can't even express how proud I am of him and all of his hard work. It's so amazing to see him so excited even though he knows that it's going to be a SUPER busy and difficult haul until he's done with school. It makes it so much more bearable for him when he loves what he's doing, and he truly does! When he started school, it was hard for me to picture him doing anything in the medical field, but as the semesters have come and gone, slowly I have begun to see that his choosing this profession was a great decision for him and he will be an amazing nurse and someday a fabulous Anesthetist! I am so excited for him!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Big Changes to Come!

These last few months, Sean has been really busy with school and as he finishes up, he will continue to get busier and busier. He would love to go down to part time eventually, but since he's the only one bringing money in and paying for insurance, that isn't possible. Tate mostly sees me and is primarily cared for on a day to day basis by me and so (as I have mentioned before) he has developed some attachment issues to me. I know it would be good for him to be exposed to other children and adults on a regular basis so that he can learn to be okay without me or Sean. This, in addition to the fact that a little extra money would be nice has lead me to the decision to go back to work. I have been looking and applying for some jobs over these last couple of months and have had to be quite particular about what hours I would work because of Sean's crazy schedule. I needed Monday through Friday daytime hours and no weekends since Sean works weekends and evenings and we would have no one to watch Tate if I were working too! A job at Wells Fargo presented itself to me...I interviewed for it a couple of weeks ago and they hired me. I have avoided blogging about it for a while because I am sad. I know it will be a good thing, but I feel sick just thinking about leaving Tate 40 hours a week! I've never left him for more than 5 hours at a time! I do know that this will be very good for him though. We found an in home daycare provider that we are really excited about...she is great! We have already gone over there and Tate met her and seemed to like her. Sean's cousin takes her daughter there and has nothing but great things to say about her, so that makes me feel better as well. Tate won't be there full time, he'll only be there for 1/2 days on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays and then all day on Thursdays and Fridays. This summer he'll be there even less since Sean won't have class in the summer. I plan to work until Sean is done with nursing school after next year and then we'll see what happens after that. I start on January 7th!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tate walking

Tate is really catching on to this walking thing! Watch the video below to see him walking! As you can see, Tate can't walk as easily with all of his toys strewn all about, but he likes his toys everywhere!

View this montage created at One True Media
Tate Walks

Tate's Remote Control

Tate always wants to play with our remote control, but every time he does, he seems to mess something up on the TV. Sean decided to get Tate a 'real' remote control that he can play with so that he will stop playing with ours. Tate LOVES it and has it in his hands at almost all times, but he still loves our regular remote too, so I don't know that it necessarily alleviated the situation. Well, at least Tate got a new toy out of the deal! It's too funny, he knows exactly what he's supposed to do with it. He points it right at the TV and starts pushing buttons! Wonder where he learned that from?! :)

Fake Smile

Tate has just recently started doing this fake smile every time I tell him to "say cheese!" It's this really squinty eyed smile that is totally fake! His cousin Bode does this too and he looks up to Bode, so maybe he learned it from him! :)

I've Missed Sean

Last night, after Tate went to bed, Sean and I stayed up and played games until the wee hours. It was so nice to just do something relaxing and fun, just the two of us. We always used to play cribbage at night when Sean got home from work before Tate. We would play several nights a week. Between school, work and just being exhausted, I can't remember the last time Sean and I stayed up and played a game just the two of us. Yesterday was Sean's last day of school until next semester. For once, his free evening didn't consist of doing a project or studying! It was great...I have missed my husband!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Iced In...

We got an ice/snow storm last night and practically everything in Des Moines closed! Even Grand View College closed so Sean has to take his final tomorrow! It was kind of nice just being able to leisurely get things done today. First of all, Tate slept until 11:00 am!!!!! He was asleep by 9:00 pm last night, so I don't know why he slept so late, but we let him. He's never slept that late before! Instead of breakfast, we all ate lunch right after he got up and then we headed out to buy some ice melt and to get a few much needed groceries! When we got home, we lounged around and played with Tate. Then I decided I needed to take a nap. :) It was so nice! Tate went down for a nap around 3:30 and slept until 5:15 and then I made beef stew for dinner. Sean said, "I hope it tasted like your Mom's beef stew...I love hers!" Well, I had no recipe, so I just kind of threw it together and after Sean took his first bite, he said, "yup, just like your Mom's! It's so good!" So apparently it hit the spot and I was proud that he compared my cooking to my Mom's since she's pretty well known for her fabulous cooking! :) Anyway, it was yummy and very good for a cozy night inside. Now Tate is playing and Sean is studying for his finals tomorrow. After tomorrow, Sean is done with school for 3 weeks!!! WOOHOO!

Monday, December 10, 2007

In the spirit!

Click HERE to see our family dance.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Our Weekend

Tate and I headed to Grundy Center on Saturday to attend my cousin's wedding. It wasn't the most stellar driving conditions, but we made it and it didn't take us too long. We had a good time seeing several people we don't see very often and hanging out with Nana, Papa, Stewarts and Burbacks. We hung out and laughed a lot. Mom and Dad had just flown in from Hawaii that morning, so we heard all kinds of great stories from their trip. It was a short, but fun trip...and can you believe I didn't take even one picture?!

Tate was exhausted and slept the entire trip home and then another 1/2 hour on top of that! Kind of a bummer because I had high hopes that I would be able to get a little sleep during his nap today because I am quite tired myself! Kind of hard to sleep when you're driving though! :) Tate hasn't gotten out of his pj's today and he has just been playing and jabbering all afternoon. He's really starting to get this walking thing down. He walks all over the living room and took 12 steps in a row this afternoon! He also took 5 steps, paused and took 5 more once. He has also been going from sitting to standing up without the help of anything a lot today too. I think he'll be officially walking more than crawling in a very short time...the way he's started walking more and more each day in these last 3 days, I would imagine he'll be walking more than crawling here in a few days! He's becoming such a big boy!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Christmas is just around the corner!

Tate slept 20 minutes today. Then, when we went to run a couple of errands, he was so whiny and tired acting that I came home and put him down for a nap. He is just jabbering away in his room and it's been 25 minutes. I seriously don't know if he's going to go to sleep. I don't know what his deal is.

We have a wedding to go to tomorrow. Sean has to work so he is unable to come so it's just going to be Tate and I along with the rest of my family. I just realized that I am not feeling too confident that Tate is going to sit still quietly during the wedding. I don't know why I didn't even think of this until about an hour ago, but for some reason I didn't. I think I may have to sit towards the back so that I can slip out in case he gets too noisy. I wish Sean was going to be there so that he could help. Oh well.

Sean has his last week of class (for the semester) next week. He has finals and then he's done until January! I may be just as excited as he is! :) I can't wait to have him around more! He's been working so hard and I am so proud of him.

After next week all of the Christmas festivities will begin! We have plans to celebrate Christmas that week with the Knutsons and possibly another time with some family, but that's not for sure yet. Then we'll have our Christmas weekend with lots of family! I always get so excited about Christmas coming and then it's over in the blink of an eye! Kind of like everything in life it seems. The cold weather and the snow definitely make it feel more like the holidays, but once the holidays are gone, I would prefer the snow be gone too!

Thursday, December 06, 2007


So I found my snow boots! Because I couldn't find them, I was not going to leave the house today, but when I found them I changed my mind. I decided to head out and get some things checked off of my list. This may have not been the smartest thing I have ever done. I fell in our driveway...twice. I am glad that neither time was I holding Tate. At that point you'd think I would have said, "forget it" and headed back inside. Nope...I had made the decision to head out and I was not changing my mind. About halfway to Valley West Mall I realized that I really should have just stayed home. The roads were terrible! I drove about 15 or 20 mph the whole way there and got there safely. I didn't feel like the best mother in the world as I carted my child in the stroller into the mall as most people were leaving. I will say though that the mall was quite dead and I got my shopping done peacefully. :) The roads were actually better on the way home than they were on the way there. I was relieved. But I couldn't complete my day without falling one more time. Yup, I did it again. I was trying to be SO careful, but I must just be a klutz. Anyway, I hurt my leg, I'm sure I'll have a bruise to whine about...nothing serious. Tate is fine and thought the snow was very entertaining.

When we got home, we ate supper and played in the living room. Tate started being able to get into the standing position from sitting all by himself tonight without the help of holding onto anything. Then, he walked 4 steps, stopped and walked 4 more! It was actually a pretty big deal because he's never walked that much and with that much control. I wonder if he'll be walking by Christmas?! Who knows! :)

Can't decide what to do

I had big plans to run errands today. I got a good nights sleep last night and am completely in the mood to get out of the house and get some things checked off of my list. Of course, there is snow piling up everywhere and now I am debating whether or not I should leave the house. It's not icey out, so I am sure it would be safe, but I can't find my now boots anywhere, I hate pushing the stroller through the snow so that I leave wet, muddy track marks all over the stores I go into and I am not a big fan of cleaning off my windshield. I know that I will end up with jeans that are wet halfway up to my knees and I just can't decide if it's worth it. Tate is still napping and it's been almost 2 1/2 hours so I know he'll be waking up soon, so I need to decide. If I could only find my snow boots, I would feel better. Hmmmm...

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Messy boy!

I swear, Tate is the messiest eater ever! He was hammin' it up during lunch today.

Pictures of the curtains...

Here are a few pictures of our new curtains. As you can see, they do a good job of blocking all of the sunlight we get all day. Sean says he likes them because he doesn't feel as 'exposed'. I think he likes them because they block out the light so he can nap (see last picture). I don't know if you can really tell, but they are kind of a light green color and brown. So there you go, that's the excitement in our household these days! :)