Thursday, January 31, 2008


I don't know that I have ever seen an owl in real life. This evening when I was pulling into the garage after work, my headlights pointed right at this owl that was sitting on the handle of the lawn mower! I don't know if it's a baby or just a small type of owl, but I was pretty excited. It never moved an inch. It sat there and stared at me as I got out of the van, got Tate out and went inside. I immediately grabbed my camera and went back out hoping it would still be there. It still hadn't moved! Now that I look at the picture, it looks kind of creepy to me!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Just one of those days...

Today was just one of those days that no matter what happened, I just couldn't feel 'right'. I felt like I wasn't performing well at work, I missed Tate and Sean TERRIBLY today and wanted to run away and cry. I just wanted to be home with my boys. I was so happy to get off of work and talk to Sean. Tate's daycare provider has been telling us how wonderful Tate is and how he never cries and is always happy and does a fabulous job all day long. He eats, plays and sleeps great while he's there! It was the usual positive report from her today as well! This brightened my spirits a bit. :)

Also, Sean was so excited to tell me all about the open heart surgery he got to watch in the operating room in his Med Surgery class today. He said it was so amazing. The anesthetist performing anesthesia during the surgery was a student at Iowa (where Sean hopes to go to anesthesia school) and Sean and he talked quite extensively about the program and what Sean should expect if he gets into Iowa. This got Sean really excited and hopeful that he will get into the program there. He has quite some time before that happens, but time flies! It always makes me happy when Sean is excited about what he is doing and loves it despite the fact that he is SO busy! I am so proud of him and all of his hard work...he is definitely passionate about what he is doing! He will make an amazing anesthetist some day!

So I guess I could say that the great report from Tate's daycare and the excitement coming from Sean made my day end on a good note. It was nice to be able to sit down as a family and eat dinner together too. That always makes me happy because these days, it doesn't happen as often as I wish it would!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

SO much to think about!

Sean and I have been talking about how we plan to continue to grow our family. We have been looking at all of the options and doing a lot of research and a lot of praying. Through this, I found this video which brought me to tears! I HAD to share it with all of you.

A Christmas Celebration

We celebrated Christmas with Brandon (Tate's birth father), Marsha and Gary (Tate's birth grandparents) last night. It was SO SPECIAL and memorable! Tate is so blessed to have these amazing people in his life! We had dinner, chatted, played with Tate, opened presents and ate some more. Dinner was fabulous and we were all spoiled with wonderful gifts! We are so grateful for these unbelievable people and their loving hearts. They are our family.

It is always so awesome to see Tate and Brandon interact. Brandon is so amazing to him and we love seeing the special bond between them grow stronger each time we are able to get together! They love each other so much and Tate has so much fun playing with him! It's also so special that Marsha and Gary are such an important part of Tate's life as well! What a blessing it is that Tate has the love of a father from 2 men and the love of 6 grandparents!!!

It is so indescribable how we, from the moment we met Brandon and his family, were comfortable. It was just "right". We have never felt anything but comfortable around them and are able to enjoy our times with them without any awkwardness at all! It's truly amazing!

Tate and Brandon played together for hours! Tate had a ball!!!!

Brandon helping Tate open one of his MANY wonderful gifts!

SO sweet!!!

Tate and Grandma Shingledecker

Tate and Grandpa Shingledecker


I know I repeat myself often when referring to the times we get to spend with Tate's birth family. I know I say how special these times are and how they will make amazing memories. I say time and time again how I can't put into words the gratitude that we have for Tate's amazing birth parents and their families. The thing is, I don't know what else to say. It's just so amazing how God allowed us to be a part of the wonderful blessing of adoption! Words diminish our feelings. They are not and will never be enough. It's a helpless feeling to have. I feel like I don't know what else to do in order to express to Brandon and his family how grateful we are for them. I will never forget the feeling I had when we drove off with Tate after meeting him. I will never forget how helpless I felt just being able to say, "thank you" to Brandon and not knowing how else to show him how I felt. Thank you? Thank you is not sufficient! It will never be enough! I still have this feeling every time we are with him and his family. I want to do more, to be able to say more. I will never be able to say more. And to not be able to show Tate's birth mother how we feel is an even more helpless situation. All I can do is write words to her to express our gratitude and words aren't enough. We completely respect her privacy and want for her to do whatever she needs to do in order to move on feeling good about the decision she made. I do not at all blame her for deciding to deal with this situation in a more private way, but I just hope that she is able to feel our gratitude through the words that we write to her. I am so afraid that she will never know how amazing we think she is, how much we love her and how much gratitude we have for her. Even with the relationship we have with Brandon and his family, I fear that even they won't ever know how much we truly love them and how blessed we feel to be able to call them family!


I can't believe it's been 2 years since Tyler and Leah were born! It seems just like yesterday! They are so much fun right now and had a great time at their party. They got tons of great gifts! It was so much fun to celebrate with the whole family all together! Happy Birthday Tyler and Leah, we love you both!!!!

The Guests of Honor!!!

Happy Birthday, Leah!

Happy Birthday, Tyler!

Leah and Tyler were genuinely excited about their birthday was so sweet!

Tyler got a bike!

Leah got a bike too!

Tyler enjoyed a beverage while riding on his motorcycle.

Leah was a bit frightened of the dinosaur that Tyler got.

Party Time!

Tate had a great time at Tyler and Leah's party. He chowed down some pizza AND cake and loved every bite! He was so excited to see his aunts, uncles, cousins, Nana and Papa and everyone else. He was strolling all over Happy Joe's just checking everything out. By the time we left the parking lot, he was snoring in his car seat! He partied hard! :)
Tate and Aunt Sara.

Anxiously awaiting another piece of pizza...

"MMMMM this food is GOOD!"

Potty Trained!

Ha, just kidding! I was getting ready in the bathroom and looked down to see Tate quietly sitting in Tyler's potty chair. It was pretty funny!

Tate had a great time playing with all of Tyler's toys on Saturday morning. I am not sure if Tyler found it very amusing, but they did play pretty well together!

Sara and Travis, thanks for letting us stay on Friday night!

Tate "trying" to go.

Tyler, Tate and Winnie playing.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Gearing up for a fun weekend!

We are looking forward to some "together time" this weekend! Friday after Sean gets off of work, we are heading to Cedar Rapids to spend the night with Barks (Sean's sister and her family) and in the morning we will be celebrating Tyler and Leah's 2nd birthdays! They were born a day apart and are having a joint party. Following the party at Happy Joe's, we are going to head to Muscatine and put Tate down for a nap. Once he wakes up, we're going to have an hour or so with my family before we head out to celebrate Christmas with Brandon and Grandma and Grandpa S. (Tate's birth family/our family through adoption :)) for the evening. It has been a while since we have seen them and we are SO looking forward to a special evening with them! We were going to stay the night in Muscatine, but have decided to head back to Des Moines after our Christmas celebration. We figured we'll be leaving at Tate's bedtime anyway and he sleeps just fine in the car, so we may as well drive back instead of having to wake him up really early the next morning so that we can leave in time for Sean to be at work on Sunday morning. It is going to be a jam packed, fun filled, special day and we are really looking forward to it! I am sure I will have plenty of pictures to post upon our return home.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Productive Day

Today has been productive. I got some dishes done, some laundry done, the living room picked up and the bathroom cleaned. Tate is feeling MUCH better and his rash is almost completely gone. I, on the other hand, am completely congested and have gone through almost an entire Kleenex box today! It was probably from all of the comforting kisses I have been giving Tate since he's been sick, so I will say it's worth it! :-)

As far as Tate goes, just thought I would document some of the new things he has been doing...

Last night, he slept with a pillow for the first time, he slept on it all night and during his nap today too.

Not only is Tate a professional walker these days, he has started trying to run as well. He hasn't completely figured out the concept, but on occasion, he manages to pick up the speed a bit. :-)

As I mentioned before, he loves playing with the "mernerna" (Tate's language for remote).

It seems that he has about 100 teeth, but I am sure it's not quite that many...I have lost count!

Tate would eat only cheese and pickles if we let him...they are his favorites these days!

Tate is still a HUGE Mickey Mouse Clubhouse fan and these days is equally as fond of Handy Manny (my personal favorite!) and Sesame Street.

For the first time last night Tate colored/scribbled with Crayons. He didn't think it was that fun and seemed to enjoy just playing with the crayons more than he enjoyed scribbling with them.

Tate can identify and make the sounds for an elephant, cow, sheep and lion. His favorite is the elephant.

Also, I really think that Tate is enjoying daycare. He doesn't cry when we drop him off anymore. This makes it easier on me as well!

So that is what has been going on with the Tater Tot! He is so much fun right now and it's so fun to watch him learn! I just wish I could be with him all day everyday! He is so much better with his attachment issues though since he started at daycare, so that is a good thing! Also, he has a friend Carson that he really likes there as well. Carson is only 2 weeks older than Tate and so they tend to stick beside one another most of the time.

Tomorrow starts a new work week...ugh! Hopefully it will go by quickly because we have a fun filled weekend planned for next weekend! Keep warm everyone!!!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Funny Boy

When I got Tate up from his nap today, he had thrown all of his stuffed animals and his pillow out of his crib...also, he took his pants off and threw them out as well. He thought he was pretty funny!


Tate has a rash all over his torso. It's pretty nasty...lots of little red bumps that are just barely raised. He is not acting like it itches him or bothers him at all for that matter. He hasn't been feverish for over 24 hours now and his cough is almost gone. I don't know what it is. I am not terribly worried because he is acting fine, just kind of curious as to what it is. If it's still there after his nap, maybe I'll take a picture of it and post it so all of you mothers of little ones out there can tell me if your child has ever had this.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Catching Up.

I know it has been a while since I have posted pictures of Tate, so I got out my camera tonight while he was hammin' it up and got some cute shots of him. Today he spent the day with Chris and Bode and seemed to do well. When I walked in to pick him up, he was snuggled in with Chris on the couch just laying on his chest. It was so sweet! When we got home, we played, Tate read books and then he got a bath. It was a great evening and Sean and I didn't want to put him to bed! I have been missing him so much while I have been at work and I know Sean always does too! I am so happy it's the weekend, but wish that Sean had the weekends off with us! :( I think that Tate is finally starting to get better. He didn't get any Tylenol today at all and never got a fever. He seemed fairly content today and seemed to be more like his normal self! I hope the bug has passed!

Tate is quite the reader! I will walk in his room after him being in there for a little while along and he will be sitting down with a book almost every time! It is the sweetest thing!

The kid loves being naked!

Here he is longingly gazing at his sudsy bath water just before I put him in it.

I love how his hair looks after his baths! You can't really tell in this picture, but he actually has some curls!

This picture cracks me up!

Here is a video from tonight while he was playing in his recliner...he LOVES playing in his recliner. He would sit in there forever if I let him! He likes to "read" in it. :-)
View this montage created at One True Media
Tate in his recliner

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Tate's daycare provider called me today just before I was off of work to see if she could give Tate medicine because he had a fever. Then she informed me that due to his fever, he cannot return to daycare until next week. He's only been in daycare for 2 weeks and this will be the 3rd day he has missed due to being sick! UGH! Anyway, my WONDERFULLY AMAZING AND GENEROUS brother has agreed to watch Tate for us tomorrow for the majority of the day! I know it's not super fun caring for a sick child and I am so grateful to have a brother that loves Tate so much that he is willing to do that (in addition to caring for his own son!)! I am hoping and praying that this little bug passes soon!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

5 years

5 years ago today, Sean and I went out on our first date. I had no idea what was ahead for us, but I knew that great things were to come! So much has happened in the last 5 years and there have been many ups and downs. I can't imagine going through all of the ups and downs with anyone other than Sean! I love you, Sean!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Tate's way of saying "remote". It is so funny!

Monday, January 14, 2008

What Mixed Drink Are You?

Cassie had this on her blog, so I clicked on the link to take the quiz too. It's actually pretty accurate since I don't drink but maybe once a year and when I do, I can barely finish a single drink. I am not so sure about the getting carried away when I am drunk part since I don't get drunk, but I guess if I did my lack of a tolerance could get me 'carried away'. I just thought this was funny. :)

You Are a Mai Tai

You aren't a big drinker, but you'll drink if the atmosphere is festive.
And when you're drunk, watch out! You're easily carried away.

Thank you, Nana P.!

Tate still wasn't feeling great today so Nana P. came down this morning to watch him while I went to work and Sean had class. It was so nice of her to drive all the way down here to help us out and Tate loved having one on one time with his Nana too! Since I am still in training, it really wouldn't be ideal for me to miss a day of work even though I would have loved to stay home and cuddle with my baby all day! Thanks so much, Linda! We really appreciate it!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Another work week begins...already!

The weekends are too short! I can't believe that I have to go back to work tomorrow already. My poor baby is still sick and I know it's going to be hard for me to leave him tomorrow when all I am going to want to do is cuddle with him all day and comfort him so he feels better. Hopefully he'll wake up feeling better tomorrow. I have thoroughly enjoyed all my snuggle time with him this weekend and all of his slobbery, snotty kisses he's given me...okay, maybe not the snotty part, but I'll deal with it just to kiss my baby! Watch, I'll probably get sick now! UGH!

Last week went by pretty quickly, so I am hoping this week will be the same. I do enjoy the people that I am training with and am not absolutely miserable while at work, I just miss my boys is all! Sean is getting into the swing of things at school and feels that he is REALLY going to enjoy this semester. He will be more busy than ever this semester though. We will make it through, it will fly by hopefully!

My house is a mess, I have piles of laundry that need done and I am exhausted today from a late night last night with some friends. Tate is napping and I should be cleaning, but all I want to do is lay around and maybe even get a nap in as well. I managed to start a load of laundry, but that is all. I am going to go take a quick nap now and hopefully I will feel refreshed and ready to clean up my house a bit when I wake up! :)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Sleepy head!

Tate slept from 8:45 last night until almost 10:30 this morning! Then he took a 2 1/2 hour nap this afternoon!

Friday, January 11, 2008

We made it!

We made it through my first week of work...barely it seemed! Tate did great at daycare and on Thursday he stayed all day and took his 1st nap there. Kris (his daycare provider) said he did great! She said that it took him about 10 minutes to get to sleep and once he was asleep she put the other kids down...IN THE SAME ROOM with him! That is amazing to me because he tends to be a light sleeper! He will wake up from me clanging dishes in the kitchen or even just walking down the hall at home. He ended up sleeping for 2 hours too. I was so relieved to hear this because I was worried about him being there all day. He didn't cry when we dropped him off on Wednesday or Thursday either! Today (Friday), we were awakened to the sounds of Tate choking in his room. It was so scary, it was like he couldn't breath! He was choking on all the guck in his lungs, but we both woke up and ran into his room to get him upright and make sure he was ok. It took him a while to stop his coughing attack and once he did, he was pretty whiny and wouldn't go back to sleep. He finally went back to sleep around 6:00 a.m and Sean decided to stay home from work with him since he was feverish as well. Tate didn't wake up again until 10:30! Sean ended up taking him to the doctor to find out that he just has a usual! We got Tate doped up tonight with Ibuprofin, Vicks on his feet and chest, Orajel on his gums (he has been a drooling machine from teething!), Desitin on his super sore rear end, blankets under his crib mattress to prop him up a bit and a humidifier running in his room. We are hoping he will get a good night sleep!

On my went well. The week flew by and I feel like my brain is jam packed full of information regarding credit, FICO scores, account numbers, Home equity Lines of credit, checking accounts and whatever else I have learned about Wells Fargo Financial Bank! It's really overwhelming, but actually really interesting as well. I don't think I am going to mind my job once I get out of training and into the swing of things, but for now I am still adjusting and REALLY missing my boys! Sean works on my days off so that is going to make things hard. It's just something that we're going to have to muddle through for a while. I am remaining positive. It helps that Tate is adjusting so well at daycare. He is really quite the kissing machine when I get home from work and I REALLY like that! :)

I can't wait to cuddle my baby all weekend and get lots of time in with him. I wish he was feeling better, but I plan to medicate him with lots of hugs, kisses and love! Hopefully that will work so that we can get next week off to a good start. We're going to take this one week at a time...I am so grateful that we made it through this one!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A fun evening at home...

Tonight when I got home from work, chili was prepared in the crock pot. MMMMMM!!!! We ate together as a family and then gave Tate a bath. He LOVES his baths! He played and played while Seana and I sat in the bathroom and talked and talked until the water got cold! Despite Tate's chattering teeth, he didn't want to get out. After bathing him in moisturizer, we went into the living room and played with toys and Tate gave TONS of kisses (about every 2 minutes, he layed a big one on us!) and then it was bedtime. Bedtime comes way too soon since I started work! :( I read Tate books and layed him down. Now, I have the smell of his lotion on my skin just taunting me...I just want to go get him out of his crib and put him in bed with me! It was a nice evening together at home. I miss BOTH of my babies!

Loving his bath time!

"You talkin' to me?!"

Say cheese!!!!

Our little carpenter! Look how hard he is concentrating on his work! :)

Missing my baby :(

I have been doing ok at work. I actually really think I am going to like it! This is great, but I still am missing Tate terribly! It is going to be a difficult adjustment that is going to take quite some time to get used to. I will do it though, but will anxiously await the minute I get to walk through the door and see my sweet boy in the evenings!

Giving Mommy a kiss right when I got home...
I miss him soooo much!

Amazingly Precious!

I can barely stand it!!!! I want to hug and kiss him every second!!!!!!

The other night

Tate was playing with his Lego bucket and using it as a hat...he thought that was pretty funny! He gets pretty into playing with his toys sometimes, it's amazing the little things that can excite him! In the last picture, he was having such a great time playing with a ribbon that is (still!) tied onto his push truck from his birthday!

It went well

My first day of work went well. I missed Tate terribly, but I did fine. Tate had a good day as well. He had his 15 month appointment and got shots though. :( He weighed 26 lbs. on the nose and was in the 60% for weight and height and the 90% for head...shocker! I am off to work!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Pitter Patter

...was the sound coming from my heart when I woke up this morning and saw the two loves of my life cuddled up on the couch watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!

Where did my baby go? He looks so grown up to me!

Remembering to Listen

So tomorrow is the big day...the day that I enter back into the working world. If I am being completely honest, I have to say that I am not looking forward to this change. Really, I can't seem to be ok with it. I will have to be, I know this. Tate will have fun at daycare and he really won't be there all that much since Sean will be picking him up after he gets out of his morning classes on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Tate will only be there for a whole day on Thursdays and Fridays. I will miss him so much! I will also miss Sean so much! It seems like we don't see each other much as it is, and now I will be gone much of the time that I used to see him. This is only temporary...I need to remember that. I am just praying that I enjoy my job...I know that will make the adjustment seem a lot easier. I will survive and so will Tate and Sean...even though it seems impossible for them to survive without me! Ha. :) I will be missing Tate's 15 month appointment tomorrow. Sean is taking him to that at 4:00...this I am not too disappointed about since Tate will be getting shots and I am happy I will get to miss that!

I am trying to remain positive about the whole change that is to come...I know that there is a reason this change is occurring in our life and that God has great plans for our family, plans that we may have never expected, so I am 'Remembering to Listen' to Him this evening as he is shouting at me while I feel this pain of having to leave my baby tomorrow.

Saturday, January 05, 2008


Tate is obsessed with them! He loves to take them off of containers and put them back on, but also, he's happy just playing with the lid. I don't know what it is about them. When I take the lid off of his yogurt or one of his ravioli containers and he sees it sitting on the counter, he will completely freak out crying with huge tears rolling down his cheeks and won't eat until I give it to him. So I have to sneak the lids off of containers and hide them so he can't see them while I am feeding him. He also has a crying fit if he sees me throw a lid away! I mean, he thinks I am crazy for throwing away something so precious to him!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

It went well at daycare...

...for Tate, that is. I was sad. I actually did ok. I didn't that out of my system last night with a serious melt down! Tate had fun and never even shed a single tear! There is another little boy there that is 2 weeks older than Tate that Kris (the daycare provider) said Tate played well with him the whole time. When I got there, Tate was on the floor playing with a toy and seemed very content. He was excited to see me though and ran up to me with his arms up for me to pick him up. As soon as I picked him up, he wanted down and ran off to play again. He is such a good boy! :)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Tomorrow is Tate's 1st day at daycare. I am sad, nervous, nauseas, worried and scared. He's never been cared for by anyone he didn't know. He is kind of sensitive (or maybe I am just the sensitive one) and gets nervous around strangers. He is shy and quite attached to Sean and I, so I just plain don't want him to go. I don't...I am not ready. I will never be ready. He will be fine, it will be good for him...I know these things. I don't care. I want him with me. I am very comfortable with the daycare provider, I know someone who takes their child there, I called ALL of the mothers of the children that go there and asked them a never ending list of questions. I have not heard a bad thing about her. She's just what I would want in a caregiver for my child. None of that matters. She will be the one who gets to spend all day with my precious baby. She will be the one that will wipe his tears and comfort him when he's hurt or sad. She will be the one that makes him giggle and gets to play with him all day...not me. I want to do those things with him. It makes me sad to think that he will be nervous or wonder where I am or not feel comfortable. I know that he will probably have so much fun there and enjoy playing with all of the other kids and doing all kinds of fun and different activities, but for some reason, it doesn't make me feel any better. I am selfish.

He will only be there for about 2 1/2 hours tomorrow and Friday. Next week, he will be there for 5 1/2 hours on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and then all day on Thursday and Friday.

I am so afraid that I won't be able to do it, that I won't be able to walk out of her door and leave him there. I am going to be a mess!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

We officially did it...

We left Tate for the night...officially for the first time on New Year's Eve. We left him in Colo with Nana and Papa P. and he had a great time! We left him around 7:30 pm and they put him to bed around 9:00 and then Nana got up with him in the morning too. We did end up going back to Colo to sleep for the night, but didn't get there until almost 3:00 a.m., so I am counting it! I don't even think he missed us! When we were loading up to leave this morning to go to Knutson's, we told him to say, "bye bye" to Nana and Papa. Nana was holding him and he looked at us and waved and said, "bye!". He thought we were leaving him again and was totally fine with it! Then, later in the day, Nana stopped by Knutson's to drop off Tate's bib that we had left and Sean went to the door holding Tate and he almost jumped out of Sean's arms reaching and trying to get to Nana! Thank you so much Nana and Papa, for watching Tate for us and letting Sean and I sleep in this morning too! We appreciate you both so much!

Happy 2008!

We brought in 2008 with some great friends, the Knutsons. It was a fun night, just us adults. We played Phase 10 and Catch Phrase and danced our booties off! Sean has forbidden me to blog the video of him and Jeremie dancing (not together), but I am tempted to post it anyway, because it is HILARIOUS! I am an obedient wife though, so more than likely none of you will ever see it. This is unfortunate, you are definitely missing out! :) We had so much fun and it makes us wish we could spend more time together. Because of this, there was a Florida trip plotted (for MUCH later) and is going to include our friends the DeCooks as well (I know this is the first you are hearing of this Lora and James, but just know that you do not have a choice in the will be forced to go...SURPRISE!). :-) THANK YOU to the Knutsons for hosting such a great gathering!

I swear, we can make Sean and Jeremie do ANYTHING! Ha.

Our men have some hip moves!

Sara, Jeremie and the yiyun...don't ask.

Tate was SO worn out after all of the fun he had at Nana and Papa's on New Years Eve and at Knutson's on New Years Day that he fell asleep for the night in the car on the way home at 7:00!