Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mommy Tater Time

On Thursdays Sean works until 9:oopm, so Tate and I have the whole evening to our selves. I must admit...the majority of the time I am exhausted and would much prefer cuddle time to play time. Thursdays are rough...I am ready for the work week to be over and I know I have one more day of work left...I am just plain drained. Tonight (probably because I slept 12 hours last night) I was not. I was (as usual) so excited to see Tate when I picked him up from daycare. I just didn't feel like my exhausted Thursday self. I love Thursdays like that! Tate and I didn't do anything out of the ordinary, I was just able to enjoy our time so much more. We just played with his toys and ate supper together and I sat by him while he took a loooooooooooong bath. After his bath, we put his lotion on together. This is his new thing, he loves putting lotion on himself. Then we went into the living room and I asked him what show he wanted to watch before he went night night. He said, "Manny" and so we watched that. He giggled and smiled and thoroughly enjoyed his show as he cuddled with me. I loved it. Then he looked up and gave me a kiss...for no reason at all. It about made me cry. Little sweetie! After Manny was over, he said, "nigh, nigh?" and I picked him up and decided to rock him for a bit. This never usually works, but tonight he layed his head right down on me and let me rock him for almost 5 minutes! This is huge for him...lately I've been happy if he'll lay his head on me for 5 seconds! We said bedtime prayers and then I layed him down. He is snoring in his bed and I am now going up to read for a while before Sean gets home.

I miss Sean on Thursdays, but I do really enjoy my time alone with Tate. I really miss that time. I loved being able to stay home with him. Nights like tonight are bitter sweet because I love them, but they just remind me of all of the moments I am missing while I am at work. I miss him every day.

I can't even stand it...

I must have a thing with bath pictures. I just love them. I know I post them all of the time, but I can't help it. Tate is just so funny and sweet and animated in the tub. He has always loved bath time and I have gotten so many good shots of him in the tub...I just couldn't resist. I love that his hair is getting longer and when it's wet or if it's humid out, it curls! I LOVE his curls!
"seriously Mom, will you please stop taking pictures of me?!"

"Okay, one more good one for ya."

Monday, July 28, 2008

The end of the weekend...

The rest of the weekend was just spent enjoying each other's company! Lora and I thoroughly enjoyed a girls day on Sunday. We went to church and then PF Changs for lunch. We didn't have to wipe faces, dig in diaper bags, pause deep conversations to take care of a little one, cut up food, scoot all of our drinks and food to the side so little hands couldn't reach it, or rush because our kids were antsy. Oh no...we took our sweet time, talked about all kinds of adult things and had food spread all over the table. We even got dessert and coffee...after all, we were in NO rush and it felt great! From lunch, we headed to Barnes and Noble and took our time looking at books and chatting about everything on our minds. We both bought Blue Like Jazz which we are really looking forward to reading and discussing. Thanks Cassie for the recommendation! I couldn't have asked for a better day, it was nice to get away from all of the kid stuff for a brief time! It helps when this time away from kids is spent with someone you are truly comfortable with and love and someone that conversation is meaningful and flows easily with. It was something I didn't even realize I desperately needed! Thank you, Lora for being such an amazing friend!

When we got home, we were informed by our husbands that they were surprised we were home so early! We had been gone for about 4 hours, but since they felt that way...we left again! :) We headed up to Family Christian Book Store in Ankeny and looked around for about 15 minutes before the tornado sirens started going off. Oops...maybe we should have checked the weather! We decided to head back home and got home in one piece...we were a bit nervous though. We watched the weather for a while and then the guys went and got KFC. We ate and it was time for the DeCooks to leave. :( We were sad. It was such a special weekend and we look forward to more. With the busy school year starting again, we know it may be a while before we can all get together again! Thanks DeCooks for coming and visiting!

These two love each other!

Ava and Mommy

This picture is a sure sign that we need to be teaching Tate the difference between appropriate and inappropriate...he's a boy, he couldn't resist!

The kids brushing before bed.

The Daddys took the kids to the park while Lora and I had our girls day on Sunday.

A Trip to the Zoo!

On Saturday morning, we went to the zoo. It was so much fun! The kids had a blast and especially loved the Koi pond and the giraffes. Those were both my favorites too! The giraffes were amazing and we got to feed them and see them up close...they are magnificent! The Koi are kind of gross...there are about a million, all with their mouths open waiting to be fed. Check out the video below to see us feeding the Koi and the giraffes.

After the zoo, we drove through to get some lunch and headed home so the kids could nap (which Tate didn't!) and the guys went golfing. Lora and I had a great time just chatting and then decided to watch Blood Diamond and lay around and relax. When the kids woke up, we played and chatted some more. Then we ordered pizza just in time to arrive when the guys got home. It was a great day and the kids crashed without a fight!

Here we are on the train at the zoo.

Tate always in amazed by the aquarium.

Cute family picture of the DeCooks...not to distract from their beautiful family, but check out the left side of the picture...that's Tate ( accident waiting to happen) who Daddy obviously does not have a close eye on like Mommy demanded! He stayed dry...somehow. By the looks of this picture, I am amazed he did!

Lora's got some cow milkin' skill...

...she is trying to pass those skills along to Ava.

The kids actually held hands...seriously, SO CUTE!

Tate feeding the giraffe. It was so awesome to see these creatures so up close! Tate and Ava (and really all of us!)thought it was pretty amazing too!

The giraffes are my fave!

View this montage created at One True Media
Feeding Frenzy at the Zoo

Our Wonderful Weekend!

As I mentioned before, we had such a wonderful weekend with our great friends the DeCooks! We didn't want them to leave and Tate definitely didn't want Ava to leave. Here are some pictures and a video of Tate and Ava playing just after they got to our house on Friday night.

Saturday morning, we scooted the kids into the living room and let them watch shows while they ate breakfast.

View this montage created at One True Media
Tate and Ava Playing

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Great Weekend...More Later

We had such a fantastic weekend! It was much needed and fully enjoyed by all! Tate and Ava had a blast together and all of us adults didn't have too bad a time either! :) I have so many pictures and adorable video as well. I am so exhausted though that I am heading to bed. I will try to post pictures, video and details about the weekend tomorrow night.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Boy and His Birth Father

It's amazing to see Tate with Brandon. There is a connection there, something that he 'just knows' when he is with Brandon. Sean and I both easily sense it. He is comfortable around him, he is intrigued by him, he loves him. Really, it's so touching and so amazing! Tate was following him around, reaching for him to pick him up and wanting his undivided attention. At one point Brandon had to run out to his car and Tate went running after him and reached up for his hand and walked with him out the door and held his hand as he walked along side him to his car. He doesn't even do that to us! When we said goodbye, Tate leaned in and gave him a kiss on the lips and then was blowing him kisses over and over as we left. It was so sweet!

It really brings us such joy to be able to witness the bond they have. It's like nothing I expected and more than I could have ever wanted! We are so happy that the bond they have exists and that Tate senses the connection they have. I didn't know if he would because he is just getting to the age that he can portray that. I remember just 3 months after he was born, Brandon came to Des Moines and met us for Christmas. Tate couldn't keep his eyes off Brandon and he smiled at him like crazy. I thought it was so sweet and so special and knew there was something there that only he understood...even at that age. I thought that might go away as Tate got older, but last night made me realize it hasn't! I am so happy it didn't because it is an indescribable feeling to see the love that he and Brandon have for each other! It's like Tate knows how special the times we get with Brandon are and he enjoys them to the fullest! I thank God for this amazing gift we have in our relationship with Brandon. We could never thank Brandon enough for his ongoing love and relationship he builds with Tate. What a blessing this is and will be for Tate! My heart is full every time I think of Brandon and every time I get to witness Brandon and Tate interacting. Words just can't describe...

Rube's in Montour

We met Brandon and his girlfriend Mandy in Montour at Rube's last night. Before they got there we played at the park. Tate had a blast! We had a SUPER YUMMY meal and great conversation and company. It was a great evening! We stayed there way too late and of course Tate never fell asleep in the car on the way home, so he didn't get to sleep until close to 11:00! He was a tired boy this morning! It was worth it. :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Excited for the weekend...already!

Today was pretty much a bummer having to go back to work. :( My work day went by quickly though and we had a nice evening at home. We watched one of Tate's Hermie DVD's, "The Mantis Who Doesn't Know How to Pray". I think that's the title. Anyway, it was pretty cute! He really enjoyed it and so did I! :) Tate had a bath and was in bed by 8:10 and asleep by 8:45 which is a quite the feat for him...although I am afraid it was just a fluke. We'll see. Tomorrow when I get off work we are heading up to Montour to meet up with Brandon and his girlfriend at Rube's for a yummy steak dinner! I can't wait!!! Then, only 3 days and DeCooks are coming to visit! We are SO excited to see them and look forward to a fun filled weekend. Have plans to go to the zoo, the guys will golf and us girls will have some "girl time" away from the kids too. We are SO looking forward to spending time with them. They are such great friends and we NEVER seem to get to see them! :( It'll be a great weekend. Here's to this week FLYING by! :-)

Sunday, July 20, 2008


We watched Bode tonight for a few hours for Chris and Brenda. He and Tate played great together and we all had a good time. When Sean got home from work, he took the boys outside to blow bubbles. They both LOVE bubbles! As you can see, not just Bode and Tate had a good time...Sean had some fun too! :)

View this montage created at One True Media
Blowing Bubbles

Big Foot

Tate has fat feet. He wears Crocs. That is all he wears. His feet aren't long, they're just fat...and tall...and wide. Even the shoe sales person today said, "wow, he has really fat feet!" It's true. I have been searching for tennies for Tate because I just wanted him to have something besides Crocs. We were able to find a pair today that go on easily. HOORAY! They are Adidas and they are wides of course. Anyway, Sean has the exact same pair of shoes except the stripes on his are white like the rest of the shoe. Tate LOVES them. He wouldn't take them off all day. He was stomping around in them because they stomp much louder than Crocs. He was strutting like a "big boy" and was so proud. He kept saying "Daddy soos" because when I bought them I said, "Tate those are just like Daddy's shoes!" I love them on him...they're so cute and he is too funny in them. To dedicate a whole post to shoes may seem odd to some, but for us, finding a pair of shoes (other than Crocs) to fit him, was a HUGE feat! So here they are in all their glory...

View this montage created at One True Media

in position...

On Saturdays, it's our routine to watch Disney's "Super Summer Saturday's" line up of shows in the morning. Tate immediately walks right into the living room when he wakes up and gets into his "spot" to watch his "sows". He sits down, grabs his blanket to cover his legs and usually places the pillow next to him just so. He usually intently watches Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and then plays a bit and then intently watches Little Einsteins and then plays the rest of the morning while his "sows" are on. He doesn't want me to turn them off, but aside from those 2 shows, he doesn't seem to watch them intently.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Moving forward

I've had better weeks than this one, that's for sure. I felt like I was sinking and couldn't pull myself out. It was a multitude of small things, mixed with tragedy and not feeling well. I am happy this week was over.

When I was leaving work today, I was walking up some stairs on the way into the skywalk and a woman next to me tripped and fell up the stairs. Nothing major, she popped right up, but her face was red and I know she was embarrassed. I seriously wanted to cry for her. Okay, I know that I cry easily, I am what some people might call...emotional. Honestly though, this was just a random thing that made me feel bad for someone. People just rushed by her and a couple people chuckled a bit...I felt bad for her. She looked at me and said, "well this is just the icing on the cake of this week." I picked up her keys she dropped and told her that her fall was much more graceful than mine was on those same steps a few weeks ago...which was true. Don't really know the point to that story, I am just feeling bad and that truly made me want to cry for her. Yup, I'm emotional.

I have had the mother of all headaches these last couple of days. I felt like I could barely make it through the day with my pounding headache, staring at a computer screen and a headset attached to my ear with screaming customers on the other end. I did it somehow...what a relief. Work was just not as important to me this week. My coworker's death really put things into perspective for me. It's not that people who have been a big part of my life haven't died before, but I was young when I had to experience those deaths and didn't fully understand. Also, though I was closer to many of those people, I didn't sit next to them all day, talk to them on a daily basis and know that I could count on seeing them every day. It's just so strange to lose someone that you interact with so frequently no matter how close to them you are. I can't get Susan out of my head. I just can't. I am so sad. It has made me re-evaluate how I want to do things on a daily basis...all things, big things and little things.

This weekend I hope to rest and get some time to enjoy my family. Tuesday we will get to spend time with Brandon, Tate's birth father and that is an AMAZING blessing!!!! Then, next weekend we will be spending time with our dear friends the DeCooks. We are so blessed. We are looking forward to the wonderful week ahead and enjoying every moment we have with all of the special people in our lives because you just never know when one of them could be taken from us. I thank God for all of the times I get to spend with the people I love and pray that I will never forget to cherish each moment as it could be the last.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Random Pics from July

Tate at Chuck E Cheese for Bode's birthday party...he liked the cake.

Tate swimming in Bode's new pool.

Tate at the splash pad the other day with Daddy.

Sarah, Leah and Kayla came to visit Tate and Sean on Monday while I worked. They are both getting so big!

Recently, Tate has discovered oven mitts. He loves them. He likes to wear them around the house.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

a hard day

Today was a hard day. About a week ago, a coworker of mine was in a bad motorcycle accident. Her and her husband hit a deer. They have both been in the hospital, and today we got the terrible news that after being in a coma for several days, Susan passed away. Less than a month ago Susan bought the Harley they were riding for her husband for his birthday. She had been saving for it for 2 years. She was so proud of that bike, she was so happy to be able to give it to her husband.

Susan was so welcoming. She made me feel comfortable at my new job and she helped me whenever I needed it. I loved talking to her. We often walked out of work together and chatted on the walk to our cars. I felt like I had always known her. I think everyone did. She had a way about her that made everyone feel like they'd known her forever. She was the type of person who always "said it like it was", she never beat around the bush. I loved her honesty. I will miss her. I did not know her for long and did not know her super well, but for some reason, I felt like I did. I am so sad. I can't believe she's gone.

I am going to bed tonight with an ache in my heart for her family. Her daughter is to be married in 3 weeks, she has a 15 year old son and her husband is still in the hospital recovering and awaiting more surgeries. I cannot begin to imagine what they are going through. I pray that they know the Lord and can turn to Him in this terrible time. I pray that He will give them comfort.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Yesterday's Events

Pictures to come, but for now, I only have time for a short post.

Yesterday Tate put on his shoes by himself for the first time. Now this may not seem like a big deal, but I was impressed. He put on his Crocs with the strap behind his heel and I can barely do that easily. His feet have to practically squeeze into them because they're so wide. It's a task just for me to wriggle those things on. And he had them on the correct feet too. :)

Sean got to hang out with our sister-in-law Sarah and our nieces Leah and Kayla yesterday while Sean's brother was at a meeting in town. He got some cute pictures that I'll post later. I was sad to not be able to see them because I had to work. It sounds like they had a good time though.

That's all for later!

Friday, July 11, 2008

can't think of a title for this post...

So glad the weekend is here! We don't have anything planned. Of course, Sean works. Tate and I are just going to hang out and maybe go to the pool or something. It's supposed to be sunny and HOT this weekend. I love that the weeks go by so fast...the problem is, the weekends do too! :(

Sean reminded me today that he starts school again in 6 weeks! UGH! I can't believe we're in mid July already! This last year of Sean's school is going to be tough...especially after having the summer with him (even though our schedules were opposite). Once school starts, any time out of school and work that he has, will be spent studying. It's so hard on him...but it's hard on Tate and I too. I just keep looking at it like it's LESS than a year of school that he has left. I'm focusing on that for now and just trying to forget that in a couple of years he'll be back in school again for another few years.

We are looking forward to enjoying these last 6 weeks as much as possible! We have a meeting planned with Brandon (Tate's birthfather) in a little over a week that we are looking forward to. Then, the DeCook's are coming to visit for the weekend in 2 weeks! The IA State Fair will be starting soon there after and we plan to attend that one evening...we get free tickets from work! I usually boycott the fair because all the crowds make me so uncomfortable, BUT I just can't fight it anymore...Tate would love it too much. I can't wait to show him all of the animals...he loves farm animals! It'll be fun. Hopefully sometime in the next month we'll make it to Muscatine and the Quad Cities to visit family and see Mike and Sarah's new house in Bettendorf. We are so happy that they live on that side of the state now!!!

Then, once Sean starts school, the craziness begins. As if school, work, parenting, surviving are not enough, September is CRAZY! We have my birthday, Sean's birthday, Brandon's birthday, Sean's Dad's birthday, Travis's (brother-in-law) birthday, Sara Knutson's birthday, Sean and my anniversary (4 years), and we are thinking Tate's 2nd birthday party will be at the end of the month as well. Not that we really do a celebration for all of those things, but's just things to remember. Did I forget anyone???? Then October 5th is Tate's 2nd birthday and the 7th is the 2 year anniversary of the day we met him! We can't believe it's been 2 years already while at the same time we can't remember what life was like before him!

Right now though, I am trying not to think of all that's to come and just focus on today. I need to remember to do that because Tate seems to change every day. He's growing right before my eyes. He refuses to hug and kiss me now (unless it's a rare moment) which breaks my heart. He and Sean were playing with his Mickey ball on the kitchen floor this evening and I went in to play with them and he pushed me out of the room saying, "bye bye" and made me sit on the couch. :( He must have just wanted it to be "the boys"...where has my baby gone?!!!

Okay, that's all of my ramblings for now.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

My Baby Boy...

I thought it was time I post some updates on know, just things he's into these days. I need to keep record somehow! :)

He is REALLY into Little Einsteins, but he still really loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Handy Manny as well.

He jibber jabbers all of the time with words amidst the jabbering. I really think he believes he is talking to us when he jabbers.

He LOVES shoes...and says, "soos" all the time. He especially likes wearing Mommy's "soos".

He is still a dancing machine.

He is a monkey...he climbs on everything!

He LOVES the computer and knows how to move the arrow with the mouse using his right hand while keeping his left hand on the keyboard and "typing". He LOVES the mouse.

He especially loves cars lately...pretty much anything from big plastic ones to Hot Wheels.

He "talks on the phone" all the time. He uses my old cell phone.

He loves "wa-er" (aka water) and CHUGS it. He also enjoys swimming it it! :)

He loves to eat "pig bars" (aka fig bars/Fig Newtons)

He is pretty much a vegetarian...occasionally we'll be able to trick him into eating a hot dog(does that even count as meat?), but otherwise, no meat for Tater!

He repeats and imitates EVERYTHING we's keeps us in check, that's for sure!

He LOVES to pray...and I LOVE it when he prays. It just might be the sweetest thing ever! He folds his hands, bows his head and mumbles softly.

He HATES going to bed...I mean HATES it! We are uberconsistent and put him to be right about 8:45 every night. We do the same routine and we NEVER go in his room once he's down. He flings his head back and cries, "NOOOOO" just before we put him down and then he cries for a minute or two and then talks for usually about an hour before he falls into a deep slumber for the night. At least he NEVER wakes up in the night once he's asleep. Thank goodness for that! He wakes up right about 8:15 every morning.

He is obsessed with his cousin Bode. He says "Bode" at least 100 times a day and this is no joke. He wakes up in the morning and usually the first word out of his mouth is "Bode". And the funniest part about it is that Bode is not terribly fond of Tate in return...I think he could do without Tate at all to be quite honest! Ha.

Tate never refers to Sean and I as Mommy or Daddy. It's kind of strange. He knows we're Mommy and Daddy and if we say, "go give that to Daddy/Mommy" or "go give Daddy/Mommy a hug", he does it. He just never yells out for us or says "Mommy" or "Daddy" without being prompted. When Sean gets home from work, I'll say, "Daddy's home!" and he'll run to Sean saying "Daddy" or vice versa when Sean refers to me as "Mommy", but he won't do it on his own. Is that weird?! I kind of think at his age, he should be doing that.

Tate is going to be 2 in 3 months!!!! I can't believe it! I still refer to him as my baby and probably treat him like that too! It can't be true that he's already 21 months!!! I come into a room and say, "HI BABY!" and he says, "bebe" back to me. I don't know when I'll ever think of him as anything else but my little baby boy!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

A weekend filled with lots of...