Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I am still awake. I wake up every morning exhausted, I don't want to wake up. While at work I think (several times) about how I am going to go to bed early tonight. I feel like I can barely make it through the day. I get off of work and spend the evening getting dinner ready and playing with Tate with full intentions of going to bed EARLY. Then, about 7 pm, I feel it. It's my second wind. I can't stop it from coming. I am no longer tired. I know if I go to bed, I'll lie awake in bed thinking about things and won't sleep. I don't know if that's actually true because I've never tried to go to bed early. Then, I blink my eyes and it's 11 pm and I realize that this cycle is going to start all over tomorrow because I will not get all the sleep I "need" to function well. I am fully aware of this cycle, but I can't stop it. It's a problem. So here I am, it's 11:07 pm, and I am blogging. Why? I don't know...I really don't know.

Monday, September 29, 2008

New toys for ALL of us!!!!

I am posting this from my brand new Dell Studio 17 Tangerine Laptop!!!!!!!! HOORAY! We just got it in the mail today...Happy Birthday to Sean and I! :)

The delivery of this computer really perked me up. I needed a perk up because I am exhausted after the busy weekend! It was great, but I definitely hit a wall on Sunday. I really did not want to head back to work on Monday, I would have much rather just stayed in bed. I managed though!

Tate has had a BLAST playing with his new toys these last couple of days. He's in heaven going from one toy to another. I am ready to put some of his old "younger" toys away. We could definitely stand to have a few less toys strewn all over our house.

Not much else to report today. Just excited about our shiney new laptop! :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tate's 2nd Birthday Party!

Today was the big 2nd birthday party. The week of preparation went just as I had planned and I had everything ready to go with some time to spare! I never got a picture after everything was out on the table, but here it all is when we first started getting the food out.

Tate got so many amazing gifts! He is going to have such a blast playing with all of his fun new things! Here he is enjoying one of his Handy Manny gifts he got. He got a few, but this was the first gift he opened and was pretty satisfied with playing with it. I pretty much had to open the rest of the gifts for him as he was so over stimulated! He got to sit down and play with a few of his toys later...he really especially loved all the Handy Manny stuff he got.
Eating a sucker from the pinata...
Getting ready for us to sing to him!

View this montage created at One True Media
Singing Happy Birthday

A good time was had by all...

I do believe everyone had a great time! The food was amazing (thank you to ALL who helped!), the company was great, and as Tate's Grandpa Shingledecker said tonight, "this is what memories are made of." What a great party it was, and how wonderful it was to have so many of the most important people in Tate and our lives there to celebrate. Everyone who helped, I sincerely THANK YOU and to Chris and Brenda...thank you a million times over for allowing us to use (and trash!) your house for the party...it was the perfect setting for the kids to have room to play inside and out and for all of the adults to comfortably spread out. You have no idea how much we appreciate you letting us have it in your home!

Sean with the mangled pinata...
Delaney enjoying some candy...
Poor Kayla was sick and she was still the sweetest thing ever!
Olivia, Delaney, Bode and Lani eating candy on Chris and Brenda's bed...

the "kid's table" outside...

I made a bunch of octopus hot dogs on "seaweed" for the kids. They thought it was pretty fun. :)

Brandon and Tate playing.

breaking the pinata...

This pinata was a hit (no pun intended)! :-) All the kids got a chance to try and break it. It was fun to watch them.







It finally broke (with a little help from Sean)...



turned into this...

that's the big reveal of Tate's cake. He loved it and it was worth all of the work just to see a finished product that resembled an octopus. :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The cake is done...

and it looks GREAT if I do say so myself! :) I was pleasantly surprised with the result. Though it's definitely not perfect, I can't say that I won't ever work with fondant again...in fact, I would venture to say that I definitely will! Tate already saw it and said, "WOE..PUSS!!!!" Yup, he can't say, "octopus". He was pretty excited though he has no idea what is in store for tomorrow! I can't wait! I would post pics of the cake, but I don't want to ruin it for the party goers! :) I am so relieved that I didn't have to go buy a Hy-Vee cake after all!

pics to come...I know you're all on the edge of your seats...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Happy Anniversary to Us!!!

Sean and I were married 4 years ago today! For the first time since Tate came into our lives, we went out to dinner ALONE! It's been almost 2 full years! We have a FABULOUS time and an amazing dinner! Then we went birthday shopping for Tate. It was great to just be focused on each other, be able to chat and relax. THANK YOU Chris and Brenda for watching Tater so we could have an evening out alone. It was such a great anniversary and the weather was just like it was on our wedding day...BEAUTIFUL!

I love you Sean even more than I did 4 years ago! I cannot wait for the rest of our lives! Thank you for being you!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

chipping away at my list...

stuff pinata...check
assemble party favors...check
bake cakes and freeze them...check
make fondant...tomorrow night
make butter cream frosting...hopefully tomorrow night, otherwise Friday night
celebrate our anniversary...Thursday :)
assemble cake...Friday night
complete finishing touches on the cake...Saturday morning
make Chex mix...Saturday

Things on my list are being checked off just as I planned...at least so far! The trouble is, I am having trouble getting to bed at a decent time. I was SUPER tired this morning because of being up late baking cakes. Ugh! I am afraid this may be a common theme this week.

I am starting to think I should have made a shark cake because Tate has been obsessed with "sharps" for the last few days. He's been saying, "sharp shirt!" whenever I dress him and then when I put his pj's on, he says, "sharp pants, sharp shirt". Good thing he has 2 shark shirts and 3 pairs of shark pj's! I am glad we went with an under the sea theme for the party because he is going to love it!

Groovin' Tater Style

Here is the video that includes Tate groovin' at Nana and Papa P's house and then him getting his groove on at the parade too! As you can see, he was pretty much right in the middle of the parade where people had to walk around him...it was pretty hilarious!

View this montage created at One True Media
Groovin' Tater Style

Monday, September 22, 2008

bloody nose

All it took was a rough game of ring around the rosie (which as you know it really rough!) and my little boy had his first bloody nose! I didn't manage to get a picture of the gushing blood, but once the bleeding was under control, I managed to snap a couple of pics.

It was caused by too much spinning, I am talking some serious spinning, causing serious dizziness. It was hilarious watching him falling all over the place until he face planted on the kitchen floor and looked up at me with blood streaming out of his nose. Ugh!

It didn't take long and he was at it again, saying, "ring rosie, pock posey, FAW DOWN!!!" Too cute!

His sweet little smile...if you look closely, he is all boy with his bloody nose.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Happy Birthday to ME!

Today is turned 28. It was pretty uneventful. It was nice just to lay low and have a relaxing day, though I wish Sean had the day off to hang out with me. Cathy watched Tate for 2 hours while I went to Wal-Mart and I must say, it was GLORIOUS! There's nothing like being able to go run errands without your child. I was giddy driving there just knowing that I could have a leisurely shopping trip...and that it was. So I would say that was the highlight of my day. Actually, no that's not true. The highlight of my day was Tate laying on me in the recliner in his room before bed while we chatted for about 10 minutes and sang a couple of songs. Those few minutes before bed with him are always so sweet!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

As if I didn't have enough on my list....

I fit a parade into the mix. The Beaverdale Fall Festival is this weekend and they kicked it off with a parade this morning...a really long one at that. Tate and I walked a few blocks to a good spot for the parade and met up with Sean's cousin's family. Sophia, Tammie and Derek's daughter goes to daycare with Tate and rumor has it that they are BFF's. :) So they had a good time and Tate danced his little heart out! I will have a cute video from the parade, but don't have time to post it right now.

Derek and Sophia

Tate and I

This is why I don't like clowns...now this is just scary, seriously.

Tate taking it all in!

And Sophia...seriously she is a DOLL!

Last night in Colo

We had a great time in Colo last night. Dinner was super yummy and the wine was good too! ;) I don't drink, really...last night a drank just under an entire bottle of wine myself...I don't know what got into me. I had a good time. :)

Tate riding on Papa's tractor.

Daddy and Tate playing after dinner...we had to remove Tate's clothes because he was SO messy!

I will add video to this post later...I've got some cute video, but no time to post it right now.

Okay, so I got my camera back...

Here are the pics from when we went to Knutsons last weekend. The kids were so cute in their Hawkeye gear. :)
Cheering on our team!

Tate and Livy

Delaney is getting SO grown up...here she is reading to Tate.

Tate thought this lion was so amazing. It moved like a real lion...it was pretty cute to see his amazement!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ready, Set, Go!

And the busyness until Tate's party begins tomorrow! This cake I have decided to take on is (as everyone is telling me) going to be a task that will take hours upon hours, so I put each step in my planner and am taking the week to complete it. That will be taking up much of my evenings next week. Tomorrow we are going to Colo to have dinner with Sean's parents after I get off of work. We will be stopping in Nevada on the way to pick up my camera (that means pictures for you!!!!). Then Saturday I will be going to order the balloons for Tate's party to be picked up by Sean on the day of the party. I also have a list of things around the house that need done in addition to putting together the party favors for the party. I hope to get a few loads of laundry done (I skipped a few days this week. ARGH!) fitting a shower into the mix would be nice as well. :) Then on Saturday evening when Sean gets off, we will be going to Chris and Brenda's for SUSHI!!!! They are doing that as a gift for Sean and my birthdays and then we'll surely hang out until the wee hours. Sunday is my birthday!!!! I will be the big 2-8! Nothing major planned that day aside from Cathy watching Tate for an hour (or two if she'll have him) while I go buy all of the groceries for cake making and all of the other snacks and things that I'll need for the party in addition to my regular grocery trip. It will be SO much easier to do it without Tate. He is not the greatest to take to the grocery store these days. I also hope to make it to Nobbies (or some other party store) to buy a pinata, some decorations for the party and the necessary plates, cups and napkins we will be needing. Maybe I'll pick up Tate's birthday gift while I am out too...we'll see how much time I have. Monday is back to work and then cake baking (and then freezing them) in the evening. Tuesday is stuffing the pinata night after Tate goes to bed...Sean works late on Tuesdays so I probably won't get time to do any cake making that night. Wednesday is fondant making and food coloring it and then refridgerating it. Thursay is our 4 year anniversary (what were we thinking adding ANOTHER event into September!!!) so Chris and Brenda are watching Tater while Sean and I go out to dinner and do some birthday shopping for Tate if I don't have time to get it done on Sunday. Friday is making the buttercream frosting, assembling as much of the cakes as possible (if possible completeing them, but we'll see how much time I have) and then trying to get a good night sleep! Saturday morning will be making Chex Mix, and doing any cake completion that needs done and hopefully not having to go to Hy-Vee to buy a cake because mine just didn't work and looks terrible! :) I am not ruling that possibility out though! Then when Sean gets home at 1:00, hopefully Tate will be just going down for his nap and I will have all of the food and cake done to take to Chris and Brenda's and do a bit of decorating before heading home and taking a shower and looking presentable for the party! WHEW! Hopefully all goes as planned! Only time will tell. Prayers people...I need prayers!


...or as Tate refers to it, "oshit". I mean, seriously, I can't help but laugh. It's so bad, I know. Hilarious though. When we get him out of the bath, he says, "oshit, oshit, oshit, oshit" over and over again until we give him some on his hands for him to rub in. Then when he uses it all, he says, "oshit all gone!"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Vivid Memories

I did my Aunt Cathy's hair tonight and probably overstayed my welcome just chatting. It's nice to get away sometimes and just chat. I love being with my little family, but when I get those moments away, I realize how much I need them. It seems I never really realize all that's on my mind until I sit down with someone (especially Cathy) with no distractions and just talk. And as many of you know, I am a talker. :) It's nice to get someone else's perspective on the things that are floating around in my head.

This time of year brings back all of the feelings of when we first met Tate. Not that I don't think about those feelings nearly every day, but for some reason, in the fall...it's more real, more vivid of a memory. It's amazing that nearly 2 years have gone by. I still feel hurt in my heart when I think of certain parts of our adoption story. Still the same hurt that was there when we drove off with Tate leaving Brandon behind. Still the hurt of thinking about Maggie and what she must be going through. There was an unbelievable amount of joy that words can't do justice as well. I feel that joy still now as well. I have these feelings of gratitude that I can't describe, feelings that I have for 2 years been trying to verbalize to Brandon and Maggie or have been trying to be able to put into words on paper, but I can't. I STILL have to pinch myself that I am so blessed with this child. This journey has been different than I ever thought it would be. It has caused me to change in ways I never knew existed. It has caused me to love in a way that I never knew possible...not only to love my son, but to have a piece of two people in my life, in my heart...two people that I never knew there was a place in my heart for because they were strangers to me. In addition to that, I have fallen in love with Brandon's family as well...seeing Tate with his Grandma and Grandpa and his birth father is a blessing that I never dreamed of. I cannot imagine doing this adoption in any other way.

As I look back to where Sean and I were 2 years ago, it just gives me chills. It is amazing how our lives were flipped upside down as we entered into this journey of parenthood through adoption with NO IDEA what a blessing it would be...how we would become two different people with transformed hearts and lives and how our family would grow so immensely in such a short time. I can't believe it's been 2 years! I remember wondering if the feelings of gratitude, joy, amazement and awe of this entire situation would ever diminish and I think I am starting to realize that they won't. And I don't know that I want them to...I don't ever want to forget the magnitude of the gift that we were given, of the deep love that 2 people (and their supportive families) had for this amazing little person, the love that led them to make the decision to allow us to have the joy of being able to be his Momma and Daddy.

It seems that God's plans for my life have proven much different than I ever imagined, much more complicated than I ever thought I wanted, but much more fulfilling than I ever dreamed! I feel a guilt that I cannot describe when I am not at my best with Tate. A guilt that not only am I letting Tate down, but I am letting his birth parents down as well. They chose ME to be his mother because they felt I could do the job. I feel like the least that I can do for them is be the most amazing mother to Tate. I hope I am doing that. And though I mess up and am not always the best mom, wife, daughter, sister or friend I could be, it is by God's grace I am forgiven and can pick myself up and learn to be better. I have A LOT to work on, but one thing is true...I am so in love with Tate that the word love doesn't feel like enough to describe the feeling in my soul I have for him.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Sara found my camera at her house! YAY! Now I just need to figure out a time to drive up there and get it! Hey, it's another excuse to see each other and chat again! :)

so, I guess not.

I guess Tate will not be skipping his nap today as I hear his snores through the monitor. I swear, when I want him to nap, he won't. When I don't want him to nap (and don't think he needs one), he is asking for "nigh nigh" after lunch and is snoring away. I hope he doesn't have trouble going to sleep at a decent time tonight. I hate when he's tired in the mornings because I have to wake him up before he's ready! I guess we'll be running errands after he wakes up. For now, I should be tending to my house.

Now I can't back out...

Today will be jam packed. I drank a pot of coffee this morning and am ready to get A LOT done. Tate slept until 9:40 so we are going to skip his nap today so he'll head to bed early and be able to get up early for daycare tomorrow. I am fine with no nap today as I have a list of things I want to accomplish.

I am documenting this now so that I cannot back out...
I am making Tate's birthday cake this year. I am using fondant too. Never used fondant before, but am hoping my mother (and sister's) creative cake decorating skills are just in my blood because I don't know if I'm going to have time for a practice cake. Seriously, I planned this a while ago and I am wanting to back out...I'm having serious second thoughts. My mother is a cake decorating genius and has always done the cakes for her grand childrens' birthdays, but now that she has so many grand children and has to travel cakes across the state, I am trying to relieve her a bit of her cake decorating duties and also just have a little bit of desire to create something magnificent for my baby boy! Ha. Magnificent...ok, that's a stretch, just as long as our party guests will be able to tell what the creation is, I will be happy. We're doing an Under the Sea themed party and I haven't fully decided what I will be doing for the cake, but I have a few pictures to go off of and hopefully my creative juices will start to flow! I hope documenting this is not going to require me to post a picture because if it's embarrasing, I will not be sharing the "magnificent creation"...sorry. We'll see, hopefully it won't be too awful and I'll post a picture once it's done.

On my list are a couple of items I will need to create my delectable masterpiece. Hopefully I'll be able to find the necessary items. :)

And I may be trying to keep myself busy to distract myself from the sick feeling I have about the idea that my camera may be lost. I have no idea where it might be, but spoke with Sara (whose house I thought I left it at) and she says she hasn't seen it at her house. We tore my van, diaper bag and purse apart looking for it and we absolutely do not have it. I am hoping it shows up at Knutson's house or I may be adding another item to my "need to save up for" list. I don't know where on earth it could be unless it was placed on top of the car as we put Tate in it and drove off and it fell off of the top. Who knows. What I DO know is that I cannot go without a camera...especially with Tate's 2nd birthday party in 2 weeks!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008


We had a great time spending the day at the Knutsons. Sean and Jeremie joined us in time for supper after they got out of work and class. It was nice to have all day to hang out with Sara and the kids had a blast. The Hawks won (HOORAY!) and we were one happy group all decked out in our Hawkeye gear. I got lots of great pictures and was looking forward to getting home tonight to post them. The problem???? I left my camera in Nevada at the Knutsons!!!!!! I am so mad at myself! I have no idea when I will be able to get it, but I am very lost without my camera as many of you all know!!! UGH!

Friday, September 12, 2008

20 tickets = months of fun

This yellow, rubber lizard Tate has in these pictures was (I think) 20 tickets at Chuck E Cheese's from Bode's birthday party. It was SO worth 20 tickets. Tate LOVES it and plays with it all the time. He has played with it probably every day since the day he got it. So funny the toys that he ends up liking the best!


This is my favorite age!

I don't think I am one of those moms that says, "this is my favorite age!" at every age Tate becomes. I know I have said it before, but not every age have I felt that way. We've gone through phases where I've thought, "I hope this phase ends soon, it was easier when he was younger". I have to say, Tate's age right now is my FAVORITE!

He is independent enough that I don't have to have my eye on him at every moment, so I am free to get things done around the house more easily. He is verbal enough that (though it sometimes takes a while) he can verbalize what he wants, and if he can't, he can drag me by the shirt to wherever he wants me to go. :) He is past the stage of just learning to be mobile and refusing to do any cuddling because he insists on being on the move all the time, so I am able to get a bit of cuddle time these days. He understands when I tell him what to do and has experienced consequences enough to know what he shouldn't do...he's not a fan of time out and rarely has to get time outs anymore. He can be put in front of a movie (I know...I'm terrible!) if I need him to be occupied for an extended period of time. He loves to sing and listen to me sing and loves to learn new songs. I see him learn new words and new things literally every day and it is SO AMAZING to watch your child learn and see new things. I love the amazement and excitement in his fave when he witnesses something new and exciting that he's never seen before. He will still let me rock him before bed if I want to and will lay his head on me and talk to me. I love it when he talks to me and is so genuinely into what he is telling me.
He is so sweet and melts my heart every single day. He never ceases to amaze me. I love having my baby while seeing the little boy he's becoming. I know the baby part will go away much sooner than I want it to, but for now I am SO enjoying this crossroads of where baby meets boy!

Happy Birthday Sean!

Sean's birthday was Wednesday. He took time out of his studies and we all went out to Ruby Tuesday's and ate a yummy dinner! It was so fun! Tate had a blast and Sean and I stuffed ourselves! We hung out when we got home for a little bit before Sean descended into the basement to get back to his school work. He seems to live down there these days. I feel for him!
Amazing the difference 2 years makes! 2 years ago we were celebrating Sean's 30th birthday in Muscatine with a big surprise birthday bash. Sean had a blast, he attended the IA vs. IA State game (the Hawks whooped up on the Clones!) and had his entire head painted half gold, half black. We drank and ate and went to the bar and stayed up until the wee hours. Just 3 short weeks later, we had a son! My how birthdays have changed...no more drinking and partying and going to the bar. We would much rather use our time to be together as a family. We like being in bed by 10 or so, it's hard to survive with little sleep! We prefer it this way, it's so much better than we thought being a family would be.
Sean's 30th birthday hilight...partying and drinking with friends and family that he doesn't get to see very often!
Sean's 32nd birthday hilight...the sounds of Tates belly laughs as he plays with Daddy on the couch after dinner!

I know Sean wouldn't go back in a million years!

We love you, Sean...HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Funny things about Tate that I don't want to forget...

Tate has really been taking off these last couple of weeks in the talking category. It's amazing to witness such radical changes in things he learns from day to day. He's connecting 2 words often and occasionally connecting 3 words. He does this thing though (I don't know if it's normal for kids his age) that he uses one word to refer to many things. Here are some examples...

-When Tate says "faffle" (which means waffle), he is referring to any breakfast foods (ie...waffles, pancakes, cereal, french toast, toast), "faffle" means breakfast.

-When Tate says "wader" (which means water), he is referring to water OR milk...anything to drink which all he drinks is water and milk, so "wader" means either.

-When Tate says "soos" (which means shoes), he is referring to anything on his feet (ie...shoes, socks, slippers), so "soos" means anything on his feet.

-When Tate is tired and says "puppy", he is referring to all of his sleeping necessities (ie...puppy, taggies, Mickey blanket). When he's not tired and heading to bed or a nap though, "puppy" is acutually referring to a dog.

-When Tate says "appow" (which means apple), he is referring to any fruit. He calls all fruits "appows".

When Tate does dare devilish things, I call him an acrobat. I'll say, "geez Tate, you're an acrobat!" Or something like that. Today, Tate was climbing up on the end table in his toy room and he said, "mama, I a bat!" It was seriously, so cute! I laughed and he kept saying it over and over. He is at such a fun age!

drinking from a cup

Here is Tate drinking from a cup. He's really starting to catch on. He is SO proud of himself when he does it. I love at the end on the video how he acts like my praise is no big deal and then he shows off with a big chug! He's funny.
Ok, he is seriously looking like a "big boy" in this picture.
View this montage created at One True Media
drinking from a cup

The Reveal

I know you all have been waiting in such anticipation, so here it is...my project that I did this weekend.

It was actually super quick, just some glue and paper on clipboards and wa-la! It was a $5 project and my hope is that it will declutter my fridge a bit and allow us to use our chip clips for actually, I don't know...holding chip bags closed maybe. Right now they are holding coupons, pieces of mail and who knows what else! Plus these are super cute! Right now, I don't have anything on them because I can't bare to clutter them up! :) Anyway, there it is. Thanks, Jody for inspiring me to do this!