Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tate's mastered the tantrum

It doesn't matter where he is or what he's wearing...there's always time for a good tantrum! Here he is expressing how he DOES NOT want to take off his undies. I think all I said was, "Tate, it's time to take your undies off now", and this was his response...almost immediately threw himself on the floor, turned on the tears and was flailing around and rolling all over the bathroom floor. Nice.

But look at that cute toosh!


Tate's completely addicted to the potty. He loves it. I heard him run down the hall when we got home from me picking him up from daycare and then it was quiet for a few minutes. When I went back to check on him, he was in the bathroom, with the door closed, pants off, diaper half off, sitting on the potty. When I opened the door, he just looked at me like no big deal, just doing his thing.

We tried on his new Cars undies and he L-O-V-E-D them. He did not want to take them off. After him wearing them for quite a while, I got nervous that he would pee in them so I made him take them off. He was not happy about that. He looked pretty cute in them! :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Did you know...

that the days are already getting longer?! Woohoo! It was so weird...I could totally tell that it was lighter than it has been for the last few weeks when I left work today. I was actually a bit alarmed by how light it was and checked the time just to make sure I hadn't accidentally left work an hour early!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

it's officailly just winter...

I don't know about you, but I am not a fan of winter. Although, the snow and the cold are very Christmasy around the holidays, so I don't mind it too much for that reason. Today, we put away our tree and all of our Christmas decorations and that means that this Christmasy weather is no longer Christmasy because Christmas is over. So now, it's just icky. I don't like it and I am ready for it to be over!

It feels good to have everything put away, Tate's toys all taken out of the boxes and assembled and put in their places. Our bags are unpacked (finally!) and the laundry is almost done. We have 2 more Christmas celebrations still, but for the most part, it is just winter now. In a week Sean starts his LAST semester of nursing school and he will be back to his crazy schedule. He is dreading it, but ready to get it started so he can be done already.

I can't wait for spring!

How could I have forgotten...

Because of all of the happy times this Christmas, when posting my Christmas recap posts, I totally forgot to write about our "Christmas gift" we got when we arrived home after staying away (and Tate sleeping away from home for 6 nights!) for a couple of nights. We were SO LOOKING FORWARD to sleeping in our own bed, in our own home, just the 3 of us. Well, we realized within about 10 seconds of arriving home on Christmas night at 9 pm that our heater had not been running. It was COLD to say the least. Sean did some research and found that he couldn't get it working...broken, completely broken. So, after unloading our filled to the brim van and bundling Tate up in a pair of pajamas, layered with another pair of pajamas on top of it, Sean called our landlord...on Christmas night. Ugh. Necessary, but not what we wanted to have to do. So they called Citywide and someone came over around 10:30 pm and after about an hour down by our furnace, gave us the bad news that it was "shot" and that we should leave the house because of a possibility of a carbon monoxide leak in addition to the frigid temps. Thank goodness for having family in town! We packed up AGAIN and headed over to Chris and Brenda's for the night. We were so grateful for them letting us crash there! We were all finally in bed by about 1 a.m.. Not what we wanted to do on Christmas night!

The next day, we got a new HE furnace! Yay!!! But the fun wasn't over yet. The next night (last night), the new furnace was not working! It was frigid in our house again. So another phone call to the landlord was made...and another visit from Citywide was had...at 10 pm! Ugh. What was wrong this time? Wiring...apparently we have some bad wiring or something. Nothing was able to be permanently fixed although we were able to get the heat working again! YAY! Now we will be getting some wiring issues taken care of later this week. What fun. This is when not being the owner of this home is actually a benefit!

We love heat...heat is good.

I'm ready now.

Since the date was set to have Tate's tonsils taken out, I have just been sick about it. I just feel so nervous about it. The feeling of someone taking him away from me and then him being drugged to go to sleep so that he can get his tonsils and adenoids taken out just gives me a sinking feeling. I know it's necessary though...and now I'm ready. This is why...

Tate's chin has become SO chapped from it being soaked with drool 24-7 because he can't swallow. He constantly has a drool soaked shirt and in this cold weather...that's no good. Ugh. Tate has this last 24 hours been in pain from his chin being so chapped and cracked. It's bright red and he sticks it out and begs for Vaseline on it. I have been bathing his chin in it to hopefully prevent it from getting any worse. I feel so bad for him. Since we have done so much traveling, we have been in the car a lot. Car ride = Tate sleeping. Tate has had sleep apnea for, well...his whole life I think. I always thought it was a bit scary to hear him sleeping, but not more than now. Since he's slept in the car so much lately, I have been able to hear up close and personal how he cannot breath while sleeping. It is so unbelievably scary. Because of my new found knowledge of his lack of breathing during sleep, I have found myself waking up frequently at night to make sure he's still breathing. Honestly, he doesn't sleep well, I am not sleeping well...so I am ready. Ready for him to be able to breath, to have a dry shirt, to be able to sleep, to be able to eat. I am ready...nervous, but ready.

Friday, December 26, 2008


my heart hurts when I look at this...literally hurts!

Christmas Day with the Peakins

It's always so special when all of the Peakins are able to get together with the kids. They are all so close in age that they have so much fun (aside from the screaming and stealing each other's toys) together. The kids were showered with so many gifts that we could barely fit everything in our car. We still haven't taken everything out of the packages yet! Tate was so exhausted when we left that he was asleep before we got on the highway. It was such a great, fun-filled day!

Sweet Kayla amidst all of her gifts!

Tate got a Cars table and chairs from Nana and Papa! Though he doesn't look like it (because by the time I took this picture, he was SO TIRED!) he was very excited!

Tate giving Kayla lots of loves...she is impossible not to snuggle at all times!

Princess Kayla

My "nieces" Tyler and Leah...Tyler insisted on dressing up too. It was hilarious!

and his Daddy thought it was hysterical. Ha.

Travis and Sara got a Wii and we introduced bowling to Pat and Linda. We had a little tournament. It took only a few turns for Pat to get the hang of it...

the problem was that Linda caught on immediately and decided to start whoopin' up on her hubby. He didn't like that much I don't think. :)

and this is Tyler eating his 10th cookie of the evening just after eating about 8 peanut butter cups. :)

Santa came to town

This was before Tate entered the room where Santa had left his gifts. He didn't realize yet what was waiting for him.

Tate is REALLY into music, so Santa was smart and got him a keyboard. Tate LOVES it so much! It even has a microphone with it. Tate also got a little guitar. Yes, it is practically a baby toy, but Santa has seen how Tate will not put this guitar down when he goes to his cousin Bode's house and decided that he should have one. I don't know what it is about this little baby toy, but whatever Tate can't get enough of it!

Tate spies his stocking...

all kinds of goodies filled his stocking...he was so excited!

Christmas Eve

Tate stayed in Muscatine from Friday the 19th through Christmas Day. We headed back to Des Moines at 5 a.m on Monday morning so Sean and I could work on Monday and Tuesday and then headed back to Muscatine on Tuesday the 23rd. Tate had a blast without us. We missed him way more than he missed us! Actaully, he wasn't terribly happy to see us when we got back. I am glad he was happy and had a good time, but I had visions of him being so happy to see me and running up to me as soon as I walked in the door. When actually, as soon as he saw me, he scowled and said, "no!" Ya...real nice.

He loves his cousins...

Personally, I like the candid ones...

Ayla is so funny!

Tate got the hang of opening presents without a problem...imagine that!

Lani wearing her protective eyewear while playing with their Tommie 20 toy machine guns her and Brigg got.

I don't dream of a white Christmas

I didn't have a choice.
This is what we woke up to at Mom and Dad's.

Where to begin...

I love Christmas. I love being with my most wonderful family. I love the feeling I get during Christmas. I love it even more now that I have a family of my own, though it's still so special to be with my extended family and feel the same feelings while recognizing how much has changed in all of our lives. We've all "grown up" and we are no longer the "kids" at Christmas. I sometimes miss being the kid, but not as much as I enjoy being one of the adults who gets to watch the kids light up at Christmas.

It was a wonderful Christmas as usual. Tate still doesn't completely "get it", but he will soon enough. We hope to be able to raise him to cherish Christmas because of the true meaning, to love to give more than to receive. It's hard not to spoil him though! :) He got spoiled enough from his grandparents...we didn't have to. He got a few small gifts from us and his gifts from Santa and he is one happy camper! Here are some pictures from the weekend before Christmas when we celebrated at Cassie and Paul's in Muscatine with the extended family on my side.

Me and my mommy...

Tate climbed right up on his Great Grandpa's lap while he was eating.

Tate, Lani and Brigg

These two adore Sean.

this is as successful as we could get capturing a picture of all of the Stewart side grandkids

There is blogging to be done...

Lots and lots of blogging. Can't now, but tonight, I promise I will!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I have tons of great pictures from our Christmas we celebrated this weekend, but no free time to get them onto my computer.

We left Muscatine a little after 5:00 a.m. yesterday morning so I could get to work in time. Then from work, I headed straight to run all of my errands and didn't get home until almost 9:00 pm. I was beat by then so I headed straight to bed.

Tate is in Muscatine and having a blast I hear. :) We miss him so much already! We are heading back to Muscatine when we get off of work tonight. Pray for safe travels for us please, we hear it might not be the best driving conditions! Ugh.

Then, we will do Christmas on Christmas day in Cedar Rapids with the Peakin side! These next few days will be busy and fun filled! Pictures to come...I'll try to add some before Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ready for the weekend!

Tomorrow we leave for Muscatine. The weather is nasty and Sean got out of work early because they closed. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He usually works until 10 pm and he got out at 7:30! I was so happy!!!!! I had a busy night preparing for our weekend and it was nice to have his help. I had some gifts to wrap and lots to pack. Tate will be away from home for 6 nights. When we come back home on Sunday, we are leaving Tate in Muscatine and we'll be back in Muscatine on Tuesday before he goes to bed. I have left Tate overnight 1 other time. That's it. And it was a brief time away from him. I seriously feel nauseaus when I think about leaving him. I know he'll have fun and be totally fine, but it is just not something I'm looking forward to. Plus, he woke up with a lot of green snot coming from his nose this morning. Hopefully he doesn't get more sick.

Hopefully things with the ice will clear up in time for our travels tomorrow. We are anxious to get to Muscatine and celebrate Christmas with the family! Oh how I love Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Little Handy Man

Tate got a Handy Manny tool belt, gloves and hat set from Grandma and Grandpa at our Christmas gathering last weekend. He loves it! It's so funny because he can't get his fingers in the right holes on his gloves yet he insists on wearing them! He's been trying to "fix" everything.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday Ava!

We got to spend a small amount of time at the DeCook's to celebrate Ava's 2nd birthday! We love the times we get to spend with them. We wished we could have spent more time with them, but enjoyed the short time we did have with them! It was also great to see Kay for the first time in about a year!

I love how Ava's looking at Tate in this picture. She wasn't quite sure about him invading her castle!

Happy Birthday sweet Ava June!

A Special Christmas Celebration

I can never find the right words to describe how special it is to spend time with Tate's birth family. It is beyond any wish I ever dreamed would be realized. It's one of those blessings that you never dreamed you would feel a need for, but once you have it, you cannot imagine not having it. I would have never known what I was missing if I was never able to witness the bond that Tate and Brandon have. I would have never known that there would be something that Tate was missing had I not witnessed this bond. Now I know. Now I see first hand the importance of this relationship Tate has with his birth father. I only pray that someday he'll get to experience that with his birth mother. I always read about the benefits of an adopted child having a relationship with his birth parents. I see it now and it has been also so important and special to us too! And to top it all off, not only is Tate able to see and feel the love that his birth father has for him, but also his birth Grandma and Grandpa as well! There are no words really. They are all family now. I can't imagine life without them in it. I know Tate feels it too. Even at his young age...he knows these times are so special!

So we celebrated Christmas with these special people who we are honored to call family and we had an amazing time! The love they show Tate is so amazing! Tate had a blast! Plus, he got a RIDICULOUS amount of toys, clothes, books and SO many other things! He would be fine not getting a single other item for Christmas! He got the hang of opening presents insanely fast!

Tate loved wearing Brandon's Colts hat. He didn't want to take it off, so Brandon didn't make him! :)

This was Tate's deep, pure joy he had when he opened his Handy Manny...

He couldn't contain himself!

A quick moment with Daddy...

Working on some gymnastics with Brandon...
Deflating a chair he got from Grandma and Grandpa so it would fit in our car.
How many men does it take to deflate a chair? Well, all of them in the house! Tate even felt the need to join in by putting his foot on the chair to help deflate it just like Brandon while Sean and Gary layed on it. I love how Tate's hand is placed on Brandon's leg...so sweet!
Tate's bond with Brandon is so natural. His relationship with him and his love for him is not something that's forced. It's a bond that I am so honored to witness and so grateful he gets with his "first father"!

Hugs and Kisses

Tate had so much fun at our Christmas gathering that he could have stayed there and played all night. He made sure to give hugs and kisses to everone!
Hugging Brandon...

Hugging Mandy...

Hugging Grandma...
Hugging Grandpa...

Best Friends

Tate got a HUGE stuffed Manny from his birth father Brandon and his girfriend Mandy. Words cannot describe the love Tate feels for his new stuffed best friend. It's pretty sweet.
Thank you Brandon and Mandy for such a great gift!