Sunday, January 31, 2010

My kind of day...

We have had a really good day. We all slept in until almost 9:00am which was a good start! :) Then, we ate breakfast and got dressed and started some chili in the crock pot and headed to Jordan Creek Mall to the play area so Tate could let off some steam. That he did! I did a little window shopping for a little bit when he first went into the play area while Sean stayed with him. Then, Sean went and did some window shopping at Scheel's while I stayed with him and then we both just sat and watched him. It was SO BUSY in the play area! Tate had a blast and I just giggled and giggled as I watched him interact with the other kids and play from afar. He is so cautious!!! It's hard to be though when the play area is so busy with about 50 crazy kids running around, so after a while, he was kind of forced out of his shell. It was hilarious watching him. He had some bossy moments though. He must have ran about 2 miles in there!

Then we decided to walk the mall, "ride" the escalator and elevator and go to Barnes and Noble to read some books. We read about 8 books and Tate was so focused on them. He thought we were in a library and would only talk in a whisper. Pretty cute. Then as we left, Tate said, "can we do this again sometime?!" Ummm...he may lead a sheltered life. He had such a good time!

When we got home and I made popcorn in the Whirly Pop and we all watched Aladdin. After the movie, I took a super hot bath! It was so nice! I haven't taken a bath in at least a year! Oh how I needed it. Now, we have the TV off (which is so nice in and of itself) and I am blogging while Sean is taking a little "rest" and Tate is playing with his bowling game. It smells of yummy chili and I am snuggled in my jammies already and plan to make some corn bread here shortly to go with our chili for supper.

Hopefully our evening is as good as our day was. Not looking forward to heading to work tomorrow!

More Buzz Lightyear

Look how proud he is in this picture to be wearing his Buzz Lightyear shirt...

Aunt Sara gave Tate one of Tyler's old Buzz shirts and Tate could not get that thing on fast enough this morning!

And Sara gave him Buzz Lightyear socks too...

He is so happy! We may not be able to get this shirt and socks off of him for a very long time!
Thank you, Sara!

Tyler and Leah turn 4!!!

Tyler and Leah had their birthday party in Cedar Rapids yesterday at Happy Joe's. They had a Spiderman/Princess Party and the kids had a blast. Tate was clingy and whiny so he didn't start becoming very social until we got to Sara and Travis's after the party. Then he had a blast playing with all of Tyler's toys!

Tyler and Leah with their cakes...
blowing out candles...

mmmm...delicious cake...

snuggle time with Nana...

Kayla had a good time too...
Happy 4th Birthdays sweet Tyler and Leah, we love you!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Buzz Lightyear

Tate has recently been pretty obsessed with Buzz Lightyear.
He loves to act like he has a laser beam just like Buzz.
It's pretty funny...and cute.

He does the action precisely.
His laser is on his right arm and he uses his left hand to shoot it just like Buzz.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sean's Finger

Here it is. He just took the gauze off tonight. You can see how deep it went by the cut on his nail.

mmmmmm...puppy chow

Tate and I made puppy chow tonight.
I said to Tate, "Do you want to help me make puppy chow tonight?"
He said, "that's a GREAT idea, Mommy!"
And it was!
Tate probably "checked to see if it was good" by tasting it about 10 times while we were making it.
It was good...he confirmed that by saying, "mmm...yup it's still good, I like it!" every time he tasted it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

sticking out like a sore thumb

So the doctor confirmed that Sean should have gone to the ER last night. Duh. He got stitches and has to go back in a couple of weeks for a follow up to check on it and get the stitches removed. He told the doctor that he could take the stitches out himself and she said that she does not want him to do that...she wants to check on it and make sure it looks okay and take them out herself. So that's the plan. In the meantime, Sean is giving me a continual thumbs up. Thanks babe! :)

We are pathetic...

Sean broke down and made a doctor appointment for his finger. I am still home sick and poor Tate is a ball of energy with parents who are both lacking in energy. Sean is drugged up and can't hardly stay awake and I am weak and tired with a fever still. I may need to get creative with Tate today so that he can burn off some energy while Sean and I can still be laying around. Don't know how I'm going to manage that yet.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Darn sharp knife!

I have been laying around feeling terrible all day. I have been sleeping much of the day. Sean decided to be an angel and make spaghetti pie for supper because I was in no mood to make any supper, let alone get up off the couch! Sean is in the kitchen cutting onions and I'm dozing on the couch when I suddenly here him say, "OH NO, OH SH$%!" (sorry, but I'm giving you an exact play by play).

What happened you ask? Sean cut himself...bad! I am talking bad! He cut right through the middle of his fingernail and down through the pad of his thumb. He immediately turned white as a sheet and sat down and said he was feeling light headed. I was still feeling like crap and dinner was only half done and I thought we may end up making a trip to the ER. Of course, Sean said that he didn't need to go to the ER. Honestly, his cut is terrible. He said his finger was numb immediately and then it started hurting a short while after that...throbbing. He requested Vicadin (he has some left over from his appendectomy) for the pain. He hardly took it after his surgery, so I knew the pain was bad for him to request it now.

It happened approximately 3 hours ago and he is still complaining of nausea. It is a bad cut and I totally think he should have gone to the ER to get stitches.

It forced me to get off of the couch and finish dinner and do dishes and I actually think that moving around a bit helped me to feel a bit more energized.

Rock On!!!

Tate pulls out his guitar and microphone and instantly becomes a rock star. It's hilarious because he flaps his jaw like he's singing at the top of his lungs, but no noise comes out. You'll see what I mean in the video below.

His actions are hilarious...

I don't even know where he's learned to act like this!

Too funny.

Try and ignore my hysterical laughing in this video. He was killing me with his little rocker act!

Our Dancing Super Tate

Monday, January 25, 2010


I am sick of being sick.
Fever, sore throat, white spots on my tonsils.
I don't remember the last time I had strep throat, but I used to get it every year.
This feels terrible.


That's how I feel today.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The weekend...

I haven't felt well all weekend. I have a headache I can't shake. I left work a couple of hours early on Friday with a pounding headache and I've only started feeling worse as the weekend went on. I did manage to fight through it to get some of the items checked off of my list. We ran a few errands on Saturday after I woke up from a nap and had a little energy. I managed to get 1 load of laundry done today, Sean did the dishes, I set aside some clothes that I'll be giving to Goodwill, made dinner (the recipe will be on my recipe blog sometime this week), paid some bills and Sean and I even played Rummikub. I am trying to push away feeling sick, but I just can't. I started feeling feverish this afternoon and I am just hoping I start to feel better by tomorrow so I can make it to work.

In some other random news, Tate has recently developed a deep love of steamed broccoli and cauliflower. We've had it a few times over the last week or two and he can't get enough of it. :) I know, I know...our lives are so exciting. However, we are hoping that soon there will be some very exciting news we will be able to announce in regards to Sean's job hunt! :) He was contacted this weekend in response to a job he applied for and we are extremely excited about the possibility of something panning out with it. I am not going to give specific details at this time, but as soon as we know anything, I promise I will let you all know too! We will see!!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

New Recipe Posted

Check out A Peakin To My Recipe Book.

Job Hunt

Is it possible to apply for 547 jobs (this may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it feels like 547!)that you qualify for and not get a single one? I hope not, but Sean is starting to feel that it is possible. He has applied for every job in ANY city in Iowa big or small that is east of Des Moines. He's even applied for a few in Illinois. It hasn't been long since he started submitting these applications...just under 2 weeks, but he hasn't heard a single thing from anyone and has slowly watched each application status on the hospitals' websites change to "other applicants being considered" or "job no longer available". If only these hospitals knew what they were missing!!!! I shouldn't complain too much, he still has several out their that he is being considered for according to the status on the websites, but he is anxious to hear something. So am I!!!

Praying for a job to come his way soon! He's so anxious to start working as a nurse! He got his license in the mail and it makes it all so official! It's still crazy to me that he is an RN...I am so proud of him!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hamburger Stroganoff

Check out A Peakin To My Recipe Book blog to find the recipe.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Another recipe is posted...

Mexican Chicken
Check it out on A Peakin To My Recipe Book.

Our Final Christmas Celebration

We had our Christmas with Brandon (Tate's birthfather), Mandy (Tate's birthfather's girlfriend), Grandma and Grandpa Shingledecker. As all of our gatherings are with family, this one did not disappoint! We had a great meal, great conversation, Tate played and played and opened TONS of gifts and it was so much fun!

Tate got a ton of fun, new Handy Manny toys and books and a couple Toy Story toys, lots of clothes and much more. He ate a little supper and LOTS of sugar. :) He had so much fun...we all did! One of his gifts is shown below on Tate. He got Buzz Lightyear wings that have a pack on the front with buttons that when you push them have sayings that Buzz Lightyear says. He LOVES these wings and wants to wear them all the time!

Thank you Gary and Marsha for hosting a wonderful Christmas! It was such a wonderful time...we love you!

A common theme.

At Grandma's house on Saturday, there was a common theme throughout the night...

Oh...and the fact that Tate covered his face for half of the pictures.
Notice the Teddy Grahams...

And there were cupcakes and Oreo Fluff...

And here Tate his showing off the green candy stuck in his teeth...

Tate was happy...very happy.

Snuggle Time

I love the picture below of Brandon, Mandy and Tate.
At one point in the evening, Tate just reached over, lifted up the blanket and snuggled in on Mandy's lap. He layed his head back on her shoulder and could have gone to sleep. I think that all the sugar that Grandma was feeding him kicked in a few minutes later because he decided to get up and do some more running around. I think he was afraid if he sat there too long that he would go to sleep!Going in for the kiss...

Just a picture in my memory...

There are lots of times when Tate does something or something happens when I think, "I WISH I had my camera to capture that!!!" I had one of those moments this weekend. Even my video camera would have worked. I'll admit, sometimes I will prepare Tate for getting together with someone. I'll say, "okay buddy, we're going to see so and so...don't forget to give her a hug and kiss when you see her!" On Saturday though, I didn't prepare him. In fact, I never have to prepare him to see Brandon. I know I say it all the time, but the connection Tate has with Brandon is unbelievable! When Brandon walked in the door, Tate pushed his way through the crowd of us standing in the entryway and faster than we could say, "look who's here Tate!" and hugged his legs and then reached up for him to pick him up and then laid a kiss right on his mouth. It was the sweetest thing and one of those moments when I wished I had my camera. I didn't...but I'll never forget that moment. I have that picture in my mind that I'll never be able to erase. SO. SPECIAL! There are no words for how special this relationship is between these two.I wish you could have seen Tate's face in this picture. He was beaming!
We love you, Brandon!
Tate. Is. So. Blessed.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Make me.

I am referring to the new recipe I posted on A Peakin To My Recipe Book. We had a new recipe tonight...artichoke chicken. It was amazingly easy, super fast and unbelievably delicious! Check it out! We will be making this often!

More Recipes Posted...

I just thought I would inform you that there are 2 more recipes I posted on my recipe blog. One is Beef Enchiladas which we ate tonight and they are SUPER easy and SUPER delicious! Click the link on my right sidebar to get A Peakin To My Recipe Book. :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sorry for the suspense...

I didn't mean to leave everyone in suspense or keep everyone wondering what's going on with us. I have had more than 1 person ask if we are pregnant (the answer is NO!) or if we are adopting again (the answer is yes, but not right now). Neither of those things were the reasons that made yesterday a VERY good day!

We found out yesterday morning that Sean passed his Iowa State Boards and is OFFICIALLY a Registered Nurse! The job hunt is on!!!! :) He applied for 20 jobs yesterday! We are hoping he will get at least 1! :)

Sorry if that wasn't as exciting of news as everyone was hoping for, but it was the best news we could have gotten yesterday! We have been waiting for what seems like a LONG TIME for that news! I am so proud of him and all of his hard work. Now we have a couple years of him working as a nurse and then he'll be back at it in Anesthesia school. At least this first step is over and we can move on to the next!

We'll keep you posted and when and where Sean will be working! Pray we hear something sooner rather than later...Sean is so anxious to get into a hospital and start working!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Weekend Visitors

We had a nice, relaxing weekend with Kay, Ryan and both of their doggies. I'm not sure how relaxing it was for them seeing as Tate was not himself this weekend. He was awfully whiny. However, he and Kay managed to have some serious snuggle time on his bed reading books before he went to bed last night. He LOVED it!

I think Baby (pictured below) and their other dog, Gidget had a good time too. :)

And this morning we had doughnuts. Clearly, Tate thoroughly enjoyed his doughnut.

Thanks for coming to visit Kay and Ryan! We had a great time and love you guys!

Just an FYI...

There are 2 new recipes on my A Peakin To My Recipe Book blog.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Hook 'em Horns!

Our little Colt McCoy is playing football with Daddy while we watch (make that watched...he just got injured and looks to be out for the game...ugh) the real Colt McCoy play in the National Championship!

I don't know about you, but I am thinking that we could have a future National Championship winning quarterback.
I'm thinking the sounds of "Starting Quarterback, Tate Peakin lead the Iowa Hawkeyes to their 1st National Championship win!" sounds pretty good! :)
Hey, I can dream right?
For now...Go Texas Longhorns!!!!!

Sensitivity to light

This is an example of Tate's sensitivity to light.
This evening, all I did was turn on the lamp in the living room and Tate freaked out saying he couldn't see, it was too bright. He asked for his sunglasses and ate his entire supper with his sunglasses on.

He LOVES his guitar...

He thinks he's a rock star...
He even fell asleep on the couch with it the other day...

Happy Birthday, Cassie!

I'm pretty lucky to have such an amazing sister.
I mean, just look at her! Wouldn't you want her to be your sister too?!?!?! :)

Really, she is a great big sister...just what the best kind of big sister should be.
She's my best friend, listens to me when I need to vent, laughs with me (sometimes at me too!), gives me honest advice, tells me when I'm wrong, defends me when she thinks I'm right and is there for me no matter what. Oh, and she's pretty fun too! :)

Thank you for being the best sister I could ask for, Cassie!
I love you!
Happy Birthday!!!!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Snow, taking down the tree and company!

Another snow storm is coming through tonight and into tomorrow. We are expected to get about 6 inches of snow...a far cry from the foot and a half we got a few weeks back. So I'm not too concerned. It was kind of nice today...a toasty 13 degrees or so. And the sad part is, I'm not kidding. It felt nice! When the high has been about 2 degrees the last few days, 13 felt cozy!

We finally found time to take the Christmas tree down tonight. Now it looks so bare in our living room! It was funny though, Tate had more fun helping us take the tree down than he did helping to put it up and decorate it. He was leaping around and saying, "this is fun, Mommy!" as we has taking the ornaments off. He is too funny.

Hopefully the travel isn't too bad this weekend. Kay and Ryan are driving up from Kansas City for the weekend and we are looking forward to spending some time with them. I don't get to see Kay often enough and miss her all the time so I would hate for the roads to be too bad for them to get up here. I'm not sure what we'll do aside from just catch up, but I do plan to make stuffed peppers and party potatoes for supper which I love and hardly ever make, so expect a new recipe to be added to my recipe blog after this weekend! :)

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Gotta love the Hawkeyes!

The Hawkeye victory this evening was SWEET! Is it bad that I cried? Well, I don't care...I did! Mostly tears of joy, but maybe a couple tears of sadness that I won't get to watch a Hawkeye football game again for another 8 months! What a great end to an exciting season!


Beat GT!!!!
I'm so sad that I won't get to watch any Hawkeye Football after tonight until September!

Little Rock Star

I apologize for 2 things in this video...
1. my singing
2. the song that's playing (we just had the Party Favorites station on)

Monday, January 04, 2010

A Peakin To My Recipe Book

Check out my new recipe blog at to see what my favorite recipes are. You can click the link on the sidebar as well. There are only a few recipes on there now that I just took from recipes I posted on this blog, but I will add more gradually. I have several that I would love to add, but want to add them when I have pictures of them.

Coming Soon...A Peakin To My Recipe Book

I don't know about you, but I LOVE trying new recipes. I get sick of the same old thing every day. I don't have a lot of luck when I open up my recipe books. Well, unless it's the Church Cookbooks I have that I love! The reason I love the church cookbooks I have so much is because they are regular people's favorite recipes that. They aren't fancy or difficult to make with all kinds of weird ingredients. I also enjoy getting recipes from other people's blogs who I read. Again, those are typically the yummy, homey recipes I like to make.

SO, I have decided to start a recipe blog! I am currently adding recipes to my new recipe blog and will include a link to it on my sidebar. These are recipes that have made it into our "rotation" as we like to call it. None of them are super difficult and I won't post anything that I don't think is delicious! :)

I cannot take credit for all of these recipes, so I have to disclose right now that many of them are recipes I have asked for from friends and family members. Sometimes I alter them about to suit my tastes though!

I will include main dishes, side dishes and desserts. We'll see how it evolves, but I assume that most of the posts will be for main dishes. I will try to include a picture or pictures of my dishes on the blog posts as well. I will likely put the recipes I've posted on this blog on my recipe blog first just to get them all into one location and then I'll add recipes as I make new ones. I have about 6 or 7 new recipes that I am going to be trying this month, so if they're as delicious as I hope they are, they will be posted on the blog!

I'll let you know when my "A Peakin To My Recipe Book" blog is up and running!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Only 1 more Christmas to go...

We spent Sunday, the weekend of Christmas in Cedar Rapids celebrating Christmas with the Peakin side of the family. The kids played and had fun. The adults chatted and ate a lot of delicious food! :)

I don't know why, but I didn't get any good pictures. I took 3! That's it! And 2 of them were blurry and 1 was of Tate not looking at the camera. Oops.

We had yummy soups, delicious bread, appetizers and tons of desserts! We all got great gifts and just had fun being together. It was a short, but fun celebration!

We then celebrated our Christmas with my side of the family (see posts below) and in a couple of weeks we'll be celebrating Christmas with Tate's birth family and then it will be all over! :(

It's been nice to drag Christmas out for a couple of weeks this year!

An afternoon of bowling...

Tate recently has been OBSESSED with bowling. He got a little bowling set from Santa and has played with it nearly every waking moment since.

It was so cold this weekend that the whole family went bowling while we were in Muscatine. There were 5 kids and 8 adults. My parents didn't bowl, but all of the rest of us did. It was such a blast! Tate enjoyed his first time bowling.

After the first game though, he was worn out and didn't want to bowl the second game.

And I managed to get a video of Tate getting a strike!

Christmas in Muscatine...

As usual, all of the kids spent lots of time hanging on and playing with Sean.

It was so great having all of the family together.

Lani and I...

We have all missed Chris, Brenda and Bode so much!
It has been 5 months since we saw them and Tate soaked up some cuddle time with Brenda...

and with Papa too...

It was such a fun filled few days!
It was COLD, so we spent lots of time playing inside. We had Wii bowling tournaments, a cribbage tournament, the kids played and played and played! There was sledding, LOTS of eating, football watching, TONS of laughing and chatting. We went bowling and shopping and cooked meals and decorated for the New Year's Eve party. We danced and partied in 2010.
There is NEVER a shortage of fun when we all get together and it fills we up with so much joy to get to call these people my family. Memories were definitely made as they always are when we are together and I am feeling extra blessed this evening!


Nana and Papa got Tate and Bode matching PJ's.
They were so cute and Bode was saying, "we look like twins!"
Yup, they do...exactly alike. Ha.

Tate looks up to Bode so much.
He follows him everywhere and wants to do what he's doing.
Bode doesn't love it, but it doesn't stop Tate!

Aren't they cute?!?!!!!!

And this is one of the sweetest things I've seen!
Tate misses Bode, Chris and Brenda so much!
We all do.

A Family Portrait

Unfortunately, these pictures are blurry.
This is our family in a nutshell.
We're not the "picture perfect" type of family.
We laugh.
We joke.
We're sometimes a bit inappropriate.
We. Have. FUN.

This is us...the original Stewart Family, just the 5 of us...

(as you can see, my dad dressed up for the New Year's Eve party...he's pretty fancy.)