Sunday, February 27, 2011

in a good place

Is it possible that the building one lives in can change several aspects of their life? I mean, it may sound completely crazy and I shouldn't let such a "thing" as the home we put our stuff in and sleep in affect my life so much, but it feels like it has. I don't really believe in jinxing myself, yet I still hesitate to say out loud, "things are just falling into place for us in our lives." I just feel like so much is so good that something bad is bound to happen. I know I shouldn't think that way, so I'm trying not to, but that thought does keep creeping into my head.

You know, there are ups and downs in marriages. Sean and I definitely have them. We are in an "up" right now. We are good, we are on the same page, having fun, happy. It's certainly helped that Sean has a new job that he loves and makes him happy. And it helps that I have a new home to spend my days in that I love and makes me happy.

Tate loves our new home. He is doing so well here and seems to be improving in regards to his sensory processing issues and just overall been better behaved. He IS at a really fun age!

For some reason, cleaning this home doesn't feel like a chore. I don't dread it, I just do it every day. I know I am so much prouder of this home than our previous homes, so maybe that's why I am not bothered by the dialy upkeep. Not only is it less bothersome, but I feel like I keep it cleaner and more organized than our previous homes. It certainly helps that we purged a TON of stuff before moving here!

Sean and I have both been on a diet since just after the new year. We've both lost a decent amount of weight and are working at just being healthier in general. I know that this has a huge affect on our lives! I have so much more that I need to lose and plan to do so, but even though I've lost only a small percentage of the weight I want to lose, I feel so much better about myself. I have more energy, I am in general just happier.

Now in all actuality, I know that the fact that things are falling into place for us really has absolutely nothing to do with the house that we live in. It definitely helps to enjoy our home though! I can honestly say that for the first time in our married lives, Sean and I feel as though most (we are still working on a couple) aspects of our life are in the best place they've been. Sean's happier with his job than he's been since we've been together, Tate is at such a fun stage, our finances are in a better place than they've been in a long time, we love our home more than we've ever loved a home we've had, we are in the exact neighborhood we've wanted to be in since planning to move to the Quad Cities and we both are working at being "healthier me's". It seems like in the past, when one area of our lives was great, another may not have been so stellar. It's so nice to have almost all of the areas in our lives be in good places. I know that this isn't how life will always be, but I am enjoying it and thanking God for it while it lasts! :)

One thing we're missing? A church. And this is a HUGE thing! I desperately want to find a church that is "home" for us. I want to find a church that is a great fit for all 3 of us. One thing that's caused some issues with this is that we are on the go a lot. When Sean isn't working on weekends, we seem to be out of town many of them. Aside from that, we have other specific things that each of us want in a church that have caused us to not find one yet. We need to work harder on this, I know. I want a church for me, for Sean, for Tate, for our family. I want a church that we ALL love! So I am praying that this aspect of our lives falls into place as well.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Talk-OH night...

Call me crazy, but I've never fed Tate a taco.
Whenever we make tacos or go to a Mexican restaurant, we do a quesadilla for Tate.
Tate is not a fan of ground beef, so we just avoid tacos.
Well tonight, Tate said, "I want a taco too!"
So we gave him one and he LOVED it!

And he started saying, "MMMM, this is good. It's a talk-OH! I love talk-OH's!" He was getting quite the kick out of himself. It was pretty funny though.
So we are pretty excited that he will eat tacos, ground beef and all!
Oh, and can you tell he got a haircut today?! Well he did!
It's still long and I cute 2 inches off!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Tate's excited...

Can you tell?
Wanna know why?
Because he got registered for preschool today!
He wants to start NOW!
He will be attending Redeemer Preschool starting in August.
He will go 4 afternoons per week for 2 1/2 hours, which we think is going to be perfect for him!
It was so cute when he got to the preschool, he gasped, "Oh no, Mommy! I forgot my backpack!" He thought he was starting school today. :)
He is super excited about starting and especially excited that Ava will be in his preschool class with him. It makes me feel good knowing that he will have someone familiar in his class with him too.
We just know that this is going to be a big year for Tate as he is going to be exposed to so much in preschool. We can't wait for all that is to come for him and are just as excited as he is!

Short Peakin Family Update

I got to chat with Lora for a couple hours tonight while I did her hair. It was so nice to chat uninterupted about our upcoming trip to Florida in a few weeks! We are SO SO SO excited and talking about all that we are going to do just gets us MORE excited!
An update about Sean's job...
He loves it!
He loves who he's working with!
He's learning so much!
An update about the brushing method we're doing on Tate...
He is handling it well!
He knows that we are going to do it every 2-3 hours and let's us do it.
I walked in on him in his bedroom brushing himself today!
An update on our living situation...
We LOVE it in our home!
We still continue to love it more and more every day.
Really, moving into this home was a FANTASTIC decision!
So there's your Peakin Family update for the day.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

copying...some new stuff!

So I read several blogs on a daily basis. One blog is one of my sister's friends blog "Whatever". She has a section on her sidebar where she posts random links to things she either likes, wants, maybe they make her laugh or smile...they are just random things. There's something about that section that I like...I love checking out her links and looking at all the fun, random stuff. I got the idea for my Glass Block Jello there as well as some various other things. So I'm copying will find on my right sidebar (just above my Archives) a list of "Random Things I Like...". I will try to add to the list at least an item or two every few days. Enjoy!
Also, I have added the ability to search my blog on the right sidebar. This is more for myself, but if you find yourself wanting to look for something you read on my blog, you can search it there.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

a milestone

Tate's becoming such a big boy...
Something exciting will be happening this week.
We are visiting

and hopefully

registering Tate
I mean, wasn't he JUST born?
Oh my goodness, we are so proud of Tate and just know that preschool is just what he needs to grow and flourish! We know that this coming fall, when he starts preschool, he will be starting a whole new chapter in his life. We know he's going to be great. We pray he adjusts quickly and easily. Hopefully it will help that his very best friend, Ava will be in the same class as him! I believe that having that comfort of Ava being there with him will really help Tate with his adjustment.
So my baby will hopefully be registered for preschool in the fall before the week is over!

an interview with Tate

I did a little interview with Tate today.
He's so funny.
And cute...
1. What is your favorite food?
vegetable delight (I have no idea what this is...never heard of it!)
2. What is your favorite movie?
Madagascar 2 (he hasn't watched this movie in months!)
3. What do you want to be when you grow up?
I want to be a chef when I grow up
4. What time do you go to bed at night?
at dark
5. Where does Daddy work?
at the hospital
6. Where does Mommy work?
at the hospital
7. Where do we live?
at home in the new house
8. What do you like to eat for breakfast?
ham and cheese sandwich, oh wait, that's lunch. I like apples for breakfast
9. What is your favorite toy?
ummmmm, my Mickey
10. When is your birthday?
October 5th
11. What kind of car does Mommy have?
the blue car
12. What kind of car does Daddy have?
the brown one
13. How old is Daddy?
um, I don't know...he's young
14. How old is Mommy?
old (thanks, Tate)
15. What do you think Mommy's favorite thing to do is?
listen to music
16. What do you think Daddy's favorite thing to do is?
vacuum (I can't remember the last time I saw Sean vacuum)
17. What is your favorite thing to do?
my favorite thing to do is bowling
18. What's Papa S's favorite thing to do?
19. What's Nana S's favorite thing to do?
20. What's Papa P's favorite thing to do?
sing the alphabet song
21. What's Nana P's favorite thing to do?
play a game with me
22. What is your favorite game?
I love a lot a lot of games...boxing and bowling and playing tennis
23. Where is your favorite place to go visit?
at Ayla's
24. Do you know what state we live in?
a building
25. Where is Mommy's favorite place to shop?
at the Wal-Mart
26. Where's Daddy's favorite place to shop?
at the dangerous shop (I know exactly what he's talking about here. He is talking about a sporting goods store. Whenever we walk by the guns, we talk about how they're really dangerous...ha!)
27. Where is your favorite place to shop?
the Wal-Mart just like you, Mommy
28. What is your favorite thing to cook?
29. What is Mommy's favorite thing to cook?
30. What does Daddy like to cook?
chicken (I'm not sure I've ever seen him cook chicken)
31. What is Mommy's favorite food?
macaroni and cheese
32. What is Daddy's favorite food?
Ham and Cheese sandwiches
33. What does Mommy like to drink?
34. What does Daddy like to drink?
35. What do you like to drink?
36. What is Mommy's favorite restaurant?
Pizza Planet
37. What's Daddy's favorite restaurant?
French Froe (I have no idea what this is!)
38. What is your favorite restaurant?


I posted a few months ago about our concerns with Tate's Sensory Processing and that we believed he had Sensory Processing Disorder. To make a long story short, one thing led to another and we have now been working with an Occupational Therapist once a week for the last several weeks. She is great and Tate loves her. She believes that Tate is "tactile defensive" and after learning more about it, we agreed that it seems as though he is. Tate is super sensitive to people touching him on the arm, back, head...pretty much anywhere. He especially is bothered by being touche unexpectedly. It depends on the day though, sometimes it doesn't seem to bother him at all. After the OT worked with Tate these last few weeks, she believed that the "Brushing Method" would be something that we should try in helping to desensitize Tate to his "tactile defensiveness". So we began doing it today. The OT came today and showed me how to do the brushing method and did it on Tate. He did really well. We are to utilize this method with him every 2 to 3 hours every day. So that's where we're at on that.
This is the brush...

As far as his other sensitivities...we have learned so much from the OT about what to do to help him cope and hopefully desensitize him in those areas as well. It's going really well and we just hope to learn more and more each week. We know that all of this is going to help in preparing him for preschool and beyond.

Monday, February 21, 2011


I was just looking at the pictures in the post below and realizing what a blessing it is that Tate does not have our nose genes. Man we have big noses! Holy moly, any biological child we wouldn've had would definitely have been doomed in the nose category!

family love

It was a fun night last night.
We decided to take a family picture before retiring to bed.
There is a chance you can see all the way up into Tate's brain in this picture! Ha!
And then there's me in all my makeupless glory...ugh.
I still couldn't resist posting these, it's a memory I definitely wanted to document here.
I love this family of mine...and we are so blessed with our extended family and these fun times we get to have with them! What a great time we've had!

Now it's off to the waterpark this morning for a couple more hours and then back home.

Dinner and Cards

After swimming, the night wasn't over!
We all gathered in a room, ate supper and the kids played an intense game of "Go Heroes" (the super hero version of Go Fish). Then they played "War". They were having so much fun and they all stayed up really late. They were happy campers!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Grand Harbor

The kids are in heaven. The adults are having a pretty good time too!
And then there's Tate.
He was a bit overwhelmed, shaking, scared, but at the same time was having fun.
This picture was taken just after he insisted on going down the waterslide by himself. We thought we'd go ahead and let him. It may have freaked him out a bit. By the time he got to the bottom where I was waiting for him, he had twisted around and was going down headfirst on his back. It was actually a hilarious sight! He didn't cry and even said it was fun, but when I asked if he wanted to do it again he said, "no, I want to go down with Daddy if I go again!" So he went down about 15 more times with Sean.
There is one water slide that the tube goes outside of the building and then back in and you have to ride in an innertube to go down it. We took a double tube and went down the 3 of us together. It was a bit more scary than we expected, but Tate was so brave. He insisted we not do it again though! Ha. :) He is trying SO HARD to be brave, but it really is all so overwhelming for him. This stuff is so good for him though!
It is so humid in there and water is shooting everywhere so I didn't get many pictures. The kids were so cute though!

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Lora and I picked up these two studs on the Rainbow Bridge.
Matching stocking caps...awesome.

Rainbow Bridge Heroes...

They were there to protect all who entered the Rainbow Bridge...
DeCook's even showed up!

Wolverine and Black Spiderman were HUGE hits on the Rainbow Bridge!
Everyone was commenting about them and getting a kick out of them.

Yet ANOTHER reason why I love Aldi...

I know I mention my love for Aldi more than the average bear, but honestly, I can't help it.
Everything at Aldi is inexpensive...everything! And I have liked (almost) everything I've purchased there. They don't have the most variety of produce, or even the prettiest looking produce for that matter! However, I still buy some of it there and when it looks bad or they don't have what I need, I go somewhere else. I have ventured into purchasing some meat there too, but not steak yet. I had always steered clear of their pop. I have tried off brands of pop before and many were terrible. I have been pretty happy with the off brands at Wal-Mart and also the HyVee brand pops, but not the "Cola". I don't know, I just haven't been able to bring myself to do it. I noticed a few weeks ago that Aldi 12 packs of pop are 1.99. Nice. I decided to start with Diet Lemon/Lime Soda (I can't remember what the Aldi brand's name of it is)...I thought that if it's terrible, I only wasted 1.99. It tastes JUST LIKE Diet Sprite! Yay! However, I am not too picky about off brands of Sprite/'s the off brands of Coke/Pepsi or Cherry Coke/Pepsi that I'm leary of. I decided to take the leap yesterday when we went to the store. I bought their Diet Cherry Cola. And I LOVE it! It's so good...really cherry flavored, almost like black cherry flavored. It's super good and super cheap!
Yet another reason why I love Aldi!
Apparently I love Aldi a lot considering I dedicated an entire post to them! Ha. Yes, my life is super exciting.

While the boys were playing out back...

...I enlisted the help of Ayla and Tate with picking up sticks in our front yard. They thought it was totally fun and I thought it was totally helpful. It is so nice out! And (unfortunately) our yard makes it feel like fall. There are leaves and sticks everywhere! No one had lived in our house prior to us for about a year or so, so no raking our stick picking up was done at all last fall. I am dying to rake the leaves up so our grass can grow and our lawn doesn't look terrible this spring. The sticks (thanks to the kids!) are now taken care of. :)
And then the kids relaxed and played their Leapsters for a while when we came in while Sean and Brigg played (and are STILL playing) the Playstation downstairs.
So it's video game time (and computer time for me) for everyone.
We will have breakfast for supper and maybe we'll hit the Rainbow Bridge after that.
Fun, fun!

Sean's dream come true.

Sean has wanted a basketball hoop since I've known him. I can't even remember if we had one in Colo or not. I am not even kidding when I say that the fact that this house had a basketball hoop was a huge bonus for him and one of the (if not the one and only!) reasons we moved here. Weird, I know. Anyway, he went out and bought a net for his precious basketball hoop today and he and Brigg broke it in. They both had a ton of fun.
Too cute.

I have a feeling that many hours will be spent playing in our driveway with this basketball hoop.

And it was a good thing that he and Brigg were out there playing because they heard "HELP! HELP!" coming from the neighbor's yard and when they went to see what was going on, they found the neighbor behind his fence on the ground...he had fallen out of his wheelchair. His gate was locked and Sean couldn't get in, so he lifted Brigg over the fence and Brigg unlocked the gate and let Sean in so he could lift the neighbor back into his wheelchair. I am so glad they were out there to help and that the neighbor didn't have to lay out there for who knows how long!

Friday, February 18, 2011

so excited for this weekend!

We have a super fun weekend ahead of us. This may seem weird, but I thoroughly enjoy doing a family grocery shopping trip. As you all know, I am a budget queen. Because of that, our grocery trips consist of several stops...Aldi, Wal-Mart and sometimes HyVee. We do 1 big grocery trip every 2 weeks and then pick up some odds and ends that we need between trips. Anyway, there's something very satisfying about filling our cupboards and fridge...and I'm not really sure why I like going and getting everything together as a family, but I do. That's fun for me...I know, I'm weird. So that was my fun evening this evening. Our cupboards are full and we made yummy steak fajitas for supper! :)
Tomorrow morning, Brigg, Ayla and Willow will be coming over while Cassie, Paul and Lani head to Chicago for the day and night. You all know how much I love having my nieces and nephews over! DeCooks will be coming over tomorrow as well to join the fun. :) I am a more the merrier type of girl, so I am super excited for having everyone over tomorrow!
THEN, Sunday we are heading out to Dubuque to stay at Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark with Sean's siblings and their families. Tate is BESIDE HIMSELF excited. He has asked me no less than 20 times today, "can we go to the hotel now?". Honestly, Sean and I may be just as excited as he is. :)
Tonight, we are relaxing and watching some of our taped shows.
A great weekend if I do say so myself!
If I don't have time to blog again before going to Grand Harbor, have a great weekend everyone and when I return, I promise to have lots of fun pictures from our fun weekend!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

a grandmother's love...

It's something Tate is so blessed to receive from 3 grandmothers.
Tate with Grandma Shingledecker...

Christmas in February...

We had our last Christmas celebration this evening.
We celebrated with Tate's birth grandparents, Marsha and Gary.
It was so fun to be able to have them over in our home.
Tate was so excited...and confused.
The whole Valentine's Day just happening and now Christmas again was a bit confusing.
Not that he was complaining...he got presents!

Grandma made Tate an orange blanket and he is over the moon about it! He is IN LOVE with his current orange blanket that he usually sleeps with each night, but tonight he said, "NO, I want my NEW dark orange blanket!" He's currently sleeping soundly with it.
And Toy Story Memory was another one of his many gifts. I have a feeling we will be seeing these cards strewn all over the house for who knows how long. He loves playing with these memory cards!
Thank you Grandma and Grandpa for all the wonderful gifts and for driving here for dinner and a fun evening. We love you so much!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What's changed in 2000 posts...

This post marks 2000 posts I have published on this blog!

January 19th, 2006 was my first post.

That means 2000 posts in 1852 days.

That is an average of just over 1 post a day.

A lot has changed since January 19th, 2006...

We lived in Colo when I started the blog, but my first post was an announcement that we'd be selling our house and moving back to Des Moines. We have moved 4 different times since then. Sean had just started nursing school when this blog began. We have each changed careers a couple of times since this blog began. We have gained 4 nieces, 2 nephews and a child since I started this blog. We announced a couple of months after starting this blog that we would be growing our family through adoption. We documented every detail of our adoption process on this blog and I cannot imagine not having that documentation to look back on. And since we were blessed with Tate, I have been able to document his life and share how adoption has blessed and changed us.

So yes, a LOT has changed since I started this blog, but the most important and biggest change since January 19, 2006 AND in my life has been the relationship I have developed with God. Going through infertility and then the adoption process forced me to lean on God and He provided peace and patience within me. He provided for me Hope and a faith that I would have the family I was supposed to have if He willed that for me. Going through the adoption process, He filled my heart with the realization that it wasn't a child that was going to bring joy to my life, but that HE was what I needed to be fullfilled. It so happens that children were in His plan for me and I thank Him for that every single day. It's so interesting for me to look back and read so many of my posts during that time that I was really starting to truly put ALL my faith and trust in God. I am so thankful to have this blog to go back and read some of the things that I wrote...things that poured straight from my heart. There have been several times when I have been able to look back on my own words and have them bring me right back to what I am supposed to be doing...leaning on God. In these 5 years, I have strayed from leaning on God in many times when leaning on Him is the FIRST thing I should have done. I have tried to take back control in my life when I know deep down that I actually don't have any control at all. It's a journey that hasn't been easy, but I can honestly say that over the last 5 years, those times when I try to take control back are much fewer and farther between than they were 5 years ago. I am a different, much more joy filled person than I was when I started this blog on January 19, 2006.

I want to blog every day. I want to document everything and I pretty much am an open book. Of course, there are private aspects of our life that I do not share on here, but I try to do my best to document everything big and small that I know I'll want to remember. This blog and blogland in general has exposed me to so many stories that have opened my eyes and heart and changed me in ways I never would have changed without this blog. I have been able to reconnect with people through this blog that I haven't connected with in years. I have been able to keep connected with people who I no longer lived near or worked with.

The only thing I regret about this blog is that I didn't start it earlier.

Thank you for even stopping by for a moment to take A Peakin To Our Lives that are all too often unexciting. Unexciting or not, it's our life. It's our every day. And I am so so grateful I started this blog to document our every day.

So here's to 5 more years and 2000 more posts...and beyond!

Us 5 years ago...

Us now...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The last one...

This was the first cake pop consumed of the Valentine Cake Pops I made.
I made 70.

We are down to the last one as of tonight.
That will be gone tomorrow.
I am actually itching to make more!

babysitter questions

For the longest time, Sean and I have said how we wished we had a teenage girl that could babysit for us. Someone that we can pay, that we don't feel bad calling because they have a family of their know, someone that's not family or a friend. :) Where would we find such a person.

About a week ago, we were introducted to Jeff...he is our "handyman" who happens to live 2 blocks away from us. My phone rang while he was at our house and my ring tone is a Superchick song. Superchick is a Christian group. ANYWHO...Jeff made a comment that he liked my ring tone. We started talking about K-LOVE, my favorite radio station that is a Christian station and then started talking about church. He invited Sean and I to his church and was just really a nice guy.

Somewhere in the conversation he mentioned that he had 2 teenage daughters. I put that tidbit of information in my memory bank. In my mind I saw neon lights flashing BABYSITTER! BABYSITTER! I didn't say anything to him though...afterall, I just met him about 20 minutes before that. I thought it may be weird.

Fast forward to this evening...Jeff returned to our house to fix a couple of things. Sean and him hit it off and were chatting and then I joined in the conversation. The topic of his daughters came up again and I couldn't hold it in anymore...I said, "do either of them babysit?" He said they do! YAY! I asked if he thought they might be interested in babysitting Tate on occasion just so Sean and I could go out now and again. He said he'd talk to them! I am super hopeful that one of them would be interested and that we would like her and more importantly, that Tate would like her!

After Jeff left, I realized that maybe my question to him was weird. Is it weird that I would have someone babysit Tate for a couple of hours that I never met? I don't even know her parents for that know, aside from just a bit of chatting I did with her father while he was at our home. I need reassurance that I am not crazy...or tell me if I am! We've NEVER had a babysitter before so I really don't know the protocol for hiring a babysitter. Should I KNOW the person? Should I at least KNOW the parents of the person? Am I just so excited about the possibility of having a babysitter that I am unknowingly avoiding appropriate protocol?

Monday, February 14, 2011


Can you tell how much Tate loves our kisses?
Yep, he just can't get enough of them...