Monthly Archives: April 2011

A Year in the Life of Tatum

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Tatum's Birth Day

Our First Cuddle

Piper and her new toy

A Father's Love

Going Home

Just about one year ago, I was anxiously awaiting in anticipation along with fear for the birth of my baby girl.  At the time, she didn’t have a name, and I figured things would fall into place once we saw her face.  And so, unlike any other birth experience you have heard of, except for maybe on a talk show, Brian and I were frantically trying to get me up to the labor and delivery ward of the hospital but she just couldn’t wait.  At some point I realized that I was actually having my baby, right then and there, outside in the cold at 2:50 in the morning in Bad Soden Germany.  Brian got to deliver his own child, definitely not on his bucket list, but out of pure necessity and I can just remember him saying, “she’s beautiful, she’s beautiful.”  When I looked at her I just saw a naked baby covered in white stuff.  The nurse who had made it down to the parking lot asked what her name was and Brian said, “Tatum”.

As I reread Tatum’s birth story in an email I sent out last year, my eyes filled with tears once again at the miracle that is sleeping in the room next to me right now as I am writing this.  I was moved by the sheer craziness of the story, and by all the beautiful responses from friends and family.  But the excitement did not stop after her birth.  Tatum has just turned one and what a trooper she has been.  She spent the first 5 months of her life sleeping in the bassinet part of her stroller.  That little bed was on the floor next to our bed, then in our van as we camped in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Czech.  She made her first international move before she was 4 months old.  And then she put up with a month of house hopping before we got our place and she finally got a crib.  Despite all these big changes, Tatum was always full of smiles.  She is our cuddle bug.  She was not anxious to crawl or move, or even hold a bottle herself.  I think she was 10 months old before she would actually take a bottle or a sippy cup from my hands.  Usually she just sat there and tilted her head back. That silly little girl.  She is so easy-going and so happy that our hearts are so full of love for our girls.

I remember the tears I shed during my pregnancy.  Tears of mourning for Piper.  She was my sidekick, we explored Germany together while Brian was at work.  We acquainted ourselves to this foreign place, just the two of us.  And now that was changing.  It was a change that she didn’t ask for, and yet I was about to turn her world upside-down.  It was hard to imagine loving another being the way I loved Piper.  I knew it was possible, because I had people tell me it was so, but I just couldn’t imagine.  Until, I held Tatum in my arms and realized that she is mine.  She is mine to love and protect and to train and nurture.  She is mine whether she looks like Piper, or looks completely different.  She is mine whether she is collicky or calm, “advanced” or a “slow learner”, whether her first words come at 7 months or 17 months.  She is mine and I am forever grateful to have her in our family.  And though the grieving of having another child was so real at different points in my pregnancy, it is sometimes crazy to think I even felt that way.  Tatum adores Piper, and Piper adores Tatum.  This morning, as is the case many mornings, Piper came in my room and asked if she could go in Tatum’s crib with her.  By the time I got in there, I had to remove multiple stuffed animals, a book, and a tutu before taking out the two kids.  A few months ago Piper told us, “I can’t wait until I can understand Tatie.”  And so she has been anxiously awaiting the day when Tatum talks and on Tatum’s birthday she asked me why Tatum wasn’t talking now that she was one.  And likewise, when Piper talks nonsense, Tatum is the only one who thinks it is funny, which is enough for Piper to keep on going.

Happy Birthday to you, my sweet baby girl!

Look Who's Happy to be 1!

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tganeld…tangled

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I wanted to sit down today and write about my beautiful baby, Tatum Paloma who just turned 1!  But that is going to have to wait.  I want to give that my full attention and really reflect on the last year.  But, right now I am playing the role of single mom.  Saturday night, as we were getting Brian’s suitcases ready for his flight on Sunday morning, I realized that this was going to be my first time solo with the girls.  Why the heck did I wait until I was in a foreign country that would include a 12 hour flight home to be my first experience?!?!  I really should have done a weekend first or something.  And so, as one might expect, it hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing.  Today I put the kids in the car and ran upstairs to the apartment to grab my cell.  When I came back I was greeted with a purple comb protruding from Piper’s forehead.  This was after a not-so-smooth morning.  After many attempts to get the comb out, I ended up taking Piper to the store with the comb stuck in her hair.  We eventually got it out along with clumps of hair, but at least there is not a purple comb staring at me when I look at her.  While this morning, I was kept on my toes we are enjoying our time here visiting our friends and old neighbors.  Well, that is all for now.  More to come about Tatum and our trip without anymore interruptions I hope!

Little people, little things

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It must be interesting to view the world on your hands and knees.  Tatum could probably tell you every speck and stain on our floor if she could talk, but probably takes no notice to the new pictures that we recently hung on our walls.  Even after I vacuum the floor, I can undoubtedly count on Tatum to find where I missed a spot.  She has no qualms about putting stale Cheerios or smashed raisins right in her mouth.  When she started pulling herself up on furniture a couple months ago, Brian and I felt like she just gained a new perspective on life.  I’ve been realizing lately that little people notice little things.  Tatum doesn’t use her words yet, but I am amazed at the little things she enjoys.  When I am feeding her she loves to try and grab my necklace.  And when I am holding her, she takes her tiny finger and her tiny thumb and will pull on my arm hairs.  This drives me crazy, but it gives her comfort, so I try and ignore the pain of arm hairs that are constantly on the verge of being pulled out of my skin.  Piper is a bit older and has a big vocabulary, but she too notices little things, like the earrings the little girl is wearing on the box of LIFE cereal.  She noticed.  Or the woman at the store who had an “up toe”.  Maybe the lady was arthritic, I don’t know, because I didn’t notice!  While they are very observant of the little things, it seems they have no understanding of the big picture, which is why a child might throw a tantrum over not being able to have ice cream for dinner.  Somewhere in the process of growing up, we forget to pay attention to the small things, but see the big picture only.  How important the big picture is!  But, I want to take cues from the little people in my life and notice the little things.  The big picture is goal-oriented and daunting, while the small things are pleasure-seeking and gratifying.  Often I find myself popping the kids in the double stroller because even though Piper is 4, I know that I will get to the market much quicker this way.  However, I noticed that we have fun together when I let her walk.  We skip and gallop and take in the different flowers we see and look at the different cars we pass.  Today we saw a limousine and Piper asked me what kind of car that was.  She told me, “I knew you would know because you know so much about cars.”  (Just one of my many impressive skills).  There is so much to be grateful for if we realize the little things.  I am reminded of the cute video that some of you might have seen already of Piper praying.  She is grateful for the tortilla, juice, water and fork!  I am not usually giving thanks for my fork, but maybe I should, because there have been times where I have eaten with my fingers because I didn’t have a fork.  And so, today I will share a few of the little things that make me happy.  I was happy to find that Grape Nuts cereal was on sale because I love them, but never will pay full price.  I find joy in watching my little seedlings pop up as I am attempting my first garden.  And lastly, I love my Mrs. Meyers basil scented hand soap.  It makes me happy!  And what about you?  Really, I want to know!  Leave a comment and let me know about the little things in your life that make you happy.

Feeling Crafty: An Easter Egg Tree

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When inspiration strikes!

Cute tissue paper egg

My Martha Stewart Eggs

This week I was feeling crafty and I decided to decorate some eggs.  I made these Martha Stewart eggs years ago, pre-kids.  Back then I had time to blow the yolk out of eggs, measure paper, cut quarter inch strips, etc., etc.  This year’s eggs are also super cute, and better yet, super easy!  I bought plastic eggs this year, and with a little bit of Modge Podge and decorative tissue paper, Piper and I made some cute eggs to hang on our Easter “egg tree”.  Piper also painted on some eggs covered in a plain colored paper and they all look really cute.  It is something you can totally do with your kids and you don’t have to stress out that they are going to break the egg after all your hard work of blowing the yolk out.  While I was cleaning up my mess and throwing away the trash, I was inspired!  Looking right at me from a newspaper page in the trash was a vintage add for oranges, called “Roses Brand Oranges”.  So, I decided to make another egg with it and I think it is oh so cute!  The eggs I have have a hook and string, but you can also use plastic eggs and once they are covered you can glue a cute ribbon onto them.  And then go on a hunt for some good sticks to make your tree!

What you need:

plastic eggs (or if you are feeling ambitious you can blow your own eggs)

decorative paper (the thinner the better)

Modge Podge

How to:

Cut or tear your paper into pieces (smaller pieces for thicker paper like scrapbooking paper).  With your finger or brush, apply a coat of Modge podge to the backside of the paper.  Lay it on your egg and cover with Modge podge again.  Continue until your egg is covered.

Have fun!