Poky porcupines

2am. This was the reason. This adorable little poky………MONSTER! OK, that is me getting a bit nuts about this sweet little porcupine. I’m sure he’s not a monster.

But this sweet little poky guy was the reason for me being up at 2am. He gave my child nightmares all night. How? Why? It’s a mystery. All I know is I had a tug at my sheets saying, “Mommy can I sleep with you? I had a nightmare that a porcupine was poking me.”



And so, let it be known to never read your child a book about porcupines before bed. It may lead to YOU being up all night too.



Elmer the Patchwork Elephant and the joy of color

We love going to the library. Full of diverse and fun books, the library holds the seeds of ideas for what to order from Amazon!

Well, one such book we discovered was this adorable elephant, Elmer.

I am buying the whole set. Not only does he bask in being different, he’s confident, funny, and so kind. Aha!
So after reading them, and I commenting on the colors, Tatum asks me to draw and she will color.

Okey dokey!

Her coloring is improving.

Then, the teddies of course. This particular Elmer book is about this baby elephant who loses his teddy. Elmer lets him borrow his own teddy until he can help baby find his own teddy.

I had to draw it and let her color.

I’m kind of setting myself up for more work, because every night after we read a story, she wants me to draw something from one of the books, and then she will color it. Fine with me!

The celebration of color and art with the Tot.


Glasses, games, and giddiness

Tatum loves to make things. This saves me oodles of money since she seems to be satisfied with homemade gadgets. Hooray!

Take, for example, glasses.

We started with felt, added some clear lenses (coming from a cut up clear pocket protector), and bunches of staples. Flying ace Tot is born.

And they continue to be worn during oatmeal. (she needed to SEE it)

After a few errands, we came back for our craft for the day. Today: A GAME! A match game made from pictures. I chose 24 pictures, developed doubles of them in pocket size, cut them up and found some card stock to mount them.

We took washi tape and decorated them. Then I laminated and cut them.

We got them all set up on the table, ready to find the matches!

After we played our matching game, (she won one and I won one (YES!)), we played with her new balance beam game with beans.
She must figure out how to make them balance from the cards given.

Again, she mastered it. Good math and logic skills at work.

We ended the day with a new pair of spectacles.

Yes, I see Y.O.U with my lil’ eyes.

We definitely laughed a lot today, and we made the most of our fun day!

Crafty girl

I always have a plan for our crafty days. Today, I wanted to use some old CD’s. A little glue, some buttons and a bit of watercolor and voila!

Now, while we wait for Mr. Turtle to dry, Tatum wanted to make a Paw Patrol arm band. See pic:

She wanted this, so as usual, she decided to make it!

I love her brain.

She got to work drawing and told me not to peak. I heard scribbling, stapling and more stapling. See mom!

All by herself. Much less expensive than the Amazon model, so I love it.

Turtle is now dry, and my crafty girl has accomplished much.


Coronado No Labor Day 2


Down the stairs and headed to the beach! First thing we noticed is that it was not an oven outside. AHHHH.

Cmon honey, Let’s go!!

On the way to hunt for seashells, we stopped to say hello to the birds of paradise







The walk to the beach was glorious. We did not find many shells, but we did get to see the beautiful scenery.

The Hotel Del is always a nice shortcut.

Finally, we stopped for a bagel, and we ended up having the best conversation with this family from Texas. They have just experienced Hurricane Harvey, and the devastation has been monumental. We assured them our prayers and support.

Tatum, meanwhile, was well fed, pleased, and ready to head back to change for the ocean. I was glad we had some time to appreciate our blessings. Meeting the folks from Texas was a reminder to be so grateful.

We headed back, Doug loaded up the cart, and we arrived! One thing I’m grateful for is all the lugging and tugging Doug does to help us. It’s a lot of gear to make sure we are all comfortable. It does not go unnoticed!
Next step: Heaps of sunscreen. Tatum would rather me not pile it on so thick as I cover her neck ever so gently. (Gentler, mommy!)


Time to build. Tatum kept asking Doug to fetch a pail or two of water for our towers. He kindly kept bringing buckets. Packs the sand, mommy!

Doug had the best idea for me to have a wetsuit so I could enjoy the water. This was brilliant. That way I could be covered from the sun but also stay toasty warm in the water. First, Tatum was to try the board. GO TOT!

She did it!

Big squeeze from Doug






Wait HARK!! What do we hear yonder?

Fighter planes (there is a naval base right near) over and above! Goosebumps. We feel very protected and proud of our country.

Time for mommy and Doug to try the board. She wished us both well!

So fun. I am not as brave as I was when I was much younger, but I still have a blast in the water. And because of my sweetie’s idea, I stayed dry and warm.

I had to join Tot in the sand following the fun. She was making a cake with sandy frosting. Delicioso!

The wind was pretty wicked, so the frisbee did not see much action. When it did, we ran all over the place more than catching it. Definitely we got our exercise.

It was time to say goodbye, so we headed back to La Salsa. Tot was ready for her fish taco.

We played “HI-LO” at the table to talk about our day, the highs and lows. My high, and really all of ours, was being together and enjoying the waves.

Puzzles (Spiderman!), reading and bed followed. We were all pretty pooped!

A full day!

The next morning, we left right after rush hour which in CA, not sure if that exists.
Tatum noticed she had some bags under her eyes.

A little milk does the trick.

For Doug and me, a little coffee did the trick. (or a lot).

Maybe we needed more coffee because our smilers were off. Baby kept on smiling because he loves pictures.

Doug tried seeking out a smile, but he wasn’t kidding us! He was tired too!

Another successful Labor Day Coronado trip. We will see you next year!


The Annual Labor Day Avoid the Crowd Coronado Trip

Another year in Coronado!

We have a strategy. Go against traffic.

My favorite poem of all time is “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. The last line is “I took the one (the road) less traveled by and that has made all the difference.” So, we take it to heart in everything. What is the crowd doing? GO the opposite direction. Alas…we are on our way to the beach as others are coming back. Brilliant.

Dougy (as Tot calls him) shows up early enough (heehee) and we (he) pack(s) up the car as we watch the spatial awareness genius occur.

Pictures before take off:

OK, now that that is over, when are we stopping to get coffee? First things first.

The minute we get in the car:

  1. Mommy, when are we going to be there?
  2. May I have a toy?

She was made aware that every 50 or so miles, a new “something” would be made available to her. That is code for NEW TOY TIME!

Mama packed her about 12 beanie babies, Doug bought a few goodies like a Paw Patrol set (winner!), and I brought a few Superhero figures and this magic coloring book. The CARS table helped immensely. Thanks, Dougy! We are getting better at this every single time.

Driving was just fine because we had plenty of podcasts since talk radio was …well, repeats since it was Labor Day. Not much juicy politicy stuff.

When is lunch? This came pretty quick, and shoot, I wouldn’t mind a Subway visit since it’s been since the LAST Coronado trip we went there…or some road trip.

Aha..we made it.

We all got our usuals since we all (well, Doug and me) are limited in our choices. Tot got some bracelet thing that was the size of her ankles. We tried it on her nose with little success.

Why did we do this? Because, in El Centro, CA, in the middle of not much, you make the best of a situation. Plus, we have ONE POINT FIVE HOURS till the WATER!!! We must press on.

We arrive in Coronado around 3:15 and head to the El Cordova. We loved staying there last year.

Upon dropping off our stuff, we literally changed in 10 seconds and walked/ran to the beach. Time is awastin’!


The usual happened. I run into the water with her and she runs away.

And she kept running. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

She did stop for a quick pic:

and then…..back to running. OOF!

A little salt in the eyes and sand in the ears. That’ll stop the running!

We had to bribe her with a fish taco waiting for her at La Salsa to get her to walk away from the water. We knew that we had a whole extravaganza day planned tomorrow. So we head back, picked up dinner, relaxed and turned in early.

With little sleep despite efforts, we are ready to face the absence of any stress for the next day.

Stay tuned!………

Show, Tell, and Skate!

Today was Tot’s first day to Show and Tell at school. She wanted to bring this devotional book we read every night! I was surprised and pleased at her choice. I gave her a Coronado shirt just in case they wanted to know what that was about. (more on this in the next post!)

Supposedly, she handed the book to Coach Matt and said, “This book my mommy and I read.” She spoke so softly no one could hear, but I told her I was proud of her! She will do better every week. Coach Matt and Ms. V were proud of her as well.

After this, I picked her up and we went to see Grant. Going to the rink together is a joy I love to share with Tatum. She loves learning to skate with Grant as her coach and cheerleader, and I get to watch with a front row seat as I skate around her.

Today, he put little fishes on her arms to keep her arms OUT without letting the fishes fall.

What fun! She did fall, and she got a bit discouraged. I reminded her this is part of learning and it means she is trying!

Today was filled with many “failures” which only help her grow and learn. It gives her motivation to try again and try again. There is no perfect, but there is perfect practice!

I love you, Tatum.