Summer sizzles down and August enters

Tatum has the ability to take a frown and turn it upside down IN ME! Honestly, it has been a memorable summer. I must reflect:

  • Tutoring Olivia (with Tater on my lap) on Reading and Writing
  • Tatum in the morning: I sneak in and play Peek a Boo
  • Getting Coti up with Tatum. She gets so excited!
  • Tatum waits patiently for her food while Coti goes outside
  • Swimming Lessons every Saturday with Tatum
  • Scrabble with Mom nightly
  • Tatum discovering her tongue
  • Hanging out with Mom and enjoying our relationship
  • Completely re-writing the POWERFUL PEN (Tesseract’s Literary Handbook)
  • Church and laughing with Tatum (she makes it through the service!)
  • GCU and enjoying teaching the class. Monica’s appreciation
  • Reading as many novels as I can (with Tatum next to me) (and LOVING Fault in Our Stars)
  • Adapting to mom’s house and being OK with a bit of chaos
  • Sesame Street at 1:30 everyday with Tatum and Coti
  • Spending time with friends: Denise, Nancy, Karen, Melissa, Susan, Bob, Marilyn and Tacy (with Tater Tot on my lap 🙂 )
  • Tutoring Gabe on EGUMPP
  • Researching MORE Grammar programs (Is there a magic bullet?)
  • Delving into the Book of Isaiah Podcast
  • Circle K with Tatum: Michelle and Jean being President of Tater’s Fan Club
  • My new 2011 CRV (for Tatum’s sake of course)
  • Baby Bjorning (carrier) with Tatum wherever we go (Safeway, Fry’s, Walmart, Circle K, Discount Tire, Brake Masters, Paradise Bakery etc…) She loves it! (and she smiles at everyone.
  • That one glass of wine after Tatum goes down.
  • Sneaking in to Tatum’s room to peak at her sleeping. She’s so cute on her tummy all wrapped up in her blanket.
  • Finding the perfect toys for Tatum: cups, cubes, blocks, stuffed toys, rings, books, squeakies, mirrors, alphabet toys (Thank you Jocelyn for the AMAZING cube set!)
  • Getting sleep! Almost 8 hours a night.
  • Old Navy Tank tops. I lived in these. No frills clothing
  • Exercising every day while Tatum naps! 9am-10am. Yahoo!
  • Going to two movies! Despicable Me 2 and Now You See Me. (worth every penny!)
  • Being still. Hanging out with Tatum in her room all day, and being OK with not accomplishing anything.
  • Going into school twice a week for two hours while Tatum goes to Temple Chai. ( a nice little break for both of us)
  • Tatum making me laugh hysterically while she tries to catch and throw a ball.
  • Tatum and me playing with Coti!


I will miss this summer. IMG_2994 IMG_2993 IMG_2992 IMG_2991


My LaLa Girl at 8 months

Her new sound: Lalalalala with her tongue doing all the work. Yes, she has discovered this sound and her voice, and she uses it to obtain cuteness points.

Now, today, she is 8 months old and just about sitting up on her own! Oh the joy of this view from above!IMG_2968 IMG_2969 IMG_2970

My dear, oldest, most precious friend, Jocelyn, texted me this morning a “Happy Birthday Tater” message, and that reminded me! Heck! I had spaced this special day. Thank you  Joc… I sure love you and value you in my life. 🙂

Where did the angel go?

Lately while I tutor Olivia, I have been keeping Tatum on my lap. She WILL NOT allow any one else to hold her. Even if I move a foot where she can still see my every move, she loses it. Today, her temper flared and my Tatum turned into Tater HOT! Olivia put her on her lap so she was facing me, and Tatum THREW each one of her toys across the room. That arm I mentioned in this post is now being used in anger and not joy. Lovely. The minute I took her back, she immediately quieted down. Maybe a nice stroke for my ego, but this is not the kind of behavior I was seeking.



This came in the mail yesterday. The County Attorney wrote a letter to me THANKING ME for adopting Tatum. The government is not always so bad. Today, I did not  mind my tax dollars at work.

Thank you Bill Montgomery.

Push! You can do it!

She is ALMOST THERE! She will be sitting up pretty soon! 🙂


The world will be a bit larger when you can see from up high; keep embracing your opportunities, and be open to all of them! Keep that joy in your heart, smile, and know that you are LOVED by God, by ME, and by your family.

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Myth or Miracle? It’s a Mystery!

One would have to wonder…..

For about a week now, Tatum is showing all the signs of teething: drooling like a fountain, grumpiness..hmph!, sucking her fist and fingers, sucking EVERYTHING…etc. In fact, in between each bite of food, she inserts her two fingers into her mouth. It takes FOOORRREEEVERRR to feed her with each bite. Spoon in, fingers in, spoon in, fingers in….

So, I revisited my old post: Teething Time, jumped on Amazon and purchased everything. I even added a 30-day free trial to PRIME so I could get 2nd day air for free. Saturday….arrival of my goodies!

I first put the teething ring into the freezer and put on her beads. According to Bouncy Baby Boutique, these teething necklaces release a succinic acid, a naturally occurring component in amber that makes it so effective. “Succinic acid is a natural pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, and a central nervous system calmer. It is so effective on babies and small children because it simultaneously eases their pain while also having a strong soothing effect on their nervous system – all with zero side effects!”  They are not to be chewed but just held against her skin (via her neck).

Then I handed her Villa the Giraffe. Now, this squeaking, chewable giraffe seems to double as a Coti toy, and he got a bit confused thinking it was his. He still is struggling with this issue. Well, within 3 minutes, the squeaker stopped working as she spit up right into the hole. Hmmmm. The freezing cold teething ring froze off her little fingers and then produced a large wail. Teething tabs to the rescue but first, I gave her some Tylenol. Within one hour, I had all five goodies going!

Sunday….new girl! She is laughing, joking, attempting to talk and grabbing every toy possible, including my hair.

Coti waits…..


and waits…..

IMG_2900 IMG_2905 IMG_2908 IMG_2914Myth? I think not. These amber beads are pretty nifty; I’ll keep em.. and Tatum too! 🙂

Reading and the Joy of Discovery!

I am on a roll! One of the joys of my job is I get to “test” books for my curriculum. So far, I’ve read quite a few. For 8th, I’d like to add (to what they currently read) To Kill a Mockingbird, The Old Man and the Sea, and The Pearl. For 7th, I’ll add The Breadwinner, Johnny Tremain, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Stand Tall, Bad Boy, and the Story of Helen Keller.


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As I read with Tatum, and hopefully modeling this obsession, mom bought her Pat the Bunny. Coti is of course taking it all in.


After this..she discovers cups! Putting one inside another is definitely a puzzle she is discovering


Maybe she will figure out how to get the bell out of the cube?