When do we get to see Tommy!!??? (Day 1)

This is the second most common asked question in my house, only to be topped by what can I have for snack?  

All kidding aside, Doug, Tatum and I decided to go visit my sweet brother, his amazing wife, and dynamically talented son, Thomas. I made it priority to visit in the winter so Tot could enjoy the snow. To her, building snowmen, sledding, and putting on forty layers of clothing is all theoretical. I even showed her a video of a blizzard so she could see how the other half lives. It ain’t so pretty when you live in it, but boy is it beautiful to visit!

Anyhoo, we left on a Sunday late morning. As usual, my fear of forgetting where we parked  kicked in so we documented. Twice. (bonus cute pics)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why is it called the Skytrain?

Good question, Tot. I like this way of traveling. Who needs an amusement park when you have one of these.

Bye baby. They are going to analyze your parts.

Now, I had heavy bags because of one reason. TATUM>  I blame her. I refused to bring any zone-out-on-a-screen devices which would have lightened my load. We brought books, toys, drawing, and do-dads. Lots of them (and my back says aaaaaahhh!)

We landed and headed back to John’s house. WHERE IS THE SNOW?
Thank goodness they had a bit on their mountain.

Let’s check the growth.

Tot has grown since last time. Documented. Official.

Now it was time to unveil the gifts. I try to outdo myself with unusual things from Trader Joe’s to bring John. I think I was successful.

Seaweed is a snack. Say it with me: Seaweed is a snack. It’s all the rage with the kids.

Thomas, Tatum has been waiting to give you this. Two things.

After she let go, they headed upstairs to play.

John makes the best dinners. Definitely the most colorful.

Day 1. You were delightful.

 

Soccer Kick off!

It was the first day of practice! Tatum prepared by trying on all of her socks and her shin guards.

We arrived early,

and picked up her shirt. 

All ready. Now it was time to meet Coach Nile. I think he just came off the plane from Australia. He just bleeds Australian with his cute accent and nice smile.

He asked a question to the kids, and guess who raised her hand?

Ok, now it’s time to play. The first practice was more Tatum just running with the kids. I am not sure if she is ready to kick, but at least she’s running like a mini-cheetah out there!

She will miss the first game due to our trip to Utah. Sad face and happy face.

See you next Friday!

 

The big “A” word

It had been a long time coming. This discussion.

Yes, I had played it and rehearsed it in my head about one thousand times.

I also had laid quite a foundation about how Tatum came into the world with me as her mommy. Every single day, multiple times a day, she hears me PRAISE God for giving me Tatum and allowing ME to be her Mommy. She sees and hears me weep often for this gift. I make a BIG deal out of the day I saw her in the hospital (the FIRST day she was born). Why? So it is cemented in her head that it has been she and I since SECOND ONE.

I read multiple books (and have been since she was two) about how families are formed in various ways, and how some children (well, in the books there are bears, kangaroos, or birdies instead of kids) come to mommies and daddies with much prayer! Some are born in tummies; some are born in hearts. Tatum knew she did not come from my tummy but from my heart. She also knows there has never been a daddy, and she is assured that her Father in Heaven is her REAL daddy. (she’s NEVER been abandoned or unwanted).

But, lately, it’s become complicated. More questions have come, and they don’t come when we are are snuggling on the bed. Nope. They come when we are at the pool or in the grocery store.

“Mommy, how could I have not come from your tummy?”

Or a couple of her friends approaching me asking,
“Where is Tatum’s daddy?” (she answers with “He’s in heaven; that just confuses her friends)

She also has a couple of adopted animals from Bobby. He purchased a tiger and an elephant for her and she has the certificate of adoption. She equates adoption with a dog or some other animal. Not a child.

That was probably the straw that prompted me to share it all. I wanted her to be equipped as friends ask her questions AND I wanted her to know that word.

ADOPTION. It’s a beautiful word.

I came home early from school, and Doug and Mama were present. (They could both endorse what I was saying and Doug could share about Austin being adopted) I wanted it this way. I talked to her about how our family came to be and how she was adopted. She needed to know she was made by a man and a woman, but I had the blessing of being given the gift of being HER mom. (I don’t want her to think that being a single mom is the best way and that having a baby should be between a man and woman!) She has seen the pics of me cutting the cord, and me being present from the first second.

She listened and it was absolutely wonderful.

More questions will come. I know it. BUT our bond is STRONG, and NOTHING will ever break that.

I love you Tatum Isabella Knight. You are a precious gift from God.

 

 

Getting ready for Soccer!

Tatum opened up her soccer gear, and she couldn’t contain herself. She ran ran ran and kicked kicked kicked. She also tried on every pair of socks (in the pack was four pairs of socks).

Why? She is 100% girl AND 100% energizer bunny.

You know what she also is?
100% Coti’s sister.

EEEEEEE! Can you even!!??

Ok, so her first practice is this Friday (January 12th) and her first game is the following Sunday.

Stay tuned for the details. All I can say is she can’t take off her cleats.

 

Annual Dr. visit: FIVE!

Once we arrived to see Dr. Bloomenthal, she remembered going to get her ears checked just a few weeks ago. This time, we got to enter the “Well child” side. That is happy.

Tatum was called in and instantly got weighted. 32 lbs! That is exactly 3.8 lbs higher than her four year old visit.

Then, she is 38 inches tall. (1.5 more than last year)

She is right on schedule as a “3%’er” as Dr. B called her.

(she is on the bottom graph tracking along just fine!)

Ok, hearing was checked, and I had to hold her hand. She did not know what to expect!

Vitals all good. And then….she wanted to read the letters not the shapes!

 

She had 20/25 vision which they say is normal. I think Tatum wanted glasses.

Dr. B checked her heart and then let Tot hear it.

 

She is ready for medical school now.

All in all a great appointment. The next round of shots is in SIX years!

That was the main question from Tatum.

Being a Parent and Common Sense?

Today, I heard an interview on the radio with Naomi Riley. She is the author of a new book, Be the Parent, Please.

As I listened, I wanted to jump through the radio and high five her. I also was kicking myself because I could have written this book. It’s everything I believe as a parent AND makes up many of the observations I have made through the years, especially being a teacher.

First, why is it every parents’ goal to entertain their child? Why is it the goal of these parents, ergo, to be their friend? God forbid if a child has to sit through five minutes of grocery shopping, or driving in a car. Not to mention sitting in a restaurant. Gosh, when I was little (oh, I sound like that person now!!) we had to entertain ourselves and serendipitously our imaginations were ignited! We grew brain cells from having to think up something to do ON OUR OWN with OUR OWN BRAINS; not some screen that does all the thinking for us.

Second, what is wrong that a child must constantly be busy? Is it not OK for a child to have to figure out what to play with? Is it my job to create the menu? NO! It’s hers/his. I can goad him/her into trying this or that, but the last thing I’ll do is solve the “what do I do now?” dilemma. Sheesh. Sure, I’ll just sit him/her in front of a video, show, or game and have him/her zone out. No wonder children these days feel entitled. They also are ADD, anxious and filled with no ability to relax. I wonder why.

Our society has let technology become the parent and now we are seeing the degradation of our childrens’ minds. Shame on us! I have chosen not to be part of the problem. I want my child to be “the device” in that she is the one that is the playmate or the entertainment committee. She (or he) provides the ability to figure something out NOT SIRI or “OK GOOGLE…figure this out for me.”

I go to restaurants often (family friendly ones) and 99% of the time, the child is zoned out, staring out an iPad or phone. Shoot, he/she is sometimes laying in the booth completely stoned on screens. The ability for this child to be successful in life with a decent conversation or a dialogue is being ripped from him/her. He/she has been hijacked.

I am glad to say that this has NEVER come out of my daughter’s mouth:
“I’m bored.”

“Can I watch ____?” (She knows she gets an allotted time daily and that is it. After that, there is no “More.”)

Also, she is CONSTANTLY thinking up creative things to do or make. She takes what she has and turns them into characters, ideas, or toys. I am in awe of her brain.

I’ll get off my soapbox now. Suffice it to say, I’m so glad this book has been written. I pray that many will read it, and I pray that parents will wake up and ENGAGE their children in board games, discussions, and plain old imaginary play. It does a brain good. (Not to mention building relationships).

We only have 18 or so precious years to have this dynamos in our midst. MAKE THE MOST OF IT AND BE INTENTIONAL!!!

 

Words…life giving words

Life-giving words come from HIM.

I take this to heart when we memorize our verses each week. Now, we are up to 30 verses. This week, we worked on Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Then we make a little reminder for her wall. This art wall is a compilation of the best of the best of our little projects and some of our verses.

When I taught school, I would make the walls speak because I believed that students would remember better if the wall was “alive!” I know when I was a child, as I fell asleep, I would stare at my wall and it would speak to me. Hopefully it speaks LIFE into her!

In terms of all written words, my child loves books. She speaks out what she sees, and when the written word can be read clearly, she’ll read even more, I am sure.

When I make breakfast….she reads:

When I put her to bed, I’ll catch her……

Reading!

Reading is a wonderful habit, and what matters to me is her heart. I want these verses, the love of reading (hopefully good books!), the love of life-giving words to come from HER. So far, I see this happening, but time will tell. All I can do is model, pray, and be the best mommy I can be for her.

I love you Tot (and so does Snuggle Bug!)