When I Grow Up

She was asked that at school the other day, and the whole wall was covered with the various kids’ answers.

Robert wanted to be a fireman; Olivia, a princess; Seth; a dinosaur, and Tatum?


Really!? How cool!

Play is good

I never understood the value of play until I had a child. Two quotes I have seen of late:

“Play is the work of the child.” – Maria Montessori

“Play is the highest form of research.” – Albert Einstein

OK, then let ‘er P. L. A. Y! Gosh, I even am getting to see the benies for myself. To see her imagination run wild and to let ME become a kid has just been rewarding beyond measure.

I let her run around and just discover what she wanted to play on.

Of course she must ride the rocking horse…

But wait, there’s a “pool!” Let’s take the baby in there. IMG_2778 IMG_2777Time for bed, little girl!

Wait, you have to go for a ride first (time in the bed lasted 2 seconds, poor child)

SQUIRREL!…. A train set!

And with all the commotion going on she headed to the magnet thingies whatever they are. They make cool shapes and formations, all magnetized. Who’da thunk!?IMG_2771 IMG_2770

All in a day of play. When she gets to play in different environments, home is fresh and new!

Spring Training with Tot and Doug!


OOH, how is the view from up there, Tot? For me, it’s awesome because I’m not carrying her or holding her hand as she dawdles! We are on our way to the Diamondbacks Spring Training game at Talking Stick! Now, driving only 3 miles to get there is one bonus. The other bonus was having Doug with us to keep her engaged.

When we first arrived, we found our seats and realized they were directly in the sun. Wooh!  It may only about 85 degrees now, but with the sun beating down upon us, it felt more like 100! Plus, man that sun is wickedly terrible for Tot’s and my skin even with layers of SPF!20160304_132853_resizedSo we made the best of it…IMG_2608 11.34.33 AM IMG_2611 IMG_2612and then waited for the new pitcher, Greinke to pitch. IMG_2618And also for Goldschmidt to hit a homer!!


After a good 6 minutes of baking, Tot was hungry! Luckily I packed 5 different snacks and figured I’d stagger them. BUT, after each little baggie, I’m still hungry, mommy.

Ok, first, let’s find a seat up higher out of the sun. IMG_2615 Much better. Now where were we…oh yes, I’m still hungry, mommy.

Well, she had her freeze dried corn, apples, cheese stick, and freeze dried peas. Drink your water, Tatum. Hmm…not going for that.

So, kindly, Doug bought her a Gatorade. Now the Gatorades are about the size of her whole body, so how was I going to teach her about portion sizes. Well, taking it away from her after she drank half. Well, that was like stealing meat from a dog. Viciously difficult.

Back to the game, DB’s had hit 3 homers and the game was ON! We had found some shady seats up higher and were out of the sun, so our bodies were nice and happy. I stuck a Xylitol lolli in Tot’s mouth hoping to have that last a while.
Thankfully, Doug swept her away and took her to the mini-field where she could hit some t-balls and run bases. Meanwhile, I chatted with the elderly usher who kindly let us sit in the seats above.

When Doug and Tot returned, she was nice and pooped.

We headed out about the 8th inning, and called it an afternoon. As Doug said, “I call this 100% success!”

Tot’s swimming report

She was evaluated yesterday at swimming too! Tyler, hovered over her class like a hawk, and I later realized he wanted to see how far Tatum had come. WOW! She can……

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She continues to improve and be more comfortable in water. My little fish!

Tatum’s FIRST conference

I cannot believe I am attending my first parent conference at Tatum’s school. It’s weird to be on the other side of the table since I’m used to being the teacher!

When we arrived, her teachers, Miss Kristin (and asst. Miss Hailey) were beaming with smiles. First, they showed me her tracing had improved since January (she’s been there two months now)

Then, they got into the meat of the conference: How they see Tatum! I was proud to hear that she is one of the kindest in the class. They said she plays with EVERYONE, not just Robert. In fact, she shares and often will go up to different groups of kids and play. She’s not afraid, and she’s also filled with compassion if one has a problem. IMG_2632

They also said she has a HUGE vocabulary and will tell very creative stories that make them all laugh. She also is one of the first to come to the circle and sit in the front criss-cross applesauce and listens without interrupting. (HOORAY! All the hard work is paying off!!!)IMG_2628

I often have wondered if there will be fruit after all the “practicing” we do at home with her behavior….being kind, attentive, and QUICK to listen!
Also with her letters, numbers, shapes, and colors! She is way ahead supposedly. IMG_2631 IMG_2630 IMG_2629

They had ZERO issues to share with me, only to tell me she’s extremely bright, kind, and very funny.

I continue to pray for guidance and wisdom in raising her. The key for me is keeping it fun too! I want to challenge her, but ultimately, I want her to shine the light of Jesus in all she does. The school is doing such a great job in reinforcing what I value at home. Thank you Paradise for Tots, Miss Kristin (right), and Miss Hailey (left)IMG_2603