A Sultry Sassy Saturday Summer

And it was….

Sultry because it was hot and humid and also because I have one passionate about EVERYTHING little Tot.

Sassy because, well, she has that tendency to be a teeny tiny too opinionated, but adorable at the same time.

Saturday. Not always easy to get Tot out of the house early in the morning, but when you have toast in a ziploc, a ball in your backpack, and a promise to swing and slide, you’ve got an agreeable swift Tot.

We arrived around 8:30 and there were crickets at the park. NOT ONE person around. So, we had our toast,

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went exploring in the goldmine

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and hit the swings. She is, as she says, bigger, now, so has apparently graduated to the booster-less swings. IMG_0214
IMG_0216She would plead for me to swing her but then would ask me to let go. I tried to explain that this was impossible unless I had a magic wand. I needed to touch the swing in order for it to move. OR..if she is bigger, maybe she could make it move with her teeny tiny legs?

After about an hour in the “sultry” air (90 and humid is like 115 dry!), we dashed home (haha). I had decided to walk with her stroller-less, so walking home became, “Will you carry me, Mommy?” Seriously? How about we compromise (story of my life) and walk part way holding mommy’s hand? Deal!

Back home, we had a second breakfast and all was peaceful on our western front. (for at least 5 minutes.


Single yet not stationary!

Bringing Tot to a Bobby’s book launch brought back odd memories and made new ones. Bobby just wrote a new book called, Help! I’m Really Single. This gave Tot the opportunity to meet some of my old friends, see Bobby and stay up late! (oh and have a real hotdog) IMG_0205

She immediately spotted him and wanted a picture with her Godfather. IMG_0201She especially wants to have him teach her how to skateboard.

It struck me how as time goes on many things stay the same. Many of the singles there (half the crowd) were from a group I was in years ago. They are all still hanging out and still well, hanging out. Single. It seems as though Bobby has a captive audience. I edited the book and have to say it’s effective and true..and hopefully will help some of these guys to “man-up” and make a commitment.

Meanwhile, Tot and I sat in the back, listened, laughed and she ….

enjoyed her hotdog!


On the way to the splash pad today, Tot wanted to stop. She saw many open tables and chairs, and figured, hey, this is a great place to stop and chat. We had pretend coffee, juice and toast. IMG_0190 IMG_0193 IMG_0192

She wanted to continue but our friends awaited! Alexa and Addison, Marlena’s kiddos were going to be late, so we hunted for chairs in the shade. Finally they arrived and Tot wanted her “gobbles” on. 

This gave Marlena and I a chance to talk. It’s amazing how hungry I get for conversation from an adult. Yes, Tatum and I talk all day, but honestly, I sometimes don’t have the energy to be all uppity. Also, she is in a phase of everything has to be her way, so my brain is constantly thinking of negotiations and ways to work WITH the gal.

IMG_0194 2The girls all bonded and hugged as we headed out. IMG_0199Later we had our swim class with her new instructor, Chris. She responds so much better to a male, and she is doing much better in his class. Her best skill is waiting! Patiently. 

IMG_0200The emotions ran high, however, after the class only went down the froggy slide once. Tears tears tears. She must realize that things don’t just always go her way and there is disappointments. That little piece of wisdom did not calm her down, but strawberry shampoo did. AND, she got to hold the shower nozzle. The excitement!

The waterworks continue whether it be from fountains, swimming or tears from disappointments. It is ok and necessary to feel the waterworks in your life, you just can’t let it drown you!


Let’s have a conversation!

When I go to Bible Study, Tatum stays in the kiddo’s room and today, it was Miss D.J. watching them. At one point, Tatum pulled up a chair to her and said, “Let’s have a conversation about our day.”

My little Tot loves to chat. To think I used to get excited when she said, “La la la!” Now, I cannot get her to stop sharing stories and she’s only 2 and 7 months. But, more importantly, she is learning to converse. I’m reminded of a sign that was outside a coffee shop. It said, “No WIFI here. Have a  conversation. Look at the person you are with. Enjoy people watching.”

It was refreshing to see her share a story with Bella.

IMG_0177 IMG_0178 IMG_0179Yep, that’s my cool Tot!

IMG_0174(at least before Mama catches you with her glasses on!)



Developing that EQ too!

Currently, I am attempting to write an article about some strategies to develop social emotional skills in children in the classroom. Why? Because the need is great since the skills are lacking or nonexistent. The reasons are many, but that is not the point of my post today.

Spending quality time with Tatum daily definitely contributes to her emotional IQ. I can navigate her through the roller coaster of emotions that flood her newly forming brain. Moreover, the people we come in contact with daily adds to her ability to be kind, patient, and caring. She is learning to share, say thank you and please and even compliment! Just this morning, a gentleman came to our home to measure for window coverings, and she said, “I like your hat!” She also kept quiet and kept her needs to herself until he left. But this does not come from the quality time I spend with her, I would surmise. It’s the quantity. And this is what is lacking in today’s parenting AND why, perhaps, children are entering the classroom with little or no ability to be able to communicate or be empathetic.

Case in point in music class today, she had to witness some major misbehavior by one boy, and it did not even phase her. Luckily I was there to talk to her about it and share that this is not how we should behave. IMG_0124 IMG_0130

She merely continued to bang her drum and follow directions. Of course we are as playful as can be in the class. Gosh, I don’t want to produce a perfect robot! But, I do expect her to listen when it’s time to listen and play when it’s time to play. This meant rocket time afterwards so she could blast off into space. IMG_0132The day only got better as we hit the grocery store only to see her bestie, Robert. It was like a scene from Love Story as they ran to each others’ open arms and proceeded to maul each other with kisses in the produce section. This lead to dancing and being silly, and the whole place enjoyed their goofiness.

I figured I’d capitalize on her joy today, and we’d sit down for a quick puzzle. Again, the time I spend with her is not only teaching her navigation through life, but can be sprinkled with learning as well. Sticking it in our day without her realizing she is doing “work”, she thinks it is just plain fun!IMG_0134 IMG_0135 IMG_0138

The health of our children depends on parents stepping it up and making time for their kids. Our future as a country rests on their shoulders, and the teachers cannot do all of the work. I will continue to pray for our children, the teachers, and the parents who can help make the difference.


The importance of being bored on the 4th of July

Saturday, July 4th. The whole entire day with Tatum with no break. (I’m not complaining, but I could use some ideas today). Everything is closed today, so I had to make the best of our day at home which usually goes fine. Our afternoon plan to hang at the pool fell through due to a toddler’s prerogative to change her mind. Honestly, I truly did not feel like being the entertainment committee this afternoon (as I usual am the president, vice, secretary, treasure and all the members).

We read the new Highlights magazine before nap today, and it had an activity I figured I would try!

It required a pool noodle, scissors, tape, and some construction paper. No problem! I cut up the noodle and figured we could make pool noodle castle, perhaps thread some of it and decorate them. What a grand idea!

Until implementation…IMG_0117

She was more interested in the scissors than the activity to begin with. Then, as I got out the construction paper, cutting was more riveting for her. Then, lacing the noodles? Well, that was more fun for me! OK, that 5 minutes was not successful. Now what? She did not want to draw, throw the ball or any of the plethora of activities I suggested. At this point, I figured I’d work on cutting out the laminated puzzle mom gave me for her to practice her letters. I told her she would just have to find something to do.

Initially, she asked for her babies and stood around with that classic look of fingers in mouth and puppy eyes at me. I went on with my work and just asked her questions of things she could do. FINALLY, she went to retrieve Bella, her baby, and cooked her a meal. The imagination began as she took her to the virtual splash pad, church, the store, a restaurant. She told Bella to eat her breakfast and that she would need to take a bath. IMG_0118 IMG_0119

After this, she asked me to retrieve her mini garage which has been collecting dust for months. Next thing you know it, she is talking to the “little people” telling them they’ll “be OK” and “we are almost home.” IMG_0120

She was P…L…A….Y….I…N…G!! Halleluia! We struck gold. It did not require me to turn on the TV. I did not have to do my usual song and dance pony show (which I must admit is pretty awesome); I did not have to pull out a “new” toy or “new” book. She used her imaginative mind creatively. IMG_0121And all is well. I’m even writing this post as she continues to reassure her little people friends that they are OK as they are having a blast flying in their pink mini convertible bug.

Her requirement of me coming up with something to do is diminishing, and she is realizing that she is in charge of her brain. For me to come to the rescue always will not allow her to just figure it out on her own. I want her to be bored sometimes so she can navigate HERSELF through the options of ways to entertain herself…sans electronic means.

This 4th of July, not only being a wonderful time to celebrate our country, turned out to have its own fireworks of fun at our little humble abode.