Monday, June 25, 2012

6 months

Last Wednesday Tatum turned 6 months old. It is hard to believe she is already half way through her first year of life. Where does time go? Caden and Macy came over for a sleep over that night.  We went to the park, made homemade pizza, made cookies (in honor of Tatum's half birthday, of course), played ping pong and watched Kung Fu Panda. It was a fun night! Tatum had her 6 month check up the next day.  Yes, I am quite punctual. :) Actually, I just didn't want to be a month late (after vacation) and I didn't want her to get shots just a day or two before we leave for vacation in case they made her fussy or irritable.

6 month stats:
14 lbs 8 oz (20th percentile)
26 inches long (56th percentile)
42 cm head circumference

At Tatum's four month appointment she had only gained 1 pound in two months and she was in the 3rd percentile for weight.  Her doctor asked me to bring her in for a weight check at 5 months.  When I did she had gained half a pound, so she had gained at about the same rate as before. Then from 5 to 6 months she gained 2.5 lbs! Hello growth spurt!  I guess her waking up every 2 to 3 hours at night has done some good anyway. I will try to take comfort in that. :)

Tatum at 6 months:

She is sitting up better and better.  We can pretty much just leave her alone while she sits.  She will still topple over sometimes, but not too often.  She will lean over on her arms when she is sitting up but can't figure out how to get her legs underneath her so crawling is still a ways away.  She does a little forced laugh/cough that we think is hilarious.  She is starting to grow out of her I-don't-like-dad phase that has been going on for the last month or two.  She still doesn't sleep super well or have the best routine, but we are getting there.  We have started some solids.  She hates bananas.  She gags when you get the spoon even close to her.  We just got a walker for her and she loves it.

Bottom line: she can be a stinker but we think she is pretty cute and pretty fun.

And lastly, a picture of the chefs.  They made some pretty yummy cookies.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Father's Day

Last Sunday was Father's Day and we had a great day.  I made Brennan a gourmet breakfast of french toast and a fried egg.  Cooking breakfast for that man is frustrating. Breakfast is usually his thing, so anything I make seems so pointless since he could make the same thing taste better. But it's the thought that counts right? :) After Church we headed over to my parents' so we could celebrate with them.  We women always set our goals too high when it comes to cooking dinner for the men on Father's Day.  This year we discovered that we are pathetically incapable in the kitchen without our husbands.  Mom couldn't get the pineapple corer to work so dad had to do that. Rich was trying to teach Crystal proper grilling techniques.  And the sweet potatoes were too hard for poor little me to chop so Brennan had to do it.  So the men didn't exactly get to sit back and relax while dinner was made but it sure was yummy and we did a great job of cleaning up without their help. ;) I am grateful for a good husband who has turned out to be a fantastic father.  Tatum is lucky to have a dad who cares for her so much.  And I'm grateful for my own father who has always been such an example to me and who now gets to influence Tatum's life as well.  It was a great day to celebrate these wonderful men in my life.
Happy First Father's Day Brennan!
 Last weekend my mom found a bike seat for Tatum at a garage sale (apparently I am the only one incapable of finding a good deal at a garage sale).  So we brought my bike to my parents' house on Sunday so my dad could help us install it. After a little effort, he and Brennan were able to get it on.  I have been known to take some spills on my bike so I went ahead and let dad try it out with her first. She looks pretty cute and grown up in the seat. I went ahead and took a few spins next.  I am so excited to have it! Tatum and I now have another activity to choose from!
It was a good weekend! Here's to another great one starting tomorrow!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

raining crayons

Brennan did another melted crayon project.  It didn't turn out exactly how we imagined but it still looks good!  He made this one with the intention to sell at the auction at our family reunion. So I have a question for any family out there who reads this blog, if you think you would bid on either of these (feel no obligation) which one would rather have, the rain or the heart?

Brennan definitely got lots of creative juices flowing with this project and started envisioning others.  He's thinking only black and yellow crayons and have them spill over the Hawkeye emblem? :) Seems like it could be cool home decor.  Maybe one day...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

another weekend

Last weekend was North Liberty's Fun Days.  They had the city wide garage sales on Saturday so we headed out hoping to find some treasures.  We really weren't looking for much, just a few baby items that it would be nice to not pay full price for.  This is our second garage sale outing of the year and I think we have decided garage sales are not for us.  We can never find a thing and it just seems like too much work.  Lots of rifling through people's junk hoping to find something worth your time. So our morning was a disappointment.  We planned on heading over to the little carnival in the afternoon. They had a duck chuck we were hoping to watch and Brennan thought he might participate in it. And then there was supposed to be Bingo in the afternoon too so we thought we might play a couple of rounds.  Well there were certainly a lot of rides set up, but almost none of them were running because there was no one there! It was the weirdest thing.  And we couldn't find the duck chuck anywhere (but there were pictures of it in the newspaper the next day).  So we walked around for about 10 minutes and then went home.  The most irritating part about it is that we woke Tatum up from a nap to head over there. Needless to say it was a disappointing afternoon as well.

We headed up to Cedar Rapids that afternoon to run a few errands and then go to the baptism of our friend, Blake.  Brennan was privileged to baptize him and it was a great evening. We haven't seen him since just after Tatum was born so it was nice to catch up.  The talks were great and the refreshments were delicious.  And my parents were there and dad took Tatum during the whole program so just got to sit back and enjoy! :) Congratulations Blake and thanks for letting us share in the occasion with you!
Brennan and Blake in their white clothes beforehand.
Andrea (my looong time friend, and Blake's girlfriend), Blake, me and Brennan.
Blake's confirmation wasn't until Church the next morning so we just headed from the baptism to Mount Vernon and crashed at my parent's house so that we could be at Church in Mount Vernon the next day. Everyone was in yellow. Me, my mom, Caden, Brennan and Tatum.  But I only managed to get a picture of Caden and Tatum matching.
That afternoon we enjoyed the beautiful weather and played some croquet.  I rediscovered the fact that I am the world's worst croquet player.  I was so bad Tatum was wishing she could play in my place. Maybe next year Tatum!

When I uploaded the pictures from my camera I found these. I have no idea what they are from.  Tatum stayed up until pretty close to 11 Saturday night, maybe they are from her and Brennan playing late into the night. Weirdos. :)

Our little champion sitter, waiting outside the Church before the baptism.
And finally, Andrea, this is for you. (Tt was so good to see you! We are so excited you will be living closer. Maybe now we will be able to see you more than a couple of times a year and spend more than an hour at a time with you. :)) The picture my dad took while I was talking.  A big thanks to Jim Gugeler for holding my very grumpy child so we could get a decent picture.
Our weekend might have had a lot of disappointments but the good times far outweighed the bad. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


When Brennan was in middle school and high school he did a lot of acting and singing. (He was even in an episode of Touched by an Angel!:)) He has a really good singing voice, and although I've never seen him act, I'm sure he is good at it. But now he won't do any singing or acting. I'm always trying to convince him to but he is an incredibly stubborn man.  So when my parents said their Branch was having a Talent/Variety Show I took the opportunity to sign him up. He didn't pull too big of a fit about it.  The show was this last Friday and Brennan sang and played Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls.  He did a great job.  Rich was the MC, and told plenty of corny jokes.  The Eskelsens sang "The Mormon Rap". I was quite impressed at their ability to remember the words! And of course, Miss Chinny made an appearance that had me just about laughing until I cried. The show in its entirety was short and sweet, just the way I like it.  And it was fun to see the talents of my family members. Dad and I were happy to just sit in the audience and enjoy the show. :)

We borrowed some sunglasses from the rappers and put them on Tatum. I figured she would pull them off immediately but not once did she try to get them off.  She just looked around in amazement. Don't mind my nasty double chin in the background.
In other news...Tatum mastered rolling from back to front last weekend.  Now she is a full-fledged rolling machine. It is so crazy how quickly they grow and change.

Friday, June 8, 2012

worth it

Sometimes babies are a lot of work.

Strangely, I think I am just barely coming to this realization. For the most part Tatum has been pretty easy and I haven't really had any major challenges. Yes, she started out with her days and nights mixed up, but that only last a couple of weeks and by 6 weeks old she was sleeping for 10-12 hours straight at night. Yes, she had a fussy day now and again, but they only ever lasted a day and then she would sleep for 10-12 hours, giving me ample opportunity to rest and recuperate and then we would both be happy the next day.

Sadly, she stopped sleeping through the night when Brennan's family came for a visit back at the end of March. It was sad, but she was usually only waking up once and she would eat quickly and go right back down. Not bad.

Now, she hates to sleep.  At night or during the day.  It seems to tick her off that she gets tired so instead of giving into her exhaustion, she fights it.  Along with this change has come another one related to the shirt she is wearing in the picture above. That's right, she is totally a mommy's girl now. Did I really ever say I wished that she knew the difference between me and someone else and would sometimes prefer me??? I am definitely eating those words now.  If she is tired and she has any idea that I am around she will scream, and scream and scream and scream, until she gets me.  It frustrates and depresses Brennan, not sure which it does more.  And it certainly frustrates me.  I am a total softy so it is hard to let her cry for so long when I know that if I just hold her she will calm down.  But after fighting her to sleep 2 to 4 times during the day, I would really love for Brennan to be able to put her to bed.

My mantra lately has been the quote "He never said it would be easy, He only said it would be worth it".  It's not as if I ever regret the decision to become a mom or to stay home with Tatum.  And it's not as if it is really that awful.  But in the moment I often feel despair and I repeat that quote to myself. And I do find myself buying into the generally accepted views of society. I find I am often thinking to myself "I just need a little time to myself".  Or in desperation I will say to Tatum, "Mom just needs some time without you. Please sleep."  Some 'me time' right?  It seems we think we are entitled to some of that. But aren't we here to learn to forget about ourselves and care more about others?  Sure, some 'me time' would be nice. But how selfish.  Sometimes it doesn't happen, in fact, frequently it doesn't.  Should I really complain about that? Tatum is such a gift and this opportunity that I have to be home with her and to raise her is a blessing. And what about my Father in Heaven?  When I need Him does He ever say "Rachel, I just need some time to myself. Go to sleep." The thought is laughable, I know.  Clearly, I have a lot to learn about being a parent.

So, what is the purpose of this post? I started it to sort of vent about the hard time I've been having.  It has been a very emotionally and mentally taxing week or two as we have been dealing with this new phase. But I guess in the course of writing this post, maybe I learned a thing or two.  Sometimes this is really hard (Pathetic, I know. I'm a wimp.) but all I have to do is look at that adorable/funny picture to know that it is more than worth it.

Even on the hard days I should be grateful.

I'll work on it.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

bbq at the lake

We have been having exceptional weather here.  It has been plenty warm but not nearly has humid as it certainly has the potential to be here in Iowa. We have been trying to take advantage of it as much as possible.  It seems like Tatum is hardly ever fussy if we are outside so I try to keep us out for a good chunk of time every day.

Last weekend we went out to the lake and grilled with our friends Dave, Wendy and Oakley. The weather was beautiful, the company was great, and the food was delicious. It was a perfect evening. Except that I forgot we had Kubb in the trunk.  It would have really been perfect if Wendy and I had gotten the opportunity to demolish the boys in a game of Kubb again. We are kind of a big deal. :)
The lovely and very fun Shaha family.
Brennan made us some yummy raspberry peach cobbler in the dutch oven. Delicious.
We picked a spot right by a little playground.  Kind of silly because our kids are so small they can't really get a lot of use out of a playground. Or so I thought. But Oakley loved the baby swing (even when her mom pushed her slightly violently ;)) and Tatum loved swinging with Brennan.  She even got to try out the merry-go-round.

Evenings like this one make me feel about exactly how Tatum looks. It doesn't get any better than beautiful summer evenings spent outside with friends.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

our life slows down a bit

It sure has been awhile since I have blogged. I'm not sure why I suddenly stopped. We have had a good couple of weeks.  Brennan is done with school for the summer which has made life much more relaxing for all of us. He has an internship in the finance department at the City of Coralville.  He works there three days a week (which means we don't get to enjoy the 25 cent entry to the pool that the full-timers get, bummer) and then he works at Cold Stone two days.  So he is still plenty busy, but instead of devoting himself to school work when he gets home he gets to hang out with me and Tatum. Yay! He is planning on taking the GMAT in August so he does have to spend time studying and preparing for that, but we will take what we can get.

We spent Memorial Day with my parents.  We played tennis, ultimate frisbee, kubb, and some cards. And we ate lots of yummy food. My dad even hung the porch swing that I have been missing so Tatum and I got to try that out.
Tatum turned five months old a couple of weeks ago.  She is growing like a weed.  I took her in for her weight check since she was pretty small at her 4 month appointment.  She weighed 12 lbs exactly, and the doctor seemed pleased with that. In the almost two weeks since then I swear she has chunked up quite a bit.  All of a sudden she just seems a lot bigger to me. She rolls from tummy to back quite regularly, but has only rolled from back to front once.  She sits up like a champ. She still tumbles a lot but for the most part she does quite well.

Tatum got to try out the baby swings at the park for the first time. It is pretty cute to watch her in them. She seems so tiny.
We also bought her an outdoor swing for home.  It hangs below our deck but it doesn't come with much rope, so it is pretty high.  We still use it, but it definitely needs more rope or chain.
And here are just some cute pictures of our growing girl.
Check out those big blue eyes.
She loves sitting up.  It is fun to see her learning new things but now that she can sit up she really hates to lay down at all.  And she can't sit well enough for me to feel comfortable leaving her unattended, so I'm feeling a little more tethered to her these days.  But look how happy it makes her.
Life is good.