Monday, December 23, 2013

Tatum turned TWO!

What the heck?! How do I have a two-year-old? This is madness. Brennan is done with school and only works two hours a day (and from home!) so we got to spend the whole day together as a family. It was a lot of fun! I hope we managed to make it a special day for Tatum.

She woke up to balloons in the living room. I'm thinking we could have stopped there-she was so excited about them!

 She had a birthday sign as well as a picture of Curious and George and a birthday cake outside her room. Of course, she wakes up in our room almost every morning so she didn't see this right away.

In this picture she is totally checking out the Happy Birthday banner we put up for every birthday. Kinda cute.
 Love her.
We got a layer of ice overnight she also got to do some ice sledding in the driveway. She thought it was the best.

 We decided to make present opening an all day task. I think this might be a tradition I want to adopt for Christmas too. At least while my kids are young and I can get away with it. It was so nice to just have her open one present and enjoy it for a few hours and then get another little surprise later.
 She loved her new baby and immediately started feeding her, burping her, changing her diaper, etc. Kids are pretty stinkin' observant.
Being a stinker for daddy. Lucky for her it was her birthday so she could get away with just about anything.
 She looks so OLD!
 A face only a mother could love right? ;) I assure you, I do.
 She requested a "George cake" for her birthday. I found the tutorial and supervised, Brennan did the rest. :) I think it turned out pretty cute. We both wish we would have lightened the frosting even more for the face and ears but Tatum certainly didn't care.
 Ripping into another gift with dad after her nap.

 I know it was Tatum's big day but let's not forget the little guy. He's pretty cute too.
 My mom and dad and Crystal and her family came over for dinner and dessert. Tatum was in heaven. Nothing gets her as excited as having visitors.

My mom made this adorable Thomas the Train apron for her. She loves trains. (And I'm too lazy to re-upload the photo so it has right orientation, sorry.)
 We played a little Pin the Hat on the Polar Bear. I'm fairly certain Tatum didn't get the concept but she loved being in charge of spinning people and telling them when to stop.
 Finally it was time to blow out the candles on that George cake. She is still talking about it.

Wow. It sure is hard to believe my little girl is 2. She is so full of energy, love, and spunkiness. She is too smart for her own good and her laughter is contagious. The last two years have given me the greatest challenges but also the greatest joy. And I have learned a lot about myself. I love being being Tatum's mom. In fact, there is nothing else I would rather be. Happy Birthday Tatum!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Declan's blessing

Declan's baby blessing was earlier in December. I don't suppose there's a whole lot more to say about it other than it happened (and share some cute pictures of course). :) Brennan gave a beautiful blessing and I am so grateful to him for being worthy to do so. The weather was rather unpleasant but my parents and my sister and her family were still able to make it which was great. We had everyone over for dinner afterward. It was a fun day spent with family, celebrating this wonderful blessing and addition to our family.

Proud big sister. Although she doesn't look much bigger than Declan in this picture. :)
 Don't mind the flash in our TV.
 I still can't believe I'm a mom. Let alone that I have TWO kids. They really do make me so happy.
 The day had barely begun but he was already tuckered out.
 See why we were celebrating? I think he's pretty adorable. :)
 Grandma and Papa with the kids.
 Less than flattering picture of our family of four. But at least the occasion is documented, right?
 The Eskelsens with the kids.

I never would have guessed, but finding a blessing outfit for a boy was a much bigger challenge than finding one for a girl! Luckily Brennan's mom, Melanie, found the adorable sweater one-piece he is wearing. I thought it was perfect. Thanks Melanie!

Friday, December 13, 2013


We had a great Thanksgiving! My brother and his wife and half dozen kids :) came into town for the week. We were happy to take advantage of our proximity to the grandparents and spend as much time with them as we could. Tatum was in heaven with so many cousins around and they were all so good to include her and indulge her. Claire was especially nice to be her little buddy. Tatum LOVES Claire! And Jaren didn't even let her rile him up when she was a punk and pushed him. Good kids I tell ya. We tried to fit in as much fun as we could with bowling, tag and liquid nitrogen ice cream at Papa's work, swimming, basketball at the church, games, good food, etc. And here are the pictures documenting the good times, in no particular order.

Brennan wanted to try out Stacy's DSLR so these three cuties were nice enough to pose for him.

Such a lovely "cheese" she is giving us these days.

We did a lot of lounging, like Tyce is doing here. :)
And Declan did a lot of screaming. He's good at that.
And Stacy did a lot of being beautiful. :) That's what she's good at.
Oh, and keeping the two youngest entertained simultaneously.
Lots of stories with Grandma.
And lots of doll house and polly pocket playing.

Caden did a lot of card tricks.
Jaren is so good around babies! I wish he could teach Tatum a thing or two.
Liquid nitrogen at Papa's work.
Brennan was kind enough to take Jaren and Tatum on a very chilly walk to the park. Mallory and Claire decided to join them. Brrrr!

 Jaren hanging out with the little guy again.
 And Tatum was actually fairly good around Tyce. She had her moments where she was overcome with the urge to push him but she usually just wanted to be by him and be his friend. Thank goodness!
We went swimming at the hotel. It was a great way to get out of the house during the bitter cold.
And that pretty much sums up our week. We are so glad Nathan and Stacy were willing to pile 6 kids in the car for an 18 hour drive. We had a lot of fun!

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Time for some quick catch up posts. I will probably just highlight the main events. Like holidays! I've always loved holidays, I mean who doesn't? But they are a million times better with kids, especially as they get old enough to start enjoying the festivities. This year, much like last, I thought Tatum would love carving pumpkins. Mostly the pumpkin guts part. But her reaction was still the same. Yep, she freaked out. 
But she did love painting the little pumpkin we got for her. She was quite proud of it.

While I helped Tatum paint, Brennan tackled the carving of our shared pumpkin. He did a mighty fine job.

For her costume this year Tatum was Herky, the Hawkeyes mascot. Our Craigslist costume maybe wasn't as creative as last year's bag of popcorn and popcorn sellers, but it was a heck of a lot easier (Brennan and I didn't even dress up!). Maybe we can be a little more on top of things next year. Tatum has been a big fan of Herky ever since the Kernels baseball game we went to that he was at. Then she saw him at a soccer game and then every sporting event or uniform became Herky in her mind. When we put her Hawkeye football jersey on she would run around the house saying "Herky running!". With this deep and abiding love she seemed to have for Herky it just made sense for her to dress up as him when I saw the costume. I never really thought about it being a boy's costume. But everyone thought she was a boy! Oops. She didn't seem to mind. ;)

Here she is at our church Halloween party.
With her friend, Ryan, who was a Hawkeye football player.
With her friend James.
Hanging out in the trunk with dad during the trunk-or-treat.
She just might be the cutest Herky I have ever seen.
The crash after the sugar high. :)
Brennan made a really yummy chili for the chili cook-off at the party and his won. Way to go Brennan!
Some cute pictures from a trip to the park around the same time.

Hehehe, quite a look Tatum, quite a look.
Halloween night with a very pregnant and swollen mom. Yikes.
Getting the goods with daddy. It's amazing how quickly they catch on to awesomeness of Halloween. Tatum would run between houses yelling "more candy!". We have created a monster. :)
Checking out the loot with Grandma. She has hardly eaten a morsel of it, but she was sure excited to get it that night.
Tatum got a little excited about suckers. I personally enjoy 49 seconds, where she insists the yellow starburst is cheese and 1:15ish when she is completely overcome with excitement. Enjoy. :)