25 March 2012

Do Not Feed The Ducks

What a weekend this has been. One filled with fun, laughter, family, and sun-shiny days!

We began our weekend with a couple trips to the play yard at our local mall. Before having kids I swore to myself I would never take my children to one of those germ infested places, but I guess motherhood has softened me up a bit. There is only so much a toddler can do in a 3rd floor apartment and on days here in Washington when it is too wet to play, I have found that the play yard is a great place to allow Kaydence to release some energy. So I have given in to the dreaded germ yard, however, my hand sanitizer is always close by:-)  Kaydence LOVES the play yard. She screeches as soon as she see the Target sign because she knows it is close by. While sometimes I could do without some of the children and their parents, Kaydence sure does enjoy the interaction and just seeing the smile and excitement on her face as she runs from one obstacle to the next makes me one happy mama:-)

There was a lot of loving going on between Kameron and Kaydence this weekend. The interaction between these two amazing bundles of joy just thrills me!

Today was a great day spent at the duck pond with my most favorite people. This was Kaydence's first real interaction with ducks and Kameron's first nature outing. Kaydence walked the entire mile around the duck pond and even did a little off trail hiking. She sure is quite the adventurer.
(Get ready for a photo dump)

What a great weekend! 

17 March 2012

My Not So Green Blog

Kaydence has reached the age of exploration. She is beginning to realize that she is fully capable of manipulating her enviornment. It is amazing to see the look of excitement on her face when she realizes the power she has over things in her world. Pushing chairs and furniture, opening and closing doors, climbing into her brothers crib unassiated and even tuning on and off the water faucets are fun for my curious, inquisitive girl. Not only is her physical development taking off, but her mental development is growing by leaps and bounds as well. She is now able to recogize some letters of the alphabet (B, I, K, M, O, T, W, and Y); and she can also count to 3. She can tell you how many things you are holding up (limit of 3), and she recognizes/understands that that 2 comes after 1 and 3 comes after 2. I love being a witness and contributor to her development in all aspects.

Ways we contribute to Kaydence's developmental Growth:

  1. We have the alphabet in every room of the house. Many of her toys are alphabet toys, she has alphabet magnets that go on the refrigerator, her room has and alphabet foam mat, she has foam letters that stick to the side of the bathtub during bath time, and in every room of the house you will most definitely find a children's book of some sort. 
  2. We don't allow Kaydence to watch TV and instead engage her mentally with everything we do. If we are cooking, Kaydence is right there cooking with us. She is learning to count the amount of eggs we need, or measuring the amount of salt. If we are doing laundry she is folding with us or helping to put clothes into the washer/dryer. With all of our day to day activities we like to keep her engaged, while still teaching her and allowing her to have fun. Pretty much, we try to involve Kaydence in everything that we do in some way or another. I feel like this not only teaches her the ways of the world but also makes her truly feel like she is an active member of our family.
  3. We read A LOT!
  4. We have fun creative activities that we like to do with her, such as her Montessori inspired sensory box. A sensory box is a tub that we fill with different sensory items (soft, hard, squishy, cold, cups, funnels, scoops), anything that interests her. For us we change the items/theme in the box seasonally, sometimes monthly depending on the time of the year (October = Halloween, November = Thanksgiving, December = Christmas, etc). With her sensory box she is learning fine motor skills, as well as textures, colors, and functions. She LOVES her sensory box, guaranteed hours of fun:-)

split peas and rice

Kameron is becoming our great big boy. He recently had his two month check up and measured in at 24in long (90th%), 14lbs 3oz (95th%) and head circumference of 16in (75th%). Needless to say, he seems to be growing quite well:-) He definitely has better head control these days and even rolled over from his tummy to his back for the first time on March 10, 2012. He is now beginning to smile responsively and responds to and enjoys people. He also is vocalizing during play now with the cutest coos, gurgles, and babble:-) He is constantly inspecting his surrounding and is doing a lot of sucking on his hands (I am hoping to avoid the thumb sucking). Unlike his sister he does not take very well to a paci, which I desperately try to give him (yeah, the whole reducing SIDS thing is my motivation.) Since the Surgery Scare, Kameron has been doing much better. We were given a prescription of zantac by his pediatrician to help with what she believes may be acid refulx. We have also been doing more frequent feedings and more burpings to help minimize any pain or discomfort he may have, and so far he seems to be doing much better. The one thing Kameron loves more than anything is his sister. Whenever she is around he is smiling, cooing, and babbling. If we are holding him and she is near he will lean towards her to be closer. It is almost like he can sense she is a 'little' person like him. I love to see the way Kaydence interacts with her baby brother and adore the way he responds to his big sister. They already seem to be forming a bond, and that makes me one very happy mama:-)

Pick me up, Mama!

Happy Boy

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

15 March 2012

Spring Has Sprung...Kinda

Baking, decorating, and crafting have been mainstays in the Tatum household for the past few weeks. Between birthdays and the quickly approaching Easter holiday, I have had a lot of activities to keep me busy during my intermittent and limited free time.

Last week was Mama Tatum's birthday and as a special treat for her and a fun project for me, I decided to attempt my first rainbow cake. Since Mama Tatum has a gluten intolerance, my first challenge was figuring out the ingredients needed to make gluten-free cake mix from scratch. Lets just say after 30 minutes of research, a 5 minute walk to the store, and 1 hour of hopelessly searching for (and never finding) xantham gum, I ended up with a box of Betty Crocker gluten-free cake mix (it's the thought that counts right?). The cake was not made from scratch, but the frosting was! I did make the wrong frosting (cream cheese instead of butter cream) but the cake turned out beautiful and delicious:-)

Rainbow cake =  success,  however it can be improved

Happy Birthday, Mama Tatum

Kaydence though it was her birthday! :-D

My next project to tackle was Kevin's request for banana bread. This was an extremely important project to me because all great moms can make a delicious batch of banana bread; if I succeeded I would officially have the banana bread mommy merit badge. Like many moms these days who know what they want to make but have no idea how to begin, I turned to Pinterest for the perfect recipe. After an hour of searching I finally picked a recipe for what would hopefully be the best banana bread my husband ever ate!

What I discovered during my endeavors of making banana bread:
     1. My oven SUCKS and so none of my loaves turned out to my liking.  While yummy and delicious on the inside they were much too dark on the outside and I am all about the presentation as much as the taste.
     2. Out of three batches of banana bread 1 containing nuts, 1 containing chocolate chips and 1 containing cinnamon chips; the cinnamon chip banana bread was by far the better of the three.
     3. Banana bread muffins cook much better in the oven and are great for on the go!

Banana bread = still a work in progress
Banana muffins = success

My final project completed this week was decorating the house for Easter. Yes, although we are under a winter advisory storm as we speak, in my house spring has sprung! There are pastel pom-poms and plastic Easter eggs hanging from my ceiling. The windows are covered in Easter window stickers and homemade Easter egg garland dangles above them. A festive Easter bunny table cloth covers the table and a homemade Easter egg wreath adorns the door. The festive fun feeling of the house has me very excited for Easter. I can't wait for Kaydence's first Easter egg hunt and to see my beautiful kiddos all dressed up. Spring is in the air (although not our weather) and I can't wait!

Sorry pictures were lost! Will update with pictures if they are found!

Happy Thursday! :-)

08 March 2012

My Big Brave Boy

The room is quiet. All that can be heard is the calm 'whooshing' sound coming from the vents, which I am beginning to believe is a purposeful feature. Neither Kevin nor I are speaking. Kevin is calm (or he is feigning it well). He is bouncing up and down on the balls of his feet, patting Kameron's butt and talking ever so sweetly to our very hungry and tired little guy. I on the other hand am a nervous wreck. Shaking my leg, biting my nails, and checking the clock every couple of minutes wondering what is taking
so long. It has been a very long day. A day that started out just like any normal day for us. Today I took Kameron to the doctor. He has been constantly hungry, excessively vomiting and inconsolably crying for about 3 weeks now. I believed he may have a food allergy, acid reflux or gas problem. I had hoped that there was something the doctor could have given him or advised me on that could help ease his discomfort. Never did I imagine that today's doctors appointment would turn into a mad rush to Seattle Children's Hospital for possible emergency surgery. However, here we are two hours later praying our little guy will be spared the experience of surgery at only 6 weeks old. The doctors believe that he has Pyloric Stenosis, a condition in which a baby's pylorous gradually swells and thickens, which interferes with food entering the intestine.

A condition that can only be fixed by surgery. We are waiting in our exam room to be taken to the radiology department for Kameron to have an ultrasound of his abdomen. I am trying to keep my mind off the image of my newborn under anesthesia being cut open, but it isn't easy. Despite the fact that we are in a children's hospital, the ER rooms are not very colorful. In fact, besides the colorful jellyfish lamp cover, the room is no different than something I would expect at a community hospital. I have my eyes focused on the tiny blood pressure cuff dangling from the monitor Kameron is hooked up to, when the nurse walks in. We are taken down the hallway,
not far from our room, to the ultrasound room. Unlike the bland ER rooms this room has many colorful characters in it, and even a TV screen with a cartoon of some sort playing to help distract the kids. I nervously watch the ultrasound tech methodically roll her wand over the abdomen on my little guy. I stare intently  at her screen of what seems like one fuzzy blog after another as if I knew what I am looking for. After only a 10-15 minute procedure that Kameron handled very well (no crying and not too much wiggling), we are all done and heading back to or room. We wait again for what seems like forever until we finally received the news...Kameron does NOT have Pyloric Stenosis! I feel like an elephant has been lifted off my chest, and for the first time in 3 hours I can breath. My little guy will not be going through surgery. But as soon as my feeling of ease begins to settle in I quickly realize, we still do not know what is going on. So what is wrong with my son? Well after one x-ray, one bottle of hypoallergenic formula, a TON of nail biting and three more hours of waiting we were given he diagnosis of a food allergy. Ironically, the reason for me going to the doctor this morning. I am given instructions to begin an elimination diet. A diet where I cut out all of the commonly allergenic foods such as corn, soy, eggs, wheat, and dairy for a few weeks until Kameron's symptoms have stopped. I then begin to add these things back into my diet one at a time until one of them trigger a reaction. I will then know what to eliminate from my diet while breastfeeding our little boy. So let the fun begin right?  Well I will do ANYTHING for my son including willingly cutting out something like dairy or wheat or both from my diet for an entire year if that means my little man can still breastfeed and get as much of my precious liquid gold as he can. I happily took this diagnosis over surgery. So yes indeed let the fun begin!

Throughout this whole ordeal my little man was so brave. He wasn't allowed to to eat just in case he needed to go to surgery so all we could give him were these sugar drops. Needless to say, after being the the hospital for 8 hours he was so hungry and I was more than uncomfortable. However, he managed to stay pretty calm and even slept through the x-rays. He was definitely my big brave boy!


We have come to learn that Kameron, at this point in his life, does not have a food allergy. It is believed that he has some sort of a gas or reflux issue which we have been handling with smaller more frequent feedings and more burping. He has his two month check up on March 12, 2012 so we will find out a little more then but at this moment brother seems to be doing much better.

05 March 2012

10 Things Tag

Well here is my first tag blog in a line of many more to come, I am sure:-)

I found this Tag after reading a lovely blog by a friend of mine, The Rural Roost, and decided to jump on the bandwagon:-) I might even make a tag vlog out of this tag blog and get this going in the Youtube community as well:-) Well, here are the rules! Post a photo of yourself, 10 randoms things, then answer the questions on the list. Then make 10 questions of your own for others to answer.

My Ten Randoms:

  1. Contrary to what people believe Sunie is not my first name.
  2. I only did three years of high school. High school and I didn't get along. I loved school, hated the people so I worked my ass off and graduated a year early. One of the best things I ever did.
  3. In my 24 years of life, I have never lived in a single home for longer than a year.
  4. I have served in 2 branches of the military (Air Force and Army). Air Force is by far the better branch
  5. I have somewhat of an infatuation for tigers. They are my most favorite animal on the planet.
  6. I am a spontaneous and impulsive person. If I want something I just usually go for it. So far it has worked out for me:-)
  7. The majority of my family speaks Spanish although non of us have any Latino in us.
  8. I have a severe phobia of chalk. (Shiver), It absolutely weirds me out!
  9. I can knit, crochet, and sew as good as your grandma, if not better:-)
  10. I prefer my carbonated beverages flat. I hate the harshness of carbonation, so if I ever get a bottled soda I usually shake it for a few minutes before drinking it.

Questions from Maggie:

1. What was your most vulnerable experience?
The day I got on the airplane for Hawaii at the ripe age of 16, with $100 in my pocket and no real plan of action. I had no idea what was ahead of me!

2. Coffee or Tea?
Definitely coffee! You can't be a Washingtonian without a love for coffee:-) Although I am caffeine sensitive, I love a hot cup of coffee to start my morning!

3. What's your favorite thing about the place you live?
 My proximity to the ocean. Ever since Hawaii, I have become a beach bunny. I love the feeling of sand between my toes, the smell of salt water, and the sound of the tide echoing off the shore. Now, I would prefer that the weather be a bit warmer at the beach but just having the ocean close is good enough for me:-)

4. What is your favorite blog out there?
Since I am new to the blogging community there are only two blogs that I am currently following, The Rural Roost and Smith Life As We Know It.Both of these gals are great bloggers and I love following them. (And I am not just saying that because they are also my friends:-)

5. What do you want your life to look like 5 year from now?
This has become a difficult question for me because 5 years ago when asked this question my answer was nothing of what my life currently is. However, I couldn't even imagine it not going the way it did. What I hope my life entails in 5 years is family, happiness, and love. As far as all of the other stuff goes (houses, degrees, material things) they won't mean anything to me if I don't have the previous three.

6. What's the biggest change you've noticed in yourself since college?
I worry more! I have become an absolute worry wart. I worry about where I am in life, where I am going, how I am getting there. I worry about my health, my kids health, my husbands health, my grandfathers health. I worry about what to make for dinner, where are we going to move next year, how am I going to do my hair today. I used to be so much more carefree and relaxed. Maybe it was that fact that Hawaii makes it hard to worry about much, but since college I have become an anxious mess:-)

7. Tell me about your craziest wild animal encounter?
When I was about 15 there was a bat that got into our house somehow. To my  mother, sister and I this was the closest we had ever come to a wild animal besides the zoo. As you can imagine 3 urban women doing, the minute we saw it we all three screamed and locked ourselves in the nearest room where we then called a man to come handle the situation. Well, the man we called knew no better of a way to handle a bat than we did. Without going into too many details, 1 broom, 2 sheets, lots of screaming and a garbage bag later we "figured out" the bat situation:-)

8. what is the best live concert you've been to?
Avenged Sevenfold during the Taste of Chaos Tour! Let's just say AMAZING!

9. What is your guilty pleasure?
By far, hands down SWEETS! Cookies, cake, cupcakes, ice cream, chocolate, candy, brownies, you name it, I LOVE it!

10. What is your Starbucks order?
Grande extra caramel, caramel frappuccino when it is hot outside and cinnamon dulche white chocolate mocha when it is cold outside.

And here are my questions for you:
  1. What is the longest you have ever had to stay up?
  2. What is the happiest moment thus far in your life?
  3. What is the one food you cannot live without?
  4. Summer or winter? Why?
  5. Number 1 on your 'bucket list'?
  6. What is your favorite holiday?
  7. What ice cream flavor best represent your personality? Why?
  8. Where is your great escape?
  9. What is your secret talent?
  10. Tell me your scariest moment
Tag you're it! Be sure to leave a comment below if you decided to participate so I can follow you!