16 August 2012

My life Isn't Perfect


This women just wrote my heart in the exact perfect words I haven't been able to say! I want to share this article for others to see, because I feel that many mothers could benefit and relate to these words. 

Article is from http://www.huffingtonpost.com. Posted: 08/15/2012 12:16 pm. It was written by: Claire Bidwell Smith a Los Angeles-based grief therapist and author of the memoir 'The Rules of Inheritance'

The Good, the Bad and the Filtered: Truth About My Postpartum Life

Every day I take photos, probably several dozen. I capture little moments of my life and post them on Instagram. The bright, blue California sky. My two girls holding hands, my 3-year old in her underwear helping me make muffins. They are sweet, colorful and poignant pictures, snapped carelessly sometimes and yet with intent.

But they don't tell the whole story.

What I don't take photos of is my husband and me bickering at 5 a.m. because our oldest has awoken from a nightmare and the baby is stirring and we're both sleep-deprived and stretched too thin. I don't take photos of the two of us taking turns bouncing a colicky infant around our living room at 9:30 p.m. for the sixth night in a row, after the toddler has finally gone to bed and we're both exhausted. I don't take photos of the bottles of wine I eye greedily throughout my day, hungry to take the edge off this stressful time in my life. I don't display the envy I feel for my friends who don't have kids, my friends who are enjoying summers at the beach and traveling to visit friends and family.

I also don't take photos of my fleshy postpartum body that makes me turn away from the mirror every day, scolding myself for not sticking better to my diet. And I certainly don't take pictures of our sorrowful bank account, the very one that leaves me crying in heaves once a month as we struggle to make rent and pay preschool dues. I can't take pictures of how frustrated I feel to not be writing, to barely have time to respond to emails or to help friends with projects. I don't know how to capture the anxiety I feel about how my husband and I will make it through our girls' early years and survive happy and romantically attached. I can't show you the moments in which I feel worried about my career, my future books or about when and how I'll ever find time to write again.

So I don't. I just take photos of the pretty parts. Of my toddler's face, lit up by the sun casting off the Pacific Ocean, or the way the baby purses her ruby lips in her sleep. I take photos of my handsome husband holding hands with my oldest daughter as they stroll close to the ocean. I take pictures of our wonderful friends who stop by, the very friends who later confess to me that my life looks idyllic.

But that's where the disconnect sets in. Several times in the last few weeks, different people have remarked on how idyllic my life looks. My two beautiful girls, the little house in Santa Monica, the California sunsets and constant friendly gatherings. And, yes, those things are real, and I'm grateful for them every day.

But most of the time I feel frazzled, depressed and coiled tight with anxiety. Being a mother is hard. Being a wife is hard. Being a writer is hard. Living in California is hard. I worry about the future a lot. I worry about the present. I worry that I'm not being present.

And maybe that's where the photos come in. I spend so much time feeling like things aren't good enough that when they are, I take a picture, desperate to hold onto that moment for just a little longer.

I know these first months with a newborn are one-of-a-kind, that each day moves me toward a place where I'll be able to breathe a little easier. I just wanted you to know that my life isn't perfect, that instead it's built up of a series of wonderful, terrible, beautiful, tiny, tragic, flawless and human moments.

Just like yours.

14 August 2012


Learning is acquiring new, or modifying existing, knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences and may involve synthesizing different types of information. Learning and adapting has been the staple of the Tatum household the last week.

Kameron has finally learned to crawl. August 1st he made the big transition from scooting on his belly to coordinating his hands and knees (Click Here to Watch Kameron Crawl). He gets around these days which makes Mama's job a little more demanding (so please forgive me for my lack of blogs lately). He is now exploring his environment in a way that he has never been able to before. He is a curious little guy, with the outlets being one of his favorite things to try get to. He is successfully able to remove the outlet covers which has sent both daddy and I on a frenzy to find outlet covers that he won't be able to manipulate off. I think we have found ones that work and hopefully this phase won't last long.

Don't worry grandma was right there to make sure he didn't hurt himself.

My little man is also standing up all by himself, and balancing in the standing position while only holding on with one hand. He is desperately trying to stand alone and this has had me on edge lately. He is certainly built tough though, and when ever he falls he gets right back up and tries again!

Kaydence has been playing doctor lately, "Just like daddy!" as she likes to say. She loves listening to our heart, and daddy has taught her the sound our heart makes. She will very cutely come up to you and say, "Mama, I have to listen to your heart!" I will ask her, "What does my heart say?" and she will cutely respond, "lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub."


I am slowly beginning to learn not to sweat the small stuff. What people think of me, the people in my life that come and go, the mess that 2 children can make in a matter of minutes, and the tasks that I don't always achieve when planned. The only things that truly matter in my life are my health, my husband and my kids!

When we moved into our new home, our backyard was a mixture of weeds and dirt. This of course did not thrill me, as I wanted my kids to run and play barefoot on soft fluffy grass. Kevin quickly went to work tilling up the yard and planting grass seeds. In the past month we have successfully grown a plush green lawn (with a few minor touch ups needed). Kaydence received a pool from grandma for her birthday and for the longest time I have been unwilling to blow/fill it up. Afraid of killing the beautiful grass we have been patiently awaiting. However, the high temperatures these last few weeks have brought out the worst in my kiddos. I have been desperately searching for ways to combat the heat (making popsicles, giving Kaydence a spray bottle to spray outside, going shopping in air conditioned stores, locking ourselves into the house and making it a cave) all to no avail. After two full days of non-stop crying, whining, fighting, not sleeping, and yelling I decided to break out the pool. Hubby had to remind me that we grew the grass for the kids to play on, and that if it died we would just grow more. So I threw away my anxiety and  blew/filled up the pool during Kaydence's nap, as a surprise for her when she woke up. 

Needless to say she was thrilled and so excited to finally go swimming! She even convinced mama to get in the pool (fully dressed)! We had a blast in the hot sun during our swimming pool fun!

With swimming checked off, our summer to do list is slowly dwindling, and I would be lying if I said I wasn't semi-excited for Summer to end. I am greatly looking forward to holiday decorating and crafts, hot totties, hoodies, fall colors, cool weather, my birthday and gaining an extra hour of sleep:-)

10 August 2012

{this moment} :: 10 August 2012

As inspired by: Soule Mama

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

06 August 2012

{picture this}

Picture this:

Daddy and Kameron sitting across from one another. Each one with two cards in their hands. There are five cards in the middle of them and silence as they both are focused on the game at hand. That's right, a full on game of poker is happening here and this is some serious stuff! Take a guess at who won?

Happy Monday Everyone!

04 August 2012

A Good Day

Today was a great day! A day filled with fun from beginning to end. Today I was solo with the kids. Daddy went to a family members wedding across the mountains; and a 5 1/2 hour road trip (one way), with two very young kids, did not seem like a good idea for both their and our sanity. So Kaydence, Kameron and Mama made their own fun here at  home. We spent 10 1/2 hours out of the house and not one tear was shed. If that isn't an indication of a good day, I don't know what is!

We started our Saturday off by attending "The Big Latch On" event. "The Big Latch On" is groups of breastfeeding women coming together at registered locations around the world to all latch on their child at a set time, in hopes of beating the previous years world record.

Aims of the Big Latch On

  • Support for communities to identify and grow opportunities to provide ongoing breastfeeding support and promotion.
  • Raise awareness of breastfeeding support and knowledge available in communities.
  • Help communities positively support breastfeeding in public places.
  • Make breastfeeding a normal part of the day-to-day life at a local community level.
  • Increase support for women who breastfeed - women are supported by their partners, family and the breastfeeding knowledge that is embedded in their communities.
This isn't my first rendezvous with breastfeeding, and I have to say this time around I am much more comfortable than I formerly was. With that said, breastfeeding in public is not an issue for me and I was happy to be around other women who were as comfortable in their breastfeeding relationship. No blankets, so shrugs, not hiding in corners or booths; just women feeding their children openly like we were intended to do. I had a great time and so did Kaydence and Kameron. The location this year was perfect, as it was in a infant/toddler learning center, so there was lots of fun activities for both of my kiddos to do.

After leaving the "The Big Latch On," I oiled the kids up with sunscreen and headed for a sandy area. Kaydence was thrilled to be going to the beach and even made up her own cute little song about it. Today was a hot day, with temperatures reaching the high 80's. The Saturday summer sun brought crowds of people, but unlike usual this did not bother me. I was in no hurry to get anywhere fast, and enjoyed the slowed pace of life. Soaking in every moment of this time with my kiddos!

Ready to Roll

Toes in the Sand
My Beach Bunnies
My Sweet Girl
A couple hours of beach fun and direct sun definitely brought on an appetite. I have only been to a restaurant once with both kids and things went fairly well, so I braved it again and headed for Applebee's. My sweet little princess was delighted when she realized where we were. Although she has never been here before the apple at the top of the sign got her very excited. All she could do is keep repeating, "Mama, Kaydence wants to eat apples!" Once inside she settled on a corn dog and fries, with chocolate milk of course:-) Dessert was a loaded cookie that my firefly politely turned down after a few bites. She stuck to her french fries (dipped in whipped cream) and left mama to indulge in the whole cookie alone (not complaining). Kameron enjoyed some mashed potatoes and spent most of his timing flirting and entertaining himself with the table of cute females next to us (daddy's boy for sure!)

Kameron's Flirt Face:-)

If today's activities weren't exciting enough, a new toy for Kaydence definitely was a good wrap up of the day. Everyone please meet Dr. Kaydence...

Today was a good day!

03 August 2012

{this moment} :: 03 August 2012

As inspired by: Soule Mama

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

 If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments of Soule Mama's  blog for all to find and see.

02 August 2012

VEDA (Vlog Every Day in August)

So I gave in and jumped on the VEDA (Vlog Every Day in August) bandwagon. So as of yesterday I started doing daily vlogs. It will be a mixture of family vlogs, how-to videos, product reviews, signing with infant and toddler segments and possibly a few tag videos. I will keep a record of them on this blog for you to find and refer to. I hope you all enjoy! And don't worry, blogging will still occur. :-)

VEDA Day 1: Signing with Infants & Toddlers Episode 5

VEDA Day 2: Watch Me Crawl

VEDA Day 3: Words

VEDA Day 4: Cloth Diapering: Why?

VEDA Day 5: Cloth Diapering: Stash and Accessories

VEDA Day 6: Cloth Diapering: Wash Routine

VEDA Day 7: Accent Tag

VEDA Day 8: Grandma

VEDA Day 9: YouTube Tag

VEDA Day 10: Signing with Infants & Toddlers Episode 6

VEDA Day 11: VEDA Day 11 - A Day in the Life (on a not-so-busy day) Part 1

VEDA Day 12: VEDA Day 12 - A Day in the Life (on a not-so-busy day) Part 2

VEDA Day 13: Dr. Kaydence

VEDA Day 14: Swimming Pool Fun

VEDA Day 15: The Crying Game