Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Little Coastie

In honor of his daddy, Tatum decided to don his Coast Guard t-shirt and share a snapshot of a morning in the life of a Coastie. (You may note that this little Coastie is swimming with the pirates!)

Needless to say, the morning starts off with PT (physical training).

We try not to flip off the drill sergeant, but sometimes the temptation is overwhelming.

What do you mean, I flipped you off?  I was just chewing my fingers!

Off course then it’s “Drop and give me 20!”

“What do you mean faster? This is the fastest I can go!”

Sheesh, this drill sergeant is TOUGH.

Finally it’s off to the mess hall, where we wait for our grub.

In the meantime, we get hazed by some older cadets for thinking we’re hot stuff!

The mess hall grub could use improvement.

Fortunately we have some good buddies with whom we can share a belly laugh when the going gets tough.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Week 24

When I kiss the top of your head I no longer kiss peach fuzz, sweet boy. I kiss REAL HAIR. Super soft, silky hair...but not peach fuzz. When did you get so grown up with all kinds of big boy hairs on your big boy head?!

You're also working on several big boy TEETH. Your gums actually bled last week, so I know it's coming any day now--your first tooth! You like ice cubes in one of those little mesh pops your Aunt Julia sent us, and frozen wash clothes to suck on. These cold things seem to help (along with the occasional tiny squish of baby oral gel rubbed onto your gums, which you HATE--you grimace and gag and make the most awful faces, but it really does seem to help your comfort once you get past the taste. And secretly, we have to laugh at your drama when it goes on--the gagging and the faces are pretty comical, little guy). You chew on everything in sight. My fingers, your fingers, your dad's fingers, and any toy you can get your hands on.

Those hands are VERY busy these days, too. You're reaching and grabbing anything and everything. In the past week you've developed a fascination with people's mouths and love to reach up and feel mommy and daddy's lips and teeth. You've also gotten a few good handfuls of doggy hair lately! Your puppies are really beginning to fascinate you, and you actively reach out and try to touch their mouths, ears, and heads. Fortunately we're always right there beside you to make sure those connections go well!

Your curiousity knows no bounds, and I can't wait to see what you learn to do next!

Friday, June 25, 2010

A few favorites from the Matthews Reunion

A few of my favorite pics from last week's reunion:

Someday you'll learn to be happy when surrounded by so many smiling, pretty girls Tatum!

My cousin's sweet daughter holding the big guy

My nephew playing with my cousin's little boy by the river

Tatum and Dad, watching the big kids ride horses

Sweet cousins

Riding the cable car

Chomping on Gramps, one of Tate's favorite things!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My Long, Tall Drink of Water

Tate's 23-week photos:

Tatum in Waiting

Before I post photos from our family reunion last weekend and Tatum’s 23-Week pics, I thought I’d share this funny little glimpse into Tate’s morning.

Much like his mommy and daddy pre-coffee, Tatum is a bit foggy when he first wakes up.

Hey, can a guy get something to eat around here?

Note a hint of excitement in his eyes as he watches mommy mix up a bowl of rice cereal.

For me, really?!

Oh, yum!

The day can begin.

(He nurses when he first wakes up and then again right before his nanny comes for the day, so the rice cereal is really just an interlude. He does enjoy his first nums of the morning, though!)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tate Giggles

Birthday Gifts

My 35th birthday was yesterday. This has been the birthday that keeps on giving! I’m hard-pressed to say what my favorite present was.

Over the weekend, Mom and David (Tatum’s CeCe and Gramps) came over to help clean up our flower beds. The family that lived here before us planted some amazing landscaping. Our neighbors tell us that the mom was outside doing something in the yard EVERY DAY. I believe it. It’s like a park out there, with so many lovely flowers and plants that pop up each season. I feel guilty about it ALL THE TIME, though, because I just can’t maintain the yard the way the former owner did.

Mom assures me that this is a matter of “ages and stages.” The stage we’re in right now is about having and raising babies, not planting and tending to elaborate flower beds. Unfortunately when we first moved here, I landed in the hospital where we tried for weeks to keep our triplet sons. Of course after that was a period of deep grieving during which I couldn’t have cared less about the yard or in fact about anything much in this world! Then we were blessed with my pregnancy with Tatum and again, I wasn’t really feeling the yard work—I was too concerned with keeping our sweet baby in my belly for nine months.

So, all of this back story is to illustrate that our flower beds realllllly needed some work. Mom and David came over on Sunday around 10:30 AM and worked until 2:30 or 3:00 in the afternoon! I helped when I could, though I was also taking care of Tate since Bruce is still on the road. I pulled weeds from one side of the house, though—satisfying work! In the end our curb was lined with 8 bags of yard debris. What a massive undertaking! And what an amazing birthday gift, to have a tidy yard at long last. Wonder how long I can keep it that way?

That’s not all, though! My sister planned a little birthday dinner with my best friend from high school. We had a girls’ night out with fun drinks and great food and adult conversation. After 17 days with Bruce in DC, I needed that like you cannot believe! It was wonderful. I even had a cocktail (an Angel Food Cake martini…and yes, it tasted every bit as good as it sounds!).

And if THAT wasn’t enough, Lauren and Mom got me a gift certificate to get a pedicure. I need to find the time to do that soon, since the pigs are on display pretty much all the time in sandals during the summer. I could use the relaxation, and my feet could use the pampering! Oh my gosh, I have hooves down there. It’s not pretty. Not pretty at all. I don’t even know the last time I had a pedicure, and I haven’t exactly been exfoliating on a regular basis (quick shower! In and out! Is the boy crying? Do I have time to dry my hair?).

Finally—this may actually be my favorite gift of all, barring the gift of Tate that is!—mom finished the quilt she’s been working on for Tatum. It’s amazing!!!! I absolutely love it. There are SO MANY fun things for him to look at on this quilt—boats, balls of all kinds, dinosaurs, dogs, trucks—almost anything fun for a little guy to look at, it’s on there! The colors are incredibly bright and vibrant, and it’s just SO ENERGIZING, this quilt! Lucky boy (and lucky me, to have such a talented mom!). As you can see, Tate quite loves his new quilt. And so do I!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Week 22

After coasting along for several weeks without major changes, you seem to have decided it’s time to get moving my baby. You now roll over with abandon—from back to tummy, from tummy to back. Almost the minute I set you down on your quilt in the mornings, you roll over to begin playing on your tummy. You even inch yourself forward by tiny increments by sticking your tush up in the air and pushing up on the tips of your toes. It’s not really crawling—more like scooting along on your belly or sometimes even your head. It gets you moving, and that’s all you care about!

You have an incredibly strong grip and you love to pinch and grab things. Coming from the woman who nurses you, I can say that this is not always fun.

Your power of concentration is lengthening and your temperament is really evening out. I won’t go so far as to say that you’re low maintenance (come on, look at your parents! How likely was THAT?), but you fuss much less frequently and you can entertain yourself without intervention for longer stretches of time. You’ll fixate on something and just stare and stare, or you’ll try to do the same task again and again until you get it down. You’re a strong-willed and diligent little guy when it comes to learning new things.

Your verbal skills are blossoming, as evidenced by the little video clip I published from YouTube yesterday. You make ALL kinds of noises, and it’s clear that in your head, you make perfect sense. While they may not contain any recognizable words, your sentences have a definite cadence and a start and stop. You’ll make a string of noises, stop to look at me, wait for me to respond, and when I do then you’ll answer back with another string of noises. I just LOVE THIS! It’s my favorite new trick of yours, these conversations we have.

Actually, wait—I take that back. My FAVORITE new trick of yours is your ability to sleep through the night in your crib!!! Granted this has only happened once, and even then it’s not as though I sleep through the night because I’m up to peek in on you to assure myself that you’re okay, and to pump so that there’s a bottle supply for Sarah during the day. Typically you're up around 10 PM wanting a snack and again around 3 or 3:30 AM. But wow—a week ago you were still in our bed. Now you’re sleeping on your own in a crib like a big guy. In fact, I’m watching you on the wonderful video monitor Chooch got us as I type this. You’re currently on your back with both arms over your head, wearing a cozy Halo sleep sack covered in footballs and basketballs and track shoes. Sometimes you end up on your side, sometimes you even end up on your tummy—you seem to be comfortable in a number of different positions, and I’m guessing you enjoy being able to move around a bit more than you could when you slept with me in our bed. You’re waking up a bit earlier in the mornings now, but you still wake up happy as can be, just babbling and smiling up at the world.

Your eyes are still blue. You’re growing more hair. You’re the most beautiful baby I’ve ever seen. Of course I’m biased.

I’ll close, as always, with your 22-week photos.