Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Tazey Eli

Tatum is 5. That went by far too fast.

I still remember how desperately I wanted her, crying and praying, thinking that Spencer would end up being an only child. I was heartbroken... NOT that Spencer was my only child, but that he would never know how amazing it was to have a sibling. I am so very grateful to have grown up with 3 fantastic brothers and I wanted that for my child. Brothers, sisters, didn't matter. Someone to grow up with, rough house with, play with, laugh with, fight with... And I thought Spencer would never get that. It wasn't until I gave up trying that God blessed me with the sweetness that is Tatum.

It's almost as if Tatum herself is an embodiment of my struggle to have another child. I tried so hard to have another baby, just like I tried so hard to get Tatum to be mobile. But just like God was waiting for the right moment to grant me another child, she was waiting for her exact right moment. She moves at her own pace, a perfect pace for her. You can't force her to do anything, never have been able to. But if you're sweet and kind to her and always loving, she will return that kindness and love tenfold. God does the same, turns out.  He is continuously teaching me through Tatum. I am so grateful he gave me her. I suppose there were some lessons I needed to learn, and He continues to teach me every day.

She was by far, my easiest baby. That's why I always encourage mother's who are scared of transitioning from one baby to two, not to worry because that was the smoothest transition from baby to baby I've had. It might be Tatum's calmness, but I could set her down to go deal with her ruckus causing brother and come back to a completely content little girl. Almost too easy.

When Lucy was born, Tatum took to the older sibling role like an absolute professional. At 2 she would sit and hold her baby sister and soothe her to sleep. It was insane to me. Spencer, would just try and leave Tatum (when she was a new baby) where she was if she started to cry, (while he was holding her) and he was 5 months older when Tatum was born. But not Tatum, she would shoosh Lucy and give her a binky to calm her. It was the most amazing thing to watch such a little person have such patience.

At three, Tatum's personality really started to blossom. She loved everything pink and frilly and girly. Still does. Still "shy" but when you were blessed enough to experience the moments where she came out of her shell, it was like magic.

Then 4 hit and this adorably snarky little thing, with the quirkiest sense of humor emerged. I give credit to the little girl down the road that she would play with. She talked baby talk to Tatum, told her what to do, and would call Tatum shy. Tatum wouldn't stand for it. And I seem to recall a time or two when Tatum told her "You're not my boss, and I'm not shy. I just don't want to talk to you." I was probably more proud of her than I should've been. Since then, there's been no looking back. She is growing into a strong, independent "Little Mama." Or at least that's what we call her because every time her baby brother wakes up, she asks, "can I go take care of him?" 

She's growing up so fast. Literally, she's only a few inches shorter than Spencer. I have a feeling she's gonna pass him up in the next couple of years. 

I love you infinity Tatum and thank you for always cuddling with me when I ask and giving me my kisses and squishes. You are more than I could have ever imagined could be possible.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

We are not in Oregon anymore...

I'm starting to notice a lot of things that are different here in Arkansas...

There is land. Land is everywhere. And yet there is not enough room to add a shoulder on the side of the road.

Everyone has wonderful manners, but not everyone is nice. Just because you use the phrase "yes ma'am" or say please and thank you, it doesn't make it nice if you say it rudely. Yes, I'm talking to you Ma'am at the front desk of the doctors office yesterday.

There's a whole lot of talk going on down here and very little action. We've received many offers for "help" but no one has actually gone so far as to even come introduce themselves to their new neighbors. Whereas in Oregon, people don't offer, they just help. I miss that.

Women my age wear workout attire when they go shopping. It's odd to me. They all wear makeup and have their hair done all pretty but have clothes on like they just went to the gym or are going to go. But I find it hard to believe that every housewife is just headed to the gym every where I go because its obvious no one just left it.

No one honks. Ever. Even when we watched a man drive his delivery truck straight into a guy's pickup truck and crush his front end. Everyone just sort of watched and smiled.

The weather is bipolar. In Oregon it can snow, rain, hail and have sun all in one day. Here it goes from rainy and cold one day to 85 degrees the next to near snow the day after.

The lack of environmental concern kills me. There is no where to recycle glass, there is no bin for grass clippings, and there are styrofoam cups everywhere. The Oregonian in me cries a little each time I drink my tasty, always cold, beverage from my styrofoam cup.

And every neighborhood is secluded. There is a fence that encloses every named neighborhood with only one or two entrances. So when you're near residential, it's just fence every where as you drive.

Oh and I almost forgot the cows. If there isn't fence, then there's cows. Cows are everywhere. But not smelly, muddy cows like in Oregon. They are the kind you see in books... Eating grass in a huge pasture and just hanging out.

It really is beautiful here. Aside from the lack of mountain scenery, the land is just breathtaking.