Sunday, December 23, 2007

Happy Birthday Tater Tot!

Five years ago today, I held my baby girl in my arms for the first time. After two rambunctious boys, she was eagerly anticipated. Little did I know. After what was a relatively easy labor, and an extremely uncomfortable ride to the hospital, Myra Tatum made her entrance at 3:19 am. All 7 pounds 5 ounces of her. See that big head? Yeah, I felt that. She is a true water baby. Whether it's a bath, shower, pool, sprinkler, puddle, sink, whatever, if it's water, she's in it.
The attitude was apparent from the get go. After having a very mild mannered, mellow little man (Travis), Tatum let us know, girls are different. She has always been a high maintenance girl. I think she was held and carried for the first three months of her life. I joked with Krista not to stop at red lights when Tatum was in her carseat. She laughed, until she witnessed it firsthand. As soon as the car would slow down, she would scream, and that was only if you were lucky enough to sneak her into her seat while she was asleep, then take off driving quickly while she was still asleep.
The boys liked her then, when she was still cute and cuddly, and somewhat quiet. Now, she annoys them most of the time.
She was a relatively happy girl. And once she got past the "I'm a little princess, hold me all the time and worship me" stage, she was smiling and laughing most of the time. (Oh, wait, except for the hold me all the time, she's still in the "I'm a little princess, worship me" stage.)
It was fun to play dress up with her. I admit, the 0-3 months stage, she was bathed in pink. I try hard to make her a girly girl. It doesn't always work.
Her first birthday was shared with the family Christmas get together. Poor thing. Sucks having a birthday right before Christmas. She was a picky eater even then, although, you can see, she'd put away some cake. And man, was that good cake! I can still remember it and all it's chocolate decadence. Oh, sorry, back to Tatum.

Tate's first Christmas. She didn't quite get the idea of finding a present inside, but she sure liked tearing the paper up.
Remember the girly girl part? No, she's a rough and tumble tomboy half the time. She broke her elbow at Easter time. She really didn't know what to think of that neon pink cast. The first day or two, she wouldn't move it. And it was so heavy, if she toppled forward on her arms, she would just stand there with her butt in the air until we lifted her upright. She finally got the hang of it though and it didn't seem to bother her after awhile.
Yeah, she's always been a little diva.
My little beauty
Welcoming baby brother. He was her baby, of course. I had to be careful with her around him. If he started crying, it was not unlike her to pick him up and try to carry him to me. Uh, she was only 2. So imagine a 2 yr old carrying a newborn around like a baby doll. Yeah, scary.
It's hard to believe it's been five years since she came into our lives. It went by so fast. I feel like I missed her being a 1 yr old, a 2 yr old, a 3 yr old..... I've always said I wish had a video recorder in my head for memories, because once they pass, they are so hard to conjure up. She was mama's little girl. I was so important to her. And I guess I still am, a little. I know someday, she'll be a teenager, and she'll pull away from me. I don't look forward to those days. I love my little girl, but I miss my baby girl. She still likes to be cuddled, but she's defiantly independent now. She is funny, and smart, and precocious. I woke up today with her napping beside me. Still mama's girl.

Since she always has to share her birthday with Christmas planning, we let her have her own special day. Friday, the girls went to Sweet and Sassy kid's salon, and Tatum was pampered like the diva she is. She got her first haircut in 5 years. Well, first official haircut. I don't count when she butchered her bangs. Or was it Travis?
She was mesmerized by Hannah Montanta and having her hair brushed. Definately, my daughter. No, not the Hannah Montana part. It's funny that she seemed to enjoy it so much, because it's a pain to get her to stand still and have her hair brushed. Fancy bows and barrettes are wasted on her. She has never left them in for longer than an hour.
She wanted a princess "do", and sparkly purple makeup.

Checking out her hair for the first time.

My heart hurts a little every time I see how beautiful this girl is. How did I create something so perfect?

We came back home for pizza and cake. Then Tatum opened her gifts. There was a decidely Dora theme. She LOVES the digital camera that grandma got her. Although, for some reason, she wants everyone to make a silly face before she takes their picture.
She also enjoyed the Sing and Dance along Dora dvd. This girl would sing and dance all day if she could. And she will make up a song to just about anything. Ask Krista about her going to Kohl's to buy a gift card song. Yeah, songs about anything. If you can say it, you can sing it.
I hope you had a good fifth birthday, Tateybug. I love you, baby girl. You still make my heart melt.

Friday, December 21, 2007


We took a very expensive trip to Dollywood while we were in TN. It was pretty cool, but cold and probably not worth the full admission price. They don't decrease the regular admission for their Christmas program despite the fact that it is winter, which means certain rides would just not be prudent to have open. The kids did have a good time. All the kiddie rides were open, and Tanner and Travis rode some ride called Blazing Fury, which I guess is an indoor roller coaster. Tanner really wanted to ride on the Mystery Mine, but unfortunately, by the time we made it back to that side of the park, they had closed it for the night. Bummer.
None of the night time pics came out very well, for a few reasons. One, it was dark. Two, my camera battery was about out of juice. Three, the kids were wore out and cold.
Teagan and Tatum have started this new thing when taking pictures. They try to see who can yell Cheese the loudest, which explains the open mouth looks on the two of them. Tanner was of course, too cool to smile.

Feeding the ducks
The little ones liked the carousel. Tanner seemed to think he is just a wee bit too old for the boring carousel.

Riding the Choo choo. Be warned. If you stick your head out the side to take a pic, you will be covered in soot. The kids were apparently immune to it. Hours later, Tanner tells me, you have coal on your face. So I try to let him instruct me through wiping it off. I rubbed it all over my face, and then got it off "good enough" according to Tanner. A while later, I made it to a bathroom to check it out for myself. Yeah, don't expect a 10 yr old to be much help when it comes to getting chunks of coal of your face. I had spots all over my face and in my hair. Ugh!
For those planning on taking a trip, here are some pointers. I know you're not supposed to take in drinks. but if you have a stroller or diaper bag, take advantage of it. I paid $9 for a hot cocoa and 4 cookies. And eat alot before you go, so you only have to eat once. If it looks good and smells good whem you walk by, get that. We opted for $33 worth of pizza, because I know it's something the kids will eat. Yuck! It was gross. It makes LaRosa's at Kings Island sooooo worth the price. Pick a few shows that you'd like to see. There's no way you'll be able to make it to them popcorn unless you want to buy expensive popcorn. And, don't forget hats and gloves if you're going in winter. Duh!


Don't adjust your screens! It really is upside down. This is Wonderworks in Pigeon Forge, an "amusement park for the mind". The building looks like it rolled over on top of the building next to it. This pic is of the lobby "ceiling". Notice there is even an upside down Christmas tree. The cool part is the speakers emitting an eerie creaking noise, like it's on the verge of crashing down.Here the older kids are trying out the hurricane tunnel. Travis was helping Tatum hold on her safety goggles. This was supposed to be the equivalent of a hurricane with 70 mph winds. Amazingly, none of them freaked out.

She takes after her Daddy. She was all about swaying from side to side on the motorcycle ride. Will she be a biker babe when she grows up?

Tate and Trav thought the funhouse mirrors were way cool.
Dancing around

And Trav in the flight simulator.


There is a waterpark at the resort we stayed at. It is an indoor/outdoor park because it has a retractable roof. Even being supposedly "indoor", when it is 25 degrees outside, it is still cold inside, especially when you're wet and barely dressed. The kids didn't seem to mind the purple lips, but I was freezing. We quickly learned that the 1 foot deep kiddie pool was the warmest pool, and the hot tub was even better. It was pretty cool though. Behind the kiddie pool, there was a huge jungle gym with all kinds of squirty water toys and a giant dumping water bucket on top. Next to that, was a 3-4 foot deep pool with basketball nets. And beyond that, there are two huge slides, one for intertubes and the other a body slide. They reached all the way up to the roof. The boys really loved the slides. There is also a lazy river, but it was unfortunately down the day we were there.

Trying to get Teagan's attention

He finally looks up and says..... NO PICTURES!