Tessa makes 3!

The adventures of a young couple starting a family, teaching each other and learning as we go, and having fun doing it!

September 29, 2010

I found some more photos from the weekend. This gives a better idea of how day 2 went! Half of us took a nice afternoon nap, and the other half, well I'm not sure what they did because I was part of the half that was sleeping! Scot can nap anywhere, he's a pro.

 This is me post-nap. Not my finest hour, but the nap was amazing. Tyson likes naps too, so we cuddled.
 Jessica and Evan even came out for the day and hung out with us! Of course, they picked the crummy rainy day though!
 My B-E-A-utiful aunt showing off her awesome raincoat.
 Yep, it's cold and rainy!!

 Pam had to get creative because we didnt' have straws. Luckily, we had twizzlers!


The weekend of September 19th we went camping. My parents set up their camper, my aunt and uncle set up their camper, and Joel and I pitched a tent out at Cherry Glen and camped for the weekend! I grew up camping every year with family and friends, and Joel loves camping and all things outdoors, so of course we wanted to participate. My mom offered us the spare bed in their camper, but we wanted to do it all natural. By all natural, I mean that we pitched a tent, blew up an air mattress to sleep on, put a fan in tent since I need the noise to sleep, and we even had a desk lamp that we used as a night light. Yes, a desk lamp, courtesy of Uncle Paul. I have no idea why he had a desk lamp in with this camping stuff, but it sure was handy!

We had a beautiful night on Friday night. The weather was perfect, and we made campfire pizzas. For those of you non-campers, we take these pie irons:

and fill them with pizza ingredients. My personal fave is Canadian Bacon, pineapple, and onion, plus the pizza sauce and cheese. You just butter 2 pieces of bread and put the buttered side on the outsides, put your ingredients in between the 2 pieces, and close the pie iron. Cook it over the fire until both sides are crispy, and there ya have ti. They are amazing! We also had s'mores, which of course is a camping staple. Here's a few pictures of our Friday night fun.

Saturday was a much different story. It rained all night Friday night, and all day Saturday. It was about 50 degrees, and most of our day was spent indoors! Eventually the rain slowed enough for us to play a few outdoor games and some card games, but it was pretty wet. We still had a blast though! I can't wait until next year when we can camp with our family of 3!

September 25, 2010

Nursery pt 2

So I mentioned yesterday that we created Tessa's room on a budget, which was kind of difficult but also a fun challenge! I tend to rise to a challenge, hence the cloth diapering after people said we were crazy. Now, I know Joel would have definitely allowed me to spend more, but I really wanted to try to accomplish this feat.

This first photo is the top of the armoire. I should mention that we got the armoire, the glider/ottoman, and a crib for Grandma Pam's house at a garage sale for $125. They used to belong to a teacher here in town whose children have outgrown them. It was a great deal, and we were able to verify the safety of the crib and get some gently used furniture! 
 The piggy bank is from my mom Grandma Pam, who somehow found a website that has customized and personalized things like this, so she was able to design it perfectly. The blue and pink frames were $.49 each from Ikea with scrapbook paper inside. Eventually there will be photos in the frames, but for now this was an easy decoration. The pink bottle is from uncle Marcus who brought it back from his adventure in Australia, and the candles/candlesticks were garage sale finds.
 The green lamp we got on sale at Target for $6 during their back to school sales. We also have a dimmer switch on the main light in the room that Grandpa Steve installed for us.

The valence was created by Grandma Laura and Great Grandma Judy. We were going to hang plain brown curtains here but the blinds work great at blocking out light so we wanted to keep those up. I found this fabric at Hobby Lobby and Judy said it would be pretty easy to create a valence. I am pretty clueless about sewing but she seemed to think it would be a piece of cake so I turned over the project to her and Laura and voila! 

These polka dots took up a large majority of the time and effort in this room. Since we couldn't paint the walls, we had to get creative on how to decorate so many white walls. I found some unfinished wooden circles in different sizes at Hobby Lobby on sale and some paint on clearance at Ace True Value that I thought would match our theme. I also bought some colored foam sheets and cut out circles and some packages of foam circles on sale also.

Although this project was very inexpensive at under 30 dollars, the real challenge was the time consuming annoyance of painting, cutting, and hanging every single circle. Grandma Pam came and helped hang the circles on the wall. We used double sided tape and foam tape to secure the circles to the wall. We'll probably need to put on a fresh coat of paint after we move out, but it'll work for the next couple of years!

I found this at Goodwill for $1.99. It used to be blue and have sailboats and sailboat hooks on it, so it just needed a couple coats of white paint and some fresh hooks, which I found on clearance at Target. The pictures inside are of our first date (October 3, 2001) and our program from our wedding with our wedding rings on them (January 3, 2009). Eventually they will be pictures of her at bath time, but those work for now!

This is Joel's pride and joy. These were made from wooden circles that I bought at Hobby Lobby on sale. Originally I tried to paint the circles, but it took way too many coats and just didn't look quite right. Then Joel found this scrapbook paper! He glued the paper to the wooden circles and then  cut around the paper to make a clean line. Then, he drilled a hole in the top for the ribbon. Grandpa Scot (PaPa) has some serious artistic ability so he drew the letters on some white 2" foam, cut them out, and glued them to the circles. Luckily he knows to make things the right sizes and the right angles and the right shapes so he took control of that part! Grandma Pam tied some cute little bows on top to hide the nail heads and BAM! Tessa's got her own personalized, hand crafted, name badge at the cost of glue, ribbon, paper, and a few wooden circles.

This shelving arrangement is a temporary thing, but fills the space until she comes. These, again, were Ikea frames filled with some scrapbook paper. After Tessa's born, we'll put a few keepsake items on these shelves where they are out of reach, and also a few photos of her and her new cousins.
 This is the glider/ottoman we got as part of the deal at the garage sale. We wanted to find some new cushions for it but they were not in the budget and we hated the idea of spending more than $100 on replacement cushions when the chair itself cost us a fraction of that. So, Great-Grandma Judy came through and took these home, scrubbed and brightened them up, and they look great now!
 Here is a shot of the entryway to her room. More polka dots and a picture holder that Joel picked out. Right now there are ultrasound photos in there, but there will be pictures of her and her visitors.
 This is our changing table. This was the first thing we purchased after finding out we were expecting. It was a fabulous Craigslist find at $20 and just needed a fresh paint job. One can of spray paint later, it looks brand new! We got the baskets on sale at Target and hold all her cloth diapers. You can see more about our decision to cloth diaper Here!

Above the changing table we have a mural-ish wall hanging. We found some adorable fabric at Hobby Lobby that was brown with blue, green, and pink polka dots. We put this in a white frame to add some color to the bare wall above the changing table. Then, Grandma Laura found a few more white frames that matched and the fabric in the colors that were in the big frame. So she put the fabric in the frames, added some fabric letters to a couple of them that say "I love Mommy" and "I love Daddy" and we hung those around the big mural. We added a clock on top so I can keep track of how long she eats and we fixed the bare wall problem!
 This is her bookshelf for now, although I'm sure it will grow very quickly as she gets books. It also serves as my feeding station so I have some of my supplies ready for nursing her. I'm sure we'll spend a lot of time in that chair between nursing, reading books, and snuggles before bed.

The only things we purchased new for this room was the crib, and that was a safety thing. But, we purchased it when it was on sale for almost $100 off the regular price, and we got free shipping and the mattress free with it, which would have been another $125. The small bookshelf, the baskets under the changing table, and the 3 wall shelves were also new, but on sale! Other than that, we got almost everything gently used, thrifted, or gifted! The beauty of the crib is that it converts to a toddler bed and then to a full size bed so she can use this piece of furniture as she grows up!

September 24, 2010


Since we are living in a rented townhouse for the duration of Joel's contract here, which is 3 years, we couldn't paint or do anything too drastic for the nursery decorating. So, we had to get creative to get a bright room for our baby girl. We decided that since we probably won't be in this place when we have our next child, we might as well go all out for Tessa and make a room that she can be in until we move out.

We decided to go with a polka dot theme in brown, pink, and green, and then add some blue and purple in there too. We had many long discussions about staying on a budget while decorating this nursery because we knew we could easily go wild. But, we are living rather frugally these days to get some student loans paid off early so they don't hang over our heads for years and years. So, most of what is in here is used, remodeled, on clearance, or thrift store finds that have been revamped. We also recruited some crafty family members with visions to help design some things while not spending too much. A little arts and crafts kindergarten style goes a LONG ways!

So there's the nursery! I will post later about the money we saved on this nursery by doing things ourselves with the help of everyone we know that is crafty, artistic, or handy. We spent less than $500 on absolutely everything you see in here, including furniture and all decorations. I told ya, we're living frugally. Check back this weekend for exactly how we accomplished this.

September 20, 2010


Well folks, I've hit another milestone. I am 35 weeks pregnant, and there are 35 days left until Miss Tessa is due! That is absolutely crazy to me. I mean, we're ready for her , we are so excited to meet her, her nursery is done, her clothes are washed, we just need her to complete it! But still, 35 DAYS until she is here.

This pregnancy has absolutely flown by. I remember February 15 like it was yesterday. We were actively trying, so when it was the magical day that Aunt Flo was due, I took a test. I had taken tests for 4 months prior to that, hoping that one of them would be 2 lines instead of 1. And then, on February 15, 2 lines showed up! I couldn't believe my eyes, and my grin was stretching to the back of my head. I sent Joel a picture of the test to see if he saw I what I saw. He did, but of course I couldn't talk to him that night because he had night class. He was in the police academy at that time, so unfortunately, I was siting at home alone convincing myself that I wasn't seeing things! 

Now we are a mere 2 weeks away from being full term, and 5 weeks away from her due date. I will take pictures of the nursery later this week, after Joel installs the car seat bases and gets those boxes out of her room.  But for now, here's a couple pictures of the laundry I did last week, all the diapers!! They looked so cute out on the rack that I had to take a few pictures. 

This is all of them in the washer!

Hanging out on back porch!

I just love this picture, but I'm not too sure why!

September 17, 2010

the GCF

I have a strange addiction to reality television and all things on MTV. I blame this on my father because he blocked MTV on our television until I was a senior in high school. So, I am still playing catch up. Because of this, my post has been named GCF, similiar to the Jersey Shore GTL (gym, tanning, laundry). However, my GCF is the Guthrie County Fair!

On to the fair! Every Labor Day weekend since I can remember, we have spent the Saturday of the weekend at the Guthrie County Fair. I am related to most of that town in some way or another, and my grandparents have lived there for their entire lives. My mom grew up on a farm west of town, attended GCHS (Guthrie Center High School) and still hangs out with a group of girls she's known since those days. It's a real small town U.S.A. (for those country fans out there!)

We had a very set tradition that did NOT vary whatsoever. First we would go to the parade and  we always sat just west of the Jubilee, which is now named something different. Then, we walked to the fair and had a picnic in the parking lot, tailgate style. We had a great potluck that always included homemade fried chicken and all kinds of other goodies. After lunch, us kids were itching to go play. So, off we went, and our parents usually didn't see us for a while unless we needed money! When I was just a wee one, my grandpa would buy all the grandkids wristbands to the midway so we could ride the rides all day after the parade. After we started getting older and the GCF midway wasn't cutting it, grandpa would give us the money to spend how we wished. We usually played 25 cent BINGO with it!

After my grandpa died and us kids were starting to get older and go off to college, the tradition changed a little, but my mom and aunt have never missed one with Grandma. Grandma now lives in town, but they still go to the parade (in a different spot, but still a great spot for candy!) They still have a picnic complete with chicken, but they have it at my Grandma's house since she lives in town now. And they still go to the fair and play a couple games of Bingo. Most of the grandkids don't go anymore, but this year, we had 3 of 7 grandkids representing, plus Isla and Tessa! Matt, Jessica, and I made the GCF, and Meghan experienced the real fair for the first time.

So anyways, here's a few pictures of that fabulous day!

I am superman, and my mom and sister are clowns!

September 16, 2010

Adventures in an ER

Working in a hospital has its advantages, but also its disadvantages. While I see many things that I don't necessarily like to see, like blood, family problems, death, etc; I also see a lot of people get helped on a daily basis. I never thought I would become one of those people that needed help in the emergency room. Enter Monday night.

I worked a 3-11 shift in the Emergency Room, where I register patients and verify insurance information, stuff like that. I love my job, it's very entertaining and I like the hustle and bustle of an Emergency Room. I left work at 11:30, and was driving home from Fort Dodge back to Webster City. I call Joel every night when I leave work and we usually talk the whole way home, which is about a 25 minute drive. Since I am usually so busy at work and I can't call him, we use this drive to catch up with each other.  As I was driving home on Monday, I had just gotten on to Highway 20, and BAM. This was what I thought I hit.

I saw a head hitting my beautiful Chevy Equinox. I screamed, yelled at Joel through the phone, and slammed on my brakes and pulled over, starting to hyperventilate. Luckily, Joel was off that night so he threw on some clothes and started driving towards me, which again, was a 25 minute drive. He magically made it in 15 minutes. Let me tell you, that this was what I actually hit.

 I remember Joel asking me if it was a buck or a doe, and I said I thought it was a buck, but wasn't sure. I didn't have time to swerve, think about anything, it jumped out and I saw its head hit my car. Turns out it was just a little doe. But still, that didn't affect my reaction! Since I had just left work, less than 5 minutes away, I called back there to get the number to the LEC (Webster County Law Enforcement Center). I wasn't injured physically, I didn't think, so I didn't want to call 911. Working with nurses and paramedics on a daily basis has made me appreciate the reason for a 911 call versus reporting an incident through the non-emergency number.

I called dispatch at the LEC to report the accident and report that I wasn't injured but was 34 weeks pregnant so I would at least like to get looked at on the scene by someone. I specifically told her that I did not want the ambulance coming in hot (lights and sirens blaring), but of course, the boys driving didn't listen to that request. I should also mention that I was just out of the city limits of Fort Dodge so instead of Fort Dodge Police and Rescue, I got Webster County, and each little town/township in Webster County has its own first responders, so 10 different first responders showed up, each in their own vehicles, each with their little blue lights on top of the cars, plus a couple Webster County Sheriff Deputies, plus the ambulance.

When the ambulance showed up, I knew who it was going to be, it was my friends from work who I had literally just said goodbye to. Apparently they didn't put two and two together that it was me. When they got there, it was so nice to see a familiar face. I was so scared that something had happened to the baby and I was standing on the side of the highway late at night with a bunch of strangers. I got into the ambulance and they checked me. I knew I was ok, I was wearing my seatbelt properly,  didn't hit the steering wheel, and was just shook up. But, I was very nervous for Tessa. They checked her fetal heart tones and she was still beating away. That relieved me a little, but I noticed a lot more pressure down low. I had been carrying pretty high for most of the pregnancy, and I knew her head was down but it wasn't engaged into the pelvis area yet. Then when this happened, I felt the pressure of her head and it was VERY low. Then, I freaked. Luckily by that time Joel had gotten there and was calming me down while talking to the medics (shoutout to Justin and Tony).

We decided not to ride in the ambulance back to the hospital, but agreed we definitely needed to go to the hospital to get monitored and make sure I wasn't having any bleeding, contractions, etc.  Joel drove me back, and my other medic friend Jeff met us half way out to stick me in a wheelchair. I got registered, and it was very odd to be on the other side of the desk. I had registered hundreds of OB patients that were going to get monitored for various reasons, and now, here I was, a patient myself. I thought that wouldn't happen until we were actually having our baby. So, I got wheeled up to Labor and Delivery and got all hooked up to monitor Tessa and I.

The nurses were great and so calming. After about an hour, they said they were surprised I wasn't contracting and that my water hadn't broken from the sheer trauma of the accident, but luckily, everything was just fine. The nurse kept saying how lucky I was, which was a huge relief, but also made me realize the severity of the situation, and that we could have actually had a baby that night, 6 weeks early, if something had happened. They called my doctor, who wasn't even the on call doctor, but is amazing and talked to them at 2am about me, and he said he felt comfortable discharging me and seeing me in the morning, since we had our regular 34 week appointment anyways Tuesday morning. All in all, it was a very scary 3 hours, and I was so glad that Joel wasn't working and was able to come and help, and that I was in the hands of familiar faces with the medics and staff.

Guess that's what we pay for full coverage car insurance for!