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!

December 14, 2011

christmas is here!

We have been busy bees around the house getting everything set up in our new home! The Christmas tree is up, there are ornaments on the top half of it (Tessa is destructive), and I've already baked a batch of Christmas cookies. I didn't go all out with decorating this year since I figured I should spend time unpacking boxes instead of hanging a wreath, but we're still feeling the Christmas spirit.

I decided to buy Tessa an Ergo baby carrier for Christmas this year. It's really more of a gift for me, but I use it for her. We tested it during the sugar cookie bake-a-thon which turned into naptime for Tessa. Joel likes it too he's decided. She's also getting a couple puzzles, a few books, some clothes, and a stocking full of little goodies. Oh, and these. <---My favorite gift of all.

November 26, 2011

Official Business

 With Joel still working copious amounts of overtime weekly, I have had a lot of time to myself. I've stumbled across a few websites that have kept me entertained (Pinterest being the main one!). I came across this article and found it funny, fitting, and very true of Police officers. I copied it here in case you don't want to follow the link.

When do you really know that you are a police officer? Is it when you realize that you find humor in other people’s stupidity? Or is it when you know for certain that unspeakable evils will befall you if anyone says, “Boy, it sure is quiet tonight.” Is it when you’ve left more meals on the restaurant table than you’ve eaten, or when you come to the knowledge that discussing human dismemberment over a meal is a perfectly normal thing to do? Maybe it’s when you feel good when you hear someone say, “These handcuffs are too tight.” Here are 25 ways you can be pretty reliably sure that you’re really a cop.
1.) You have the bladder capacity of five people combined.
2.) You have restrained someone and it was not a sexual experience.
3.) You believe that 50 percent of people are a waste of good air.
4.) Your idea of a good time is a “man with a gun” call.
5.) You conduct a criminal record check on anyone who seems friendly towards you.
6.) You believe in the aerial spraying of Prozac and birth control pills.
7.) You disbelieve 90 percent of what you hear and 75 percent of what you see.
8.) You have your weekends off planned for a year.
9.) You believe the government should require a permit to reproduce.
10.) You refer to your favorite restaurant by the intersection at which it’s located.
11.) You have ever wanted to hold a seminar entitled: “Suicide: Getting it right the first time.”
12.) You ever had to put the phone on hold before you begin laughing uncontrollably.
13.) You think caffeine should be available in IV form.
14.) You know anyone who says, “I only had two beers” is going to blow at least a .15
15.) You find out a lot about paranoia just by following people around.
16.) Anyone has ever said to you, “There are people killing other people out there and you are here messing with me.”
17.) People flag you down on the street and ask you directions to strange places...and you know where it’s located.
18.) You can discuss where you are going to eat with your partner while standing over a dead body.
19.) You are the only person introduced at social gatherings by profession.
20.) You walk into places and people think it’s high comedy to grab their buddy and shout, “They’ve come to get you, Bill.”
21.) You do not see daylight from November until May.
22.) People shout, “I didn’t do it!” when you walk into a room and think they’re being hugely funny and original.
23.) A week’s worth of laundry consists of five T-shirts, five pairs of socks, and five pairs of underwear.
24.) You’ve ever referred to Tuesday as “my weekend.”
25.) You’ve ever written off guns and ammunition as a business deduction.

Joel applies to at least 20 of these.

November 23, 2011

We Moved!

We are in our new house! I'll post on that on another date. But for now, enjoy some Halloween 
pictures. Tessa was a cow. She hammed it up really well.

 Grandma has her by the tail. You can tel

November 18, 2011

Family Pictures

 We recently wend to Des Moines for Tessa's 1 year pictures and some family pictures. She refused to walk around because she was too busy eating the leaves, tree bark, mulch, grass, etc. She was so curious. We got very lucky with the weather and the wonderful Nuzum Photo got some great shots!

October 30, 2011

Birthday girl!

Friday was Tessa's birthday, and also her 1 year check up at the doctor. Everything with her looked pretty good. Grandma Laura got to show her off to a few patients (Joel's mom works at the clinic we take Tessa to, FYI). She showed everyone how she was a big girl, walking every where, emptying the drawers of the exam table, and climbing up into a chair.

One thing we've learned about this girl, she is so curious about everything and is totally fearless. The first few times she figured out how to get up on the couch (after we realized she'd been stacking pillows up for a boost), she dove headfirst off it. What can I say? She wanted down and she figured it out. Finally yesterday she realized it was probably a little easier to turn around and hang her feet over the edge and slide. Much faster and less rug burn.

Anyways, back the the appointment. She is a whopping 19 pounds, 10.5 ounces, which is right at the 25th percentile. Those of you not versed on percentiles, it means that 75% of children her age weigh more than her, and she weighs more than the other 25%. Get it? She is 29 1/2 inches tall, which is the 50th percentile. She's still long and lean, just like her dad. I would be thrilled if she were built like him. He is tall and naturally skinny. For an analogy on the body shape differences between Joel and I, see Sesame Street.
I am Ernie and Joel is Bert.

Needless to say, I hope she gets at least some of Joel's features, height being one of them. So anyways, Tessa got 3 shots this round. She got her Hib vaccine, her flu shot, and the chicken pox vaccine. You can tell she's opinionated because she cried more when she got held down than when she got poked. She was fine once I picked her up, and she ripped her bandaid off before it was done bleeding. Sigh. That's my girl.

She has had some more trouble breathing, being very wheezy with a phlegmy cough. We've done a couple breathing treatments with her and that seems to help. She may have asthma, which can be a very big deal. However, I have asthma and have learned to manage it well. I convince myself I'm fine when I'm not, but I know better than to leave without an inhaler. But if we do come to the find out that Tessa has it, we'll be more diligent with her.

Today is her party, so I'll be sure to report back. We spent most of yesterday cooking, cleaning, and decorating for it. I tried not to go too overboard with it.

October 28, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Well, the first year is over. We made it. We have a walking, talking, climbing toddler with an attitude. We went from this:

to this:

She's doing a lot of this now too:

It is so fun to see every day what she learns, figures out, and changes her mind on. She has more personality than she knows what to do with, and too much energy for her own good. She is fearless, full of life, and oh so entertaining! We love you Tessa!

October 17, 2011

Tessa and GG

We went and visited GG a few weeks ago. Actually, like a month ago. I just found the pictures though, so I figured I'd post them. My grandma Wilson is awesome. So awesome. She grew up on a farm, farmed her whole life, and now is suppressed with city living. By city I mean sprawling metropolis of 600 people.

She is so frugal and I can't help but giggle at her sometimes. We went out to lunch, and she washed the styrofoam takeout box so she could reuse it. Her entire deep freeze is filled with yogurt containers with various items. We always joke that she saves 4 kernels of corn in her yogurt container and freezes it so she doesn't waste anything. Everytime we visit, she's defrosted some cookies for us. Yep, defrosted cookies. At one point she had freshly baked them, but it never seems to be the day we're visiting.

We love spending time with her, and she loves the company. So, we had a day off and decided to make the hour long trip to GG's house. Tessa had a blast, as usual. GG pulled out the baby butler, which looks like a death trap but is really just an old skool high chair type thing.

Tessa was her usual happy and silly self, which made GG very happy. We got a few good pictures and had fun playing cards with GG. We knew it was a big deal we were coming because she cancelled her usual plans of cards and lunch with "the girls" to have lunch and cards with us.

October 5, 2011

This epically sucks

Working in an ER can be some of the most exciting moments in my day. From being a quiet, normal, easy, day with just a few patients, to instantly changing when you hear "Unit 3, 10-76 to Trinity, one patient on board, 10-33, CPR in progress, advise Code Blue." Your heart sinks, your gut tightens, and you know you are changing the course of one family's life. But at the same time, your pulse is racing, your hands get a little sweaty, and you know it's go time. Chasing the ambulance trying to figure out who your patient is, realizing they don't know who the patient is, having real life John or Jane Doe's, and hoping someone shows up to identify the patient before anything worse happens is part of my daily routine.

Lately, though, I'm over it. I don't want to have to see family members come into the ER with some hope and leave realizing they've lost a family member. It is worse when you see a fiance, a mother, or a child. Especially when that child is young. More often than I care to think about, I see a child that has been yanked out of school, being told something bad happened to their mom or dad, and show up to find out they now only have one parent. And yet, death is a fact of life, and seeing it regularly makes me jaded. I don't like it.

September 30, 2011

What a goofy girl

Tessa is officially 11 months old. Yikes. That's one month away from being a year old. Double yikes. She has more personality than she knows what to do with. She loves to fake cough, fake laugh, destroy everything in sight, and make silly faces. The newest of which is the one below:
She is going to be a bee for Halloween (maybe, this was a handmedown, I haven't decided if I need to buy her a costume yet, but I still might need to). So, we tried it on and practiced. She hates the hood, which is pretty much what makes it a bee as opposed to just a striped outfit. And it's a little tight. We'll see.
 Since she's officially 11 months, we also took her 11 month pictures! She finally realized that her rocking chair rocks and if she throws her body around, she can make it move. Pictures were more difficult than normal. And she loves her koala bear chew toy snuggle buddy/pillow.

September 21, 2011


We bought a house! Yes, that's right. We have a signed, accepted offer on a house and will be closing November 21st! I'm a little bummed we won't be in our new house by Halloween. That was my goal since our new house is in the most adorable neighborhood in town. I was hoping we could drag Tessa around in a wagon in her bumble bee costume and trick or treat to all our new neighbors. But, we'll have to wait for next year. The sellers needed time to buy a house so we aren't closing until just before Thanksgiving. At least it won't be the dead of winter.

When we went to the bank today, Joel told the mortgage guy I already spent all our money on stuff for the house. I was embarrassed, but he was telling the truth. Ever since we decided to buy, I've been buying "house stuff" that I can't live without. Nevermind that I don't know if it will fit in the new house, I needed it because it was for the new house. That's just how my world works. So, I've been picking stuff up here and there, and loading up a few bags when we were at IKEA last month. The ability to decorate my own home is something I haven't had a chance to do yet, so I really want to take advantage and make my home 'us'.

September 14, 2011

work work work, all day long

I feel like that's all we do anymore. Joel gets home at 4:10am, I leave for work at 4:20am. Joel takes Tessa to daycare when she wakes up, I pick her up when I get off work. I come home, he goes into work at 4pm (he's been working insane amounts of overtime). He comes home for supper, I get Tessa supper and ready for bed, we go to bed. That's our days lately.

Finally today, we both have days off! So, we're heading to Ames for a fun day of Target. Yes, I make a day out of a Target trip. We have a few errands to run so uncle Marcus is going to watch Tessa. I think the best birth control in the world is handing off a wild 10 month old to a single college guy.

In other news, we're in the market for a house. We decided we like WC and want to hang out here a while. It's a pretty nice place, we've got some good friends and we both like our jobs. That is a stressful process! So many houses, so many choices, so many different layouts and designs. We want something that's at least semi-updated. We don't have the time or energy for a complete renovation of anything so it's a bonus if someone else already did it.

August 28, 2011

10 signs you had a great weekend

This past weekend Joel and I took a trip up to Minneapolis without Tessa for his birthday. I bought tickets to preseason Vikings/Cowboys game, did a little shopping, and had some R&R. So, in honor of the weekend, 10 things that guaranteed a fabulous trip, in no particular order.

  1.  Hitting up the casino at 8:30am. Only a few crazy old lurker ladies and far less smoke.
  2. Joel trying to get into the football game, gets patted down, random security dude, "Is that a cellphone on your hip, sir?" Joel: "Uh... yeah it sure is." Joel to me: "I told him what he wanted to hear."
  3. Joel getting loud during the football game, yells at the top of his lungs after Romo makes a nice pass, "That a way to get it in the hole". Me: "That's what she said." Random old lady behind us: giggles, tells her friend, more giggles.
  4. Drunk Vikings fan talking smack to me until I shut him up by knowing more about football than him.
  5. Same drunk Vikings fan telling me I was cool because I don't like Green Bay and do like the Hawkeyes.
  6. 2 Trips to IKEA.
  7. Getting lost in downtown Minneapolis, Joel telling me to trust him and said he knew where he was going, Joel getting lost, Andrea getting the inevitable motion sickness.
  8. IKEA breakfast causing the trots, but since it was 99 cents, we'll call it a wash. It was tasty.
  9. Almost crashing a wedding reception at our hotel. 
  10. 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep, laying in bed drinking coffee, a couple cocktails with your husband, the feeling of being carefree for 36 hours, all priceless. 
We were very happy to see Tessa this afternoon though. She was equally as happy. 

August 18, 2011

sick baby

For the past week, we've had a sick baby on our hands. We can't figure out why, since her blood work was perfectly fine, but she's been spiking high fevers unless we medicate her every 3 hours around the clock. Her sleeping has suffered, she won't eat, and she's miserable. Her fever will get up to 103.9, Tylenol will bring it down to 102. Then Monday she had to leave daycare because her fever was at 100.2. To me, that was nothing, especially considering what it has been, but it was too high for them. She doesn't seem to have any other complaints other than the fever (no teeth, not vomiting, ears are ok) so we really just don't know. Yesterday though, she seemed like she had bounced back and was her normal self. Hopefully it lasts!

Oh, and here's some 9 month pictures I promised.

August 13, 2011

Back and Forth, forth and back

When we first moved to WC, it was decided that we'd rent for a couple months, buy a house, and move at the end of the 4 year contract Joel signed. 1.9 years later, we're in the same townhouse we moved into on October 31, 2009. The walls are closing in, there's not enough space for our stuff. And frankly, I'm not getting rid of my stuff to accommodate this space.

So, the time has come. We either move to somewhere else in WC and probably buy a house (my choice) or try to find Joel a job in the Des Moines area and move there (Joel's choice, unless he actually has to apply or try for a job. He fully expects some department to call him and just want him to come work for them.) I like being here, I like the people, we've made some friends, I have a good job that I like pays the bills and Joel is doing well at the PD. Plus, we're technically still under contract for another 2 years. If we did leave, he'd have to pay back that contract or try to convince the next place to pay it for us. I'm happy here.

Sure, it'd be nice to get closer to where the rest of our family is, but truth be told, I like it here. I like having a little separation but still being close enough to drive down for a few hours. We're 74 miles from my house and 71 miles from Joel's. We're already there almost every other week, I can only imagine how often we'd be at someone else's house if we lived there. I like that I can have a messy house and get a couple days' notice before someone comes to visit and I need to clean. Not that I like having a messy house, but you know what I mean.

I just don't know. What should we do? Joel says he'd be happy here longer than the next 2 years that his contract requires, but in the next breath he says he wouldn't mind moving closer to home. Ugh. His indecisiveness drives me batty. I jump in head first to things. He slowly dips his toes in the water, waits a month, then sticks an ankle in, thinks about it for another 6 weeks, gets up to his knee, and so on. I dive in and hope for the best.

Who knows what we'll decide. Any advice?

9 months

Yesterday Tessa had her 9 month appointment yesterday. She is still long and skinny, as we suspected .She weighed 17 lbs 4 oz and is 27 1/2 inches long. That is around the 50th percentile for length and just under the 25th for weight. She's been hovering around that 25th percentile since she was born.

They did a lab draw which had me nervous for Tessa's reaction. But, she did so well! She was perfectly content playing with the paper on the exam table. She only started to cry when she didn't want the tech to hold her hand anymore. Then she ate the bandaid.

We did discover her hemoglobin was a little low at 10.2 so we'll have to do iron supplements every day until she's a year old. They'll recheck at her 1 year appointment. The doctor said it's not abnormally low and that it's pretty common in breastfed babies. He thought this would help boost her immune system a little too so she can fight off infections in the coming winter months. 9 Month pictures to follow.

August 5, 2011


After 9 months and a few odd days, Tessa went to daycare for the first time. She was giving me looks of confusion as I woke her up, dressed her, and packed her up with a couple bags. She didn't want to eat breakfast at my pace. She wanted to dink around and play with her cheerios. She didn't want to get dressed, she wanted to crawl around naked. She definitely didn't want to go in the carseat. Have I mentioned that the carseat is apparently the worst form of torture Tessa could think of?

I had every intention of leaving home ten minutes earlier than usual. It was only a couple miles to daycare, but I wanted to be prepared and help Tessa settle in a little. Well, 15 minutes later, we were out the door. I packed her a lunch, but forgot one for me. I packed her water bottle, but not my own. She had plenty of diapers, and I thought I might need one after this.

Off we were. Joel met us there since he was working overtime so he was still on duty. We got our access code, went in, and handed her off to the gal working in her room. But, we had 2 bags of stuff. Food for the day plus some extras for future days, milk, formula, bottles, everything. We had moved in.

I didn't realize until later that they said they provide almost all of that free of charge unless we need to bring her something because of an allergy. Oops. I'm a planner, I wanted to be prepared. And prepared I was. Just not for how easily Tessa would lurch out of my arms to go play. How dare she. Didn't she understand that this was supposed to be traumatic? I certainly did.

10 hours later, I was back to pick her up. Joel was going back into work early that day so he needed to go home and get some sleep and I was off work, ready to see her and see how her day was. Of course, she did very well. She wouldn't nap though because she's so curious about everything she doesn't want to miss a beat. I mean, how dare we suggest she get some rest so she's not a crank-o-pottamus. Alas, she won that round. She crashed about 5 minutes before I got there to pick her up and slept through the car ride home and an extra 45 minutes at home. I knew she'd give in eventually. Tessa's a strong willed one. I wonder who she gets that from!

So anyways, the moral of the story is, I had built this day up as a huge deal and very scary, and it was absolutely no big deal. She had fun. Joel got some much needed rest. And,  I finally got bumped up to full time hours again! More on that to come.

The next day, we left on time and I was actually to work 5 minutes early. We're professionals at this now.

July 30, 2011

Oh Man

We've been busy!! It's been a month since I've posted. How did I let July slip away? Oh yes, I know. I have an incredibly active wild child. Here's a recep of the last month, and then I'll really try to be better in August.

  • Tessa turned 8 months. She started crawling and began trying meats and dairy during meals.
  • We went tent camping for 3 days.
  • Tessa attended her first wedding and Grandma Laura got to babysit her plus her two cousins while the adults danced and had fun at the reception.
  • Tessa started pulling herself up on everything. Absolutely everything.
  • She discovered her love of paper and our shredder is no longer necessary because she does a fine job.
  • She figured out her sippy cup finally.
  • I had to bleach/strip all her diapers because she got a yeast rash.
  • We rearranged the furniture to make it more baby friendly. Did.not.work.
  • She tackled the lamp and won.
  • We took many trips to Grandma's house.
  • Tessa visited PaPa Dale in the hospital and met some of my old work friends.
  • Joel went to Canada for a week and Tessa stayed with her Grandmas for 4 days.
  • She solidified her hatred for beef, but loves the white meats. Pork, chicken, turkey, and ham are the favorites.
  • She's a grandma's girl and loves cheese.
  • She's too good for solids and prefers finger foods
  • We transitioned to her big girl car seat and so far it is a hit.
  • We had a get together with a couple friends at the outlet mall and she scared away more babies.
  • She learned to give kisses, blow kisses, high five, wave, and clap.
  • She's still sleeping great, but she has her nights.
  • We experienced our first ear infection, cough, and congestion. 
  • She crawled off the end of the bed. Did I mention she's wild? I was more traumatized than her.
  • She loves reading the DVD's, or at least pulling them off the rack and chewing on them.
  • She's wearing 9-12 month pants but 6 month shirts. She's very long, but still very skinny.
  • I stopped breastfeeding so she's on a mixture of breastmilk and formula. I had a good freezer stash.
  • She's got quite the attitude.
  • Definitely a talker.

June 25, 2011


...has gone awry. 


June 23, 2011

Our $18.80 mistake

I blame all you readers that are parents on this one. Why didn't anyone warn me that the 1 time we don't bring the diaper bag on a trip to Target that we'd have a poo-splosion? This was legendary, a story for the ages.

We needed to go to Target, which was 25 miles away. Tessa was due for a nap, so we figured she'd get a 30 minute nap in while we drove there. She didn't fall asleep but we she usually fights naps so we figured she'd fall asleep sometime at Target or on the way home. We parked, and I went to grab her carseat. That's when I saw it. A gooey brown pile. In her carseat. On her leg, on the strap, on her clothes. Well, Crap. We also realized we didn't bring the diaper bag. Oops.

Well, Joel wanted to drive home. I vetoed that, I don't get to go to Target often so I wasn't going to give up this opportunity. So, we brought her in, ran to the baby section, bought our first ever pack of disposable diapers, a pack of wipes, and a new outfit. $18.80 later, we were ready for clean up time.  I had been itching to get her a couple new outfits anyways, so there's your silver lining.

I took her into the bathroom and started wiping. Hmmm. The woman always has this responsibility. Joel sat in Starbucks for 20 minutes while I wiped and wiped and wiped. 27 wipes later ( 1/3 of the pack!), 3 disposable diapers later (I forgot how to do those!) and 3 target bags full of dirty stuff, we had a clean baby and a semi-clean carseat. Luckily no poo got on the actual carseat, just the straps, but still. It was not pleasant. She had a new outfit, although it was not prewashed so hopefully I didn't give her cooties. Of course, she was pretty proud of herself and happy as a clam.

So now we have a 33 pack of size 3 diapers, a pack of wipes, and a cute new pink outfit! We are now -1 onesie. I didn't attempt to salvage that.

Lesson learned.

June 21, 2011

Father's day

Happy Father's day to the most wonderful husband and daddy Tessa and I could ask for. You are so dedicated to us and we really appreciate all you do. Working nights so you can spend your days with Tessa while I work, getting up in the night with her on your days off, wrestling around on the floor with her, taking her on playdates, are just a few of the hundreds of examples of what makes you a great dad.

For the rest of your father's day gift, you got a personalized picture frame that we created for you.

We had a pretty low key day but it was nice to relax with family. We had a nice lunch, went and got some ice cream, and then had a nice dinner. Joel was supposed to work overtime (again, shocker!) but he declined it so we could spend the day as a family. We had so much fun!

June 18, 2011

Painting Galore!

Yesterday I let Tessa have do her first art project. I had gotten an idea from a friend to get kid friendly paint (washable of course!) and let her finger paint on canvases. I thought this would be a fabulous idea for Joel's first father's day. Little did I know what I was getting myself into.

 I had to be very careful with the different colors to make sure that the canvases didn't all turn brown because of the mixing colors. So, one at a time, I squirted a blob of paint on her tray, put her hand in it, and then put the canvas under her so she could eat the painted canvas smear and splash paint on the canvas. We did this very meticulously through all the colors and then I let her splash around for a while. 

Just as suspected, paint was everywhere. She had somehow gotten a huge pile of red paint on the back of her head, which made it look like she was bleeding. Luckily it washed off and her head was still in tact. But, the final product was pretty good! I think daddy will love it!