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!

February 23, 2011

Oh Tessa, what a wild girl she is. She's very strong and very strong willed. She knows what she wants and is sure to let us know if we're doing something she is not a fan of. The other day at the grocery store we had gotten 10 feet inside the store. She made a very sad face and started crying.

Fine. We know she's not a huge fan of the carseat. We usually just take her out when she gets fussy and carry her around. She was having no part of grocery store time. She screamed so loud and cried so hard, you'd think we were trying feed her sardines or something. We tried to go down one more aisle to grab a few necessities since we only needed a few things, but she wanted absolutely nothing more than to leave that store. So, Joel picked up the bare minimum (tortillas, milk, coffee, saltines) while I sprinted to the car with her in my arms. Nevermind the carseat, I just carried her and ran as she screamed the whole way.

She shouldn't have been hungry but I tried to feed her a little in the car while we waited for Joel. Nope, she wasn't hungry. I changed her diaper, which was still dry. Ok, not the diaper. Finally I turned up the CD I was listening to (Taylor Swift) and bounced her on my knee. It worked! She was instantly quiet. We did this for about 3 minutes until Joel got back to the car. I put her back in her carseat, and we went home. Immediately when we got home, I stuck her in the bumbo so I could put the groceries away. This is the face I got:

What a little stinker. So, the lesson learned here is this:

Tessa's too cool for the grocery store. Dually noted child.

Loud mouth

Well, Tessa finally found her voice. And boy, has she got a lot to say. Every waking moment is spent babbling or yelling. Half the time I can't tell if she's mad or just wants us to know she's awake. She's usually just announcing her presence.

She's also starting to repeat some of the noises we make, which is just hilarious. I often sing her softball cheers and for some reason, that gets her laughing hysterically. Our favorite goes like this:

Tessa is a friend of mine
She can hit it anytime

She loves to imitate the ah part, and I think she knows what she's doing but she does it as I'm doing it along with the song. I would love to get into the brain of that little girl. She entertains us endlessly.

She is attempting to roll from back to belly, but usually she's on her playmat so as she starts to do that, she gets distracted by a dangling animal or ring. Or, she runs into a roadblock and gives up. 

This was as far as she got the other night and then couldn't figure out how to let go of the pole and just let herself fall so she pushed herself back over on her back and continued playing.

She's also very good at scooting around on her back and is able to move off her playmat, do complete circles, and flail aimlessly.

February 18, 2011

Getting creative

A few weeks ago at the grocery store I found ground turkey on sale. I had heard that you can substitute ground beef for turkey in many recipes, but I knew that I would have a hard time convincing Joel of that. I picked up a couple pounds anyways, in tubes like this:

I figured I would start out slow and put it in spaghetti sauce. That way, if Joel thought it would be weird, it would be covered by the normalcy of spaghetti sauce. I swear I'm a food psychiatrist with this guy. I have to beg him to try something new, even though 99% of the time he ends up liking it.

Once again, turkey in the spaghetti sauce turned out to be a success, just like I promised him it would. He never believes me, but he lets me try and he is often convinced that it's not as bad as he thinks it will be. So last night, I decided to reuse some of the turkey and some crescent rolls that desperately needed to be used. On a side note, I bought 3 packages of Crescent rolls to make veggie pizza and later that afternoon Joel picked 3 up for me also. Then I figured out that the veggie pizza only takes 2 packages, so we had 4 leftover. We don't normally eat Crescent rolls plain. So, we've been trying to find things to make using crescent rolls.

Anyways..... turkey and crescent rolls. I found a recipe online for pizza pockets using crescent rolls and figured I'd give it a try. I make homemade pizzas and calzones reguarly, since pizza is a major food group in Joel's life. So, I figured I'd try another variation and get rid of another tube of Crescent rolls. Joel's likes meat lovers so I put some pepperoni, Canadian bacon, and the browned ground turkey from the night before. Mine had pepperoni, canadian bacon, and pineapple. I know, it sounds weird. I used to just make canadian bacon and pineapple but it's delicious with pepperoni in it too.

I pocketed them all up, using 1 triangle for the top and one for the bottom. A whole tube makes 4 pizza pockets. Bake them up at 375 for about 15 minutes.

Mine did not look like this, nor did I garnish the plate. I also had Pepsi instead of the fancy white milk pictured. But, they turned out great and I'm sure this will become a regular in our house anytime we need to get rid of Crescent rolls. I think slowly and surely, I am broadening his horizons. He even ate green beans the other night. It's progress people!

February 16, 2011

Professional Roller

We have a professional roller on our hands. She's not quite able to roll from her back to her belly but she's getting close. She does roll very quickly from her belly to her back. I think it is her way of defying me during tummy time. She rolls onto her back within 5 seconds of being on her stomach. Then, she flips herself over and smiles at me.

She's also starting to become very aware of everything around her. There' s no leaving the room anymore because she realizes it right away and lets us know she's not happy about it.

She is also officially unswaddled. It started a couple weeks ago when she broke one arm out of her swaddle a few nights in a row. So, we decided to swaddle her with just one arm in and she did great.

Monday night, she fell asleep earlier than normal after having a rough day with no nap. We had her pajamas on but I had not swaddled her for the night yet. She was zonked out so I decided to lay her down just to see how she would do. She slept until morning, as usual!

Ever since then, we've had her in a sleep sack instead of swaddled and she's done great. All it takes is a pacifier and her Seahorse and she is one happy sleeper!

February 15, 2011

Valentine's day

Yesterday was Valentine's Day. A day of love. A day of romanticism. A day for rose prices to shoot through the roof.

Luckily, I've never been into roses much. I prefer daisies. Anyways, Valentine's day.

Nine years ago on Valentine's day, I got my first gift from Joel. It was the Hallmark Kiss-Kiss bears and a picture frame. I broke the picture frame 10 seconds later. Accidentally of course. I didn't know it was in the bag and I dropped the bag. Oops! I still have the kiss kiss bears and they have stood the test of time. They did not, however, stand the test of Bailey, the Boston Terrier Joel's parents have. She has a knack for finding things with heads and promptly removing/destroying those heads.

Six years ago, I got a beautiful gold necklace from Joel. I lost that 4 months later. I bought a replacement one, and lost that as well.

One year ago, I got a positive pregnancy test an hour after Joel left for the week to go back to the police academy.

And yesterday, I got a huge smile from Tessa and a card and kiss from Joel.

It was the best Valentine's day I've ever had. It's the little things in life that make everything so wonderful. It's not the presents or the fancy dinners. We had chicken parmesan sandwiches and rice for dinner. It's the time spent with the people you love the most that make everything so fabulous.

What can I say? My life is pretty fabulous.

February 11, 2011



This information was borrowed from Deal Wise Mommy but I have been doing swagbucks since December and we've already got $150 in Amazon gift cards and $40 in Target cards. It's totally legit. Seriously. 

Click here to join!

NEW-Swagbucks Games! You can play games and get free Swagbucks.

What have you been trading for your Swagbucks? My favorite is Amazon cards that do not expire and can be stacked. I am using mine to get stuff for Christmas for the family!

They officially be launching their own video portal, Swagbucks TV, where you have the opportunity to earn Swagbucks for watching videos on a variety of topics to appeal to all interests.
Many have asked me over and over… “What are Swagbucks“. Well this posting hopefully will explain all the in’s and out’s!
Swagbucks are “Digital Dollars” which you can buy anything from the swagstore you want. Most chose to do the gift cards (the other items in the store are really high cost if you do the math.) Most of the items in the store can be bought on amazon and for much cheaper.. Ex an Ipod Nano Video is 16,999 points on sale (37999 not on sale)… but if you buy it on amazon it is only $159.00.. With Swag points for Amanzon Cards ($5.00) it is 14,440 Points. So make sure to do your math and see if it is cheaper to buy the Amazon cards.
The first thing I suggest is to download the toolbar HERE.

Sorry the image is blurry! The best I could get. This is where you can do a ton of stuff. Searching, get the 4 extra bucks a day.
-Just for having it installed you get 1-3 swagbucks a day! This will pop up as soon as you open the browser. If it is higher than one you might have to enter a verify code.
-I do all my searches here too! So simple.
-Get messages from TSG.. Which can contain codes.
How to get these bucks:
-Searches-I use the toolbar. I also will search images too(watch some are graphic or adult only for the most basic or words that seem to be harmless.) What to search: Deal Wise Mommy, Kids toys, etc.. Simple things. Holidays..etc When you win.. it will look like this. How often to search: I usually can win 3 times a day (So I search in the morning, mid day and bedtime).
(Some times you will have to enter the verify code)
-Swagcodes-These can be found everywhere. The Swidget (which I will talk about in a bit), TSG Messages (will also talk about), Swagbucks.com/blog & Store, Swagbucks Twitter (you do not need twitter to see the page), or Swagbucks Facebook. Some times the codes are pretty to find. Or sometimes they will have a hunt. There is were they give you clues to find the code (most of the time these are hidden in the swagstore). You ask.. “What do these codes look like?”
This is an old code and will not work. It will be a combo of letters numbers. They will stand out a bit. The #1 rule is do not post the codes.. Your account can be deactivated.
Once you have a code.. Head on over to swagbucks.com and enter your code in the box that looks like this.
After you enter the code it will show how much it was worth.
These codes to have a time limit. They are in Pacific time.. So if you are Central time.. Just add 2 hours to the time when it ends. Eastern add 3 hours to the time it ends.
-Surveys-You can get swagbucks from these. Most of them are very hard to qualify for. How ever make sure to log in every day to get 1 swagbuck just for checking!!
This is what the survey page looks like. You will see a tab/link at the top that says PROFILES. Check that often.. I find all kinds of little surveys that you can do for 5 to 10 points. These are about your interests etc.
Special Offers- I have done a few of these but not many.. They require a lot of personal info at times.. Credit card info etc. I did the Netflix just because we were going to sign up anyways. They tend to have a few Facebook apps you can allow to get a few points and videos (I can never get the videos to credit).
Swagbucks TV-Watch a few videos and get rewards! I have found you have to watch about 3 to 5 to get some bucks! You can do this a few times too a day I have heard.
4 Swagbucks a Day to Start Off With (this is found in the Toolbar-Ways to Earn)
-NOSO-This is No Obligation Special Offers-just click skip on all to earn 1 swagbuck.
-Trusted Surveys-Just visit everyday to get 1 swagbuck.
-Daily Polls-Visit everyday and take the poll for 1 swagbuck
-Just have the Toolbar installed will give you 1-3 each day when you open your browser.

You can use this to find swag codes mainly. You can do more with it, but that is all I use it for.
This is the Toolbar Message from TSG (The Swag Guy)
-In here you will find messages with codes. The little white envelope will have a yellow/orange star on it when a new message. Sometimes new messages will not show up.. Just hit the Green Refresh button.. Might show up then.
-How to get more bucks-The key is referrals. Just keep sharing with your friends! When you log in to your account.. Hit the promote button and you will find your special code. You can send this to people who you want to invite!
Here are the Don’ts
-Do not post Swag codes! This can get your account deactivated.
-Do not post your Referral Link Everywhere.. If you want to share.. You just need to email it to your friends or post to YOUR Facebook Page.
-Do not over search-you can get the “Rules Page” This means do not spend all day searching. I think if you do it too much you can get deactivated too..
-Friday Is Mega Swagbucks Day-You can win some higher values
-Install the toolbar and get those extra 4-6 bucks a day.. They will add up.
-I will post codes as I know they are out on Facebook.. When I can :)
How longs does it take to get enough to get a card-in the beginning on my own no referrals.. I could get one to 2 $5.00 amazon cards.. slow but hey that is Free $5.00-$10.00 on amazon. The amazon cards never expire. When I get mine.. I take the gift card number and pop into my amazon account. Makes it easy!
I hope this long posting that took me an hour to write (I hope I got everything) helps! Start getting those Swagbucks!!


I'm turning into a grandma so fast I almost can't keep up. I go to bed at 8:30. I wake up at 4:30 or 5, even on my days off. I save the last 4 kernels of corn because they might be good with the next meal and I wouldn't want to waste anything. I learned this tip from my farming Grandma, who literally has an entire chest freezer full of yogurt containers with single size servings of fruits, vegetables, and even entrees. She has an entire nook full of homemade canned goods. The woman is an incredible re-purposer (I may have just created that word, but you get the idea).

Well, my newest adventure down the grandma path is learning to crochet. So far, I've made excellent 4 foot chain. I started making a washcloth but then I got all nervous about not being able to make it square. Someday soon though, I will be able to make a washcloth, and it will look pretty like this.

Then, once I get really good at these, I will attempt to create a hat or something. This one is fancy and all sorts of awesome, and maybe someday I will be able to do this. Maybe even by next winter!

 I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to make these adorable boots, but oh man, if I could, I would have the awesome-est (yep, another made up word) baby on the block. I mean, how cute are these?!


A girl can dream right? If I can't ever make these, I will pay someone to because I feel like these are going to be a necessary part of my near future for Miss Tessa Kelly.

February 10, 2011

3 months

I am a little behind on this, but on January 28, my little pumpkin pie turned 3 months! She is such a funny little girl, always smiling and being a ham. Here are some recent stats on her:

  • She recognizes our voices and smiles whenever I get home from work
  • Rolling over from stomach to back pretty consistently
  • On the verge of rolling from back to stomach
  • Loves her paci
  • Chews on her doll, her Sophie, and her hand and shirt sleeve
  • Randomly laughs at the swing pole going back and forth
  • sleeps 12 hours a night, uninterrupted (8:30pm-8:30am)
  • Swaddles with 1 arm out since she started breaking out of it
  • Still on the Apnea monitor at night, but this should go away soon
  • Loves her play mat with her rings and toys
  • Loves her bouncy seat
  • Won't take naps in her crib, but I think this is because it's not dark enough 
  • Clusterfeeds in the evening still
  • Approximately 13 pounds (done on our bathroom scale)
  • Very long and lean, just like her dad
  • Loves bathtime
  • Endlessly entertaining!

February 9, 2011

Sometimes I wonder

I heard the new Blake Shelton song on the radio the other day and it got me thinking about Joel and I. So much of that song describes me. I wonder if he thought like that when we first started dating, and if he still wonders things about me. I know I think about little things like that. If you are unfamiliar with the song, here it is:

Everything he describes about this girl is me. It's almost odd how much it reminds me of me.

Do you pour a little something on the rocks--Usually something with a little OJ
Slide down the hallway in your socks
When you undress, do you leave a path--haha, check my hallway
Then sink to your nose in a bubble bath

Do you break things when you get mad---yup.
Eat a box of chocolate cause you're feeling bad---a bag of snickers counts, right?
Do you paint your toes cause you bite your nails---ding ding ding!
And call up mama when all else fails---oh man, 3x a day I'm on the phone with that woman

Plus, I love Blake Shelton. He is responsible for many of my favorites, including:

I'll just hold on
I loved her first
Nobody but me
Old Red

There's just something about country music that can instantly change your mood. Joel got me hooked.

February 3, 2011

the &*"%#@% house

I have a semi-strong distaste for our current home. The house itself is not too bad, it's only a few years old, has a full, dry basement, and a decent layout. But, I hate the location, I hate that its not ours, and I definitely hate that we can't do whatever we want with it. No wall painting, no remodeling, no tearing up the hideous carpet that covers all but a 2x2 foot space at the entryway. It bugs me.

But, my reasonable and logical husband makes lots of sense. We know this place is temporary, we know this town is temporary. Temporary means 1-3 more years. Sometimes I wonder how I can last 1-3 more years in this place. In -3 more years, we'll probably have another child (I'm thinking closer to the 3 than the 1, so don't get any ideas!) In 1-3 more years, we hope to be nearly out of debt and hopefully by then I'll be able to finish up everything I need to do to become a Registered Dietitian. We'll see about that last one, sometimes I'm not sure if I even want that. 

Joel says why invest in a home that we know we'd have to sell in 1-3 years? Why put time and energy into a place that we won't be there long enough to enjoy? Why take the chance of getting stuck with a home we can't sell when we want to leave this town? Ok, fine, Joel. You win. But c'mon. I want to have a house that I love and that I want to put time and energy and blood, sweat, and tears into. It's a girl thing.

So, for now, we're here, in this 2 bedroom townhouse that has enough space for us now and is relatively decent. Someday, we'll have the house we dream of with some land so the kiddos can run around. We're thinking a farmhouse without actually having farm stuff. Just a house, some land, and a barn or a morton building. Ah... someday.