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!

March 29, 2011

I'm back!

We made it back from Colorado safe and sound. It took us about 10.5 hours each way, which is about an hour longer than normal, but with a 5 month old, we figured that was pretty good. When my brother came to visit us, it took them 12 hours. I would definitely drive overnight again. The first couple hours were rough since Tessa was awake and likes to clusterfeed at night still so we had to make a couple stops, but after about 9pm it was smooth sailing down I-80. 

I have tons of pictures from the week, including some good ones that my sister-in-law took of Tessa and our family. We also let Noah borrow a cloth diaper so we could do a photo shoot with the babies. Noah is Tessa's cousin who is 12 days older. They could not be more different in looks or personality, but it was so much fun to watch them interact and play with each other. My brother is a work-a-holic and is also going to school full time to get his master's degree so we didn't see much of him but when he was home we made the most of our time together. He brings out the silly in me and is hilarious! Anyways, I'm off to bed for the night because I have to go back to work tomorrow (boo!!!) but I'll fill in all the deets (slang for details yo) in the coming days. 

Here's a couple of preview pictures from our week. Tessa loves this puppy. It sings and plays games and Noah had one too so Tessa remembered that she loved it!

March 22, 2011


This afternoon we're taking a road trip to Denver to visit my brother and sister-in-law and their two boys.  Jaxon is 3 and is absolutely hilarious and loves playing rough with Joel. Noah is 12 days older than Tessa. At Christmas, they laid next to each other but weren't really old enough to interact much. This trip could be interesting though. We're taking 2-25 year olds (Joel and I), a 4 1/2 month old (Tessa), and a 50-something (my mom Pam). In a car. To Denver. Oh boy. 

I have a funny feeling this trip will not go as smoothly as I am hoping, especially given the way this day has begun. So far today, we spent from 1-2:30 awake and hanging out. I had to get up at 4, which was also when Joel got home from work. Tessa decided she wanted to get then too. It's now 6 am, I leave for work in 20 minutes and Tessa is still awake and playing. She ate, she pooped, and now she's chewing on her Sophie and laughing at the local news. With no signs of slowing down. Oh, and I also woke up with a headache. Those tend to linger for a day or two and have the capability to make me very nauseous. 

Have I mentioned that I am extremely prone to motion sickness? Car, boat, airplane, rollercoaster, etc. If it moves with a motor, I have the capability to throw up in/on it. I've never gotten sick on a bicycle or a motorcycle, but I wouldn't rule it out as a possibility. Again, I wonder what the heck we've gotten ourselves into. When I was younger, I would throw up if I was riding in the backseat of a car for a trip from our house to Target Ankeny, which is about 5 miles and takes about 8-10 minutes. It's that bad. Hopefully I can shake this headache before we leave at 3:30 so I am not miserable throughout this trip. Oh, and by the way, Tessa hates her carseat. She'll sleep in it, and within the blink of an eye, she's awake and angry.

Hmmmm.... yeah. This could be interesting. Joel's a trooper though, and my mom is very la-di-dah about all of it so she should be just fine. We are traveling in the evening/overnight so hopefully we can get some sleep and Tessa won't need to stop as often. Joel's used to being up at night so he'll drive when I get tired.

And, because posts without pictures are less fun, here's Tessa's new trick. She plays peek-a-boo with herself. Sometimes she works herself to the corner of her giant play blanket and grabs the blanket and puts it over her face, or sometimes she grabs her lovey and covers her face with that. She thinks it's pretty funny to do it over and over. Oh to be in the mind of an almost 5 month old.

Oh hai mom. Don't mind me, I'm just hanging out. 
Oh gee, look what I found. The weakest link in this blanket.
You don't see me, you don't see me. 
 Nothing to see here, folks.

Wish us luck on our trip! I'll be taking a blogcation until next week so I can soak in nephew/sibling time while we're out there. My sister in law is going to take some family pictures of us while we're out there too. She's a wonderful photographer and should just quit her day job already and do it full time.

March 20, 2011


I love Amazon for so many reasons. Free shipping, millions of items, a lot of my favorite brands, coupons for baby stuff in all the magazine, and the arrival on my doorstep 2 days later are just a few of the many reasons. Recently I made a purchase to Amazon of some baby stuff.

 This order included 1 pair of baby legs, one pair of BiBi and MiMi brand leg warmers, baby food ice cube trays with lids (for when I make baby food), bowls/lids, 2 wipeable bibs, a GroVia all-in-one diaper, and a new wetbag for dirty diapers in the diaper bag. Total price of this stuff? About $75. My price? $0.00. Thanks to Swagbucks, I've earned a couple hundred dollars of Amazon gift cards so I got all this stuff for free! Some of it I would have gotten eventually anyway, but some of it was just fun stuff that I bought just because I can!

 Her new diaper!

A new, cuter wetbag for her dxirty diapers.

March 15, 2011


I'm certainly not Catholic, and Joel hasn't considered himself Catholic in about 7 years, but for some reason, we still participate in Lent, at least partially. I was raised Baptist so I don't really understand the whole Lent/Easter thing that Catholics do. I suppose I could research it, but since I'm not Catholic I don't really see the point.

Joel did not go to Ash Wednesday, and hasn't for years. He eats meat on Friday, and he doesn't do all the ritualistic Catholic things. But, we've always given something up for Lent. I think for me, it's the whole Jesus sacrifice thing, and I can definitely get on board with that part. I understand that many religions sacrifice something for the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. It honors Jesus and what he sacrificed and did in his 40 days before he was the ultimate sacrifice. I think that's why we partake in Lent, because it crosses any religious boundaries. It's a sacrifice.

This year, I gave up soda. I've tried to do it in the past, but it hasn't worked out very well. I will admit, part of the reason I chose to give up pop was because I knew that it would also be beneficial for me health, and if I had a goal, like 40 days, I could probably go longer than that. It's easier to set short term goals first and then just keep extending that goal. There's no way I could just give up pop one random day and never go back to it. But, if I can do it for 40 days, maybe I can do it for 60 days, then 90 days, and so on.

Plus, it's good for the waistline, it's better on the budget, and there are plenty of other options out there that aren't sugar + sugar + water. We'll see. So far so good though. The first couple days were the hardest when I am so used to grabbing a pepsi at noon to eat with lunch and an occasional Mountain Dew to tide me over in the afternoon. It's been a week though and the longing for one has subsided.

March 13, 2011


Tessa, at four months, is already developing quite a strong personality. Sometimes I think it's a split personality. She goes from happy as a clam talking away to screaming in the blink of an eye.

Sometimes she wants to be on the floor kicking and playing for hours without anyone touching her and sometimes she'll be awake for hours but needs to be held. That's when the baby carrier comes in handy. 

One day we spent 4 hours in the carrier because nothing else would work to get her to stop crying. Daddy did the dishes while Tessa watched, I made supper while Tessa watched, we even did some laundry. 

Sometimes she wants to spend her day relaxing in her bouncy seat or swing,

and sometimes she wants to spend her time standing and being entertained by one of us.

We just never really know what we're going to get day to day with this little lady. She's usually pretty darn happy though, and I can always count on a smile and a laugh!

March 12, 2011

Des Moines trip

We went to Des Moines for a few days while Joel had some training and spent some quality time with our families. I spent 2 of those days hanging out with this fine gentleman:

I caught a bug and had some nausea/vomiting, which was not fun. Luckily PaPa Scot entertained Tessa while I was ill. She also got to spend a lot of time with Grandma Laura and PaPa Steve. Laura had just come from Africa and had gotten braids in her hair, which Tessa loved to pull on. Daddy and Tessa got some snuggles in and took a few good naps together.  

Daddy's always a good candidate for a nap buddy. We also went car shopping, which was fun but makes me very nervous. I don't know why, but I hate doing things like that. Especially when it's cold. And wet. But my poor Grand Prix needed some loving and we just didn't want to spend that much money on repairs. So, we bought a car. A 2008 Nissan Altima. Joel decided we might as well splurge a little and get the "luxury" model so we did. It's got leather, heated seats, a 6 disc CD changer, and a bunch of other little things I won't use but Joel couldn't live without. Very not Dave Ramsey approved. It does look pretty slick though.

March 3, 2011

4 Months!?

I have a 4 month old. How did this happen? I mean, I know kids grow up and they get older and all that stuff, but seriously, how is she 4 months old? We took her 4 months pictures Monday morning and she was sure working the camera. Pictures will be scattered throughout this post.

Tessa had her 4 month well baby check up and shots on Monday, and she did great. She was quite the ham for the nurse and doctor.

Here are her 4 month stats:
25 inches long-50th%
12lbs 4 oz-25th%
They didn't give us a number for her head circumference but said she was in the 75th percentile. Her head doesn't look that big. Oh well. Her brain is growing.

I learned the hard way that Tessa doesn't like the exam table that day. I'm not sure if it was the sound of the paper crinkling under her or if she was cold, but I had to hold her during the doctor's exam and she was screaming her head off and crying before they even got near her with a needle. The second her head hit that table she was red faced and angry. The shots themselves didn't seem to bother her too much since she was already crying I couldn't tell if it actually hurt her. It definitely startled her though.

A big hug from mom and a chance to nurse after the appointment seemed to cure her. We then made a quick trip to the car dealership to scope out a few cars. We're still not sure when/what we're getting a new-ish car but one is definitely needed in the near future.

By the way, she grabbed and hugged the koala on her own. It was precious. Then she ate his head.

March 1, 2011

Grandma love

One of my favorite things about our families is how much they love us and want to spend time with us. The feeling is mutual, by the way. Last weekend my parents came up to visit us. Joel was working the overnight so he slept until mid afternoon but the rest of us ventured over to Dirty Dodge. Grandma Pam wanted to see the sprawling metropolis of Fort Dodge apparently.

Plus, Younkers was having a sale (shocking!) so we went for a little shopping which really just gave them an excuse to come up in the morning and have more Tessa time than if they'd waited for Joel to get up. We spent almost 2 hours in Younkers wandering around the entire store. Tessa got an Easter dress and 2 spring/summer outfits, I got a pair of leggings and a sweater,  I got Joel a Columbia golf shirt, and each of my parents got a couple shirts. Then we came back over and woke Joel up.

We really didn't do much all day, but it was nice to see them and visit with them, and Tessa was being a ham, showing off for Grandma and PaPa. I made homemade pizza for supper and my mom brought an angel food cake along and they left when it was time for Joel to head off to work. My mom got some great pictures and videos which get her through until the next time she can catch the live show (next week).  It's nice that we live close enough for visitors to come for the day and hang out a little. We'll be down next week again for a couple days since Joel has some training in Des Moines. And by then, Grandma Laura will be back from Africa after 3 weeks so I'm sure Tessa will get a lot more Grandma loving!