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!

April 29, 2011

6 months

Tessa is 6 months old! She has her 6 month well baby check up at the doctor's office next week so we'll see how much she's grown. For now, I'll just show you the hilarious pictures of trying to take her monthly pictures in her chair. Being mobile is a serious barrier for whoever is operating the camera. I would just like to make a disclaimer on these: The only position I put her in is this first one, sitting, leaning against the corner of the chair. The rest she did on her own.

April 28, 2011

Feeding a baby....

is harder than it looks! Watching her try solid food for the first time was hilarious though. We decided to start them a few weeks earlier than planned. Initially, we had decided to wait until she was six months old to introduce solid foods, but we agreed to begin them shortly after she turned five months because our pediatrician thought they would help her reflux problems, especially since our health insurance is jerking us around with her medication. But that's a story for another day...we're on solids today.

So, the first two attempts were pretty pathetic. Nothing got in her mouth and all I got was dirty looks. By the third day though, she was ready and scarfed it down. We started her out with applesauce mixed with rice cereal and that was a success. We then introduced sweet potatoes and squash and she liked both of those too. Next, I thought I'd try a fruit, like banana.  This is the reaction I got.

 First she was like, "oh no you dih-ent. What is this crap you are feeding me? I refuse. "

 Then she said, "Ma, I am opening my mouth to protest, not so you can shove another spoonful in."

Then, she was all, "Fine, I just won't swallow what's in my mouth so you can't feed me more."

And then, it was over. She survived. And she lived to tell about it.I think she was happy it was over.

The next day, she decided to feed herself. This was her supper of choice.

So far, she's eaten sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, applesauce, pears, and bananas. She definitely prefers vegetables to fruits, which is the opposite of her dad. She also has to be in the right mood to eat, so some days she goes on strike. But, she's doing pretty well at it. She's figured out what goes on when she gets a bib on and gets in the highchair. And she's impatient.

April 25, 2011

Poor Babe

Tessa's turned from a happy little independent girl to a clingy, needy, whiny baby. While I don't mind the snuggling, it is difficult sometimes to get anything done. Plus, the waking up screaming every hour isn't very fun either. She was very constipated and needed suppositories over the weekend, plus we think she's teething, so she's just having a rough time.

I wasn't sure anything was wrong and then she stopped eating, which is not like her at all. She's been a great eater since day one, but in the last few days she's taken less interest in eating her solid foods, which she's been doing for a couple weeks now. Then, she stopped drinking milk too, which was a bigger concern. After a quick examination of the grunting, we noticed she was severely backed up. So, we called the doctor since our normal go-to girl (the infamous Dr. Laura AKA Joel's mom) was out saving the world in St. Lucia. He said we could give her suppositories and a little juice until things cleared up. So, we did that, and although I wasn't in favor of giving Tessa juice at such a young age, it worked!

She's now feeling much better, although she still cries in her sleep and wakes up every hour. This is night 3, and it's pretty rough. There's nothing we can do about it, and we don't know if it's teething or not, but it's very out of character for her. Needless to say, it's been a stressful couple of days but we're getting through it. It'll pass.

April 22, 2011

Big Girl!

Patiently waiting for Aunt Jess and Grandma and Grandpa to come visit! 

Yesterday was my parents' 32nd wedding anniversary so I coerced them into coming up here to visit and my sister Jess was wanting to come up anyways. So, they did! I cooked dinner and baked them a funfetti cake in honor of the anniversary. Really, it was just an excuse for them to see Tessa again and get a free meal. But, I like having them here and it made the night better since Joel got called into work early, again.

April 21, 2011

When in Rome...

...do as the Romans do. When in Colorado, go to the casino because it's smoke free and you have a free babysitter (thanks Grandma Pam!)

So, that's exactly what we did while we were out in Denver for our vacation at the end of March. My brother Luke and his wifey Jen and Joel and I went to the Armadillo for dinner. The Armadillo is this cute little Mexican restaurant in Littleton that Jen used to work at and that apparently has the greatest queso ever, at least according to Jen. It was good dinner, and we had a  Restaurant.com gift certificate to there so it was pretty economical. We used Laura money (Joel's mom sent us with $100 to take Luke and Jen out for dinner/entertainment) for dinner, and even after cocktails, queso, and 4 meals, we still had plenty of money left over.

So, the only logical place to go was to the casino, an hour into the mountains. Grandma Pam told us to go enjoy ourselves without the kids, so we took full advantage of that. We drove on winding mountain roads forever, and then BAM! A small town where every store front was a bar, a restaurant, or a casino. One casino even had a Starbucks in the lobby. I'm not a huge gambler, and we only go about once a year to play penny slots, but for some reason, we were all feeling a little frisky that night.

We went to the Wheel of Fortune machine first. This machine costs $3 per play but if you land on the wheel, it spins and you win a minimum of 100, just in one spin! Luke and Jen won over $3,000 playing this machine on their honeymoon cruise. So, we started there, with the rest of the Laura money. We had all budgeted to spend some money here. Yes, you'd like to win at the casino, but most people don't, and we were ok "donating" the money to the casino. We figured 60 bucks for entertainment for 4 hours with no kids was well worth it; it's cheaper than a concert or a movie by the time you get all the snacks you need!

Anyways, we sat down at the Wheel of Fortune, and wouldn't ya know it, 4 spins later, we won $225! We decided to split it between the 4 of us and use that money first before we had to dip into our own pockets. So, we went off on our separate ways. Jen and I went to video poker, which is kind of fun but seems hard to win. Except that about 2 minutes later, I had a royal flush on a 5 cent machine and won $57. So, I cashed that out, stuck it in my pocket, and grabbed a 20 to keep playing. Then, I went to another machine that had that 7's game, where you have to line up 7's to win. Well, apparently I'm good at automated machines that need to line up stuff, because I lined up some 7's and won another 20 bucks within about 3 minutes of sitting down.

I tried my luck at some other weird game that I didn't know how to play but  you could get free spins and stuff at, so I did that one, and lo and behold, another 60 bucks I won. Hmmm. We should have taken that as an omen but instead, we stayed another 4 hours.

4 hours later, we were all broke, I was back to even. To be fair though, I donated some of my money to Starbucks, to Joel since he had lost his Laura money, and to cocktails. Wheel of Fortune was not our friend at the end, but then, as we were about to leave, we found the magical game of Video Roulette. This is very similar to the live roulette but you don't have the pressure of everyone watching you bet and making you second guess everything. Well, Jen's favorite number is 16, so they bet on Red 16 every time, and won about 5 of those, which pay at a 1 to 36 odds. We sat there for an hour, and Joel and I left ahead by about 10 bucks. A winding drive home and we were safe and sound back in Littleton. But, we had a fun night out as married couples and friends and Grandma Pam got to rock all the babies to sleep.

April 18, 2011

What I lay awake thinking about at night

Sometimes I lay awake at night, or let my mind wander when I should be working and come up with some pretty weird thoughts. So, I thought I'd share a few of them. Plus, maybe some of you have some insight.

Do you think Jesus was a hottie? I mean, the general depiction of Jesus is something like this:

 While he's the almighty son of God, he's not such a looker if this is what he actually looked like. I mean, he was a carpenter, he'd probably have a decent body, but his face isn't great. Why am I thinking of this stuff at night? Who knows.

How many golden oreos consumed in one sitting is too many?

Will my body go back to normal and will I be in shape and look good again if I continue to watch the infomercial for Zumba? It's the thought that counts, right?

Will I feel guilty if I choose to stop breastfeeding? Why am I being selfish about wanting to quit when my supply is still good and it's free food?

Are the ladies on Extreme Couponing complete losers or do they think they are the bees' knees? It seems OCD to me, and I'd rather spend some QT with Tessa than sit at the table clipping coupons.

Which is worse, regular soda, knowing how bad it is for you, or diet soda, with unknown stuff and the unknown effects of aspertame?

Will I ever feel like we're in a home, not just a temporary housing unit?

This last one is one I have struggled with many times. It worries me that some of the worst people in the world, like Charles Manson or the guy that killed the Sheriff in Keokuk might be going to heaven.  The selfish, human side of me is really bothered by that. I know sin is sin and my swearing habit is no worse in God's eyes than a sexual predator,but I think that's what bothers me the most. Ugh. Darn internal struggles with morality and salvation, they should go hand in hand.

April 14, 2011

Why I love CD's

No, not the CD's you put in your stereo that come with music. I'm talking about cloth diapers. When I first started thinking about them a year ago, I was definitely unsure. I didn't know if I could handle the poops, the laundry, the whole process. But, it's been 5 1/2 months and things are going so well. Sure, we've had our moments when we've almost run out of diapers or when she pees through a diaper in half an hour, but I think that's to be expected even with disposables.

We have accumulated quite a stash of different diapers as I read reviews and experiences of others. We started out with pocket diapers and prefold diapers. Prefolds are the old school cloth diapers that just look like a rag.

These require a cover over them to hold the wetness in, but the covers are the best part!  They have so many brands and so many color/pattern options for covers. My favorites are the Thirsties brand, but I've started broadening my horizons and just purchased a Monkey Snuggles brand as well.

Most of our stash is pocket diapers though. We really like these because they are adjustable in size(called one size) so they work from babies 8-35 pounds. This means that even though 1 diaper will cost 15-20$, it will last from birth until they are potty trained, plus you can use them for future children! We have a bunch of different brands now and so far, I really like them all, even though they have different purposes.

We have a lot of Kawaii brand diapers, which are much bulkier than some of the other brands but are also very absorbent. They work great for overnights since Tessa normally sleeps 12 hours. She still wakes up dry because the liners soak up all the pee!

The Fuzzibunz are much trimmer diapers so they work great for going under fitted outfits when we're out and about, but they are less absorbent and she can't be in one for more than a couple hours at a time.

The BumGenius diapers are a great mix of the two. They are fairly trim, but have the option of stuffing more than one liner in them so you could use them overnight as well.

Just recently, we've gotten a couple GroVia and Rumparooz diapers. Rumparooz are pretty expensive at $26 per diaper but I got them half price during an online sale! That is one great thing about cloth diapers, you can spend as much as or as little as you like. Some people go crazy and buy 30,40, or even $50 diapers. Me, I wait for awesome deals and sales to add to my stash.

And it's just 2 extra loads of laundry per week. It's really pretty easy.

April 11, 2011

First auction!

On Saturday we ventured to the sprawling metropolis of Guthrie Center. My grandparents lived on a farm there for a long time and my mom grew up there so we still have a lot of relatives there. Actually, I'm probably related to about half the town (Slosses and Wilsons dominate that town!) We were heading to our first auction. My grandma's sister lives in the nursing home now and her husband passed away a few weeks ago so their family decided it was time to clean out their house and put it up for sale. So, they had an estate sale auction. We had no idea what we were in for. None of us had ever been to one of these before, but hey, we were prepping ourselves for an adventure.

We got there and the building was packed full of stuff. Everything from antique furniture to kitchen wares up the wazoo. There was an antique sewing machine, a ScooterStore scooter, and 50 boxes of mason jars. There was antique jewelry and random Christmas decorations. It was like they had literally moved their home into this building and were prepared to sell every last item in it. 

My grandma and mom only wanted to go to see relatives, but my dad and I were prepared to spend some dough on stuff we didn't need but could no longer live without. As my mom put it, "I want to see all the cousins." And, she did. Which means Tessa and I saw all the cousins too. Not that I knew any of them, but I smiled and introduced Tessa and repeated the same sentences for each introduction.

"This is Tessa. She's 5 1/2 months old.
She sleeps 12 hours a night and is pretty happy unless she needs something
She is a great eater. Yes, I'm sure she's 5 1/2 months. I know she looks small, she's long and lean like her dad. "

All you moms out there are probably all too familiar! It's funny how everyone asks the same questions. I know it's just small talk. Sometime though, I'd like someone to ask me how often she poops! It would throw me off guard!

Anyways, back to the auction. It was intense at first. Literally, the auctioneer would pull a couple of random boxes out from the pile and say " ok,let's start bidding on this. Bidder takes the boxes." and then he goes into his jibberish tongue rolling, speaking in tongues mumbo jumbo until he points to someone and says, "sold, to #45 for a 2 dollar bill." Rinse and repeat. For 8 hours. A pickle jar filled with marbles went for $60. I got 2 camping coolers for $4. Antique sleigh bells went for $140, 10 lazy susans and 4 other boxes of crap went for $3.

It was really fun though. I got a world famous pizza burger from the restaurant in town for lunch, and spent some time with my Grandma Wilson. Tessa got to hang out with GG and got loved on by everyone she met!

It was supposed to be an 80 degree day, but when we showed up at 9:30 it was 45 and cold. By afternoon though, we were shedding layers because it got hot and humid fast. Gotta love Iowa weather.

April 5, 2011

Joel and I have been debating recently about when to start Tessa on solid foods. Our pediatrician says we can wait until 6 months as long as she's still eating well and acts like she's still content with just milk. Many pediatricians say to start cereal and such at 4 months. She's now 5 months and 1 week old, and we're still not sure. We haven't started anything yet, but we've let her suck on an apple slice every once in a while,which she seems to enjoy.  We have all the supplies ready, including some fancy new feeding helpers, like this mesh feeder.
These things are awesome because you can put things into it and let the baby eat it through the mesh. It's good for snacks and stuff and lets them become familiar with tastes.

In the Amazon post below, I mentioned we also got ice cube trays with lids to freeze the pureed food in 1 ounce portions. I thought I'd make her food a couple times a week and freeze it in one ounce portions. Then, for meal time, I could just pull out a cube or two of something, and mix it with another to get a meal. For example, pull out a cube of green beans and a cube of peas and mix them.

But within the last couple weeks, I've started doing some research on Baby Led Weaning, or BLW
The basis of the this method of feeding is that the baby controls when and how much they want to eat. Instead of pureeing the food and spoon feeding to them, you cut it into bite size pieces and allow them to figure it out. If they put it in their mouth and eat it, great. Sometimes they just taste it and play with it. It allows the baby to figure out feeding for themselves and decide when to eat and when to stop. It also allows the baby to eat more "table foods". Obviously, they'd have a modified version of table food, but if we're having green beans, we'd just cut a few up before putting salt and pepper on it and let her try them.

I am getting antsy to start feeding her real foods, even though that will make diapering more complicated when she has that peanut butter poo from half solids, half breastmilk.

April 4, 2011

I love this girl

Seriously, no matter what kind of day I've had, this girl fixes it all.

And of course, I absolutely love this guy too!

5 Months

Last week while we were in Colorado, Tessa turned 5 months old! I can't believe how much she is growing and learning everyday. I know, everyone says that constantly. She just is growing up so fast. She's growing so quickly and learning so much! It's so fun to watch her personality develop and watch her learn something new, which seems like almost every day! She's picked up a couple new tricks recently. She's a very active baby, rolling constantly all over her play blanket to get to whatever toy she wants.

 Lately, she's been rolling over and over until she runs into the TV stand then cries because she's stuck. She does a fake cough for attention and then when we ask her what's wrong, she smiles at us. She loves her exersaucer and although she hasn't figured out some of the toys on it, it's fun to watch her as she intensely tries to figure it out.

She has had some sleep regression lately, and I'm not sure if that's because she's a growing girl and is hungry, or if it's because she keeps rolling herself onto her stomach and then gets annoyed that she's there. Either way, it makes for one tired momma when she's up 3-4 times per night. I've resorted to changing her diaper and bringing her into bed with me. Joel's gone at night anyways, so she uses his side of the bed. It's much easier to nurse that way and I can doze off while she lays there debating what to do.

Usually, she'll stare at the muted TV and eventually fall asleep. Joel puts her back in her crib when he gets home from work. I know it's not a great habit to start, but it's so much easier on me than trying to get her back to sleep. I can't let her lay there and cry either because that just keeps me up and she gets so hysterical sometimes. So, we're both calm and relaxed in bed together. Plus, I get some snuggles in that way.

We've had to slowly start supplementing with a couple ounces of formula at night. I suppose we could have continued on just breast milk but I was starting to have to dip into my freezer stash almost every day for a couple ounces here and there. We decided that it would be better to give her a couple ounces of breastmilk mixed with a couple ounces of formula for her feeding before bed. Then, I pump before I go to bed. So far it's been working and we haven't had to use the freezer stash. I'd like to stop breastfeeding around 9 months and continue giving her the frozen breastmilk until about a year. So hopefully, I'll be able to keep with her until then and have enough of a freezer stash to last until a year. We shall see.
Tessa's also getting very good at exercising her voice. Some days she has a lot to say! She's also starting to imitate some of the sounds we make, which is hilarious. She growls at us sometimes and we'll do it back, she loves it. Of course, she's pretty stingy with those, just like she is with her giggles.

Hopefully in the next couple weeks, we'll be starting her on solids!

April 1, 2011

The Road Trip

I felt a little like Clark Griswold when we were packing for this trip. The trunk was stuffed, the floor of the car was stuffed, and Tessa barely had enough room for her carseat amongst the crap. By crap, I mean 2 suitcases (one for us, one for Tessa), one duffel bag full of cloth diapers, a breast pump, a computer, 2 food bags, a cooler, 2 purses, birthday presents for Jax, a cosmetic bag, a diaper bag, extra sweatshirts, a blanket, 3 pillows, and 2 Nalgene bottles. I think that's it. I can't remember.

We got to Des Moines to pick up my mom and I decided to feed Tessa so that we could get a couple hours down the road without stopping. Except she wasn't on board with this game plan. She was too distracted by the dog (she loves dogs now, apparently!) to eat, and by the Menlo exit, which is about 35 miles out of town, she was screaming and hungry. And it was pouring down rain. So, we stopped and ate a little, calmed her down, and continued down I-80 Westbound towards Denver. It took us about 10.5 hours which really wasn't bad at all.

The way home was eerily similar, except it took us more than hour to get 10 miles. We were just trying to get to North Platte for dinner and that was stretched out from 7:45 to 9pm before we finally got there. First, Tessa decided she was hungry. So, we stopped, changed her diaper and fed her. Ten minutes later, she was crying again. Apparently, she pooped.

We stopped, changed her diaper again, and were back on the road. Then, I got pulled over. Yep, I got busted going 87 in a 75. Actually, has asked me how fast I was going and I said 83-84 and that's about what he had me at. Clearly he didn't have radar on me because I know I easily going 87, if not more. Oh well. I didn't get a ticket, just a warning. It probably helped my cause that it came out in conversation about Joel being an officer. Eh, my husband risks his life everyday, I'll take this minor perk.