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 3, 2012

tub painting

On a gloomy Sunday with a lively toddler, mommy had to get creative. It was late afternoon and Tessa was getting stir crazy inside the house, so I went to old faithful (Pinterest) for some ideas. Then, it came to me. Bathroom paint. Better yet, washable, nonstaining, smelling-like-apple soap, paint.

I took cornstarch, hand soap, and food coloring. I mixed up a few different colors in bowls and let her go crazy. If the pictures don't convince you, I don't know what will.

What a great way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon. She got a bath and she thought it was the coolest thing since sliced bread. To be fair, it was pretty cool.

November 13, 2012


I sometimes go overboard when I find something I enjoy. The husband thinks I get obsessive, I just think I like to do everything at 100% and not half-ass anything :). So when I started stumbling across different deal sites, sweepstakes and contests online, I of course, had to enter them all. I was smart enough to set up a 2nd email address so Joel didn't have to sort through all the silly ones on our joint email account. Plus, then he doesn't know just how much I love the competition and thrill of possibly winning and beating "the man" by getting things for so cheap!

Lately, I seem to be pretty lucky! Between finding some smoking good deals and using coupons, I've been able to start getting Christmas presents early!

When I online shop, I go through Ebates. This site tracks all your online purchases and rewards you with cash back. It's as simple as going to their website first, then searching for the store you want to shop at, and clicking the link. By going through ebates first an then clicking the link from Ebates to the place you want to shop, you earn cash back. One of my favorites, Old Navy, offers 2-5% cashback on anything and everything. Amazon is 3%.  My newest shopping addiction, Zulily, has 3.5% cashback. Once a quarter, they just send you a check. It's so easy.

 I use Hip2Save to find all the best sales/deals/coupons. She posts everything for you, including the links to get them. This is also where I find most of my freebies that I get. I've gotten such a range of free stuff, including coffee mugs, make up bags, tons of product samples, tshirts, onesies, a 2 year subscription to Us Weekly, a 1 year subscription to ESPN the Magazine, and a 1 year subscription to Better Homes and Gardens. I've also gotten free coffee, cookies, candy, vitamins, the list goes on and on.

First, I won 100 k-cups, drinking mugs, an apron, and some biscotti mix. Then, I won a $500 gift certificate to my favorite cloth diaper store. Then, I won a handmade hat and scarf. Yesterday, I got an e-mail stating I'd won a $25 gift card from American Express.

Maybe I should play the lottery!


We celebrated Tessa's 2nd birthday on October 27 at our house. We were going to play tailgate games outside, but with the lovely Iowa weather being unpredictable, we ended up with 40 degree weather. Of course, 2 days before and after, it was in the 60's, but not on party day. So instead, we watched the Iowa Hawkeyes blow it again and enjoyed some good food and company.

The cake was a hit, but she had more fun watching the candles and playing with the football rings that came on the cake. It was a little chaotic putting that many people in our little 3 bedroom ranch, but it was fun! I'm glad everyone made the trip up to see us and Tessa got spoiled rotten.

I loved watching her face everytime someone new arrived. Her face would just light up and she would run to the door and yell who was coming. "Papa Steve, Grandma Laura!!" "Nama HAM! PAPA SCOT!!!" Knowing everyone was there to see her just made her so happy and I loved seeing that glee on her face. Even some of Joel's friends and their families came, which was so cool.

Happy 2nd Birthday, Tessa Kelly. We love you and your wild spirit!

October 27, 2012


I like the word petite. It's better than small, short, tiny, little, etc. Plus, it describes my girls perfectly.  It also happens to describe me, my mother, my sister, my aunt, and my grandma. I assume it also describes her mother, her mother's mother, and so on. Somewhere down the line, the petite gene was created and here we are. A whole family of petite girls.

We had Tessa's 2 year check up and Nora's 2 month check up this past Thursday.

Tessa is was 25.5 pounds (fully clothed) and 34 inches tall. That's 25th percentile for weight, right where she's been since birth. Her height was just under the 60th percentile, which was a little shorter than she had been previously. She had always hovered around the 75th percentile and was long and skinny, just like her dad. She seems to be tapering off in her height as of late. She's in 18-24 month clothes, but we usually wear 2T leggings and tights because her cloth diapers make her butt big. Old Navy makes these awesome jeans with adjustable waists so we can buy a 2T, which fit her in the length without her pants falling off.

Nora was 9lbs 15.5oz and 21.5 inches long. That puts her just under the 25th percentile for height and weight. She seems like a chunk but I guess she's little compared to what others are. She has started smiling and brings a whole new level of awesome baby with that development. She is just so easy and so content. She eats so well, taking 4oz of pumped milk or nursing 5-6 times per day. She's sleeping 10-12 hours at night (usually 9-7, 9-8ish) She's still wearing newborn clothes but those are getting pretty tight. The 3 month size is still a little big so we go back and forth. She loves to be swaddled, loves her swing, and loves the chances she gets to lay on the ground without fear of getting smushed by sister.

I never thought I'd be the parent that would just call my kids by a nickname instead of their actual name, but we've got some nicknames that are really starting to stick. Nora, for example, is "baby sister Nora Jean." Not Nora, not sister, it has to be the whole thing. Just ask Tess. Oh, I've been calling Tessa "Tess" pretty frequently.  Tessa is also known as "goose". It started by asking her "Who's my baby goose?" I don't know why we ever got on the subject of baby geese but somehow Tessa is goose now.

October 13, 2012


With having fewer and fewer warm days this fall, we have been taking full advantage of the park at the end of the block. Tessa always asks to go to the "pawk" and it easily wears her out for nap time, so one of us is usually happy to oblige. It's a cute little park with a couple swings, a slide, some climbing bars, and a teeter totter.

From the top of the slide, getting ready to go down. 

She could swing all day if we let her. She likes to tell you to "push more, Mommy." She also makes sure there is an available swing next to hers because she wants you to swing with her. She's a bossypants already!

This was the first day she tried the teeter-totter. She wasn't really sure what to think of it, but after a few cycles of going up and down, she loved it. This is her new favorite, and she constantly asks us to "tee-totter". 

October 10, 2012

Back When

A few days before I was set to deliver, my wonderful mother Pam, pictured below, came to visit with  a plan: to make a plethora of meals that we can freeze and defrost post baby to ease supper time preparation!

We started with 8 pounds of hamburger meat, a rotisserie chicken, 3 pounds of ground ham, and a bunch of vegetables, spices, and sauces. After a long hard day of mixing, we had the following:

4 pans of homemade chicken and noodles, just needs to be reheated
4 pans of cavatelli
2 pans of spaghetti bake
3 pans of ham balls (pictured below, one of my favorite meals!)
3 pans of cheesy potatoes
double batch of chili
3 pounds of sloppy joe meat

I also got a fresh batch of cheese soup, another one of my favorite meals.

The woman is a saint, I tell ya. We're about halfway through our freezer meals, and I can't even begin to explain how great it is be able to run to the basement and grab a meal to defrost for dinner, especially while taking care of 2 little ones while Joel is at work. I can pop it in the oven without spending a lot of time in the kitchen.

Tessa can't be trusted alone in a room with Nora and Tessa isn't helpful in the kitchen, so this is just a huge relief for me. When Joel's home, I cook fresh meals. When I'm feeling even lazier than normal, we splurge on a Casey's pizza.

October 9, 2012

Busy, Busy

I apologize for the lack of posting. Life is busy with a newborn and a 2 year old! I can't get the time to update without Tessa trying to "help" me take care of Nora, which includes picking her up, giving her the pacifier, and trying to change her diaper. Tessa is adjusting very well, although we still have to constantly remind her that Nora is fragile and we need to be very careful. I can't believe in a couple short days, we'll have a 6 week old!

We decided to take month by month pictures of Nora like we did with Tess, so here's month one!

We have also determined that Nora looks much different than Tessa. Some of their facial expressions are the same, but their overall look is much different. Here is Tessa's one month picture for comparison.

This is Tessa at 4 weeks. 

September 17, 2012

Nora is born Part 2

When we got back to the room, the nurses were asking me how I was feeling. I kept telling them that I was having pain around my belly button, and they said that was normal. But then it didn't go away, and didn't go away, and an hour later, I was still having pain. Quite a bit of pain, to be honest. I figured it was probably just normal c-section stuff but they couldn't figure out why the pain wasn't going away since I had a spinal and medication. Then we realized that anesthesia had left out the morphine when they did the spinal because I have an aversion to morphine. I was supposed to get a pain pump after surgery so I could control the amount going in, but that didn't get communicated at shift change.

Shortly after that realization, I got a pain pump and about 3 hours later, we got the pain subsided. The downside to morphine is that I get really nauseated and groggy. Cue those reactions, and I couldn't really keep my eyes open for most of the day. Finally by evening, the pain was subsided and I was able to get off the PCA and onto oral pain medication, which I do not have adverse reactions to. I still wasn't eating yet though.

At about 4am the next day, I was hungry, I wasn't nauseated anymore, and my lovely nurse (Tara!) let me eat peanut butter toast. BEST.MEAL.EVER. Seriously, I would've paid good money for that toast. It was amazing. Then, I ordered breakfast and ate a full breakfast at 7am. The rest of the stay was pretty uneventful. We had a few visitors on Friday and hung out, watching football and taking walks on Saturday.

Saturday afternoon we asked the nursery to do a carseat test for Nora, since we'd had problems with Tess. We figured it was just a precaution and would give us peace of mind. Then she failed, miserably. We'd always attested Tessa's troubles with her respiratory distress at birth. So we were pretty baffled and discouraged by Nora having the same trouble. She failed the carseat test too. Not how I was expecting that to go. The pediatrician came and looked at her and ruled out a few things immediately, finally got her oxygen saturation back to normal (for now) and wrote us a script for an APNEA monitor. Yup, we're doing that again.

Sunday morning we were discharged with an APNEA monitor, a carseat bed, and what equated to Round 2 of constant worrying about alarms in the night. Nora only needs to wear hers when we are sleeping, so just overnight. Tessa had hers on all the time for a few weeks, so we're a little better. But still, not what we were expecting.

We are home and doing quite well. The adjustment period for Tessa is difficult because she wants all the attention she used to get but also wants to help with Nora, even when we don't need help!

September 12, 2012

Nora Jean

August 30, 2012. 7:38 am.

This is when we welcomed Nora Jean into our crazy world.

I was scheduled for a repeat c-section for 7:30. We arrived at the hospital at 5:30 after a pit stop for a donut for Joel and a dozen for the nurses. We stopped at registration, then up to the floor we went. They were ready for us and showed us to Room 404, our home for the next 3 days. I signed a bunch of paperwork, got changed into a gown, and walked to the c-section area. Joel decided to stay in our room for another hour or so while they drew blood,  an IV, and asked me a complete medical history.

At just shy of 7am, the anesthesiologist came in and I signed the paperwork for my spinal. Since I have a well documented history of nausea and vomiting during medication, I made sure to ask for an extra dose of anti-nausea medication and that they skip the morphine initially. They said no problem and they'd give me a PCA (pain pump) for meds after the c-section so I wasn't too bombarded during surgery.

Joel came back to the room at 7:10 and got dressed for surgery. I went into the room where they actually perform the surgery soon after and at about 7:20, they administered the spinal. I remember it hurting more last time and I was expecting the pain to be greater. Joel wasn't with me yet, so my doctor told me to squeeze his fingers as they inserted the needle (this will be the first of many "oh, I love my doctor" comments).  With the spinal in, I was ready to lay down and get going.

They started the juice and brought Joel in.  The catheter was placed, the dressing was laid, and we were rolling. They did a few test pricks to make sure I couldn't feel anything, and at 7:30 sharp, he made the incision. Joel and I both expected the surgery to take longer than it did, so we were both very surprised to hear, "Baby Girl, 7:38" followed by a newborn cry. Many people have asked me what my first thought was when I heard it was a girl (we were surprised with this one!) and honestly, my first thought was just sheer joy that she was crying. I was so happy to hear cries, something we didn't hear when Tessa was born.

Joel went to be with her and after a minute or two of them suctioning, she was brought to me. I got to say hi and give her kisses and then they took her off to complete some newborn screenings and Joel followed out of the room. I spent the next 30 minutes of the surgery chatting with the doctor and staff about random things. We talked about how bummed we were that the Yankees weren't doing well lately, how it was total crap that I had to do the employee wellness screening at 37 weeks pregnant and had very skewed results, and how the Cowboys are clearly superior to the Packers (that is still being debated between us).

By 8:10, I was in recovery and I immediately got to hold Nora Jean. One thing that was very important for me was the desire to try to breastfeed her right away. After I got to hold her and see her, I nursed her and was very happy that she latched right away with minimal effort. After a nursing session, the nurse took her back for a couple shots and by 8:45, we were heading back to our room!

Part 2 to follow. !

August 27, 2012

Sassy pants

I know I've mentioned little miss Attitude before, but as she gets closer to her 2nd birthday and her vocabulary is growing, she is becoming so independent and so particular. She loves to help get dressed in the morning, loves to help do her hair, and especially loves to help cook and clean.

We've started giving her a couple of choices and letting her make the actual decisions herself. A choice of what kind of fruit, what kind of pajamas, and what shirt she wears. She loves to pick out her clothes in the morning, that's her favorite.

On this day, she really wanted to wear her 'pamingo' dress. I didn't have the heart to tell her it was 65 degrees that day. Luckily we were hanging out indoors for most of the day, because she loved wearing it. Plus, it was cute that she knew the animal (flamingo) and wanted to wear it.

She is obsessed with animals.  She is not interested in letters or numbers (although she will repeat them and knows what comes next). We read her animal books over and over and over and over, etc. She likes to name the animal, make the sound they make, and give them huggies (hugs), even the books. We are starting a small stuffed animal zoo. So far it's a bee, a koala, 3 bears (pink, black, and brown), a giraffe, puppy named George, a kitty cat, and we just added a kangaroo and a joey. The picture below shows her excitement for her panda shirt.

This was also the day she got her big girl bed. That will be a separate post.

I even added a photo of me that doesn't include a triple chin. Most of them are awful these days as I am in my last few days as an uncomfortable pregnant lady.

August 23, 2012

One week

One week from today, I will have a 22 month old and a baby that is 12 hours old. We will be a family of 4. From two teenagers 11 years ago on our first date, to a married couple and parents of 2 children.

One week from today, I will have a newborn. My body will shrink some, but will be taken over by the demands of nursing a newborn, eating around the clock.

One week from today, I will have a son or another daughter. Either a Colby James or a Norah Jean.

One week from today, Tessa will be a big sister. She will become either friends with a little sister or the protective older sister to a little brother.

One week from today, I will have a fresh incision from a repeat c-section. I will be having trouble moving.

One week from today, I hope to be chowing down on some delicious greasy food without fear of heartburn sneaking up on me.

One week from today, we will go from a zone defense to man-to-man. 

One week from tomorrow, I will indulge in my first grande pumpkin spice latte of the season, fully caffeinated, probably with whole milk and whipped cream just because I can.

August 21, 2012

Vivid Dreams

I know they say that vivid dreams during pregnancy are common. That might be one crazy, truthful, old wives tale. I've had some seriously silly dreams. However, my last one takes the cake. It's a little TMI (Too much information) and it's absolutely ridiculous, but that's why it is so funny.

So I'm sitting at my mom and dad's house hanging out. I had to poop, so I told my mom. I had been having contractions on and off for weeks, but for some reason, my mom wanted to 'check' me before I pooped. I have no idea why, she is an accountant, but I indulged her because I figured she had 3 kids so maybe she knew something about checking dilation.

She told me to sit in the rocking chair so I did, and that simple rocking chair caused the baby to just slip out. Just like that, there was a head out. I was supposed to be having a repeat c-section so I wasn't supposed to be in labor, nor was I supposed to be pushing out a child in my mom's rocking chair in the living room.  (In real life, there is not a single rocking chair in my mom's entire house, so I have no idea where this came from).

So I deliver this baby boy in the rocking chair, and then just stand up and walk around with my newborn. I called my hospital's Labor and Delivery department to speak to a nurse to figure out what the heck to do. I got a nurse ( a very specific nurse, Lisa, who I know in real life and would NEVER act like this) who told me very nonchalantly not to worry about it. I think her exact words were, "Well, I guess if you think you need to come in for peace of mind, go for it. Seriously though, people have done this at home before." Then she hung up on me! I was a little anxious after that phone call because I didn't know if I should drive the 1.5 hours to the hospital, or just hang out with my new baby boy and my mom.

So I just put on some sweatpants and sat down with the baby and my mom and we watched the Iowa Hawkeyes football game.

The End.


July 13, 2012

Baby Murph strikes again

Remember way back to a few months ago. I had posted about Baby #2, who is planned to make an arrival via scheduled c-section on August 30. Here it is. Remember how I said that baby Murphy was being a troubling fetus, testing us in many different ways. I thought once we got past the first few weeks, we'd be smooth sailing.

Boy, were we wrong!

Thursday night I was getting ready for bed when I was startled by a cramping in my lower stomach. It wasn't the most painful thing ever, but it stopped me in my tracks to let me know something was off. I've had Braxton Hicks before so I knew that the cramping was typical of BH contractions. It went away after a few seconds so I figured I'd go to bed. Well, it happened 9 more times in the next 45 minutes. Joel was ready to rush to the hospital,but I told him I was going to try to go bed and we'd see what happened. I figured if I could sleep, I was fine.

I woke up Friday morning and felt ok, although I had a few more contractions through the night, they didn't disrupt my sleep. I went to work Friday where they lingered all morning at about 10-15 minutes apart. I chugged a couple bottles of water, put my feet up, and tried to relax at my desk while working. Finally, I called the doctor, who told me to swing over on my lunch break and he'd check me out.

I got over to the OB office, which luckily is the in the same building as my work. My blood pressure was fine, the baby's heart rate was fine, my cervix was ok although dilated about a fingertip. He put me on the external monitor for a little while, then decided to send me over to Labor and Delivery to be monitored for a few more hours. I was wheelchaired through the hospital because he wouldn't let me walk (ugh, I was fine!) and promptly changed into a gown and got hooked up to monitors. I was also still supposed to be working, so I remembered to call my boss to tell her what was going on.

The monitor was picking up contractions at the same frequency I was feeling them but they weren't huge ones. I was instructed to drink a bunch more and try to relax. They were still 7-10 minutes apart, lasting about 20-30 seconds each. An hour of monitoring and they decided I'd get a fun shot called Terbutaline. This was supposed to help stop contractions. I was then monitored for 2 more hours to make sure they were stopping. Finally, by 5:15, I was allowed to go home, on bed rest.

I have still had a few contractions here and there but the frequency and intensity has slowed quite a bit so we're ok for now. If they start again, more than just a couple a day, I'm to march back up there. But for now, we're holding strong at 32.5 weeks and still have an inside baby. I want this kid to keep cooking for a few more weeks. Assuming this weekend remains uneventful, I can go back to work on Monday. I'm hoping this is the case.

July 8, 2012

Sunday Conversations

Joel: Tessa, say dog.
Tessa: God.
Joel: No, say dog. duh-og.
Tessa: God. duh-God.
Joel: Say Duh-Duh.
Tessa: Duh-Duh.
Joel: Now say Duh-Duh Dog.
Tessa: Duh-Duh God.


Andrea: Tessa, do you need to go potty?
Tessa: Yep. Tessa, potty, M&M.
Andrea: If you go potty,  you get M&M's.
Tessa: Potty, whip, flush, M&M.
Andrea: Yup, that's the order.

June 26, 2012

A night out on the town

This past weekend we were blessed with a night out. It was to a friend's wedding in Ames and we sent Tessa to Grandma's so we could have an adults only night. Granted, I ended up being the designated driver so everyone else could let loose, but we still had so much fun. The reception was at Hickory Hall which is a hidden gem in Ames, run by the infamous Hickorky Park deliciousness.

We skipped the wedding and went to the reception where we got a great table. Between the delicious food, fun with friends from the police department, and free beer, everyone was having a blast. I even got a couple photos of Joel dancing, something that is rare sight.

 Dave and Roxanne, Tessa's future in laws.

I was overtired and a few hours past my bedtime, but it was well worth it to be out for a night child free and watching everyone people able to let loose for the first time in a long time.

June 24, 2012


Tessa has discovered for her love for all things water. This includes washing her hands, bathtime, and especially swimming. Every time we get home and walk into the house, she runs for the back door and wants to go outside to go "women". She knows her little pool is out there and she would spend all day in the pool if we let her. These are from Memorial Day weekend but she swims at least 3-4 days a week. Luckily we were blessed with some hand-me-downs so she has 5 swimsuits.

 She spends her time  pouring some sugar on her dumping buckets of water on herself.

 Yeah, she's totally learning to pose. The attitude that comes out of a 2.5 ft tall toddler is astounding.

 The set up. All her sand toys end up in the pool.

Stopping for a drink break. Only this girl begs for milk on a 95 degree day after swimming hard.

The hard part is getting her out of the water. It usually ends in a meltdown, so we have to time her swimming schedule so we can have another fun activity to distract her. Or food. Enticing her inside with food usually works too.

June 14, 2012

28 Weeks

I can't believe how quickly this pregnancy is flying by. I'm just shocked that I'm already 28 weeks pregnant, with only 11 to go. I'm still having quite a bit of sickness and many foods still don't settle well. The only real cravings I've had are for blueberry muffins and iced lattes (decaf, usually). Most of my aversions are meat, but I love eating fruit.

Tessa is very curious about the baby and my growing stomach. She knows to be gentle, but sometimes forgets she can't just plop into my lap or climb on me much. She's very nurturing though, and loves her little babies so I'm sure she'll be a great big sister.

May 23, 2012

Apple chips

Thanks to Pinterest, I've been trying many new things. New recips, new projects, and lots of dreams of what I can do in the future. Last night I realized that the apples I had purchased a couple days before weren't as crispy as I'd like. I need my apples very crunchy. Any hint of mush and the apples are not edible, at least as raw apples. I already had the oven on from making supper, so I figured I'd give a recipe a shot.

I usually just peel and dice the apples, sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar on them, and bake them in a casserole dish until they are soft. Then I'll eat them as chunky applesauce. I had a different idea for these apples.

I found this recipe on Pinterest, linked to the blog of some crafty lady who wanted to do the hard work for me and and just tell me how to make the apples delicious.

This is her picture, because it is far better than mine.  The recipe is simple.

What you will need:

  • 2 apples
  • Cinnamon
  • Remove apple core.
  • Thinly slice the entire apple.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place apple slices on it.
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  • Bake at 275 degrees for two hours. At the end of hour one flip them over so they bake evenly.

I baked mine for an hour and a half total. This made them more like dried apples, not apple chips. But if I would have left them in longer, they were starting to crisp and would have become crunchy. I also learned that cinnamon/sugar mix is not a substitute for cinnamon. We ran out of cinnamon so I used what I could find--a container of cinnamon and sugar we'd previously mixed together. They were almost too sweet and the sugar didn't dissolve in the apples. Just cinnamon would be perfect, although they'd be fine with nothing on them.

These were delicious, and only lasted until the next day.

May 22, 2012


I love that Tessa is at the stage where she is becoming an effective communicator. She tells us when she's hungry, when she's thirsty, when she pooped, what she wants, and where everyone is or should be.

I hate that Tessa is at the stage where she is becoming an effective communicator. She tells us when she's hungry, when she's thirsty, when she pooped, what she wants, and where everyone is or should be.

Yep, that's right. It's the best and worst thing so far about her growing up. If she wants it, it must be RIGHT NAO. If she can't have it, it's a meltdown, of the epic variety. She gets a one track mind about what she wants, and it's not as easy to distract her so she forgets anymore.

If she's hungry and you tell her it's not quite time to eat, she will go to wherever you are and try to physically remove you from the couch, the bed, the tub, the toilet, etc. She will grab your arm, pinch you, whine & cry to get you to eat. If that doesn't work, she'll crawl on the kitchen table.

We also name everything we see at least 50 times a day.  For example:


Tessa: Lamp. Broke it. (One time she knocked over the floor lamp and I said she broke it, so now that is the official title of the lamp)

Me: Yep, that's the lamp. You broke it. But daddy fixed it, remember?

Tessa: Daddy fixed it.

At least every 10 minutes.


Tessa: Tessa color

Me: Yes, Tessa. You colored on the ottoman. That's a no-no.

Tessa:  :::points to ottoman::: This color. No No.


Tessa: Where's daddy go?

Me: Daddy's bye-bye. He's working.

Tessa: Dada Work. Bye Bye Daddy. ::runs to all the doors to verify he is in fact gone and waves:::

She's also incredibly particular. She knows yes and no so well, she loves telling us her opinion.

Me: Tessa, do you want supper?

Tessa: Supper!! :::runs to kitchen:: "Up please, supper, EAT!"

Me: Ok, I have to cook it.

Tessa: NO! EAT!

Me: Yes, we'll eat. After I cook it.

Tessa: ::meltdown:: EAT! NOW. Supper.


May 15, 2012

Week 24

I've made it to week 24. Only 15 to go. Technically, this baby is now viable, meaning that it could live outside the womb. However, I'm going to keep baking this baby so it'll come out a little chunkier.

My OB said I was a dream patient and he wished they were all that easy. Pshhh. It's pretty easy to show up at the appointments. I did find out that my OB's nurse is leaving and I'm so sad about that. She is so wonderful and welcoming in the office, and I'll miss her. Luckily she's still going to be employed by the hospital so I'll still see her, just not in that capacity.

I'm up a whopping 2 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. I guess when you start by losing 9, there's some catch up to do. I'm feeling better most days, but some days the nausea still hits me and I just don't feel like eating much.

Baby Murph is pretty active most of the time. It's not uncomfortable yet but sometimes when I forget I'm pregnant, I get reminded with a swift jab.

Tessa is still loving this baby, even though she thinks the baby is my belly button. It's pretty cute though.

May 8, 2012

18 months

We had Tessa's 18 month appointment last week. She is still a runt, at 23 pounds and 30.5 inches tall. But, she's a very healthy and active gal! While speaking to the doctor, she decided to open the door and explore the office. Since we're familiar with the office and know everyone, we weren't worried. Until she didn't come back for 10 minutes. I went to find her, and the front office girls had put her to work. She was sitting in the desk chair, wearing only her diaper, typing a document in Microsoft Word and eating animal crackers. What a silly girl!

She is such a ham these days and is quite a social little girl. It's fun to watch her string together words to make phrases and sentences, and everyday she seems to pick up something new.

She loves to pick up my purse, fling it over her shoulder and try to walk out the door, all the while hollering, "Tessa bye-bye. Love you." Well, ok then dear.

Bath time is still her favorite part of the day, and all of a sudden, she's become very clingy with her blankey. It doesn't matter which one she has, but when she starts to get mad, she needs a blanket. Oh well. It's a small request.

April 29, 2012

Our new niece!

As of early Friday morning, we have a new niece! Joel's brother Brett and his wife, Ashley, had their 2nd girl! Brynn is Tessa's buddy and they are 6 weeks apart, so I was curious to see how Tessa and Brynn would interact with the new baby.

Kiernan Reagan was born early in the morning on Friday. We made a trip down to Des Moines Friday after work to see them and boy, she's cute! Ashley and I went through our first pregnancies together and also, this one, so it's fun to see what my life will be like in a few months.

Tessa was instantly smitten. She just wanted to hug and kiss the baby the whole time. We let her rocky-bye (rock in the rocking chair) and then we let her hold her. I was very unsure about this, since I had no idea how'd she would treat a newborn. She has a couple babies at home, but they sometimes get drug around by the hair and usually end up being put "nigh-night" in the couch, face down, covered in a blanket.

 She was listening very carefully to Uncle Brett's instructions. She takes her cousin role very seriously sometimes. She just wanted to give hugs and kisses the whole time and was very gentle with little Kiernan. I was very grateful for that.

 After a few minutes, she decided that this was pretty cool! Granted, Kiernan didn't come home with us. I can only hope she reacts this well when Baby Delaney comes home! August 30th, we'll know!

In other news, we've decided on names. We opted not to find out the sex this time, since I've got a c-section scheduled for August 30. But, we've chosen names. If it's a boy: Colton James. If it's a girl: Norah Ann.

April 18, 2012


We have had a more difficult time with names this pregnancy. Last time, we agreed almost immediately on Tessa's name.

This time is a battle. We have narrowed it down to 2 boys names and 2 girls names, and are now at a deadlock.



Who will prevail?!

Baby Murph

We are at the halfway point for Baby Murphy. We have decided for this pregnancy to not find out the sex, which I have found incredibly difficult. I like to plan things, so not knowing what kind of baby we'll be bringing home is a little overwhelming. We have everything we need if it is a girl, but what if it is a boy?! What will we do?

The hubs has decided to name this baby Murphy, because of Murphy's law. So far, everything that can go wrong, does. Except of course, we do still have a healthy fetus growing. It's been hiccup after hiccup though.

At 6 weeks, I had intense cramping on my left side. They wanted to rule out an ectopic pregnancy, so I had a transvaginal ultrasound with my date LaWanda. (Side note, for anyone interested, I am a huge proponent of NOT forcing women to have this test done. They are uncomfortable, painful, and awkward.) They found a healthy fetus with no reason for cramping. They also mentioned that the baby's heart rate was low, and that I should prepare for a possible miscarriage. I had  repeat ultrasound a week later, expecting there to be no heart beat, but hoping for the best. The heart beat was still there. Great! However, we know the odds were still against us, because 70% of all pregnancies with a 6week heartrate of below 100 ends in miscarriage. Murphy's was 89 at 6 weeks, and 126 at 7 weeks.

At 9 weeks, I was at work and experienced very severe abdominal pain and cramping. So bad, in fact, that I almost made myself a patient at work. I was able to hide out in one of the rooms and one of the oh-so-kind docs did a quick pelvic exam to find my cervix was still closed and paged the OB on call. I found out the next day that I had a cyst that ruptured. While they'd normally do a CT to confirm, that wasn't an option so they did another ultrasound which showed some fluid, consistent with a burst cyst.

At 12 weeks, the doctor couldn't find the heartbeat via doppler. It took the ultrasound machine to see that the baby was doing flips, literally. Even then, it was hard to get a number so we knew a heart rate.

At 19 weeks, I tried to electrocute myself unplugging a light in the basement.

Yesterday, I found out that I have a low lying placenta which will have to be monitored to make sure it moves up away from the cervix before delivery. 

I keep expecting the worst, because besides morning sickness, I had no problems with Tessa when I was pregnant. There are tons of little things that keep popping up.

But, on or before August 30, we will have Baby Murphy here!

March 29, 2012

Couponing at its finest

Last fall, I stumbled across a coupon that had a big payout. Proctor and Gamble released a coupon for $8 off any 2 Covergirl face products. I scoped out Walmart and found that mascara and eyeliner were about $5 each, and the eye shadow was $3. Hmmm... that meant I could get free Covergirl stuff, as long as I had the coupons for it.

Well, my fabulous husband produced 36 newspapers left over on Sunday night from the gas station he frequents on his overnight shifts. So, I now had 36 Covergirl coupons. I went to Walmart, grabbing 72 Covergirl products, and got them all for free!! I thought that was such a smoking deal. But, then it got better. About a week later, I stumbled across a rebate.This rebate stated that if I sent in $50 in receipts showing I had purchased Proctor and Gamble products, I would get a $10 rebate card and a Breast Cancer Awareness Bakeware set. I figured I'd give it a shot, just in case it worked. If not, I was out the stamp. The best part? The Covergirl products I'd gotten for free from coupons were included in this, so all I had to do was send in the receipts from those transactions!

I received the $10 Rebate Card about a month later, and figured I just wouldn't get the bakeware set. No big deal. I was still way up. Then, last week, a mysterious box showed up. I had no idea what it was, I certainly wasn't expecting a package. I opened it, and lo and behold, it CAME!!!!

It is so cute, and it is actually pretty decent stuff! Coupons For the Win!

March 23, 2012


Yesterday we embarked on a journey. A journey that took us 756 miles, across 3 states, 2 airports, and one car ride. We ended up at the front door of my brother! We flew from Des Moines to Denver, the first time we made this trip out of Des Moines rather than Omaha, and the first time with Miss Tessa.

She did very well...once we actually started moving in the airplane. She ran around in the airport, laughed at the TSA agents, and made some new friends waiting to board. She tried to climb over the seats and got angry when we strapped her into the seatbelt. Once we got moving though, she was out. She started to wake up as we touched down in Denver. Luke was waiting for us by baggage claim, and we were in the car in no time, heading to Littleton. When we arrived, 2 little faces were waiting anxiously by the door, Jaxon and Noah, our nephews! So far, Tessa has had quite the fun with them, although she overwhelms the mellow Noah.

March 18, 2012


When my nephew was younger, he had a favorite book. Officially, the book is called 15 animals, but really, it is the Bob book. Tessa received this book from her aunt and uncle and it has quickly become one of her favorites. She has started to bring the book to Joel and I and beg for us to read it. We finally caught her reading it the other day!

February 13, 2012

Valentine's day

In honor of Valentine's day, I'm filling out a questionnaire about the hubby and I.
1. How long have you and your significant other been together?  10 years, 2 weeks

2. How did you meet? {What's your "love" story?} T-ball, then 10 years later at band camp

3. If married, how long have you been married?  Married 3 years, 1 month

4. If you are married, where did you get married at? Big or small wedding? January 3, 2009. Capitol City Baptist Church. We had 250 guests. 
5. Do you have any nick-names that you call one another? Babe, Delaney, Hun.
6. Name 3 things you love most about your honey. His passion for helping people, dedication to us and work, his patience. He is so calm and cool.

7. Tell us how he proposed? Or your ideal proposal? He bought me an empty 8x10 picture frame and gave it to me 3 days before Christmas. I asked him why the hell I would want an empty frame and he said it was for our engagement pictures. Then he busted out the ring.
8. Is he a flowers and teddy bear kind of guy for v-day, or strawberries, champagne, and rose petals? Just strawberries, dipped in chocolate. Yum!
9. Are you a sunset dinner on the beach kind of girl, or pop a movie in and relax on the couch? Movie and couch. In fact, many of our dates were a movie rental, popcorn, pop, and a big comfy blanket for snuggling. 
10. Tell us one thing you'd like to do with your significant one day. If you could do anything? Go anywhere? He would love to travel to Australia so I would love it too. Or Europe. Or a spa trip somewhere sunny.
11. Tell us what you plan on doing on this Valentine's Day. Not too much. We don't celebrate much but we'll rent a movie or something. 
12. Are you asking for anything this Valentine's day? To sleep in for a day!!
13. Give us one piece of advice of keeping a relationship strong and full of love. If someone says I love you, always say it back. Kiss hello and goodbye.  

14.  Show us a picture of what love means to you

February 12, 2012

Dancing Queen

Tessa likes to jam. A lot. She's got moves like Jagger. Well, maybe Jagger now, not in his prime.

January 31, 2012

Yep, I'm here

Here's an update about our month, and then I swear I'll get better about blogging.
  • My little genius somehow knows how to spell BATH, or at least knows what spells B-A-T-H. Everytime we try to spell it out so Joel can go get ready for work in peace, she takes off for the bathroom, saying "Bath. Bath. Bath. Bath. Bath. Bath," and trying to climb in the bathtub. Luckily it's a deep tub or she'd be in it with the water on.
  • Joel is still working plenty of overtime every week, which limits our time as a family. 
  • Tessa is obsessed with her baby. At least 15 times per day we wrap her baby in a blanket, she gives it hugs and kisses, and puts it "night night". But she doesn't like her baby sleeping for long, because sooner or later she's back with the blanket and the baby, asking for it wrapped again.
  • We've been having a sleep regression the last few weeks. Every night between midnight and 1, she wakes up crying. I'll let her cry a few minutes but usually end up going to get her. She falls back asleep easily in bed with me/us, and will sleep on top of the comforter at the end of the bed until morning. I realize I should let her cry, but mama needs to sleep and get up for work so this works best for everyone, at least for now. 
  • I'm harboring a clean freak. Every time she sees trash or empties a package, she obsessively needs to find a garbage and put it in the "trash." Every time she sees crumbs she tries to get the broom out of the closet and sweep it towards the central vac. 
  • We've been in our house for 2 months now and there is still nothing hanging on the walls. We'll have to change that.
  • We got a new kitchen table! Joel's parents bought us one for Christmas and it finally came last week. It's bigger than our last one and seats more people, but looks smaller and fits in the small dining room so much better.
  • Tessa is a monkey. Seriously. She loves to climb onto the couch and sit like a big girl. She loves to sit at the table and sit in adult chairs. 
  • She passed her 15 months appointment. She was 21 pounds, 12 oz (just under 25th percentile) and 30.5 inches long (60th percentile) Her iron levels were back to normal so we can just do regular flinstone vitamins instead of that yucky poly-vi-sol crap.
  • My stomach is still bothering me, and with no solid answers, it's frustrating. Oh well.

January 7, 2012

Live and Learn

I tried a new recipe tonight. By recipe, I mean I threw some random crap on top of some stuff and cooked it to see what would happen. I'm a mad scientist in the making.

I had gotten some free boneless ribs thanks to couponing ($2 off any ribs, wait for a sale=4 pounds of free ribs!) I've never eaten ribs in my life, and Joel has only had them on the bone, but he certainly had never been a part of the cooking process.

So, I grabbed some spices, a couple random sauces, and the ribs and I threw it all in the crockpot. When I say random, I mean random. Adobo, garlic powder, ketchup, chili paste, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and teriyaki sauce. Oh, and a pound of carrots I'd frozen earlier in the year. Threw it all together, and turned the crockpot on low. 5 hours later, I had cooked ribs that smelled delicious. I took a bite. The flavor was ok, but it was so.farking.salty. Wow. I guess that what happens.

I took a few bites, then faked a stomach ache and excused myself. Joel was a trooper, and either didn't want to say anything negative, or actually liked them. I'm not sure which. Tessa wouldn't eat it, so she got a hot dog and some cheese cracker sandwiches. I'm now eating Mike & Ikes. Next time, we'll try a different recipe, maybe one that someone else has had success with.

January 1, 2012

Here's to a new year!

We had a very busy Christmas week with so many different families (6 different Christmas celebrations I think!) By Christmas day, we were down to our last one, and were kind of relieved that the whirlwind week was coming to an end. Tessa, of course, got spoiled rotten. What I wasn't expecting was for us to get spoiled as well! We had so much fun with everyone, especially my brother and his family from Denver. We've already booked a flight in March to go visit. It'll be Tessa's first airplane ride!