Sunday, July 30, 2017

triumphs and tragedies

Tessa is 1 month old! She is a total sweetheart and a bundle of cuddles. I want her to stay this little forever but also can't wait for her to grow so we can play and see her personality come out.

We celebrated our 6-year anniversary! I feel like moving past 5 years puts us in a new category. We've accomplished some good things in our most recent year of marriage, individually and together, and I'm proud of our marriage and the things we've worked for.

We bit the bullet and hired people to paint our entire main level. Repose Gray, so trendy and apparently Joanna Gaines favorite color? It looks so so good and we are so glad we did it. Give me all the gray and blue!

I finally jumped on the ebook bandwagon. Turns out when you feed and rock a newborn you have lots of time to read and I've been flying through books lately. It feels so good to finally make a dent in my "to read" list.

Rhett caught the podcast bug and I love it. Like parents, like child. We started with Wow in the World because I'm a sucker for NPR podcasts but have expanded to Story Nory and are looking for more.

Summer= ice cream sandwiches. Yes please.

Our grass in the backyard is finally growing! It's a landscaping miracle.

As of this week, I'm back at full force freelancing after my "maternity leave". The break was just what I needed to be refreshed about my writing, and I'm feeling great!


Give me the Pinterest house on the Ross budget.

Three-turning-four year olds really are mini teenagers. Sometimes Rhett gives us a total run for our money, sometimes he's the sweetest--it's a toss up what you'll get.

In craving a good workout but still have two weeks left until I get cleared by my doctor. I'm terrified of ruining my body so I'll wait reluctantly. Maybe I'll try to become a runner again?

Real life--celebrating our anniversary by eating Chipolte in the Hobby Lobby parking lot because we had two sleeping kids in the back. But my eyebrows look good? We'll go on a real date next week and we had a great time as a family, so we definitely had to remember this moment. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

transitioning to two

The most common question I'm asked these days hands down is "How's it going with two kids?"  And the short answer I give is "Pretty good. We're surviving." But the longer answer is this: it has its ups and downs for sure and I feel like I've leveled up as a mom, but most nights I crawl into bed exhausted and give myself and Heavenly Father a mental fist bump that we made it through the day.

The good: Tessa is the sweetest, so that's awesome. She's put herself on a three hour schedule and is super chill and sleepy when we go out, so Rhett hasn't missed a lot of his outings. I think this is my babies come in the summer so I can get out with them because my being forced to stay inside forever would be good for no one. Rhett loves his sister and gives her hugs and kisses all the time and always wants to read her books. My favorite part of the day is when Tessa wakes up in the morning and we snuggle and play with her on my bed. It's precious to see Rhett in big brother mode.

The bad: big brothers can flip a switch instantly. It doesn't happen much, but Rhett can go from loving on his sister to trying to kick her within 30 seconds. He's getting better around Tessa, but he's still acting out for André and I. But we just started a new discipline/reward plan that will hopefully work (fingers crossed). And when do I get my work done? I forgot how much newborns like to be held, and coordinating naps  with quiet time so I can get some work done is a challenge. It will get better, I know, but for now it means sacrificing some precious sleep to meet those deadlines.

So life as a family of four is mostly great, exhausting, exactly what we needed right now. My heart bursts when I see André and Tessa together or when Rhett gives me a big hug or when we all see a Tessa smile. It's worth the tantrums and late night wakings for sure.
 Tessa's first full day at home--she's already changed so much! We're constantly reminding Rhett to be gentle with her, but he's got a lot of love to give!
 A common sight--Tessa's got the men in her life wrapped around her finger already.
 Rhett insisted we all get on the bed with his stuffed animals to protect Tessa from the crocodiles on the floor. 
 Posted this on Facebook, but it's too cute to not share here. According to Rhett Tessa is "too cute to be honest." Her little legs in her church dress!
 ...and the craziness of having two kids. Trying to rock one and getting jumped on by the other. 
 Serranading sister at bed time--my heart melted
"Mom, I just really want to snuggle Tessa." How can you say no to that?

Sunday, July 9, 2017

little moments: june

A lot of things happened in June--we got more settled into our house, changed work schedules, played a lot, planned a lot, and had a baby. Overall, a good time. Except when it was 95 degrees and 40 weeks pregnant. So many highlights!
 Rhett finished swim lessons and did awesome. My favorite part was seeing him in his swim goggles--a mini André
Learning the art of hammocking from a young age
BMX show at the library--Rhett got one of the biker's autograph and thought it was the coolest thing ever.
Typical--finding a girl to follow around the park. This day it was a girl he could sunbathe with at the splashpad.
 Soaking in our adventures before baby came--we explored a historical farm on the hottest day of the year. The chickens and horses were the biggest hits.
Daniel Tiger day at the children's museum!
Riding the trolley.
Meeting Daniel! The highlight of Rhett's week for sure.
 We've got a natural on the piano.
39 weeks. So pregnant.
Rhett took over making Father's Day cards this year--this was his "I love you note to Poppy
Making superheroes at a kids cooking class. The sidekick hummus blob is an octopus, obviously.
 A chocolate ukelele for our favorite uke-playing dad
Father's Day breakfast in bed!
1pm church was been rough for Rhett--one day he sprawled and ask Andre to trace his face until his fell asleep. At least he was still during sacrament meeting?
Building a robot at the library
 Community red, white, and blue festival. Rhett rocked the bike parade.
Riding on the little train.
Touching the snake--he definitely didn't get that from me.
Future firefighter?
Tessa time!
Taking a walk around the hospital on her first day.
Our first night at home--I loved this moment with us all admiring her in her room.
Trying to document when Rhett is happy he has a little sister, like when he helped Andre carry her carseat to the doctor.

Friday, July 7, 2017

she's here! tessa's birth story

Our sweet Tessa Larae was born June 28. She is perfect. Andre and I have both said that we feel like she's been a part of our family for a long time, even though we've only had her with us for a few days. She is exactly what we needed. She mainly just sleeps and gets the hiccups, but occasionally she wakes up and soaks things in. 
Her birth was exciting and pretty much the exact opposite of Rhett's, but it makes for a better story and one that is worth sharing (for posterity, if nothing else).  
We had false hope from the doctor that she would come early. My last few appointments the doctor was surprised to see me, thinking I would have gone into labor already. But my due date came and went and still no baby. 
Tuesday the 27th had been hot and fairly typical. We got out Rhett's water table and enjoyed our first grilled dinner of the year. We went on a walk around the park and I did some extreme curbs while Rhett went down the big slide. After he was in bed, I did some work and then watched Bones and ate a fruit bar with André. As I was going to bed I thought it couldn't be that night because nothing in the baby region was moving...
At 12:15 I woke up to crazy strong contractions. It's funny that I timed my contractions on other days when they weren't even close to as intense as this. I quickly realized they were 6 minutes apart so I woke up André and called the doctor. I had to wait on hold (?) and the lady tried to crack some jokes before she realized how much pain I was in and told me to get to the hospital ASAP. We loaded up the car and raced off--one hand on the steering wheel and the other on André's leg to get me through contractions and calm me down. Rhett was jazzed to be up in the middle of the night and gave a running commentary on the semis we passed from the back seat.
We dropped Rhett of with André's dad in the parking lot and I waddled into the ER where they tried to get me to fill out paperwork but all I could do what illegibly sign my name. By the time we got to labor and delivery my contractions were less than 2 minutes apart. The nurse tried asking my health history and I just kept saying "I need an epidural" but nothing was happening.
I should interrupt to tell you I have a very low pain tolerance and my birth plan was basically make it to the hospital, get an epidural, have a baby. So when my constant plea to have an epidural we're getting ignored, I wasn't happy.
The nurse brought in backup and told me the only way to stop the pain was to have a baby--no time for an epidural. All of the sudden it was madness as the delivery equipment was brought in, more nurses showed up, and the doctor was called out of another delivery because my baby was coming first. After 15 minutes of pushing (no joke the most painful 15 minutes of my life), a sweet baby was put on my chest, just 45 minutes after we got to the hospital. We got to snuggle and look at her for the next few hours as things calmed down. Honestly, a natural birth was kind of worth it? because the recovery has been sooo much better. Not to mention the adrenaline of pushing a baby out--if I can do that, I can do anything!
Now we have sweet Tessa, who is an angel. She doesn't do much except sleep and make mouse noises, but she is perfect. And I can’t believe we are a family of four!
I was feeling pretty good about that post-birth high until I saw this picture and realized how tired we look. Two hours of sleep and birthing a baby--what do you expect?

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