Friday, January 30, 2015

Family Matters


I used to love the show, "Family Matters." Well, it's a great title...family really does matter. So, Tess is really into Barney. Never thought I'd break my rule of no TV before two...but, I have! It makes me sad and stresses me out but when I need to find something for her to do and everything else has failed or I am in a big hurry. Barney does it. Well, for Greg and Tess...it's something they do to pass the time. I find them hanging out watching their shows here and there. It makes me cringe and makes me smile all at the same time. It makes me always think, she watches WAY TOO MUCH TV! 


 Out for pizza on our pizza night...we wanted to dine out instead of in! Tess was worried the whole night that her Dad hadn't gotten enough to eat and kept feeding him. Unspoken rule when we go out to eat since Tess always eats next to me at home...mom gets her OWN BENCH. Tess and dad sit on the other side. It's a little perk I always enjoy. 

 Having the missionaries over for dinner. 
 A hike at red rocks, I really wasn't feeling great this morning. I was already feeling my headache settle in and sometimes it made me nauseated. Well, this happen to be one of those mornings. Getting out in the fresh air proved to be the best medicine. We didn't hike very long or very far, I mostly waddled (literally) behind and I probably spent more time taking pictures then walking but hey! What a great memory. I just adore these two rascals, and I hope they both look back on these pictures and enjoy them. I loved watching her and Greg climb around, walk, and play while I waddled and rested at one point.










 Mom, would you like a bite? 
 One of my favorite pictures, the only thing that could have made it any cuter was if Tess had been looking the same direction as Greg. Greg was admiring a rock climbing wall. 






 She really enjoys climbing around! I am thinking we won't have to talk her into going when she is old enough to fit in a harness. 



 Jumping! 






 A couple of rare pictures of Tess and I! Same day, same 5 minutes. I saw the picture above and thought...you can't even see my belly! I just look chubby! So, I had to change shirts so the baby belly could be seen. I am about 33 weeks in this picture. 

 We hiked again, this time with another couple and their adorable son! We didn't take a picture with them though. Next time! It was a fun day, did a slightly longer hike and then ate at Red Robin afterwards. I am about 34 weeks here.

 Ashley and Austin Angus came to Vegas to enjoy the "Shot Show." A HUGE production here in Vegas that I had never heard of. But it was fun to hear about it from these two. They stayed with us, and we are so glad they did. It was fun to have family and they were terrific company. I always worry that we are kind of boring to visit, but we really love to have visitors. Before they left we went to see Hoover Dam. It's impressive and a quick place to see too. The water is so green and pretty. I always hate heights, every time I am on something high, and these walls were built low to look over the edge, I feel like my body wants to JUMP. Totally freaks me out.






 Ha ha! Another one of those sneaky pictures, each of them pinned to their screen. CRINGE, SMILE. It probably makes it seem like Greg is the only one who turns on Barney...he isn't, but I cringe when either of us turn it on! Hopefully my cringing will keep us in check and keep us off the screens!
And, me and my little girly. She is such a terrific snuggle bug. It's been hard to really get a good snuggle in because of my belly and I don't want to squish the little guy! But she seems to always find a way to give me the best hugs and kisses. There is nothing better then a smacking kiss from Tess! And when she is on a role and giving kisses, she gives lots of them! She also learned a funny nuzzle from Greg that she goes wild with too. Between snuggles, kisses, and nuzzles from Tess....I am not sure life could be any sweeter! One of the many reasons I sometimes wish she could stay small forever....I know she won't do that forever. I hope the little guy joining our family will be affectionate too...I love these kids! In this picture, I am about 34 weeks along! Just a month and a half to go!!!! 

Little Girls Just Want to Have Fun

 Tess and I go to story time at least once a week. We always go on Mondays. She is now old enough to go to another time during the week but I wasn't impressed with the individual doing it. She was really very strict and well, it wasn't nearly as fun. I love the library we go to on Mondays, it's close and the story time is great! I know of a few in other locations, one in particular that is really good too but it's a long drive-30 minutes and is on Wednesdays. It's a solid hour though, we may have to start going to that one too once it gears back up next week after a winter break. It is outside on this "grass" and right next to a fantastic park and splash pad. We have only gone once, but it was an impressive gig! Anyway, I was going to dedicate this post to the things that Tess and I find ourselves doing from week to week. I think routine is good for the both of us. So, our weeks look pretty similar with a few varieties here and there!
 Here is little Miss Tess at the library, we got there early this day and all the toys and puzzles hadn't been touched! So, true to form, instead of playing with them she just tore them apart and dumped the building legos out of the bins. And then she was off to run around and say hello to all the other arriving toddlers.
 So, the other day we made plans to stop at Babies R' Us and JoAnns. They are in the same little shopping complex. We needed some child proofing stuff that I hadn't found at other retailers and I knew Babies R' Us would likely have it. They have a while isle and a half dedicated to sippy cups! Well, "lucky" for me the safety stuff was located right next to the bath stuff. I have wanted to check out their bath toys! So, I waddled over there. My cart was quickly filled with stuff I "wanted" to get. I probably had about $60 worth of things that I wasn't sure I would be able to part with. Pathetic I know. I really enjoy getting this stuff and picturing Tess enjoying the toys. It was turning into a impulse buying disaster very quickly. Well, I kept all the stuff in the cart and was going to think about it. Tess was DYING to get out of the cart and so I let her out. I decided we didn't have anywhere to be and so I would let her roam. The initial plan was to go to the park, that didn't happen. She was...in heaven! I followed her around that store for well over an hour. I just followed her and put toys back on the shelf as she moved along. It was so enjoyable to watch her play. She didn't blink or care where I was, she went right to playing! And...although I literally just walked behind her with the cart, it wasn't hard to tell where this girl had been and what she had been checking out!
 She got up close and personal, trying several or all buttons....

 Got lots, I mean LOTS of stuff down off the shelf to get a closer look. She went from one thing to the next and never got bored in the least.
 Small chairs, in any form were a clear favorite for some reason. She wanted to sit on everything that was her size! If she couldn't get it down herself, she was getting me to pull it down for her!

 There were isles that she just turned all the toys on that she could and checked out the sounds and blinking lights.

 There were toys that she simply didn't care to play with but removed from the shelf....


 I didn't take a picture of every chair she sat in, but there was a whole row of these chairs and she wanted me to pull every single one down so she could try it out. 


 Say what, mom? Can we talk later? I am busy. 
 I take a few of these...oh, and these look interesting too. 
 She got all these down herself and was dying to have the ones on other shelves pulled down. She just was so annoyed that she couldn't get the full experience while they were in the box but she did her best and touched all the buttons! She wanted me to take them out of the box so bad! Sorry cutie! 

 She went back to these monkey paper plates and cup twice. I put them away once and she went back for them and carried them around until I snuck away with them. 

 The walkers were a big hit and the low ceiling didn't discourage her at all. She crawled right in the best she could and made the most of it. She was such a crack up! 



 Unfortunately, our shopping had to come to an end sometime. I am not sure how much longer she would have browsed but after over an hour of following her around, I wasn't ready to find out. So, I took her kicking and screaming to the cash register. By that point, I had decided on a couple of bath toys, a puzzle that was on clearance, and a little baby stroller. She was so upset by her loss of freedom and her fun. I felt so bad! It was time to get going, we had a few more errands and this pregnant mama was getting hungry with lunch creeping up. We walked next door to JoAnn's and bought some really cute fabric for her little brother's sheets to go in his cradle. I showed the one pattern to Tess, she grabs it, lays it on the floor and proceeds to sit on it and lay on it. She gave her approval, nice and cozy I guess. Funny little girl!
 Well, here we are enjoying a few of the new bath toys. The spout cover I had been thinking would be really nice for safety reasons, the right fall could prove to be painful and bloody. I had to capitalize on it and get one that had a fun spout feature. Tess loves, LOVES it! I also got her a basketball hoop along with some stacking cups that I'll break out later when we need something fun and new.

 Dad, are you seeing this?! It is so cool! 
 Then, the baby stroller. Can I just say. Tess, you are such a natural! Of course, little kids do a lot of imitating. She likes to sweep like me, she likes to eat like me, etc. But, there is no way she remembers me taking care of her as a baby. Maybe? I just don't know. But, watching her play with and "take care" of her little doll is just the sweetest thing I have seen her do. I love to watch her play with it and I would say the baby doll was one of her favorite Christmas gifts, well, the stroller just adds to her fun and I didn't even have to show her how to use it. She put her doll right in and pushes it around like a champ. We were given these small receiving blankets for Tess as a newborn. I gave her one for her baby, she wraps her doll so tenderly and so perfectly! She tucks the blanket around her before they go walking even!










 Snuggling her baby to sleep just like I was with her. I have taken a few pictures of Tess and I together, regardless of how I look. I read a blog post on a photographers website about how kids won't care how you looked, the clothes you wear, how chubby you think you look, they want to see pictures of their mom with them as kids. So, because I am the one who is always taking pictures, I have taken a few selfies. In these pictures, Tess and I were both sick with a horrible, annoying, cold. We didn't wear anything but sweats and pony tails or braids for several days. I am 35 weeks along in these pictures with the maroon shirt on.


 Tess is getting really independent at parks and seems to enjoy exploring on her own more and more without any interaction with me. We usually stop at a park at least twice a week if not more. It's perfect weather these days.

 I have often thought about parents recalling the pitter patter of small feet and missing it. Of course, day in and day out you get tired of tantrums, spilt milk, thrown food, short or missed naps, a messy house, etc but more often I think that I will really miss these days. She grows so fast, I can't believe it! I am looking forward so much to all the many things I know she will accomplish and I look forward to seeing what will happen to her in her life....but I also want her to stay small forever.


 Strolling around the grassy area after exploring the play ground. I thought I'd take a picture of the blimp that was following her. Ha ha! About 34.5 weeks pregnant right here.



 Here we are with her baby again, she kisses it and feeds it like a champ. 

 And she works at it for quit a while! 



 We love the Griffins in our ward and Tess is particularly fond of them! She loves their son, Logan. He is the sweetest little boy and is about 6 months older then Tess but they get along great! He really is so nice to her. His mom, Kathryn, had a baby boy named Calvin and I wanted to help her out and give her a break. So, we offered to swing by on the way to the park and pick up Logan in our handy wagon. I brought snacks, drinks, and other activities because I knew after a little while these two would just start to wonder around and I wanted to entertain them until it was nap time. They had fun! They played a bunch and enjoyed the snacks, stickers, bubbles, and cars I brought them too.








 Friends! 


 So, Tess is getting much better at helping us understand what she wants/needs. She says more words now but even better she will nod or shake her head. Much easier to figure out what she is trying to say with that alone! One night, she wouldn't get over the clementines we had. I must have peeled at least two but she wouldn't eat them. She would continue to point to them and I wasn't going to keep peeling them if she didn't eat them! In an effort to end the guessing game and move on, I just gave her one. Her reaction, finally! She then proceeded to peel her own orange...with her teeth and hands. This girl! I am going to have her peel mine from now on. It never even occurred to me that she would be able to even do that. But she did and she was certainly pleased with herself too. She also likes to peel her own bananas. Little miss independent. 






 Being silly and getting into drawers while we cook!

Below is Tess's first "unofficial" day of nursery. She was to turn 18 months in 3 days and Greg and I had a busy 2nd and 3rd hour block. The primary president said it was perfectly fine if she went to nursery. She didn't even care where we were...she went right to playing!


 Her 18 month well child check up at the doctor's office. Loved the office and the location, not too fond of the pediatrician we saw! It was a hard week for accidents at the house. Nobody feels worse about them then Greg or I. Well, this week she had fallen out of the shopping cart, burnt her hand on the curling iron, and had touched the crockpot with her arm. What a complete fail for us as parents this week. It was horrible and she had the battle wounds to prove it. Well, the pediatrician gave me a lecture about safety. As if we didn't feel bad enough...but I suppose she was just doing her job. She wasn't very friendly, that is for sure. Here is Tess waiting for her appointment and what a boring waiting room! They had this table and a TV with a movie playing on it...but Tess loved it! All the other waiting rooms we have ever been in have a bunch of toys that she seems to overlook as she tries to escape down the hallways to say hello to all the nurses and doctors. Darn TVs! They are so handy...and yet so bad at the same time.
 She had so much fun waiting around in a very spacious room with these huge windows! She loved the doctor's chair and couldn't rip enough paper if I had let her keep at it!




I was shocked that she understood what was going on when a nurse walked in after the doctor had been in and had a "tray." She was immediately upset and began to cry immediately. I had to hold her down, the worst thing in the world for a mom. I can't believe she realized she was getting shots! She has never realized this until this appointment. Of course, she has never liked having to lay still and when she gets poked she really doesn't like it. But, she knew what was going on right away! SO sad. I hate holding her down, but I also don't want to be the one that sits there idly by while she is upset and I don't want to leave her either. What is a mom to do?! 
 Here we are for the FIRST official day of nursery!!! See, the previous Sunday couldn't be mostly because I wanted to take pictures and put her in a special dress. She got this dress form Paige when we went to her farewell reunion. Tess wouldn't look at the camera so I just took a few pictures of her playing with her gears puzzle before we left for church. 



 This is one of the things I try to do as often as I can instead of turning on Barney while I cook. Note: I take a lot of safety precautions with this, that is all I will say. Greg tried it and had overlooked the hot crockpot next to the sink. But! This is usually a hit! She sits down in one end while I put bubbles and water on the other side and keep a steady drip that she loves to play in. I also put whatever else I find around for her to play with. It keeps her busy for a solid 20 minutes while I cook and prepare things right next to the sink.

Soaking up these last few weeks we have to snuggle as much as we want! 

 Awe!!! A special set of shirts for Tess and her little brother! 
 I used this same application when I was pregnant with Tess. I don't look at it as much, some of the daily advice made me more paranoid then was helpful and enjoyable. But, I love looking at the weekly updates!
 This picture is from Thanksgiving, I got from Molly a few days ago. I love this picture! Such a cute little moment with her grandma.
Okay, how did Greg make it in an all girl's post?! When I was still fighting the horrible cold, Greg took Tess on a hike up Lone Mountain. They took this selfie on the top! 
 Tess and I blowing up balloons to play a game. The idea was to use the balloons and tennis rackets to hit them around. It really didn't work out, but, Tess loved kicking and hitting the balloons around with her hands and feet.

The green mustache was far more prominent in person! But, also what I like a lot about this picture is that Tess actually stopped and totally smiled on purpose for the camera. I was able to adjust the flash for it even! She totally posed! This is a moment of true wonder, I haven't even been able to get her to look at the camera let alone smile for the camera. On purpose!!!! The mustache is from sugar cookies we made for the super bowl party we were getting ready for. 

 Well, a small glimpse into some of our days!

Tess updates: 
12/4- saying the prayer for dinner, without prompt, she folded her arms and bowed her head! The cutest thing I have EVER seen!!! Yes, I look at her,  curious to know what she's doing. I got so excited I interrupted the prayer. What a girl!
12/22-this girl! She is so funny. She's into giving kisses now and she is now making the "smacking" sound which makes it extra cute! I'm so glad to be getting more kisses from this sweetheart.
12/24-climbed up a ladder at the park all by herself (I was there to spot, but she needed NO help!!)
12/27- using her utensils like crazy! Getting really good at it. I still can never guess right on what she'll like or eat the most of. Usually what I give her the least of on her plate she asks for more of that food. So, I give her more the next time we eat it and she barely touches it! Just this last week or so our communication abilities have grown by leaps and bounds with a simple head shake or nod. We don't have her batting away food and such like we used to because now I can point and she will tell me yes or no with her head. It's less frustrating for me, and I'm sure for he in figuring out what exactly she wants or needs!
12/28-goes down the stairs, upright, all the way by herself! And when I try to hold her hand, she wants to do it by herself!
Loves to have her hand tickled....doesn't seem to care for it much anywhere else but she loves her hand tickled!!!
12/29- can open her dresser drawers. They are so heavy and she's never been able to, I'm in trouble. Her favorite thing to do is take everything out of them.
1/5-blows her own bubbles!!!! She's so good at it.
1/8- decided she would go down the slide on her bottom instead of on her belly feet first!
1/12-I received a blessing today in light of my pregnancy winding down and some of the headaches and such I've been having trouble with. Also getting nervous about labor and everything going smoothly. The missionaries were here for dinner, so as a matter of comvinence Greg asked if one would assist in the blessing.  Tess was sitting in my lap and was very, very intrigued by the whole process. All three had their hands on my head, so Tess decided she would follow suit and had her hands on my head through a majority of the blessing. It was so cute!! She only stopped to give me a kiss and a hug! When I was pregnant with Tess I was stressed about a possible miscarriage because of bleeding. Greg gave me a blessing and I didn't worry about her making her way into our life. He gave me the same assurance with this little boy. I've been worrying about labor though. I was blessed that both us would make it through labor unharmed. I have the same feeling of confidence!
1/12-Tess burned her finger, I'm going to miss all our one on one time.
1/13- points to: eyes, ears, mouth, nose, belly She has done the belly and nose for a while. She got it all at once!
1/19- she loves to pretend like she is counting! She copies me, uses the same voice ups and downs with gibberish and points to what ever it is that she is counting!
1/25-It's amazing to watch her learn and grow. She picks up more then I realize. She is getting so good at learning actions to songs, saying different words, and interacting with other little kids. It's hard to keep up on it all and I can no longer be noting each new thing. There is just so much that it's impossible! For example, today she figured out how to spin around during one of the story time songs. She is understanding so much, at story time it was sort of hard to keep her still unless it was a song. Now if she runs around I can tell her we have to go unless she stays with me and it works! She is getting the hang of puzzles more and more. She listens sometimes when I tell her no, stop, bring that to mom, or come here. She is starting to enjoy the finer things with toys. She used to just throw, suck, or dump them. That hasn't changed, but I'm noticing some changes. Today at the library after story time she wanted to play at the dollhouse, kitchen, and puppet area. She actually played! She stacked the dolls, every single one, on the puppet stage, put the dolls on the couch, played with the fake goos, etc. It was so fun to watch her enjoy the toys other then her usual suck, throw, or dump! She is so good a stickers now too. She no longer needs me to give them to her, she can pull them off and she loves to put them everywhere. She's getting more interested in coloring. Her favorite show is Barney! She loves Barney!! We really have to limit it otherwise she would be watching it a ton. Today she started playing with her baby and her baby's stroller. She instructed her doll that was strapped into the stroller to say, "out, please." Just like we have her do with us! Then she took her doll out and carried her while she tried to push the stroller. What a cutie! Little baby brother is getting too big for nap time/bed time snuggles. I try to keep her off of him so he doesn't get squished but of course that's where she wants to be. It makes it hard to get snuggles in but is making us really excited that he's coming soon. Tess will be a fantastic sister!
1/31-she responds, "Tess" if you ask her what her name is!!! She did it spontaneously to a stranger at Cafe Rio today when we were eating dinner. I was so excited!!!