Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Tessa's BDay

It just doesn't even seem enough to say that we love having this girl in our family.  The other day I asked Caden what is 3 things our family likes to do.  He said Play sports, watch movies and adore Tessa.  I certainly agree!

 The main event of Tessa's birthday was her party that night.  Having already celebrated with my family, we spent the evening with the Schow side.

Two brothers and their birthday girls.  Kambree turned 1 a few days earlier.

Four generations 

Bryce helping himself to some cake before singing Happy Birthday.

Opening presents from Grandma and Grandpa and others:

It was so fun to have our family together to celebrate our little girl.

A few fun things about Tessa:

We didn't buckle Tessa in during the short trip home from church this day and she thought it was hilarious to stand up, turn around, and start talking to Chad.  

Just relaxing one day walking around RC Willey.

Tessa loves being outside and LOVES playing in the dirt.  She's not close to walking and at this point, I wish she'd learn because I'm tired of filthy pants.

She'll comb my hair and her hair.

The more her personality comes out, the more fun we have with her around.  We call her Tessa Messa, Little Missy, Missy Messa and Little Sister.  She says a few words--Dada, Bubu (what she calls the boys), and UhOh.  She also signs "more" and "milk" and she waves.

After such an epic arrival to our family, we knew we were in for an adventure having her in our family!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Valentine's Day--Tessa's BDay Part 1

We had quite the day of love around here.  Leading up to Valentine's, I made fabric envelopes to tie around each of our dinner chairs.  We all loved getting and giving love notes.  I don't know how many times I wrote (per Bryce's dictation), "I love you so much" on tiny scraps of paper.  Sometimes there were coupons for Free Baby-sitting, Free Reading a book or Free Anything You Want...which was from Caden but would have been awesome from Chad.  I've saved all of our notes and look forward to reading them again next Valentine's.

After opening family Valentines and a breakfast of strawberry cream cheese French toast (my favorite!) we headed to a Gourley family party including a trip to the park and pizza at Grandma and Grandpa's.  We determined a Gourley gene test at the park--the spinning saucer.  Those with true Gourley genes fell down after only 3 circles while those without Gourley blood had a much higher stamina.  One (very Gourley) nephew actually walked off the ledge after his 3 turns.

We followed with birthday cake to celebrate Tessa's first birthday.

Plenty of love to go around:

Tessa is a Grandpa's girl.  She follows him everywhere when he's around.  Looking at this picture of him singing Happy Birthday, the feeling seems reciprocated.

One of my favorite moments of the party was this...Tessa double fisting her cheesy garlic bread into her mouth so she'd be able to open presents.  That's my girl.

That night we took the kids to see a movie.  The boys had fun while Chad and I suffered through entertaining Tessa.  After dinner and bath, we were all ready for bed.

I'm certainly happy to celebrate Valentine's Day with these love bugs.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Three in the Tub

We have a family of bathers.  Bryce sometimes get in twice a day and anytime Tessa sees someone in the bath, she stands at the edge and begs to join them.  Unfortunately, Caden has been on a little stinky no-bath strike and we've had to reinforce 3x a week bath rules.  He grumpily complies.  When will the pool be open again so we can just count that?? (just kidding. sort of.)

I don't let all three of my kids get in the tub together, in fact, it's rare for Caden and Bryce to even bathe together anymore because Caden is getting too big.

But on this night, we had a series of unfortunate events including too many prunes, Tessa, and the master bathtub that gave us no choice but to move Tessa and Bryce in with Caden.

And they loved it.

Sigh.  Stay little forever, you three.

Monday, February 9, 2015


It started with our trip to Sacramento when my sister brought a cabbage patch doll for her daughter, Lexi.  Tessa played with the doll for a bit one day and was pretty happy about it.

Fast forward to the day after Christmas when I shocked my parents by telling them I didn't get a doll for Tessa for Christmas (gasp!)  Apparently I missed the memo about a little girl's first Christmas?  I should have known what would happen next.  A few days later, my mom called and had found a new doll for Tessa.

And Tessa loved it.

Tessa would drag her baby all over the house, poking her eyes and giving her "kisses." And even though you're not going to believe me on this, she had a special voice she would use when she'd talk to her baby.  It was a higher pitch.  Chad and I would be sitting in another room and we could tell when she'd found her baby because she'd use her, well, baby voice. (here)

Except we had a problem.  Named Bryce.  Who, up to this point in his life, had never had the opportunity to play with a doll and now had the novelty of a baby doll right in his own home.  He took over the care of the doll and was insistent we do everything just so--wrapping her up, changing her diaper, rocking her.  He even asked me to nurse the doll like I nurse Tessa.

The second morning we had the doll, Bryce told the whole family we had to come into our bedroom.  He started out with directions, "Everyone, sit in a circle.  Now, everyone?  Criss cross applesauce.  Now we need a prayer."  After the prayer, he made his big announcement, "I have something very special...I have named my baby." The suspense was killing us.

Her name was Bellsyn.  Apparently Belle (which Caden and I liked and tried talking him into) wasn't regal enough.

 I couldn't help but notice Chad was relieved when the glamour of Bellsyn wore off for Bryce after a few days. Apparently Bryce is not ready for the full time parenting thing yet.

One more video showing Tessa finding her baby but not able to reach it here.

Thursday, February 5, 2015


I better get my snow pictures up!  I think I was hoping for a few more big dumps to post about, but spring weather is here.  Although, in Utah that means nothing.

After the big snow on Christmas, we had the whole break to enjoy it.  We brought the sleds up from storage and went through the fun task of finding matching mittens, boots, pants and coats for everyone.  Unfortunately, Caden came down with the flu and missed the entire thing.  Bryce, however, is always good for some fun outside and stuck with me through all the shoveling and clearing.

I brought Tessa out for her first snow experience.  She just sat there so still, not moving.  I tried to get her to feel it with her fingers but she wasn't budging.

There is a hill to sled down in the middle of our neighborhood so we met all of the neighbor kids out there.  It was so sad to see lots of Caden's friends while he was sleeping on the floor in the hallway at home (apparently, he just couldn't make it to the couch.)  Bryce was so shy without Caden there, and finally would only go down with Bailey.

A few days later, Bryce wanted to go sledding but I wasn't up for trekking all over so our driveway it was.  We took Tessa down a few runs and she loved it.

Luckily Caden started feeling better in time to enjoy some four-wheeler sledding at Grandma and Grandpa's.  He biffed it pretty good on one run and told me he got "steamed like a hot dog on a BBQ grilling..." whatever that means.

There is nothing like waking up to a calm, white morning.   I can't help but hope we get one more good snowfall before the winter is through.