Wednesday, December 5, 2012

2012 Holiday Card

We created our first holiday card, ever! We had Hanni do a holiday photo shoot with us and then used Shutterfly to create our card. We absolutely love them and can't wait to send them to all of our friends and family!
Colorful Joy Christmas Card
Create personalized Christmas cards. at
View the entire collection of cards.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

9 Months in Crazy Town!

Holy bajeesus! This kid is a wackadoo! He has changed so much this month it's hard to comprehend and even harder to try to put into words. I mean, he's been out of the womb as long as he was in it now and that is just totally weird to think about!

He now has two teeth, is 29" tall (75th percentile), weighs just over 20 lbs (63rd percentile) and his head grew a whole inch, putting him in the 52nd percentile for head circumference, (it must be all of that new brain matter)!! He is a long, big baby! His doctor even said he looks bigger than his stats would indicate.

9 months of Dempsey!
He started swimming lessons this month and he loves the water! He is a bit of a busy body though and during the lessons while all the other babies his age are resting on their parents' chest, he is pushing up and looking around at all of the other kids and people in and around the pool! The only exception is when he is on his back - then he becomes super still and floats like he is in a super peaceful state of mind. His favorite activity at the pool is reach for and grabbing onto the side of the pool - he can hold onto the side and support himself which is neat! He also loves to practice "jumping" into the pool from the side. It's so much fun to do swimming lessons with him but it is equally, if not more, fun to watch Dempsey and Finn in the pool together! They just melt my heart! It was nice that my dad and Finn's mom got to go and watch him the last week of November while I was out of town. I heard that they both may have even gotten a little bit of chlorine in their eyes due to all the cuteness that was going on! ;)

Dempsey celebrated his first Thanksgiving in true American style by stuffing his face with more food than we ever thought imaginable! He tried sweet potato rolls, turkey, quinoa and root vegetable salad, cauliflower mashed "potatoes," and some of his dad's famous yams! He seemed to love everything he tried and just kept on eating and eating and eating. He wore the most appropriate bib for he occasion that said "Everyone Is Thankful for Me" and  it couldn't have been more true. It was a wonderful day. We spent some time at Finn's parents' house in the morning watching soccer and playing with a new dump truck toy and then we all went over to my parents' house to celebrate and have dinner with both families. We are truly blessed that we have families that not only "get along" but also enjoy each other enough to celebrate the holidays together - for that, Finn and I couldn't be more thankful.

We purchased and received a number of new toys for Dempsey as it became apparent that junk mail and teethers weren't doing the trick anymore. We got several wooden toys, including blocks, a xylophone, and a clutching toy. Finn bought him a really cool clack and slide activity ball - which is really hard to describe - but he loves it! We also got him an alphabet play mat for his room on the day before Black Friday (also known as Thanksgiving).  The play mat has been really great and we've been spending more time in his room playing rather than in the living room. It's nice for me to have one area that contains most of the messy madness of the day so that when he naps I can focus on work and not cleaning up 5 gallion things all over the house every couple of hours.

A quick note on Black Friday shopping. Some people love it, some people hate it. Some people think that we should  protest and boycott stores opening on Thanksgiving. I think that everyone has valid arguments, no matter what side they are on. However, we enjoy the thrill of the shopping and saving a lot of money on things we had already planned on buying. We even crossed off 90% of our Christmas list. Anywho... regardless of how terrible you might be thinking we are - this year we brought thank you cards and a gift for the employees that helped us. It wasn't anything huge, but we wanted to show that we appreciated those people for working and that we understood that they may have been sacrificing time with their families and friends.

We spent a lovely day at Chatfield Reservoir at the huge off-leash dog park. We had such beautiful weather that day and it was, according to Oakleigh, ideal for swimming. Gus even swam, which must have meant it was pretty warm because he is a pit of a pansy when it comes to chilly water. It was nice to be outside enjoying the weather with the family, in November! Finn and I also went to a Broncos game in some lovely weather this month. It was a ton of fun and was my first Broncos game, ever! We got the tickets from my old boss and they were great seats!

He has a pretty regular schedule, when he's not teething. He typically wakes up between 6 and 7, parties for a couple of hours and goes down for a nap at 9. He naps for about 2 hours and then eats lunch, goes crazy, and then goes down for another nap around 2pm. He then wakes up, has dinner, parties like there is no tomorrow, maybe goes to swim lessons, maybe has "spa" night and then goes down for bed around 7pm. It is an action packed day, every day! Dempsey loves his spa nights - which are bath nights - which we do every other night. He graduated to the real tub this month. Last month we switched him from the sink tub to the blow up tub in the big bath tub and now he is in the full bath tub! We have some inflatable bumpers up around the perimeter and a slip-proof mat that we sit him on. He plays with his toys, pulls up onto the side of the tub and generally has a blast.

He is crawling all over the place this days and alternates between real crawls and army crawls. He had his first real crawls the day after Thanksgiving and he pulled up (on something other than a person) all on his own on his 9 month birthday! We are quickly becoming the proud parents of a toddler/waddler! AHHHHH!!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

8 Months

Dempsey has been around for two-thirds of a year already! It is crazy to think that he is approaching the one year mark! The time has truly flown by!

He loves to eat most anything. He particularly likes vegetables, and thankfully LOVES his carrots. We have introduced a lot of new fruits, vegetables and even some meat this month. He is a great eater! He eats two "meals" per day and also shares my breakfast with me most mornings - he likes to zoom around the house in his roller chair and he will come up to me with his mouth open until I give him a tiny bite then will wander off to pester the dogs or play with something and then come back again when he's ready. It's pretty cute and funny.

He is getting closer and closer to crawling but hasn't gone forward just yet. He is very good at sitting up and enjoys sitting and playing with all sorts of toys and other objects. He still loves the outdoors and enjoys long walks in his Bjorn. He also likes going for walks in his stroller - which we rarely use. My dad and I used it one day when we got a some snow and had to do some work in the community garden. So, we bundled that little fellow up and strolled on out into the chilly air. He also went on a walk to the garden with his Grandma Tutu and my parents took him for a long walk in Broomfield in his other stroller. He has lots of new noises and is starting to laugh a bit more. We are still waiting for the giggles and belly laughs that last longer than one second and aren't started by tickling! :)

He weighs about twenty pounds and has probably grown about an inch since his check-up last month. We won't get his official stats until next month at his 9 month check-up, but I'm quite certain that he is growing perfectly. He is starting to fill out his chair quite nicely ;)

This was a busy month for us - something new and exciting, eh!? But in all seriousness, it was his first Autumn/Fall and that meant we had to cram in all sorts of fun stuff that he didn't understand at the time and will never really remember - Heehee!

Along with our parents, we took him to pumpkin patch. I thought it was a pumpkin patch but it turned out to be more of a corn maze with piles of gourds and pumpkins along with a petting zoo corral and other Octobery activities. We had Dempsey pose in the big scarecrow cut out - which made for some funny pictures. We sat him in a pile of gourds which he found to be interesting and delicious. We attempted a family photo but they didn't turn out - but we'll have it for the ol' memory book anyway.

It was also Dempsey's first Halloween! Finn and I decided that we needed to accentuate his best feature - his adorableness. So, logically, we dressed him up as a monkey!

Finn took Dempsey into his work that day to see everyone and win the cutest trick-or-treater of the day award from ACVIM. That night Charlotte came over and we took Dempsey out to see the neighbors dressed in his best monkey garb. He enjoyed picking his own handfuls of candy out of the bowls. It was cute  when he went for a new piece of candy because he would drop the previous piece he had gotten. We only went to four houses, but it was fun nonetheless!

 I also traveled to San Francisco to present at the American Public Health Association conference. The weather couldn't have been nicer, I got to tour the city and go to lunch with a close family friend and the presentation and conference was great! I wish I would have had more time to be there, but I had to get back home to my family and I didn't want to miss Dempsey's First Halloween!

Finn wrapped up another season of coaching this month. He had a new U11 boys team this season. It was a great learning experience for him as he has previously coached girls. He had a successful and winning season, as well!

While this is should technically part of Dempsey's next monthly update - it is so exciting that I had to include it. The day after he turned 8 months he cut his first tooth -- his bottom, left central incisor! Woohoo!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

7 Month Stats - An Update!

Well, the formula seems to be doing the trick! Dempsey is back on his original growth curve for both height and weight!  So if he ran into one hundred other seven month old babies he would be taller than 75 of them and weigh less than 75 of them. Haha!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

7 Months of Dempsey!

Holy cow! I know I say it every month, but it is truly hard to believe that another month has passed and that Dempsey is now 7 months old! That means he is closer to being a year old than he is to being a newborn - wow did that just totally blow your mind!?

We've been up to plenty this month, as usual. The biggest change has been making a switch from breastfeeding to formula. This was not in my plans, but after Dempsey's 6 month well visit we realized that we needed to get more calories in this kid. At first we tried to just supplement with formula, but the less I breastfed the lower my supply became. So, we moved to me just pumping once a day which yielded about 4 ounces on any given day. That amount isn't even a full meal for Dempsey, so we have been using it to make his organic rice cereal and then giving him a small snack with whatever was left over. But, in all honesty, it began to feel like more of a hassle to continue taking my fenugreek and other milk friendly supplements to pump and get so little. So, very recently, I decided that it would be best for all of us for me to stop pumping. Dempsey is growing quite well on the formula; he is an extremely happy little guy full of smiles and giggles. And, while I may not be able to provide milk for him through me, I can provide him with the nutrition he needs to grow up strong, healthy and happy. I made it to the 6 month mark and that was especially important to me, so now I'm letting go and moving on. He will be perfectly fine eating formula!! I think you can even see the difference in the picture below between 6 months and 7 months - he's filling out quite a bit! :)

Speaking of formula and eating, the kid LOVES to eat! He particularly loves carrots which is great since Finn and I have probably 50 pounds of them in our garden (not even exaggerating a little bit - I swear)! He also likes his organic brown rice cereal, bananas, butternut squash and even corn bread. He still is not a huge fan of avocados and recently did not enjoy blueberries very much (but Finn said they weren't too ripe). We need to add many more things into his diet, but have had such an abundance of orange veggies that we've been trying to use up that we just haven't done it yet. He is a pretty ferocious eater, so I think that he will unlikely be too picky with any of the items we offer him. I'm excited for him to try all sorts of new things, including cauliflower (tried on 10/3 and loved it!), chicken, fish, green veggies and so much more.

Happy after a big meal - and such a clean eater! :)

Since we switched to formula feeding he is on a slightly different schedule. We are now going through our days on an eat, play, sleep cycle. This is different from when we were breastfeeding because we did an eat, play, eat, sleep cycle. He now gets enough in his feeding that he can be up and active for about 2 hours at a time and then goes down for a nap with little to no fussing/crying. He typically naps for 2 hours at a time, although sometimes it is shorter and at other times a bit longer. He almost always wakes up happy and smiley and ready to have fun!

His favorite activities while he is awake include pestering the dogs, playing in his jumparoo (see video), moving all around the house in his walker, going on walks/being outside, and working on his crawling. He really enjoys his rocker and can move around in it really well - both backwards and forwards. He can go from the living room, to the kitchen, into the laundry room and to the front door in no time at all. If he wants a particular toy that is on the table or that I have he will walk/roll himself right on over and grab whatever it is he had his mind set on playing with. It has been really fun to watch him develop this skill and is always interesting to see what object he wants to play with at any given time. We got the jumparoo from a good friend and have set it up in our living room where the swing had been (our living room is really quite small for all these baby items). He really gets a kick out of jumping and sometimes we will catch him trying to jump in his walker! :) He sits up really well on his own now, although we never walk away since he still is a little bobbely. He can even hold onto objects and play while sitting up without just tipping over - the boy has some serious core strength. We've also been making sure to give him some mat/tummy time each day to help him work on his crawling. He much prefers to be standing then laying down, but if we don't give him that opportunity he won't learn how to crawl. He can now get up on all fours in a "table top" position and he will then rock back and forth. It is pretty darn cute! He tends to push off of his hands rather than his knees so he moves backwards rather quickly, but has made no forward motions as of yet. But, it is still incredible to see how quickly he is developing. Just check out the progress he is making on the video below! :)

It's been an exciting month full of laughter, growth and good times! We look forward to all that is to come in the following months and hopefully Dempsey's mom will stop slacking and blog a little bit more (but don't hold your breath). :)

Love you all!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

6 Months: A Letter to My Little Man

Dear Dempsey,

Wow. I don't even know where to begin. It is absolutely crazy to think that you have been around for a half a year already! In some ways it feels like you have been with your dad and I for so much longer, and in other ways it is truly hard to believe that 6 months have already flown by since the day you were born. Look how much you have grown in your chair!

And for a different perspective, look at you on the day you came home from the hospital compared to you at 6 months old in your car seat!

You've been hitting your developmental milestones like it's your job! :) You can now sit up on your own, which is not only impressive, but completely adorable! You are able to roll over back-front-back and front-back-front. You can cover a lot of ground while rolling, that's for sure! And speaking of covering a lot of ground - you love your walker from Grandma Tutu, Grandpa Jeff and Great Grandma Marge Kast! You are able to "walk" in it and can even turn corners in that bad boy! You have so much fun playing in your walker and it can keep your attention (with the right toys) for up to a half an hour!!

You no longer like your swing; or rather you don't like that you cannot swing while lying on your stomach. Whenever we put you in your swing these days you grab on the the sides near your head and try to fling yourself onto your tummy. It is funny to watch, but not very we are about to pack that bad boy  up! It will be nice for us to move your swing out of the way because it along with your other toys and belongings take up a lot of space and our home has a pretty small living area! 

You are on a pretty good schedule these days. You usually wake up around 7:30 in the morning and go down for your first nap between 9 and 9:30. You are on a two hour increment schedule. When you wake up from your naps (which are usually about 2 hours long) I feed you and then we play for about an hour and a half or an hour and forty five minutes and then you go back down for another nap. You go to bed between 6:30 and 7 most nights; which can be hard because your dad coaches soccer and on Tuesdays and Thursdays you guys sometimes don't get to see each other for very long (he also goes to work at 6am). It might seem like a strange schedule, but it works for our family and that's important! 

You continue to love the outdoors and even when you are fussy, going outside proves to be a quick fix. You enjoy walks, hanging out watching the chickens, playing ball with Oakleigh, or just soaking in the nature around you. You also still like seeing all of our friends and family - which is good because you went to 4 weddings this year! Plus you've been to several happy hours, birthdays, and general family gatherings. Below is a picture of us the day before you turned 6 months old at Ellen and Ben's wedding in Evergreen, CO. 

I made it to your six month birthday breastfeeding you! This was very important to me. I'm sure that some day you will think that it is silly or gross to think about me breastfeeding you, but really it is and was the best thing for you. By making it to the 6 month mark, I got your health off to an incredible start! I'm not sure how much longer I will be able to breastfeed you though. When we took you for your 6 month check-up with Dr. Albert we found out that you had only gained 11 ounces since your 4 month appointment. She told us that you needed more calories and that perhaps my milk supply had dropped and you weren't getting everything that you need from me. She recommended that we supplement you with at least two bottles a day of breast milk or formula. And, unfortunately, I'm not producing enough milk to make 8 extra ounces for you each day. So, we will probably be switching you to formula soon. It makes me a sad, but I know it is for the best. You still have a lot of growing to do and we can't inhibit you by not giving you enough milk! :)

Speaking of got to celebrate your 6 month birthday in style, with food all over your face!! You got to try your first solid food! We fed you avocado and you had some mixed reactions. But overall, you were very excited and had a lot of fun! I've done a lot of researching on introducing foods and using purees v. just small bites. We chose to give you small bites, but Dr. Albert said only mushy stuff on a spoon for now. I'm not completely in agreement, but she is the doctor, so we will stick to spoon feeding you for the time being. Since your 6 month birthday, you have also tried sweet potato and rice cereal. You didn't like the rice cereal until I mushed up some sweet potato and then you loved it! You loved it so much you were actually very demanding and crying and reaching for the spoon between each bite - we couldn't get it in your mouth fast enough! You are a very messy eater, much like your Grandpa Jeff so we'll see if you grow out of it. ;)

I'm sure there are a million other things that I could tell you since you change every day. But, I think this gives you a pretty good idea of what you have been up to lately! I have loved being your mom since the moment we found out that we were pregnant and from the day you entered this world you have made me so proud. You are an incredible kid and I love watching you grow! I love you to the moon and back.


Your Mom

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Five Months!

Yet another month has come and gone and I clearly cannot keep up (hence the late post)!

Dempsey has had quite the exciting month for such a little man! He is looking really big but has only gained about one pound since his 4 month appointment, but he fits in 9 month pajamas! He is still able to wear a lot of his 3 month clothes but also fits into 6 month ones. He has long legs which is why he needs to wear such a large size in pjs!

He went on his first vacation/road trip to Durango. For anyone that doesn't know, that's where Finn and I went to college and lived for five years. It was really nice to go back, but soooo different being "grown ups" with a child, rather than young college kids. We went and saw our old house and went to all of our favorite restaurants plus hung out with awesome friends and stayed with one of my best friends and her super cool husband (thank you Jess and Cody!!). It was a nice trip but definitely hard to mess with the little man's routine. Napping and sleeping were a bit rough on all of us and Dempsey had his first true diaper blowout and boy was it a mess!

He went to his first (and second) wedding which brought with it his first (and second) bow tie and suspenders wearing experience.The first wedding was in Durango which was the reason for our road trip/vacation. It was great to see our good friends Josh and Sarah (finally) get married! We have known them for nearly 8 years, which is how long they have been dating! The second wedding was in Estes Park and it was a beautiful day even with the rain delay. Luckily Dempsey is so cute that he even makes me and Finn look good in pictures! ;)

We have successfully weaned him from his swaddle. He rolls all over the place at night and during naps and we often hear him hitting his head/knees/elbows on the sides of his crib. He doesn't roll over as much during the day and often acts as if he is unable to roll from his tummy to his back, yet I know that he does it during his naps and throughout the night so I'm sure it is only a matter of time before he starts rolling, or crawling I suppose! Since he is no longer swaddled that also means that he is napping in his CRIB! This is a huge deal for us since he used to do all of his napping in his swing and sometimes also needed a little help from his favorite Pandora station to fall asleep. He now only has one swinging session a day, first thing in the morning while I pump and then takes his morning nap in there. I also turn the swing off as soon as he falls asleep so that he is not in "moving sleep." We have him on more of a schedule for naps and bedtime, which includes a pretty early bedtime - between 6:30 and 7:00.

His nighttime sleep habits still have Finn and I scratching our heads. Most nights he wakes every 2-3 hours (I know, it's exhausting). But, on the plus side, he typically just eats and then falls right back asleep. Occasionally he will not go back to sleep and will do a lot of screaming and crying and nothing seems to help. Luckily we have only had a few of those evenings, but man are they tough. Then there are the nights that we really cherish; those are the ones where he sleeps for 6-7 hour stretches at a time (like he did before he was 3 months old). I hope that those nights increase because I think everyone is much happier when he does sleep for those long stretches of time!

One of the reasons why we think he doesn't always sleep so great is that he is definitely teething. He not only likes to put everything in his mouth and drool a lot, but he likes to rub his gums on just about anything he can and he spends more than 90% of the time he is awake with his hands/fingers/toes shoved into his mouth. He likes all of his teething toys which is good and we give him some homeopathic chamomile drops to help him with any discomfort. 

He has discovered that he has a lot of new voices - including an ear piercing, but adorable, squeal. He also likes to bow bubbles at us - although he is quickly outgrowing that activity (way too old and advanced for that!). He likes to practice this, particularly on days when he is not teething as much. 

He likes his dogs, a lot. He will reach out to them when they walk near him and he likes to grab their faces or fur to say "hello." He also enjoys smiling and laughing at Oakleigh, especially when we are playing ball with her. He also still enjoys watching the chickens walk around. He continues to love being outside and is definitely a nature lover!

Until next month...when he will be a half a year old! Oh my word!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Four Months

Wow! This month brought a lot of changes for Mr. Dempsey! Get ready, cause this post is fairly long!

He is an expert roller - from back to front that is. He has rolled from front to back a few times, but lately he is on a back to front kick. We can't wait for him to figure out how to master the front to back roll as well as he has the back to front because he gets super frustrated when he is "stuck" on his stomach, and he can roll at night and when he gets stuck, he screams! So the kiddo needs to learn to love laying on his stomach or learn how to roll right back where he came from! :)

He LOVES sucking on his arm, wrist, hand, fingers. No, seriously, he has given himself more hickeys than I've had my entire life (sorry about that Mom and Dad!). He is so happy to just suck away. He also enjoys other people's hands, fingers, shoulders, etc for his sucking pleasure. He also has started to do this hilarious thing when he sucks and he "bites" down and shakes his head back and forth like he is eating some corn on the cob or has watched Oakleigh shake around a toy/bone/cardboard box one too many times. He has a pretty powerful little chomp too! I am glad he doesn't have any teeth yet!

He has mastered the tricky art of getting out of a straight jacket Miracle Blanket! He is like the Houdini of babies I'm telling ya! He can get out of that thing in less than a minute if he really wants to! He has also been able to, while fully swaddled, rolled from his back to his front! That is a frightening thought; he can't be stuck face down with his arms pinned down and his feet in a pouch. Oy vey! So, we tried to wean him from the swaddle, and since he is so content with sucking on his limbs we figured it would be great because he could self soothe. Boy, were we wrong. It seems to be a real hit or miss type of thing. We have tried a receiving blanket swaddle, no swaddle, loose swaddle...nothing seems to work to great. Some nights he would sleep pretty good and others he was up every hour or two. I literally have no idea how people can handle babies who don't sleep for more than a two hour stretch for months on end. I was exhausted, Finn was exhausted, Dempsey was exhausted! I miss the days of 5 or more hour stretches of sleep. We have started a new bedtime routine to help give him new cues that it is time to go to sleep. And, we are going to try a sleep sack this month and see how that goes. Wish us luck!

He has started to pay attention to the dogs, a lot. He thinks they are funny most of the time. He had the funniest, dumbfounded expression the other day when Gus was snoring near him; very much a "what the heck is that!?!?!" type of look. I told him I feel the same way! Oakleigh is still very fascinated by him and likes to be wherever he (and the rest of the family) is. Dempsey likes to smile at her and gets big grins when she kisses him. He also has started to notice and watch the chickens when we take him outside. His eyes wide and head moving from side to side while they walk and squawk around him. He also likes to spend time outside, a lot. He prefers the outdoors to most activities (except maybe bath time).

He has also started to grab at things. Not everything, and not all the time, but he does enjoy holding onto his burp cloth and some of his stuffed animals. He doesn't play with his toys on his activity mat as much as he used to because he is so busy sucking on his arms to grab at and play with those. He also likes looking at himself in mirrors. He is adorable, so who can blame him!?

He is a smiley little kid. He definitely recognizes people now. He knows the grandparents and aunts pretty darn well these days and gives them all cute grins when they say hello. But, he saves special smiles for mom and dad, I'm sure of it. He has also started to laugh! Oh dear god, this is seriously the most ridiculously cute thing in the whole world. It is hard to not cry when he laughs because it is so stinkin' adorable! I got to overhear and watch Dempsey and Finn after their bedtime story last week and it was pretty heart melty. Yep, that's what I said, heart melty. Hopefully we'll catch him giggling on video one of these days and post it on here.

Dempsey went on his first hike! Which also meant is was our first time having the dogs in the car at the same time as Dempsey! I bought a little mesh barrier to go between the cargo area and the back seat just to give the dogs a boundary and it works great and is so much better than those clunky metal ones. We went to Loveland Pass and Finn carried him in the baby Bjorn. Of course for our first hike of the season and our first hike with a baby strapped onto us, we chose to start at an elevation of 11,990 feet with a steep incline. Yep, that was smart. We felt like we were in such great shape....hahaha. It was a nice day but the clouds rolled in while we were hiking and we even got snowed on, in June! We hiked for more than an hour and had an awesome time. Dempsey fell asleep on our way back down and was a champ - people said he must have really strong longs to hike at such an elevation! :) We of course documented the trip with lots of pictures and Finn collected a small bouquet of wild flowers for Dempsey's baby book.

He finally got to meet his Great Grandma Marge Kast! This was a huge deal! We had been waiting for this day for almost 4 months! Due to health problems, etc. she had to postpone her trip until the end of June. Thank goodness nothing strange came up this time otherwise Finn, Dempsey and I would have been taking our first plane ride, to Chicago! It was so awesome to get to see all four generations together. Grandma got to spend lots of time playing with, holding, feeding and staring at Dempsey! We did the usual family tradition of a meal at My Brother's Bar and enjoyed lots of family time for the few days she was here.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day, Finny! 

Who could have imagined that when we met more than 14 years ago that one day we'd be celebrating your First Father's Day together!? You would, that's who! 

You've told me time and time again that you always knew I was the one for you and the one you wanted to be the mother of your children. You have never doubted, not even for a single moment, that I would be the one to make you a proud father.

Our road to parenthood wasn't one for the story lines of "16 and Pregnant" (thank goodness!) and it wasn't the easiest task we've taken on.  From the day we heard the words "fertility treatments" until the day I showed you the positive pregnancy test, it was a long and emotional roller coaster. We had many laughs and plenty of tears. But, it was one of the most rewarding journeys I have ever been on with you!

One year ago today on Father's Day, we were too nervous to pee on a stick. I didn't want to have to tell you, again, that you were not going to be a father (yet). We had the family over and I spent much of the day with the dream of you getting to celebrate this special day as a father next year. The following day we found out that we were in fact pregnant and we were both so nervous and excited that we couldn't fall back asleep (and it was only 5am)! Our lives were instantly changed when that little white stick said "pregnant" or had two blurry lines, whichever way you prefer to remember it! ;)

Fast forward nine months to March 2, 2012. The day that you became a dad. Although really, I am convinced that you were born to be a dad. We welcomed Dempsey Mason Ruehrdanz into the world at 8:58 pm, he weighed 7lbs, 10oz, and was 20 1/4" long. He was beautiful in every way. He was happy and healthy. You received the most excited dad, EVER, award from our doctor and your emotional reaction to the arrival of our son was so touching I don't think there was a dry eye in the place. Your scream, laugh, cry, ecstatic-ness was so amazing to see. You didn't want to let him leave your arms. You were in love, more in love than you had ever been in love before. You had a son. You made him. You couldn't have been more proud. 

From that day on you had shifted from Finn, a best friend, a son, a soccer player, a coach, a fanatic, a son-in-law, a brother, and so many other things to DAD. You didn't lose any other part of yourself, but it was as if that one final piece of being a dad made your life so much more complete. You took to the role with such ease and grace, it was as if it was always meant to be (which of course it was). 

You are the world's greatest dad to Dempsey. You have given him nothing but 200% of everything you have to offer since the day you two met. You are an expert diaper changing, swaddling, shushing, rocking, bouncing, entertaining, baby-wearing, smile-inducing dad. Dempsey is the luckiest boy on the planet to have you as his Dad. I cannot wait to watch the two of you grow up together. I know that you will be the best of friends and you will be so proud of one another. And I know that one day he will exclaim "Dad, you are the best!" Because, hunny, you really are the best.

I'm so blessed to have you as my best friend. My husband. My soul mate. The father to my children. My everything. 

I love you more today than I did the day before and that gets truer everyday.

Today, my lover, it is all about you. Here's to wishing you the Happiest First Father's Day Ever!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday

10 Random Facts About ME!

1. My childhood nickname was Mason. Papa Smurf was also given to me by some friends in high school (I really have no idea why). Mason was used a lot!. I don't have a nickname anymore, although I do get called Ash by a few people.
2. If you want to spoil me rotten, buy me a vacation to somewhere tropical, with a beach!
3. The television character I most identify with is Lisa Simpson. She is the smart, overachieving, dorky middle sister on The Simpsons. My family resembles The Simpsons quite a bit actually! But I relate to Lisa since she is all sorts of nerdy but is still so super fabulous. Although I pretty much never wore a dress as a child and you will rarely find me in one today. Oh, and I'm not too yellow and my hair isn't spikey! ;)
4. If I had a whole day to go shopping and money to spend, I would go to a whole lot of places, since I have all day! :) If I had to choose a couple places they would probably be: REI, Title Nine, IKEA and the Nike Outlet. 
5. The most wild and crazy thing I have ever done (that I can admit to publicly) is jumping out of a plane in Cape Town, South Africa! It was an amazing experience!! I am so glad I did it! I would love to go again, but being a mom does make me more wary - so weird how that happens! 

6. The one thing on my bucket list that I am most eager to do is travel outside of the country for something other than the World Cup. I mentioned this in my last Top Ten Tuesday post. I would love to take a nice vacation with my guys!
7. My family will always be loyal to each other! Finn and I both come from pretty tight knit families and we want Dempsey to experience that as well. 
8. If I could spend a day with a celebrity I would choose Rob Dyrdek! One of the main reasons is because I know my day would be an action-packed adventure full of ball pits, motorcycles, pranks, etc. That guy is hilarious and seems super down to earth to boot.
9. In my opinion, the best invention in the history of the world is electricity. Without that crucial building block the rest of the amazing technologies that exist today wouldn't exist at all!
10. When life hands me lemons, I make ice tea because I love it with tons of lemon!! But none of that Arnold Palmer crap - it is NOT the same thing as ice tea with lots of lemon!! 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Three Months

How in the world did another month pass already!? I'm pretty sure that time speeds up once you have a kid. They are constantly changing, right in front of your eyes. Dempsey is no exception. He has changed quite a bit this past month. He is really starting to get a personality, that's for sure! He smiles all the time, has all sorts of new noises, follows people and dogs with his eyes and is showing more interest (and disinterest) in a variety of things! We have started reading to him and he really seems to enjoy it! He likes his bouncy chair again and that is awesome because I am now able to make dinner, etc. and he can happily sit and watch! He is getting so close to having his first real belly laugh - we can't wait!! He enjoys tummy time and can hold his big noggin' up like a champ! His hands are his best friend, he thinks they are the greatest thing ever!!

He weighs about 13.2 lbs and is around 2 feet long. He fits in most 3 month clothes, although his long legs tend to make his 3mo pants look like shants!

Routine - if there is such a thing with a 3 month old. Sleeps generally from 9:30 or 10pm - 4 or 5am. This sleep cycle was disturbed in his last week as a 2 month old due to mom going Paleo. The Paleo part wasn't/isn't the culprit, but the rapid weight loss I experienced was! I am working on building that back up! During the day he generally eats every two to three hours and takes a few good naps during the day (each lasting several hours). He gets a bath every other night and it is always his favorite time!

Other things that have been going on in the family:

I finished another semester of grad school - and I am rockin' a 3.9 gpa (not too shabby considering full time work, being pregnant, having a baby, and all the other awesome things that come with being me!)

The Ruby Hill Community Garden which I am a co-leader of is going well. It is truly "up and running." We have three pretty large plots and were able to get most of our planting done on Mother's Day!

Finn and I both had our first overnights without Dempsey. I went to Moab for a girls' trip, you can see more pics from that here. It was definitely emotional, but a great experience for sure! I had to pump to keep my milk supply up and to have some to freeze once I got back since the stockpile had was definitely used greatly while I was away. The following week, Finn headed to NOLA for work for nine days! It was tough, but thank goodness we live in a time where technology allows us to video chat, text, email, etc. every day! It was fun skyping with Finn in the evenings so that he could see Dempsey being the goofy kid that he is.

Dempsey's aunt Hanni got engaged!! We were all very excited and we went to Ernie's to celebrate! We know that Dempsey will be the cutest little guy at the wedding, no doubt about it!! :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

A Girls Trip to Moab: Cool!!

On May 18th I took a final, went out to dinner to celebrate my sister in-law's engagement and then packed my bags for a weekend trip with some fabulous ladies!

One of my good friends is moving to Madison, WI in July and had never been to Moab, UT and really wanted to go. I've lived in Colorado and UT my entire life and have never been myself!! I wasn't entirely sure I would go at first since Dempsey was still so young and I knew I had to save up a good supply of milk in the freezer to last 2.5+ days! But, it was important for me to go for a number of reasons.

The trip was great! We ate some delicious food, including pudgie pies which were the best camp food EVER!! We saw some amazing sites, including Arches National Park and Hanging Lake. And we just had an all around good time chatting, hiking, camping and the like.

Since so much of the trip is girly stuff and funny weekend joke phrases, I will just share with you all some memories through picture collages! Thank you, Nature!