Month: July 2012

Living in a New Room

For some time now I have been wanting to rearrange the living room. This urge occurs every 12-18 months usually. But we had just been talking about my “vision” for the past year, and hadn’t done anything about it. I decided last week was the week we were DOING IT! Part of the motivation is that we were gifted a gorgeous, brand new, brown leather sofa. A wonderful couple (parents to my friend Linda), had bought the sofa, but then decided they just wanted their recliners in the living room. So they were looking to give it to us. Oliver and I were contemplating purchasing it from them when we received a call that they were GIVING it to us! Not only was this an overwhelming gift for our home, it was just the kick in the pants we needed to rearrange the living room and make space for it!

Wednesday, Curtis came over while Oliver was at work and helped me clear out some rooms, get furniture out of the living room and move around the furniture that was staying in the living room.That evening our friends Wedny and Bryan came over to help us move some other furniture, and Oliver moved a different couch into the living room (yes… we now own 3 couches…).

Curtis helping undo the “old” set-up of our living room…



Oliver moving a couch in (and a couch is right in front of me too…)


Once we had “space”, we were able to spend the next day picking up the couch and bringing it over to our house. Sadly, I don’t have pictures of this – but for good reason! Our friends Reuben and Ranfrey (brother-in-laws) were able to come out and help us move the sofa. However, Ranfrey’s wife was working, so I was interpreter for Ranfrey. Kinda difficult to sign AND snap photos at the same time 🙂 But they did AWESOME and soon the new couch was in! My next idea was to cover the couch Oliver moved (above) with a brown cover to coordinate it.

“Easy as 7 steps” – great!


Liars…. I broke a sweat! A Masters degree and I can’t figure out a stupid couch cover?!


Once I succeeded at the couch cover (like I would let it beat me…), Oliver had to wire up the TV again, and try out the new couch…

Fun fact about houses built in the 60s … no overhead lights and ONE 3 prong outlet per room




SUCCESS!!! The living room is done! …. Well, almost. I have a big wall I need to decorate and throw pillows to brighten up the room 🙂

Couches… (the leather couch is where the TV used to be)


The TV set-up (next to the stairs)


Where the couch USED to be (and where the playpen will go!) … the weird tile in the middle of the wood floor is a loooooooong story. Just know, we didn’t do it!


A little bonus … the newest addition to our “family story” set-up… dating, engaged, married, BABY!!!


I love how many times my dog  photo bombed this post 🙂

<3 Tara & Oliver

15.5 Weeks

Again, a loverly backdated post … I’m just accepting the fact that this is practice for getting me used to being “late”. I hear that, and lack of sleep, are things I might as well begin to get comfortable with … *shudder*


15 1/2 week bump!


Fun facts about this week

  • People are beginning to reach out and touch the bump… and I love it 🙂
  • I get hiccups when I’m hungry… which means they often wake me up in the morning. Built in alarm clock!
  • We are always keeping some of our favorite quacamole around the house now… since I’m eating it ALL day!
  • We’re almost to the point where Squishy’s ears are fully developed .. the SLP/Audiologist in me is VERY excited about this!
  • We’re scheduling our maternity shoot in early November with some amazing photographers (and good friends) !! Oliver’s response to this: “Is this where we frolic in the woods, touch your belly and look like we’re gazing off, dreaming about our baby’s future??” Haha! YUP!
  • According to Oliver, I have entered the “nesting” phase. I think I just have some energy back and am getting things done. He thinks rearranging 2 rooms, scrubbing all the floors and redecorating half the house is a little extreme to be credited towards “returned energy”. *smile*

Just 3 more weeks will we find out the gender!

<3 Tara & Oliver


Ok Baby, REVEAL yourself!

People ask us frequently if we are going to find out the gender of Squishy. When we began this journey over 2 years before this blessing, we were adament against finding out. We wanted to be surprised! Fast-forward over two years and we began to rethink this plan. You see, most couple have to wait 9 months – a year in a half from starting the childbearing process to meeting baby. For us, it will be 3 years by the time we meet this bundle of joy. Considering we are already almost 2 and a half years into this journey, we decided we’ve waited long enough!

And knowing me, you expect me to do anything “easy”?! We’ll be having a small gathering at my parent’s house to reveal to baby’s gender. Now…. this is gutsy considering the appointment is only 2 days prior. But if anyone knows my parents, they know it is WICKED hard to get them both in the same state at the same time. Especially considering daddy lives in Colorado for work now! So I’ll be chugging a Jamba Juice and hoping to make that baby “dance, dance, dance” for the ultrasound tech! But the event may have to be postponed if the baby doesn’t agree …


So mark your calendars for August 18th at 4pm PST!


Although we are keeping this reveal party small, and we live so far from much of our family, we want to include as many people as we can! So here is how you can participate:

  • Send us a picture of you and your family, wearing either “pink” or “blue”, to help us decorate the house with your “votes” (taranicoleslp at gmail dot com)
  • Watch the live stream of our “cake cutting” (come on, you’re shocked we’ll be live streaming this?!) – more details here as the day approaches
  • RSVP for the event here  (no sense in live streaming if no one is watching!)
  • Cast your vote below for a Baby Boy or a Baby Girl!

Tummy Talk

I have quite a few apps on my phone that give me daily, weekly and/or monthly updates on Squishy. Tuesday is the “beginning” of the week for Squishy’s developmental milestones, so every Tuesday Oliver gets an announcement from me regarding Squishy’s size. Yesterday it was “Squishy is an APPLE!!” Oliver was a little skeptical, struggling to see how an apple could be bigger than an orange (last week). So I decided to give him a little visual from the grocery store last night (via text) …

See? Apples ARE bigger!


And as if he needed further proof, I provided a small demonstration!

It would be the perfect fit!

In other good news, the “flutters” are beginning. I wasn’t sure at first – but Squishy is moving! It woke me up in the middle of the night Monday when I thought something was tapping on my stomach. Want to talk “panic”?! I woke up quickly and tried to brush whatever what dancing on my abdomen OFF… only I couldn’t! It was coming from “inside”! When I woke up this morning I took some time to just lay in bed, not moving and breathing slowly (if anyone knows me and my level of energy… this was NOT easy). Sure enough, about 5-10 minutes into laying there the “flutter” happened again! Both times I have been a tad hungry, which I read is when a lot of people find their “flutters” occur. Guess it’s Squishy’s way of ringing the “breakfast bell”.

Who am I to deny him or her some grub? *smile*

Breakfast of Champions! (AKA “apple baby”)

Have a blessed rest of your day!

<3 Tara and Oliver


This will be a very “clean” post (har..har..har…) – all about the absolute showering of gifts we’ve received already for squishy. We’ve been so surprised that the little “orange” is already so very loved by those around us! From the day people found out, we’ve been showered with amazing gifts for us AND for squishy. Below are just some of the gifts we’ve received from the circle of people we know will love this child with all their hearts.


So much love for such a small squishy!

Whooooooo’s Whooooo of the Gift Givers 🙂
[ please excuse typos! ]
Another special gift we’ve received have been so many people praying for us and sharing in our excitement! My bump may be tiny, but it’s still exciting when people say they notice it. When people rejoice with us in the blessings of this baby, it warms our hearts. And when people ask us about our nursery theme, our plans once baby arrives, and my symptoms we are SO excited to share our updates again and again. I can’t walk through church without at least 3 people stopping to ask about Squishy, and I get daily to weekly texts from friends and family checking up on me. Thank you everyone – you are making this time even more blessed and joyous for us!!

What are some of the most memorable gifts you received at a special time in your life?

<3 Tara and Oliver

14.5 Weeks

Late again as usual – so this is actually being “back posted” to a more accurate date. I am sure you all will be understanding! Everything continues to go well. Slight dizziness has showed up as a new symptom, but only in a few hour spells and only twice in the last week. It continues to be a very blessed and easy pregnancy, something both Oliver and I are very grateful for! Without further adieu …

14 1/2 week bump


See you next week for “apple baby”!

<3 Tara and Oliver

The search begins…

Surprise! Quadruplets!


Kidding! Hahaha… seriously. Kidding. There is only one in there! And Oliver re-confirmed that with the doc a few times! So why does Oliver have FOUR baby car seats/carriers? Because nothing is easy when signing up for a registry …

We had fully decided on a carrier and were ready to register for it. We’d gone to the store, lifted it, carried it around, taken it in and out of the base a few times. But then we found out it was NOT compatible with our stroller. And the stroller is a solid “yes”… more so than anything else on our registry (more on that in a later post). So we were back to the drawing board again, but this time armed with a list of what IS compatible with the stroller. My friend (and former SLPA) has a saying anytime something isn’t working the way we feel it should – “You have to be smarter than the thing you are trying to operate”. Well by golly those are smart suckers those baby carriers. It took a lot of work to figure out how to get them in and out. Some latched in the front, some in the back, some you pull, some you push. And we only wanted to try out four! But in the end we narrowed it down to 2, and we’re now working to figure out which is the safest out of those two …

It’s fun to get to the “real” baby stuff now. For weeks our registry has consisted of books, owl sheets, more books, a stroller and did I mention books? There were only ~ 50 … until today. I just added more *grin* Hey! When you have a “wisdom” theme going, you gotta stock up on the literacy! And, of course, when you have a Speech-Language Pathologist for a mommy…


FEEDBACK: What’s the BEST baby item out there that you (or a mommy you know) just couldn’t live without? Leave a comment and let us know! 


<3 Tara and Oliver

Matters of the Heart


Oliver and I have known for some time that I am a genetic carrier for a familial heart condition. It had been a non-issue until we became pregnant. Apparently this heart condition LOVES pregnancy because of all the extra fluid you carry around. However, with all of that extra fluid, heart failure during and after labor is a higher possibility. If I had developed the condition since last tested at age 20, I needed to know. This would then label me as a “high risk pregnancy”. On July 5th I went to Stanford’s Cardiology Department to have my heart checked out. Oliver and I really went into this putting it all in God’s hands. If we’ve learned (and continue to learn) anything through all of this, it is that this baby is NOT ours, nor do we have ANY control over what happens. It is all in God’s hands, in His control.

The day was long (5 hours in the hospital) and full of tests. First I had an echo, which was relatively easy. I say “relatively” because they put you in a dimly lit room, laying on your side, under a warm blanket … it was impossible to stay awake. And by impossible, I mean I MAY HAVE fallen asleep a few times. *smile*  Thankfully I had an understanding tech …

After the echo I went back to the cardiology department to get an EKG. The medical assistant doing the EKG was getting very strange readings and couldn’t figure out what was wrong. It was my mom who finally said “wait… is that the baby’s heartbeat??” She was right – the machine was picking up squishy, which was messing with the readings of my heart! It was like a nice little “hi mom! I’m still here!” from the squish.

After the EKG I was seen by a resident, a visiting cardiologist from Italy, my actual cardiologist and a geneticist. Going through my case history, I apparently had all of the symptoms of the heart condition – shortness of breath (I have asthma), chest pains (I have acid reflux), heart murmur. They listened to my heart while sitting, taking deep breaths, and doing squats – it was quite the three ring circus doing this with ALL of those eyes watching you.

The geneticist went through all of the information we needed to know to protect the baby. She offered to do the genetic testing before the baby arrives, but Oliver and I turned that down. It wouldn’t change anything, and there was no danger to the baby if it went undetected. They wouldn’t begin treating the baby until 5 years old if he/she does have the condition anyways. So we’ll wait till after the baby is born to do the testing, so we can be prepared to deal with it as we raise our blessing. A side note: I really appreciate this geneticist – she called my baby a “baby”, rather than a “fetus”. I don’t really care if that is the medical terminology for this stage of my pregnancy … this is our BABY we’re talking about and I’d rather we recognize it as a living breathing little human than a developmental stage.

In the end they seemed quite surprised that, despite having all the symptoms, my heart is quite healthy and fine! I will be checked again in October (6 months) and then after the squishy arrives!

Today was our latest prenatal checkup. It was a quick appointment (15 minutes – wow!), but we were able to hear the baby’s heartbeat again … 146-147 bpm. Always a beautiful sound – from fearing we’d never have a child to hearing its heart beat fast and strong. Gives me chills 🙂 God is so good!

Praise the Lord for a healthy baby – still set to arrive around January 15th.

<3 Tara & Oliver


13.5 Weeks

Finally got around to this weeks picture… then finally getting around to posting 🙂

I know, I know. I’m simply glowing! However, we had just finished hanging new curtains, doing a ton of laundry and cleaning in an 80 degree room – so I’m not really “glowing” in the pregnant sense of the word 🙂

13.5 weeks!


I just look like I’ve been munching on too many donuts! Haha!

For the record: I haven’t eaten a single donut 🙂 Squishy is being fed VERY healthy food – minus the caffeine free slurpee on 7-11 …


– Tara and Oliver

Exercise and Cravings

This morning my friend Wendy and I took the babies for a hike. And by “babies” I mean her 2 year old, the two dogs and “Squishy” (not that he/she really had a choice!). Exhaustion is still lingering for me (I hear I should get used to it…) but it felt so good to get off the couch and exert what little energy I had conquering the lookout trail. It was a steep .7 mile trail that had 5-6 switchbacks taking you straight up to the top! At least I could carry my behbeh  in the front… poor Wendy had her’s on her back! But we made it, and it felt amazing to be at the top!


At the top of the lookout!
At the top of the lookout!

Afterwards I fed one of my newest cravings  … this craving has been around a week, I just haven’t’ been the one to go to the grocery store lately. So I stopped at Safeway on my way home and “indulged”…

Carrots and Ranch! Mmmmm!

We are technically 13 weeks today! Yay! So “Squishy” is the size of a peach or a tangerine… bump pictures to come tomorrow probably. We won’t be home till after dark today, and the nursery (our photo shoot location) doesn’t have any lights in it!

<3 Tara (and Oliver!)