Friday, July 13, 2018

Say hello to Rooney! Our first family pet.

This is Rooney!!
She's a three year old Holland Lop bunny and we are OBSESSED with her. 
We totally got her on a whim a few weeks ago. 
My brother in law's little sister posted on Facebook that she was looking to re-home her. 
I saw her photos and literally fell in love right away. 
I commented "wish we could take her!" and went on with my day. 
That night I literally had dreams about her and woke up the next day knew that she was meant to be ours. 
I joked to David that I would be bringing home a bunny, ya know, to gage where he was at with the whole thing.
He was like, uh no.  
You see, we are technically not allowed to have pets in our rental (shhhhh) which is what was holding me back initially. 
Plus, in the past, i've been very vocal about how animals don't belong in the house, period. 
The only in-home pets I was familiar with was dogs and cats which leave their crap and hair EVERYWHERE and that totally grosses me out. 
I showed David her photos and told him about my dreams.
It was then I learned he actually grew up with pet bunnies!
I was like ok dude, you either get on board now, or later because I'm bringing her home lol.
He finally was like, whatever makes you happy bae!

I spent the next few days reading and researching everything I needed to know about having a pet rabbit. 
I've learned soo much.
The first thing we needed was a place to keep her, so we tracked down a well loved rabbit hutch for $25 on Facebook market place. 
It was totally beat up, but the bones were in great shape. 
I was excited to have a DIY project and be able to give it a good scrub down and clean up. 

Next I researched what food she needed. 
I learned that 80% of their diet needs to come from fresh hay, 10% from fresh greens/veggies,  5% from healthy pellets and 5% from health treats (like carrots, fruit etc) 
I also learned about all the foods they aren't supposed to eat like corn, peas, potatoes and pretty much every kind of processed human food. 

My next inquisition was where the crap do they crap!?
I learned that they can actually be litter box trained!
How cool is that?!

Anyway, we wanted to surprise the babies and the moment they saw her for the first time was seriously the best. 

Rooney was actually a name on my girl baby name list. 
It was one we were considering for Frances way back when. 
It felt like the perfect name for this 'ol gal!

Plus it's so cute to hear Wolfe say it "HI OOONEY!"
Her ears and fluff under her chin are my favorite. 
The holland lop breed of bunnies is actually one of the smallest of the lop eared breeds, so she won't get much bigger than this which is cool. 
A few days ago Frances goes "oh I just lover her big brown eyeballs! They look just like grandpa Marks!"
I was dying. 
So stinking cute. 
She was very reserved and really took a few days to relax which I read is common for most bunnies when you bring them home. 
She was just so gosh dang cute and fluffy that I wanted to hold and snuggle her all the time but I resisted and let her do her thang. 
I kept her in her cage during the day and only opened her door for her to come out after the babies went down for bed. 
It was fun to watch her hop around and figure out her new surroundings. 
I'm glad we got the hutch we did because it gives her a dark/semi quiet place to go when things get cray lol. 

Now that it's been a few weeks she is SO much fun. 
She's totally used to the babies, sticking their fingers in to pet her while she nibbles on her food. 
Fran will sit there for hours talking to her. 
Wolfe is a little more intense and has even been nipped at, but that doesn't stop him lol. 
We are taking every opportunity we can to teach him how to speak softly and be gentle when he's around her. 

She is the most playful first thing in the morning and later in the evening. Those are the times we open up the cage and let her roam free. 
She's not a fan of the tile floor so she really only sticks to the living area. 
Which I'm totally fine with, because it is safe and there's really nothing for her to get into. 
She snoozes under the tv dresser occasionally, since it's really dark under there. 
She also likes to run back and forth behind the curtains. 

As  far as the potty business, she picked a spot in her little hutch and goes in the same spot every time! She hasn't left messes anywhere else outside the cage which is like a huge plus. I'm like seriously so amazed. The bottom of the hutch has a tray that catches it all which makes clean up a breeze. 

I was sooo worried about my house smelling so I've been really anal about making sure her cage gets cleaned every single night. 
So far, so good!
If you come over and my house smells like animal TELL ME!
Because I am not about that life, lol. 

David is even enjoying her too now that she will sit and snuggle in the evenings with us while we watch our shows. 
Out of the kids, Fran has def had the most snuggle/lap time with her. 
She just loves that bunny so much. 
Apparently they can live to be 10 years old, so we've got a lot of time left with her. 
I'm so happy we got her, she is literally the perfect addition to our little family. 
I never thought I'd be a pet mom, yet here I am getting anxious to leave her when we go on vacation, lol. 

Here is what the hutch looks like after a good scrub down and a few fresh coats of paint!
I threw together her little wreath from the greenery I had left over from those headbands we made for family photos a few years back. 
I still need to seal it and decide if I want to paint the metal part of her cage, but other than that it looks  100x better than it did before.
The Before: 

Monday, July 9, 2018

4th of July!

^^13 weeks!!

We had such a fun 4th!
We were able to check off two items on our Summer Bucket list. 
My sister Natassja and her hubby Travis spent the night with us the night before and then babysat Wolfe for the morning while we took the older three babies to a matinee showing of the Incredibles 2.
It was Frances's first movie experience and she did as well as I would have expected of a 3 year old, lol. 
She was such a light weight that the seat kept swallowing her up. 
It was so funny!
 We hunted down a booster seat and she was a lot more comfortable. 

It was Rem and Olive's second movie theater experience and they just LOVED it. 
They were laughing out loud and talking about their favorite parts and characters the entire way through.

It was so fun to be able to do that all together. 
Afterwards we grabbed a few snap shots at this fun American flag mural and then picked up an ice cream cone before heading home. 

We all settled in for a long afternoon nap in preparation for the Goodyear firework show!
The Goodyear ball park where they launch the fireworks is literally 2 blocks from our neighborhood. 
We drove down the road to an empty field and picked the perfect viewing spot. 
I love where we live soo much. 
I'm actually going to be sad when it is time to leave. 
Wolfe was absolutely mesmerized by the fireworks. 
 Rem started off a bit nervous but warmed up after a few snuggles with momma. 
The show ended late and we dragged the babies home to bed. 

I'm so grateful for the freedoms we are able to have in this amazing country. 
Standing up and singing the National Anthem at church on Sunday literally brought tears to my eyes. 
I'm so glad I have the opportunity to raise my little family here. 
^^Look at those cute freckles! 
^^They're getting SO big. 
^^I'm actually getting sad that his adult teeth are coming in so quick. 
I just realized I got zero documentation of Wolfe on that day, whoops but we did document our new BUNNY of course! 
Ah I love her. 
More to come on her later. 

Monday, June 18, 2018


Here we go AGAIN...
Another baby due this Winter. 
January 11 is my official "due date" 
At least this time I know that even if I go super late (like Wolfe), I will for sure be having a baby in January. 

This wasn't the plan. 
Yea, this was another surprise baby. 
Yea, we know how that happens (i'm like so over this "joke", so please don't) 
and yea, we wanted more babies, butttttt not for like another 2-3 years AT LEAST. 

I'm not going to sugar coat it, I was actually devastated at first. 
So here's the frank version of how we found out....
One night, the condom broke.
You hear of those things happening but to actually have it happen...
I was freaking out. 
I was like NO, NO, NO, I can't even handle this right now. 
I couldn't sleep for like a week straight. 
The chances of actual fertilization were slim but I just couldn't mentally deal with the "what if."

I felt like we were getting to such a fun new chapter of life. 
With all the kids getting older and more independent, I had so much more freedom to work on ME and to be able to spend more time on US as a couple. 
I cried for days, knowing that It was just a matter of time before we learned of our fate. 

One sleepless night, I was tossing and turning, my brain going a million miles a minute thinking about all the logistics of a new baby I had this overwhelming feeling of PEACE. 
It was like a calm, reassuring "hey jess, It's going to be ok. RELAX."

A few weeks later I started to feel like crap physically and I just knew
I knew before I even took that damn test. 
Sure enough, that freaking little pink line showed up. 
We were shocked/speechless/nervous/excited? 
Idk, we felt all the emotions. 
It was a week before my first triathlon so I went straight into "how is this going to affect my race" mode lol. 
It was actually kind of cool knowing I had a little passenger burrowed deep down in my uterus, along  for the ride. 
Anyways, we immediately called and shared the news with our families and close friends. 
The babies were like another baby? Cool!

Now that time has passed and I've had time to really process it all, we actually are really excited to meet this little stinker. 

FIVE KIDS you guys. 
That's a lot. 
like a lot a lot. 

Symptoms wise, besides feeling a little tired, I was feeling totally fine for the first few weeks. 
I actually started to get nervous of the lack of symptoms but then 7 weeks hit and BOOM. 
Down and out dude. 
The exhaustion and nausea have been intense. 
I got Phenergan from my midwife ASAP and that has helped take the edge off a bit.
But for a solid 3 weeks I was pretty much bed/couch ridden. 
Once again, David has been amazing stepping up and picking up the slack and the kids are hanging in there with a dead beat momma, lol. 
This time around I've been craving a variety of things. 
I've been obsessed with lemonade. 
The combination of sweet/sour has been the BEST
Chick-Fil-A's is by far my fav and they sell it by the gallon, so we've been stocking up haha. 
The strawberry chicken salad from Panera has also been a life saver. 
When nothing sounds good, that salad always comes to the rescue. 
Top ramen was a contender for a bit, but now I can't stand the smell. 
Mostly, I've just been living on cheese and crackers as my main staples.
Which has thrown my body for a loop because I haven't had this huge amount of processed carbohydrates ALL YEAR!
But when it's all you can stomach, you just gotta make do. 

Since losing that sweet baby a few year back, making it to that first ultrasound is pretty much nerve-wracking. 
I feel like I literally hold my breath until I can see that little blip of a heart beat flashing on the screen. 
It was just as amazing this time around. 
See that little BABY squirming around is just, WOW.
It never gets old. 
This is my 6th pregnancy is 6 freaking years and my body is just like
and BOOM i'm already looking 6 months pregnant in my first freaking trimester. It's hard, seeing months and months and hard work go POOF. 
I mean, not actually, but it feels like that ya know?
Ya, this wasn't the plan but I'm going to make this my fittest pregnancy yet. 
I KNOW what a blessing it is to be carrying this precious spirit and I'm not going to take that for granted. 
Oh man, we can't wait to meet you little one. 
Here's to the next SIX months-

Thursday, May 31, 2018

our first family hike

The highest point of the hike!

Monday we decided to check an item off our summer bucket list and take the babies out on a hike. 
We've been DYING to do more family hikes since it's something that Dave and I both really enjoy. 
Idk why it's taken so long to get out and do one, but I was determined to check it off our list this summer. 
(Remember that one time we met hiking?!)

The temps weren't supposed to be too hot (for Arizona standards lol)
So we got up, got dressed and headed out first thing!
The Estrella Mountains where we hiked are literally a 10 min drive south of our neighborhood.
We chose a highly rated beginner trail. 
It went really well for the first bit but then it started to get HOT. 
The kids slurped through their water bottles fast. 
Frances's legs got tired quickly and she pretty much complained the entire time lol. 
Wolfe LOVED walking, and we let him as much as the trail would allow. 
He gathered as many rocks as he could hold in his chubby little arms. 
I was surprised at the amount of switch backs and steep declines. 
45 min into it I was like OKAAYYYY are we almost done?!
 i'm over thissss. 
Not a cloud in the sky!
The desert totally has its own kind of beauty. 
Olive and Rem loved every min of it. 
They were pointing out all the lizards, cactus and birds we could see along the trail. 
Fran finally had enough and refused to walk any further. 
Just as we were getting her ready to get into the carrier, she tripped and fell into a small cholla cactus off the side of the trail. 
Luckily, the cactus spikes were fairly easy to get out of her bum, legs and palms. 
She was totally done after that lol. 
David carried both the kids like this the rest of the way ^^
Big incline!
I was actually out of breath by the top lol. 
My pale skinned Wolfe man wasn't a fan of the heat. 
He hated his hat at first, but realized it kept the sun out of his face and didn't touch it anymore. 
Look at those cute faces!
I'm so proud of them. 
Can you tell we were HOT!? 
We will be saving our next hike for the winter when the temps are a little more bearable. 
All in all in was a perfect morning spent with my favorite people. 
I can't wait until our next one.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

summer bucket list

Ready or not, today is the first official day of our summer break. 
This year I decided to step it up a notch and be a "fun mom" and come up with a summer bucket list with the kids. 
(Remember when David and I did these all the time before we had kids?) 
We sat down this morning and thought about some realistic things we could accomplish together this summer. 
The babies are soo excited!
I'd also like to stick to a schedule day to day so they know what to expect. 
The first thing we are going to do every day is hit up the YMCA so I can get my workout in. 
We pay $60/month for 2 hours of childcare a day which is like a really amazing deal when you think about that alone lol. 
Good thing they love it there. 
It'll also be our "home base" for pool and water related actives.
We can't wait for the kid pool to open next week. 
Anyway, here is our list! 
I also made a little checklist for the kids to do everyday before the plop themselves in front of the TV/tablet. 
I'm determined to have them stick to it lol so we will see how it goes. 

I threw together my own little list for myself this year/
-at least one date night a month
-daily exercise
-cook more (lolllll we will see...)
-blog 2x a month
-teach rem how to tie his shoes

What's on your summer bucket list year?
What else should we add??

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

MomTRI Sprint Triathlon

Crossing the finish line!!!!

Sprint Triathlon- 400m SWIM, 12 mile BIKE and 3.2 mile RUN
I finished in 1:46

* * * 
Last Saturday I competed in my first sprint triathlon. 
It was SO MUCH FUN!!!

I had heard about this cool Mom's triathlon that a bunch of ladies in our ward put on/participated in the year before and figured, hey I ran a half marathon a triathlon will be easy!
So I signed up and started my daily training.
(I followed this 12 week training program HERE. )
Swimming was/is definitely my weakest skill out of the three, but I jumped right in and got to work. 
My first couple swim workouts were HUMBLING!
I was like OH-MY-HELL....
How can I run for 13 miles but I'm freaking hyperventilating after 25m in the pool!?
It is certainly an entirely different set of muscles/breathing skills thats for sure. 
But, I kept at it, attended a few swimming clinics, watched a million youtube vidoes and with every swim workout, I felt more confident in my abilities. 

Along with the daily triathlon training, I was also completing my 90 day HIIT Mamas challenge, so I was doing daily crossfit WODs too.
It was no nonsense for a few months haha, but it felt amazing. 
I felt like I found my groove and I was thoroughly enjoying every minute of it. 
Through out the training I met so many amazing women!
I'm like I've found my PEOPLE, haha.

As race day drew nearer, I totally started to feel the nerves. 
Mostly because of the unknown I guess?
I felt really good about my brick workouts but I really didn't have an experience with setting up and doing the transitions between events. 
Really, my only goals were to 1. not drown 2. finish  and 3. not poop my pants. 
Everyone laughs at the poop part, but my fellow race ladies know exactly what I'm talking about...It's a REAL and LEGITAMITE fear. 

Anyway, my girl Gissell came and picked me up bright and early Saturday morning and we headed over to get checked in and set up!
It was so nice to be going through the whole experience with a friend, it totally helped the nerves. 
Prepping my gear the night before!

After getting our transition areas set up we went to pick up our timing chips. 
Pretty soon it was time to line up to get ready for the swim!

They divided us up by swim times. 
We had to time our 400m a few days before the race so we'd know what group to go in. 
The categories were-
expert-under 7 min 
advanced 7-9min
intermediate 9-11 min
beginner 11-17min
novice 17+ minutes 
I went with the intermediate group since I was consistently clocking between 10-10:30 for the 400m. We lined up one by one to jump in the pool and begin!
My heart was RACING!!
I feel like this was the worst part of the whole thing, just waiting to get in and go. 
The atmosphere was electric as all the women were cheering for each other outside of the pool. 

Finally it was my turn. 
I said another quick prayer, jumped in, waited for my countdown and pushed off the wall. 
The pool was divided into 8 lanes, 50m long each. 
So we zig-zagged back and forth from one end of the pool to the other.
We were to stay on the right side of the lane unless we wanted to pass, in which we could do on the left side of the lane. 
It was nice that we were sorta spread out so it didn't feel like we were all on top of each other. 
After I got the first 50m done, I was like ok, I got this no problem. 
My goal for swimming was not to stop.
 In my training I decided that if I felt tired or out of breath during the freestyle stroke, I'd immediately turn over to my back and kick/do back stroke. 
It was really effective for me because I could catch my breath when I needed to but I was still moving forward. 
To my surprise, I passed 5 people during my swim!
I was like alriiiiight, I'm doing OK!
I got to the end and jogged as fast as I could, trying not to slip on the cement and run to the transition area where our timer would stop. 
I was annoyed that the whole running segment was included in our swim time but, I understand why they had to do it like that.

Before the swim!
Can you see me? I was legit 12 inches taller than everyone lol. I always forget how TALL I am compared to the general population. 
My good looking crew!
The one "official" race photo that actually turned out, haha! 
I'm SOOO glad my dad was there to capture the rest of these. 
I felt like I had my own paparazzi.
Don't slip, don't slip!
Running to transition! 
My whole outfit via walmart lol
It did the job..but I will for sure be investing in a tri-suit for the next one. 

I was one of the first people in my row to get on the bike-
It was nice not having to compete with the crowds. 
I threw on my running watch/hr monitor, shoes, helmet and grabbed some water, a protein bar and a gu packet!
Everyone said the bike was a good place to replenish fluids and energy. 

My very own cheerleading section. 
The bike route was a 4 mile loop that we had to do 3 times to get the 12 miles. 
It was totally blocked off with cones and police men along the route. 
They were so awesome and cheering us on!
It was just so much fun. 
On my first lap, I went to grab my protein bar that I had shoved in my pocket and it fell onto the ground and into the gutter lol. 
I was super bummed about it. 
Thankfully I had grabbed the gu so at least I had something. 
Also, can we just talk about how PASTY WHITE I am!?
David said he could tell it was me coming around the corner because I was glowing LOL. 
I'm obsessed with these pics dad grabbed of the kids while they were waiting for me. 
It was HOT that morning and they were troopers! 
The bike portion actually went by really fast. 
I was so happy to finish it without any flat tires.

Next came the runnnnnn.
It was only a 5k distance so I wasn't worried about it at all. 
The only thing that was rough was that it was HOT and the entire course was in direct sunlight. 
I felt like I was running through a furnace. 
One of the water stations had ice cold towels soaked in water that we could wipe down with and those felt AMAZING. 
I kept a slow and steady pace the whole run. 
A lot of the women were sprinting and then walking and sprinting and walking so we'd keep passing each other which was annoying and I was just jogging along like do-de-do-da-do.
I could tell my pace was slower than what I trained for but I just wanted to not-stop so it didn't bother me too much. 
Literally reflecting the sun off my skin. 
I loved rounding the corner and seeing my little family cheering me on from the sideline. 
As I passed, Remington, Olive and Frances joined me for the last 50m across the finish line. 
As you can see the finish line was suuuuper crowded. 
Someone quickly handed me a little pouch and another person was grabbing my leg trying to get the time chip from my ankle and I was like wait hold up, what is going on? Stop touching me!? 
There was so many people It was just really kind of crazy. 
I reconnected with the family and took a few pics on the stand.
We didn't last long though because it was so hot and so loud (the speakers/announcer was BOOOMING) and soo many people crowded into that one tiny space I was like GET ME OUT OF HERE. 
Talk about a sensory overload, YIKES. 

And then before I left  I was like wait, where's my medal?
Don't I get a medal!?
I looked around and saw that no one else had one...
I remember leaving kinda bummed-
Like what the heck, that's half the reason I do these things LOL! 

Turned out that little pouch that was handed to me literally just as I crossed the line had this gorgeous little gold necklace in it. 
It says "STRONG"
and I'm freaking obsessed with it. 
I'll take one of these over a medal any day. 
Anyway, that's my first triathlon account!
It was so fulfilling and so much fun. 
I felt challenged but it didn't feel impossible if that makes sense?
I was throughly enjoying myself the ENTIRE time. 
I literally have a giant smile on my face in every photo LOL.
I'm already looking at some more races in September and December. 
I'd actually like to do a full length triathlon next year!!
We will see what the future holds.

**another shout out to my Dad for taking these awesome photos!!! I seriously LOVE THEM! THANK YOU!!!
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