Monday, March 26, 2018


One time we moved to Idaho.
I basically forgot to tell everyone about it because I have a wild toddler and just popped out a baby.
Better late than never, right?
We adored Chattanooga. Really, it will always be a very special place for our family. But Justin quickly realized that his job there was not what he was anticipating. So as much as we loved the place and the people, we knew a change was inevitable. Plus we really missed the midwest a lot more than we thought we would. 
Miraculously, a job offer come up from a supervisor Justin worked with during his internship and had to move fast to make all the pieces come together.
Our house in Chattanooga sold like magic. We had a generous relocation stipend to help us move. Justin gets to work with old friends. We found a new house that we LOOOOOVE. And most importantly, there is a Sodalicious 5 minuets from my house. Priorities, amiright?
It has been a whirlwind, but a much needed change.
So excuse me while I go get a box or two unpacked while my babies sleep and the house is quiet. 
AKA pretend to unpack while I watch Sister Wives and eat all JJ's leftover Cadbury Mini Eggs.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

3 Months of Charlie Arthur

At 3 months old Charlie:

-Is the happiest baby on the planet! Seriously you guys, who is this boy? I always thought JJ was such an easy baby, but he had NOTHING on Charlie Arthur. He just goes with the flow, enjoys everything, and smiles no matter what. He likes his swing. He likes chilling on the floor. He likes the carseat. He likes his carrier. He can sleep in noise or quiet. He can sleep in light or dark. He rarely cries. 

-Had found his little tongue and sticks that thing out all the time now!

-Is sleeping soooo well. He regularly takes 2 uninterrupted 3-hour naps during the day (and a cat nap before dinner). Then he conks out at 7pm and sleeps until 7am waking up 2 times to eat. He usually gives us at least a 6 hours stretch during the night. My only complaint is that it takes him a loooong time to fall asleep for the night. I have to nurse him for about an hour before he is out cold.

-Finally graduated from sponge baths to real tub baths. 

-Tolerates JJ's endless snuggles, kisses, and requests to sword fight really well. These brothers sure love each other. JJ loves to hold Charlie's hand, pat his belly, sing him Thunder by Imagine Dragons, and throw away his diapers. 

-Has steel blue eyes with the most beautiful almond shape. This is definitely a characteristic he inherited from the Thunell side of the family. He also has a significantly darker complexion than JJ at this age. These boys looks so much alike but so different all at the same time.

-Is getting juicier by the day. He is busting out of his 3 month clothes and has moved up to size 2 diapers. I need to weight him soon to see how much he has gained!

-Had a few notable outings this month. He loved bowling in my ergo baby carrier. We also have visited several parks and had playdates with new friends. He loves tagging along to his brother's storytime and sports class. 

Oh Charlie Bubba! Moving across the country was not easy on me, but you have been a dream come true in making the move as easy as possible and giving me time to get our family settled. Thank you sweet boy for bring a powerful force of peace and optimism to our family. I sure love you and am enjoying getting to know you better each day. XOXO--Mama

Saturday, February 17, 2018

2 Months of Charlie Arthur

At 2 months old Charlie:

-is becoming well-traveled. Charlie and I took an impromptu road trip to Indiana to visit family, which allowed Charlie to visit 3 new states. He also took his first airplane ride, which allowed him to visit 2 additional states. So now he has been to Tennessee, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, and Idaho!

-is such a mama's boy. We joke that I only have to look at him in order to soothe him, which isn't far from the truth.

-is gaining weight well. Although he hasn't had his 2 month well-check yet, our home scale estimates he is 11 or 12 pounds. His rolls seem to multiply on a daily basis and he has outgrown everything newborn. You would never know that just 2 months ago this kid was a very sick premie. 

-loves listening to stories during his brother's nap. We are just wrapping up Matilda by Roald Dahl and next on our reading list is The Twits.

-goes by the nickname Big Bubba most of the time. JJ also calls him Char Char.

-is such a good sleeper and thank the high heavens for that! He routinely takes 2, 3-hour uninterrupted naps every day. At night he sleeps about 13 hours waking up 2-3 times for some good milkies.

-still has a lot of dark hair. By this point, all of JJ's hair had fallen out and he had a perfectly bald coconut for months. Char also has a super dark complexion and dark blue eyeballs. #yummy 

-is seriously just a sweet, calm, peaceful boy. He is happy to lay on a blanket and observe the ENTIRE time I am getting ready/cooking dinner. He loves to snuggle. He loves his carseat. He loves my wrap. He happily tolerates his brothers endless kisses/hugs/requests to hold him. He basically just loves life and is happy to show it with plenty of gummy smiles to go around. Did I mention he started smiling? #idie

Thursday, January 25, 2018


We had big plans for a babymoon but as my pregnancy progressed and I got more uncomfortable we lowered our standards dramatically. Sweden (where Justin served his mission) turned into New Orleans. New Orleans was downgraded to a week on the beach in Destin, Florida. And eventually we settled on a mountain getaway in Gatlinburg. It was only a 2ish hour road trip, which is about all my aching pregnant back could handle sitting in one period. 
Gatlinburg turned out to be a darling town and we wished we could have stayed forever! 3 days was not nearly enough.

We ate flapjacks at one of the zillions of infamous Gatlinburg flapjack houses. Doesn't it just sound rustic to say flapjacks? 
I had a large stack of jacks loaded with black walnuts and slathered in homemade orange marmalade. Justin chose a stack loaded with chocolate chips. 
We also road a ski lift amidst trees colored gloriously by the fall. We played mini golf. We worked out. We treated ourselves to the Melting Pot. We played hours of arcade games in Pigeon Forge.
However, the highlight by far was buying spontaneous tickets to the Dixie Stampede.
You guys, I literally ate a rotisserie chicken with my fingers and drank bottomless Pepsi while watching horses do tricks and listening to endless Dolly Parton music. Does it get better? 
No. Absolutely not.
More than anything, Justin and I got to spend a lot of time connecting before Charlie was born. I'll blame all that connecting for the fact that we took like ZERO pictures the entire trip. Oops! 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

1 Month of Charlie Arthur

At 1 month old Charlie:

-Weighs just about 7 lbs. We are so happy that he is plumping up! He is exclusively breastfeeding with the exception of 1 bottle of pumped milk each day. Because he was premature we have to fortify this bottle with a special supplement to make sure his Calcium and Phosphorus levels stay balanced. I have to say, it is a game changer having a kiddo that will take a bottle this time. Oh the things I learned from doing it wrong with Jay. Ha! That poor guinea pig.

-Goes mostly by Charlie but has also adopted a number of nicknames including Charlie Boy, Charlie Bucket, Bubba, and Bubba Balou.

-Is finally outgrowing his premie clothes and moving on to the newborn size.

-Loves reading. Okay, okay, I have no idea if he loves reading but I am determined to make this kid enjoy books as much as his brother. We have been reading Roald Dahl books together while JJ naps. So far we have worked our way through Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (hence the nickname Charlie Bucket) and the BFG.

-Has a peaceful and calm disposition. This is extremely helpful because his brother is over-the-top feeling all the things right now. Seriously, ALLLLLL the things. 

-Sleeps really well (for a newborn). Bless those NICU nurses who got him on a consistent sleeping schedule. He is sleeping ~20 hours per day. He wakes up a few times to feed at night but regularly gives us several 3-4 hour stretches.

-Has a full head of dark, wild hair. I love to fluff it up after bath to make it extra spikey. Though it looks like it is thinning out. We may have another little baldie on our hands.

-Has made a few memorable outings. We took JJ to see Coco in the theater the other weekend and Charlie was happy to tag along. We have also taken him to walk the Walnut Street bridge in downtown Chattanooga and to ride the infamous carousel in Coolidge Park. Other than that our outings are mostly limited to neighborhood walks and the doctor's office. Curse you RSV season!

Charlie Bucket,
You are a joy and light in my life. I thought of you long before you came to our family and now it is like I have always known you. I really think I have. I am so happy you are here.