Vesper’s 1st Trip: Colorado 2014

When I found out about the Wylder Nation Gala back in February, I knew I just had to go! It was just one month after Vesper was supposed to be born, so I knew she would have to come a little early in order to be able to go. She was born one month early, so I booked our plane tickets, and when she was 7 weeks old we headed on her first trip to Colorado!

My parents live there, so I knew it would be an easy and fun vacation. It was my first time to leave Peyton and Conner for more than one day, so I was worried and sad to be away from them. But thankfully they had the best time at Aunties house with their cousins.

Vesper and me about to board out flight-sweet tea and all

we thankfully sat by a very nice man, and we even had a seat between us to spread out in 

Do you recognize this pretty lady?! Eileen (Quinn’s mom) was also going to the gala. We knew our flights got in at the same time, so we met up for a hug in the airport.

My parents picked us up from the airport and we headed to their house. It was after midnight when we go there on Friday night, so we went straight to bed after scrubbing the airport germs off of Vesper. My parents had already met Vesper the week after her birth, but they were beyond excited to get to snuggle her again just 6 weeks later.

Nana getting Vesper ready for bed

Papa T and Vesper

My parents do foster care, so my mom has tons of baby gear. Vesper had the coziest bassinet for her naps

On Saturday we relaxed and my parents snuggled Vesper. And then around lunch my mom dropped me and Vesper off at Eileen’s hotel, so we could visit with my amazing friend.

hanging out on Eileen’s bed

Eileen, Vesper, and I then got all fancy for the gala and headed over to party and raise money in honor of our little warriors. It was an AMAZING night, but it gets its own post that I will share later.

The next day we had another fun event. My good friend from high school was having her bridal shower. And since I was not going to be able to attend her wedding, I was thrilled that I happened to be in town for her shower.

Vesper getting loaded in the car in her party dress

On the way, we stopped to visit Trek’s tree that is in front of my old high school. My friends in Colorado and my parents had help plant it after Trek died (for our 10 year HS reunion), but it was my first time to see it. It was perfect and I loved his plumeria on the stone.

my dear friend Shannon

Ashlie-the beautiful bride-to-be

It was so nice to hug everyone and catch up in person

congratulations Ashlie-you will make an amazing wife and mama one day

After a fun day with my friends (my mama got to come too!). We headed back to relieve my dad, who had kindly watched their foster babies so we could have a girls day. He ended up watching them a few more times so my mom and Vesper and me could shop, so we totally owe him.

Nana and us having pizza on a shopping trip

my dad putting Vesper to sleep (in a grandpa way-hehe:)

it worked!

Vesper with my beautiful mom

my dad walking Vesper around the restaurant so I could eat

My trip had another fun event in store. Jarrett’s brother, Jordan and his wife Jodi, had their second child 2 weeks after Vesper was born. So Vesper and I got to go over to their house to meet Jaxton and play with her cousin Jaylee. You can imagine all the bouncing and rocking that was going being it was the twilight hour for both the newborns-hehe:) We had a nice night, snuggling each others babies and catching up a little bit. 

Uncle Jordan and my niece Jaylee snuggling Vesper

I love this picture-Jodi rocking Jaxton, and Jordan bouncing Vesper

the way a mama looks at her newborn just melts my heart

and then it was burrito baby  photo shoot time!

Aunt Chelsea hearts Jaxton!

Leaving (barely) on a jet plane. They almost did not let me board because I did not have Vesper’s birth certificate. It had not come in the mail yet, and they said I needed a dr. note, or email, or anything with her name on it. Thankfully they were gracious because that would have sucked!

Nana getting in her last snuggles

Vesper’s first vacay was a major success!!! I think she will totally be ready for when we decide to travel again:)

10 weeks-a smiling Vesper

Vesper’s smile has not lost its allure, it probably never will. My heart still swells when I hear Peyton and Conner laugh, and their smiles are the highlight of my mommyhood. And no one will ever get tired of this guy’s smiles.

Trek’s first smiles (and wearing his favorite shirt again:)

I got bored of being home for the first time since her birth this past week. Usually an outing required us all to recoup for at least 3 days (seriously-we are such babies). But this week we hit the road every day and we all felt great! Vesper and her pacifier-let me say again-thank you paci! We can now go in the car all over town with a happy baby sucking on her pacifier, its such a relief.

Galveston just opened a children’s museum. It’s nothing fancy or high tech, but we spend hours there. So many play and learning and building stations. They recommend the play for up to 10 years old, so I worried about my almost 9 year old Peyton. But he jumped right in and they both get so excited to go each time we do. At $75 for a family membership for the whole year, well, we are there a lot.

making pizza with their friends

We had a fun cousin pool day at Aunties house this week. I recommend every one have a sister with a pool, its awesome. Especially since my sister is so sweet and held Vesper, so I could swim, well, float around in a floatie.

When I say cousin day, I mean cousins. Mine and Amanda’s 2 first cousins came with their kids, so there were 13 cousins hanging around.

thank you Preston (my 6 year old nephew) for getting this awesome shot of Peyton diving!

While we have moments that we intensely miss traveling, and will do it again. It’s days like this that remind me of why we decided to stay a little while here in America.

Vesper is wearing her cousins, Haylie’s dress (on the left) from when she was a baby!

Jarrett took an extra day off this week, so we had a little staycation on the island. We hit up the beach and went out to eat a few times. It was very relaxing and a great mid-summer break. He has been working on a new book, so we also gave him some alone time to write. 

I didn’t know this at the time, but Peyton told me later that Conner and him were talking about how if Trek was here, he would be sitting right in between them

out to dinner at our favorite fancy restaurant-The Grotto

this is Conner’s food haven-its the only place we let him order cheese (he is allergic), his stomach is usually a little upset, but he is in the BEST mood from the happiness of getting spoiled and ordering all his favorite food

Vesper had her first dip in the ocean, she seemed to like it. I was waiting until she started to smile, so I could tell if she liked it or not. There were no smiles, but the ocean is bath-tub warm and she kicked her feet around in the water and smooshed her toes in the sand, so I am pretty sure she is going to be a beach babe.

the Aquarium with my sister and nephews

And then the rest of the time we were home doing our usual. Being complete lazy bums. I let Vesper nap on my chest while I read Kindle books (wasn’t that nice of me?) ha!:) The boys played toys, made messes, played the Wii, and played outside. I cooked simple meals, kept the house clean, the laundry done, fed the baby, played board games, had photo shoots with Vesper, and watched movies with the boys. It was nice. And then at the end of the day, our favorite guy came home, and we snuggled and played with Jarrett until bed time.

the boys and I had a deep cleaning day for their room. We dumped every box and bucket out in the middle, and then put it all back a little more organized than before.

Amanda and I had a slumber party. Since we each have a baby that is dependent on our boobs, we decided to invite all the children too. The husbands were not invited. It was fun.

I ordered Vesper Honest Company diapers-we LOVE them

Auntie making us all homemade M & M blizzards

Peyton even gave me and Amanda feet massages (his idea!)

I don’t know why I love this photo so much, it makes me smile. If I had any more wall space for more photos, I’d frame it.

Jarrett was in charge of dressing Vesper for the day, this is how she emerged from the room:) Conner even found the matching Cinderella head band all on his own from the headband box.

Vesper had a long nap in our guest bedroom downstairs while I set up our new outdoor hanging furniture. I have been patiently waiting for Jarrett to give me the go-ahead to order a new hammock and some hanging chairs for awhile. This week was the week, and he even upped the ante and bought a grill.

the small blue hanging foot rest got its own spot. we had one on our lanai in Maui, the boys LOVED it for a swing

Peyton on Maui almost 3 years ago

I am pretty sure no house we ever live in will be complete with out hanging chairs. Me and Trek fell in love in our one on Maui, as you can tell, we used it so much I had to patch it. I ordered 2 for this house for me and Vesper to now swing in.

Have a wonderful week!!!

love, Chelsea



What to Expect Article: The Moment I Conquered my Fear of Breastfeeding in Public

I am slowly crawling out of newborn love land and actually wrote an article for What to Expect again (ok, not really, its 5:23 pm and I am in my night gown:) But anyhoo, the topic was breastfeeding, so I had a bunch of moments to choose from with these 4 nurslings I had (and now have with Vesper). But it seemed good to start at the beginning with Peyton, that was almost 9 years ago! But I remember every moment with so much happiness. Even if I did nurse him in a public toilet stall:)

breastfeeding on a dock in Utila Honduras

The Moment I Conquered my Fear of Breastfeeding in Public


on Trek after Vesper

I have had 2 dreams about Trek since Vesper was born. I have only had 9 dreams before those in the 2 years since he died, so that’s a lot for me. They were so simple. The first was 2 weeks after her birth. I was holding him, and he was as he was, towards the end of his life-adorable, small, and big blue eyes. I could tell he needed some pain medicine, so I asked Jarrett to bring me some morphine, and that was it. It was serene and he was in my arms, a perfect moment. The other was 2 nights ago. Vesper was alive in it, but I did not see her, I just knew she was there because I knew the milk in my breasts was hers. Someone else had Trek and I ran over to them. I knew he was supposed to be gone, I was a little surprised to see him, but not really. I calmly took him, and shushed someone who was trying to tell me that he was not supposed to be there. I knew he just needed me to hold and feed him. In the dream I was relieved that I had already given birth to Vesper and that I had milk for him. I started to breastfeed him and soaked in his beautiful face and that was all. Perfect again.

His absence has been intensified since Vesper has been born. The 7 year gap between her and Conner seems huge.

there is literally a huge gap where Trek should be standing

In my head and heart I see him there, but knowing that most people around me don’t know or see him, kills me. Jarrett and I were talking about how it would be to add a 3 year old Trek to the family mix right now. I would be younger and lighter and free and so completely overwhelmed with joy. My nest would be full.

When Trek was taken from us at 14 months old, the natural cycle of parenthood just ended in a millisecond. There would be no potty training, or play doh, or funny dances, or cute phrases. It never came. It was cut off so painfully and sharply. It was so easy when Peyton and Conner transitioned from baby to toddler. My energy had to go up, as a toddler always demands. It was amazing fun, I built forts in the living room, we planted fairy gardens, I ran everywhere just so I could keep up with them. But it never came with Trek, that natural rise in energy. And no matter how I try to recreate it to keep our lives and energy the same for the boys, nothing will ever be that organic or pure as when your child is leading the way.

I would have played Play doh with you for hours Trek.

We are taught our whole lives that things will get better. I think its partly a human thing, and partly an American one. If you scrape your knee it will eventually heal, if your heart gets broken there will be another love, if the money is not there one month, you still magically live in the same house the next and have food on your table. It doesn’t always turn out perfect, but for the most part, it has always been true, things get better or work out.

That is why it is so conflicting and completely uncomprehensible when your child dies. Your brain and coping mechanisms, immediately go to the place where it will get better. It searches and searches, but it never finds the answer, because it won’t get better. They won’t come back, and you won’t ever feel whole again, you literally will never be whole again.

But part of me must believe it. I feel myself going towards a dark place, where I fully comprehend that I will never see Trek’s hair grow long enough to grow curls, never watch him throw a ball, say a word, write his letters, feel him hug me, run, make a friend, walk down the aisle, conquer a fear, hold his own child, meet his wife, me hold his child. I comprehend pieces of it, I have dark moments full of tears and longing and claustrophobia because I want it to happen sooooooooooooo bad, but it just won’t. I want to scream and do something, anything, to get him back.

Maybe I know it won’t help, that I can’t do anything, or maybe some part thinks it can be fixed. I would not be surprised if someone knocked on my door right now and handed him to me. I think it would be like my dream and I would just hold him and love him and feed him and be his mommy again. I think I would think, “see Chelsea, it does get better, it always does”.

I remember when my milk dried up a few weeks after Trek died, I was so worried. What if it was a mistake, what if he still needed that milk, what if he came back and it was gone. Maybe that is why I am having more dreams of my baby. I feel like I can truly take care of him again since I have milk.


2 months with Vesper

Vesper is exactly 2 months old today! What an amazing 2 months it has been, we want to keep her forever and ever!!!

-She still likes to nurse every hour and hates to be put down. She likes to be held non-stop, so thankfully she has 2 big brother holders in addition to mama and daddy!

-She is staying awake a little more, but still sleeps almost all day.

-She is doing sooo much better in the carseat on car rides now since she has a pacifier-thank you paci!

-She started smiling 2 nights ago, at daddy (of course!), right before she turned 8 weeks. She smiled at me for the first time today (heart melt) !!! (All our babies do things on the later side, so don’t freak out when she is crawling when others are walking, and sitting when other babies are standing-hehe:)

-She just graduated to her 0-3 month clothes, so its really hard to pick out which adorable dress she will wear each day!

-I am not sure how much she weighs, she goes to her 2 month check-up in a few days

I have been lamo about writing lately, thankfully I have not been lame about taking pictures though! My snapfish account is full of photos organized by week (or even days-haha). I just need to transfer them over to the blog with some commentary now. I hope to get caught up soon, so I don’t get too behind on Vesper’s little life thus far and Peyton’s and Conner’s. I have her birth story written and most of the photos added, so that will be coming soon, along with our trip to Colorado (her first plane ride!), and our amazing experience at the Wylder Nation Warrior gala. But for today, here is Vesper and Peyton and Conner around here for the past couple of weeks!

Besides the gala and Vesper’s and my weekend trip to Colorado, we have just been hanging around the house and a little around town. We have a membership to a water park in town, so we go there at least once a week. We had a family cold for 2 whole weeks-even Vesper, so we were extra lazy because of that. But thankfully we are all better now!

a rainbow for our Rainbow baby

Peyton training for Ninja Warrior while watching American Ninja Warrior. He has been watching the original Japanese Ninja Warrior since he was 4 years old and training for it. He would set up a training course on our lanai in Maui, and work on it for hours, I have videos of it, its so cute:) We tried to go see it when we visited Japan 2 years ago, but you have to be a family member of a contestant to go in Japan. Peyton was so excited that they have it in America now. Only 12 more years until he can defeat Mt. Midoriyama himself:)

Peyton 4 years old on his rope ladder (I loved his long Hawaii blonde hair:)

climbing a rock face at 4 years old in Maui

more training:) ( I wish my body did that!)

Peyton asked if he could put Vesper to sleep while I cooked, and he actually did!

him and Conner are such amazing brothers

and then little burrito snuggled daddy when he got home

my college roommate Lacy came to meet Vesper:)

*sigh of relief* her size Newborn sleeper still fit her:)

I wished I looked good in those short rompers-they are soo cute!

After many days and several pacifier brand tries, she finally found one she liked:) I used pacifiers with Peyton and Conner because they would nurse so much they would throw up, Vesper started doing the same thing. She has not thrown up since she started using it:) (Trek would have nothing to do with them-hehe:)

I made a “Bored Box” the other day. While the boys have not actually used the word “bored” yet, there was a lot of electronic entertainment going on. So I silently threw together this box from the craft cabinet, and set it out. It was a huge hit and they played for hours out of it.

spending the day at Aunties for 4th of July

my brother in law-Chet, and Jarrett with Vesper

my brother and his family came too, so all the cousins were together! (10 in all, but only 9 little bodies since Trek is not here)

Conner helps me pick out Vesper’s hair bow every day

he’s actually getting really good at it:)

look who got her first Babikini! hehe

we were all freaking out from the cuteness

hehe, Vesper is not sure what to think

do you see a pattern?! Conner is a Vesper fanatic! :)

the present I brought back for Conner from my trip-teeny Beanie Boos that McDonalds has right now:) 

Conner again-ha!