#TuckerUp365Real Challenge

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year!

I've been thinking and praying a lot about what I want out of this next year. I feel very content and happy with stepping out of my role as a teacher and staying home full time with Graham and Hayes, but I do feel the pull for something more...something where I can connect and interact with others! If I'm going to be "online," I feel like, big or small, I want to influence others in a positive way.

And, what better way than INSTAGRAM (@SarahTuckerUp)!

It is 2020, so that answer shouldn't surprise you. The reality is that I'm just a regular 'ole suburban mom, looking for some adult interaction, without having to leave the house, because we all know it takes two hours just to prepare to leave the house, so ain't nobody got time for that.

With that said, I have come up with the #TuckerUp365Real Challenge.

If you ask anyone who knows me how they would describe Sarah Tucker, they'd (probably) say "honest and real." I have always been someone who tells it like it is, doesn't have any shame at all for looking like a raggity hot mess in public, and I've never cared to have everything in my life look "perfect."

So, in an effort to regain some "realness" on Instagram, I've come up with a 365 day challenge. Each day I'm going to try to post a "real" picture with a "real" caption. Am I going to use my preset to make my picture look a little better? Yes. But, I will guarantee the filter will not filter out the meaning of the picture.

I may post a messy bathroom, my child mid tantrum, me with no make-up and still in my pajamas at 4pm on a weekday, Taco Bell for dinner...you name it, I'm posting real life stuff.

Now, are there happy and great things that happen in real life? YES! Do I sometimes crank out a delicious meal? Yes! I will be posting those! When my house is clean and things look orderly, I will most likely post it. When I actually get dressed up and look like a human, that's real, and definitely worth posting.

What I am aiming for is more meaningful captions and pictures. More real pictures. Captions and pictures that tell a story, so that years from now I can look back at my Instagram and remember my real life, not just the highlights. I will always remember the highlights, but I want to remember that some days I've got it all together, and some days I don't!

I want to make other moms know that we are all in this together.

I want to make other women know that not looking picture perfect all the time is normal and okay!

I want to show that my toddler, too, screams at me and calls me things he's heard on the internet.

I want to show that my heart breaks and I cry real tears over things like my friend's infertility,  stubbing my toe, or not getting enough sleep.

I want to show that I wish I worked out more, but this season of life is precious and I just don't want to right now.

I want to show that my marriage is amazing, but also a man named Chris Tucker really urks me sometimes.

I want to just be real.

And, I want YOU to be real with me.

SO, starting tomorrow, January, 1, 2020, I want you to post a REAL picture.

It could be a real quote, it could be your gorgeous home, it can be whatever you want! I just want it to be real, and honest, and something that you can look back on 10 years from know and cherish. I want you to caption it with honesty. If you love your house, post it and say it! If you hate your hair in a picture, say it! I just want. to. be. real.

When you post, use the hashtag #TuckerUp365Real and tag me @SarahTuckerUp and I will share all the real photos!

I can't wait to make 2020 the year of less "this is what my life should look like," and more of "I'm thankful for this life I have!"

Cheers, friends!!

Hayes || 3 + 4 Months

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

We've got a FOUR month old. I feel like I remember having yesterday, but I know that each stage gets sweeter and sweeter.

This time around Chris and I feel like we are really soaking in the infant stage. With Graham, we were in survival mode. This time is so sweet!

I missed his three month update, so I will recap months three and four. This little blog space is like my family's scrapbook, so I want to get these thoughts out while they're still fresh!

During months three and four Hayes:

- This was a really sick 'season' for our family. Hayes was born July 11th and was sick with a chest cold by August 11th, and that developed into worse illnesses as time progressed. In the middle of his choking fits, throwing up, wheezing, I kept praying that we get through these sicknesses as quick as possible. Now, looking back, he was sick a really long time, but we are on the other side of it all and just praying he stays healthy.

- He had bronchiolitis from September 19th until it developed into RSV. The week of October 7th we noticed that he was having major rapid breathing, throwing up, and having deep chest retractions. We took him into his pediatrician on a Saturday morning after observing deep retractions and rapid breathing after a 10 minute breathing treatment(so thankful they are open Saturday mornings!) and she sent us straight to Children's Hospital. At the hospital they took an X-Ray and confirmed the RSV diagnosis. Hayes's oxygen levels were stable enough for him to go home.

- Started to grab things on his play mat!

- Hatesssss being in his car seat unless it is moving. I think, maybe, because he struggled to breathe for so long that the angle of the car seat was uncomfortable for him? I really don't know, but just within the last week he has gotten a little better and doesn't scream the whole time.

- Gave us a couple of nights sleeping 12 hours!

Now, for month four stats and fun facts:

Nicknames: Hayzers, Hayyyyyy-zerrrrs (and my phone ALWAYS thinks I'm saying, "Hey, Siri!"), Haze-a-roni, Rhones (derived from HAze-a-roni), Rhoner (??).

Weight and Height: Hayes is still turning out to be the lighter Tucker boy. At this age, Graham was two full pounds heavier than Hayes. Hayes is weighing in at 15 pounds 11.5 ounces and 25 inches long of pure perfection!

Clothes Size: Depends on the brand, but mostly six month clothing and pajamas.

Likes: Hayes loves when his brother acts like a shark is coming towards him and then he tickles his cheeks. He is loving bath time. He loves his play mat and staring at the Christmas tree. He likes to be held and is a talker!

Dislikes: Putting him down when no one is there to entertain him, naps in his crib...did I mention he hates naps in his crib? He is not as content in his swing anymore, but he is starting to love his jumper! He also hates being in the car, until he falls asleep. He is fine in his carseat in the stroller, on the ground, etc., but in the car...it is horrible!

Sleep: Homeboy is a MUCH better sleeper than his big brother. He has given us a few nights of sleeping all the way through the night (12 hours), but I would say he is still waking one a night to eat around 3/4am most days. Once a night is totally doable and we don't have any plans on formally sleep training him at this point! I've read all of Taking Cara Babies and she has some great tips and says that at this age, once a night is right on track, so I'm going with it. I see it as I can feed him, or I have to get up and pump, so I'd rather just feed him if he wakes up! I LOVE holding his hand and getting that extra little snuggle with him in the middle of the night. I seriously just look at him with the biggest heart eyes.

Schedule: It is so weird because both boys seem to wake up at the same time each day, but not the same time...as in some days they'll both be up at 6:30am, but other days both be up at 7:30am. It is like when one wakes up, the other knows! HA!

We have something every morning Monday - Thursday at 9:00am, so Hayes sometimes squeezes in a nap before we leave, but most days he gets a car nap in the morning. Depending on the time he wakes up, he goes back down between 11-12pm, then again around 3-4pm, and cat naps somewhere between 5-6pm. He is definitely not on a strict schedule because we've got places to be and he is just along for the ride. Honestly, I'm not that stressed about it and he's been pretty go with the flow!

He does have a bedtime around 7pm. We don't do a bath every night, but we do change his clothes, diaper, then he gets a 5-7oz bottle, we swaddle him, and he puts himself to sleep.

Milestones: At the doctor's office on November 12th (4 months and 1 day old), he rolled from tummy to back several times. He has done it a few times since, but not consistently! We tried infant oatmeal and he did what every other baby does, spit it out. He can almost sit up, he has great head control in his jumper, he talks a lot, he gives soooo many smiles, and is overall the sweetest little guy!

Looking forward to: Watching Hayes become more interactive with Graham. They're going to be the best of friends, and their relationship is something I can't wait to see blossom.

Hayes Ross,

You've been through the ringer, little one. You've been sick so much, yet, through it all, you're the happiest kid around. You are so smiley, and your smile takes up your whole face! People say you look like your mama, and I couldn't be happier. I need at least one kid to look like me! You've completely stolen your brother's heart. He demands to hold, hug, and kiss you a thousand times a day. 

When we found out you were a boy, I knew I wanted you to be Hayes. Your dad wasn't quite onboard with the name yet, but seeing you now, we can't imagine you as anything other than our Hayzers. I know how fun it is to watch you grow, but I really want to soak in all your snuggles because I know time flies. The way your stretch when we unwrap your swaddle, or how you nuzzle your head in my neck when you're tired. It all melts me. One day you'll be big like your brother and mom will struggle to lift you, so, for right now, I will hold you and pick you up as much as your want. 

You're the perfect addition to our family, little one.

WE love you so you much!


My 'H' Initial Ring + A Funny Story

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Rings and Hayes

I never bought into the whole idea of a push present, but I always knew that I wanted something I could wear or carry to remind me of my kids. When I first had Graham, I bought a very dainty gold 'G' necklace, but I am just not a wear-it-everyday-never-take-it-off necklace girl. I am a ring girl. I've worn a ring on my right ring finger as long as I can remember, so it was very natural for me to opt for a sentimental ring to symbolize my boys as opposed to something else.

When I was a teenager my grandparents gifted myself and my two girl cousins matching necklaces. My grandparents had gold rings melted down, collected all the diamonds and brought all their "treasure" to a jewelry designer to make matching pendant necklaces for us three girls.

You can imagine how excited I was as a young girl to receive a diamond necklace! I wore that necklace for all the special occasions, and anytime I visited my grandparents.

Then, one day I remember my older cousin (eleven years older) telling me that she never wears hers because the pendant looks like....ummm...male anatomy (you can sort of see the shape in the picture below). I was like WHAT?! My maiden name is Isenberg, so our grandparents had the pendant designed to look like an "I," but once my cousin clued me in on what it really looked like, I couldn't not see that. So, that was the end of me ever wearing that necklace again. (When I find a close up picture of the necklace, I will add it to this post!!)

Flash forward to before I had Graham and I decided to bring the necklace in to a local jeweler and have her melt it down and design a ring for me that could be an everyday ring that I could eventually make in to a stack. What she came up with is something so simple and perfect, and Chris gave it to me right after Graham was born, so I consider that ring my "Graham" present. Graham's birthstone is a diamond, so it worked out perfectly that the ring has diamonds on it. Plus, it is super special that the gold and diamonds are from my grandparent's jewelry.

Push Present Ring

When thinking about what I wanted as a "Hayes present," I knew I wanted something I could stack with Graham's ring. Hayes's birthstone is a ruby, which is not my favorite, so I really didn't want something with his birthstone (sorry Hayzers!).

Initial rings and necklaces are so popular, and I loved the idea of getting a dainty ring to stack with my ring from Graham's birth.

When I found this perfect ring, I knew it was the one! It is so dainty and it is as if it was made to stack with my other band. The 14K gold quality matches perfectly, and I can wear both rings stacked together everyday without feeling like the rings are too much.

Initial Ring

Initial Ring

I am so happy I have something that I wear on a daily basis to represent both of my boys. I love that each ring has its own meaning, yet they fit so well together. I can't wait to show these rings off for the rest of my life, and possibly add more to the stack!

Did you receive a "push" present? Do you have any jewelry with someone's initials?

*Thanks to Nakturnal for collaborating on this blog post!

Why the second baby is easier than the first.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Let me start this post by saying this is 100% my opinion, and I also think the age gap between your kids weighs heavily on how difficult this phase of life can be. My boys are three years and four months apart.

I remember getting a positive pregnancy test in August of 2015. That is still one of the most exciting days of my life. I was the girl who always dreamed of my wedding, husband, and kids, so to be pregnant for the first time was a dream come true.

Fast forward to April 1st, 2016, when Graham was born. To say we were in heaven would be an understatement. I remember looking over at Chris, the morning after Graham was born, and seeing him weeping as he looked into our new son's eyes. It is a moment I'll never forget.

We were as smitten as any first time parents, but I'd be lying if I said our world wasn't rocked.

You see, with your first baby you have no idea what to expect. I don't care how much research you've done, how tired you think you know you'll be, how prepared you think you are...you have no idea until you actually become a parent.

Chris and I had been us, just us, for over six years by the time we had Graham. We had always done what we wanted, when we wanted. We had always spent money how we wanted, when we wanted. We had always gone on date night or took a trip without having to think about leaving behind our heart and soul. We had always slept through the night and woke up when we wanted.

Then, you have a baby and that all changes.

Going from no kids to one kid rocked our world. It was the best and hardest thing ever.

When we started to think about baby number two, we got nervous thinking, "Are we ready?" When we finally decided we were ready, we felt extreme peace knowing this time around would be easier.

You see, the second time around you aren't adjusting to some small human coming in and disrupting things. 

You aren't trying to figure out how to keep a newborn alive.

You aren't trying to figure out when you'll sleep again.

You aren't trying to figure out how to get your baby to nap right away or sleep through the night.

You aren't worried about never having alone time again by yourself or with your spouse, or how to navigate marriage and a baby.

You aren't scouring mom blogs and Facebook posts about all the advice from every angle.

You aren't wondering when you'll ever get to shower longer than five minutes. 

Instead, you embrace the disruption knowing things will eventually calm down.

You are less stressed and more confident knowing that you know how to be the perfect caretaker for your baby. 

You don't cry about lost sleep, but, instead, grab that cup of coffee, scoop up your newborn, and cherish their sleepy smiles knowing that one day they won't let you snuggle them like that.

You don't stress about a schedule or naps or sleeping through the night because you know it will come. You don't read books or blogs about babies sleeping through the night right away because 1. you don't believe anyone who says their baby always sleeps through the night, and 2. you know that when your baby is developmentally ready, your baby will do all the "things."

You squeeze in "dates" with your spouse and know that one day you'll get to have solo date nights and solo vacations. You know that one day, soon, your baby will take nice long naps and you'll be anxious for them to wake up because you miss them!

You unfollow most mom blogs and never read the Facebook posts because you know that you have to do what you feel is right for your baby...not what the 1,938 other moms say. You know that too much advice is never a good thing. 

You, now being a seasoned mom, don't even take long showers, so this isn't an issue, ha!

I write all of this to say, it gets better. Everyday, every moment, ever season and stage gets better. Some seasons may challenge you. Some phases may be difficult. Some moments may make you want to fake a poop for thirty minutes just so you can get some alone time. That's all normal.

What I can also say is that the second time is so different than the first. It is a whole different level of love because you now get to see your oldest be a sibling. Seeing Graham as a big brother is something straight out of a fairytale. His pure LOVE for his brother is so genuine and precious.

So, to all you mommas out there hanging on by a thread...it is normal. Life will one day feel normal again. Time is fleeting, so grab that tiny human, snuggle them, and be thankful God chose you to wake up fifteen times a night to care for His child.

Graham || 3.5 Years Old

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

I can't believe it is October 1st! Here in Texas it is still scorching hot, but I'm choosing to think the cold weather is on the horizon. Here's to wishful thinking!

The first of the month always makes me smile because that means our biggest boy is another month older. Today, Graham is officially 3.5 years old. I cannot believe we have a child that old. It still blows our mind that we have two boys, let alone one who is getting so big!

I wanted to jot down some things that Graham does and says because I never, ever want to forget this age...even though some days I'm close to pulling my hair out.

If you follow me on Instagram (@SarahTuckerUp) then you know how talkative and active Graham has always been, so some things I'm jotting down will only make sense if you've seen it in person/on video!

- He is officially in a big boy bed. When I asked him if he was okay giving his crib to Hayes and never sleeping in 'his' room again he said, "That's the truth." Ha!

- Everyday, when I pick him up form school, he asks if I have a treat for him. I talk to him about how treats are special and not something you get everyday. So, on one particular day I told him I forgot the treats at home (thinking he'd forget once we actually got home). Instead, the entire way home he kept saying, "Silly mom! Mom, you're like so, so silly. You for-totally-agot my treats at the house! Hahaha, gosh mom, you're like so, so silly!"

- He loves Hulk and, at random times, he will puff up, look at his muscles, and let out a roar.

- Every morning he kisses and hugs all over Hayes and tells him he is so precious.

- He is very into saying, "right?" after everything. "Mom, this apple is so good, right mom? Right?" "Dad, that was a fun scooter ride, right dad, right?"

- Every single night when we tuck him into bed he yells out, "Love you! Best friend! See you in the morning!" Then he asks, "You can see me? You can hear me? And you're not goin' to close my door?"

- He can spell his name. Up until this point all he could spell was Blippi, haha! If you're a toddler parent, you know Blippi.

- He is very into running super fast, and he actually has great form.

- Playing policeman is his favorite 'game.' Basically, I get a monster truck and he gets a monster truck and I sit in my chair and tell him he's going too fast.

- His favorite foods are apples, granola bars, peanut butter and jelly toast/sandwiches, Cheetos, and frozen Go-Gurts, salad, pizza, and spaghetti. He is not a fan of cheese.

- He loves when I make him a 'picnic." All I do is cut up his food and put it in a muffin tin. He thinks it is the best thing ever.

- He went to the beach for the first time during our vacation to Florida. He loved it! He also passed out before we even pulled the car out of the parking lot.

- Speaking of passing out, he doesn't nap much anymore. He should, but he isn't tired until way too late in the day. We do have a "rest time" everyday and now he goes to bed earlier, so that's a plus!

- Thanks to a very handy daddy, Graham knows almost every tool made, how it works, and he insists on fixing everything.

There are probably a million more things I could write about our boy. We love him so much and are truly so thankful as to how well he has adapted to having a baby brother. He is smart, funny, opinionated, observant, thoughtful, and we are so happy we get to call him ours.

We love you, G!