Thursday, October 22, 2015

Photo update

earlier this week -these two are loving each other!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Preview of Settling Into Life with Two

1) I'm hoping to be BACK to blogging. Yes, I know. Its been 2 yrs (almost). Life with a toddler and working and household, etc are time-consuming. But I'm hoping to write more. So here is the start of it.

My dear friend, Sarah, sent me a link to an article today. "The One Thing to Know Before Having 2 Kids" (

Yes, its true... We are about to have 2 kids. One month from today. Its mind-boggling, but exciting and fun and the kind of adventure I had almost given up on before I met Curby.

Anyway, I read the article, and here is my reply to Sarah - yes, I'm using an email reply as my first post in 2 years. Hey, efficiency!


Thanks for this article - I get super stressed out thinking about the transition to life with 2 sometimes. Things like "how are we going to get PJ to want to change clothes and diapers in her room instead of ours?" (since the baby will be sleeping in ours at first) or "what am I going to do for the 6-8 wks I'm not allowed/able to lift her and do bedtime?" 

Then the Lord does it for me, suddenly Penny only wants to be changed on the floor of her room (she panics on the changing table - no idea why) and is excited to put on pajamas and clothes in there - even though we've never really said "we're doing this now." And I am reminded that 1) I'm not in this alone. and 2) its all going to be OK. 

I've been so tired when Penny and I get back from daycare pick up (I walk to get her with the stroller and Tiny and then we walk back - good exercise and really all that I'm getting these days) - anyway, so tired, that I've mostly given in to watching 30 minutes of TV before dinner - either "Paw Patrol" or "Bubble Guppies" - soon enough you'll learn about these, but she preferred Sesame Street for a long time (like 18 months -24 mo - before that she didn't watch TV really). Anyway, one day I just said, "she is not going to be ruined by this. she is smart and active and curious and this 30 minutes will not kill us." and that's pretty much our motto in general. "Tylenol if she's not feeling good is fine." "Iphone games when its almost nap time and I just want to finish my lunch at the burger king is fine" "staying up late once in a while is fine" 

When I remember those things, then I remember "Having 2 will be fine. We'll figure it out and it won't kill us." A good reminder for today.

Have you and Myles started talking about plans for any more kids? It was around when PJ was 11 months that I finally started to feel ready to even talk about it. Of course, then we immediately and accidentally got pregnant because I miscalculated my cycle. That was the miscarriage we had last spring. I was not ready to be pregnant when we got that result. Heartbroken to lose the pregnancy of course, but very aware that Penny was going to be 18 months old and have a sibling and I was barely keeping my head above water then. 2 yrs old is much better - she is such a "big girl" in her mind - she doesn't want to sit in a booster or high chair "big girl chair!" and she wants big girl cups and to eat what mommy and daddy eat (e.g., cereal) and has so much more agency now. 

Love you woman. Miss you lots.

Thoughts friends? Do you have two? What was the hardest part of your transition? What was the easiest part? What fear did you have that turned out to be not the case?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Penelope at One Month Old

Just a few photos to commemorate our little baby at one month old...

Weight - about 9 lbs
Height - about 21"
Eats - every 2 1/2 to 3 hours, a mix of  breastmilk and formula
Wears - 0-3 month clothes (grew out of her newborn clothes around week 4)
Likes - to hear mommy singing and daddy talking about baseball, taking a bath
Dislikes - a wet or poopy diaper, the Moby wrap

* Family visitors during the first month: Grama and Grampa Riggers, Nannie Piehl
* Other visitors during the first month: Emily Cox, Chris McMahan, Amy and Matt Thomas, Jenn Hines, Joe and Cristina Prusz, Linda Sax and Sammi Becker, Mikey Rombouts, Jared Allen, Wendy and Adam Ayers, Katie Schaller, Cori Coser, Andrea Manella, Kelly Wise, Louise Jaffe, Kate Lehman, Jane Pizzolato, Mark and Mandy Cummings (forgive me if you visited and I don't have you written down - just add your name to the comments and I'll add you! I am sleep deprived....)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Birth of Penelope Joy - our $100,000 girl.

Our pregnancy was remarkably normal. (A special blessing after having an early miscarriage of our previous/first pregnancy) We had no complications, the baby was developing as expected, I had low/normal blood pressure and reasonable weight gain (28lbs in the final count). So imagine our surprise to find ourselves admitted to the hospital 10 days before Penelope Joy was scheduled to arrive!

Curby kept saying that Penny would be born on 3/26 - a full week before she was due. I argued that first babies are seldom born early and that he was going to be disappointed. But 3/26 was the two-year anniversary of our first date and Curby remained adamant that he had a "weird feeling" that she'd be delivered that day.

About a week and a half before Penny was due, Curby was working late. He had rescheduled his once-monthly late night at work to be on 3/22, so that he didn't have to work late on Good Friday - which was the following week. I had done some work from home that day and was planning to spend the evening watching TLC and HGTV. My agenda was mostly to do dishes, clean the kitchen and finish folding the laundry. 

As I was sitting on the couch, I got a warm flush feeling across the left side of my face and down my left arm. Suddenly my left arm was tingling all the way down to my hand (like a pinched nerve), my hand swelled up, and then my hand got very stiff and slow. I thought maybe I had just pinched something - even though I hadn't moved at all - and so I got an ice pack and tried to ice it to make it better. I walked around the house a couple minutes, but though the tingling had subsided, my hand was now like deadweight. I could lift my arm and bend my elbow, but couldn't really control my fingers or hand. After texting with Curby and calling the Nurseline (who suggested I call 911), we decided Curby would come home and take me to the emergency room.

We had already put our hospital bag in the trunk and the car seat was installed in the car, just in case, but I didn't really think we were going to be admitted to the hospital, so we didn't take anything else (none of the extra stuff we had for labor/delivery - like my ipod or stuff to entertain us while we hung out in the hospital - not my glasses or toothbrush...). I was wearing a skirt, for crying out loud, and thankfully had taken a sweater at least, Curby didn't even have that!

We had to go to the hospital in Santa Monica, instead of the one we were planning to deliver at - in Westwood - because traffic was so bad on the route to Westwood. I was worried, because I didn't want to get stuck in Santa Monica - our doctor and her practice deliver in Westwood. But Curby was adamant that getting me to the emergency room as fast as possible was the priority. He had looked up my symptoms and told me that they seemed like stroke symptoms - I still thought it was something less worrisome, since I felt fine and could walk and talk (though my left hand was now completely useless).

After doing triage, and waiting for a while, they took us back into the ER and began a series of tests. They sent me for an MRI - that lasted almost an hour (on my back, pregnant, back going out - so uncomfortable) and then back to the ER. By now it was almost midnight, so we contacted a friend to go let the dog out for us. They sent someone down to monitor the baby, and the ER doctor came in to tell us that the MRI did indeed show that I had had a stroke. He wanted us to stay for a few more tests, and at one point the nurse suggested that I was unlikely to be discharged until after we delivered the baby. All of this was happening in the middle of the night, I sent Curby home to get a few things and check on the dog around 2am. When he got back, we tried to sleep a bit, but mostly just ended up talking.

Sometime after that, they came and told us they were going to transfer us to the hospital in Westwood. So I had my first ambulance ride ever, on Saturday morning the 23rd. We arrived at L&D and were greeted by the greatest nurses and put into a triage room. I was hooked up to cardio and fetal monitors as well as an IV and thrombosis leg things ("massagers"). Over the next three days, we had every test I could imagine, from ultrasounds of my heart and brain, to neuro checks every 4 hours, and regular meetings with a variety of physicians from the OB, Neuro, and Cardio teams. Curby slept in the triage room with me, after going home to get more of our hospital supplies, and getting the dog to our sitter. 

In the ambulance... Curby followed behind us in the car.
The next three days were a series of ups and downs. Ups: We had a number of friends come to visit us, which was great for my spirits, and we had a GREAT team of nurses. Downs: The anesthesia team said that we would not be able to have an epidural/spinal no matter how we delivered. So if we ended up having a c-section I'd have to have general anasthesia, and if we had a vaginal deliver, we'd only be able to have narcotic medication. I was discouraged because I didn't want to be under if I had a c-section. Thankfully, the doctors later determined that they could administer a spinal safely, so I wouldn't have to have general anesthesia.

Curby trying to get some rest in the hospital (on his tiny fold out chair/bed)
Then the other doctors kept saying I'd need a bunch of tests before they could decide what to do about the baby and there was some talk that we'd get discharged and return to have the baby, but that was short-lived. Finally, they determined that it was safer for me to have a c-section instead of a vaginal delivery, but the question was when. The doctors at our hospital prefer not to deliver before 39 weeks if possible, and that meant that anytime after the following Tuesday was fair game.

Finally, The attending OB came to my room on Monday evening (after 3+ days in hospital) and said, "Well, they've determined that any other tests can wait until after you deliver. So since you are 39 weeks tomorrow... we're going to deliver your baby tomorrow!" We were thrilled - and not just because Curby had been proven right... little Penny was going to be born on 3/26 after all - but because we were willing to endure another day in the hospital, of fasting and waiting, if at the end we'd have our little baby!

The next day, they told us that we were the 4th section scheduled, of 4 - and that although we were scheduled at 2pm, not to count on it happening right then. But they assured us that they were going to deliver the baby that day no matter what. Our good friend, who had agreed to be a birth coach with us, came up and spent the afternoon talking and praying with us. It was a sweet, sweet time and we were so blessed to have her gentle spirit with us. At around 3pm the nurses said they were going to start prepping for our surgery, and by 4pm we were dressed and I was walking down into the OR. I used my breathing techniques to help get through my nervousness at not having Curby there yet, and during the epidural and we got started. I had not had enough fluids pushed before hand, so that was of some concern but they moved forward with the procedure.

Our friend, Kathy, served as our birth coach and prayer  warrior before and during our labor.
Before long, I was numb and Curby had come in in his scrubs to sit by me. Our OBGYN had arranged her schedule so that she could be the attending in the surgery - which was great! The Anesthesiologist kept us apprised of what was happening on the other side of the curtain, and Curby filmed me during the procedure. Eventually I felt a lot of pressure and there was some chaos on the side - my doctor was asking for a step and to lower the table (it was as low as it would go) and then I felt a huge pressure on my belly and heard the doctor say she had gotten the baby out. She said that the baby's big head was really wedged in there and that she wasn't sure if the baby would have even been able to be  delivered vaginally had we gone any closer to our due date. In fact, the Resident physician (who our doctor was teaching through the procedure), couldn't pull the baby out and our doctor had to step in.

Curby went over to the baby and watched as they got her cleaned up and did her APGAR, etc. It was the longest 5 minutes of my life as I waited for them to bring the baby over to me. I couldn't hear her cry and was getting nervous about all of it when finally she cried and everyone cheered and then soon after that they brought her over so I could meet her and we could be together for a few minutes. Penelope Joy was born at 4:55pm on March 26th, weighing in at 8lbs, 6oz, 19.5" long (with a 14" head!)

I started feeling some sensation so they gave me a narcotic to dull the pain, but it made me nauseated. Then they got me all stitched up and put the baby in my arms and wheeled me into recovery. I had lost more blood than they wanted and hadn't had enough fluids during the surgery, so my body temp was too low. But because of the nausea, I felt sick and hot and did not want them to keep layering on warm blankets. I just wanted to be with my little baby. They tried to put in a new IV (the existing one had gone bad) and I was too dehydrated, so 3 failed tries later (by the nurse who is GOOD at IVs), they finally had to put it in the back of my hand.

New Dad in the Recovery Area
After about 3 hours, we were moved into a post-partum room. There was some additional drama (we didn't get settled there for another 2 hours because they didn't have a cardio monitor for me) but in the end, we were there with our little girl and able to have some skin time and just get to revel in how amazing it all was and how amazing she is. 

Finally getting to cuddle with my little girl.
We were discharged 3 days later - making it 6 full days in the hospital. We recently saw some of the insurance claims for the whole experience and the price billed to insurance (NOT to us!) is over $100,000, so we're calling little Penny our Hundred Grand Girl and praising God that we have a healthy baby... and insurance with an out-of-pocket maximum.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

One last plea.... for your photos!

Hola Friends! 

As some of you know, I just recently put together a wedding photo album with all of our professional photos (you can view it over at

I’ll be honest, I’m pretty excited, and I can’t wait for it to arrive. I think I may spend the first three days of possession just going through it again and again.

We also want to make a photobook of the candid photos taken on the wedding day (and including some of the other events, like karaoke, rehearsal and engagement party). But to do that, we need your help!

If you were at the wedding and you took photos, could you please contribute them to our online wedding album?

You can do this a couple different ways:
1    1)    You can email photos to us at: tiffandcurby DOT lovebirds AT picasaweb DOT com.. No subject line necessary, just email them to us as attachments and they will automatically go into our photo album drop box.
              2) You can upload photos directly if you would like – to do that, please email us: tiffandcurby AT gmail DOT com and let us know you’d like to do this option and I’ll send you a link to an album. (this way you can upload a bunch of pics at once)

You can VIEW some of the candid pictures that have been uploaded already at this link: The Story of Tiff and Curby 

Dear friends - seriously, help us out here, and get YOUR photos featured in our memories forever.

(and in return, I promise to blog about our life very very soon - school is almost out, so its a real promise!)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Events of the week! (part 3)

(part 3 in the very detailed "wedding week events" series)

Thursday dawned with three big events on the horizon. First, Mom, Curby, and I, along with my matrons of honor and Jr. Bridesmaid were going to the Flower Mart in downtown LA to buy the flowers for the wedding, and then in the evening Curby had a bachelor party and I had a lingerie party.

Going to the Flower Mart in the morning was something I had been looking forward to for a long time. I went there a year ago with my faculty advisor, to do the flowers for her daughter's Bat Mitzvah, and was in awe of all the flowers and their great prices. Once Curby and I got engaged, I knew that I wanted to us to do our own flowers and that we would be getting them at the flower mart. :) Kathryn went with me to the market in July, to get some practice flowers and figure out how much we'd have to budget for flowers.  That trip was super fun, on its own.

On the Thursday before the wedding, we all got up early and caravanned to the flower market. It was a special time for me, since I got to have Candice, Karen and Andi there. We didn't have many other times to really visit during the weekend, and Candice got to have some car time getting to know Curby which was really nice, too.

We wandered the market, picking up flowers that mom and I had identified earlier in the week and finding the very best roses, etc, for the bouquets. All in all, we ended up with about 10 dozen or so roses, some Lisanthiams (i think?), Picasso Calla Lilies, Misty Blue Heather, and some Boxwood to use as greenery. It was a lot of fun and we were all in awe of the beauty of the market. A couple collages of pictures are below.

some flower market memories - including some of the very few pics of Candice and I together! 

My handsome (future) husband!

Can you believe what a grown up Andi has become!? I loved having her at the market with us!

While there are no pictures from Curby's Bachelor Party (that I know of, LOL), there are a few photos from the Lingerie Party the girls had later that night. We are super indebted to Mark C (one of Curby's Best Men) for crafting a really fun and special evening for Curby, and to Jessica R, Barb V-M, and Sarah M-W for crafting an entertaining and fun evening for me. The girls and I enjoyed cocktails, sweet and salty snacks, while opening lingerie presents. It was really fun to share this evening with some of my closest friends in LA and from around the country. My bachelorette party was really fun (we did Accomplice: Hollywood - blog post to come!) but this was a really fun way to spend time with the friends and family who were out of town for that event.

(had to show at least one piece of lingerie, right?)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Events of the Week! (part 2)

(part 2 in the series of posts we stole from Tiff's blog - enjoy!)

Wednesday was the first real day of "Wedding Time." We had meticulously planned the week leading up to the wedding to ensure a few very important things:
1) I wanted to be able to not be stressed out during the week - to just be able to enjoy my friends and family that had come into town. After all, many had come from far away - and the Bullards had come all the way from England. I just wanted to be able to see them all.
2) I wanted to be able to have fun events that were not centered around getting ready for the wedding - for example, I wanted Curby and I to be able to go to Disneyland on Wednesday with the Fergasons.

Early in our conversations about their trip out to LA, Curby and I had talked to the Fergasons about going to Disneyland when they were here. The kids started saving up their money for the trip, and Curby and I started planning the wedding week in a way that we could go with them. Our moms agreed to stay at the house, watch Tiny, and finish a few crafts for us. On Tuesday night, I had sewn all the wedding programs (I'll post a picture of one later), but we still had a few things that the moms were going to do for us - like putting together the centerpieces and wrapping the gifts for the wedding party. (Our moms really are champs, people, CHAMPS, I say!)

Early in planning our wedding week and trip to Disney, we had decided that if there were going to be 12 of us - and 6 who were under the age of 14 - we needed matching shirts. So we decided to have shirts made for our whole bridal party (4 of the 14 were fergasons), and for all the fergason family. For those of us who went to Disney, we put a little Mickey iron-on patch and everyone's names on the sleeve. It was really fun to be matching at Disney and its a great memento, still, of the wedding.

The morning of that Wednesday Curby came and picked me up and we drove over to where the Fergs were staying. We ended up caravanning down to Anaheim, and we took two of the older kids - Jared and Ryan - with us. It was fun to visit with them and they had a lot of questions about what to expect at Disney. The day ended up being a big success! We got to ride Star Tours and then a bunch of roller coasters. Later, we all had our own ice cream sundaes, and before Curby and I left them for the day (they stayed till the end of the night), we were able to watch three of the boys participate in the Jedi Training - which was really fun to see.

Overall, we had a great, great time, and would not have missed it for the world! For those of you who are engaged out there, I would totally encourage you to plan your week so that you can have fun things like this in the schedule. The events, like this one and the others that happened later in the week, are the things that really made the week special. And frankly, without some of these events I would not have gotten to see my friends or family hardly at all during the week - at least not outside of "work times." We made some really precious memories on that Wednesday!