Meet the Fandrich family – a close-knit family of four whose love for each other is infectious. Mike and Melissa have uploaded either a photo, video, or milestone to Tinybeans every day since their daughter was born in September 2015 (and have added their 8-month-old son to the album!). Their Tinybeans album has over 8,000 moments! We caught up with them to learn more about parenting two young children while maintaining busy dual full-time careers.
Tell us about your family
We’re an active family of four! My husband Mike and I have been married for 10 years. We have two children – Maddie (Madeline) is 3 and our son Will (William) is 8 months old. My husband and I are transplant northerners who moved to Arkansas 6.5 years ago for work. We intended on only staying for three years, but after two kids and three job changes, here we are!
Mike loves golfing and watching sports and I am an avid runner who loves any type of challenging work out, online shopping and watching HGTV. We’re in a challenging phase of life right now with busy dual full-time careers. Maddie is constantly pushing boundaries and Will not consistently sleeping through the night and still nursing but it’s also a very sweet time that we try to cherish when we have a quiet moment.
Like many other parents, we had a longer journey to parenthood. We struggled to get pregnant and found a wonderful local fertility doctor in 2014. After 6 months and multiple rounds of drugs, we tried IUI (intrauterine insemination) in January 2015 and got pregnant on the first try! I remember the moment I saw that positive pregnancy test for the first time in my life. Mike was gone and I sat there by myself in the bathroom, shaking and freaking out a little! When he got home, I had wrapped up the positive test (gross, I know) and a little onesie that said “Made in Arkansas” and told him I had an early birthday present for him. It was so exciting telling family and friends, and I was lucky enough to have an easy pregnancy and a healthy baby girl.
Since we struggled to have Maddie, I assumed it would be the same for any future babies but one day when Maddie was almost 2, I took a pregnancy test on a whim just to rule it out and we got a welcome surprise that I was pregnant with baby #2!
Maddie looks like her daddy but has her mother’s personality – aka impatient, refuses to take no for an answer, and spirited. She’s also hilarious and makes us laugh out loud every single day. On the other hand, Baby Will (as we all lovingly call him) looks like his mama but has his dad’s personality – laid back, smiley, and has a serious case of FOMO.
Since we don’t have family nearby, we’ve found ourselves an amazing nanny, “Nana” Diane, who is basically part of our family. We found her through an online service when Maddie was a baby, and she’s been with our family ever since. She’s been through a lot with our family, and we couldn’t imagine our lives without her! She keeps our lives running as smoothly as possible, and our kids love her like a grandma. Diane is a real blessing to us.
What is your favorite moment that you’ve captured and why?
With over 8,000 memories posted since joining Tinybeans, it’s REALLY hard to pick just one!! I made a collage the day after our son was born that shows Maddie on the left and Will in similar photos on the right (both on the day each one was born), and they look like the same baby! That was the first time it really hit me – “Oh my gosh, I have TWO babies!” Cue a mild panic attack.
If you could give yourself one piece of advice before your child(ren) arrived, what would it be?
It’s impossible to truly understand how much your life is going to change once you have that baby. Your priorities are going to change immensely and your heart will double in size with every child. And while you won’t love every phrase, try not to wish time away (“If only he were sleeping through the night” or “I can’t wait until I’m not tripping over kids’ toys,” etc.). The phrase “The days are long but the years are short” is a cliché…but so very true.
What upcoming milestones are you excited about?
Maddie is at a really fun age for enjoying everything related to the holidays. She’s super pumped for presents, Christmas decorations, Santa, etc. We’re looking forward to spending time with family for both Thanksgiving and Christmas in Minnesota and Wisconsin – and for the kids to hopefully see some snow up there. There are three new babies in our immediate families this year, so the holidays will be extra special.
I’m also looking forward to watching Maddie and Will start to play together and interact more. Will loves everything about his big sissy, but Maddie has had a hard time adjusting to having a little brother. We’re starting to see some sweet moments between them (and some not-so-sweet ones, like when she pushed him over during family photos recently because she wanted to sit in his spot!). Maddie has been a bit jealous of Will, but we’re making progress and we know she loves Baby Will.
We’re also just starting the process of building a new house, so we’re looking forward to eventually moving our family into a house that has just the right layout for us. We’re excited to see it all come together, and to imagine our family growing, playing, and running around!
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