Thursday, May 29, 2008

Recipe - Orange Jello Salad

Greg is having a potluck at his work tomorrow and signed up for a jello salad. So here is what I am making today.

Orange Jello Salad

1 lg. pkg. orange jello
1 sm. can crushed pineapple
2 cans mandarin oranges
1 sm. can frozen orange juice
1 c. cool whip
1 sm. pkg. instant lemon pudding
1 1/2 c. milk

Dissolve jello in 2 cups of boiling water. Pour into a 9 x 13 inch pan. Add thawed undiluted orange juice. Mix in drained mandarin oranges and undrained pineapple. Stir well. Chill until set. For the topping mix milk and pudding. Add cool whip and stir well. Spread on top of jello mixture.

Now you have to be a hard core orange fan for this salad. It has a strong zing to it, but it's very refreshing.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Am I Still Pregnant?

I was not one of those women who just glowed and enjoyed being pregnant. Morning sickness, waddling, and insomnia are not my idea of a good time. I was very, very excited to be done being pregnant. So imagine my surprise when I find myself still experiencing some of the joys of pregnancy even after Palmer has arrived. For example:

  1. I am always hot, and now that it's summer that is not as pleasant as it was in the wintertime.
  2. I get nauseous when I eat, don't eat, and nurse.
  3. I am still breaking out like I did when I was in junior high.
  4. I'm always hungry and snack all day.
  5. My back aches, not from carry a baby in my abdomen, but from constantly being hunched over while feeding Palmer.
  6. My clothes still don't fit right.
  7. I only sleep in shifts of a couple hours.
  8. I can cry at the drop of a dime. A couple nights ago, Greg and I watched I Now Pronounce you Chuck and Larry, and pathetically enough, it made me cry.
  9. I cannot jump, bend over, pick up anything heavy, vacuum (this one's not such a sacrifice), or exercise, because of my incision.
  10. My stomach doesn't protrude to quite the extent that it previously did, but now I have extra flub that is not tightening up very quickly (Greg lovingly refers to this as my fat flap, for anyone who has seen the movie Click, enough said).

So anyone out there who is looking forward to the sweet release of pregnancy... I have a warning for you, sorry, but it's not going to happen.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Bring Your Son to Work Day

Thursday was a busy, busy day for Palmer and me. The special ed. class I used to work in before I had Palmer had their end of the year BBQ field trip. I told the students I would bring Palmer to it so that they could see him. Here are some of their comments:

"I like your baby Mrs. Hess."
"You were in the hospital!"
"Awww, he's cute and tiny."
"Is your baby my friend?"
And there was also a very heated debate on whether Palmer is a boy or a girl. Most of the class said he's a boy, so that's a relief.

It had been a couple of months since I had seen my students. It hit me how much I really miss them! They truly are the sweetest teenagers in the world. Their happiness and excitement is contagious, and I always find myself smiling and laughing when I am around them. I feel lucky and privileges to have such sweet spirits in my life.

Thursday also happened to be the best day to take Palmer to Greg's work. So we headed straight from the BBQ to the Wells
Fargo Builing. Palmer was definately the most popular guy there! Greg had an entire hour break to show him off, and still didn't make it around the floor to everyone who wanted to see him. Greg's coworkers are all very nice. Palmer was a good sport as he was being handed off over and over again. We are glad we have a baby who likes to be out and about like his mommy and daddy.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Guitar Hero Protégé

I love music. I love playing the drums, I dabble on the keyboard, and the bass. One of my favorite games is Guitar Hero. It's really fun to simulate that you are a professional guitarist since I cannot play that well in real life. So one night, baby Palmer was sleeping and took this pose. I know that he is practicing the bass in his sleep. It looks like he is strumming a string with his right finger and practicing the chords with his left. Good job Palmer! Soon I will have a worthy foe to challenge me at Guitar Hero.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hubby Inventory

1. What is his name? Gregory Gene Hess
2. Who eats more? I think we eat about the same, but I eat more regularly, while he'll go awhile not eating much and then totally binge on junk food.
3. Who said I love you first? He did, and later we both agreed it was a little fast. I was taken off guard and quickly said it back. The second time he said it (about a month later), I said it back, and we both actually meant it.
4. Who is taller? He is taller than everyone; he's 6'4".
5. Who is smarter? We have different intelligences. I am book smart and good with language; he is mathematically and spatially minded.
6. Who is more sensitive? Always me, us Nichols girls are good criers. He is very easy going.
7. Who does the laundry? I usually do.
8. Who pays the bills? Greg does.
9. Who mows the lawn? I'm going to sound like a absolute princess saying this, but I have never mowed the lawn in my life. Greg does, and is very good about being a gentleman and doing the "guy jobs," although lately I've realized I need to learn how to do a lot of the guy jobs so that I am self-sufficient.
10. Who cooks more? I am definitely the cook! He has set the kitchen on fire boiling water, truly, it happened.
11. What meals do you cook together? We do bake chocolate chip cookies together. He is the official stirrer because it hurts my hands.
12. Who is more stubborn? Me, for sure.
13. Who is the first to admit they are wrong? Greg, he is a good hubby.
14. Who is more clean? I would say me. He is always willing to clean when I ask him, but doesn't seem to notice the mess until I point it out.
15. Who has more siblings? We both have two sisters.
16. Who wears the pants in the relationship? We each have a leg in there.
17. What do you like to do together? Watch sitcoms, play the Gamecube and the Wii, play board games, go on walks, go out to dinner, date.
18. Who eats more sweets? Usually me, I love baked goods, but he loves sugar and can eat an entire bag of Smarties, Laffy Taffy, or any type of candy.
19. Who has more friends? Me, but don't most women?
20. Guilty pleasures? Video games, computer games, playing the drums, guitar and keyboard, and Double Stuffed Oreos.
21. How did you meet? My mom picked him up in the parking lot of the singles ward and invited him over for dinner to meet her daughters.
22. Who kissed who first? He kissed me, but I almost ended up kissing him a couple of times because he took so long.
23. Who proposed? He did on a picnic in the canyons. He recreated the date he took me on when I first realized I was falling for him.
24. His best features? His smile, his dimples, his hair, his height and his tight booty. :)
25. What is his greatest quality? He is so fun and goofy. He always keeps me entertained. He is a good and worthy priesthood holder and very strong in the gospel. He is also proving to be a great daddy!

I'm going to tag Tiffany and Mindy on this one.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Little Man

Palmer went to church yesterday for the first time. He looked so cute all dressed up in his little man clothes; we usually dress him in sleepers. He is now officially into his 0-3 month clothing instead of the newborn size. I can't believe how he has grown in just two short weeks! My favorite part of the outfit was the little socks that look like shoes. My older sister, London, bought them from the hospital gift shop. He was definately the hit of the Hunter 27th Ward this week.

Office Fans

We are huge fans of The Office and Steve Carell. On Saturday night, while we were desperately trying to get Palmer to go to sleep, we saw this skit on SNL and thought it was pretty darn funny. Maybe we were just really sleep deprived, or we have a strange sense of humor (doesn't everyone that watches The Office have to have a strange sense of humor?). Anyway, I thought I'd share the laughs with all of you. Check it out. I think the intro is especially funny.

Friday, May 16, 2008

From Another World

Since day one Palmer has been able to hold his head up; he's a strong little guy. Lately, especially after feedings, he's been stretching out his neck, wrinkling his forehead, and widely opening his eyes. When he does this we can't help but think he looks a bit like an old, childhood extraterrestrial friend, that's right, E.T. is back and cuter than ever!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Recipe - Chicken and Dumplings

We had one of my favorite meals last night, chicken and dumplings. It was one of the meals that I made before I had the baby and froze. It even tasted yummy after the freezing process.

Chicken and Dumplings

2 cans cream of chicken soup
3 c. water
1 c. chopped celery
2 onions, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chicken bullion
½ tsp. pepper
4 chicken breasts
5 carrots, sliced
1 sm. pkg. frozen peas
3 c. baking mix
1 1/3 c. milk

Combine everything but the baking mix and milk in the crockpot with chicken on the bottom. Cook on high for 6 hours. Make dumplings by mixing baking mix and milk until a soft dough forms. Drop by spoonfuls into boiling water in large pot. Simmer covered for 10 minutes then uncovered for 10 minutes. Add cooked dumplings to pot the last ½ hour of cooking time.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

I had a lovely first Mother's Day. Greg gave me roses and a love letter that was so sweet it made me cry (of course I am crying pretty easily these days with sleep deprivation and my crazy out of whack hormones, but I think I would have gotten teary eyed regardless of those things). My little sister also gave me flowers, and my mother-in-law gave me a card and a check. The very best gift this mother's day was Greg taking care of the baby all night! I forgot how great I feel with a good night's sleep.

We took Palmer to visit his two grandmas. First we stopped by the cemetery to visit Nana Valerie and we brought her some daisies. Then we went to dinner at Grandma Nancy's. We gave Nancy a card and the book One Bright Shinning Hope by President Hinkley; we had given her Marjorie Pay Hinkley's corresponding book Small and Simple Things on a previous Mother's Day. All in all, it was a great day!

Me and Palmer at Nana Valerie's grave

Greg, Palmer and Grandma Nancy

Friday, May 9, 2008

My Mother's Laugh

In honor of mother's day I thought I would record one of my favorite things about my mom, her laugh. She had an infectious laugh, a loud one that often rang throughout our home. Many times she laughed when others would consider it inappropriate, but that was her personality and her friends and family quickly realized there was no offense to be taken. Through her laugh, we all learned to have a good sense of humor about our blunders instead of being embarrased. She reminded us to not take life so seriously.

She thought it was hysterical any time someone bumped their head, slipped, tripped or fell. One day while she and I were out shopping at the mall, I asked her if she would laugh if it was her who fell. She told me she wasn’t sure because with her bad health it might really hurt her. When we came out of the mall, the parking lot was a sheet of ice. As we were crossing the parking lot, she slipped and fell and slid right under a car that was stopped at a stop sign. She didn’t reply to my questions of if she was alright, and I began to get really worried, as did the woman in the car above her. About a minute later she burst out with a hoot and I realized it wasn’t pain that kept her from catching her breath but laughter. It took about five minutes for me to help her get out from under the car, because she was laughing so hard. She laughed about it all the way home and every time she told the story.
A couple of weeks before she passed away she was talking to my Grandma on the phone. My grandma was concerned about my mom being able to get help when she needed it. She had been falling a lot at the time, and we were in the routine to come running to help whenever she yelled. She assured my Grandma that she was fine and that she could yell loud enough to get anyone’s attention, and with that she let out a bellowing, “Lera!” I had been up stairs scrapbooking and my father had been napping. Within seconds we both came flying into the room, hearts pounding, ready to do what was needed. She started cracking up, and said “I guess I didn’t think that out.”

Last mother's day was a difficult one for me. My mom had passed away only a couple of weeks before. This year I still feel the heartache of losing her, but I also have some wonderful reasons to celebrate, great memories of my mother, and a new baby boy. I pray I can be as good of a mother to Palmer as my mom was to me.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Memoirs of First Time Parents

We took Palmer to the doctor's office for a checkup yesterday. He dirtied his diaper the moment we got him onto the doctor's table. It was then that we realized we didn't bring a diaper bag, and so we had no wipes and no diaper to change him into. The nurse laughed at us when we told her and said she would get us one. We undressed Palmer so that he could be weighed and he peed all over the table, himself and his outfit that was sitting next to him. Obviously, since we didn't bring a diaper or diaper bag, we also didn't bring a change of clothes. I don't know what we were thinking! Bringing a diaper bag wherever you take a baby is just common sense. I knew that before we had a baby, but for some reason the idea didn't cross our minds when we left the house. We had to take Palmer downstairs to the lab in only a diaper. We felt like the most brainless parents in the world!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

"Baby Palmart"

We were released from the hospital Monday afternoon. YAY! I could not wait to get out of there. Greg and I both slept much better at home, and we are getting into a good routine with the baby. He is doing much better breast feeding today. We wanted to thank all our friends and family who have visited and brought gifts and food. We really appreciate all the support!

Today Palmer's 2 1/2 year old cousin, Amaya, came to visit with Aunt Andrea. She was really sweet with Palmer; she was kissing him and softly rubbing his head. She calls him "Baby Palmart." Isn't that just stinkin' cute?

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Hospital Pictures

We just had the hospital photographer come by and take pictures of Palmer. I didn't know that they take such cute pictures at the hospital now. I would have come better prepared with props and backgrounds, but it's okay, they still turned out darling! We ordered the majority of them. Enjoy!

My Beautiful Bundle of Joy!

On Friday the 2nd of May, Lera awoke to her water breaking and our precious long awaited baby Palmer saying "I'm ready to come and meet you!" I was trying to muster up the strength to get ready and do some overtime at work, but when I heard Lera in the bathroom, I asked her what she was doing and she smiled and said, "my water broke". Within 2 minutes I was ready to head out the door, she looked at me sitting on the bed and said "I want to do my hair and eat some breakfast first". I replied "In the movies whenever their water breaks they always zoom to the hospital, why can't we zoom?" I was really anxious to meet him and I didn't want to wait around until Lera was ready. Anyway I was so anxious on waiting for Lera that I had to calm down, so I played my Wii for about 15 minutes before she had me do some house chores. We showed up at the hospital, and then 12 hours later our beautiful boy was surgically removed from Lera and was put into my arms. He is such the a good little boy. He loves to look around and see who is visiting him before he gets so tired that he just falls asleep in our arms. Our first night together as a family he slept the whole night! We had to wake him up to get him to eat!

I am so grateful that I get to be the father of such a wonderful little boy and I know that baby Palmer will be my beautiful bundle of joy!

Team Hess's New Recruit

My water broke at 8:00 yesterday morning. We went to the hospital a couple of hours later. I wasn't contracting and I wasn't dilated at all, so I was put on pitocin to get my labor going. At 2:00 I was dilated to a one. I decided to for go the epidural for as long as possible so that I could progress. After 12 hours of labor I was having hard contractions every 30 seconds - 1 minute and I still was only dilated to a one. The Dr. said the baby had to come out 24 hours after the water broke, and that I would not be making that deadline, if I could deliver at all. So we had to have the baby C-section. I was then given a spinal block since I never got the epidural. Palmer Gene Hess was born May 2, 2008 at 7:46 pm. He weighed 8 lbs. 3 oz. and was 22 inches long. We are both doing very well. Team Hess is thoroughly delighted with their new recruit!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Handmade Recipe Box

We have a young women auction coming up in a couple of weeks to raise money for camp. Last year I went all out and donated a lot of services and goods. This year I decided I should get something done in advance since I probably won't be up for anything right after the baby is born. I used to sell custom made recipe boxes. I found an extra I had yet to decorate, and put this together with supplies I had on hand. (I'm pretty much out of ribbon now.) I didn't have to buy one thing, and I still think it came out pretty cute.