Monday, June 30, 2008

Back on Schedule

Greg just left for work and will be going back to school tonight. I am so grateful for his new job and his boss's consideration of our family. He was only in his third week of training and he let him take the week off to take care of Palmer and me. What a blessing!

I think it was good for both of us to have Greg home this week, beyond medical reasons. Greg got a more realistic idea of what it is like taking care of an infant all day and I saw that I am not the only one who struggles with it. There were a couple times when Greg felt very frustrated because he could not get Palmer to stop crying and I took him and was able to calm him down. Greg said he felt like a bad Dad, which is ridiculous, but I realized I said that all the time when I wouldn't be able to calm Palmer down and Greg, coming into the situation fresh and full of energy, could comfort him. It's always nice to take a walk in someone else's shoes and gain insight about yourself. We have a deal now, no saying your a bad parent no matter how out of control you feel.

I am starting to follow Baby Wise again today. The surgery really threw us off the schedule, so it's like starting at square one. So far so good. He slept 8 hours, woke up and fed, had some awake time and went down for a nap. Amazing! Hopefully things will continue to work so well through the rest of the day.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

I Would Not Make a Good Drug Addict

Don't get me wrong... I'm all for some Tylenol, Ny-Quil or Sudafed, anything that makes life easier. But in the past few months, after two surgeries, I've realized I can not handle heavy medications. I've know that many antibiotics make me sicker than I originally was, but lately I've taken the intensity of my medication to a whole new level. After the C-section I was too dizzy and nauseated to even watch my son's first bath. The last day I was in the hospital for the same procedure I was puking from the Percocet. I went home with the worst migrain I had ever experienced. When I came out of anesthesia last Tuesday, I threw up. I was given Loratab with my gallbladder surgery because I knew my body couldn't handle the Percocet. Well that didn't work either. When I was leaving the hospital the rooms were spinning. I decided to just take half a pill for the pain, but even that built up in my system and yesterday I had such an awful headache I just had to lay in a dark quiet room. I don't understand how people enjoy being drugged up. I hate it. I would rather be in pain than take a pain pill and experience the side effects!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Lovin' the Sleepers and Rompers


Before I had Palmer I thought I would be one of those mom's who had the baby with the cutest clothes. I thought my baby would be the best dressed baby on the block. Now that reality has hit, I have realized that comfort and ease are at the top of my list in desirable baby clothes. Palmer has spent his first couple month primarily dressed in sleepers and rompers. Of course, he still looks super cute even though he is dressed in run-of-the-mill ordinary attire! This weekend we are packing up his 0-3 month clothing and filling his dresser with his 3-6 month clothes. I can't believe how big he is getting!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Recovering from Surgery

Sunday night while feeding Palmer I was overcome with immense pains in my chest. I could hardly breath so Greg rushed me to the ER at Pioneer Valley. They thought I might have a pulmonary embolism so they gave me a CT scan. The CT machine malfunctioned so they decided to ultrasound my legs to make sure I didn't have a blood clot. The ultrasound came back clean. I told them during my last pregnancy ultrasound they had discovered that the pregnancy had given me gallstones. I asked if it could be that, and they said no. They diagnosed me with a panic attack and hyperventilation and sent me home. I was in pain all night and the next day. My sister took me to a family practitioner who said Pioneer Valley's diagnosis was ridiculous. He did some labs and ordered another CT scan (to truly rule out a pulmonary embolism) and ultrasound of my abdomen (to check for a gallstone) at IMC. The CT scan came back normal (took 3 tries to get a correct reading because I have bad veins and the iodine wouldn't flow in right, one time the vein collapsed and the iodine spilt all over me) but they found that I had a gallstone stuck in a viaduct. I was told I would meet with a surgeon the next day and would have an emergency surgery to remove my gallbladder. I woke up the next morning without pain. I was told to go to IMC for the surgery. We got there and were then told to go to LDS hospital because there was something wrong with IMC's equipment. We met with a GI doctor at LDS who was planning to do an endoscopy first, but decided it wasn't necessary since the pain went away. We then met with the surgeon who was unaware that we were told we would have the surgery that day. We told him we had already gotten babysitters and Greg's work off so he decided to go ahead and do the surgery that day, for which we were very grateful. The surgery went well. I had never been under anaesthesia before and it made me a bit sick. I had to stay over night because the surgery got such a late start. They gave me morphine for the pain at the hospital; that is some crazy medicine! I asked to be released as early as possible (I hate being in the hospital) and they let me go at about 11:00 am. I am feeling okay. I'm in quite a bit of pain but the painkillers they gave me dull it. I am still allowed to nurse, but can not pick up the baby, so Greg is doing most of the mothering at the moment. I am glad the doctors figured out what was wrong, and glad to be home with Palmer. Hopefully this will be my last surgery for quite a while. I feel like I just finally recovered from the C-section!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Recipe - Easy Grape Salad

Here is a super easy one that is very tasty. I make it for most potlucks we go to because it is always different than what other's bring. The Stewarts had us over for dinner and some Wii enjoyment last night and we brought this.

Easy Grape Salad

1 1/2 lbs. of green grapes
1 1/2 lbs. of red grapes
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
7 oz. marshmallow creme
6 oz. slivered almonds

Wash grapes. Cream together cream cheese and marshmallow creme. Fold in grapes and almonds. Serve immediately or put in refrigerator for about an hour to set.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Four

I was tagged by Emily this time, a person I know strictly through blogging (Greg and her husband used to be coworkers). I do love reading her blog though. They have the sweetest little girl! We should all get together sometime. This tag is much shorter, only four answers. I bet you readers out there are relieved.

A) Four places I visit over and over:
1. Walmart, I feel like I live there!
2. Park City
3. my sisters' house
4. Orem to see the Jennes
*That's pretty sad that the all the places we visit are in Utah. We really need to vacation more!

B) Four people who email me (regularly):
1. Rie Pie
2. Lisa, hey girl!
3. Rachel, another hello out there!
4. and lately Pam, the YW President

C) Four places I like to eat:
1. The Cheesecake Factory, my new favorite, yum!
2. Red Robin
3. Rodizio Grill
4. Leatherbys

D) Four places I'd rather be right now:
1. Disneyland
2. shopping
3. at a cropping party
4. relaxing in a hot tub

E) Four TV shows (movies) I would watch over and over:
1. Friends
2. The Office
3. Scrubs
4. 24

F) Four People I'm tagging:
1. Mindy, because she'll do it anyway, right? :)
2. Rie
3. Jenn
4. Valerie

Thursday, June 19, 2008

My Weapons of Mass Lactation

Breastfeeding... whoever says this is the most natural thing in the world is full of bologna! Palmer is seven weeks old and we are still struggling with it. Yesterday he would not latch on. I tried everything, but he just screamed and screamed. I went over everything I had eaten in the last 24 hours, nothing that had bothered him before. Finally after hours had passed I gave him formula in a bottle and he scarfed it down like there was no tomorrow.

I have been feeding Palmer on demand. It is quite exhausting! Many mornings I feed him for a few hours straight. My friend Tennisa suggested the book Baby Wise to help us get on a schedule. I've been reading it and it sounds quite liberating, a life that is not determined by a baby's unpredictable schedule, sign me up! I decided I would start working it in this morning. The book says to feed every 2 1/2-3 hours. After Palmer's first feeding of the morning at 7:00 he was ready to eat only an hour later. I gave in after about 10 minutes of crying. That boy sure has me whipped. He proceeded to feed every 20 minutes to an hour (or scream) until 5:00 in the evening. He also refused to take a nap all day, which I was actually planning to nap with him today. I think he was mocking me and my new philosophy. Really, after the forth time of me trying to put him down for a nap he peed all over himself while I was changing his diaper. My eyes teared up and he laughed at me! I called Greg in tears asking him to come home instead of going to night classes so I could have a break. I need to be stronger. Oh well, tomorrow is another day.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Christian Acoustic Folk Duo - With a Message

I was telling Rie about these guys last night and she had never seen them, so I told her I would post this. I think they are hilarious!



Monday, June 16, 2008

Eight

I finally had enough time to complete this tag from Rie. Sorry if you lose interest; I even got tired of talking about myself this much!

-What is your favorite number? 8
Now name that many answers to the following.
8 nicknames: Dollar Five, Mistress Butterbuns, Laura, L.L., Short Stack, Kirby & Madonna, Ler-Ler, Leraleehee
8 things that you are wearing: brown pants, garments, nursing pads, tank top, peasant shirt, ponytail elastic, mascara, chapstick
8 things you want or have in a relationship: respect, laughter, trust, kindness, consideration, loyalty, understanding, fun
8 of your favorite things to do: read, sleep, scrapbook, bake, cook, take a bath, blog, shop
8 of your least favorite things to do: wake up, dishes, laundry, kill bugs, weed, scrub the bathtub, pay bills, pluck eyebrows
8 things you did last night: ate dinner, blew out the candles on my birthday cake, visited with family, opened presents, played Mario Kart, rocked Palmer to sleep, sang hymns to Palmer, showered
8 people you last talked to: Palmer, Greg, random women at WalMart, Candace, mechanic at WalMart, Angela, London, Rie
8 things you are doing tomorrow: nursing, changing diapers, making dinner, dishes, checking e-mail/blog stalking, read The Host, kiss my baby, kiss my hubby
8 favorite holidays: Christmas, Valentines Day, 4th of July, New Years, Black Friday, Thanksgiving, my B-day, Easter
8 bad memories: labor, my mom in pain, calling 911, breaking up, getting in a car accident, junior high, being sick, getting lost
8 favorite memories: my wedding day, Greg's proposal, meeting Palmer, Palmer's first laugh, putting on a puppet show with my mom, Oakcrest, high school graduation, getting my college diploma
8 favorite books: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Twilight, Harry Potter, Cry the Beloved Country, Midsummer Night's Dream, The Freedom Writers, Where the Heart Is
8 favorite drinks: water, Freckled Lemonade from Red Robin, Black Cherry Vanilla Diet Coke, Peach Lemonade, IBC Cream Soda, Orange Julius, Mango Juice, Swiss Milk Chocolate shake from Leatherbys
8 things about me you may have not known: I trap spiders under mugs/bowls so Greg can kill them when he gets home, I have really long toes, I've never had braces, I like the smell of gasoline, I was born in Ohio, I love roller coasters, I have morbid nightmares, I plan to write an LDS novel
8 bad things that you've done at your job: shown up late, gossiped, discuss pay rate, skipped clean up duties, talked on the phone to friends, took a long lunch, faked being sick, lied about why I was quitting
8 movies I would watch again and again: Moulin Rouge, Where the Heart Is, While You Were Sleeping, French Kiss, any Harry Potter, any Batman, Stranger Than Fiction, Dan in Real Life
8 favorite foods: Stove Top stuffing, pizza, chicken enchiladas, chicken and dumplings, french fries, pasta, sourdough bread, homemade sweets
8 places I want to travel to: England, Italy, France, Dubai, Hawaii, New York, Japan, Greece
8 hot actors/actresses: Ewan McGregger, Chris O'Donnell, Heath Ledger, LL Cool J, Harry Connic Jr. (because he looks like my hubby), Paul Bettany, James Marsden, Orlando Bloom
8 favorite people: Greg, Palmer, my mom, London, Rie, my dad, Jenny, Erin
8 things you need to do this week: clean, shop, cook, bake, scrapbook, take care of Palmer, learn to Hula at the young womens activity, laundry
8 first date topics: hobbies, family, friends, job, movies, books, dreams, values
8 random things: fingernails, guitar hero, pez, thank you notes, bills, batteries, sunglasses, drums (I got all of those by looking around Greg's messy office)
8 things that you are thinking right now: I should have answered that my favorite number is 2, I think Palmer is finally asleep, It's 1:00 and I still haven't done my hair, I want to read The Host instead of clean, I hope Greg doesn't get home too late tonight, this is a really long survey, I'm quite full from lunch, I need lotion
8 reasons to love your life: my husband, my little boy, my sisters, my friends, my talents, the gospel, our home, because attitude is everything
8 people you want to do this: Ugh, eight is too many, if you are reading this and feel inclined to do it, consider yourself tagged

My Dad's the Greatest Guy You Know

When I was a little girl I had a cassette tape entitled I'm a Mormon, and I knew all the songs on it by heart. My favorite song on the tape was called "My Dad."
My dad's the smartest guy,
And my dad's the bravest guy,
And my dad's the neatest guy,
It's positively so.
Maybe I'll introduce you,
Then you'll know that it's the truth,
That my dad,
My dad's the greatest guy you know!


Yeah, it's a cheesy song, but it is exactly how I feel about my dad. He really is the greatest guy you know. People tell me all the time what a truly wonderful man he is. He is a gentle giant. He is so unbelievably humble. He is patient and kind. He is a worthy priesthood holder with amazing guidance and advice. He is an example of generosity and meekness. I've always known that I wanted to marry a man much like my father. On a daily basis he has shown me how a husband should treat a wife. I am so thankful to have him in my life. He is my hero. Love you Dad!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tales from the Belch?

Yesterday I got to open my Fathers Day present a day early. Lera suggested that I did so that I would have the chance to enjoy it before our busy weekday schedule kicked in. It was Mario Kart Wii, a very popular title. So on Saturday Lera and Rie had their scrapbooking party, and afterwards we had made plans to play the game in four player mode. We took turns taking care of Palmer while we played the game between myself, Lera, Rie, and Shea. But then Palmer decided to let us be and took a nap. Finally, a chance to have the awesome four player action, or so we thought. We had scarfed down pizza before we were playing and I guess it was giving Shea some discomfort. So, then came the belch. BBBBBBRRRRRRRRUUUUUUUUUUPPPPP (gurgle gurgle). It was huge, it had to be at least 80 dB. This totally frightened baby Palmer and he started to cry. He seemed so scared. It was sad and funny at the same time, but needless to say we had to stop our fun game playing to calm baby down again. I couldn't imagine what creature Palmer must have thought was there disrupting his little nap... nope, no monster, just Auntie Shea.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Since we are celebrating my birthday on Sunday, we decided to celebrate Father's Day a little early in our home. Palmer and I spent yesterday shopping at a few stores in search of Greg's gift. We finally found Mario Kart in stock at our third store, for which I was very grateful! Greg was really excited to get it; he had wanted it since it was released and was very patient for us to have the money for it. We just played a couple rounds, so fun!

Greg is such a good daddy. He loves his little boy. Normally nothing could get him away from a new Nintendo game, believe me, I've tried. But after a couple races he relented the controls to go and take a nap with his sleepy son. I snapped this quick picture just a few moments ago. Palmer, of course, is wide awake, a little game he likes to play with us when we think he is about to go into a deep slumber. My boys are so sweet!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

New Job, New Callings

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. ~Anatole France

Much has changed for us recently. Having Palmer has been a wonderful change, but there are some things about being DINKs (duel income no kids) that we do miss. A big one is money (ha!), but I have also recently missed being able to do things on the fly, or in some cases, do things at all.

We have had a few other changes take place this week. Greg finally got a new job. YAY! He has been working his "until something better comes along" collections job for two years now, amazing that he lasted that long (so proud of you hunny!). He is now a help desk technician working on Netgear routers. He really likes the job, and the company seems great. They have a very relaxed environment; he's so excited to be able to wear jeans to work. And, the best part, it's Monday-Friday, 8-5! He's never had one of those jobs since we've been married. I'm so excited to see him on weekends. I still don't get nights because he has school; I'll have to wait a couple more years for that one. It is also great experience for the job he will seek upon finishing school. We are very thankful for this opportunity. We, and we know many of our friends and family, have been praying for this.

We were also given new callings on Sunday. We are the Stake Young Single Adult Representatives. We are both being released as secretaries in the Young Mens and Young Womens organizations. I will really miss the young women! But, I do think this new calling will be a lot of fun. I don't miss the dating game at all, but I do miss some of the fun and crazy activities of my single life. (I don't know if I will ever truly feel like a grown up.) Greg and I met in the singles ward of our stake (with the help of my pushy mother, hehe), so we have a testimony that the program can work. I made some great friends and had some fun times during stake single activities and I am excited to carry on that tradition to others.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Recipe - Lemon Bars

I am making these for Young Women's tonight. It will be my last activity because I am being released on Sunday to start a new calling. I enjoy cooking, but I love baking! The Young Women have been guinea pigs to many of my baked goods through the last couple years, so I thought I'd make one last treat for them tonight. This is a tried and true recipe. I got it from my mom, who got it from her mom, who was a cook for royalty in England. I think they are the absolute best lemon bars!

Lemon Bars

Crust:
1/2 lb. butter
2 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. sugar

Mix above ingredients. Press in a greased 9x12 pan. Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Filling:
4 eggs
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 c. sugar
7 tbls. lemon juice
4 tbls. flour

Mix above ingredients and pour over crust, return to the oven and bake 20-25 minutes more until firm. Let cool, then sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

My Birthday Hoopla


I am officially in my late 20s... gosh, that is old! Yesterday Greg took me out for my birthday. We always go way overboard for birthdays in our family. This year was no exception. We went to the Cheesecake Factory, which is now my new favorite restaurant. It was so good! The portions were huge too, so we actually were able to enjoy the delicious food two days in a row because of leftovers. Greg ordered the Caramel White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cheesecake and I ordered the Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake. Both were amazing! I posted the pics so that all of you could drool over them as well. At dinner he gave me my gift... tickets to the American Idol Concert... sweet! David Cook here I come! We then went to see the new Indiana Jones movie which we both really enjoyed.

Today is my actual birthday, and we are having a party at Greg's family's house. Next Sunday we are having another party with my family at my sister's house. I love it when I get to celebrate my birthday over and over again. It is the best.

Funny story. I leaned over to Greg in Sacrament Meeting today and told him he had forgotten to tell me something. He smiled, put his arms around me and whispered in my ear, "You look beautiful today." I laughed and said, "No, not that." He replied, "Uhh, I love you?" I said, "Nope." Then he said, "Oh! Happy Birthday!" He said he felt like a schmuck, but I reassured him it I thought it was pretty funny.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Recent Scrapbook Layouts & a Baby Card

Sorry to be so one dimensional lately. Before I had Palmer I remember how it was annoying when the only thing people talked about was their kids, and now I am one of them. Although it pretty much feels like my life revolves around our baby at the moment, I do have other interests. I am excited to get back into scrapbooking once things settle down around here. I've always thought if I was a stay at home mom I could get caught up on my albums, of course I haven't scrapbooked since I had the baby, but I plan on changing that in the next couple weeks. Here are the most recent layouts I have completed and a card I made for our stamp clubs monthly card swap.


products used - cardstock: unknown, pen: Zig, twine: unknown


products used - cardstock: Bazzill, pattern paper: Basic Grey, snaps, stamps and paint: Making Memories, pen: Zig, ribbon: unknown


products used - pattern paper: unknown, chipboard: Scenic Route, font: Arriere Garde (downloaded from Internet), ribbon: unknown, die cut letters: quickutz silhouette

products used: card template: Quickutz Silhouette, pattern paper: Studio 8, cardstock: Bazzill, stamp and ink: Close to My Heart, safety pin: EK Success


Can you tell that the card is enveloped in a diaper? Greg couldn't tell what it was supposed to be until I told him.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

A Case of Indecent Giggles & One Month Photos

Palmer amazes us daily with how quickly he is growing up. Last night he let out his first laugh. It was so adorable. He was nursing at the time and had a mouth full of booby, not quite sure what made that so funny, but it was super sweet nonetheless.

Today Auntie London took us to Kiddie Kandids for a photo shoot with Palmer's cousin Davis. The boys are only 8 months apart, so we are planning on them being best buds. The photographer was amazed that Palmer could already hold up his head so she wanted to capture that in the photographs. I can't believe how patient she was when taking their pictures, especially the one with the two of them. Anytime she would get the one to look at the camera with a happy expression, the other would look away or cry, or in one instance fall on top of the other one. Too bad I can not afford to take Palmer there for all his pictures because they really do such a great job. I think they came out just darling!



Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I Have Cool Friends

One of my good buddies, Erin Stewart, is going to be doing a bi-weekly column in the Deseret News about motherhood. She is an amazing writer and she has a great sense of humor! Check out her first editorial:

Collateral Breakfast Damage is a Badge, Not a Wound

Monday, June 2, 2008

One Month Old

Palmer was born exactly one month ago today. I can't believe he is getting so big so quickly. Here are some little tidbits about Palmer at one month old.

He has learned to: hold up his head, nurse, and smile
He likes: feeding, lights, being held, going on walks, and apple juice (but it doesn't like him very much, gave him an awful tummy ache)
He dislikes: being alone, formula as opposed to breast milk, and being dressed
Things he does that makes us laugh: snorts, cranes his neck and wrinkles his forehead like E.T., snores, moves his head like a bobble head, massive burps and toots, the pathetic cry he makes when he is too tired to cry, and his Zoolander face

Palmer's Baby Blessing


Our little boy was blessed by his dad this Sunday. What a special experience it was! Greg and I were both emotional beforehand because we hadn't gotten much sleep the might before, and the opening hymn was the hymn that had converted Greg, so he was crying before he even started the blessing. Palmer was given his name for the records of the church. He was blessed with discernment, and a desire to chose the right. He was blessed to be a great missionary and to marry a righteous spouse in the temple. He was told that much was expected of him and that he would have many trials in his life, but that he would be able to overcome those trials with help from his parents who love him and his Heavenly Father.

The day before Palmer was blessed, my nephew Braedon was baptized. So, the Nichols family had quite the busy weekend. We had two big parties with our family and friends, on Saturday at my sister London's house before the baptism and the other one after church on Sunday. They were traditional gatherings for our family... crowded, loud and with lots of food! I couldn't help but to reflect on a few things over this special week. The first thing I thought was how proud my mother would be of her family, their righteous choices and their progression in the gospel. The other thing I thought of was how lucky we are to have such supportive family, friends and ward members. My immediate family are the only members out of our extended family, and yet we still took up three rows of our chapel this Sunday and a primary room at Braedon's baptism. We truly are fortunate to have so many who care for us.

I am so grateful to be Palmer's mother. He bring so much joy to our lives! I pray that we will be able to teach him well and be worthy parents to this special spirit that our Heavenly Father has blessed us with.